I’ve written many posts on the negative effects of Lupron in my system. It wreaks havok on my emotions, makes me physically weak, causes a lack of focus, and removes filters. It makes me crazy in many ways. There are physical side effects too, the most prominent one being erectile dysfunction. I also have hot flashes, though not as bad as many men have with this drug in their bloodstream. But there is one aspect of it that I have enjoyed. I love being free of libido.
Before I got my first shot, I could not imagine losing interest in sex. I fought the idea tooth and nail. Even after my shot, I wanted to prove that I still could. And I could. I wanted to prove that I was “still a man.” But over time, my attitude changed. I realized that I had a chance to be able to mute that voice that had preoccupied my mind since I was 14 years old. Once I stopped fighting, I experienced freedom.
Some who read this will be able to relate. If you’re undergoing hormone therapy, you know what it does to your libido. But if you are a man who hasn’t experienced this, I’m sure you can’t imagine being able to ignore that drive that consumes all of us from puberty on. Women lose their libido when they go through menopause, unless they take hormones to keep it. But men’s bodies never stop producing sperm. It’s a pressure that never goes away. The urge to have an orgasm is a biological imperative for us.
Women think they know how much this subject is on our minds, but if they really knew, they’d recoil in horror. It’s always there. Let me give you a couple of examples.
If you are an attractive woman, you may believe that you have flirted your way out of a traffic ticket a time or two. I hate to be the one to break it to you, ladies, but in all likelihood, the cop that pulled you over never intended to give you a ticket. He probably pulled you over just so he could check you out. I know for a fact that that happens.
Likewise, if you are waiting to cross the street, and a man driving stops or waits to let you cross, he isn’t being courteous. He just wants to watch you walk in front of him. Sorry if I’m giving away secrets, guys.
I won’t even talk about sunglasses. I’m sure you already know about that. We may not look like we’re looking at you, but we are.
Don’t get me wrong, I still look. As far as I’m concerned, a beautiful woman is proof that God exists. But I don’t have to look now. And when I do, I’m not thinking anything. Just appreciating. And I don’t have to make myself not look, which all discreet men learn to do. I can choose not to look, and I don’t feel like I’m missing something important. If a hot woman goes by and we miss it, we hate that. Now it’s OK. I’ve seen lots of attractive women, and I’ll see lots more. It’s no biggie if I miss one. I know this sounds ridiculous to you ladies, but that’s a huge relief.
Almost all prostate cancer treatments result in sexual side effects. Surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy all result in ED in many, if not most cases. I don’t know about chemo, but I doubt that chemo makes you feel all that sexy. The difficulty for men with ED after surgery is, they still have the urge for sex, but often can’t perform. For me this would be much worse than what I’m experiencing. Wanting to, but not being able to would be terrible for any man. I’d much rather not want to.
I suspect that this is a major reason that so many men want to keep their prostate cancer private. The last thing most men would want is for the world to know that they have trouble getting an erection. It’s all bound up in our manhood.
I’ve talked about this with guys I know, and none of them can imagine being free of libido. When I tell them it’s liberating, they look at me like I have two heads. But a few friends of mine can see the appeal. It’s like telling anyone with some kind of monkey on their back, whether it be a drug habit, gambling problem, or some other compulsion that their desire for the monkey could be erased.
I talked with a friend about it today, and while he could not imagine what I was describing, he remarked that if he could turn that switch to the off position, he could get so much more done. I can testify that that is true. It’s amazing what you can devote your attention to when you can muzzle the little red devil on your shoulder.
I have to admit that the spiritual growth I’ve experienced during my treatment is related to this. Preoccupation with sex does not contribute to spirituality. I can hear God’s voice much more easily when I can mute that other voice.
I have heard other men on Lupron say that they feel like less of a man. I don’t. I feel like a man who is free to think about other things.
This doesn’t mean that I want to stay on Lupron forever. God, no! As far as I’m concerned, suppressing libido is the only positive effect of Lupron, other than the minor detail of it keeping my cancer from growing. Because of the aggressiveness of my cancer, my doctor thinks it will only work for me for anywhere from 18 months to 2 years. I wonder how long it will take after that for my libido to return. It’s OK with me if it never does.
But until then, in spite of all that’s bad about this drug that we all hate so much, I do enjoy this one part of it. I love living without libido. #waroncancer