Dear Dategirl, I have recently started dating a nice guy. I don't meet many of this variety and most often settle for commitment-phobic bad boys who are good in the sack. However, I would really like a normal relationship because I keep getting hurt in the fast lane. I wondered why this guy was still single in his mid-30s, and I finally found out: He has an erectile disorder. There is no physical problem, but he gets all mental and it just goes away in the middle of the fun. This was really frustrating at first, but I called on an old friend with benefits to help me take the edge off, and it has helped me to be patient with my new love interest. The new guy knows I have another lover, and it actually seems to help him feel less intimidated. However, as things are progressing, it seems like he needs a cheering team every time he gets it up!I have trouble not finding it ridiculous, which is the last thing he needs. How can I be sensitive without becoming his sex therapist?Frustrated and Irreverent
Um, I know you have Internet access because you e-mailed me this letter, so I'm curious as to how you and your boyfriend have avoided learning about a magical blue pill called Viagra or its longer-lasting cousin, Cialis. If your spam filter is even a quarter as efficient as mine, I'm sure it catches hundreds of dubious ads for these miraculous boner-builders a day. Though I wouldn't recommend buying pharmaceuticals off of some shady Web site, they offer an easy solution to a delicate problem, and frankly, I'm a little surprised you're even asking. There are a million different possible reasons for your man's deflating dick; despite what he's told you, it could very well be physical. Even if his joint is technically in working order, high blood pressure or cholesterol can make him a limp chimp. As can diabetes. Or maybe he's depressed or anxious or on a medication that takes the wind out of his wood. Not everyone's open to talking about their happy-pill intake with a new paramour. Your boy needs to consult his physician and get the doc to write him a prescription, stat. Yeah, yeah, he's told you that nothing's the matter (when something obviously is), but if you want to keep seeing him, this is something that has to be addressed. I realize it's not the easiest thing to talk about with someone new, but what's the alternative? Keep on banging your FWB so you can stand having your nice boyfriend squish his mushy member up against your ladyparts? That really doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun. I'm also curious as to why you resorted to another person rather than using your imagination, mouths, fingers, and an assortment of toys to get off. Not that there's anything wrong with an open relationship, but you seem to want to settle down, which makes this choice seems a tad counterproductive. A friend of mine was struggling with whether or not she had the "right" to ask a new flame a rather difficult question, and so I invented a new rule: If you've had his penis inside any orifice on your body, you're allowed to ask him anything you want. And yes, boys, that works in reverse as well. In fact, now that I think about it, because I'm not sure if his ween actually made it all the way inside your business, I'm going to expand it to include tongues in orifices other than mouths. (Sorry, you don't get to quiz peeps you've only made out with or finger-banged, but a rim job?—go for it.) So please, talk to him. Oh, and while you're at it—quit with the "what's wrong with him that he's 30 and single" chatter. People are getting married later in life these days, and as I watch more and more of my friends get divorced, I, for one, don't know if it's something I'm particularly interested in anymore. Maybe he feels the same way. Dating dilemmas? Write Dategirl at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.