What I Learned From Dating A Guy Who Couldn’t Get It Up

What I Learned From Dating A Guy Who Couldn’t Get It Up ©iStock/AleksandarNakic

Datin older men certainly has its benefits. They’re settled in life, they aren’t still trying to figure out who they are, and, well, they tend to make more money than guys in their twenties. When I dated a guy who was more than a decade older than me, I knew I’d be confronted with the standard issues that come with such a big age gap, like having little in common and the pressure to settle down. What I wasn’t prepared for was that there’d be problems in the bedroom. Here’s what the relationship taught me about erectile dysfunction:

  1. It Can Start Younger Than You’d Think. Erectile dysfunction was something I thought I wouldn’t come across for decades. Apparently, it can start young — in this guy’s case, his early forties. A quick Google searched informed me that ED can actually happen at just about time in a man’s life, and age isn’t much of a factor.
  2. It’s Not Something That Can Be Fixed Easily. I tried just about anything to get his Johnson up but nothing worked. It just flopped around like something out of a Sci-Fi movie while I pulled out all of my best moves. The first time it happened, I assumed he just drank too much — but after the third time I found myself in bed with him still with no success, I knew this was more than just an occasional problem.
  3. It Happens For A Number Of Reasons. Age isn’t always the factor that provides men with a limp soldier. There are a slew of health problems that cause erectile dysfunction, including diabetes and a poor cardiovascular system. Fortunately for these guys some small lifestyle changes and a prescription can significantly improve the situation. However, there are some psychological causes of ED, such as depression and stress, that aren’t as easy to overcome. Likely in my situation, a combination of severe anxiety and a closet addiction problem including the abuse of alcohol led to our failed bedroom tango.
  4. Guys don’t have to be hard to get off. Even though I was stuck playing with a rubber shlong, he was still able to reach climax. There I was, trying every dirty trick in the book to get him hard and he had the nerve to come without even the slightest sign of enjoyment below the belt. Shocked the hell out of me the first time! I was happy he was able to finish but umm… hello. What about me?
  5. Penetration Without An Erection is impossible. Which meant sex wasn’t possible. At least in our situation it wasn’t, and I certainly tried. All the foreplay in the world couldn’t make up for the fact that throughout our entire relationship, we never actually had sex. Not that we had all the foreplay in the world — he was pretty lazy in that regard.
  6. Sex isn’t everything, but it’s still REALLY important. While sex certainly isn’t the most important factor in a relationship, it’s definitely up there on the list. I was giving up more than just sex by being with him — I was also giving up the intimacy that occurs naturally after sharing your bed with someone. I was giving up the possibility of vaginal orgasms, and most importantly, I was giving up the possibility to naturally conceive a child if this relationship continued.
  7. It seriously messes with your head. When a guy isn’t getting aroused, typically a woman’s first instinct is to wonder what we’re doing wrong. My confidence was knocked down a notch each time we finished in the bedroom, a moment that is usually recognized by the male orgasm but was now punctuated by one of us giving up. I’d gone from arm candy to an imposter in a matter of weeks.
  8. It’s incredibly frustrating not to be able to consummate a relationship. If I’m not being properly laid, my patience wears thin after a while. I became easily agitated and took out my frustrations on him, destroying the only positive aspect of our relationship. I like sex and I shouldn’t have to apologize for wanting to have it with the person I’m dating.
  9. It’s a really Sensitive Subject. It might have been as simple as a trip to the doctor, but how is the subject even brought up? Is the erectile dysfunction conversation really even necessary? I mean, I figured he knew he was having a problem and bringing it up would likely only make things worse.
  10. It Can Never Work If You Don’t Work On The Problem. The last thing I wanted was to add more stress to the bedroom by insisting he go on meds, so instead of suggesting he look into a prescription for that little blue pill, I suggested we see other people. Perhaps sex is more important in achieving a healthy relationship than I thought — at least it was for me.
Freelance writer and art enthusiast, Rose Burke often writes humorous essays inspired by awkward dating experiences and life’s cruel sense of humor. Not-so-shockingly, the most noteworthy moment of her childhood occurred at the Scholastic Book Fair where Jon Scieszka signed her very own copy of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and labeled her his “favorite stinker”.