I swear this has never happened before. Promise. 

You know when you're ready to watch the season finale of your favorite show? You've got sweatpants on, curled up with your significant other on the couch with no responsibilities, beer in hand — and totally prepared to watch all those characters meet their last fate. Then, that damn swirly wheel pops up right before the show starts, and it stays buffering at 99%. the Internet is connected, and everything should totally be working, but you've got nothing. You restart the router, shake all the wires, and Google "how to get Netflix to stream better" — but still nothing happens. So, after 30 minutes of frustration, you just quit and go to bed completely let down. 

Not getting it up is exactly like this, only when you're packing a floppy weapon when your lady is ready to go, it's about a million times worse. After going on a date with the hottest woman I'd ever talked to, it totally happened to me right when it was the magic fireworks time.

God, it sucked. And this is what I learned. 

1) It's the most emasculating thing in the entire universe.

For millennia, men have defined their manly existence on their virility. So much of being a younger dude is based around bagging hot women and making sweet love to them, and later adult manliness is defined by knocking up your wife and raising little versions of yourself you've made with your balls. Without properly functioning hardware between your legs, the human race grinds to a halt, and you've failed all your manly ancestors that totally bedded fine ladies. When the drawbridge won't raise, you're stuck feeling like a useless evolutionary failure, standing there in just your socks with a floppy unit. 

2) Your woman's reaction can make or break your psyche. 

Ladies, pay attention. If your man ever shows up to your next no-pants party without a loaded weapon, tread carefully. You've got his broken, delicate ego in the palm of your hand, and your reaction can change his life forever. If you take it personally, think it's your fault because you didn't do the right moves or he totally thinks you're fat — stop for a second. Getting mad at him, yelling, blaming him or even starting to cry will only make the situation worse. Promise. If instead you say, "Oh, don't worry about. It happens to everyone from time to time. Let's drink beer and play Mario Kart instead," you'll get a much better reaction from him. Just imagine if your delicate lady flower somehow glued itself shut right before lovemaking. How would you like to be treated? That right: with kindness. And offers of Mario Kart. 

3) Trying the ol' "soft serve" maneuver doesn't work at all. 

Not gonna happen. Don't even consider it. Putting on a rubber is like trying to saran-wrap a giant earthworm — so that's out of the question. And if you even do manage to cram it in, it probably won't stay there for more than a few seconds of movement. It's 100% better to admit defeat and don't try to steal home base. 

4) I'm totally happy it happened.

It sounds crazy, but stay with me. After this very attractive woman yelled at me, started crying and stormed off into the night, I had some time to think about what just happened. Altitude problems had never been a problem before, so I took stock of what variables must have changed to cause this scenario. After dissecting the entire night, it eventually dawned on me: she was a terrible human being. Yes, she was attractive, but she had been rude to the server, checked her phone constantly, only talked about herself and flirted with other dudes right in front of me. I smiled and laughed right along, ignoring all these red flags because I wanted to get laid. And my brain wasn't going to let me get it on with her, mostly because I knew she was awful but wanted to get my rocks off anyway. My brain was way smarter than I was that night, and I really have to thank it. Her leaving that night and never talking to me again was one of the best things that ever happened to me. 

5) I wish it had happened earlier with other women. 

Trying to hook up with women (when I really only liked certain parts of them) took up most of my twenties. And sure I got laid, but what was really gained by all those one-night stands? I never stayed friends with any of them, had one pregnancy scare, thousands of wasted dollars on drinks and food, and no lasting relationships to speak of. With all that wasted energy, I could've learned French. Mastered the violin. Completed a marathon. Spent more time seeking out people I truly liked and didn't just want to have sex at. It might feel good and come with a sense of conquest when you hook up with a sexy lady for just a night, but it really just left me feeling more alone than when I started. 

6) I wish it would happen all the time, to everyone. 

Imagine a world where people only made love after they'd created a honest, friendly relationship based on trust and mutual respect. Instead of getting hammered enough to forget how terrible your fuck-buddy is, sex wouldn't even be an option — so you'd probably spend that time and energy building connections with women you could see yourself with in the future, right? The ol' "fuck and chuck" routine couldn't happen, so STD rates would plummet, unplanned pregnancies between relative strangers would be a thing of the past and people wouldn't just use each other to mutually masturbate. This scenario couldn't ever really happen in reality, but it did for me — and it changed my life.

After that night, I only pursued women that I actually cared about — and instead of trying to bang them right away, I got to know them over a few dates.

Then, super-hot, incredible sex would follow. It was awesome.