I love boners! Besides being the sponsors of many kinds of sex, they also have an amazing sense of spontaneity, making a boring situation like checking a book out of the library or waking up at a slumber party tons of awkward fun. Here’s to you, Mr. Bonerson, and 10 of your most wonderous factoids.
1. We know erections are all about blood flow, but where does it flow? Why, into the corpus cavernosum and the corpus spongiosum, of corpus. These two tissue avenues, which extend back into the body, stiffen as they engorge, providing your second-in-command with the leverage he needs to get the job done.
2. On average, an erect penis is five to six inches long.
3. Though it’s typical for Mr. Beanpole to get bigger when erect, not all erect penises get much bigger (sorry).
4. Circa 1931, Theodore Seuss Geisel (that’s Dr. Seuss, to you) illustrated The Pocket Book of Boners, which featured 22 illustrations of boners by the famous children’s book author. While this might make you look at the tall, fuzzy-topped trees in The Lorax a little sideways, don’t alert the elders yet—back in 1931, “boner” was actually a common synonym for “blooper,” as in a humorous mistake made during a broadcast.
I know—I got my hopes up, too—but think about all the new context possibilities like “I only watch America’s Funniest Home Videos for the boners” or “The news anchor made the best boner tonight.”
5. Morning Wood, aka waking-with-an-uncontrollable-stiffy, aka nocturnal penile tumescence, is totally normal! But why, why must you pop up at all the wrong a.m. moments such as when out camping with the parents? Well, Old Morning Glory is actually triggered by the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep cycle, which spurs activity in a part of your brain that also happens to trigger the release of nitric oxide by your penis’s nerve fibers, resulting in a tent-pitch at 6 a.m. (or any time, really, that you’re asleep).
Morning Wood isn’t associated with your dreams. So if you rise—and I mean really rise—and shine after dreaming of Mitt Romney, don’t worry: it doesn’t mean you need to throw yourself off a cliff or—worse—vote for him. In fact, a 2005 Journal of Sexual Medicine article says that your Sunrise Salute is just nature’s way of keep your tubes clean by flushing your erectile-pipes with both blood and oxygen, two things that are sorely lacking in a penis that’s suffering from erectile dysfunction.
Annoyingly enough, most of us have got places to go in the morning, so how can you get rid of your awkward third wheel? While common advice includes “Take matters into your own hand” or “Take a cold shower,” others are “Tuck it into your belt” and the pessimistic “Stop complaining about your boners because pretty soon you won’t have any at all!”
I’ve always pondered—however do you pee with Morning Wood without taking out an eye or defiling the wall? Pop a squat and push it down to aim, says the Internet. Or put your hands against the wall and get your lean on. Or sing “I’m a Little Teapot” with accompanying motions. I favor the latter.
7. The opposite of “erection” is “detumescence” (as in “We couldn’t do it last night because he had a detumescence”). Just rolls off the tongue.
8. The ultimate proof that erections aren’t always about sex: little fetuses can get tiny erections in utero.
9. “Priapism” is a medical condition during which you suffer from a painful, prolonged erection for at least four hours despite the absence of physical or psychological stimulation. Here’s lookin’ at you, Bob Dole.
10. Though I think I’ve done a fabulous job at working in some key erection slang thus far, other gems include “woody”, “hard-on,” “jimber” or “chub,” as in “She was so hot, I popped a chub.” Charming.