How to Deal with an embarrassing erection

Picture it. You're sat on the bus and out of nowhere, you notice your tent pole rise in your pants as it takes on a life of its own. You desperately will it to go down by thinking of the least sexual situations you can muster, but it only seems to rise further - almost like it's mocking you.

If you've got a penis then it's likely you've experienced an unwanted erection, often at the most inappropriate of times. Don't stress though - it's more common than you might think. In fact, surprise erections that come and go throughout the day are a completely expected part of puberty and you might be amazed to know that you don't even have to be thinking about something particularly exciting for it to happen.

  • The science behind your pocket rocket

You can thank your varying testosterone levels for all of this. Testosterone is a male hormone that increases during puberty and is also responsible for a load of other changes in your body throughout this time, including the appearance of facial hair and a sudden deepening of your voice. It can be a daunting time in your life and your random erections can feel particularly distressing, but not to worry, everyone with a penis has been in the same boat at some time or another and thankfully, there are some ways around the awkwardness. Here we outline them, and point out* when you should start to worry.

*Penis pun intended.


Distract yourself from the D

It might not seem easy, but trying your best to think of anything other than the fact that you've got an erection is likely to soon settle it down. Got a difficult test next week? Think of that. You'll probably quickly notice a change. While you're waiting, try the classic trick of tucking it under your belt, maybe hold a bag over your lap, or simply make sure you head out wearing a long T-shirt or jumper to ensure you're well covered, should any unexpected surprises arise...


Cool down

If you are able to, jumping in a cold shower can assist the situation. If you have no immediate access to a hose down, you could try subtly placing a cold can of drink on your lap. For some people however, the cold can cause further arousal, so best steer clear from this method if that sounds like you.


Switch Positions

There are several ways that shifting your seating position can help. Firstly, your clothes could be rubbing against you in a way that may be causing the erection, and re-adjusting yourself might stop this. Secondly, by stretching your legs, blood will be drawn away from the erection, and lastly, moving around can help you conceal the bulge.


Don't Panic

Your uncomfortable hard-on is actually probably a lot more noticeable to you than it is to anyone else, because you know you have it. Sometimes it's best to just leave it alone and let it be, until the moment passes.

When to worry...

If an erection lasts for more than a couple of hours, it's time to get concerned. This condition is known as priapism and it can be quite painful. The NHS website recommends calling 999 or attending A&E if you find yourself in this situation.

bust that boner

If you'd like further support on unwanted erections, click the button to be taken to the Channel 4 support site.

Channel 4 support (This link opens in a new window)

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