When I was 18, during one of the last summer nights, I took M in my father’s study. It was the first time for both of us and we both were in love and very excited. It has been unforgettable, in the sense that it was then that I discovered of having erectile problems. “Problems” is a euphemism: the hard truth was that my willy, usually hard when and where it should have been hard, pathetically collapsed at the moment of penetration.
It was shocking. I couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t talk about it. I felt atrociously ashamed, the fear that it could happen again became a self-fulfilling prophecy and kept increasing my anxiety. I started avoiding sex: “ask me anything… really anything but please, please, please, don’t ask me to make love  you.”
That’s the way it kept on going for 10 years. Then I met a girl and she took me to bed. She made it calmly, simply, as if really sex was a natural thing (a great discovery for me) and, most of all, without giving me the time to think too much about it. It was a revelation: it worked! And not only it did, I liked it a lot too! That’s when I became confident. I changed, I encountered love as I didn’t imagine it to be. Then I met other women, and even if some preoccupation remained, just like a light background music, I considered my preoccupations disappeared in the past.
It has been like that for 10 years. In the meantime, without knowing the exact reasons, I became interested in Ericksonian hypnosis. I attended the courses of Erickson institute, the first two levels, with passion and enjoyment. The weird thing was that during the exercises my subconscious kept bringing me back to a precise spot, always the same one: a mountain camp in which, when I was a child, I spent wonderful summer days. It was touching: I had been very happy in that place.
Right when I had the chance, I signed up for the “experts in the field” course, the third level. When I completed the course, after a while, during an exercise that I wasn’t able to complete, I reacted strangely. I suddenly felt drained of all energy, completely impotent (whoops…), taken away from the present moment, from the here and now, as if my conscience got carried away, unable to sustain a terrible truth. I said a phrase, I remember it and I remember that the voice sounded like that of child. It wasn’t easy to get to the bottom of it. I felt shame, black shame. I was terribly angry, ferocious toward myself. I couldn’t think about anything apart from that experience, I couldn’t detach me from that place. I decided to call GianCarlo Di Bartolomeo, the teacher, to ask for advice. “Work with an anchor”, he told me and then explained me how to do it.
The anchor took me far, it became a progressively deeper self-hypnosis, it took me to that camp, so many years ago. At a time an episode emerged, a joke that was played on me when I was a child. It was a joke I thought, a silly joke but still just a joke. My underpants were taken off by an adult joker, it was a trauma for me, but for an adult it was just amusing. I was happy, I had the impression that I had discovered an important node and that I had started to work on it. In the following months I didn’t think a lot about hypnosis, nor about Erickson or Turin. Sometimes, as if it was an intuition, the camping days kept coming back. Memories, emotions, just as pieces of a jigsaw. And each time I kept understanding more and more how those fragments were linked to the present, to my reactions, to my way of being.
I broke up with my partner, with whom I had been together for many years. After some time I met a girl. We had dinner together at my place. After dinner we talked a lot, we embraced, kissed… It has been unforgettable, meaning that it was then that I discovered that my old problem was still there. But really there, like not even one day had passed since that first time. The same emotions, fear, shame: I fell back in a mood that I had even forgotten. And then it happened again, the next day and then the day after, and anxiety increased turning fears into reality…
But not everything was the same. Something different was there: I was able to talk about it. To talk about it with her who was very clear about it: “F”, she said to me, “I really like you and I really care about you, but you have to fuck me, otherwise we are not going to get anywhere…”
It surely was a good way to motivate me but… really, I kept ruminating over it: “What should I do? What? What? Andrologist, pills, therapy, therapy, chi kung, meditation, oh my god, what am I gonna do if tonight is going to happen again? And I also have to do something quickly because I like her a lot but what if it happens again, oh my god, we are not getting anywhere, what the hell am I supposed to do?”
Until, strikingly, while I was at the office and I was staring with empty eyes at the PC monitor, lost in a sea of worries, an intuition emerged: it is the same thing, I get it now, it is the same thing that happened during that camp, the same thing as 30 years ago… exactly the same thing. The details change, the background changes, but the sequence of feelings is the same.
That’s when I called GianCarlo: “Hi GianCarlo, I have quite an urgent problem, can we meet in your study?”
During the session we went back to what had happened 30 years ago. I relived the experience but in a different way. I changed my experience in a useful way. We didn’t schedule another session because maybe everything was solved in the first one, in less than an hour.
That same evening, I was at home, everything went gorgeously. I was very happy. We decided, me and my girlfriend, to shut ourselves at home for the whole weekend, just me and her. And for all the weekend my male member never even seemed male: dead, in a coma, kaput. At that time I wasn’t even feeling anxious. I sadly made jokes about it.
The next Monday: “Hi GianCarlo, you know, I have some problems…”
Ok: there are some resistances, there is still some work to do. Some time may be necessary, we’ll take all the time necessary. However I felt close, very close to solve that problem. We decided to meet after a couple of days.
The next session, in Turin, was very intense and provided me an enlightening insight. I understood that that innocent joke, 30 years ago, wasn’t so innocent: the joker was trying to seduce me and, truth to be told, I always knew that, I just didn’t want to admit it. This insight, for some reason, made me feel serene. During the hypnotic state, with a specific induction, I went back to that camp, to that evening, and I understood that now I really was free to do everything that I wanted to do.
And that, finally, solved the problem.