When you’re down because it won’t go up


by Cyn Collins | March 26, 2009

Dear Cyn,

I’m a single woman, and I recently met a great guy. We had a few really nice dates, and after the third date he came back to my place. We started making out, but then he stopped and told me he had to tell me something: as a permanent side effect of some medical treatment a few years ago, he’s impotent. Not just infertile, impotent.

Needless to say, I was taken aback. We didn’t really talk about it any more…we finished our beers and he headed home. He called a few days later, but I haven’t called him back. I just don’t know if I can date a man who can’t have sex in the conventional way. After all, I have needs! Am I a terrible person?


Dear Sally,

I had to consult my Magic 8 Ball on this one, and here’s what it tells me: outlook not good.

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Still, I’d really like to see you give this a chance, since he’s a great guy—you two clicked, and that can be rare. Plus, he’s brave and honest enough to try making out with you on the third date and opening up to you like he did. My instinct on this is: at least call him back. It is cold—if not cruel—to ignore him after he revealed the problem. It is setting him up for becoming more shy and potentially bitter, which is not good for future women who would be able to live with this situation because he’s a great guy. Consider giving non-conventional sex a try—he may have skills you haven’t reckoned on.

While everyone has needs, intellectual rapport and a loving partnership are not the least of them. It sounds like you have real potential in this department. If you really can’t date this man, at least call him back to talk about this and explain your feelings, but you might feel less like a terrible person if you give this relationship a fighting try—or, give his number to one of your more adventurous friends.


Photo by The Joy of the Mundane (Creative Commons)