Single & Fabulous | 'A question of impotence'

Anthony Gilét's self-esteem takes a knock after a hook-up quite literally flops.


As I looked down at the flaccid penis that had just ruined our night, I felt my cheeks flush. I might have even heard them in the pin-drop silence. This had never happened before.

Collecting my scattered clothes off his floor, my head started spinning. I’m pretty sure it’s ‘cause we were on the 21st floor, and definitely nothing to do with drip-feeding daiquiris all day. I scurried out of his high-rise, slinked into a taxi, and tried not to projectile vomit all over the Ugly Betty I was pooling with.

I was in Miami for the weekend and had made friends with a New Yorker the night before. We’d agreed to meet up at the pool party that day, and when he turned up, he was with a few friends. One in particular stood out. His eyes fixated on mine, and I felt my knees knock at his Colgate smile, and charming confidence.

He fawned over the London dialect, so I was milking that shit like it had udders.

“Oh yes”, I proclaimed in an accent far thicker than my real one, “Of course I know Adele! We went to school together.”

I usually have a problem lying so freely, but as I saw his eyes lights up and interest peak, it only got easier. I was five minutes away from doing lunch with Kate Middleton and lines with Kate Moss.

After an hour of flirting, we swapped digits with the potential of meeting up before we both went home. But just a couple of hours later, when he text me to come over, I declined. Sorry, but the day I leave a party for a random shag is the day Trump leads a Pride parade.

So I text him when I was ready to leave, to which he suggested we reschedule. I couldn’t figure out why he was blowing hot and cold, and not me. So I gave him a ‘now or never’ ultimatum, and was at his hotel within the hour. 

Initially everything was going well. By “well”, I mean that we survived the foreplay. Sort of. Then I began to feel any chemistry we had before gradually dissipate… quickly followed by his hard-on.

I panicked, pulling some of my best bedroom tricks out my sleeve, but even the most skilled magician couldn’t conjure this wand stiff again.

With prolonged jet-lag and too much alcohol, paranoia was taking center stage, while anxiety showered it with confetti. It’s like my sanity was lip-syncing for its life… and losing.

Was it me? Was I unsexy? Did my butthole taste funny?

The questions paced around my mind like any British person talking on the phone. I couldn’t help but think it was something I’d done. Or not done. After all, keeping a guy aroused is the bare minimum you should be expected to achieve in the bedroom, right?

When a man can’t get it up, the heterosexual norm seems to assume its the man’s issue: “It’s not that common, it doesn’t happen to every guy, and it is a big deal!” Rachel screams at Ross post-‘break’ sex, not even considering she might’ve have had bad morning breath.

So, in sex, when one of us fails to perform, who’s fault is it anyway? The one with the limp dick, or the one who couldn’t keep it interested?

Naturally, the answer is going to be different in each individual case. Though WebMd claims that most instances are caused by psychological factors such as guilt, fear, depression, and anxiety.

The next day at the infamous beach party, I dreaded bumping into him. But there were 10,000 gays there, what were the chances? Well, according the science of Sod’s Law, it’d be any minute now.

But I frequently bumped into people I didn’t want to see, so had become accustomed to acting perfectly normal in even the most strained situations. But my Oscar-worthy fake smile vanished as quickly as it had appeared, when he walked straight past me.

I had to refrain from going ham, Madeline Ashton-style:

I was gobsmacked… Maybe his social etiquette was just impotent too, but I was certain at this point that it was my misdemeanor.

“He was probably just embarrassed,” reasoned a friend. It hadn’t even occurred to me that he might be humiliated too.

“Maybe he had a boy from Grindr round before you got there,” he suggested. Which actually made the most sense, as I’d left him H&H (horny and hanging).

“Or maybe he was just nervous about getting with you…”

Huh. Yeah, let’s go with that!

The truth is, I’ll never know exactly what happened, but I certainly wasn’t going to waste any more time overthinking it. Because in life, flops are inevitable, but it’s the successful bangs that count.

Anthony Gilét is a London-based writer, blogger and YouTuber – follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

To read more from the Single & Fabulous? series click here.