Unexpected Emotional Erections (and expected)

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ftspm
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Unexpected Emotional Erections (and expected)

Unread post by ftspm »

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Hey so this board is a little confusing to me, I assume your FAQ on your main website is the majority of your traffic? I found my way on here doing a search about pre-ejaculation/ pre-emissions and found an otherwise thorough site fairly lacking on the concepts of erection without direct sexual origins.

I'll format this so, pre-amble - my specific context, then knowledge & research and finally an abbreviated broader question which I recommend you may quote, adjust and use for your articles, advice or FAQ.

Pre-amble:
Me, M23, first time girlfriend, only woman I've ever dated, virgin and saving until marriage. As soon as I connect in any way emotionally (starting with when I first asked her to be my girlfriend a couple months and a dozen dates), I get erect and generally we stay in that emotional state for the rest of the date/ until we part, so I'm continuously finding myself erect. Lets just say that my jocks seem to need changing every time I talk to my girlfriend smoochy-woochy. Now I very well know where the border of emotional connection - physical attraction - lust is for me personally, and I can say for sure that all these erections are almost entirely emotional and near zero direct physical/sexual desire in that moment.


Research - and gaps in knowledge
Now I had read about people that have this problem a little on reddit a few years ago, but I didn't quite realise quite how potent and long lasting these erections were. I realise that for the men that this affects, it is quite a concern indeed and found myself looking up whether women tend to notice erections and information regarding pre-ejaculation. Now I found the former easy to read up on personal accounts and the latter almost non-existant. Everything pre-emission related I could find concerned directly with either sexual activity/foreplay, or pregnancy/STD scares.
From my limited sexual education, I understand that men pre-emittiting (a better term since for most men–boys it tends to leak rather than eject) is quite common, especially with wet dreams and pre-sexuality sexual activity, such as boys going through puberty (possibly without erection?).

Now the most useful article I could find was on askmen,
The Truth About Unexpected Emotional Erections
https://au.askmen.com/dating/love_tip/u ... tions.html
Which made me feel a little more normal, but still without my background of hearing experiences from reddit – I would feel very much like it wasn't normal, or that I had a terribly misplaced sexuality. But the emphasis on the article is significant life events, curiously for more established relationships (baby, marriage) than our budding fledgling relationship.

Contemporaneously, I was in conversation with an anon pal on a chatroom and interestingly he, M18 (with similar religious values) experiences the exact same tendencies with his girlfriend. I also did some polling on mastodon, and while a small sample size (and forgetting to ask the poller to verify if he had a penis physically capable of erecting), with 6 voters, I got 1 'yes often' response to "Anyone had an emotional erection?", and 2 'Yes's, add in my 'yes often' and the potential 3 nos being women – its seems actually relatively common!

Sorry the preamble was just an excuse for me to be verbose. -- I can't believe how under talked about this is, given that it is a potential source of embarrassment in all stages of a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship!

Question
Is it normal I get an erection (and sometimes pre-ejaculate) when engaging emotionally with my girl, like when I asked her to be my girlfriend, held hands for the first time and just telling her she's amazing? Is she likely to notice and think I have more devious intents?
Sam W
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Re: Unexpected Emotional Erections (and expected)

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi ftspm,

The truth is, people get erections from all sorts of physical or emotional stimuli. That's where concepts like "no reason boners" come from. The part of our brains that interprets sexual arousal also interprets a bunch of other emotions, and that can lead to erections in moments when people aren't aroused. You're right that you're far from the first guy to experience this; if you look at this article you can see other people describing the same (or similar) things, including getting an erection just from holding hands or looking at a partner: https://www.scarleteen.com/article/advi ... anguage=es.

As far as how your girlfriend might react to this, have you told her this is something you experience?
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Re: Unexpected Emotional Erections (and expected)

Unread post by Heather »

Hey there, welcome to the boards. Sorry to confuse you!

We don't assign things like that to any aspect of anyone's sexual responses -- we don't call them physical or emotional or spiritual or intellectual, etc. -- because much of the time, responses like erection (be that of the penis or clitoris) or orgasm are about more than one of those things and other things, too. Much of the time they're about a combination of a whole bunch of things. We talk about that across the site in a lot of places. Sexuality and human sexual response are rarely only physical or genital: they're very complex and almost always involve a wide array of influences and players.

I think one of the troubles here was you were looking for something we don't talk about specifically as a problem or a weird or unusual thing because it isn't. Getting sexually excited from romantic or other emotional feelings is one of the most common human experiences there is, especially over the last few hundred years in Western culture since the romantic came about and then as the romantic and the erotic became very intertwined for a lot of people. But even when emotional feelings aren't romantic, sexual responses happening as some result of our emotions -- all kinds, even including the less pleasant ones -- isn't uncommon.

So, nope, it's not at all weird or unusual to get erections or have other sexual responses with emotional stuff -- especially such big emotional stuff! -- like you're describing! That happens to a lot of people all the time, like your casual polling suggested. (Hint: this also likely has a lot to do with why it's so easy to get laid as a guest at weddings.) I'd say that more times that not emotional things like you are describing are in the mix for sexual responses for people who particularly also find their sexualities are very intertwined with romantic feelings for them.
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ftspm
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Re: Unexpected Emotional Erections (and expected)

Unread post by ftspm »

Sam W wrote: You're right that you're far from the first guy to experience this; if you look at this article ... https://www.scarleteen.com/article/advi ... anguage=es.
Yeah I had found that article already and it was somewhat useful. I guess I understand Heather's response that you don't define those fuzzy borders of physical/emotional/spiritual, but in my case I am very aware of when physicality is a significant part or a minor part (where observing beauty becomes lust etc.), and I just was hoping to find more experiences of the 'I told her I liked her voice' and got 'excited', which are in my view more emotional than physical.
Sam W wrote: As far as how your girlfriend might react to this, have you told her this is something you experience?
No, from my basic search I got the general gist that women don't tend to notice erections under normal clothing in normal circumstances if they aren't looking for one. And in my experience this makes sense since I've only ever come across an erection on another male once in my 23 years. So I guess, since I'm confident that we are on the same page regarding physical boundaries and the role of sexuality, so in the off chance she did notice I don't think she'd find it concerning or offensive in a way she wouldn't talk to me about it.
Heather wrote:
We don't assign things like that to any aspect of anyone's sexual responses -- we don't call them physical or emotional or spiritual or intellectual,...

So, nope, it's not at all weird or unusual to get erections or have other sexual responses with emotional stuff -- especially such big emotional stuff! -- like you're describing! That happens to a lot of people all the time, like your casual polling suggested.
Thanks for your response, it is helpful. As I said above I understand the reasoning for not using these labels in general advice to mass audience, but I, while agreeing there are fuzzy boundaries and there's probably no such thing as 100% emotional and certainly not 100% physical, I do think they are useful labels for me personally, especially since I see lust, desiring what you can't have for selfish needs (or can't have yet) as morally objectionable, whereas attraction, beauty, desire (& love) are all good and natural responses that can be used to build up your partner.
ftspm
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Re: Unexpected Emotional Erections (and expected)

Unread post by ftspm »

"So are you ready for a little bit of good news in all of this? What we know from research and studies -- and plain old livin' ... grow older, the reflex erections will become less frequent and direct touching will become more necessary to produce erections. But what you’re experiencing is a normal part of the maturation process, and in time you will notice that erections begin to occur during what you would consider more “appropriate” or wanted times."

I did find this part of the article a bit subjective. From what I've heard male sexuality wanes a little bit at some point of young adult maturation, and then again maybe a little bit he gets quite old, but for the most part the sexual drive stays fairly high throughout his life.
If this was true and what I thought is also true, I've have expected to notice some change by now at 23, as I remember it being very uncomfortable from 14-19.
Sam W
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Re: Unexpected Emotional Erections (and expected)

Unread post by Sam W »

With that section of the article, we're referring specifically to "reflex erections" AKA the ones that happen at times that don't always make sense. The general consensus from the research that has been done is that those erections become less frequent as people age, though that doesn't mean they stop entirely. That's less a subjective statement and more on based on the available data.

In terms of sex drive through the life course, that's one of those things that is super variable. We do generally notice people of all genders having a spike in it during puberty, but a persons desire for sex is likely to go up and down to some degree throughout their lives. Too, while some guys do find they have a high desire for sex or get turned on easily, other guys may have less interest, or no interest, in it.

I do think what might be causing you to not find exactly what you're looking for is that, while everyone defines feelings like "lust" or "love" according to their own experiences and values, most sex ed resources see lust as part of sexual attraction (and as something that can be part of love, as I mention here: https://www.scarleteen.com/article/advi ... vs_lusting), and treating other people selfishly or badly because of your sexual desires as being closee to objectification or entitlement.
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