We know the penis is a sexual organ that can get erect and ejaculate, but do you know that the penis has a very complex anatomy? An erection is a very fine-tuned thing, just like a car, and one little thing can break it down!
The anatomy of a penis:
The anatomy of a penis is complex and intriguing. The longest part of the penis is the shaft. At the end of the shaft is the head, or the glans. At the tip of the head, there is an opening that allows for urine and semen to come out. This is called the meatus.
Inside of the penis, there are two cylindrical-shaped chambers that are called the corpora cavernosa, which run the length of the entire penis. These have a large, intricate maze of tissues, blood vessels, and pockets. The urethra runs side by side to the corpora cavernosa, which is the tube that urine and semen go through. This is housed in the spongy tissues called the corpus spongiosum or erectile tissue.
There are also two main arteries that run in each corpora cavernosa, and veins as well. Nerves also run through, which relay messages from other parts of your body. If you ever feel a twitching when you are getting hard, this is your body helping you to get an erection!
So what does the penis do, and how does an erection work?
A penis ejaculates sperm to aid in the act of pregnancy and sexual intercourse. Erections start with the brain by becoming stimulated and relaying messages to your nerves and blood vessels in the penis. This stimulation could be something seen, thought, heard, or even a touch. The arteries in the penis will relax, allowing more blood flow in, and the veins will close off. When that rush of blood reaches the penis, the pressure in it is trapped within the corpora cavernosa, which allows the penis to expand and maintain an erection. Once that blood flow influx slows down and dies off, the penis will become soft again. That typically happens after ejaculation. An erect penis is necessary to have a penetrative, penis in the vagina or penis in the anus intercourse.
What exactly is ejaculation?
The vas deferens, which are tubes, squeeze sperm to push it from the testes to the urethra. There are seminal vesicles to release fluid in that area. When the urethra senses the sperm mixture, at the height of your sexual pleasure or excitement, it will send a sign to the muscles at the base of your penis, which will then contract with a lot of power! This then forces the semen to ejaculate out of the penis with your orgasm or climax. Ejaculation is usually the end of sexual intercourse, though some men are able to hold their erection after ejaculation.
What can cause someone to ejaculate?
Many things can cause ejaculation. Primarily, friction and sexual stimulation will cause this ejaculation. Surprisingly, ejaculation is a reflex reaction that is controlled by your central nervous system and is triggered by a higher level of excitement or sexual pleasure. Ejaculation itself has two phases. It starts with phase one, where the vas deferens will contract, pushing the sperm towards the base of the penis and seminal vesicle, allowing it to release the secretions that make semen. Then, the second phase will contract the muscles quickly, allowing the semen to ejaculate. This can be all in one go, or take up to 5 different spurts to get it all out. Some men ejaculate much easier than others, and some may prematurely ejaculate. There is also pre-cum, which can have some seminal fluid or sperm in it as well. Pre-cum is very normal in most men.
Why would someone be unable to get or maintain erection?
Erectile dysfunction does affect some penis owners. This is when something is standing in the way of your body processing the act of getting or maintaining an erection. There are a lot of different causes of erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunctions can occur in straight, gay, or any sexual orientation.
Among the many reasons you may struggle with an erection, some of them include but are not limited to:
Your body is unable to send the right signals down to your penis. This can be caused by neurological conditions or disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or multiple sclerosis. This disrupts your body’s ability to signal your sexual desire and arousal to your system, creating the lack of erection or difficulty of maintaining an erection.
You may not have great blood circulation! If the blood flow to a person’s penis is too low, it will not function quite the way it should. Things such as heart conditions, high blood pressure or cholesterol, and even diabetes can make an erection difficult to maintain.
If you have had radiation treatment for your prostate or bladder, your erectile tissue could be damaged.
How can you treat erectile dysfunction?
It’s believed that almost 30 million men in the United States alone have ED (erectile dysfunction). It can feel very embarrassing to talk about the inability to get or maintain an erection, especially with your partner, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone, and that many people are struggling with this.
One of the first steps to treating erectile dysfunction is to figure out the reason why you are having a hard time getting an erection. This also can be the reason you have a hard time keeping an erection. Once you know what’s causing it, you have endless treatment options available! Have a conversation with your primary care doctor as well. Th3ey are there to help you.
Just like vaginas, penises are very intricate things that work in specific ways. Just as a vagina gets wet, a penis gets erect. And, just as a vagina can have issues with dryness, a penis can have issues with erection. Remember that our bodies are interesting and love to work in their own ways.