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How long can the average man stay erect?

This question is literally one that occupies the minds of nearly everyone simply because no one knows the exact answer. Just for that asking how long can the average man stay erect does pose a challenge which should not go unanswered. In this article we shall attempt to navigate through the milieu of information to arrive at a satisfactory answer.

But first things first

Let’s first discuss the various stages of an erection which happens to be three in number that consist of the:

  • Placcid penis: a penile pose that exemplifies the “normalcy” state of the penis (without stimulation). In this condition the penis is soft and flabby due to the equal amounts of blood that flow to and from the penis.
  • Swelling penis: here, sexual stimulation causes brain and nerves alike to jolt blood vessels along with other tissues into action to force more blood into the penis that that flowing away from it. At this point, the penis begins to swell and grow bigger.
  • Engorged penis: with strong continuous flow of blood to the penis, it progressively becomes engorged with blood and appears erect permitting the sexual act to take place

Can this process be interrupted?

Both physical and psychological problems can hinder the occurrence of an erection or to allow it to maintain its firm and erect condition in order to perform the sexual act.

Sometimes also the penis can, of its own volition become erect for no apparent reason except that it does assume an erect posture. This happening can be quite embarrassing and awkward to say the least but suffice to say that they do occur so that you are warned about it.

More annoying but factual (be warned!) is that despite all steps taken to smother the presence of the engorged organ, (pushing it down between the legs, adjusting the pants, bow down and pull the shirt down over it etc.), it persists so that the only option available is to visit the bathroom and let it subside.

Timeframe for sex and erections

To be succinct, no universally accepted time has been set for how long sexual activities last or for how long a penis should remain engorged and erect. However it can be pointed out here that an erection is not needed for a person to have an orgasm.

Normally an erection may stay active for several minutes or up to about half an hour, but these times can also greatly vary because of the many factors that may affect the duration of each erection.

Similarly every individual is different from other people and it’s usually the case that some would have long lasting erections and therefore regarded as either being too long or far too short.

 Sometimes there are people who find it difficult to get an erection, those who have difficulty in getting firm erections and still others who find it difficult to maintain their erections long enough to enjoy satisfactory sex.

These situations show that either erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation (PE) are present and active.

Sometimes the dreaded priapism condition takes place even though sexual activity is not present. This is a condition where a person not involved in sex has a prolonged erection. This condition can be triggered by many things including medicines, drugs or even an injury and can cause permanent tissue damage.

Factors that hamper erections

Even though the subject of erections and how long they can last, it’s also prudent to discuss the different factors that can prevent erections from taking place. In doing so we will familiarize ourselves not only with how long erections last but also why erections may not happen at all.

By adopting this approach we are led to the very next aspect of the topic as to what should be done to address this problem of erectile dysfunction, the main cause for the failure to have and to keep an erection.

Many factors can and do interfere with the process of achieving an erection some of which are listed below such as:

  • Tension
  • Distrust
  • Preoccupations
  • Tiredness
  • Inferiority complex
  • Recreational drugs and alcohol

However these are only the causes of the one main factor that underlies the reason why many people are unable to achieve and maintain an erection for satisfactory sex performance.  We all know the main factor as erectile dysfunction.

In addition to these temporary causes of erections, some medical issues such as surgery may also give rise to short-term or long-term erectile dysfunction.

People, who for example undergo surgery for prostate cancer stand the risk of developing erectile dysfunction or ED although they may still be cured and win back their sexual function.

Erectile dysfunction

This condition also known as ED is the main culprit against having and maintaining erections and its also a pandemic that affects about 30 million people worldwide.

You should know this condition but if not, it’s when a person is unable to achieve or maintain an erection for taking part in the sex act.

The erectile dysfunction condition becomes serious when your erection troubles are an ongoing issue and there are a host of other factors that can aggravate you ED condition further some of which are enumerated below:

  • Over 50 years of age
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Obesity
  • No exercise
  • High cholesterol levels

Premature ejaculation

This is another condition that can prevent individuals from enjoying satisfactory sex and there are also factors that cause it which are mainly psychological or of the mind. These include anxiety, stress or just plain inexperience and medical causes such as health issues or drug use.

The good news is that PE can go away by itself or can be medically treated through the application of therapy, different sexual methods and topical drugs.


This condition has nothing to do with sexual arousal, meaning that it can occur when the sufferer is not engaged in sexual foreplay before sex especially after taking treatment such as blood pressure drugs, antidepressants or ED drugs.

It should be noted that this type of erection which can continue for 4 to 6 hours can cause irreversible damage to penile tissue and is very painful. Immediate medical treatment should be sought without delay.

Bottom line

While it’s important to know the answer to our question of how long can the average man can stay erect, it’s perhaps even more important to get a glimpse and knowledge of other aspects that can impede this “staying erect” query. It’s really not problematic for someone to get an erection and for how long he can keep it that way because that’s precisely what is wanted. The more important concern is to avoid factors that can interfere with getting an erection in the first place and I believe that’s what this article has done.

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