Erections and Why They Happen


You know those severely inconvenient, awkward, random erections? These are the boners that seem to just pop up out of nowhere, with absolutely no warning whatsoever? We’re sure you do. Every guy has them. They’re part of a man’s everyday routine, and it’s a part that women will never be able to comprehend.

Studies have found that an average man has about 11 erections per day with several more at night. This is probably where the idea that a man’s package has a mind of its own comes from. But where DO they come from? Is there only one kind of erection? To cut the long story short: no. There are several different kinds and causes of erections. We’re here to help name them.


An erection is defined as a physiological phenomenon in which the penis becomes firm, engorged and enlarged. This is the result of a complex interaction between physiological, neural, vascular, and endocrine factors.



These are known as “reflex erections”, or erections that occur in response to an external stimulus. This non-sexual erection occurs when a man is faced with intense emotions such as fear, stress, or anxiety. These reflexes are rampant during adolescence and are explained to be a normal part of a male’s development. While older men still get these, the frequency of these occurrences tend to decrease with age.


A phenomenon that every man (and every woman whom has lived with a man) knows all too well: morning wood. These are the erections experienced by men whom have just woken up. These have been identified to be the last of the erections experienced by a man during the night. It normally lasts from anywhere between 25-35 minutes. The cause for these erections has not yet been determined. However, it was found that they often happen during REM sleep. Some believe that these night time boners are a way to preserve elastic penile tissues.


The most well-known and well-understood erection is the one that is related to sexual arousal. Just as women naturally lubricate to accommodate potential sexual activity, so will a man’s member stiffen and enlarge in preparation for penetration. These are caused by arousing sights, thoughts, sounds, ideas, or touches. They are pretty much in-tune with the senses.

These erections can last for anywhere between a few minutes to however long the stimulation continues. Arousal erections generally deflate after ejaculation, but can also be ended by feelings such as disgust, anxiety, or humiliation.


Author: Nicole Y

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