Priapism is a medical condition, in which the erect penis or clitoris does not return to its flaccid state, despite the absence of both physical and psychological stimulation, within four hours. Priapism is considered a medical emergency, which should receive medical treatment Early treatment can be crucial for a full recovery with full sexual function.
How long is too long to be hard? The duration of a normal erection before it is classifiable as priapism is still controversial. Ongoing penile erections for more than 6 hours can be classified as priapism.
Priaprism should not be confused with prolonged erections and sustained arousal attained through sexual techniques such as ejaculation control. Erections naturally have some ebb and flow, the hardness changing over the course of arousal, especially if arousal is maintained for hours.
The name comes from the Greek god Priapus, a fertility god often represented with a disproportionately large and permanent erection.