All About The Penis

Arousal and erections

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Teenagers get erections all the time, unexpectedly, and for no apparent reason. When this happened to me I quite enjoyed it; it felt good. But from my later work in counseling, I know that a lot of teens are embarrassed about their uncontrollable erections and want them to stop happening! Maybe they are embarrassed at the thought of anyone seeing the bulge in their trousers; more likely they're embarrassed at the thought of any of their friends pointing it out. And they're often very embarrassed about girls feeling it when they dance together.

Other things that gave me erections as a teenager were sexy thoughts - actually, looking back, I'm not so sure it wasn't the other way round: sexy thoughts being prompted after the erection had popped up - and riding on a bus or truck. Later I found out that this was due to the vibration of the diesel engines stimulating my prostate gland. Very sexy. Funnily enough, I don't remember looking at girls in school, which I used to do a lot, producing erections. Porn mags sure did, though, and led to the inevitable masturbate session. 

Having regular erections is a big part of feeling like a man for me. As I've got older, the spontaneous kind of erection has declined in frequency, unless I'm in a clinch or touching hands or legs or something with a woman who turns me on. Then I suppose you could say that wasn't a spontaneous erection anyway, but I'm thinking of spontaneous as any situation where there is unlikely to be sexual activity. Even so, when I feel horny, I want to know that an erection will be forthcoming on demand. But it seems like feeling horny and also having an erection at the same time happens less often as I get older. I feel horny, and may want a masturbate - or sex - but I have to work a bit more at getting the hard penis necessary to have an orgasm. I suppose taken to extremes, this is called impotence. Fortunately whenever I am in a kissing, cuddling type of situation with the loved one, an erection always appears - nice to know, even if it doesn't get to be used, and just pokes her in her ribs, or back, or somewhere while we cuddle. I think she appreciates knowing that I find her sexy, too.

I like having erections at night and waking up in the morning with a hard-on, even though it doesn't feel very sexual. The idea that this is caused by pressure of urine in the bladder is, in my opinion, rubbish: sometimes if I drink only a little the night before, so I'm a bit dehydrated, I obviously don't have a full bladder, yet I still have a hard-on. This feels very masculine, and it's nice to get up and walk around doing morning things while it subsides slowly. Some couples use a morning erection to make love, which seems like a handy way of using it. 

No one seems to be sure why erections occur at night - I mean, during sleep. A man usually has four or five while he's asleep: one idea is that the penis chambers don't get enough blood flow to keep them healthy without an erection. The erection delivers oxygenated blood and nutrients to the tissues which line the spongy erectile chambers of the penis. 

One of the big things that troubles men and boys is how they can fit their erection in their briefs. Do they leave it folded down, or stand it up straight? I think it depends on size, more than much else. If it is too big, you have to leave it folded down, or it would be poking over the top of your waist band. Even so, an erection bent double can be uncomfortable. I often wondered as a lad if this was doing any harm to my penis. I read once that boys who leave it folded down, not allowing it to stand up straight, when they get a stiffy, are more likely to have erections that approach the horizontal when they are older. This is supposedly because the ligament that attaches penisy to the body is stretched, or something like that. Anyway, all erections begin to get nearer the horizontal than the vertical as men get older. 

Arousal and erection may not always go together, I find. I think this is what I described above. Men often respond with interest to overt sexual stimuli - it's almost in our nature. That, I assume, is why so many adverts have naked or semi-naked women in them. But this attraction, or interest, doesn't necessarily lead to physical arousal and erection - to me, it's more like a man is always on the alert, sussing out the potential, assessing the possibilities, and imagining what the reality would be like. Something to do with the male biological urge to spread it around, perhaps? Of course, this works, at least in part, because men are so randy and horny for so much of the time, and the pressure to get sexual relief is what fuels the porn and prostitution industries. 

For me, though, the deepest arousal and desire - emotional and sexual arousal working in harmony - is much more to do with my human capacity to love and connect with a special mate, and the desire to be with them physically and emotionally. 

There is no doubt that some of my erections are bigger than others. I don't know why. Perhaps it has something to do with how excited I am. But even when things aren't rock hard, it can still be fun to play around with it, and slide it into a vagina. It soon gets hard then. But the upright rock hard erection is  mostly a thing for teenagers and twenty- and thirty-somethings to enjoy, I think. As I get older, the stiffys seem to be be less stiff. Maybe viagra would be worth trying. 

OK, I ordered some and tried it. Results: wonderful. A big hard stiff erection that came on when we got in a clinch, and lasted for a couple of hours before we made love. Then my penis stayed semi-fluffed-up for a while. The effects seemed to last, too, because I thought next day my erection was bigger and harder, even though I hadn't taken any that day. Anyhow, I'm not going to take it regularly, because it made my vision a bit blue (a well-known but reputedly harmless side effect), and my face a bit red (another side effect). Anyway, I don't really need it. This was by way of a very unscientific investigation. I think it was a success.

I just read Sarah's description of the things that excite her, sexually, on her web site. It seemed like a much bigger list than mine, so I thought about it again. Maybe, I said to myself, I am just being lazy and not thinking about what turns me on. Does, for example, the trickle of cold water in the shower when it suddenly turns cold, feeling well fed, clean sheets and soft bed, and so on, make me feel sexy and think sexy thoughts? Err, no, they don't. It is much more direct stimulation, really quite explicit stimulation, like the site of a pretty girl in a bikini, the touch or suggestive look of a loved one, the sight of a couple making love or kissing, the smell of a loved one or her clothes (especially just after she has been wearing them, and more especially those clothes that cover her more intimate areas), and things that are directly associated with love or sex - like watching porno - that get a response in me. I will admit, though, that the thought of the loved one can be a turn on in itself, especially when I have been away for a few days, or we are being very kind and loving to each other. 

I guess I would say my experience suggests men have the potential to be aroused generally much more readily than women, maybe in a way that women aren't (by stimuli in the world around them, I mean). But then both men and women are probably aroused pretty equally by the thought, sight, touch, taste and and smell of their partner. And illness, tiredness, overwork, worry or stress, and above all for me, lack of sleep, are real libido killers.

I think one of the worst myths that men have presented to women is the idea that the male sex drive is so urgent that an erection just has to find an outlet (or an inlet). This is rarely true. I mean, you can't have a masturbate in a business meeting or a geography class, can you? (Mind you, I know someone who once did just that.) It is true that given the chance to get relief, sometimes my libido will get the better of me, and I will go off for a quick masturbate. But often the erection gradually goes away, and my arousal goes back where it came from. And sometimes I think we mistake our motivation. Once, when I was in the University library, I masturbated to orgasm 8 times in a day. I doubt that was due to feeling horny. More like feeling bored.

You can read essays on human sexuality at Sexuality.org.

Feedback from a reader - this, dear readers, is in my view how it should feel to be a penis-owner!

"I very much enjoy your web site. In a similar vein, I have been prompted to give voice (mostly joyous) to that most masculine and enjoyable part of me - my penis. In fact, my penis has always been there for me when things weren't going well, saying in essence: "Well there is always me! Not bad huh?! Now, whatever's the problem, you can come back to play any time. I love to be touched.' And he sure does.  

My junior partner is really in top form in the morning. I used to be frustrated with his 4:30 to 5 a.m. wake up call but now I understand his needs - oxygen, food, and attention from his owner and I am there for him. And these morning displays (usually amazingly hard and long lasting) aren't really sexual for me. They seem more like a hard workout - if only regular workouts felt so good!

It's hard to describe the delights of a really hard penis intent on being all that he can be! It is good, wholesome and sweet to feel - like the happy song of an early morning bird singing joy to the world. Sex without the urgency and necessity for ejaculation and orgasm. I know it isn't sexual because while normally in sexual circumstances the precum pours from me, these erections are totally "dry" yet no less enjoyable.

It is our special time when being a man is the very best thing I can think of. I am prompted to reach down and embrace my penis and it is a time when being embraced by a lover means even more. We both swell with pride, satisfaction and joy with my penis in his best form as good will ambassador to to the world. I don't know how many men really treasure these moments. You are the first I have ever heard speak of it - yet it has been one of the best parts of my life as a man. 

The morning penis - as you noted - can linger on even after rising from bed.  Sometimes he will sing on through breakfast with that little tickle in his tummy which keeps my erection reflex ready to pop up at a moment's notice! As with most men, I was taught that I should feel shame at such behavior - and strive to control and demean it. What a disgusting betrayal of manhood! My penis wouldn't hear of it. There is no shame in his nature - just joyful exuberance sometimes grading into equally joyful sexual lust.  When he needs to "come", he tells me and some mornings that is just what happens whether it means a quicky in the kitchen or a little extra time in the shower.

That morning boner is a real bonus!  And the explanation of morning erections being due to a full bladder is, I believe, almost pure crap. I got one of the more memorable erections of my life at 3 a.m. in the morning after taking a pee. By the time I got back to bed my penis was reaching for the moon. I couldn't believe it! It's my experience that bladder pressure is more likely to squelch than foster a rampant hard-on. 

Most women I know don't envy men having all that stuff flopping around between their legs. But, if it is a "burden", it's certainly made lighter by having a healthy, happy and vigorous penis, so ready to share the joy and lighten the load - literally and figuratively - with his owner, and anyone else lucky enough to be on the receiving end of one of the truest and greatest joys of manhood! 

One other thing. Something my penis likes even more than being held is pressing firmly against my partner's thigh or belly.  Waves of love seem to flow from me to my partner through my penis. For me, it as natural as breathing, and is a gesture of love and affection just as much as kissing or holding hands. But it's even more intimate and personal since it's that very special part of me reaching out to touch another....."

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Other pages on the penis and testicles

Penis size
Penis enlarging/ body mod
Circumcision
Foreskin restoration
The effects of circumcision
Arousal and erection
More on erections
Ejaculation and orgasm
The testicles and scrotum
Masturbation
Condoms and contraception
The prostate gland
The penis and peeing
Wet dreams
Ejaculation problems
Ejaculation problems 2
The life history of a sperm
Pre-ejaculatory fluid precum
Boys and puberty
Night-time erections
Penile pain
Penile questions

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Penis facts and penile functions
The penis, masculinity and sex
A Cultural History Of The Penis
Images & Erotica
Penile & Other Problems

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