Words like erection or erectile dysfunction have become very common. However, not everyone knows how interesting its mechanism is, how an erection occurs? After all, this is a kind of triumph of evolution, the eighth wonder of the world. We are sorting it out.
Erection. Etymology of the word.
The term “erection” comes from the Latin “erigere”, which means to be erect, firm. This origin of the word obliges a lot. So, if the penis is filled with blood, but has not become firm, elastic, it means that the erection is not complete. But this word has many other meanings. “Erectus” means “venerable”, “noble”, “promoted to office”, “elevated to rank”. Therefore, continuing the association, we can say that the erect penis, as it were, rises in rank, dominates the vagina, and not vice versa. It must be “cocked”, that is, quite hard to penetrate a passive, defenseless vagina.
Here is an exciting, in the full sense of the word, erotic picture. In fact, the penis does not always achieve a full erection. Sometimes he doesn’t straighten up to the end. And the vagina is not such a “defenseless” object. It would seem that passive, inert vaginal walls can show amazing stubbornness, they may not “let in” a member if he has not reached a full erection.
Anatomy of an erection. Three bodies.
The penis consists of three longitudinal bodies filled with spongy, or erectile, tissues surrounded by the smallest blood vessels. The two external bodies, the so-called cavernous bodies, become firm and elastic during erection. The inner, or spongy, body surrounds the urethra (urethra) and passes into the glans penis. Both the spongy body and the head during erection are inferior in hardness to cavernous bodies.
Erectile tissues, which make up both cavernous and spongy bodies, are able to fill with blood. This is the essence of an erection: blood accumulates in the cavernous and spongy body. First, there is an elongation of the urethra. This is followed by a stage of tumescence, during which the spongy and cavernous bodies expand and fill with blood. The last stage of erection is hardness. The whole penis becomes elastic, rises up and forward.
Erection is limited, because the penis can only increase within certain limits. The role of limiters in this case is performed by strong shells of erectile bodies covering each of them separately, as well as an additional shell surrounding the entire penis, the so-called penis fascia.
How an erection occurs: Blood flow.
As in other organs of the body, the blood supply to the penis is carried out as a result of the activity of the heart. Fresh blood flows through the arteries to the genital area. After the assimilation of oxygen and nutrients from arterial blood by the tissues located here, the waste blood enters the venous system. At rest, the blood pressure in the penis is low. During sexual arousal, the blood circulation in the penis sometimes increases 26 times; in this case, about 4 spoonfuls of blood per minute passes through it.
At this point, blood is pumped into the penis under much greater pressure. Only in the state of erection, the blood pressure in the penis can be compared with the pressure in other organs. The erectile tissues filled with blood begin to squeeze the diverting veins. The latter narrow, but do not overlap completely, about 12 ml of blood per minute still passes through the penis. To maintain an erection at this level, blood must flow into the genital organ at the same rate. When the amount of blood entering the penis and flowing out of it is leveled, its size and elasticity do not change and the state of erection continues.
The process of erection can be compared to inflating a bicycle tire until it becomes elastic and inflated, or with lowering a fading flower into water in order to bring it back to life. These comparisons are not particularly accurate, but they allow you to at least approximately imagine how an erection occurs. An incessant, permanent erection, if one were possible, would cause great inconvenience.
Therefore, the penis is arranged in such a way that in a calm state, not too much blood enters it. Cavernous bodies shrink and become sluggish. A high concentration of small blood vessels in this small space is possible due to the fact that they have the shape of microscopic corkscrews. The spiral shape is able to provide the strongest resistance to the flow of blood passing through the penis, protecting it from erection at the wrong time. A healthy cardiovascular system is a prerequisite for an erection. Any disorders that slow down or delay the flow of blood through the penis negatively affect the ability to erect.
Innervation of an erection.
Proper functioning of the nervous system is also necessary for an erection. Increased blood flow to the genitals can occur only at the signal of the shameful nerves coming out of the lower part of the spinal cord. In a state of sexual arousal, these nerves secrete a chemical substance that plays the role of a transmitter of neurons. Under its influence, the smooth muscles surrounding the small arteries weaken. As a result, the resistance provided by the arteries to blood flow decreases. High pressure pumps an additional amount of blood into the swirling microscopic vessels, as a result of which:
- the vessels are filling up;
- under the action of the filler, they are straightened and stretched;
- erectile tissues of cavernous bodies stretch and swell;
- enlarged cavernous bodies stretch the surrounding shells;
- the shells, in turn, put pressure on the blood-filled tissues;
- the penis becomes large, firm and elastic.
Thus, as if by magic, the hydraulic mechanism of erection comes into action. The nerve centers that control erection are located in the brain and the lower part of the spinal cord. They are protected by the skull and spine. Due to damage to the nervous system, paralysis may occur, and then there will be no erection when sexual arousal occurs. Impotence can also occur due to injury to the brain or spinal cord. Therefore, men who love risk should learn how to fall properly. Always wear protective gear. Cyclists are in danger of spinal cord injury and, as a result, impotence as a result of a road accident. Always use a protective helmet that protects the skull and cervical spine from damage.
How an erection occur.
Psychogenic erection is caused by the nerve centers of the brain. When they come to a state of arousal, they send a signal-a command that is transmitted through the spinal cord to the shameful nerves. The following are six types of stimuli that bring the nerve centers of the brain into a state of arousal. The examples given will not seem convincing to everyone. Nevertheless, all six types of impulses are of great importance. If at least one of them “does not work”, a mental erection may not occur at all or will be so weak and short-lived that sexual intercourse becomes impossible.
Auditory stimuli: stimulating speech, music, laughter, rapid breathing.
Sense of smell: a pleasant smell of perfume, clean skin and washed hair.
Taste stimuli: the taste of saliva, secretions of the genitals.
Touch: touch of the naked body, hair fluff, stroking, vigorous massage.
Imagination: dreams, fantasies, memories.
Visual stimuli: too individual, there are no rules common to all. Everyone should determine for himself what can lead him to a state of arousal.
Reflex erection is a simple reaction to touch. Sensory stimuli directly affect the nerve endings of the penis, as well as the rectum and bladder. Sensations are transmitted through the nerves to the spinal cord. The reaction of the shameful nerves is automatic. It is comparable to the blinking of the eyelids.
Spontaneous erection – occurs without the participation of consciousness, occurs during sleep. An erection can have only a reflex or only a mental origin, but usually both types of arousal coexist. And in the years of ardent youth, and in other periods of life, reflex erection can be used in cases when a mental erection fails. This is a purely personal question. Reflex erection should not be underestimated. Its importance is especially great in certain types of diseases, as well as in the weakening of potency in old age. Some men treat direct stimulation of the penis as something reprehensible, not worthy of a man. Over the years, as the body ages, difficulties with mental erection may arise, in this situation it seems advisable to switch to reflex reactions.
Sex in the brain.
The brain controls the instinct of self-preservation without the participation of consciousness. This instinct manifests itself in the fact that we strive to preserve ourselves (as a continuator of the species) and procreation (preservation of the species by transferring our genes). When something threatens life, the body puts the task of self-preservation in the first place and an erection does not occur. A similar situation develops in the event of a threat to a person’s sense of self-worth, when the behavior of a person acquires special importance. And in this case, the instinct of self-preservation protects a person from mental trauma, and the body is not up to an erection.
During puberty, the testicles produce a huge amount of the sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone is like fuel, thanks to which the fire of lust burns brightly, or, as doctors say, libido. Starting from puberty and almost to the grave, testosterone supports the fun-playing flame of sex. Sexual potency begins to develop in adolescence: boys have an erection uncontrolled by consciousness in their sleep. During sleep or at the moment of awakening, in a half-sleep, a teenager may have ejaculations of semen. At first, the teenager is unable to control them. His biological clock is set to procreate, and nothing can make them go back. From this moment until late old age, sexual potency will be his faithful companion. With the regularity of the clockwork mechanism, the erection will grow and require discharge. If there is no discharge (there is no ejaculation), then erections as an expression of the body’s needs are repeated.
Masturbation in adolescence.
Masturbation is the rule rather than the exception. At first glance, the goal of masturbation is to achieve orgasm and get pleasure, but masturbation can be considered a way to relieve sexual tension and ejaculate. Thus, nature performs self-regulation of the reproductive system of the body, providing emptying of the testicles, prostate gland and seminal vesicles. During puberty, a teenager has an urgent need for masturbation, since he has not yet stabilized hormone formation and, consequently, the reproductive system with its organs. The body can produce sperm in excess. It is known that the content of testosterone, which is the engine of sexual desire, reaches its highest level at the age of 18. Studies conducted in the United States have shown that teenagers think about sex on average every 15 minutes. We are not trying to shake the credibility of the truthfulness of teenagers.
However, at the age of 15, nervous bragging can serve as a cover for a complete lack of experience. One way or another, but the results of these studies should help parents and all adults realize the full power and unstoppable energy of sexual desire in youth. Discussions on masturbation always take place in a heated atmosphere. In the last century, the aversion to masturbation reached insanity. Truly barbaric methods were used to eradicate it. One of the classic ways of fighting provided for the placement of thorns under the foreskin of the child, which were supposed to cause him pain during nighttime erections. Another cruel way was for a child prone to masturbation to have his hands chained to the wall. Then endless warnings and intimidation began with epilepsy, insanity, physical exhaustion of the body, strabismus and even the growth of hair on the palms.
An American doctor practicing at the beginning of the XX century threatened upset parents that he would circumcise, “regardless of aesthetics, every boy caught on “self-desecration”. Under the guise of caring, sophisticated sadism can hide, this happens quite often. When the idea of “self-defilement”, “masturbation as evil in itself” was instilled in society, the principle of a vicious circle came into effect. The very men who were punished for masturbation in childhood began to persecute their own sons. The power of imagination can be stronger than the power of facts. This is especially true of the unknown: ignorance often breeds fear. It cannot be said that even today we have fully understood the sexual construction. We realized that it contains a potential charge of both good and evil. We are afraid of its dark, destructive power instead of enjoying the happiness it can give. Parents who are aware of their responsibility for their growing sons, quite naturally, are looking for ways to protect them. Masturbation is generally treated with more tolerance these days. However, the previous aversion to her was replaced by some slight disdain, condescension.
It is perceived as a “safety valve”, as a form of behavior that “inferior” men resort to under the pressure of circumstances. “Defective” in this case refers to the elderly, the disabled and the chronically ill. And only they. But the facts give a completely different picture. Numerous studies prove that literally all men masturbate at some periods of their lives, regardless of whether they have the opportunity for sexual contact or not. At the same time, studies have shown that most men are reluctant to admit to masturbation, as it is perceived as something shameful. But there are cases when masturbation is not only justified, but also shown as a preventive remedy useful for health. Mentally retarded people in known pathological conditions masturbate in public, moreover, without any measure. It was this circumstance that led to the emergence of a homegrown theory linking masturbation with mental illness. These absurd ideas, spread by self-taught psychologists, lead to absurd conclusions that masturbation in a healthy adult man is a symptom of a mental disorder. Masturbation does not always play the role of a backup option. For some men, for well-founded reasons, masturbation is the most preferred way to relieve sexual tension, for others it is not. If it were possible to count the number of ejaculations worldwide, then most likely the amount of semen as a result of masturbation would exceed the number of ejaculations during sexual intercourse. In the end, it’s a matter of taste.
The decline of an erection (detumescence) is the opposite process of arousal and penis enlargement in volume. No Viagra and other drugs will help. The outflow of blood from the penis is much more intense than the inflow. Excessive amount of blood is eliminated, pressure drops, erectile tissues fall off. Small vessels collapse again and take the form of small spirals-corkscrews. Detumescence takes place in two stages. At the first stage, the penis is reduced to half of its maximum size for an erection. It takes about 10-15 minutes for him to come to a state of complete rest. This time can vary widely. We should not forget that there is no such thing as an average erection.
Detumescence occurs when there is a feeling of satisfaction, a feeling of positive completion; it can also occur as a result of a decrease in the level of sexual arousal. This decrease is usually due to emotional reasons: fear of failure, dissatisfaction with yourself, your partner and, finally, the whole world. “Phobias” and dissatisfaction generate mental suffering, and mental experiences can block the most beautiful erection. As you can see, this is a very subtle process, closely related to emotional factors.