When I get a 'hard-on' in the subway, I think, "Oh no,
everybody's noticing me!". I don't have any control over
it and it makes me want to slink off and not even get off
at my stop. 14 year old boy USA (2)
This is what most young guys think..
It is like there is an unwritten rule that erections
should only happen when a boy is having sex or dreaming
about sex or making out with a girl. If an erection
happens any other time it is a major cause for concern!
Nothing could be further from reality! Erections will
happen to a teenage boy anywhere and everywhere and
frequently. It is normal!
This is the part of your body that you pee out of.
This is when your penis becomes hard and stiff.
In this context means having a sexual response
Street names for erections
Boner, Stiffy, Hard-on, Crack a stiff, Crack a fat,
Woody, Fat, Tool-up... and lots of others...
- I get erections "all the time".
- My penis seems to have a mind of its own.
- I never used to be like this.
- Is there something wrong with me? (Maybe cancer!)
- Am I becoming a sex maniac? (like the rapist I saw on
- Am I becoming gay? (There were only boys around the
last time it happened!)
- What will people think if they see the bulge in my
- Is my penis big enough when I have an erection?
Erection of the penis (often at the wrong time) is
normal, especially for teenage boys. It does not indicate
that the boy may be gay or becoming a sex maniac.
"Erection of the penis during adolescence can
be very rapid. Full erection can be achieved within three
to five seconds from the start of stimulation.
Stimulation can be direct or indirect through fantasy.
The adolescent's penis at times seems to have a 'mind of
its own' and will erect at awkward moments, causing him
to feel embarrassed. It may erect for example after being
rubbed slightly by his clothes while he is walking, due
to pressure when he sits down, to the touch of
bodies...., to daydreams, while he is listening to
stories with a sexual theme, while he is talking to
girls, or while he is looking at advertising displays
featuring the female body" (1)
Erections can also happen while the teenager is doing an
activity he particularly likes or one that causes strong
emotions such as excitement or fear (e.g. abseiling or
go-kart racing) or for absolutely no reason at all - even
It is not uncommon for a boy to experience an erection
when he definitely doesn't want one - like when getting
changed or showering with others after sports. There is
something about having other naked bodies around you that
can trigger you off. Also, if one guy gets and erection,
you can be sure that others will respond the same way in
a very short space of time!
It is the release of the male hormone "testosterone" into
the blood stream that causes your body to over-react to
all these situations and give you erections of your
Physically speaking, erections happen
when your brain directs extra blood to your penis. This
is needed when you are an adult to be able to
successfully have sex with a woman for pleasure and to
produce children. As a teenager, your brain has to learn
to "get it right" about when to send the extra blood down
there. While your brain learns, you have to put up with
all the false alarms! "Now?" says the brain. "No, not
now" you respond. "Oops - too late to turn back. Let's
trigger off the embarrassment center in the brain
We have a dog that shows up occasionally through the
evening just to say 'hello' for no reason at all. In
addition, if there is anything exciting or unusual
happening, you can guarantee the dog will also show up to
see what is going on.
That is a bit like it is for a lot of teenage boys: their
penis becomes erect sometimes for no reason at all, but
if there is some action that excites the boy or something
happens that the boy really likes (not even sexual) then
very often an erection happens!
Whenever I'm playing football or baseball on the Sony
PlayStation I always get an erection. age 16,
I don't know why, but when "E. T." lights
his finger up. That just gives me an erection for
some reason. age 12, Florida (3)
My first "sexual experience," if you can call it that,
came when I was about 8 years old, watching a James Bond
film. One of the Bond Girls removed her bra. You didn't
see anything, but the very idea of an exposed breast gave
me what I later understood to be my first erection. I'm
19 now. USA (3)
This is ridiculous. I'm 19, and I still wake up EVERY day
with an erection. But that's not the ridiculous part. I
seem to have some sort of clock in my penis that knows
it's 10 AM. Every day, at 10AM, I get an erection. It
doesn't matter whether I'm at work, sitting in my car, or
in school. It's embarrassing! I've been dealing with the
10 AM erection, as well as ones at other random times,
since I was 14. Aren't the random erections supposed to
stop by now? I'm tired of trying to hide it all the time.
the number of unwanted erections decreases as the boy
moves into adulthood, he never gets total control over
that member of his body throughout his entire adult life!
It is normal for all guys to often have several erections
at night while sleeping and to wake in the morning with
one as well.
What you can do about it
Males are aroused sexually mainly by what they see with
their eyes or with their mind's eye (imagination). They
can also be aroused by other sources too e.g. touch or
smell but usually to a lesser extent.
Controlling your thoughts and what you look at can go
some way to helping stop unwanted erections, but whatever
you do, erections will still remain a part of the
adolescent boy's life!
Guys can be
afraid of getting an erection or being tormented about
their "size" when they are forced to shower together
after sport sessions. For some guys this is a fear that
dominates the rest of their week leading up to gym class.
Firstly, you can be assured that very few guys are
comfortable with the group shower situation that is
typical of the US school system. You are not alone in
your feelings! The guys who would make fun of you are
generally the ones who feel the most insecure and try and
get the attention onto someone else.
If you spend time fearing an erection, then it will most
likely happen! It is like setting an exercise of trying
not to think of pink elephants for the next 5 minutes -
and what can't you stop thinking about then for the next
Watch what you are looking at in the change room. Every
guy is turned on by what they see and that particularly
relates to teenagers with any situation even remotely
sexual - and guys walking around with no clothes on comes
into the "sexual" category! Just get on with what you
have to do and then leave. While you are in the change
room, try and send your mind to another place! Think
about mowing the lawn or painting the house!
Instead of imagining yourself "failing" during the
showers, try and imagine yourself going through the whole
shower scene and coming out without having had an
erection! That might take some effort at first, but
sports stars use that method all the time to visualize
themselves as winners to overcome their fears.
These tips might help but they are not a guarantee.
Teenagers get erections all the time and that is life -
it could happen to any guy in the shower!
this report about the change in attitude towards
having to shower after gym class.
You need to be
aware that when you get an erection and your penis is
even lightly pressed against another person, that other
person can feel amplified throbbing of your blood pulse
through your penis!
For most guys when you get a real hard erection, you can
feel the throbbing of your own penis. What I am talking
about occurs as soon as your penis begins to get erect
and continues through all stages of erection. You can't
feel the throbbing but the other person can.
Just be aware the way your body works in this area.
Guys can be feeling good 'down there' and not realise
they are getting an erection! This is especially true of
young guys in the start of puberty who have not learned
to immediately associate those 'good feelings' with their
penis beginning to get stiff. This can be embarrassing
when other people notice the erection and say something!
Q and A
Lately my penis has been getting hard all the time, even
when I don't think about sex at all. It seems to have a
mind of its own. What can I do about it? It's really
embarrassing sometimes -- at school, when I've got a
bulge in my pants, I imagine everyone is staring at it.
age 14, Australia
Welcome to puberty! You're describing one of the most
common experiences of a boy's teenage years. There are
some ways to help this problem, though. Wear tighter
underwear (briefs) and less revealing pants, and if you
feel yourself start to get an erection, discreetly put a
hand in one of your pockets and move your penis so it's
pointing to the side. It also helps sometimes to keep
your hands in your pockets, so you can hold your penis in
this position. Other than that, good luck!
Many guys my age are really self-conscious about showing
their erections while you're in shorts or something. I
(and probably many others) have found a way so nobody can
tell. Basically, put your penis against your stomach and
slide up your underwear or pants so the elastic band that
holds up your shorts/underwear is covering your penis.
This keeps it from poking out. After a while, the
erection will go down and you won't have to worry about
it anymore. (3)
Last week I saw two dogs having sex and as I watched them
I started to get an erection. Is there something wrong
with me because I got turned on?
No! Teenagers are easily turned on by anything sexual or
even non sexual.
In class the other day it was crowded around a science
desk and my knee was against another guy's leg and I got
an erection! Is there something wrong with me! Does it
mean I am gay? age 13, Australia
No - it doesn't mean you are gay! Your body responds to
the touch of another person. The touch sensors in your
skin don't know whether you are touching a boy or girl -
they just respond to touch.
the locker room, I had an erection when I saw some of the
other guys changing...does this mean I'm gay?
As some of the other answers have said, guys easily
become sexually excited in their teen years. This can
happen in completely non-sexual situations, in situations
like locker rooms where guys are changing, and of course
in actual sexual encounters. Having an erection in the
locker room is generally embarrassing. You may even have
been teased or called names like "fag", but it does not
mean that you are gay.
In the same way, if a guy finds a magazine with pictures
of naked men and is turned on, that does not mean that he
is necessarily gay. Teenagers are often aroused by
anything that is sexual, whether it has to do with the
opposite sex or the same sex.
Your sexuality is now "wide awake" but it still needs
time to find its focus. Be careful not to do things, or
participate in stuff that could direct your sexuality in
directions you do not want it to go in your life.
Bent Penis when erect
Hi, I'm 17
years old, and I would like to know what is wrong with my
penis. I started to masturbate when I was about 12 going
to 13, .... then I saw that my dick wasn't straight
anymore, it curved to the right. I tried to bend it back
as hard as I can, but it won't go back it only hurts. I
think I have some disorder. I was chatting and some one
said they could put a cast on it. So I don't know. I'm
afraid of what girls will think when they see it. please,
if it's a disorder, please help me. thank you. email me
I have masturbated for over a year, and it seems my penis
is bending to the left side. Do all guys' penises do
that? age 14, Iowa (3)
My friend's penis curves upward when it
is erect, and mine doesn't. Why is that? Our penises are
the same size. age 16, Pennsylvania (3)
My erect penis curves upward by about 30 degrees. It
doesn't affect me in any way apart from how it looks.
What will girls think? (3)
This is much more common than you think. Don't worry
about it. A woman's vagina is highly flexible, so it's
not likely to have any anatomical (physical) bearing on
intercourse. Every penis is built a little differently.
Some curve down, and some curve to the left or right when
erect. (Some point straight out when erect, others are
hard against the stomach.) If it provides pleasure, it
shouldn't matter what shape it is (3). Have
a look at the charts on the Penis page for more information
about how common this is.
By the way, girls have exactly the same "what will they
think?" concerns about their bodies. (3)
If your penis suddenly bends after being straight
(especially if there is pain involved), or the bend is
gradually getting worse, then you should see a doctor.
Take along a digital image to show him the problem.
YouTube How an erection works (in 60 secs)
Wikipedia Technical description of how an erection