My name is Virginia Laken, and my journey into intimate storytelling began during a crisis in my marriage.
At the age of 49, my husband Keith had surgery for prostate cancer and as a result of his operation, he was no longer able to achieve an erection. He felt humiliated, isolated and emasculated by his condition. For months he didn’t want to talk about ‘it’, nor did he want anyone to know. Dealing with his condition was so difficult for us that for a long time we weren’t certain our marriage was going to survive.
In the midst of our despair, we searched for books written by other couples who had gone through a similar situation. We wanted to know how couples coped, what they did physically, mentally and emotionally that helped them recover and restore intimacy in their relationship.
But there were no such books available.
As a writer, I was appalled by the silence. I vowed if Keith and I ‘made it through’ I was going to write our story—the good, the bad, the ugly; the fears, failures and our ultimate success. Thankfully, Keith and I did learn how to regain and re-frame our ability to be intimate again and I shared our story in our book Making Love Again: Hope For Couples Facing Loss of Sexual Intimacy, which was published in 2002.
As a result of my writing and our public speaking we often hear comments about ‘how brave’ we were to be so open about such an intimate and taboo subject. But it wasn’t bravery that compelled me to write our story. It was a desire to break the silence attached to sexual dysfunction and the hope of assuring others that they are not alone in how they feel and what they fear.
Now, more than twenty years later, that very same desire has motivated me to create this blog. The main topics will include:
- Sexuality and aging, and our continued journey to retain and redefine intimacy after impotence
- Dealing with a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment, a condition I was diagnosed with two years ago, and one which also is laden with secrecy and shame.
My hope is that by being open and honest in telling my stories and sharing my experiences, others may not feel alone in how they feel and what they fear.
Most importantly, I want to provide hope.
If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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