Pushing Rope

a211ittlewonderropeIt’s very late.  I am very drunk.  And so is she.  I just met her tonight… an introduction through a mutual friend.  She seems very cool.  But what do we really know about someone we have just met, with whom most of the conversation is alcohol fueled?  She could be the greatest woman on the face of the planet, or the craziest, or somewhere in between.  No way to tell right now.  All I know is that she is sexy… and I want her.  She is tall, blonde, curvy, beautiful, well-dressed, well-spoken, intelligent, and has a sense of humor (and yes, this order reflects the order in which I noticed things about her… not in order of importance, mind you, but in a natural order when you meet someone for the first time).

So again, she seems cool.

The night goes on.  We hop from bar to bar with our friends.  We gravitate more towards one another as the hours pass and the drinks pass with them.  It’s getting late, and the two of us have long since forgotten we were even out with friends.  It’s as if it had been just the two of us since the beginning of the night. A good sign.

Closing time.

As we walk out of the bar I somewhat casually, mostly drunkenly ask, “What should we do now?”  Without hesitation she responds, “You live near here don’t you?”

And with that, we walk hand in hand down a few blocks to my place.  We are met outside by one of my buddies.  He had cut out from the group early to wrestle up some Mexican food, before passing out on my couch for the night (the usual pattern, and a good one in my mind.  DUIs do not sit well on anyone’s record).

So the three of us ascend into my place.  We hang out for a while, watch something on Netflix and we chat with my buddy as he downs his food.  We probably have another drink or two, but at this point I would have no recollection, nor do I care.

My buddy is done eating and the episode playing on TV ends.

And that signals the night’s end… or the beginning of a cruel and hellish journey if you were me.

I lead her into my room.  No sooner do we close the door, she strips off her clothes and jumps into bed (I told you she seems cool).  I do the same.  We quickly press up against one another and start passionately (more accurately, drunkenly) hooking up.  One thing leads to another and it is clearly “go time.”  But, as I reach into the night stand for a condom (safety first, and always), I notice something…

For the first time in my life, I have no feeling down below.  NONE.  There is no mind body connection.  I had simply assumed I was good to go.

I am not.  Not even close.

“This can’t be happening right now!?” I think to myself.

She notices.  She sees (and feels) what is happening.  And in what she likely thought was a sensitive verbal response, but what turned out to be the most devastating words I have ever heard in the bedroom, she says, “Maybe we should just go to sleep?”

I sigh the most deflating sigh.  She rolls over.  I don’t even try to tell her that this is the first time.  But you know what?  IT IS!  I have never had this happen.  Not once.  Not ever.  Never.

I am on my back staring up into the dark ceiling.  And in this moment, I a filled with disappointment and unrivaled shame.  But it only lasts a fleeting second, as the disappointment and shame quickly turns into unadulterated, drunken fear.

In this moment, I am somehow convinced that this condition is permanent.  I am convinced that I will never be able to get an erection again (alcohol fueled logic).

I let a few minutes pass, trying to think of my next move.  I come up with nothing.  I panic.  I jump out of bed and pull on a pair of shorts.  I leave my room and head out to the kitchen.  I stop at the couch along the way.  I wake my buddy up.  “Hey man, wakeup.  Hey!”  He stirs.  I crouch down low, eye level with him.  I look him dead in the face and say, “Dude, I can’t get it up.  For the first time in my life I can’t get hard.”  And as the true friend he is, he looks me back, dead in the face and says,

“Well man… You’re getting old.”

And with that he rolls back over on the couch and shuts me out so he can get back to sleep.

In this moment, I am the loneliest I have ever been…

But I refuse to pity myself, and I refuse to give up so easily and accept my current condition as my ultimate fate. Despite the fear and the loneliness, I reach deep and find my determination again.  I am going to will myself hard if it’s the last thing I do.

So, I stumble through the kitchen in the dark.  I take ever supplement, every vitamin, every protein powder I have and down them.  Multis, vitamin C, zinc, protein powder, you name it.  Down them all, and in massive quantity.  I then open the fridge and grab a Gatorade.  I take the Gatorade with me as I head to the bathroom.

As I arrive in the bathroom, I turn on the light and stare at myself in the mirror.  I am drunk.  Fucked up. Haggard. But I am determined.  I try prodding myself on.  I use my imagination to start.  Yet, despite me trying to picture the most intensely sexual scenarios I can, there is still no feeling.

Time passes.  Minutes become a half hour.  A half hour becomes an hour.  All the while I am hydrating, waiting for the supplements to kick in (like those would actually help my condition?!), and gently, forcefully, gently, quickly, slowly, forcefully… well… offering myself a helping hand, so to speak.

I may well have been using my tears as lubrication at this point.  I am so supremely confident that I have a broken penis and that it will be broken for the rest of my life.

And then, just as I am about ready to call it quits and head back to bed a defeated, shriveled man, I start to feel blood rushing down south.  I start to feel life in my otherwise lifeless member.  I prod it on.  I may have even verbally cheered it on at this point.  I can’t remember.

Can you imagine?!  A naked dude in a bathroom, drinking a Gatorade, masturbating, and drunkenly talking to his penis, cheering it on along the way?!  Yeah, that guy was me.  I’m not proud of it.  But I was going to get an erection by any means necessary.  I had a woman in that room who thought she was coming home with a man, and I intended to prove her right.

How funny a thing like pride can be.  The things pride will make you do.  The things proving your manhood will make you do, for that matter…

There is now enough life in me now that I decide to leave the bathroom and head back to bed.  No guarantees at this point.  She is likely passed out, and over it.  And who could blame her?!  This is definitely not what she signed up for.  All my struggle to regain stiffness may well have been in vain.  But, at this point, I am simply relieved to know that my flaccidity is not permanent.  I will take a working penis as my consolation prize, even if I am not granted the opportunity to prove it works.

I will spare you any and all of the intimate details from this point on.  They really don’t matter, and this isn’t Fifty Shades of Grey.

I found myself reviewing what had happened the next morning.  The most interesting thing I found myself thinking was how interesting is it to discover just how much I connect my erection with my sense of being a “real man?”  When I entered the evening, an evening full of potential and fun, I had no idea that what should have been a simple biological response to a strong stimulus was to become an epic odyssey, a profound physical and emotional struggle.

And this was just a one off for me.  I cannot imagine what it is like for those who deal with erectile disfunction.  It’s no wonder Viagra and Cialis do so much business.  Until my erection was taken from me, if only for an hour, did I truly realize how much I took it for granted.

I am not sure what the take away is here.  I feel for those who deal with this issue on a frequent basis, and am therefore happy for modern medicine?!  I am not a pharmaceuticals guy, but I am beginning to back the little blue pill, and yet hoping I will never need it.  I hope that women who encounter this issue are sympathetic to the the men who are dealing with it.  I have heard women casually state “yeah, he was never able to keep it hard” or “he couldn’t get it up” as a snub, a condescension, a dig.  And trust me, it is!  A direct attack on one’s manhood.  As such, I am relatively sure the woman I was with that night reported to her friends that (initially) I couldn’t get it up either.  And there is an inherent shame in that.  I felt/feel shame that I was unable to perform.  I felt less a man.  So ladies, please tread lightly.

Lastly, I hope you enjoy the ridiculous nature in which I try and overcome things.  I am an overachiever by nature, and have a serious amount of will power.  So yes, this was in fact a ridiculous story of triumph over tragedy for me…  I snatched victory from the jaws of defeat… and got the girl.

America loves a great comeback story, right?