Erectile Dysfunction
May 17, 2024

15 Facts About Erections Every Man Should Know

Guys, let's talk about erections. They're a big part of a healthy sex life, and understanding how they work can be a real confidence booster. Here's the lowdown on erections, from getting things going to keeping it up, and some interesting facts you might not have known.

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What is an Erection?

An erection, sometimes colloquially known as a “boner” or "hard on", is a physiological phenomenon where the penis enlarges, stiffens, and rises, preparing for sexual activity. The process of achieving an erection involves several steps:

Getting it Up: When you're turned on (by touch, seeing something hot, or even just thinking about it!), your brain sends signals to your penis. This tells the blood vessels to widen and the muscles to relax, allowing more blood to flow in.

Standing Tall: That extra blood fills spongy tissues in your penis, making it firm and erect.

Staying Hard: Special muscles squeeze the veins to keep the blood from flowing out too quickly, so you can stay ready for action.

Other Causes of Erections

Being sexually stimulated is a typical trigger, but sometimes erections can happen out of the blue – like morning wood. 

15 Intriguing Facts About Erections

1. Average Erection Size

You may have heard tall tales of “giant dragons” claiming lengths of 30cm and beyond. The reality is a little more modest than that.  Research indicates that the average erection measures  approximately 12.9 to 13.9 cm, with the average for Singaporean men at about 11.53 cm. Penis size is natural and fixed, not subject to change.

2. Record-Breaking Length

Jonah Falcon, an American actor, is renowned for allegedly having the world's longest penis, measuring 24.13 cm flaccid and extending up to 34.29 cm when erect. However, this extraordinary size has posed several practical challenges in his daily life and career, disproving the notion that bigger is always better.

3. The Penis Is Not a Muscle or Bone

Even though it feels hard, your penis doesn't have any actual bones! It's made of spongy tissue that fills with blood.

4. Humans and Horses: No Penis Bone

Contrary to some beliefs, only humans and a few other species like horses and kangaroos lack a penis bone. This adaptation means that for penetration, humans and these animals rely entirely on hydraulic pressure rather than skeletal support.

5. Penis Fractures Can Occur

Despite not having a bone, the penis can still "break." This alarming, painful condition, known as a penile fracture, involves the rupture of the fibrous covering of the erectile chambers, usually due to vigorous sexual activity. Symptoms include severe pain, swelling, and sometimes the inability to urinate. Be careful out there! 

6. Frequent Nightly Erections

Woke up with a rise in your pants? That’s normal. Men typically get 3 to 5 erections a night during deep sleep. Why? It's a mystery, but scientists think it might be because your brain is extra active and your testosterone levels are spiking. Whatever the reason, morning wood is a good thing – it shows everything is working perfectly fine. 

7. Priapism: When Erections Last Too Long

We all love good stamina, but an erection that lasts longer than four hours without any kind of stimulation (called priapism) is a big no-no. It can be really painful and is a sign of something more serious going on, like problems with blood flow or nerves. This condition can be linked to diseases like sickle cell anaemia or leukaemia, and some people who had COVID-19 even experienced it.

8. Optimal Performance: Why Regular Erections Matter

 Just like any other muscle, having regular erections is healthy. It keeps the blood flowing, delivering oxygen to all the right places, keeping everything in tip-top shape. If you’re not always in the mood, your body helps you out with morning wood. For those with health issues like diabetes or nerve damage, it’s important to address this to prevent future problems. 

9. Understanding Your Body: Growers and Show-ers

Men come in all shapes and sizes, and so do your boys down there. Just because your penis might be a little shorter when flaccid, doesn’t mean it won’t do the job when the time comes. Research shows significant variation in how much penises extend when erected. For some, they may not grow as much, for others, it’s significant. Whichever you are, it’s important to embrace your form. 

10. The Pleasure Map: Knowing Your Sensitive Spots

Exploring what feels best is the secret sauce to better pleasure. One study revealed that the underside of the head alongside the shaft to be super sensitive. The best way to test it out? Try it out, and get a better understanding of your personal pleasure points. 

11. Adapting to Changes: Sensitivity and Age

 It's no secret that things change as we age, and that includes penile sensitivity. Studies show a gradual decrease in sensitivity starting from age 25, as it becomes more noticeable between ages 65 - 75. While the data consistently point to this decline, it’s not a noticeable issue for everyone. Most people notice issues with maintaining erections, or challenges with ejaculating, rather than sensitivity. 

12. Broadening Horizons: The Versatility of Vibrators

 Vibrators aren’t just for women, but could be game-changing for men too. Especially for those with spinal cord injuries, targeted vibrations from medical-grade vibrators can help with achieving orgasm. The science? They hit specific sweet spots that trigger the right nerves.

For those experiencing delayed ejaculation, regular vibrators can offer extra pleasure to help you get there in full force. So go ahead, broaden your horizons and see what feels good for you — no medical reason needed. 

13. Erectile Dysfunction in Young Men

Erectile dysfunction (ED) isn't just a concern for older men; it affects the young too. A U.S. study found that about 11% of sexually active men aged 18 to 31 experience mild ED, with 3% facing moderate to severe ED. These figures challenge the misconception that young men are immune to such issues.

14. Psychological Factors and Erectile Difficulty

Sometimes erectile dysfunction (ED) is all in your head. Studies show stress, anxiety, and relationship problems can cause ED, especially in young men. It’s important to improve your mental wellbeing to enhance your performance in bed — it can be a self-perpetuating cycle of anxiety and erectile issues.

15. Erectile Dysfunction as a Health Indicator

Persistent erectile dysfunction may signal underlying health problems. Conditions that affect hormones, nerves, or arteries, such as heart disease, diabetes, or high cholesterol, can all lead to ED. If you experience ongoing difficulties, it is crucial to consult a healthcare provider to address potential health issues promptly.

Understanding Erectile Difficulties: More Than Just Physical

Struggling with erectile performance isn’t solely a matter of physical health. Often, it’s a complex interplay of various factors that might include lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and smoking habits—all of which can affect cardiovascular health and, consequently, erectile function.

Psychological factors play a significant role too. Stress, anxiety, and emotional well-being are just as influential, affecting not just your mood but also your sexual health. Embracing positive lifestyle changes can help manage these factors, but it's important to recognise when they might be symptoms of underlying health issues like diabetes or high blood pressure.

If lifestyle adjustments don’t fully address your concerns, or if you suspect underlying health conditions, consulting with a healthcare provider can offer you the right guidance and treatment options tailored to your needs. At noah™, we’re committed to supporting you with discreet access to professional advice and treatments that respect your privacy and cater to your individual health journey.

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Written by our Editorial Team
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