I’m going to start by saying if you’re a teen, you don’t need to read this because maybe by the time you’re old enough to actually worry about such things, we’ll have a cure for it. Besides there’s nothing sexy or fun about any of it, so enjoy your youth.
Most everything I write comes from a kernel rooted in real life. Coming Out of Hiding is not from a single kernel but more like a mosaic of events and people that swirled in my brain for ages. But it started with a handful of friends who begged for me to write a non-fiction book on erectile dysfunction. And as much as I was poked and prodded to do it, I lack the medical degrees behind my name, so who would take me seriously? To say I was a wife, who lived with it, was not enough. To say I was a member of a support group for men with prostate cancer who experienced erectile dysfunction, still was not enough. But for almost a decade, I was pretty much the only female member of that group. I’ve heard every story, and had my shoulder cried on more than you can imagine. I’ve poured over medical journals and talked to some of the top specialists in the United States.
Erectile Dysfunction, or ED for short, affects over 30,000,000 men in the USA alone. And most men experience at least one episode before they reach age forty. Most of the time it can easily be explained and just because it has happened doesn’t mean it’s going happen again. But men are mentally tied to this body function that for them is as natural as breathing. Women have nothing with which to compare. So if men fail to have an erection, they panic, they worry and they expect it to fail again and again. That sets them up for a pattern of failure.
Prostate cancer treatment is probably the number one reason for erectile dysfunction. Second and third to that is medications and diabetes. And way-y-y at the bottom of the pile is actual physical damage. There are also degrees of ED. Fortunately we now have several options for men who experience it, and for most men, the options do help.
Let’s look at a quick scenario that happens often and can send a man into panic. It’s par-tee time! Fire up the grill, have some friends over, a few hot dogs, and hamburgers, a pile of chips with plenty of dip, oh that delicious macaroni salad, grilled corn on the cob, a few beers, mom’s apple pie, a slice of birthday cake… guess what he just did? He loaded his system in carbohydrates. Carbs quickly turn to sugar, and he’s got more sugar in his blood stream than he’s had in months. He’s a little frisky from all that beer (or soda) and…“it” fails. His masculinity just got stabbed and it’s not pretty. This could be his first warning sign of something serious such as facing Type II diabetes in a few years if he doesn’t change his eating habits. Or it might mean nothing.
Then there’s stress. The job situation is precarious, the mortgage is late, Billy needs braces for that cross-bite, the battery is acting up on the car, and well, life just isn’t all peaches and cream. Plus the last few times you thought you had time to yourselves, the baby woke up.
I could spend pages discussing this. Truthfully men don’t want to talk about it. And the real shocker is most male doctors don’t want to discuss it! So it’s all pushed under the carpet. The male ego is very primitive and at the base of that ego is a man’s ability to have an erection. It’s what makes him a man. To not have one, can destroy the way a man defines himself.
The second kernel came from a young man who had busy serving his country until he woke up in a hospital in Germany. He found out much later what had happened. It was an IED, and he was the lone survivor.
I didn’t set out to write a wounded warrior story or to even write a how-to manual for erectile dysfunction. But bits and pieces began to form in my brain like a colorful puzzle, and I realized I had to write this story. Coming Out of Hiding is a contemporary romance. It’s about two people who are far from perfect yet find friendship, trust, and true love all while facing lives that keep moving forward. It’s about finding lost confidence, being the good son, sharing values, caring enough to look beyond the physical to the person inside, but mostly it’s about loving and letting nothing stop the expression of that love.
Tae Harris didn't fit the stereotypical image of a pretty girl. She also figured out that most men only wanted one thing from her. On her own since she graduated from high school, she'd worked hard for the little bit she had. Life had handed her lemons until she meets Max.
A fall from a ladder sends the reclusive Maxwell Hutton to Tae’s side, and thus began a camaraderie unlike anything either one had ever experienced. Friendship turns to love, but Max doesn't feel as if he can be a real man to her. The physical pain of loving her is too much, and he seeks treatment. She might have gotten her wish, but did he?
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