Why do I get aroused around guys?

Last updated on July 21, 2021


Mr. Hamilton,

I finally have the courage to talk to someone about something I have been struggling with probably since I first started puberty. I struggle with being aroused around guys. Any guy who I think is even slightly attractive, there’s a 90% chance I will become aroused. I know I am not gay nor do I desire to be gay, but I always feel like I am gay because of this.

I desire to one day get married to a beautiful woman, and I also desire a close friendship with a male like Jonathan and David’s relationship in the Bible. I don’t have any close guy friends so when I see a guy who I think is cool and someone who I could potentially be friends with, my body confuses the desire for friendship for something sexual and then I become aroused. I know that if I make friends with guys and just get to know them that my body won’t confuse the ideas anymore; however, most of the time I am afraid to be friends with other dudes because I don’t want to end up being heavily aroused and feel like I am gay, even though I know I am not.

Also, every time this happens I feel like I am doing something wrong or sinful although it is actually the contrary. Could you please help me understand and know what to do?



What I notice is that you are blending several ideas into a confusing jumble.

First, young men get aroused all the time. You have frequent erections and not all of them are connected with anything in particular. What happens is that we focus on the events that happen when they should not. Thus, when your penis gets erect when speaking in front of the class, you are very reluctant to make presentations again. When your penis gets erect when you are around other guys, you know that it is the wrong time. You are afraid of what it might indicate and afraid of getting taunted by the other guys. It is these fears that are leading you to avoid making male friends, even though you badly want friends.

Second, young men tend to be visually driven. You see a guy you think is cool and is a potential friend. My question for you is: how can you tell, just by looks, that a guy is cool or a potential friend? I know lots of good-looking guys who are bums, cruel, or fools. Just because they inherited attractive genes, it doesn’t tell you a thing about their personalities. David and Jonathan’s relationship was not based on their looks but rather that their personalities blended well. “Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (I Samuel 18:1).

A third problem is that young men have a strong tendency to sexualize everything. It is the old problem that when you have a hammer, everything is a nail. Teenage men develop sexually and the result is that they go through a period of seeing everything through a sexual lens.

You’ve developed some habits in recent years, so now is the time to break the bad ones and replace them with better ones. Go hang out with other guys, but pick guys who you believe have good character. Perhaps at first, you will suffer from ill-timed erections, but ignore them and focus on enjoying the company of other people. Don’t judge yourself or others by your bodies’ reactions. What you will find is that quite quickly things will calm down as you don’t treat every relationship as a potential sexual one.


Thanks! This helps a lot. 

I know I shouldn’t only be friends with people based on their looks, but one of the reasons I do so when seeking close friendships is because I greatly care about what I look like. I am into fashion and hygiene so when I see other guys who know how to dress with style and take care of themselves like I do that is a reason for me to want to be friends with them. I know I can be friends with all kinds of different people but I desire close friendships with guys who look or seem to be more like me.

Is it bad to want to be friends with someone because I like the way they look? Or are you just saying it isn’t good to only seek friendships with people based on looks alone, because their character is most important?


God stated, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain” (Proverbs 31:30). The context is pointed to women, but the principle expressed can apply equally to men. Eloquent manners can hide the true character of a person. And beauty is only temporary since everyone gets old eventually. You are measuring people by a standard that doesn’t show who the real person is.

You started out stating you don’t have many male friends. You blamed this on your concerns about having erections around other guys. But I’m pointing out that you are using a shallow measurement for choosing potential friends; thus, you are eliminating too many guys before you even get to know them. I suspect the few you do befriend aren’t that close of friends because everything is based on external looks. Yet, you long for a deep personal friendship and such are based on the characters of the people involved.