Unwanted erections are as natural as they are commonplace. And there’s very little you can do about them…
Another morning, another erection. You look down at your crotch and ask yourself the same question you’ve asked yourself a thousand times before: Just. Why?!
Well, we’ve got the answer for you.
Unwanted erections come in many different forms and occur when you’re in many different situations, but perhaps the most common of them is the so-called ‘morning wood/morning glory/morning stiffy/morning boner’. Whatever you chose to call it, they look the same – hard.
The Science Bit
Waking up with an erection is actually referred to as Nocturnal Penile Tumescene (NPT). Basically, it means that you wake up with an erection because of what happens in your sleep, or in your REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep stage more precisely. You know, the part where you do all the dreaming.
During the daytime, your brain releases a chemical called noradrenaline, which is a hormone that suppresses unwanted erections. While you’re asleep, however, your brain releases much less of it – and as testosterone levels in your body rise during the night, erections grow. And BAM, you wake up with morning glory (my preferred name for it.)
What Does It All Mean?
So, if you do wake up with an erection, here’s what it means:
🍆 You have a penis – Yup.
🍆 You have an erection – Again, yup.
🍆 Your penis is healthy and functional – Good to know*, huh?
(*Worth noting here that if you don’t regularly wake up with morning glory it doesn’t necessarily mean that your penis is unhealthy either. If you do have any concerns around erections, however, then head over to the good folks over at Brook and let them set some of your fears to rest).
And here’s what some people think it means but it actually doesn’t necessarily mean at all:
🍆 You were having a sex dream: I mean, maybe you were, but then also, maybe you weren’t. If so, good for you. But don’t feel bad if your thoughts were strictly PG.
🍆 You have a high sex drive or libido: it doesn’t mean that at all, there’s really no proven link there
🍆 You’re aroused by whoever you’re sleeping near: maybe you are, but your morning glory has absolutely nothing to do with that. Believe.
🍆 You find your pillows sexy – I’d put this in the ‘highly unlikely category’.
🍆 You’re a fan of 90s Britpop band Oasis – they released an album titled ‘What’s The Story Morning Glory?’ which a lot of people believe is referencing the very condition we’re talking about. Lyrics include the phrase: “What’s the story morning glory? I need a little time to wake up, wake up”. Probably best to have a listen and make your own mind up on this one.
🍆 You have a penis and are therefore expected to be horny and want sex at all times – this is a very dangerous gender stereotype that simply isn’t true. Just because you’re a man you should NEVER be expected to want or have sex. It’s all down to personal preference, nothing more, nothing less.
Sure, waking up with an erection can be awkward sometimes. I mean, it really depends on where you are. On the couch at your nan’s house? Awkward. In your own bedroom with the door shut? Not awkward.
Either way it’s important to remember that it’s perfectly normal. While it may often go undiscussed, your parents know this happens, and your friends know it – irrespective of their gender.
In sum, there’s really nothing you should be embarrassed of, or ashamed about. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
First thing in the morning is, of course, not the only time we can get an erection that we don’t want. They can happen at ANY TIME and in ANY PLACE. This is more likely during the puberty years, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily leave unwanted erections behind the moment you turn 20. Personally I’m still prone to getting them if I sit too near to a wheel arch onboard a bus. Just sayin’.