The Penis: Erections, Erectile Dysfunction and Facts

Penises. Erections. Erectile Dysfunction. Can we discuss these things for a few minutes? Because this seems to be a topic that many men, and women alike, are completely uncomfortable with, but need more information about.

Every human male is born with a penis, and some others obtain a penis during transgender reconstruction. Some are big, some are skinny. Some are wide and fat, and others are long and vein-y. Some have lots of hair, and some are bare. They are all as different as fingerprints. With the glans penis and shaft, comes the testicles. Unavoidable, really, unless there are medical conditions or circumstances with the human body. It happens, but in most cases, a penis is a penis, is a penis. The average erect penis is 5.5 inches long, with varying circumferences. Got it? (Here’s where we would also say the same for vaginas. Once you’ve seen three, you’ve seen them all.)

For human men, they are capable of three types of erections. Did you know that?

The three types of erections are called: psychogenic, reflexogenic and nocturnal. Reflexogenic erections occur when physical stimulation happens. This would be from rubbing, accidental touching, masturbation, or foreplay. Psychogenic erections happen with fantasy thoughts and imagination. These are most common when looking at nude magazines, watching porn, or suggestive television shows and situations. Nocturnal erections occur during the night while the human is in REM sleep. The average amount of nighttime erections is three to five over the entire course of nightly sleep.

Did you know that for a man to get a full erection he needs roughly 130ml, or twenty-five teaspoons, of blood? Or that men average eleven to thirteen erections in a given day?

Erectile Dysfunction.

Another topic all about penises that is touchy and hard to deal with, to say the least, is erectile dysfunction. ED (short for ‘erectile dysfunction’) is one of the more common issues that human males face with their reproductive systems. This can also be referred to as impotence and is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. There are three types of erectile dysfunction: primary, secondary, and situational. Primary erectile dysfunction occurs when a male has never been able to obtain an erection during sexual activity; in other words, his struggle with ED has been a lifelong experience. Secondary erectile dysfunction is more common and occurs when a male has had the ability to obtain an erection and engage in sexual activity in the past but no longer can. Situational erectile dysfunction occurs when a male experiences this problem only during certain moments of sexual activity. While this can be an embarrassing issue to have, it can be treated, and intimacy with your partner is still possible with or WITHOUT an erection!

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Another unfortunate circumstance that can happen to a male is called priapism. This is an erection that will not go away and lasts longer than four hours. While this can be seen as a silly situation, it can become quite serious, and require doctor intervention. If this happens to you, be sure to check in with your medical professional as soon as possible. Many television commercials advise to head to the emergency room if your erection has lasted longer than the four-hour window.

There are many aspects of life that can hinder a male’s ability to have and maintain an erection. Stress, cancer and treatment, medications, medical issues, surgeries, and physical handicaps are just some of the most common reasons. There are a multitude of options for treatment when issues arise, including medications like phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors like the little blue pill, meditational therapies, penis pumps, and in extreme cases, surgically implanted devices to help strengthen the shaft, thusly erection. Any amount of achievable erection is a good thing, as many new products are coming out to assist with “semi-erect” penises achieve orgasm while flaccid.

What can you do to avoid losing your ability to achieve an erection? Here are some tips!

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Alcohol can inhibit ability; drink with caution around intimate times.
  • Discuss medications and side effects with your doctor.

Regardless of what your penis looks like, acts like, or behaves like, there are many ways to achieve intimacy and find pleasure with or without release. As long as you are open to trying new things and methods for discovering your new likes and dislikes, your potential and options are endless. Never give up on finding your path back to reclaiming your intimacy!

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