The emotional stiffy! They are spontaneous erections that can occur at any time and place. Triggered by an array of conscious and unconscious emotions. The emotional penis doesn’t have to be a full-blown erection. The penis can take various forms of tumescence.
Emotions are closely linked with sexual arousal in the brain and cross pathways. So, it’s super normal to get stiff when thinking or talking about such things as commitment, starting a family, positive thoughts around being in a relationship. Emotional closeness such as holding your lover’s hand can result in an emotional erection. They can also occur when your relaxed – for example a massage . I can’t tell you how many times driving the car on Adelaide’s ‘undulating’ road surfaces has resulted in unintentional tumescence. I don’t know about you? I don’t find road surfaces or traffic sexually arousing. However, the vibration triggered my nervous system and penis to react.
Unfortunately, sometimes it can be difficult to hide a bulging erection. Especially when you’re not wearing underwear with your trackies. (See side note below). Emotional erections often inconveniently happen for example; waiting for the red man to turn green at the crossing. Sometimes they are easy to turn off. Other times it doesn’t matter how many distractive thoughts you attempt to use it doesn’t go away. Stiffies don’t always equate to feeling turned on or wanting to engage in any erotic activity. Yet, it’s a commonly held belief that erections equate to wanting some serious action. Take it from me it doesn’t. Lovers, please don’t shame your partner for having an emotional erection. Definitely, don’t assume that a penis erection equates to your partner feeling sexually aroused.
On a side note it’s actually important not to wear tight underwear constricting your scrotum – letting your balls hang and air is super healthy.
If you happen to see a man walking down the street or standing awkwardly at the crossing he could be experiencing an emotional erection. Once again nothing to be ashamed of. Unlike vulva/vagina owners, those penis owners ‘can’t’ always hide their genitals emotional responses. Passer byes should acknowledge internally the normality of the emotional stiffy. Not to mention it is ‘incredibly embarrassing’ for a man when this happens. Sometimes an adjustment needs to occur. Please don’t stare. It’s not shameful or sinful, maybe a little taboo talking about these things, or even observing them in public. It’s perfectly normal to have such genital responses.
If you’re a logical person like myself, and not prone to “societal hyper sexual negative reactivity” then this conversation is perfectly healthy and sex-positive.
On the other hand, you can have emotional softies. This is when you might not be able to get an erection. Or you’re not as hard as you would like. It can happen when you feel sad, stressed at work, depressed, anxious or just having negative thoughts about the day. This is completely normal as well. Sometimes this can happen for days at a time. If your finding this concerning, or its happening far longer than usual please get in touch with me. Erections are a sign of physical and mental wellbeing. Erections are perfectly healthy. Embrace them. Live with them. Don’t be ashamed of them.