Nearly half of men in the UK are suffering from impotence. Although it is seldom talked about, erectile dysfunction is much more common than we might think. Many people with penises closely link their masculinity to having and keeping erections. But what exactly is an erection, and how long should it last on average?
What is an erection?
An erection is the result of a particular mechanism which happens in your body. After a stimulus, whether physical, such as masturbation, or psychic, such as imagining what might excite you, the penis swells with blood, thus increasing the size of your penis. The rigidity of the reproductive member occurs when the swelling is at its maximum. The foreskin is then retracted and intercourse can begin.
The last phase of the erection is called detumescence, when the penis unswells after sexual arousal. The penis then returns to its normal shape and size. Depending on age and physical condition, the erectile process can occur again.
How long does an erection last?
An erection does not have a specific duration. It usually lasts for the same amount of time as sexual intercourse. And because pleasure varies from person to person, some men can have an erection that lasts anywhere from a few minutes to almost an hour.
The erection also depends on the man's physical state. It can dissipate before the final phase, ejaculation, depending on your lifestyle: alcohol, smoking, lack of sport... With age, it also happens that the erection is less rigid or lasts less long than before because the blood flow is lower.