Erectile Dysfunction Is In the Eye of the Beholder


Hey guys! To kick off the year we’ve got an awesome guest post from the awesomer Beth O’Donnell of Single and the Sweet Side of 40. She’s telling a sad, sad story about a boner gone wrong, which wasn’t so funny at the time but is hilarious now. Read on…

You know what they say about breath mints? If someone offers you one…

Those who suffer from halitosis are not the bad breathers. Apparently erectile dysfunction is in the eye of the beholder as well.

Because the “holder” must be blind, as in, none so blind as he who will not see. Men see a stiffie and think everything is just swell.

What about when the swelling subsides, mid-function? I’d call it hysterical blindness but the beholder is not amused by interrupted intercourse. Also, it’s rude to laugh in the face of penile shortcomings.

When I was younger, I believed, “it happens to every man, it’s no big deal.” I probably even said it a couple or eight times.

No more. It is a big deal. But damn, the every man part is true.

I know from experience(s). No, I am not a shameless hussy. I have a policy. I actually have a list of sex policies.* Here, however, Policy #2 applies:

Have sex with someone other than yourself at least once a year.

See? Not slutty. Sad maybe, especially if the annual compliance copulation isn’t fun. A single encounter in any 12-month period is not a sin; it’s a necessity. An emergency even.

Still, emergency doesn’t equal indiscriminate. Consideration must be given to one-night stands. Candidates must be entertaining, experienced and discrete, by which I mean you’ll never see him again or he will be cool if you do.

Even with due diligence, you can’t really tell if Mr. Hung-Like-Horse will turn out to be Mr. ED. Talking isn’t what I had in mind, Wilbur.

Take the Youngin for instance. He’s cute, has chest hair and drinks Miller Lite. Married/divorced. Employed. Normal, and only 35. If the age difference can be measured in decades, I prefer to be the young one but with a Policy #2 deadline looming, compromises must be made.

“My friends and I voted and we think I should do you,” I told the Youngin in the bar one night. He perked up. Visibly. All over.


We arranged a proper booty call for the next night. He went home and sent me dick pics.


Dick pics are stupid and violate Policy #12, never let anyone control naked photos of yourself.

Anyway, at the appointed hour, after seeing filthy-minded-filthier-mouthed comic Amy Schumer with a friend, I arrived at his apartment. He stood shirtless in the doorway, with a shit-eating grin and unzipped jeans.

Very impressive.

He thought.

I thought, “Whatever, let’s go.”

The grin was misleading. He acted hungry but he was a messy eater; I lost my appetite for foreplay. On to screwing. Correction, hammering.

No wonder he was divorced, I thought. A vagina can only take so much. Then I thought, “did I say that out loud?” because everything went still. And squishy. He looked down and grinned again. Like that was normal.

“Let me catch my breath,” he said. Which is when the advice about mints came to mind. I chuckled. The Youngin took that as encouragement. I suppose it was; I wanted this experience to survive a Policy #2 audit and I was not done. Entendre intended.

After a second slowdown, I was bored, willing to fake it to make it — out the door. As he attempted to prove the third time is indeed the charm, I pondered a self-defense BJ, to stop the banging.

Then it stopped. For good. Bad as it was, it was over. We both sighed, clearly for different reasons. He asked how it was for me. I replied, kindly, “You couldn’t tell?”

There was that grin again.

I got dressed with images of “surprisingly strong” Altoids running through my mind. As casually as possible with a naked and disappointing man, I asked, “Have you ever tried Viagra?”

He laughed, “Like, have I ever tried weed or Molly?”

Note he didn’t mention Ecstasy.

My friends speculated he was intimidated by an older woman. (They voted; they had a right to know.) Then I told another story, about someone my age, who deflated on our second date/first attempt. I liked him-ish. Until then.

“Not too bad, eh?” he asked, expecting validation. “I was wondering if you used Viagra,” I said, open for his interpretation. I was half-hoping he left the bottle home.

His response was to flex like Schwarzenegger. My embarrassment on his behalf continues today.

As with age, short sessions and short-term relationships don’t necessarily go hand in hand. I had a semi-significant-other for a while, who was a decade older than I. His penis paused regularly. He, however, had mad skills to compensate for his semi-soft demeanor.

Still, as a public service, I was compelled to ask about the little blue pill. Repeatedly.

His reaction was to wag his piqued pecker and turn out the lights. At least he keeps mouthwash in his car.

*Policy #1: Have sex as often as you can.


You can find more of Beth O’Donnell’s policies about sex and life at, where Play With Yourself is her constant encouragement and a coaching program to help women get their swagger back and sashay on. “Live waits for no man. Everyone else is waiting for you.”

12 replies

  1. This has only ever happened to me once and was the side effect of medication, still took awhile for it to be funny though!

  2. On the owner/operator side of the equipment, nervousness caused it to happen a couple of times, but only in my very earliest experiences. At the time, if my date wasn’t enjoying it at full attention, I didn’t know what else to do, and it would sometimes withdraw in fear of defeat, a kind of coward’s retreat or playing dead. That definitely made things worse. The rule about the guy having to be experienced is a good one. I learned some other fun games to play, and it never happened again.

    Well…except for excessive alcohol consumption. A little drink can loosen the tongue and the clothing, but too much has more than one unpleasant effect. Worse than the act itself may be waking up with a bad hangover, nude in bed with a woman the next morning reasonably certain that I’d disappointed her the night before, and the effects of post-alcohol dehydration most pronounced right there in that part of the body. Hoping above all that she wouldn’t reach over and grab it, well, grab for where it should be, and wondering how to get out of bed and get covered without it being on display…yes, one of the many evils of alcohol, consumed to excess anyway.

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