Penis Size

Erection can take as little as several seconds or it can occur gradually over a longer period of time.

montage of erection pictures

Whether it happens rapidly or slowly does not affect a man's ability to enjoy sex or to function effectively.

Erection depends on the blood supply and nerve connections to the penis working properly.

anatomy of erection

Spongy spaces, the corpora cavernosa and the corpora spongiosa, fill with blood in response to physical stimulation, psychological stimulation, or both.

An erect penis is usually between five and seven inches long. Of course, there are normal variations in this range which allow for some smaller and some larger penises.

The size of a man's erection is not related to his ability to please a partner or to enjoy sex himself. Continually thinking about penis size and its adequacy can in
fact get in the way of giving and receiving pleasure.

People sometimes think that a penis which appears to be fairly small when it is flaccid will be relatively small when it is erect. It is also a common belief that a larger than average flaccid penis will become a larger than average erection, which may be true, but most of the time is not. A "small" flaccid penis can show a remarkable change in size as it erects and a large flaccid penis sometimes changes very little in length or thickness as it becomes erect. There appears to be no obvious relationship between the size of a penis when it is flaccid and its size when it is erect.

Q. My penis curves a bit when it is erect. Is that normal?

A: Yes, it is. Many erect penises are slightly curved. The degree of curve varies from man to man, but it should cause no discomfort, nor should it interfere with sexual activity of any kind. A few men though have a very pronounced curve, which makes erection painful and sex difficult to enjoy. This condition is called Peyronie's Disease, and is caused by the development hard, fibrous, inflamed tissue in the shaft of the penis. Some cases of Peyronie's Disease may clear up on their own, but the majority require medical attention. It is normally curable.

Q "How come a man can't come and piss at the same time?"

A: "When a man has an erection and reaches the point where he may soon ejaculate the neck of the bladder closes, so that urine cannot get out of the bladder into the urethra, along which semen will pass if the man ejaculates. This is automatic. The body prevents urine and semen from mixing, since the acid content of the urine would weaken the sperm."

Q. "I read about a guy-with a hard-on that wouldn't go away for days. Is that possible?"

A: "Yes. The condition you read about is called priapism and is usually caused by nonsexual factors like spinal cord disease, leukaemia or sickle cell disease; sometimes it happens for no known reason. In cases of priapism, the increased blood flow that causes erection is unable to leave the penis in its usual way because the release mechanism has been broken down by the disease.

"Priapism is not related to too much interest in sex or lack of satisfaction with sex. It is extremely painful and may require surgery if the problem does not resolve itself or respond to medical treatment. "

Q "I have a strong genital odor. What can I do about it?"

A: "Genital odors are common and vary in strength from person to person. In uncircumcised males they may be caused by smegma, a secretion that occurs under the foreskin. Washing with mild soap should be enough to take care of this.

Genital odors can also be caused by urine drops remaining in your undergarments. Pressing the last few drops of urine from the penis after urinating should eliminate this problem.

If every day you change your undergarments and wash your penis, scrotum and rectal area, you should have no trouble with unpleasant odor.

"Strong genital odors can arise for other reasons as well: they can be entirely natural and not related to poor hygiene, and they can also arise because of an infection.

The gonorrhea discharge, sores and lesions in the genital area caused by other sexually transmitted diseases (e.g. chancroid, granuloma inguinale), and discharges from infections of the urethra may all lead to strong odors. They will normally disappear once treatment has been started."


Erection usually occurs quite quickly (in a matter of seconds) throughout the major part of a man's life.

In their later years however, beginning in their 50s and increasingly in the 60s and 70s, men generally take longer to achieve an erection even with sufficient stimulation.

At this stage in a man's life, erection may occur in seconds or it may take several minutes.

This is a normal result of aging, but causes some men distress as they equate the ability to achieve a quick erection with their maleness or with their ability to please a partner.

These painful feelings of inadequacy are often erased as men realize that they are able to last just as long in intercourse before ejaculating as when they were young, and quite often they find they can last longer.


Impotence is the inability to get or maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse.

If a man has never been able to achieve an erection for intercourse, he has primary impotence.

If a man has had a history of successful erection and intercourse, but during some particular period cannot achieve an erection, he has secondary impotence. Secondary impotence is much more common than primary impotence.

Impotence, or erectile failure, may be the result of a physical malfunction or it may have a psychological cause. See this.

Physical malfunctions include the results of drug abuse as well as the effects of certain diseases, and psychological causes include anxiety and conflict in the relationship.

It must be pointed out here that if a man does not get an erection occasionally, it is not proper to call his condition secondary impotence. He may be fatigued or distracted at that time and the next day he may be able to have an erection without difficulty.

Accordingly, Masters and Johnson believe as a result of their research that a diagnosis of secondary impotence is called for if a man cannot achieve an erection 25 percent of the time.

Not having an erection is usually very distressing for a man and/or his partner regardless of its frequency, but the label impotence should be used only when erectile problems actually interfere with a relationship, causing difficulty, stress, or an unacceptable situation for a couple.

Impotence can occur to men of any age, social class and race. Although nobody really knows for sure, it is estimated that many men have had at least one occasion when they couldn't get an erection when desired popular belief would certainly seem to confirm this impression.

The word impotence is being used less by sexologists and other professionals because it has a negative connotation and tends to label the whole man in an unfair way.

Terms like erectile problems, erectile inhibition and erectile difficulty are replacing the word impotence.

Q. "Does impotence mean you can't get an erection at all?"

A: "No. Some men can get an erection during masturbation, oral sex, and other forms of lovemaking, but lose their erection as soon as intercourse is expected. This is a form of impotence."

Q "I'm 68 and it's taking me an awful long time to get it up. I remember when I could get it up in seconds. Am I getting impotent?"

A: "No, you are getting older. One of the natural results of aging is that it takes men longer to get an erection. It is quite normal, and if you relax and accept it your pleasure, enjoyment and ability to please your partner should be the same as always. Some men of your age indicate that once they get an erection they last longer during intercourse than they did before."

Q "If a man is impotent, can he still ejaculate?"

A: "Yes. The ejaculation reflex is separate from the erection reflex."

Home ] Size survey - full results ] Penis size erect and flaccid ] The challenge of small size ] One man and his small penis ] Penis Size And Prostatectomy ] Masculinity and penis size ] Penis size: be a good lover ] Male size and the vagina (1) ] Living with a small penis ] Small penis syndrome (1) ] Women and the small penis ] Puberty and penis size (1) ] [ Penis Size Reflections ]

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Pages On Penis Size:

What size are you?
Size survey - full results
Penis size erect and flaccid
The challenge of small size
One man and his small penis
Penis Size And Prostatectomy
Masculinity and penis size
Penis size: be a good lover
Male size and the vagina (1)
Living with a small penis
Small penis syndrome (1)
Women and the small penis
Puberty and penis size (1)
Penis Size Reflections