Ask Ashley

Dear SS:


I am sorry that you’re experiencing this. Having Viagra and not being able to use it is like being all dressed up and no place to go! Jokes aside, this is actually a fairly common problem. Before I go into my two part solution, I would always first advise anyone to first rule out anything medical. It is always smart to make sure something medical isn’t causing the pain.



You know the saying “if you don’t use, you lose it?” That’s kind of what is going on here. The vagina is a muscle and like the rest of the body it ages. During menopause there is a decrease in estrogen, which can cause thinning and drying of the vaginal walls. This is called vaginal atrophy. Breast-feeding, chemotherapy and radiation in the pelvic region can also cause vaginal atrophy. If you’re having regular sexual activity whether that be with a partner or through masturbation, it is less likely that vaginal atrophy will occur. It’s like exercising a muscle. However, since you haven’t been intimate for a long time, your wife’s vagina may have atrophied. When an erectile enhancing drug enters the picture, both partners can get very excited and think they can pick up exactly where they left off.  Not preparing properly for this can leave both partners disappointed. Having the proper sex tools in your belt is crucial in enjoying sex. Try a vaginal moisturizer or a water-based lubricant and take it slow. Also, starting out with something small, like a finger or vaginal dilator, then work your way up to sexual intercourse.


The second part to this is sex doesn’t have to equal sexual intercourse. There are so many fun and pleasurable things to do in the bedroom (or wherever else you want to try!) that don’t require intercourse.  Many men define their masculinity by their penis, so if that isn’t working “I must be less of a man.” That couldn’t be more wrong! Take this time to reinvent your sex life. Discover each other’s bodies again. Try erotic massage, oral sex and vibrators. You can work up to intercourse, but that doesn’t have to be the ultimate goal. The most important thing is to communicate with your partner. With a little lube and creativity you’ll have your groove back in no time.


If you would like to ask Ashley a question, email her at

Dear Ashley,


My wife and I haven’t been intimate for a long time, mainly because of my erectile dysfunction. I decided to go to my doctor and get Viagra. It worked like a charm! However, when I tried to have sex with my wife, she said it was much too painful and now we are back to where we started. I thought that being able to “get it up” would answer all our intimacy problems. What should I do?



                                                                            Sexless in Saratoga



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