DEAR HARRIETTE: I've seen all those commercials about erectile dysfunction, but I didn't understand what it meant until the other day, when my husband couldn't perform. He and I hadn't been intimate in a really long time. When we tried this time, it didn't quite work. I felt so bad, but I didn't say anything. Should I bring it up? If so, how? -- Unknown Territory, Cincinnati
DEAR UNKNOWN TERRITORY: Given that you say that you and your husband have not engaged intimately for a long time, I would not recommend asking him about his inability to perform. That would likely create a deeper divide. Instead, if you are ready to pursue intimacy with your husband again, take it slowly. Start by holding hands more frequently. Offer to give him a back rub. Suggest that you share a date where you pretend to be teenagers. Hold hands, steal kisses and act silly and romantic. Ease into intimacy over time. Perhaps he will be able to perform in the future. If not, after you two have become more closely engaged in talking sweet talk, you can talk real talk about what to do next.