Gather a group of men in a room, ask if they have an embarrassing story to share of an erection that popped up — pun intended — at the worst possible time, and we guarantee all guys would have at least one story to tell, if not multiple.
Sure, a few of the retellings may date back to puberty, where random boners were definitely more rampant — at that age though, a cool breeze could probably stimulate sexual arousal.
But as teens age into younger men, then onto middle age and older, everything from how many erections per day to the average duration of an erection, sexual health and sexual activity, fluctuates and changes.
And, with age, comes the likelihood that you'll experience ED (erectile dysfunction). It's estimated by the time you hit your 40s, there's a 40% chance of having some form of erectile dysfunction — this roughly increases 10% each decade after . As in, a 50% chance in your 50s, 60% chance in your 60s, you get it.
Before we get into that — and treatment options, including our erectile dysfunction treatment and Last Longer program — let's go back and explain what a so-called "normal erection" looks like (not literally).
How do erections work?
It's all to do with blood flow — blood vessels in the penis open up, there's an increase in blood that flows in. Blood is then trapped under high pressure, you get an erection .
But as for how that whole situation gets started in the first place? Well, it's controlled by multiple areas of your brain: the hypothalamus, the limbic system, and the cerebral cortex .
That doesn't mean an erection is all in your head, however. There are 2 major aspects of your erection, and they're called the reflex erection, and the psychogenic erection.
The reflex erection
This type of erection is achieved by directly touching the penile shaft. It's under the control of the peripheral nerves and the lower parts of the spinal cord, your brain doesn't control this type . Random boners, or "spontaneous erections" fall under this category.
The psychogenic erection
With the psychogenic erection, however, the limbic system of the brain sends signals in this instance. It's achieved by erotic or emotional stimuli — sexual stimulation and sexual arousal .
How many erections per day is considered normal?
It's different for every person — a normal erection for one may be abnormal for another. Even as teens, one person may get multiple a day, and one may not have any at all .
There's a general estimate out there — that's hard to find the original source of, so take it with a grain of salt — that the average man, regardless of whether or not they've had (or are having) sexual intercourse, has 11 erections a day .
Remember, not every erection is because you're sexually aroused — some of it is because of the uncontrolled reflex action in the spinal cord .
How often are you supposed to get one?
So, just like how the number of erections you get a day fluctuates, so does how often you get one — there's no hard and fast rule, so don't set your clock to it.
As Columbia University's health website says, "The reality is that penises tend to do their own thing wherever and whenever they want." 
Generally, you do get an erect penis when you're sexually excited; testosterone regulates the timing — so your erection is coordinated with the sexual intercourse (or other sexual activity) you're about to partake in. 
If they're happening less than normal — what's normal for you that is, it could be due to medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, low testosterone and more. Medications can also hamper them, including antidepressants and sleeping pills.
If you're experiencing spontaneous erections more than usual, these can be caused by an enlarged prostate, holding in urine and using recreational drugs .
There is such a thing as too much when it comes to an average erection. If you're getting them all the time, or you're getting them for a prolonged amount of time — think hours for a time — this is due to a medical condition called priapism .
Erections that last for more than 4 hours are considered a medical emergency; if your erection lasts this long at any time, take yourself to the nearest hospital.
What's the average erection number during sleep?
It turns out your morning wood (or morning glory), is actually called nocturnal penile tumescence.
Nocturnal erections — and with them, early morning erections — are healthy and normal physiological events, that occur during rapid eye movement sleep (the REM cycle) .
Most men will experience between 4-6 nocturnal erections each night, lasting between 20-30 minutes . However, this is dependent on the quality of your sleep, so it might not happen every evening .
On a basic level, a nocturnal erection can be used as a marker of your body's ability to get an erection, with no other interference. So, if a person isn't experiencing them, it can be a useful marker of common disease that affects erectile function .
As one study points out, there are nocturnal penile tumescence tests, and their primary function is to distinguish the cause of erectile dysfunction. Psychological problems don't equal a lack of erections during sleep. If there's a lack of overnight erections and a lack of overall erections then it's likely the cause of ED is physical .
How long does each erection last?
Once again, it depends on the man — sorry! Even the amount of time it takes to get an erection differentiates between men. Age will affect erections in this instance, a young man could take seconds to get it up, while an older man may require a few minutes to attain a full erection .
The average duration of an erection lasts anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour for most men . When measured with a stopwatch, the average time of ejaculation is 5-7 minutes .
It also depends on the length of stimulation. One study looked at the average length of sexual intercourse in 500 heterosexual couples across 5 countries and found that the average duration — as in the time from vaginal penetration to ejaculation — ranged from 33 seconds to 44 minutes.
The median time across all couples? 5.4 minutes .
An erection is considered complete once stimulation ends, the blood flows out of your erection, and the penis returns to its flaccid state .
What if you don't have enough erections?
Erection problems are truly a tale as old as time — descriptions of "poor penile erection" have been found in ancient Egyptian scriptures, dating back more than 5 millennia .
That doesn't mean it's not difficult when it happens to you; the ability to get, and maintain an erection is important for your self-esteem, and for any sexual relationship you may have . With a partner, it can lead to stress and relationship problems .
And with all that going on, it's no wonder it can lead to a vicious cycle — failure to achieve a rock-hard erection at any time may aggravate performance anxiety, and so it goes round and round .
Erection problems are common among adult men, and just like how an average erection can be caused by either the physical or psychological, so too can erectile dysfunction. If you're having a go at yourself and can reach orgasm, if you wake up hard, or get them overnight, then it's likely the issue has psychological causes .
The erection you get from masturbation is far less affected by relationships and psychological components than erections related to sex .
And even though erectile dysfunction — and premature ejaculation (PE) — are super common, a lot of men have difficulty accepting their condition and avoid treatment. We're talking up to 69% of men denying its existence, and taking more than 2 years to pursue treatment .
And to be honest, we're not about that.
It's not to say you can't have a fulfilling sex life with the absence of a full erection — you can, and your partner's engagement is a higher priority . You just need to open a clear line of communication with your partner about your experience with erectile dysfunction.
Even science points out that good physical health, the availability of a partner, and a regular and stable pattern of sex and sexual activity earlier in life predict the maintenance of said activity into old age .
But there is no shame in needing help for your sex life game.
As we know, 1 in 2 Aussie men experience ED at some point in their life — but with treatment, 78% of men will achieve lasting erections.
Pilot's erectile dysfunction treatment involves online consults with an Aussie practitioner, judgement-free treatments and discreet delivery to your door — so if you don't want anyone to know, they won't.
And if it's not the taking off that's your issue, but the early arrival — well, 1 in 3 Aussie men (but the number is thought to be even higher) experience premature ejaculation. If you prefer medications, there's an option for you with Pilot's prescription PE treatment, prescribed to you by a Pilot practitioner.
Au naturale is the route for you? Pilot's control device and training program, developed by a sex coach and a sexual health specialist, can help you last longer in just 4 weeks.
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