Have you ever heard the expression “the shoemaker’s kids run barefoot”? Well just because a guy is a dude doesn’t mean he knows exactly how his own equipment works! That is why we have put together an anatomy lesson on how a man has an erection.
It all starts with the male sex organ, called the penis (aka: thingy, wee-wee, pee-pee). The penis contains veins, nerves, and arteries specifically:
At the end of the shaft is where the head (glans) is located.
The meatus is the tiny opening at the tip of the head where urine and semen are discharged.
The shaft, is the longest part of the penis.
Inside the shaft are two cylinder-shaped chambers called the corpora cavernosa, which run the length of the penis and contain a labyrinth of blood vessels and sinuses (cavities).
Contained within the corpora cavernosa above the urethra is erectile tissue, two main arteries and several veins and nerves.
The urethra, is the channel in which urine and sperm stream, which runs along the underside of the corpora cavernosa in the shaft.
How an Erection Occurs
Believe it or not, an erection begins in the brain after physical or mental stimulation causes the nerves in the brain to send a chemical message to the nerves in the penis telling the penile blood vessels to relax and open so that blood is able to move freely into the penis.
When the penis fills with blood flow, high pressure traps the blood within both corpora cavernosa. This then causes the penis to expand, enlarge and harden into an erection.
An erection reverses when the inflow of blood stops after climax, opening outflow channels to allow the blood to flow back out causing the penis to become soft.
How Ejaculation Occurs
Ejaculation is the release of semen at climax. This is triggered when the man reaches orgasm (a critical level of excitement).
Remember, sexual stimulation, either physical or mental, causes nerves in the penis to send chemical messages or impulses to the brain where other chemical messages are sent back to the penis. When excitement peaks it causes ejaculation.
There are 2 phases of Ejaculation:
In phase one, the vas deferens, which are the tubes which store and transport sperm from the testes, contract to squeeze sperm toward the back of the urethra. The seminal vesicles also release secretions into the back of the urethra.
During phase two, the posterior urethra senses the secretions within it (during orgasm) and sends signals to the spinal cord which sends powerful signals to the muscles at the base of penis to vigorously contract every 0.8 seconds and force the semen out of the penis.
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