An erection is an increase in the penis in volume compared to a resting state (about three times) and the acquisition of the mechanical hardness necessary for insertion into the vagina and ensuring sexual intercourse.
Erection and ejaculation are the most characteristic phenomena of male sexuality. In ancient times, penile erections were given symbolic meaning, which laid the foundation for the phallic cult.
An erection is mythologized and fetishized in many nations. The phallus (synonyms – fall, “linga”) – an erect penis – was regarded as a religious symbol. In ancient Greece, the so-called hermes stood in front of temples and houses – square columns with a male head and an erect penis, which served as an object of worship.
In many countries, the phallus was deified. The high priest was honored and recognized by childbearing organs, and during the performance of many religious rites solemnly carried in honor of various deities the image of the phallus.
The Egyptians at the Feast of Bacchanalia carried an elaborate wooden image of the phallus around their neck, large and heavy, each in its own strength. On the statue of the main god, the phallus was so large that it exceeded the size of his body.
In ancient Rome, small children wore phallic amulets around their necks as a means of protection from evil. The honor to offer flowers and wreaths to the god Priap was given to the most respected Roman matrons, and virgins were planted on his child-bearing organ at their marriage.
In the countries of Scandinavia, phallic statues were placed next to the Christian church until the twelfth century. Many phallus images can still be seen in Central Asian countries.
As sexologists write, “an erection is the most elementary, most persistent and at the same time the most vulnerable phenomenon of male sexuality.” Of all the manifestations of male sexuality, an erection is formed and appears first – long before the appearance of libido (sexual desire), ejaculation and orgasm. An erection is observed in boys even in infancy.
And at the same time, an erection is extremely sensitive to various adverse effects, including traumatic. This mechanism is due to the fact that the erection is controlled by the higher nervous system, and any negative emotions can affect the ability to erection. The vulnerability of an erection is also due to the fact that it is a kind of symbol of masculinity, masculine strength and masculine dignity.
An erection is a reflex vascular act. The basis of an erection is the filling with blood of the cavernous bodies of the penis. The vascular effect is enhanced by mechanical lifting of the penis.
Doctors of antiquity believed that an erection occurs due to air congestion. The vascular nature of an erection was proven 200 years ago by the Dutch anatomist and physiologist Rainier de Graaf.
Earlier it was assumed that an erection is associated with stagnation of blood in the veins and difficulty in the outflow of blood through the discharge veins of the penis.
However, Francois Frank proved that an increase in arterial blood flow is at the heart of an erection, while slowing down blood flow through a vein plays only a supporting role. This opinion has been confirmed by Legra research. Having bandaged the veins at the root of the penis, he found that the difficulty in the outflow of venous blood causes only swelling of the cavernous bodies of the penis, but this is not an erection.
Currently, this opinion is generally accepted – the mechanism of erection is associated with increased arterial blood flow. Therefore, attempts to bandage the penis or squeeze it at the root (for example, when trying to rape a man by women) are ineffective for normal sexual intercourse if the man does not experience sexual arousal and, accordingly, there is no good flow of arterial blood. The penis will swell with blood, but it is very far from a normal erection.
The famous sex therapist of the early twentieth century, Yakobzon writes that with an erection, not only cavernous bodies are overflowing with blood, but also part of the urethra, seminal tubercle and the neck of the bladder. Because of this, with a strong erection, urination becomes impossible or extremely difficult. Subsequently, it was found that urination during erection is prevented by involuntary contraction of the internal sphincter of the bladder.
The spongy body of the urethra and the glans penis are even less stressed even at the height of the erection than the cavernous bodies of the penis itself. This creates favorable conditions for the passage of sperm through the urethra. The glans penis is less dense and acts as a buffer, protecting the woman’s genitals from injury.
The reflex nature of the erection was proved by Brachet, who experimentally found that in animals with a cut spinal cord, it is possible to cause both an erection and ejaculation with irritation of the penis, as well as direct electrical irritation of the nerve.
The vasomotor nerves of the penis originate from the sacral roots, and the entire neurovascular apparatus is connected to the sacral and lumbar spinal cord. If the nerve endings of the penis are irritated, then the excitation is transmitted to 3 types of nerves, and this causes the expansion of the vessels of the penis.
The physiological mechanism of erection is described as follows. At rest, in the absence of sexual arousal, the arteries of the penis are in a state of moderate contraction. In situations causing sexual arousal, impulses from the brain through indirect exposure cause the contraction of the penile arteries to expand. They expand greatly, and an abundant wave of blood flows into the vascular network of the cavernous bodies, filling and stretching them. In situations unfavorable for sexual manifestations, and after the end of sexual intercourse, nerve impulses have the opposite effect – the arteries narrow.
Goltz established that the brain, the brain, is the highest authority that integrates with the help of the neural pathways all the “lower mechanical reflex centers” that perform only the “black work” of rapprochement.
When an erection of the penis occurs, the man becomes capable of introducing him into the vagina and having sexual intercourse. An erection is accompanied by a desire for sexual discharge, getting rid of sexual tension.
If the penis receives the necessary stimulation – against the walls of the vagina, manual (by hand) or oral (by mouth, tongue of a partner), then the erection is enhanced, and sexual arousal increases.
If the stimulation stops, then the excitement gradually weakens. At the same time, the veins of the penis expand, the outflow of blood occurs, and the erection decreases – that is, the penis decreases in volume and becomes softer.
If stimulation is resumed, then the erection is restored again. During intercourse in this way, a man can arbitrarily adjust its duration, either by stopping penile friction in the vagina and waiting until the excitement subsides, then again resuming the translational movements of the penis.
Every man has the ability to such an extension (prolongation) of sexual intercourse. In many respects it depends on the training. Young men and young men still do not know how to prolong sexual intercourse, they perform vigorous frictions, due to which the penis receives strong stimulation, therefore, sexual intercourse is short-lived. A mature man with normal potency can learn to significantly prolong sexual intercourse.
Erections are divided into spontaneous and adequate. Adequate erections include penile tension in an atmosphere of intimacy or when exposed to sexual stimuli. Spontaneous (spontaneous) erections occur outside of an erotic environment, involuntarily (for example, during sleep, during morning awakening) and are often not accompanied by sexual arousal. If a man has good spontaneous erections, then this indicates the absence of serious violations of potency.
The rate of onset of erection is also individual. An erection is the result of sexual arousal (the second phase of the physiological cycle of the sexual reaction). Excitability in different men is different. In men with weak excitability, an erection occurs slowly, they need stronger stimuli for this. In men with high excitability, an erection can come from a variety of erotic stimuli, even in situations excluding sexual contact – the sight of an unfamiliar attractive woman, erotic photography, the smell of a woman, memories of past sexual experiences, an inadvertently seen piece of a woman’s underwear, and the like.
Many factors can negatively affect an erection. A sharp sound, voices or steps outside the door, a phone call, a knock on the door, fright, tactless remark of a partner or some elements of her behavior, distraction of a man’s attention, unexpected change in posture, spasm in a leg or arm, external pain or irritation or any part of the body that suddenly came up with a thought – all this can reduce an erection. Everything that can be a distraction, everything negatively affects an erection.
Penile erection is to some extent fetishized even today. The fiction describes the “steel”, “iron” penis, “pulsating”, “ready to burst.” Of course, this is far from the actual physiological state and is the fruit of the artistic imagination of writers. For example, Zilbergeld describes the erection as follows: “One look or touch of a woman is enough for the penis to stand up, and if the man has his fly open, his penis pops out … And nothing will stop him.” “Our pipe dreams …”, sexopathologists ironically comment on this description.
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