A physical response, in which the erectile tissues of the clitoris or penis is engorged with blood and becomes more rigid. Both men and women have erectile tissue in their genitals, both men and women can experience erections. Erection pulls the skin of the genitals more taut around the shaft of the penis or clitoris, exposing more nerve endings and heightening sensation.
Contrary to popular “blue balls” myth, erections can come and go painlessly – and “losing” an erection does not need to end a sexual encounter. Erections are also not an on/off switch – most men experience a range of erectile stages, each with their own pleasures.
Our cultural obsession with erectile disorder has the uninvited effect of making many men ashamed of becoming less erect, even if they are highly aroused. This sometimes ends sexual encounters prematurely, shaming both partners and causing resentment. Embracing all stages of erection – including the aroused but not erect penis- can greatly extend sexual pleasure and take the pressure off men to be constantly hard when aroused.
To learn more about how to maintain and erection and control ejaculation, get a complete guided tour of erotic anatomy with sex therapist Cyndi Darnell’s Atlas of Erotic Anatomy*
* please note links on this page marked with an asterisk are affiliate links, and if you choose to make a purchase we will receive a small percentage as thanks for the referral. We only link to resources we know, trust and love!
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