The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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I am a 16 year old uncircumsized male. I have been having some problems with erections, and they can be very embarassing. My most embarassing experience was in a public shower, when I got an erection and didn't notice. Is there anything I can do to limit the amount of erections I get, when I get them, or how to control them?

Jason (age 16)

Erections come because your brain is trying to learn what when is the proper time to have them. At first, it triggers an erection almost at random. Your response to these erections helps the brain narrow down when erections are appropriate. Thus an erection in your pants is very uncomfortable and your brain learns that it isn't a good time. Erections where others can see you is embarrassing, so the brain learns to avoid these as well.

It may be hard to believe, but by the time you are in your twenties, your brain will have the timing down. It is not that you never have an erection at an inappropriate time, but that they will become less and less frequent.

The real problem is not the erections, it is the teasing that you get because it is happening. There are a lot of teenagers who enjoy teasing someone else when they think they have the upper hand. If you act as if something bothers you, they will pounce on it and give you a hard time. The strange thing is that people do this even when they have exactly the same problem you do. Every boy has problems with unwanted erections. So the first thing you have to realize is that any ribbing you are getting is from people who have had the same thing happen to them.

Second, it is hard to tease someone who isn't bothered. If someone teases you about having an erection and you just glanced down and say, "How about that, so I am," the nonchalant reaction will take a lot of steam out of their attack.

Third, realize that men are visually oriented. If one guy gets an erection, you can be sure that others who notice it will also end up with erections. It is hard to tease someone about something that is happening to themselves at the same time.

Limiting erections comes with practice. There is a feedback loop where the brain triggers an erection, but the erection starts the brain thinking about sexy situations, which then strengthens the erection. Most guys eventually learn to distract themselves when they feel an erection coming on at a bad time. Start solving a math problem in your head and the erection will quickly fade because you broke the cycle.