Penis and Male Sexuality Facts

The Penis Through Your Life

Like all parts of the body, the penis changes as it ages. The truly young penis - in babies and grade-school boys - is basically a sleeper. True, it gets hard during dreams and at other times, especially when stimulated, but it doesn't do much otherwise except for resting and urinating.

semi-flaccid penisThe adolescent penis is another story altogether. It is rambunctious and rowdy; it gets hard frequently and at the most inappropriate times.

The problem for many teenage boys is not getting it up but trying to keep it down.

The writer Julitis Lester recalls just how ubiquitous and embarrassing the adolescent penis can be:

"That thing was always there. Every time we went to the john, there it was, twitching around like a fat little worm on a fishing hook. When we took baths, it floated in the water like a lazy fish and God forbid we should touch it! It sprang to life like lightning leaping from a cloud.... I was helpless. It was there, with a life and mind of its own, having no other function than to embarrass me."

The idea that penises are hard as steel comes from the adolescent penis. The adolescent penis seemingly wants to explode to orgasm every few minutes. It comes, and ten minutes later it's hard again and wants to come again.

And what orgasms these are. The force is explosive and the pressure is immense; large amounts of semen fly across the room. And if the owner doesn't stimulate himself to orgasm, then it happens all by itself in wet dreams.

semi-erect penisThe adolescent penis is the penis at its ultimate power. From here on until the end of life, there is a gradual tapering off.

 Never again will it be so quick to get hard, so stiff; never again will the orgasms be so explosive and the need for them so insistent.

There will also be a loss of independence over time. The adolescent penis needs little or nothing from the outside. It gets hard on its own, without needing physical or other kinds of stimulation. As it ages, it will require more stimulation of various sorts.

Although what I have described about the adolescent penis is typical, there are some that don't fit this picture. Some teenage boys have illnesses or injuries that make erection difficult or impossible to get or maintain. And some have difficulties because of strong feelings such as anxiety, guilt, shame or disgust.

The penis in young adulthood, approximately twenty to thirty-five, is similar to the adolescent penis, but signs of mellowing may already be present. The frequency of masturbation tends to drop, and wet dreams may be less common. Some men in this age group notice that their penises are not as hard when erect as they once were and that they require direct stimulation to get hard.

As the penis enters midlife, say around ages forty to fifty, some changes are obvious. It may require physical stimulation, either from its owner or his partner, to get hard. It may not get as full or as firm as before. It is easier for it to lose its hardness and, once lost, the hardness may be more difficult to regain. Men often notice and worry about the angle of erection.

The erection that in younger years pointed up may now just stick straight out; the one that in previous times stuck straight out may now, though stiff, point slightly down. In most cases, these are just normal changes and nothing to get excited about.

The need for orgasm is less pronounced. The force of the ejaculation is less, as is the amount ejaculated. To have good sex after fifty, attending to the penis's condition becomes more important.

The changes continue as the penis reaches its sixth and seventh decades. Men frequently comment that it doesn't get as hard as it used to. Physical and mental arousal are much more critical.

Things that before usually produced erection - seeing one's partner undressed, kissing and hugging, even watching X-rated movies - now may not do so. Penises at this age often take longer to ejaculate and they don't need to ejaculate every time. Every second or third time is fine.

Ejaculation is much less powerful. Semen may seem to seep out instead of shooting out. And once a fifty-, sixty-, or seventy-year-old penis ejaculates, it may be days before it can get hard again.

The Pleasures Of The Soft Penis!

Penises do not have to be hard to produce pleasure. A soft penis has just as many nerve endings as a hard one and is therefore capable of generating good feelings. Whether it is exactly as enjoyable as an erect penis is difficult to say.

Although the number of nerve endings doesn't change, it's possible that the engorgement of the hard penis with blood amplifies the erection, and some say it doesn't make any difference. And it's also possible to have an orgasm with a soft penis.

You already know how much pleasure can be gotten from the stimulation of a soft penis. Think about it for a minute.

Have you ever started a sexual experience, alone or with a partner, without an erection? How did it feel as you or your partner stimulated your soft penis? Didn't it feel good?

And it probably didn't feel as good as it could because you or you and your partner were focused on making it hard and were therefore anticipating what was to come rather than what was happening at the moment.

There are two reasons for taking more seriously the pleasure that can be yielded by a flaccid penis. One is that doing so takes some pressure off the need to get it hard. And the fewer demands put on a penis to behave in certain ways, the better it will function. The other reason is that it simply gives you more options.

You can enjoy sex without an erection. And your partner will know she can give you pleasure without your having an erection.

It's also possible to have intercourse with a soft penis. But be warned: This works only if both of you are comfortable with the soft penis, if you're not going to get upset if it doesn't get hard, if you're willing to experiment with different positions, and if you can talk about what's happening. It sometimes happens that once you start having intercourse, your penis will get harder. If that happens, it's fine. And it's also fine if it doesn't.

A number of men have been surprised by my earlier statement that orgasm is possible without a full erection. Nonetheless, it's true. Erection and orgasm are separate entities and not dependent on each other. Just as you can have an erection without an orgasm, so, too, you can have orgasm without erection.

Many men at this age decide they're over the hill as far as sex goes, or that they need some help.

Getting help is realistic for some, but for others all that's needed is the understanding that just because something isn't the way it was twenty, thirty, or forty years ago doesn't mean you can't use and enjoy it.

A raging erection that points at the ceiling and that won't quit is not necessary for good sex.

After all, many men in their sixties enjoy walking, jogging, and dancing even though they can't move as fast or as far as they did when they were thirty. The senior penis can still give and take pleasure, even though it's not the same as it was decades ago.

As sex therapist Leslie Schover points out, some men do fine with their less-than-Herculean erections until confronted with a new situation: for example, sex with a new partner after a divorce or the death of a spouse. The same erection is now considered inadequate.

The changes I've described gradually continue until the end of life. Like the rest of physical functioning, the male erection and ejaculatory processes become more inhibited, so that, for example, you may find that lovemaking means you are a man who can't ejaculate during intercourse as quickly as before.

But the penis and the rest of the body never lose their capacity for pleasure. There are men in their seventies, eighties, and even nineties who enjoy sex.

As do their partners. According to many women I've spoken with, the owners of penises often develop qualities as they age that more than make up for the declining powers of their penises. These women say that older men are attractive sexually because they are more open to emotion and generally more loving, more patient, cannot ejaculate as quickly.

The big problem for penises is that they've had a bad press. Perhaps it's more accurate to say that they've had a misguided press.

The adolescent penis is the one that's idealized and idolized in the popular media, and it's also the first penis males have sexual experience with. Many men expect a penis of any age to act like the adolescent one.

But almost every man expects his penis to behave the way it did when he was seventeen or, just as bad, the way he wishes it had behaved when he was seventeen.

To the extent that we can get rid of these ridiculous expectations, accept the penis that we have, meet its needs, and like and enjoy it for what it is - to that extent we can give and receive erotic pleasure as much as we want and for as long as we want. And that, I suggest, is what it's all about.

Sex and Your Penis

The male reproductive system
The testicles and other male organs
Functions of the testicles
All About Love Between Men and Women
How to manifest reality
All about semen
Female sexual needs and desires
Premature ejaculation
Women think about penis size and sex
Male sexual response
The significance of your erection
How do you see your penis?
Your penis and your life
Circumcision Index
Sex and your penis
Sexual psychotherapy
Sensate focus