When people with penises feel a stiffening in their shaft, this is what’s known as an erection. It’s a frequent occurrence that can happen 10 to 20 times per day.
Knowing how long a male can stay hard might seem like a decent indicator of one’s health, but the truth is that it varies from person to person.
On top of physiological differences, there are also variations in erectile quality and erectile duration a person can face.
Whether your erection is during sexual arousal or at random, understand that it’s perfectly normal and healthy to have them every once in a while.
If you’re having trouble maintaining an erection—or have signs of erectile dysfunction—you should consult a medically-trained professional to help you take steps in improving your sexual wellness by addressing the root causes of ED.
That said, let’s cover how long the average man can stay erect, the different types of erections, factors that affect erection quality and duration, and tips on getting harder, longer-lasting erections.
What is an Erection?
An erection is a physiological reaction that typically signals a male’s sexual arousal.
When a man starts getting an erect penis, the brain receives signals through chemical messengers, resulting in the dilation of arteries in the penis. This encourages the process of oxygenation and blood flow to the penis.
At the same time, the blood vessels in the penis constrict, making it harder for blood to escape during arousal. This causes the penis to expand, resulting in the enlargement of the penis—an erection, in other words.
How Long Should an Erection Last for Sex?
According to a Society for Sex Therapy and Research survey, the average time it takes for an erect penis to ejaculate during a sexual session is three to seven minutes.
From the same study, participants claim that 1 to 2 minutes was too short of a period for satisfactory sexual stimulation, whereas 10 to 30 minutes was too long of a session. The sweet spot for an average erection was between 7 to 13 minutes.
These results help sexual health clinicians recognize whether couples seeking treatment do in fact need medical intervention.
For people with penises who manage to achieve a climax between 7 to 13 minutes, their time frame falls under the normal category and is typically not worthy of clinical concern.
Can Erections Last “Too Long”?
Yes. If an erection lasts for more than 4 hours, it’s something that should be addressed by a medical professional urgently.
A typical erection can last about 30 minutes. However, a rare condition can cause erections to last for much longer. This condition is called priapism, which is a condition wherein blood can’t escape the erectile chamber of the penis.
Without medical intervention, priapism can cause permanent damage to the penis. Therefore, it’s important to contact a men’s medical professional if you find yourself having an erection that can’t seem to go away.
3 Types of Erections
There are three types of erections: reflexive, psychogenic, and nocturnal erections.
- Reflexive Erections: this type of erection occurs when you experience physical touch, making you aroused.
- Psychogenic Erections: this type of erection occurs when you think about sexual fantasies or memories.
- Nocturnal Erections: this type of erection occurs when you are asleep, and it can happen 5 to 6 times a night. Morning wood is a common instance of nocturnal erection.
How Long Do Erections Last?
There’s no solid time frame when it comes to how long an erection lasts.
Nonetheless, there are a range of factors that may affect the erectile duration of men. These include:
- Psychological state: Depression, shame, and anxiety can be big contributors to a man’s inability to maintain an erection.
- Medical conditions: Erectile dysfunction, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure can decrease the quality of erections in men.
- Age: The older you become, the higher the likelihood you’ll have lower testosterone and erectile dysfunction. (To compare, the probability of the prevalence of ED in men in their 50s is 67%; in men in their mid-70s, it’s 88%.)~
- Medications: Certain medications (or the lack of) can affect erectile quality. According to research, a side effect of antidepressants is sexual dysfunction, giving rise to symptoms such as semen retention, lower sexual desire, and premature ejaculation.
With that said, there are ways you can improve your erectile duration and quality. Here are some of the best ways for men to stay erect and gain a better grasp on their sex life.
How to Get Longer Lasting Erections?
While erections can vary, having longer-lasting and stronger erections are usually the most effective way to achieve better sex.
It’s also critical to recognize the different types of erection hardness to best diagnose your condition.
The erection hardness score is used by doctors to diagnose patients with sexual dysfunction.
- 0: Penis does not swell
- 1: Penis becomes bigger, but not hard
- 2: Penis is stiff, but not stiff enough for penetration
- 3: Penis is stiff enough for penetration, but not fully rigid
- 4: Penis is completely stiff and fully rigid
Once you and your doctor have figured out where you lie in the scale, you can then begin your journey towards achieving better erections.
Here are some positive lifestyle changes you can consider to get longer and stronger erections.
- Become more physically active. By incorporating aerobic exercises in your daily routine, you’ll curb the development of erectile dysfunction and improve your sexual and overall health.
- Stop taking alcohol and cigarettes. Nicotine is one of the major contributors for men to acquire erectile dysfunction at a young age. Limit these substances to improve your penis health.
- Consult an erectile dysfunction specialist. Doctors specializing in ED can diagnose and provide treatment plans that target the underlying causes of erectile issues to make erections last longer in men.
- Engage in foreplay. If the cause of your inability to maintain an erection is due to issues in your emotional state such as performance anxiety, you can try to incorporate foreplay into your sexual routine to spice things up in the bedroom.
- Talk with your partner. Be honest with your partner regarding your erectile dysfunction. Conflict in the bedroom is more common than you may think—and being open about it can pave the way to a more sexually-fulfilling relationship.
Contact Cleveland’s Top ED Clinic to Improve Ability to Maintain an Erection
If your erection lasts anywhere between one to 30 minutes and can fade on its own afterward, you likely don’t have any problems staying erect.
However, if you’re experiencing problems in maintaining an erection, see a doctor for professional medical advice to address the root of your concern.
The medical professionals at Precise Men’s Medical Center in Cleveland specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, low testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.