How Long Can The Average Man Stay Erect?

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.

The duration of an erection, as well as its quality, can vary based on physical and psychological factors, including age, stress, health conditions and medications.

An erection is the most obvious sign of male sexual arousal. It’s a physical response to chemical reactions in the body. During sexual arousal, tiny blood vessels in the penis dilate. Three tubes of spongy tissue (known as the corpus cavernosum and corpus spongiosum) fill with blood, and an erection occurs. After ejaculation or a loss of arousal, that blood drains away, and the penis reverts to its flaccid size and appearance.

How Long Erections Last?

An erection can last 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 (NHS, 2018). Does that mean all of your erections should last that long? Not at all.

It would be a difficult study to undertake because there are many variables that can affect how long an erection lasts. Those include:

• Your age
• Your health
• Your level of arousal
• Sexual activity—whether you’re masturbating or having sex (and even that can vary, depending on whether you’re going for a quickie or marathon)
• Your mental state: Chances are your erection may last longer if you’re attempting to become aroused versus trying to will away a surprise pop fly during a work presentation.

In some cases, a person may have difficulty getting an erection, having a firm erection, or maintaining one long enough for satisfactory sex. Physical or psychological factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation (PE).

In other cases, a person may have a prolonged erection unrelated to sexual activity or interest, which is known as priapism. Medications, drugs, and injury can cause priapism, which can be a serious condition due to the risk of permanent tissue damage.

Factors that Affect Erections

A variety of factors can temporarily cause erection problems. These include:

• fatigue
• alcohol or recreational drug use
• distractions
• feelings of self-consciousness
• tension
• being uncomfortable with a partner

In addition to temporary causes of erection trouble, medical issues can also cause short- or long-term ED.

Surprising Facts About Erections

Shorter penises make bigger erections. Research shows that men with shorter penises experience erections that increase penis size by 86 percent. For longer penises, the growth is more like 47 percent.

The average erection is 5.6 inches long. A 2013 study attempted to settle penis size once and for all. The findings: The average erect penis is just shy of 5.6 inches. The data came directly from study participants, who self-measured, so there is the question of how many exaggerated.

The world’s largest erection is 13.5 inches. Jonah Falcon is said to have the world’s largest penis that, when erect, is well over 1 foot long. When flaccid, it measures 9.5 inches.

ED can signal a serious health problem. Sometimes, sexual problems are a sign of bigger issues. ED can be caused by heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, high cholesterol, and more.

Erections aren’t required for orgasm. Yes, men who can’t achieve erections may still have orgasms.

Lifestyle choices can make you more prone to ED. Alcoholism, drug use, being overweight, smoking, certain medications, and even “prolonged bicycling” can lead to ED.

Men have between three to five erections per night. Every night while you’re sleeping, your penis is hard at work. The average man experiences up to five erections while they sleep, each lasting about 30 minutes.

ED stress can make matters worse. ED can cause psychological stress, and psychological stress can cause ED. When men are frustrated by their inability to perform, it can make it even more difficult to overcome ED.

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. Don’t bring conflicts into the bedroom—relationship issues can definitely contribute to ED.

If you think you’re experiencing ED, talk with a healthcare provider. They’ll help you find solutions that are right for you.


However, a person should talk to their doctor if they frequently have an issue with achieving an erection. Their doctor may be able to help them identify a root cause, such as medication or emotional issues. The doctor can also provide treatment to help the person get an erection.

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