Peyronies is embarrassing and difficult to talk about. No one is sure what causes
it, there is no satisfactory treatment and the incidence of this condition is unknown.
(More about this in a future article). Does any particular lifestyle or sexual activity
cause it? I have spent considerable time looking for published, first person
accounts of this condition in the popular media and have only been able to find
one. A Gay, middle age man writes about his experience in Salon online.
I have reprinted a portion of the story below.
In the story, the doctor notes that his condition is somewhat between rare and
common, whatever that means. He advises that this condition can lead to lower
self-esteem. Hey doc, tell me something I don't know. In common, everyday
language the doctor tells the patient the obvious truth. There is no good treatment
for Peyronies. The part of the article is as follows:
Peyronies disease, the doctor then told me gently, is also called "partial penile
disassembly." It is a condition of "uncertain cause," characterized by plaque, or a
hard lump, or scar tissue, that forms in the penis and causes an abnormal
curvature when the member is erect. Cases range from mild to severe. Peyronies
isn't "rare," exactly, but it's not "common" either. And it may or may not have
anything to do with HIV or the medications.
"It afflicts men mainly in middle age," the urologist shrugged. "The sexual problems
that result can disrupt a couple's physical and emotional relationship and lead to
While I was stuck on the phrase "middle age," he carried on: "It's just the roll of the
dice for middle-aged men. My guess is your penis has suffered some kind of
"Oh, Doc, you don't know," I answered, thinking of my whole checkered sexual
history. "But the 'trauma' would have to have occurred some time ago, because
my penis hasn't suffered anything in about three years."
Apparently there are only a few treatments for it, and my doctor tells me that none
of them will work effectively for me. The first line of defense is massive doses of
vitamin E, which the doctor can't, in good conscience, give at the levels he would
normally prescribe, as vitamin E would contribute to "hepatic toxicity" (liver
problems), brought on by the other pills I'm on. The second option is injections of
some kind -- needles to the dick -- "which hurt like hell," the urologist said, "and
they don't work, either." The third is penile implants, "but who wants a lead weight
between his legs?" (I refrained from comedy here -- I knew all too well what he
meant.) And the fourth, and most drastic, is surgery. "But I warn you," said the
doctor, "you'll lose two or three inches. No more Peyronies, but no penis, either."
In the meantime, the doctor gives me his own simple prescription: "I want you
ejaculating all the time." It was a tempting thought, but I wondered how it was
supposed to be accomplished, short of nights at the baths in the dark, since I have
not voluntarily visited myself sexually on anyone in many years. Lamely, I
stammered, "What is it about HIV infection you don't understand?"
Suddenly, the doctor became very calm: "Peter, all I'm saying is, if you want your
weenie to look like something other than a compass or a pretzel, you'll do what I
say. You can do the ejaculating on your own. But you must do it."
As I left the doctor's examining room, the receptionist addressed me. "He told you
to jerk off a lot, didn't he?" she said, wincing.
"Yes. How did you know?"
"Oh, he tells that to everyone over 50. You're over 50, right?"
And I had to think: Dammit, I am!
So here I am, a middle-aged man with gout and a permanently crooked erection,
commanded to jerk off (whether I want to or not). And yet I can't help thinking,
Count your blessings, as your grandmother told you. Count your ejaculations, too,
as Hemingway told you (he was afraid he might run out of them). And count me
lucky to still be here under a bright sky in Vermont, when the wind in the trees is
blowing in great, beautiful waves as summer turns to autumn, years after I pledged
to Jon that we never would grow old.
Click here for full story: