What’s Up with the Male Erection? – The Excitement Phase

When it comes to sexual exploration, men figured out that sex is awesome and we like it, but we kind of stopped there. So what’s really going on with our bodies before/during/after sex?

The first phase in the male erection, and subsequently the orgasm, is the “Excitement Phase.”  That familiar tingle you get when someone desirable walks by or when that hottie you’ve been dancing with leans into just right.  That kind of excitement is key for any sexual organs and helps get the mojo flowing.


The Excitement Phase


We have covered Vasocongestion in the past, so make sure to check out the article.  In a quick summation, is a swelling of body tissues caused by increase blood flow and blood pressure.  Most common occurrences for vasocongestion includes menstruation, sexual arousal, REM sleep, strong emotions, illnesses and allergic reactions.

Vasocongestion responsible for blood filling the penis for an erection as well as responsible for giving you blue balls when ejaculation is hindered.



After vasocongestion occurs the penis will become fully erect. Signals are sent along your spine through the autonomic nervous system (ANS), releasing nitric oxide into the bloodstream which is essential for maintaining the erection.  The penis then fills with blood to achieve it’s engorged state.

Something you may not have known is the blood is called “Venous Blood” which is a deoxygenated blood, and kind of gives a whole new meaning to “trouser snake”.  Wikipedia comically notes that the size, shape, curve, and angle of the erection in humans varies considerably.

Increased Heart Rate

The heart is essential for love and an erection.  Your heart rate increases during the excitement phase as the catalyst to all of your physiological systems.

PRO SEX TIP: A cool side effect of this increased heart rate is that during sex your heart rate will be at the same levels it would be at as if you were working out at a gym.  Making sex a potential outlet for some much needed exercise.

Testicular Elevation and Tumescence

While not necessarily “news” I’m always surprised to find how many people don’t realize that a male’s testicles are constantly shifting and adjusting within the scrotum.  Mostly to keep the spermatozoa at the ideal state.  However this function has more significance during sex.  For the excitement phase the testicles will begin to elevate in preparation of ejaculation.

PRO SEX TIP:  Want to last a bit longer?  The scrotum tightens when you are about to orgasm, if you gently pull the scrotum “away” from the testicles creating extra space you can slow the need to ejaculate that’s caused by testicular elevation.  This is called a “Scrotal Pull” and feels best when your partner does it for you.

Nipple Erection

Yep, male nipples get erect just like female nipples do.  This is largely due to the release of everyone’s favorite hormone, oxytocin.  There isn’t any “greater” function to nipples becoming erect.  Some experts believe it is a signal showing the sexual arousal of one’s partner.

PRO SEX TIP:  Guys, it’s not “gay” to have your nipples played with. Men can benefit from nipple stimulation in the same way women do to enhance pleasure during a sexual encounter.


If the above information wasn’t too much excitement for you to handle, make sure to check back to Condom Depot TV later this week as we analyze more phases of the male erection.  Want more sex education?  Check out June’s #AdultSexEdMonth on Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out the previous articles as well: “Plateau Phase”, “Orgasm Phase”, “Resolution Phase

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