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BedPost: Awkward situations can be remedied

At the beginning of the semester, I was having a fun Tuesday night uptown, maybe a little too much fun. It was my "friend’s" (in the loosest of terms) birthday. It was very cold, and after huddling up close together outside the bar, he offered to walk me home, and I offered that he stay the night. Well, what I expected to just be a cuddle sesh turned out to be more. However... he was unable to maintain an erection and became flaccid due to alcohol intoxication. Needless to say, the night was kind of a let down, no pun intended. It was fine in the morning, but now whenever "friend" sees me, he is SO awkward. Is he really THAT embarrassed about not being erect, or is it something I did? Does he think of me differently for inviting him over? What gives?

Wowza! There are so many layers to this little tale that I’m not even too sure where to start.

As for one, props on giving the heads up that you wanted him to come up, although for posterity’s sake I’m going to assume that you wanted to have sex with him and you weren’t coaxed into it (and if that’s the case, sorry about your loss).

First things first, let’s tackle the little … bodily mishap. I know we all magically want to live in a world of unicorns and hedgehogs in tutus where gender roles are non-existent, but unfortunately, we don’t right now and we’ve all grown up with expectations.

Guys are programmed to believe that they should love, crave, covet, obsess over, be always ready for and be really good at sex. Sometimes, however, that’s just not the case. Guys, this one is kind of for your benefit, but I think we can all learn a bit from this.

Ready? Get in really close because I’m going to tell you a secret. When these little hiccups during sex happen, it’s no one’s fault. Ta dah! Revolutionary, I know. The body does things that sometimes we are really not fond of and it is 100 percent normal. We can’t all have perfect movie Titanic car sex, tragic, I know.

Now, I’m sure you’re a lovely woman and probably didn’t laugh and/or point and/or take out a Craigslist ad mocking him for his impotence. But sometimes, we all get a little embarrassed and there’s no amount of hand holding or edible arrangements that are going to change that. He may just be a wee bit ashamed and worried that he couldn’t live up to whatever he has programmed into his mind.

That’s scenario one, but scenario two is a whole different clam chowder. Maybe, just maybe, he’s not as chill with casual sexual encounters with “loose-term friends” as you are (which is totally OK, though). This can come from any number of things from feeling awkward about seeing his friend who he was very—ahem—intimate with in person, to being sad that the whole sex thing didn’t work out as planned.

In any case, all is not lost. If you think you’d like to attempt to have sex with him again, maybe run it by him (I’m not sure if they make greeting cards for these situations, but perhaps a telegraph?) or if you’d just like it to stop being so awkward, just try to be in social situations with him again. Bring a couple friends around and invite him to go bowling or drink a few milkshakes or whatever it is you crazy kids do.

If this still isn’t the case, it doesn’t sound like you two had a Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel bromance going on there, so maybe it’s best to let it go. I promise this isn’t the end of the world and you’ll both have plenty of chances for sexual encounters that are a little more successful either with each other, or not.

Are you or your partner having problems arousing your unmentionables or dealing with an awkward situation? Ask Kristin about it at the

Editor’s note: The submission question was reworded to scientifically represent the physical condition it portrayed.

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