Letter:Impotence no joke

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The Independent Culture
Letter:Impotence no joke

Sir: A lot of people simply do not understand what male impotence is. There is no lessening of libido - of a very basic biological need, common to all living things.

The experience is roughly that of being in a room with a table laid and a meal waiting - but with one's arms tied behind one's back; and that goes on day after day, and month after month.

I did not realise that my impotence was having an effect on my whole outlook on life for several years.

I realised that I was rough towards my children, and that I was quarrelling too often with my wife. I knew that my marriage was heading for the rocks.

Had I been suffering from clinical depression the disturbance to my life would have been no more serious - and treatments for depression are freely available on the NHS.

The big difference with Viagra is that it is very pleasant in its effects. I do not mind paying a fair proportion of the cost, because of that.

But living on income support, it is not easy to find another pounds 6-pounds 7 per week, and I can see no reason at all why there should not be some assistance from the NHS.

It is a pity that so many people see it as a matter for jest, though I must admit that I did enjoy Don White's letter (13 May).