During the last century, polls conducted among population showed that list of stress related to marriage is headed by money. Sociologists simply did not ask people about sex, and respondents themselves did not give such information. When list began to include sexual issues, monetary problems have receded into the background. Even among happily married couples, about 50% of men mentioned any sexual difficulties (among women, even less satisfied – about 25%).
Indeed, being one of pleasures of life, high-grade sex contributes to good emotional state. Sexual disorders often cause people a lot of unnecessary sufferings – unnecessary because there are many good ways to adjust them.
Penis in Normal Condition
For most of its length, penis consists of two cylindrical bodies closely adjacent to each other, called cavernous bodies. Under them spongy body passes, inside which there is the urethra. The names “spongy” and “cavernous” quite accurately characterize them, since cylinders are permeated with large veins, almost empty until erection onset.
To penis base paired sciatic-cavernous muscles are attached. Cutting and blocking veins, they contribute to erection appearance, stopping blood outflow from penis. However, these muscles in themselves do not produce erection – erection comes when penis is filled with blood. For this, it requires healthy blood vessels and nerves.
The nerves that control erection originate in nerve centers located at bottom of spinal column. Impulses from brain (thoughts, pleasant sensations) can pass along spinal cord and cause erection, but are not a mandatory condition for it.
There are three forms of erection:
- Reflex – comes with genitals stimulation. Like another reflex, for example, knee, it arises with spinal cord involvement. A similar form of erection can be observed even in paraplegics (paralysis of lower limbs) with vertebral trauma.
- Psychogenic – result of mental activity or sensory stimulation of any kind (sounds, visual images). This kind of erection requires healthy nervous system, because only a few patients with spinal cord injuries can achieve it.
- Noncturnal – for unclear reasons occurs during dream or on awakening in all men since childhood. It shows that basic mechanism is functioning normally. Impotents for psychological reasons or because of lack of male hormones experience erection during sleep. The absence of nocturnal erection indicates physical disturbances.
Being necessary for puberty, male hormones (testosterone and dihydrotestosterone) strengthen erection, but are not necessary. A man with hormonal deficiency loses interest in sex, amount of his ejaculate decreases slightly, but he is capable to achieve all three types of erection. The introduction of additional hormones to man with a normal level increases sexual desire, but person becomes more irritable and aggressive.
Sexual Intercourse Mechanism
Erection arises with blood flow increase to penis:
- venous network in cavernous and spongy bodies is filled;
- penis thickens and lengthens until it becomes filled with blood until it fails.
Simultaneously, sciatic-cavernous muscles contract, compressing base of penis and blocking blood outflow from it. During this period, urination is difficult, and penis almost does not receive blood. Such situations are fraught with gangrene, but this phase does not last long. Ejaculation occurs when muscles contract along epididymis, the vas deferens and the prostate while seminal fluid is pushed into urethra. The neck of urinary bladder also contracts, preventing reverse fluid flow, then penile muscles abruptly and rhythmically contract, releasing from 2 to 5 ml of ejaculate. Then penile muscles relax, blood flows off and erection weakens. A man loses interest in sexual intercourse, and erection and ejaculation become impossible for a while.
Refractory period usually lasts only a few minutes, but can vary widely depending on:
- health status;
With age, it lengthens, like all sexual phases.