Body Changes

Really weird stuff if you were not expecting it
Image by Nicki Varkevisser CC BY 2.0 Cropped

Normal... but weird

Better to know up front

I swear I woke up one day and everything changed. It was like somebody put up a big flashing neon-light sign in my head that said SEX. I was always turned on.

Unexpected

Every boy will develop into a man that has a full powered sexual reproductive system burning inside of him and pushing him in directions he never imagined. The process begins without your permission.

The journey to manhood is compulsory and there are numerous strange happenings on the way. A boy's developing sexuality is not 'black and white' but rather has a lot of 'gray' areas associated with it.

Here is a summary of those gray areas that many boys regard as 'weird'.

Attraction to the same sex

One of the first things which happens to a boy in the early stages of adolescence is to have a strong attraction to other males (usually older). A lot of boys wrongly conclude they must be gay because of this.

This attraction is perfectly normal (called 'hero' worship) and every boy will experience it, often at different times to their friends. It is the first stage of breaking free from your family to satisfy the inbuilt need to shape your emerging 'man' identity on another male who has qualities you admire.

When your male identity has been influenced sufficiently from the chosen male, there is a gradual transition to the next stage - a growing attraction to girls. This process has nothing to do with being 'gay'. It is normal development for every boy!

Nocturnal Emissions (Wet Dreams)

About 50% of boys will experience wet dreams and many will wonder what is happening to them. Others boys will wonder why they haven't experienced them yet. Many boys will worry about what was in the the dream. Boys who already masturbate will rarely have a wet dream.

A wet dream is often the first indication that your body is outside your control and doing its own thing (without your permission)

Turned on!

For young adolescents, their sexuality is alive and unfocused. Anything can be a turn on and can make the young guy wonder what is going on inside him.

When you're my age, everything is sexual and makes you horny.

age 13, Michigan [1]

Erections

All boys will experience their penis becoming erect (getting stiff) at the 'wrong' time and having 'a mind of its own'. Once again many boys will wonder what is going on with their body.

Nipple lumps

About 50% of boys will experience lumps and tenderness under one or both breast nipples which can last up to 18 months. It is often noticeable enough to make them (and others) wonder if they are growing boobs!

Masturbation

Almost all boys will begin to masturbate during their teenage years. Many will feel guilty about it and feel like they can't stop even though they might want to quit.

The compulsion to masturbate is caused by the growing sexual tension inside which can't be ignored. Once again many guys wonder what is going on inside them.

Pre cum (Cowper's secretion)

Most boys will get a small amount of fluid coming out of their penis when they are sexually aroused to a certain level (not to be confused with urine or semen). The wet area it leaves on your pants can be embarrassing. The purpose of the fluid is a lubricant and also to neutralize certain fluids within the woman's urethra so the sperm will make it through alive during sex.

Nothing can be done to stop it happening when you become sufficiently aroused. Wearing briefs (underpants) with double layers in the front section usually stops the wet area passing through to your clothes. Pre cum leaves trails like 'snail trails' or 'little maps of Africa' in your underpants!

Fantasy (dreaming)

All boys will find their thoughts and daydreaming revolves around sex - much more than they used to. Curiosity means that the thoughts will involve both male and female interactions.

Embarrassment

Most boys become very self conscious and easily embarrassed by the physical changes taking place in their body. Even more so if people remark about the changes that are happening.

Risk taking

Testosterone (male hormone) can induce more risk taking and competitive behavior in males. The hormone works to make the boy complete over time - either a complete man or a complete idiot if not channeled properly.

Body Odor

Sweat glands and testosterone (male hormone) gives the boy a more characteristic male body odor during teenage years. Underarm and pubic hair are actually scent transmitters. They provide a path for the scent of an oily secretion that comes from the skin in those areas. The hairs aid in radiating the scent into the air. Lots of biological theories about why this occurs.

The bad body odor smell comes from the bacteria which multiply in the sweat from around your armpits and groin. You will only know you have a body odor problem if another person lets you know. If you find you have a body odor problem make sure you:

  • Actually do have a real odor problem (ask a trusted friend)
  • Shower regularly
  • Change clothes regularly
  • Make sure clothes are properly washed with the recommended amount of detergent
  • Use 'antibacterial' soap
  • Use an 'anti-perspirant' under your armpits (not just deodorant)
  • See a doctor if nothing else works (some diseases can cause this problem - minor operations can be performed in bad cases)
Further information:

A doctor gives advice about body odor.

Voice breaking

A guy's voice gets deeper over a short period of time - sometimes gradually, sometimes suddenly. Often random high pitched sounds come out unexpectedly which can be embarrassing for the guy. It's fun for us listening though - a bit of a laugh. Just roll with it and laugh too.

Worry

All change produces stress. All boys worry at some stage about the changes of puberty. Whether they might be gay or whether they can 'perform' with a girl. Some worry they may be becoming a sex maniac. Others have a general worry there must be something wrong with them.

Information provided by a survey involving 34,706 students in Minnesota secondary schools revealed:

At age twelve, 25.9% of the children were 'unsure' of their sexual orientation. This figure declined to 5% by age 17.

Demography of Sexual Orientation in Adolescents Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics [2]

Early/Late maturer

A lot of boys worry about the age they start to sexually mature, both early or late - either can cause stress. Some boys can be shaving when they are 12 years old. Some won't start maturing until 17 years old.

This difference can cause a lot of anxiety for both the early and the late maturer, especially in gym class change rooms and showers. The stress is caused by the perception of being different to most of the other guys and the unwanted attention it can bring.

Maximum sex drive

A male's sex drive reaches its peak (for his whole life) between 16 and 18 years of age and it will find expression! This can cause a dilemma for those who want to remain a virgin until they are married, especially in a sex saturated society that is marrying later than previous generations.

Pornography

Because of your strong sex drive, pornography will become very enticing. Initially this would be from curiosity about other peoples' bodies. Every boy will find that what he sees can cause sexual stimulation.

Pornography is a misuse of a very powerful desire placed within all of us guys. That desire is meant to be used as a bond in a life long relationship.

Freedom

This is probably my most common subject with young people. Most teenagers want more freedom than their parents are willing to give them.

Children given total freedom will destroy themselves, so responsible parents give progressively more freedom as the child demonstrates the ability to handle it properly.

It takes time to build the trust needed to gain a new level of freedom and only one dumb event to tear it down again! For parents that care about you, your actions determine the amount of freedom you are given.

Clumsy

A common problem amongst rapidly growing teenage boys. The brain knows exactly where a person's toes, fingers, arms and legs are positioned and what they are capable of performing because it has had years to fine tune the settings!

When an adolescent boy begins to rapidly grow, the brain needs to reprogram itself to allow for the extra reach of the longer arms and legs and the extra strength in the growing muscles.

It is a bit of a trial and error method of reprogramming which exhibits itself as being clumsy and uncoordinated. The brain will get it right again - it is only a temporary (although embarrassing) problem.

Growing pains

The bones often grow so fast during adolescence that the muscles become stretched and can cause pain, particularly in the legs.

I read about one of the very high profile American basketball stars who suffered this in the extreme. He was in so much pain in his legs as a rapidly growing boy that he had to walk with crutches for a period of time. Obviously it was only temporary because he went on to become one of the highest paid players in the league!

Mood swings

Before the hormones got flowing in your body you used to have all the normal emotions: happy, sad, angry.

Now the hormones are active you feel these emotion big time!

  • Once you used to get happy - now you're REALLY happy!
  • Once you used to get sad - now you become TOTALLY depressed!
  • Once you used to get angry - now you REALLY blow your cool!
  • Once you could control the tears - now for some boys the tap in your eyes is difficult to stop!

This is not a license to indulge these heightened emotions - it is best to recognize what is happening and try and stay a bit level headed through it all.

Peer pressure

The need to be accepted by those your own age group can become overwhelming. Everyone needs acceptance, but when it gets to the extend of throwing common sense out, then it has gone too far! I'm talking about: throwing grades at school because it's not cool to achieve academically; having sex because you'll be called names if you won't agree to it; getting stoned or drunk because you're afraid of what the others will say if you refuse.

You are the one in charge of your body - no one else. You will predictably have to make a conscious choice in all of these areas to varying degrees as you grow up: smoking, alcohol, drugs, sexual activity with others, pornography, stealing, throwing grades, violence. You must decide how you will respond to each situation in advance! It is too difficult to decide 'on-the-spot' after someone throws you a can of beer!

Friends no more

Adolescence is a time when some friendships become strained and sometimes end.

During childhood, personality differences are fairly minor and are easily overlooked. As young people grow older, the differences become greater. For example, a childhood friend may have indicated that it would be cool to be drunk and nothing more is thought on the subject. Years later, if that friend, once he is a teenager, decides to actively pursue drinking sessions then you have a choice to make. If that is not the lifestyle you want, then a distance occurs between the two of you since you now have less in common.

Teenagers mature mentally (grow up) at different rates. If you have reached the stage where you think more like an adult male (mature, independent and creating a future for yourself) and your friends are still thinking as boys (immature), then even good relationships can become strained - you have less in common until the others mature too and even then you might end up with very few, if any, common interests.

References

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  1. Adult website - address available on request.
  2. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/89/4/714?sso=1&sso_redirect_count=1&nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token