I adore your writing! Getting Dan and Amy righ…

I adore your writing! Getting Dan and Amy right is so challenging and yet you do it every time! I had an idea for the what might have been series? Which is that Dan and Sophie didn't actually have sex because 'Little Danny' couldn't perform. And Sophie goes along with it because she is a jealous cow who wants to hurt Amy and possibly blackmail? I just find the idea of Dan's penis randomly developing a conscience when it comes to Amy amusing, if a little unlikely.

Thank you for the compliments – I’m always glad to hear that I write them close to how they are in canon.

However, I don’t think this is something I could write. I’m sorry to disappoint, but…well, you say that you like that I keep them in character – and to my mind, this scenario simply doesn’t fit them. For a couple of different reasons.

1. Because it wouldn’t change anything. The only two people who would know about it are Dan and Sophie, and neither of them would have any reason to tell Amy what had happened, as it would be deeply embarrassing for both. Sophie because it would strongly imply that Dan wasn’t attracted to her, and Dan because it would hugely diminish the heartless womaniser persona he’s put such effort into creating (and doubly so when it comes to Amy).

2. And even if Amy DID find out, I’m not sure it would make much of a difference to her – Dan still fully intended to go through with something he knew would hurt her – and even worse, would have allowed her to believe that he did in fact do it, despite knowing she was upset by it, because it preserved his image. I’m not sure Amy would perceive that as any better than what did happen.

3. If Dan’s penis – or any part of him – had anything approaching a conscience, we would be dealing with a substantially different character. Dan is FUNDAMENTALLY selfish, and one of the ways it really shows is in what the fandom considers his good moments – when he gets enraged with Teddy for sexual harassing Jonah, I can’t help but feel that his anger is more driven by his own (extremely strong) sense of disgust at having to see sexual harassment, than empathy for Jonah’s plight. Why does he offer Amy jobs, over and over again – because he wants to help her out, or because he likes having her near him? Or, just looking at season 6, why does he put the effort into slowly reeling Amy back in – because he knew he’d hurt her and wanted to make amends, or because he was bored and lonely without her, and wanted her back?

My point is, even in his best moments, Dan is driven by his own self-interest, and I don’t think we’ve seen any evidence that that is likely to change. What has happened is that his sense of what that interest is has slowly widened in scope, so that Amy’s emotional comfort with him has gradually become important to him, because he’s (kind of) realised it is essential for keeping her with him. But a more expansive, intelligent self-interest is still just that.

In other words, if a similar scenario were to arise in season 7, I think Dan would choose differently – because he would be unwilling to face the potential consequences (that is, losing Amy all over again), not because he thinks it’s an inherently wrong thing to do.