I’m addicted to Tramadol and it is fucking up my sex life. 

It was first prescribed for a minor back injury and later for osteoarthritis in my thumb, a common malady with Tramadol its common pharmaceutical treatment. As an active guy in my 50s, I’ve got plenty of OA all over the place: thumbs, feet, knees, hips… and OTC meds like ibuprofen help a lot but my gut can’t take them in the amounts my pain dictates so I got into combining NSAIDs with Tramadol and got everything down to a pretty manageable level of hurt.

But then came the side effects and the withdrawal symptoms. and the reason I’m writing about it in my sex blog instead of just bitching to my echo chamber on Facebook.

It turns out that one reason Tramadol is prescribed, something I wasn’t aware of when I started taking it, is the treatment of premature ejaculation. Yes, it slows down the race to the finish line.

PE has never been an issue for me because as I occasionally like to demonstrate, I’m a skilled edger and have been able to control my orgasm to the second, lasting as short or as long as I like, for most of my adult life. I did not need anything to slow me down because cum control is my MO.

But a couple of years ago, after being a regular Tramadol user for some time, I started to experience more frequent bouts of unintentionally cumless sex. More and more frequently, I just wasn’t getting to 10 no matter how long I bumped up against 9.9. I sometimes went days unable to cum, and again, this was not something I was choosing to do but something it seemed my body was doing against my will.

This has become more commonplace lately, with every kind of sexual encounter a candidate for orgasmless conclusions, or I’d just focus on my partner’s pleasure and satisfy myself with his orgasm—which I do love—but damn it, I want orgasms too. I love sperming my penis and I love sharing that moment with playmates who want that cum.

It’s only over the last month that I’ve begun to address the elephant in the room and weigh my options: I can explore other drugs that might alleviate my sexual side effects, or I can just accept and deal with reality: I’m an addict and the drug that’s helped me live with pain has chopped too much joy out of my sex life.

And I know myself well enough to admit that sex makes me happy. Not just having sex and orgasms, but wanting it, thinking about it, smiling at the sexjoy that waves through my whole body when I simply remember I have a penis, when I anticipate putting it inside a hungry bottom, a skilled mouth or a warm, lubricated hand. Sex doesn’t just feel good to me, it is my connecting force, the instinct that draws me to others and joins us. This really makes me happy.

I’m getting older. My body is doing what all bodies do with time and I’m okay with that. Some degree of sexual slow-down is normal and I’m completely okay with that too.

But this fuzzy-headed numbness is a barrier to my joy. It’s like wearing a thick condom all the time and this sexual dampening is not normal.

I still love my penis frequently and I do orgasm, just not as often. It’s a great time to have masturbatory expertise because it helps me work through the fog… but that fog needs to go. It’s not just about orgasms. It’s about welcoming the full presence of sexual joy. 

So ultimately, it won’t be the fear of withdrawal, the brain shivers and tinnitus and brain fog that make me stop taking Tramadol, it will be the love of my penis and the greater sexual vitality of my life it expresses that push me to finally break the habit.

Today is my first day ramping-down from 150 mg to zero. Understanding how long it takes the brain to adjust, I’m hoping I can pull it off in just three months but I may not get fully off the shit until Labor Day.

I write this as my declaration of intent. Starting now, I end my relationship with Tramadol and fully restore my relationship with Penis.


There’s a guy I fuck these days. He’s mostly my type: Hairy, horny, bearded and playful. He’s also one of these guys very into anal sex and specifically being a bottom. For whatever reason, he is into me and into me topping him. It’s a decent FB relationship because there’s mutual attraction. BUT…

I’m just not all that into fucking. I get tired of it after a while. Pounding deep into another man is fun for me, but it doesn’t really get me off. I almost never orgasm this way. What I enjoy is my partner’s pleasure and that a bottom can get off just from me fucking him. The thing is, I’m being #GGG here, not really going for what I myself enjoy the most from sex. 

Let’s call him “John” because that’s not his name and it’s as generic as it gets. John hits me up all the time. I like him. If I didn’t like him and his attention, I’d do the fade away or just give him a gentle brush-off. My dick does pop out of my pants fully hard whenever we get together, and he does turn me on. It’s a decent opportunity for sweaty mansex on the regular and I do enjoy it. I just don’t cum with him. I fuck him until he comes, then I just relax with him for a while, chat a bit and then we part ways on good terms. 

And then I masturbate or get a blow job and release a sperm load made massive from lots of prolonged fucking. 

Then there’s “Mike,” another pseudonymous friend, for whom I have long held an intense attraction. When I got the opportunity to romp with him, I was once again confronted with a great guy who needed a hard fuck to feel satisfied. I adore this man. We’re Facebook friends and he remains one of my favorite individuals but after finding out that his needs are the needs of the voracious bottom, I’m just not into getting naked with him again. He still turns me on like crazy but when I imagine the follow-through, I lose the drive to make anything happen IRL. If he asked me to fuck him again, I probably would but unless we mixed it up, I know that an orgasm wouldn’t be in the cards and I really like orgasms.

There have been a very few situations when I actively wanted to fuck a partner and an equally small number of times when I wanted to be fucked. It is, for me, a very rare, very intimate, very particular desire and I’m all for exploring that when it happens. But I genuinely do not experience these specific acts as “mandatory” for the purpose of having great, deeply satisfying sex with another man and I feel sorry for guys whose satisfaction depends on that one act as if nothing else was sex.

I don’t like to specifically label myself a “masturbator” (at least, not when I’m doing anything other than masturbating) because while that is absolutely one of the things I am, it’s not my defining characteristic. Neither is being a top or a cocksucker. Those identities exist in the fantasies and beliefs of my sex partners. They see me as a top, or a bottom, or a cocksucker, or a bator or whatever… I see myself as a sexually engaged gay man. My goal in this realm is to be a good man for and with other men. That includes being a good lover, whether I’m penetrating another man’s holes or masturbating with strangers at a public urinal. I just want moments to be as good as they can be and for us to get what we need from these multitudes of acts connecting us with each other.

To masturbate with another man, to share our primary sexual activities with each other, has long felt to me like my easiest path to having sex with just about anybody. Displaying and demonstrating my self-love with another and being given permission to experiment with their most personal pleasure in the moment is my favorite sex, sex in which I almost always orgasm freely and with the most intensity. That’s me.

And I’m still going to do other things because life is short, different people need different things and I never, ever want to find myself in a rut.