The Backlash! - What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues - Impotence
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By Rod Van Mechelen

Sex and the Impotent Girl
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - There are two things men's rights activists should know about impotence. The first is that many cases of impotence have to do with lack of lust, not lack of good health. The second is that impotence is not for men only: women suffer from impotence, too.

According to Herb Goldberg, most cases of male impotence are "pair specific": "Men are not impotent today. They only are impotent with some women under some conditions and their non-responsive reactions reflect important truths that they must learn to trust and understand." (The Hazards of Being Male: Surviving the Myth of Masculine Privilege, Herb Goldberg, Ph.D., p 28) This does not mean women are to blame for male impotence. It does mean that, for whatever reasons, a man does not desire that particular woman.

Women suffer from impotence too: Vaginismus. According to Anita Nelson, a female gynecologist featured in March, 1992, on CNN's Sonya Live, vaginismus is "a woman's inability to relax, to enjoy." Or, as Linda Valins explains in her book, When a Woman's Body Says No to Sex: Understanding and Overcoming Vaginismus (Penguin health books), it's "an involuntary spasm of the vaginal muscles, which at its mildest makes intercourse difficult and at its extreme makes penetration impossible." (Sex & Health, Janet Lever, Ph.D. & Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., Glamour, February 1992, p 36)

Whether it's called vaginismus or impotence, there's not much difference.


Rod Van Mechelen


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