Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Speaking of Men Who Can’t Get it Up

There was no delicate way to start this post, so I figured I’d dive right in.  Last week posted Male Take: When He Can’t Get An Erection ( post, you should read it if you haven’t already) and it jogged my memory about a post I meant to write ages ago.

Two little stories, kinda related: A reader (he was in his early 20s, not that that should matter) asked for my advice. He was experiencing erectile dysfunction as a side effect of some medicine he was taking. The ED didn’t bother him (that’s what he said, and NO I didn’t probe) but he had a hard time talking about it with the women he dated.  He said that no matter what he said or did, they always took it personally.

I honestly can’t remember what advice I gave him other than to speak with his doctor (if he wanted to do something about the ED) and be honest.  And that, sadly, some women were not going to be able to understand that it had nothing to do with them. It was a self-esteem thing.  And the younger the woman, the more likely she was to take it personally.

The other: A guy I dated for a little while was in the earlyish stages of MS. He didn’t tell me right away, but I found out soon enough that there was something physically not quite right with him. It was an awkward and difficult situation for me, because he didn’t want to talk about  it. Anyway, over the time that we dated, he became less and less able. His ED became more of a regular thing. And we dealt with it.

The thing is, we had a pretty awesome life. You can go ahead and use your imagination as to what, exactly, that might have been like… The good sex almost made up for the fact that he was a total asshole.  Almost.

Looking at these two stories back to back, what stands out for me is that my younger self probably wouldn’t have been able to deal with my exes ED. He and I dated when I was in my mid-30s.  If I’d met a guy in that same exact situation when I was in my mid 20s, I don’t know how I would’ve reacted, but it probably wouldn’t have been good.  I probably would have jumped to conclusions at first.  Assumed he wasn’t into me, or something stupid and self-defeating like that.

I hope that young(er) reader has found a really cool, mature girlfriend.  Someone wise beyond her years.

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13 to “Speaking of Men Who Can’t Get it Up”

  1. Kate Morris says:

    I dated a guy once that had to deal with seizures, and warned me about the possible ED side effects of his medication. Didn’t phase me in the least. Sex is an important part, but it isn’t an entire relationship. There are ways to deal and if you find someone that really loves you they will make it work.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’d say that’s probably a good rule for all dating/relationship obstacles, “if you find someone that really loves you they will make it work”.

  2. Ms. Bitch says:

    I once dated a drunk with the same issue and I felt the same way. It was the ED that I was concerned with; it was the cause of the ED that I wanted to know more about. And girls in their twenties are notorious for being self centered and insecure at the same time. You’re right that the older the women is the better chance that she will see the problem in a more mature light.

  3. Holly says:

    I’m 21 and if my boyfriend had these problems I would be okay with it. If I really loved the person and he was mature enough to talk about it with me, then I can be mature enough to deal with it. I feel like people in their 20s are more mature than you may think. I definitely wouldn’t take it personally, or think that I wasn’t good enough. I guess it depends on who is in the relationship though…

    • Simone Grant says:

      Your lucky to have your head on straight at such a young age, and I don’t mean that lightly. A lot of women don’t. I didn’t. At 21 I wouldn’t have been able to deal with a boyfriend who a) had ED and b) wouldn’t talk to me about it. I’m sure I would have done something stupid to ruin the relationship.

      I know there are plenty of mature people in their 20s. And plenty of immature ones in their 30s and 40s. But, in my experience, we learn as we get older. And some things come with experience.

  4. singlegirlie says:

    You know, I had always thought it was me, too. When I was younger I definitely took it personally. I’ve learned that it’s usually not the case, but I still do catch myself thinking sometimes, maybe he’s not into me. I think if the guy is honest about his “problem,” most women will be very understanding. I wouldn’t dump a guy just because of that. I really did like the post by YourTango. Needed it.

    • Simone Grant says:

      It’s a good post. One of their better ones.
      I think we women are programmed (by our families, usually) to always take the blame. Always accept fault for whatever is going on. It’s our instinct. Add to that normal female body insecurity and not being comfortable in a relationship and…

  5. HWP says:

    Maybe the guys can’t perform because they are just not attracted to you. I’m in a wheelchair from a stroke and can get it up if the woman is hot enough. If I’m with older, J-date using, Hamptons share house going,self important, stuck up NYC chick who thinks she’s from Sex And The City, it ain’t happening. Sorry to burst your bubbles gals but the problem is most likely YOU. Try dropping 10lbs and see if your man ain’t more into it.

    • Simone Grant says:

      My, aren’t you a charmer.

      Not sure who you’re addressing here. Certainly not me? I barely weigh 100lbs so dropping 10 would be foolish, and darling, I wouldn’t be caught dead in the Hamptons (+ JDate, Sex and the City = two of my least favorite things).

      Seriously, I get that you’re angry, and all. No one here is claiming that no man has ever NOT been turned on by a woman. But we’re trying to have an actual, serious discussion among grown-ups.

      Save the tantrums.

    • aoyak says:

      ha, guess you never got to reading the post. These people had problems before they got involved in the relationship to begin with. pffft

  6. D says:

    I’m lucky/cursed. I don’t geneally have an ED issue, but I do have a hard time reaching orgasm.

    Pro: I can go all night. Seriously.

    Women sometimes take it personally that I can’t come.
    After a while I just get physically exhausted from all the thrusting and have to take a break.

    I’ve also been told by multiple women that I have really good hands, so when I get tired of the old in & out, I have that to fall back on.

  7. Fat-Albert says:

    For goodness sake,
    MEN – what are you doing to these women, you’re an embarrassment to the species lol. I know, not many real male role-models in today’s world.

    We all know that men can (generally) sexually ‘switch-on’ like an electric kettle; but with women – you have to build the sexual temperature and this starts from when you first meet or early on in the interaction (the day, the date, the approach) like, as that girl from ‘Band Camp’ said: “you’ve got to pre-heat the oven before putting in the roast”. So men – get the girl ssooo sexually turned on: tease her, touch her, play with her until she is so hot and wet that she’s like begging you (kissing, nibbling, all over…sexually pulling her hair, spanking, blindfolding her/tying her up, taking charge/leading) is arousing for both of you – and would reduce any probs of not “getting it up!!”

    Now the ladies – it takes two to tango right!?. We all know that men are ‘visually’ wired whilst women are ’emotionally’ wired. Unfortunately, beauty is a deteriorating asset but women have plenty of seductive skills to get what they want :) At the same time, we all make our own breaks so getting lazy, getting out of shape, making wrong choices (with our diet, not exercising, not grooming/presenting yourself as your own brand, complaicency) means your contribuiting to sexual downfalls. ‘Nuff said, bring back the 60’s LOL …

    All the best
    Keep smiling