Spontaneous Erections Brought To You by Apple?

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Just as I love snarky comments on Director’s cuts of movies, I also love Gizmodo live blogs of Apple events. One, because although I’ve owned iPods and iPhones forever, I am new to the macbook and am increasingly in love with Apple. Two, because the guys who liveblog always say a few random things that kind of sort of make my day.

Let’s take the above example from Giz’s Apple event liveblog today. Given how frequently we receive questions about spontaneous erections over at Kinsey Confidential, I should probably give them their due here at MSP as well. Let’s discuss.

What are spontaneous erections? (Or as Jason calls them, “inappropriate erections”?)

They are erections that happen – typically to guys at or around puberty – at random times, like when guys are excited, scared, nervous or just walking down the hallway at school. They are very difficult to keep down. That’s what he’s getting an with “inappropriate” – it’s not that the erections themselves are inappropriate but that their timing couldn’t be worse. Hence, how a lot of middle school aged guys carry their notebooks in front of their crotch as they walk down the hallway and how they sometimes dance a little further away than you’d like if they’re feeling embarrassed about their protrusion. Then there are the guys who want you to know they have an erection. Those are the guys many middle school girls run from on the dance floor and warn each other about.

What can guys do about spontaneous erections?

Usually nothing. Guys sometimes try to think distracting thoughts or about things that are visually and sexually appealing. Sometimes this helps. Other times, the anxiety makes it worse. With time, spontaneous erections go away on their own.

Do guys ejaculate when this happens?

Rarely. Every now and then guys will describe spontaneous ejaculation that can occur even if they are not fully erect. Often this occurs in conjunction with extreme anxiety. I’ll sometimes hear from adult men who spontaneously ejaculate when they are stressed about an exam, public speaking, work presentation or something similar. This is different than getting spontaneous erections. Most men have had spontaneous erections. Most men will not spontaneously ejaculate. The former is par for the pubertal (and sometimes adult) course. The latter can be treated with therapy or medication (talk to your doc if you spontaneously ejaculate).

Why would Jason be worried about a 13 year old getting erect at an Apple event?

Because it’s Apple. And Steve Jobs was expected to make an appearance (which he did). And because they were expected to announce big things (which they also did). Who wouldn’t get excited?

[Gizmodo liveblogs Apple event]

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.