"Not only are young people reaching sexual maturity earlier, but
they are growing faster and taller and reaching full adult height earlier.
The average boy at maturity is expected to be 3cm (1.2 inches) taller, 4.5 kg
(10lb) heavier than his father and reach puberty about nine months earlier"
All teenage boys will go through a predictable series of body changes in the
transition from a boy to a fully matured man. The changes will happen in the
body's own time and own speed - ready or not!
- literally means "suddenly" and refers to semen coming out of the erect
penis. (slang - coming, shooting your wad, spooging)
- the fluid in which sperm live. (slang - cum, jizz, spooge)
- Intense feelings and muscle contractions associated with
- Pubic Hair
- Dark curly hair that grows on your body near your penis and
Other more common names
Puberty, Adolescence, Come of age
- Other boys are developing quicker than me
- Is everything happening to me 'normal' ?
- Can I speed up the process?
- Why is my adult body hair so slow to grow?
A typical sequence of body changes:
||Male hormones are becoming active, but there are
hardly, if any, outside signs of development. Testicles are maturing,
and some boys start a period of rapid growth late in this stage.
||Enlargement of the genitals, particular the scrotum,
with reddening of the skin and change in skin texture. Penis hasn't
grown much yet.
||Appearance of breast lumps in about 30% of boys.
(temporary and sometimes painful swelling of one or both breasts)
||Widening of the shoulders and increase in height
Fine, soft hair appears at the base of the penis (pubic hair)
Lots of erections
||Dark colored curled pubic hair appears around the base
of the penis
Penis gets longer but not much thicker. Penis skin becomes darker
||Testicles and scrotum still growing.
Early voice change - deepening ('cracking of the voice')
||First ejaculation of semen from the penis
||Penis width increases, as well as length. Testicles
and scrotum still growing. Pubic hair begins to take adult texture,
although covers a smaller area.
||Period of rapid growth (growth spurt) Body/face shape
look more adult
||Hair develops under the armpits
Sweat glands develop with a new odor.
Pimples sometimes appear on the face
||Facial hair increases on chin and upper lip. Voice
gets deeper and skin gets more oily. Testicles and scrotum still
||Maximum growth of pubic hair, spread in a tight
diamond shaped pattern
Hair grows on the legs
||Nearing full adult height and physique. Pubic hair and
genitals have adult appearance. Facial hair grows more completely and
shaving may begin now or soon.
||Mature body shape. Receding of the hair-line on the
sides of the forehead to form wedge pattern
||Some men grow a bit more and develop more body hair,
especially chest hair.
||Complete sexual maturity
The ages given are averages and shouldn't be relied on too much. For
example, the average age of a boy's first ejaculation is given as 13.7 years,
but this could range from 9 years old to 18 years old as two extremes!
The order of events is an average also and individuals may differ in some
areas. For example, you may experience ejaculation before any pubic hair has
grown although the chart says the opposite. Take comfort though, that all of
the events will happen in their own timing and generally in the order shown in
Why the extra hair?
The extra hair on your
body as an adult male serves several functions. It signals sexual maturity -
that your body is capable of sexual reproduction. It also adds to the physical
sensations when you have sex with another person. Finally, the hair in the
groin and armpits gives off an oily substance which contributes to personal
body odor. That same mechanism contributes to the bonding that occurs when two
people have sex - the scent of the other person becomes imprinted in the brain
alongside the pleasurable feelings of the sex act in a strong mental
association that is difficult to break.
Many boys find they become easily embarrassed when others notice the
physical changes taking place in their body. If someone, for example, notices
and comments on the hair growing in the armpits, then a lot of boys become very
self conscious and try to hide the obvious changes taking place.
You will get used to the changes fairly quickly.
Nothing seems to attack a teenage boy's sense of well being and self esteem
as much as being delayed in their physical development in relation to their
friends. This is especially true if boys are required to shower together after
sport (typical in the US education system). Those present, while the same age,
can range from fully developed men to boys who have barely started the physical
changes of puberty. It is little comfort to the late developer to know his
maturity is going to happen in its own time and own pace. This boy is mostly in
mental torment over his body.
What can be done?
Zinc is involved in hormone activities especially connected with
(male) reproductive glands.
Make sure you eat a balanced diet that includes the foods that give you the
mineral zinc. A deficiency in the mineral zinc has been linked to delayed
growth and delayed sexual development in teenage boys!
Foods that have zinc: Cheese; meat; wholemeal bread; fish/shellfish; mung
beans; lentils; milk; pumpkin seeds; sunflower seeds.
You could take zinc tablets obtainable from a supermarket or health food
store. Recommended zinc intake - 15mg/day. Don't go above this amount or you'll
cause more problems than you solve. Check with your doctor! Relax - zinc is not
a drug - it is a naturally occurring mineral that appears to be lacking in
Finally, have a physical checkup with your doctor to make sure all is well
with your body if you are worried about delayed puberty.
Puberty progress - One boy's story
(I acknowledge and thank
the boy who allowed the world into his personal space to contribute this
information and photos. He understands it may help put other young minds at
Hair (distance from penis)
yrs + 10 mths
first sign of hairs
first sign of hairs
mm (0.7 inch)
yrs + 3 mths
click for image
mm (0.9 inch)
yrs + 6 mths
click for image
mm (1.1 inch)
yrs + 9 mths
click for image
48mm (1.9 inch)
starting to appear on lower legs
light colored hair on top lip sides of face
yrs + 3 mths
embarrassment for our young man means the end of this series
(you will probably feel the same way about this stage!)
There is no right or wrong when it comes to the speed, order and extent of
physical changes. Some boys will have hair growing on their legs at the same
time as underarm hair is beginning to grow. Others will grow hair much quicker
or slower than the table above. The table represents one boy's story. How does
your story compare?
Body image is a huge issue
for teenage boys. We are constantly bombarded by images of the perfect body and
it is difficult for boys to feel good about themselves when they look in the
mirror. Basically, you have got what you have got, mainly from your parent's
It is possible to change your body shape a little. If you eat too much and
don't exercise then you will get fat. If you do a lot of physical activity or
go to the gym as well as watch what you eat, then you will improve your muscle
to body fat ratio. That is about the extent of it.
The Bible talks about "the glory of young men is their strength". This
implies that it is built into us guys to want to be strong. Puberty will bulk
your muscles up naturally and physical activity will add even more to that.
This area you can work on if you are motivated. Stay away from the steroids
though - you don't want strength at that price!
It is important that you continue to eat good meals and not try and lose
weight to copy the magazine and television images of guys who work out all day
every day. Your body will generally change shape through adolescence without
help from you anyway. I've seen many guys with a bit of weight around the
stomach lose it all as their body went through a rapid growth stage.
The key here is to choose to accept yourself for who you are. Choose to love
yourself! Some people get way through adult life before they come to this
realization. You will find peace within yourself when you do this. I knew a guy
and he was physically ugly with a very ordinary body. But he was a really
friendly guy with a great outgoing personality and you quickly forgot about his
physical characteristics. He was either blind or he chose to accept himself and
that reflected in his personality. Everyone liked him - he was great to be
If you think you will be more accepted if you changed your body
characteristics, you are probably wrong! Friends and family like you for who
you are. If they liked you more if you were taller/skinnier/stronger then they
might only be in it for what they can get out of it, so nothing would change
for you! You can more easily see who your real friends are! Thinking you will
be more liked if you had a different body can give rise to eating disorders
which are really hard to overcome.
Make the tough choice and accept yourself!
"Growing Pains" for teenagers refers to pain around the front of the knee.
The experts can't agree on the cause of the pain. Some say it happens when the
long bones of the leg grow, stretching the slower growing muscles and putting
pressure on the part of the bone the muscles are attached to. Others argue that
it is caused by excessive exercise in children who exercise beyond their
Experts agree though that the pain is real and rest and muscle stretches are
recommended as treatment.