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 (erection).
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 T.V.?)
- Am I becoming gay? (There were only boys around the last time it
- What will people think if they see the bulge in my pants?
- 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
"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"
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 at church!
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 penis.
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 instead!"
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
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, Missouri (11)
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.
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.
Although 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
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!
I get so many emails about
guys understandably being 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 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 5
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Once, in the locker room, I had an
erection when I saw some of the other guys changing...does this mean I'm
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.
This link is the site the last question came from. It is an excellent
resource for teenage boys with questions: "What is happening to me - could this
mean I'm gay?"
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
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)
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?
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
By the way, girls have exactly the same "what will they think?" concerns
about their bodies.
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.