Male Erections

A male erection occurs in a penis when the blood flow allows the male sexual organ to expand making it larger and harder than normal for a limited time. Erections may occur with sexual stimulation, when a person wakes up or at other times for various reasons.

Surgery, disease, age, drugs, frame of mind, and other issues may affect the ability to achieve an erection, be it a full or partial erection (See SexEd Topic Erectile Dysfunction) but this could also occur at any time in a person’s life.

According to health literature, an unhealthy erection includes an erection that lasts for four hours or more. Such an erection may need medical attention. Some may also consider the sensation of an erection painful, and there are some conditions and infections that could cause painful erections.

Some slang words for erections include Boner, Chub/Chubbie, Hard-On, Morning Wood, Pitching A Tent, Stiffie, and Wood.

The following excerpts should offer more information on male erections.

  1. Painful Erections: What You Need To Know

    “Several different conditions can cause painful erections, such as certain medicines, trauma, infection, or hormone deficiencies. But if you’re suffering from painful erections, the most common cause is a condition called Peyronie’s disease. … Peyronie’s disease affects up to 10% of men 40 or older. The condition creates inflammation in the penis, which over time turns into hardened scar tissue or plaque. … Don’t wait to seek help if you’re experiencing painful erections.”

    Urology Associates Medical Group,, accessed 8/27/2022

  2. Random Boners: Why Men Get These Erections & 20 Ways To Get Rid Of It

    “Is it normal to get random boners? Yes, it is normal for men to experience random erections every once in a while. This type of boner is achieved without sexual stimulation. They can occur at any age, but it’s most common in teenagers and young adults. Random boners that only occur in the morning can happen to men of any age, and that’s normal too.”

    Team Lovepanky,, accessed 8/27/2022

  3. What Are ‘Morning Erections’?

    “Morning erections – they are sometimes called ‘morning wood’ or ‘nocturnal penile tumescence’. During sleep, men can get a few erections throughout the night and as they wake up. This is completely normal and quite common. Men of all ages can experience morning erections, although this can happen less as you become older or if you develop erectile dysfunction (ED). An erection happens when there is an increase in blood flow into the penis. The blood fills specialised chambers called erectile tissue and this causes the penis to become erect.”

    Medically reviewed by Dr. Nicholas Antonakopoulos,, 3/21/2022

  4. Teen Guys And Questions About Erections

    “Erections are a normal part of growing up. When guys go through puberty, their bodies go through many changes. Their voices begin to change, and facial hair, underarm hair, and pubic hair starts to grow. This is all normal! Also, their penis, testes, and scrotal sacs will increase in size. Talk about an awkward time for guys – as if trying not to have an erection in public wasn’t enough to deal with!”

    Medically Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD,, 2/13/2022; (Broken link removed 4/2024)

  5. Priapism

    “Priapism is a prolonged erection of the penis. The full or partial erection continues hours beyond or isn’t caused by sexual stimulation. … Priapism most commonly affects males in their 30s and older, but can begin in childhood for males with sickle cell disease. … If you have an erection lasting more than four hours, you need emergency care. The emergency room doctor will determine whether you have ischemic priapism or nonischemic priapism.”

    Mayo Clinic Staff,, 8/31/2021

  6. 16 Tips for Getting Stronger Erections—and Staying Hard

    ““… 1. Try a cock ring.
    2. Work your Kegel exercises.
    3. Watch what you eat.
    4. Hit the gym.
    5. Put the cigarettes away.
    6. But keep a pot of coffee on.
    7. Get a vasectomy.
    8. Stay faithful.
    9. Reduce your risk of diabetes.
    10. Get your testosterone levels checked.
    11. Take it easy when you’re thrusting.
    12. Walk more.
    13. Yawn a lot.
    14. Get plenty of sleep.
    15. Try ED medication.
    16. Try Trimix …”

    The Editors of Men’s Health,, 4/29/2021

  7. Main Differences Between Impotence And Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

    “As we defined earlier, impotence refers to a man’s inability to get an erection that’s hard enough to have sex. But we need to clarify a couple of things:
    1. It’s perfectly normal for a man to have problems getting an erection every once in a while.
    2. Erectile dysfunction isn’t exclusive to regular intercourse. It can also occur during oral sex or while masturbating.
    3. Having a reduced sexual desire can be linked to impotence.”

    Priority Men’s Medical Center,, 1/10/2020

  8. What Is An Erection? A First-Timer’s Guide To Getting Hard

    “Does it hurt? It shouldn’t. … However, there are some instances when an erection might be uncomfortable. Pee boners are an example of this. They happen because your penis is designed to not let you wet yourself. It’s quite marvelous, really. Try to pee when you’re still hard and you’ll feel the burn. …”

    Adrienne Santos-Longhurst; Medically reviewed by Jennifer Litner, PhD, LMFT, CST,, 12/15/2020

  9. How Long Can The Average Person Stay Erect?

    “An erection is a stiffening of the penis when the soft tissues inside it fill with blood. It occurs most often during sexual arousal but can sometimes also happen randomly. How long an erection lasts varies among individuals, and many factors can affect it.”

    Jenna Fletcher; Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST,, 9/7/2020

  10. How Cancer Can Affect Erections

    “Some types of cancer surgery can affect erections. … Most men who have these types of surgeries will have some difficulty with erections (called erectile dysfunction or ED). Some men will be able to have erections firm enough for penetration, but probably not as firm as they were before. Others may not be able to get erections. There are many different treatments for ED that can help many men get their erections back.”

    The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team,, 2/5/2020