Let's Talk Sex
July 27, 2010
The male erection

As promised a few weeks ago, I will now discuss the male erection. Most females and some males may not understand what causes the male penis to enlarge from the flaccid 3-4 inch size to the turgid 6-inch size to the rigid 8-inch size.{{more}} In the preceding statement I have described the stages of an erection.

The first stage is the flaccid or pre-erection stage. This needs no explanation. This is the stage before sexual excitement. The second stage is called the tumescent or elongation stage that occurs at the beginning of sexual excitement. At this stage, as the name implies, the penis enlarges in size but is not hard enough for insertion. The penis is usually hanging down at 0-10 degrees to the body if the man is standing. A lot of younger men are not even aware of this stage as most of them go from flaccid to erect (stage 1 to 3 or 4) without noticing this stage. For them, an erection is almost a reflex action when excited. Many of these younger men also suffer from premature ejaculation, in other words quick up and quick out like “speedy gonzales”. With age comes control and the recognition of this second stage.

The third or the turgid stage is the stage, which most men know, and most women experience. At this stage, the penis is hard enough for insertion and is usually at 30-90 degrees to the standing body. This is the stage of erection we are most familiar with when we get a ‘hard on”. The penis is erect and hard, but not rigid. At this stage you can still bend it slightly and it can stay in this state for hours without it becoming painful. Experienced men know how to use this phase to their advantage when enpleasuring their partners. This is the phase that most men and dare I say women, talk about and rate or berate men with terms that describe their performance.

The fourth, final or rigid stage occurs just before ejaculation. At this stage the penis is hardest and ejaculation is seconds to minutes away based on experience. The rhythmic motions increase in frequency and most women of experience can detect it. The women will say that they know their partners are about to “come”. They will also tell you that he feels bigger than usual. At this stage of heightened excitement, the man feels that he has to “come”, is working towards it, but can control it. Men who are “good lovers” have learned to prolong this phase so he and his partner receive more pleasure.

This phase ends in orgasm or the rhythmic, involuntary contraction of the penis, pelvis and body and with the ejaculation of sperm. Ejaculation itself is not a stage of erection, but signals the end of the rigid stage of the erection. Some men have learned the art of prolonging the erection beyond ejaculation. The unselfish and rare few have, by vast experience, learnt this. This takes both physical and mental stamina and is done mainly to enpleasure the woman who might not have experienced orgasm. If this occurs, then the penis is turgid but not rigid. Stimulants such as Viagra and Cialis help to enhance this post ejaculatory phase. It must be noted that this post ejaculation turgidity is not normal, because most men experience flaccidity or stage one. This flaccid or detumescent stage allows men to recover and recharge before the cycle can restart. The time it takes to recharge in an excited man is called the latency or recovery period. In other words, if the man is excited enough and wants to go again, then the time it takes for him to have another turgid erection after ejaculation and flaccidity is called the latency period.

You have heard me describing men in terms of age and experience. I make no apologies for this as men go through several stages in their sexual experience. In our teens and 20’s we are young, inexperienced and fresh. We come up quick and discharge even quicker i.e. we have little penis control. We can also “rise again” quicker because our latency period or “down time” is shorter, so we can go 2 or 3 or more times in one session of lovemaking. However, we have not practiced enough to perfect the art of penis control. Men at this age, even though brimming with confidence and youthful exuberance, are still inexperienced. This explains why most marriages at this age tend to fizzle with time, due to a lack of knowledge and experience. In our 30s and 40s, we may take a little longer to come up, but we can endure longer and have better control, hence we make better “lovers. At this age, men either settle into long-term relationships, because we understand ourselves a little better and can “control our penises” or we philander because we are “so good”. This is the age when we feel most invincible. In our 50s and 60s, even though we are experienced, performance and desire issues supervene. We take even longer to rise and if we do, come and fall quickly. This is the age in which Diabetes, Hypertension and high cholesterol affect our erections. This is the age group to which I prescribe most Viagra. I shall discuss this and the over 60s group of men with impotence in a later issue.

For comments or question contact:
Dr. Rohan Deshong
Tel: (784) 456-2785
email: [email protected]