Erectile Dysfunction: Can I dump you for it?

Remember Quin, the girl who snapped at a guy for breaking up with her over text message while the whole Internet called her crazy? She’s now doing a regular advice column here at Guyism because you love her so. This week, she tackles Erectile Dysfunction.

Erectile Dysfunction definitely isn’t a comfy subject.

I met a really great guy at a piano bar. We were chatting, and he headed to the bar to get me a drink. He brushed past me, and I felt something very hard in his pants that COMPLETELY freaked me out. Flattering, but in a “this might be a sex criminal” kind of way.

We will call this guy John. John is an FBI agent, which is why he carries a firearm on unsuspecting Thursday nights in Georgetown. These things happen in D.C., but it’s still funny you can actually live out the “is that a gun in your pocket or are you just excited to see me” bit.

I say all this because our high-powered meet-cute was coupled with a painfully ironic reality: this guy had E.D. In the five months we dated I went through all kinds of emotions: confusion, rejection, acceptance…frustration.

The frustration was not from the fact that this guy couldn’t get it up. And, to be clear, I am not writing this to humiliate or malign this guy in any way. I take great pains to maintain former and current partners’ privacy.

I am writing about this topic because all four girlfriends of mine at a recent cocktail hour dealt with a man afflicted with E.D. We are all in our 20s, and all of these men are under 35. In each of our scenarios, the guy ignored it, emotionally shut down, and we were forced to make that difficult decision: is it fair to break up with a guy with Erectile Dysfunction?

“Why don’t you bring it up?” a guy friend once advised.

Yeah. That would have gone well.

“I’ll have the harvest salad to start and the blackened cod. Honey, why can’t you form an erection?”

There’s no easy way for women to point out a man’s equipment is under-performing. This isn’t a matter of size or technique — there are an infinite number of workarounds for those. But if you don’t bring a functional piece to the table, it can’t end well for the other person to point it out.

ED image by Shutterstock

Like any extended relationship lacking a sex component, the romanticism was off the charts. We had the most amazing dates, he met all my friends, he’d surprise me with flowers, all that great non-sexual stuff. He was a great boyfriend, and that’s why I stuck it out so long.

But then I began to feel like I was using him. There was no way this relationship was going to last long-term until he was willing to admit that he had a problem—one that could easily be solved, and was by no fault of his own.

Women are masters of self-improvement. We dye our hair, wear Spanx, and apply a chemical plant of makeup to our faces everyday. I would have supported John through any measure to address and remedy this situation. Instead I was supposed to “politely” ignore a very serious problem.

When I went to end the relationship, I couldn’t bring myself to point out the obvious. I’m wondering now if I should have, or if he’s just expecting to meet a woman that’s fine with not being intimate. Ever. (Hint: WE DON’T EXIST).

In the end, we were both unfulfilled.