An erection occurs when a man becomes sexually stimulated. This stimulation can be brought about by touch, sight, or thought. Once he becomes sexually stimulated, signals from the brain are then sent to the smooth muscle that surrounds a cavity inside the penis telling it to relax so the blood from coming from the arteries there can pump blood inside the cavity. As blood gets pumps inside the cavity, the penis begins to swell rising up and becoming firm. The penis is now erect and suitable for sexual intercourse. However, in order to keep the penis erect, the pressure created upon the skin partially closes the veins underneath the shaft so blood from inside the cavity does not easily escape out. The erection is supposed to continue only until the smooth muscle receives a signal from the brain telling it to stop relaxing. The problem though is that the length of erections is not constant as it can turn flaccid even during the peak of sexual intercourse.
An erection can happen throughout life. On healthy men, erection can occur even in their 90s. In fact, an erection can happen even if a man is not sexually stimulated – such occurs during sleep and during waking up. Nocturnal erections are quite normal and they can occur irrespective of what the dream is. In fact, nocturnal erections are the best way of testing for erectile dysfunction – on whether their condition is actually physical or just psychological. If a man has erectile dysfunction, but can support erections during sleep, it means the condition is psychological. If that mane does not experience nocturnal erections, then his condition is sadly physical. Erections during waking up are called ‘morning erections’ and are the result of waking up after or during a dream. A morning erection does not actually show that you are aroused, but the pleasant sensations felt due to it may as well make you feel somewhat aroused.
Men actually have limited control when getting an erection. The truth is, during puberty, all men will, one way or the other, have an embarrassing experience of sporting an erection in a public setting. Fortunately, in the long run, gradually, he becomes capable of suppressing the erection to an extent, but only during mild cases of stimulation. An erection is not something that you can will to have or not have. Then again, through sexual imaginations and fantasizing, one can get an erection.
The length of an erection differs. Oftentimes, when foreplay is prolonged, the erection may wane during the actual sexual intercourse itself. This does not mean that the man loses sexual interest. It’s just that this is a fact of nature. An erection can also be greatly affected by one’s health and physical or mental exhaustion. If a man is exhausted, he may be able to achieve an erection, but will not last long, or, he will be able to achieve an erection, but not hard enough to engage in proper sexual intercourse. Also, loss of erection is common after climax.