Questions & Answers - also Visitor Comments

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Question or Comment
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14. ...by sending you my photos...it feels like a huge weight has been lifted. I can truly say that, far from being ashamed of being small, I can now celebrate it as part of who I am. I WILL no longer shower at the gym facing the corner. I will no longer dress hurriedly after a workout in case someone "sees." Isabel Briggs Meyers wrote the book "Gifts Differing" about understanding and appreciating differing personality types. None better, none worse -- just "gifts differing." Ditto with penis sizes. None better, none worse -- just "sizes differing." I feel freer as a result of viewing and contributing to your work.
14. Thanks for sending in this comment after your pictures were posted. I think this site is like a forum - a place were people can share information and learn from each other. Any time you do something to help others, you end up helping yourself, too. I hope someone who is thinking about contributing to this site, but is hesitant, will see your comment and feel reassured that step is worthwhile.
15. i know this may sound very stupid to ask. I am only 19. But my relationship with my girlfriend is getting worse because of our sexual life. She does not want to have sex with me. We both want a relationship with out sex. And i am getting erection. Is there anyway i can controll it?? any medicine so i won't get any erection or not as much? thank you for taking your time and reading this e-mail.

15. I'm glad you asked your question. It is not stupid, but it shows that you and your girlfriend need some important information. First, let me say that you MUST talk about this together. The solution requires understanding and participation from both of you. I strongly encourage you to share this message with her and use it as a basis of discussion.

First, I want to applaud the desire of both of you to have a loving relationship without sex. One of the things that separates humankind from most other species is the ability to consciously make such a decision and through self-discipline stick with it. At your age, the decision to care for each other without engaging in sex is one of the appropriate options. (I assume there is the possibility that the relationship sometime in the future might go forward to other phases including marriage and sex.)

Now, let me speak directly to your girlfriend. It is very important that you understand some basic things about male penile erections. MOST erections are not about sex. That is, the guy gets erect, but does not need to have sex or even want to. And during his teens and early 20's your boyfriend and all the other males on the planet are in a time of their life when erections come frequently and unbidden. Every male can tell you stories of sitting in class with a hard-on, being uncomfortable and embarrassed and wishing it would go away. Usually the guy didn't get erect because he was thinking about sex (although that might be true in some instances). Mostly, these erections just happen! They don't have to do with anything except the guy's penis is just exercising itself to keep in good working order. The penis must be stretched periodically in order to maintain it's optimal ability to have an erection. The best evidence of this is that during sleep every man has from 4 to 6 erections per night. And very few of these have to do with sexy dreams. The erections come about every 90 minutes during sleep. There is nothing that can be (or should be) done to prevent them. They are a sign of good bodily health and are the result of millions of years of evolution.

The same is true (in a slightly different way) of the erections your boyfriend may get when the two of you are together. Some of those are just like the erections that happen in class and during sleep. And others are probably the result of your sexual attractiveness. These happen against his will because his body, at age 19, is fine-tuned to respond to an attractive potential sexual partner. The fact that the two of you have made a decision to forego sex for now does not mean that his body is going to fall right in line with this plan. Your boyfriend asked if he could take some medication or do something to prevent erections when you two are together. The answer is NO. Even if there were a safe medication for this it would be unwise to use it. The penis needs to maintain its responsiveness.

The important thing is what your boyfriend DOESN'T DO when he gets an erection. If he doesn't plead with you to have sex with him and he doesn't try to stimulate you to the point where you might give in or change your mind, then he's behaving appropriately and keeping his part of the no-sex pact. He can't help the erection and both of you should just relax and maybe laugh about it. Well, there it goes again! When you are near your boyfriend, maybe kissing, sometimes you will be aware of his erection as your bodies touch. Just know that it doesn't mean he's coming on to you - it's just there. It won't hurt if you touch it or acknowledge it. Just don't assume that it means he's trying to push you to have sex.

And don't believe that if he loves you enough, he will figure out how to stop getting erections when you are together. What he will do is behave honorably in spite of the fact that he has an erection. And don't be upset if he needs to masturbate to relieve some of the sexual tension that is not being relieved in your relationship. Masturbation is a perfectly normal and healthy sexual outlet that harms no one and is especially helpful during times when one does not engage in partner sex.

I really hope the two of you can talk about this topic and develop a healthy attitude that acknowledges the inevitability of frequent erections during the teens and twenties - but allows you to stick with your principles and have the kind of relationship you want.

16. hello, I am in a very new and loving relationship. so loving in fact that I think my partner has trouble becoming erect. is it "normal" in a very new relationship that my partner (who has never experienced this problem before) cannot become fully erect although he desires me? as he says, his body is not at all in sync with his mind. we have therefore not yet had intercourse. is it nervousness? is there anything I could do? will time help?

16. I'll try to respond to your question, but please remember that I am a psychologist, not a physician -- and I do not practice sex therapy. So you must recognize that my comments are not given as medical advice or as sex therapy advice -- but simply an informed opinion of a lay person. First, I think it is useful for both you and your partner to recognize that unexplained things happen in the sex lives of MEN as well as women. If the female partner in a new relationship tried to "put on the brakes" and delay the initial intercourse, none of us would be surprised at all. We would tell the guy that if this female partner had the personality and character traits that he valued, to just wait a bit on the sex, because the wait would be worth it. There are lots of reasons why the woman might be hesitant --some of them she, herself, might not recognize or understand. She might experience this simply as "nervousness" or her body being "out of sync with her mind." Few people talk about the fact that more or less the same thing might happen to the male in a new relationship. The main difference would be that while the hypothetical female I described earlier wouldn't have a noticeable erectile dysfunction as a manifestation of the underlying issue -- the male probably would. So the poor guy has "more to explain." But, he almost certainly doesn't know why he's not getting an erection at the opportune time. If the two of you can accept the fact that this is probably not all that strange or rare -- you can then get on to next steps. The main suggestion I would have for any couple in this situation is to acknowledge the situation, relax about it, and do some alternative things. I think it's a great idea to get naked together without the intention of having intercourse. To simply plan some intimate time together. You can kiss, cuddle, massage each other, give oral/genital stimulation, etc., etc. But don't do this thinking "Oh, he'll get hard and then we'll have real sex." Do it for it's own pleasure -- and without the expectation of erection. In fact, if I were in this situation I'd even make a pact with each other that the first time he gets hard you still aren't going to use that erection for intercourse. The reason this might be a good idea, is that the two of you need to do everything possible to remove whatever is unconsciously inhibiting his erection. And of course you should give yourself the permission to enjoy all the other nice sexual things a couple can do, without thinking of them as secondary experiences or only as foreplay. As you can see, I'm not even attempting to explain "why" this is happening -- but just saying that there are a lot of unknown things that can keep erections from happening. And that, when that occurs, an indirect approach is probably the most effective. You asked "Will time help?" My answer is, Yes, if you use the time to have relaxed, intimate enjoyment of each other -- really enjoy each other. If both of you can feel real love and attraction for each other and maintain that for a significant time without sexual intercourse, you will be pretty sure that you have something that has the power to last through the years. If the relationship is good -- sexual intercourse IS GOING TO HAPPEN, maybe just not right now.
17. I want to know if there is a neurological or other reason for erections during my sleep. It is making my life and sleep unconfortable. The unconfortable part is that my spouse does not like it. She thinks that I recall some type of erotic dream or event, but this is not the case.

17. Yes, I my opinion there are neurological and other biological reasons for night erections. These erections are called nocturnal penile tumescence (NTP.) and have been studied extensively in the sleep laboratory. All men have them during most of their lives. They occur during the dream cycles of sleep (REM sleep) but everyone has the erections whether they dream or not - so they typically have nothing to do with the content of our dreams. Your body just turns these erections on and off all night for the health of your penis. They keep the penis healthy by maintaining its ability to stretch and contract and by irrigating it with fresh blood. In fact, as the quote below indicates, not having them reveals a problem: "It is normal for a man to have five to six erections during sleep, especially during rapid eye movement (REM), which occurs during the dream segments of sleep. These erections occur about every 90 minutes and last for about 30 minutes. Failure to have these erections may indicate a problem with nerve function or blood supply in the penis."

If your wife wants another source of information, you might encourage her to look at this site: http://content.health.msn.com/content/article/1685.50264 It is a little more equivocal about the role of dreams - but there is little or no evidence that dreams play an important role in nocturnal erections. This is a normal bodily function and your wife should not interpret it as if your thoughts are wandering from her.

18. Please help, I am a 46 year old guy who last year took some viagra and woke up the next morning with blood under my penis skin on my left side with a little pain, well a few weeks later when I got an erection my penis was bent to the left at the end of it. well it did get straighter over time but now it turns upward at the end which makes it awkward when I have sex because of the angle. Is there any thing a Dr can do to make it straight again, it has me very upset and disturbed, Please let me know if this condition can be corrected and will Insurance pay for something like this. 18. You need to get to a doctor right away. Your letter said this happened last year" so you've already let it go for quite a while.

I am a psychologist, not a physician, so I can't give you medical advice, but I know there are a number of medical things (most of them surgical) that can be done for bent penises. As far as I know, insurance will pay for many of these procedures, but you will have to check your individual policy.

Do not go to a general practitioner. Go to a urologist. These doctors know about the penis, erectile dysfunction, Peyronie's disease (the usual name for dramatically curved or bent penis), etc. Curves are basically created when the tunica albugenia (the tough sheaf that encloses the corpora cavernosa) is a little longer on one side and a little shorter on the other. There is no complete understanding of why the tunica gets uneven, but it may be from scar tissue or something called plaque. The blood under the skin you mentioned may suggest that there was some kind of trauma that caused scarring. You really need to talk to an expert urologist about this.

19. I'm from Europe. I like my penis but I think he's a little bit small I think. When I look at websites and they mention that the average length of a boy from 14 years old is 5.74 inch then I feel a little bit shy because they have a bigger penis than me. 19. I think you've been the victim of some false information. You've probably found this "average length" for 14 year olds on some kind of self-reported survey. THOSE SELF-REPORTED "SURVEYS" ARE NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GENERAL POPULATION! As far as I know, the only scientific study that has included 14 year olds is by Schonfeld and Beebe, published in the USA in 1942. In this careful research doctors actually measured the penises of about 1500 boys of various ages. They measured the flaccid length and the stretched length. In young males the stretched penis length is, on average, equal to the erect length; (for older males it is not as close to the erect length). The 14 year olds in the Schonfeld study had a median (the length at which 50% of the group were greater than and 50% were less than) stretched length of 9.66 cm. or 3.8 in. For 14 year olds the 90th percentile (the length at which only 10% were greater and 90% were less than) was 13.5 cm. or 5.31 in. The figure of 5.74 you found on the internet is nowhere near these carefully measured values. And even though these are old data, the only things that are likely to have affected body size (and thus penis size) in the 60 years since that study are better nutrition and better health care - and these affect it only slightly. By the way, the median length for the group of 20-25 year olds in this same Schonfeld study was 13.02 cm. or 5.12 in. This is extemely close to the 12.89 cm. or 5.07 in. erect penis average produced a careful modern study (Wessells, Lue, & McAninch, 1996) in which doctors actually measured the erections of 80 grown men. AND, in the recent Italian study of 3,300 soldiers age 17-19, Ponchietti and his colleagues found the average stretched penis length (remember this is very close in length to the erect penis) to be 12.5 cm. or 4.92 in. All those carefully documented adult averages (some for erect penises and some for stretched penises) are very close to 5 inches - even shorter than the figure you found for 14 year olds! So, remember, there is a lot of misinformation about penises on the internet. You should not allow unreliable and downright false information to affect your self esteem.

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