The duration of an erection depends on several factors, including age, overall health, and sexual activity.
Studies suggest that a penile erection can normally last anywhere from a few minutes to about half an hour. On average, men have five erections a night while they’re sleeping, each lasting about 25 to 35 minutes.
What is an erection?
An erection is the most obvious sign of sexual arousal for those with penises, and it’s important for healthy sex life. It’s a physical response to chemical reactions in the body.
Erections are complicated, each one requires your heart, lungs, hormones, nerves, blood vessels, and mood to work together. One missed reaction in this chain can lead to erectile dysfunction or other problems with your sexual functioning.
How do erections work?
During sexual arousal, tiny blood vessels in the penis dilate, increasing blood flow. Three tubes of spongy tissue (known as the corpus cavernosum and corpus spongiosum) fill with blood, and an erection occurs.
After ejaculation, the extra blood drains away, and the penis reverts to its flaccid size and appearance. Then your penis enters a rest or refractory period before it can get hard again.
Types of erections
There are three different types of erections:
- Reflexive erections happen spontaneously, without thinking about sex.
- Psychogenic erections occur in response to sexual stimuli, memory, or fantasy.
- Nocturnal erections happen during sleep.
What affects erections?
Erection time is a range because no one has sat and timed thousands of men to try to figure out exactly how long the average erection lasts, down to the second. It would be a difficult study to undertake because many variables can affect how long an erection lasts, including:
- Health problems.
- Side effects of medications.
- Level of sexual stimulation or arousal.
- Sexual activity—whether you’re masturbating or having sex.
- Mental state—whether you are trying to become aroused vs. a surprise erection at work.
How to improve erections
If you find that you’re having difficulty getting an erection, your erections aren’t as firm as you’d like, or they don’t last long enough for satisfying sex, you might have erectile dysfunction or ED. But these few things can help you fight ED.
You might be having erection issues because your head isn’t in the game, or you’re not sufficiently in the mood. Being stressed or distracted can affect the quality of your erections. Slowing things down and spending more time on foreplay might help.
- Lifestyle changes
Your erections will be best when you’re healthy. Making simple lifestyle changes, such as getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet, might be enough to improve ED.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
Drinking too much and using tobacco products can definitely affect the quality of your erections. Smoking can also lead to blood vessel damage and ED. It’s best to drink in moderation and avoid tobacco altogether. Open communication with your partner
Talking openly with your partner about your sexual likes, dislikes, and fantasies can keep sex in a long-term relationship more exciting. Try not to bring conflicts into the bedroom—relationship issues can certainly contribute to ED.