Erection  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

An erection (clinically: penile erection or penile tumescence; informal/slang: stiffy, hard-on, boner and many others) is a physiological phenomenon of the male genitalia of many species, in which the penis becomes firmer, engorged and enlarged. Penile erection is the result of a complex interaction of psychological, neural, vascular and endocrine factors, and is usually, though not exclusively, associated with sexual arousal or sexual attraction. The shape, angle and direction of an erection varies considerably in humans.

As an autonomic response, erection may result from a variety of stimuli, including sexual stimulation and sexual arousal, and is therefore not entirely under conscious control. Erection during sleep or upon waking up are known as nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT). Absence of nocturnal erection is commonly used to distinguish between physical and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction and impotence.

A penis which is not erect is typically referred to as being flaccid, or soft.

Etymology

From Latin erigere which means to erect or raise.

Phallus

phallus

The word phallus can refer to an erect penis, to a penis-shaped object such as a dildo, or to a mimetic image of an erect penis. Any object that symbolically resembles a penis may also be referred to as a phallus; however, such objects are more often referred to as being phallic (as in "phallic symbol"). Such symbols often represent the fertility, potency and cultural implications that are associated with the male sexual organ, as well as the male orgasm. The term 'yonic' is often used to describe the vaginal counterpart of the 'phallic'.

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Erection" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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