Erectile Problems: Bent Outta Shape When Not Takin' Shape

I have long been a believer that men have far too much pressure on them when it comes to sex. It’s why I started writing about how to become a vixen (such as this and this, which I must continue, and will) and it’s why I’m constantly saying that I feel women need to initiate sex as often as men, if not more.
God knows I try to.
There is one thing people are eternally guilty of, and that is believing the notion that sex is about orgasms, not intimacy. As a result, we have a market flooded with Cialis, Viagra, and other miracle-cures for the Minute Man.
It enrages me when I hear about women whining that a man couldn’t get it up. It happens, honey. Get the fuck over yourself.
The reasons why a man might not get it up are many – from a too-long bike ride to an allergic reaction to his meal to too much alcohol to too much job stress to a woman who can’t keep her mouth shut about certain topics during foreplay. I’ve had guys tell me they couldn’t get it up because a photo of her mother was right there. Who the fuck knows what’s causing it? All that matters is, it happens, and more than the media and women want to accept. Tough. Get over it.
The common penis doesn’t come with a helium pump for inflation purposes. There is no “on” switch. Trust me, if there were, I’d have fucking nailed the technique by now. When it comes to sheer instinct on the male body, I’m certainly near the head of the class. When it comes to technique and attentiveness, again, I know I’m there.
Yet, nonetheless, the Guy had difficulties with maintenance during an otherwise great Saturday night. Neither of us realized at the time that the copious Tylenol 3s he’d been needing to take all week for his horrendously broken leg (on which he had surgery on Tuesday afternoon to insert two Titanium plates and countless metal screws around and in both his tibia and fibula, for a total of three through-and-through breaks, which was then wrapped in a too-vulnerable soft cast that kept getting knocked by Miss Butterfingers here) came with a side-effect of erectile dysfunction and decreased libido.
Well, the libido? Trust me, not a problem. It wasn’t that he couldn’t get it up, he sure as hell could – far too many times. It just didn’t want to maintain long enough for follow-through. Thus, frustrations understandably ensued – not from me, but from him. He was bitter and maybe even a little unnecessarily angry at himself, because his track record was anything but that of inconsistency.
But, you know, we talked, we made it through the night in relatively good spirits, and in the morning, with a sponge bath by yours truly and a start-up blow-job, everything worked out quite nicely. Enough that I had to cancel my evening plans to recoup, honestly.
A little research later and suddenly the light came on: Drugs will fuck you up. C’est la vie.
(And for all the guys out there cringing and thinking, “Oh, my god, how could she do this to him and tell this story?” Well, I told the Guy I’d write something and pretend a reader sent in a letter, and he said not to bother, it was cool. Now THERE is a man comfortable with his sexuality, people. And rightfully so.)

Here’s the deal. Erectile dysfunction happens. It’s not the end of the fucking world. When guys get bent out of shape because they’re not taking shape, it’s really unattractive. A little frustration is understandable, but getting pissed off about it, walking out, anything like that, it’s childish, unattractive, and shouldn’t happen. Guys, get over yourselves.
But is it that simple? No. The media and women are most of the problem on the shame-over-“failure” front, sadly.
Chicks who take it personally, who the hell do you think you are? Get over yourselves. Most of the time, it’s not about you. Most of the time, it’s any one of a hundred little things that can transpire to blow a mood… Or maybe it’s major surgery with insertion of too much Titanium four days previous and a hellishly fucked limb.
Any which way, when a guy can’t do what guys are supposed to be able to do, it’s a crushing damned blow, and not one they’re wanting to have to face – OBVIOUSLY. For you to escalate it by doing the whole, “What’s wrong? Is it me? Well, what can I do to help? Maybe we can try again later?” 20-questions, woe-is-me, I-must-not-be-sexy crap is about as lame a thing as you can lay on a man – a man who really doesn’t need your shit at that moment.
Kiss him, tell him it’s cool, slide your hand tenderly up and down him, tell him you’re thrilled to feel his warm, sweaty skin next to you as it is. Ask him if there’s anything he’d like to do instead. If he wants to give you oral and get you off that way, then that’s something you should encourage. If spooning’s his bag, great. Whatever you do, don’t make it about you. Even if it IS about you, don’t get hung up on that.
Any chick who’s really baffled about the mechanics of the cock (or guys, for that matter) – and it’s not as simple as it looks – could read Dick: A User’s Guide in order to get exposed to the basics about penisology. For something more in-depth, focusing on psychology of the cock and all that, I’m not sure what to suggest, since I’ve not happened upon something that fits that bill. (Although Paul Johannides’ Guide to Getting It On is about as complete a sexyclopedia as you’ll ever find, and it takes the psych-side of cock quite well, plus all the other need-to-know sex basics that every lover should pore over.)
Let’s face it. Guys tend to be pretty non-communicative. That’s typically how they work. Stress can impact performance, and you putting a negative spin on it’s really fucking uncool.
I know I didn’t. And I wouldn’t. Sex isn’t just about orgasms for me, it’s about intimacy, and if things aren’t working, I’m more than happy to be entertained in other ways. It’s about the closeness, which I fucking love.
It helps that I understood somewhat the world of pain the Guy’s been in this past week, having spent about 20 weeks in a single year on crutches myself a couple years back, so I had pretty low expectations going into things. I was pleasantly surprised on Sunday and in the end had a pretty wicked time of things. It was a “gee, I could really go to church and do confession now” kind of weekend despite mechanical difficulties on Saturday. Now, the guy’s prematurely weaning himself off the drugs, in a conscious decision that he’d rather endure pain so he can enjoy the pleasure in between. I secretly don’t mind. 😉 I know a couple pain-negating moves, I assure ya, Guy.
I’d like to think the Guy finds me hotter and cooler now that he knows I’m not going to be a bitch in a moment like that. I’m not looking for brownie points, that’s just the kind of chick I am. I get this shit, and you should, too.
One of the worst things to ever happen to sex, in my point of view, is the whole Viagra thing. Yes, lasting’s awesome. Yes, orgasms rock. Yes, being hard’s much more fun than soft. But it ain’t all about that, and when it comes to the little blue pill, that sometimes gets forgotten. Sex should be about remembering what the point was in the first place: Getting close, experiencing the person from head to toe, travelling the terrain of their body, exploring all they have to offer. It’s not just about getting hard and getting off. It’s time to take the ego out of sex, before the ego kills the fun.

15 thoughts on “Erectile Problems: Bent Outta Shape When Not Takin' Shape

  1. Rachel

    Alright, Steff, you told me a few posts back that nothing was too graphic, so I’m going to hold you to that. I completely agree with you that sex is not about orgasms. My favorite memory of having sex is about a night that EVERYTHING went wrong. It was a one-time thing between my best friend and me, we were drunk, weed was involved, and to be perfectly honest, nothing was functioning quite the way it was supposed to be. I giggled all the way through it, and thought more about the beautiful floaty feeling in my head than what he was doing to other parts of my body. He had issues getting it up, and when he finally did, I all but yelled, “Oh my God, it’s up! Put it in! Quick!” As soon as he did, it was over.

    If that night was judged on perfection of technique alone, then he and I both failed miserably. In terms of that, it was absolutely horrible.

    What made it great is that we laughed all the way through it, but even better was the next day, when we were both so embarrassed that we didn’t want to face each other. When I did finally see him, I acted like nothing had happened, because I just didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to bring it up, because honestly, the idea of reminding him that I started laughing while I was giving him a blowjob, and ended up giggling entirely too much to even think about finishing the job, was just not that appealing to me. I knew he’d think less of me. That the only thought going through his mind was “God, she sucked.”

    He brought it up first, and all he said was “I’m really embarrassed about last night.” I just didn’t understand it. I could see where I had room to be embarrassed, but not him, so I said, “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s just me.”

    We started laughing about it, and now it’s become a huge joke between us, but more than anything, it brought us closer.

    The moral of the story? It shouldn’t have happened. He’s married, I’m married, and even without those commitments, we’re better off friends. But that one night that went horribly wrong showed us that we could be completely stupid and vulnerable around each other, and let each other see the worst we have to offer, and still know that we’d come out of it with our friendship in tact, if not better than it was before.

    Now, I’m not saying that it’s the best sex I’ve ever had, because it’s not. By a long shot. But it’s definitely a perfect example of sex, no matter how bad, being more about intimacy than orgasms.

  2. Haaaaaaa

    Wow – THANK YOU. It seems like so many folks are writing just the opposite. As a forty-something guy, whose Maintenenace Dept. sometimes goes on strike, I get freaked because it’s like seeing the end coming. The end of an era and the end of virility. My wife has never focused on it and I never understood that. Sometime during high school, guys are taught that girls aren’t understanding. Girls may not be undertstanding, but women can be.

  3. scribe called steff

    Rachel — That wasn’t explicit at all. Great story, though.

    Yeah, people are so fucking hung up on results that they forget to have fun in the process. I might be a good lover, I might have skills, but most of all, I’m fun, and that’s something I really try to keep alive. Irreverent jokes, total enjoyment of the moment, it’s great. It’s good that it’s yet another page the Guy and I have in common.

    Haaaaaa — I bet you a dozen donuts that this posting either gets LOTS of comments, or less than 10. It’s someting that people are either dying to talk about, or they don’t want to discuss at all.

    And it’s really too bad. I can understand older men wanting to use Viagra, whatever, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, if it means keeping the love alive, y’know? What pisses me off are the occasional malfunctions that everyone gets all bitter about. It’s just so unnecessary. Trade oral, relax, cuddle, neck, whatever, but get over it, right?

    And yes, WOMEN can be understanding. I think a lot of chicks in their 20s are still pretty ignorant about things, and it’s not really until their 30s that they can grasp things.

    I remember my boyfriend in my early 20s having a spell of bad maintenance, and I took it SO personally, but we had a fucked-up relationship that came with lots of head games. I guess it makes sense that I took in personally, but in my “old age” I’ve learned how dumb I was. 🙂

  4. Beth

    I’m wondering if you get a sense from your commenters of the distribution between male and female. If most of your readers are women, the dearth of comments might have everything to do with us feeling like it’s not our place to comment on something like this, or it could be that you said everything so well (as usual) that there’s not much to add.
    I’ve had instances where the guy either can’t get an erection or loses it. I never get upset about it, cuz geez, he’s already upset enough for the both of us, but I seem to remember once saying, “It’s OK,” and that being the absolutely wrong thing, cuz it sure wasn’t OK to him.
    Anyhoo, good advice as usual.

  5. scribe called steff

    Unfortunately, no, I don’t know what the gender split of readers is. I like to think it’s pretty neutral.

    I think it’s one of those topics no one likes to talk about, is all. I felt odd writing the piece, but really, I feel like it needs to be discussed more. We can’t just through a pharmaceutical bandage on it and think everything’s fine, because it’s not about just getting hard. I dunno.

    But I hate not getting comments. Heh. It’s too easy to feel like no one’s reading it, and then what’s the point, right?

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, comments are the blogger’s aphrodisiac. 🙂

  6. Anonymous

    All I know is that medication and erections don’t mix…

    Been there done that and well lets just say even with stellar effort on the female’s part, sometimes shit just can’t happen and it sucks…

    The mental side of it is the hardest as a guy…not being able to get it up is like not having a penius…it makes simple things change, things like the smell, the touch and the feeling of lying beside a woman completly different…can’t really explain it…

    Until you have lived with a medical issue making “erections” impossible…you have no idea how much that morning wood means to being a man when it comes back after being gone for so long 🙂

    Oh yeah, and because I was on meds for quite a while…it took a while for things to “come out right”…

  7. PS

    True, most people might just consider this topic “too much” to be a viable object of conversation. But really, when anything is “too much” to be even talked about, that’s precisely the point when it should be talked about. I’m not really focusing even on erection problems, rather what sex is and should. So on that note, I love what you said and what you wrote. If most people don’t want to talk about it, you have one kid who does and is glad you did. Excellent job.

    On a personal note, I’ve had a very long, winding road of sexual discovery. One thing I’ve learned of late is almost exactly what you focused on – sex is not about the orgasm. Sex has never been about my orgasm, rather hers. I coveted her orgasm – for her pleasure and surely the self-satisfied awe of “Wow, I caused that.” I see now that the power of sex is the communion of intimacy where orgasm may play a part but is not the equal of intimacy.

    Simply put, joy of sex is the joy of each other…whether they be exploding or not.

  8. Anonymous

    As a guy, I feel the expectations are really high when it comes to this. I have a strange work life where I get up REALLY early in the morning and am usually in bed pretty early. When I’m in a relationship and am sexual with someone, my schedule and strange body-clock get in the way with being able to keep my libido and sexual attentiveness to 110%. It sucks because everyone talks about sex like it’s a simple, wham bam thing. For me it’s never been. I respond totally to a mental connection with my partner. I’ve been in situations where I was physically attracted to a girl and WANTED to have sex with her – and could imagine doing all sorts of incredible things. But in my mind I knew she was all wrong for me and keeping myself at full mast was impossible. Even if my hormones were screaming for it, my brain would override and shut things down.

    When things don’t go well, I just want the girl to lay with me and touch me. Don’t show sympathy but don’t be indifferent either. Just be there with me and make it clear that you still desire me all the same. Show some affection and I’ll soon forget about what just happened. It can feel very lonely laying next to someone who shows zero affection when you’re upset about something like this.

    Now when I respond sexually to a girl and things go well, I know it’s more than just a physical attraction that’s making it work. I do wish it was easier for me, but in the end it’s helping me find the right girl.

  9. junksibunny06

    I consider myself one of those women that totally understands men. The vast majority of my friends are men and we are very close. I have always understood them and know exactly what you mean when you say that sex is about intimacy. It’s about sharing the time, feeling that other persons heartbeating in time with yours. Sharing the air and drinking them in for that brief moment and alot of women are just too wrapped up in themselves to see that. Thanks for being bold and posting, I love the way you write. 🙂

  10. Dirty Debbie

    I think this topic will forever be like walking on eggshells.
    I don’t think I have ever known any man comfortable enough in his own sexuality that it can be discussed easily.
    But my concern is not the once in a while “honey I can’t get it”
    I agree with you in the intimacy factor.
    I am with am a man that doesn’t seem to even desire sex much anymore. When we do make love, he gets hard, but almost never comes. Sometimes he can’t stay hard. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong, that we aren’t sharing the experience. Everything else in the relationship is fine. I feel close.
    It’s missing. He claims that the little blue pills make him sick.

    I just want to put in a note that sometimes it’s hard “just to get over ourselves”

  11. scribe called steff

    Debbie — EXCELLENT point.

    There are exceptions, obviously. I’m kind of speaking to the “common” person, and again, the “occasional” experience.

    When it’s every time, there’s something wrong, and things need to be addressed. If the guy doesn’t care, it’s hard to be a woman and not take it personally, and not be affected, and I empathize for your scenario.

    It’s really important that both partners care, and sadly, they won’t always.

    Oh, the conundrums.

    But I think what pisses me off is just, you know, the 27-year-old chick who thinks it’s a travesty that her guy didn’t get hard for her after she made him a roast beef, you know what I’m saying? If it’s a once-every-now-and-then scenario, then that’s just life, and I think a lot of chicks need to tune into that.

    It’s hard to address everything in these posts, and considering I’ve never experienced repeated dysfunction, it’s not something I’m always thinking about, y’know what I mean? Ignorance/bliss/etc?

  12. kelly b.

    Ever heard the spoken word type song by Lazy Boy called “Underwear Goes Inside The Pants”

    I quote *eh hem*

    Why is marijuana not legal? Why is marijuana not legal?
    It’s a natural plant that grows in the dirt.
    Do you know what’s not natural?
    80 year old dudes with hard-ons. That’s not natural.
    But we got pills for that.
    We’re dedicating all our medical resources to keeping the old guys erect,
    but we’re putting people in jail for something that grows in the dirt?

    Now smoke a bowl before you get intimate kids… I find it helps me actually.

  13. RoyB

    It happens. Why worry? I don’t and Z doesn’t get stressed about it either. (She’s the greatest. Did I mention that? 🙂

    Z does this thing sometimes where she’ll get an impish grin on her face before I’m really ready and take the whole spongy thing in her mouth and slurp around with her tounge. It feels AMAZING. And, having been with her for a very long time, I know that she doesn’t have any particular expectation in mind when she does this. In my head, I’m going “think small think small think small”. lol

    I have thought of the blue pill for a special occasion, but I haven’t tried it yet. I think it might be fun to try once or twice, but I don’t think I would make a regular habit of it. So far, getting older (over 40) has only improved our sex. We’re both more attentive, willing to try new things, and comfortable when things don’t go as expected.

  14. Anonymous

    Great post.

    I’m a male, 27 years old, who just recently started having sex. And, I had some (very surprising, to me) erection problems, due to performance anxiety.

    But, the wonderful thing, is that the woman I’m seeing, who is 35, and otherwise just a great person, understands that this is perfectly normal. She reassures me that this happens to lots of guys. She knows that it’s not any reflection of how attractive she is to me. And, after a few nights with her, I think the problem is starting to go away. (And a cock ring is really helping until it does!)

  15. Markbnj

    Oh Steph. As I said elsewhere, if Only I weren’t so close to 50, and you so FAR from fifty, and hadn’t been married to my wife for almost the same # of years you’ve been on the planet…
    Well then I would have moved to vancouver for you!

    Oh well. Now that that’s out of the way, let me add some very interesting and disturbing news to the conversation.

    do you or one of your lovers suffer from depression? Are you seeing a specialist (shrink) and/or getting med’s for said depression?

    BINGO. You’ve just discovered one of the major side effects of anti-depression medicine. I kind of like to kiddingly call it the ANTI-SEX medicine.
    (gee maybe we could give that to all the boys/girls in HS, until they all get married? Oh. it was done, and was a book. sorry.

    At any rate, my beloved and I both suffer thru drugs to help us through various ailments (oh, getting old sucks!)
    and we occassionaly will kiss in bed, and aftwards rate it the way we did our lovemaking years ago… Oh that was a 10.


    At any rate, I may be getting ready to try the blue pill, and if so, will let you know how it looks

    But to you, steph’s (and maybe even my (hint hint) future readers )
    I give you that little bit of advice.

    Oh, and given the ups and downs I’ve had? I’d rather take the pills, and have it depress the sex drive and functionality then go back to the hells I used to inhabit.


    4:33 PM, October 11, 2006

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