I was wondering…

Can we all just agree that erections are normal?

It’s been brought to my attention that some people worry about getting hard-ons. Or more specifically some people worry about getting hard-ons at “inappropriate” times or in “inappropriate” spaces. My understanding is that the idea that there is a time and place for boners stems from shaming messages/experiences that often occur during childhood and/or puberty.

Let’s stop doing that.

I don’t have a penis, but I am a long-time fan. I read penis-books, I watch penis-films and I very much enjoy the company of the penis. I’ve learned a few things about the phallic appendage, including the following:

Sometimes penises are hard.

Hard-ons are often (but not always) a spontaneous physical response to sexual stimuli. They happen all around us, every day. They happen in response to visual, aural, nasal, tactile and mental stimuli. Erections ride the bus. They stand in line at the grocery store. They happen in our schools, at the office, in our homes and at fine, five-star holiday resorts. They happen in every country, to people of every race, colour and creed.

Somewhere, someone is having an erection right now.

Sexual arousal is an essential human drive and one that we have limited control over. When we get turned on parts of our bodies may spontaneously dialate, lubricate, accelerate, flush, contract and/or become tumescent with blood.

(Which reminds me, can we also agree that nipple hard-ons are also normal?)

Wood happens. There’s no right or wrong time for it – any time is bonert time. It’s not an insult, nor a compliment, nor commentary or any kind. It’s not a pet that can be trained to stand up or lie down on command. It’s just a penis doing one of the many things that penises are meant to do.

So from now on, no more shaming over random trouser (skirt or dress) tents, okay? If the owner of the penis consents, you may choose to pet the erection. Otherwise, I propose giving the erector in question a little space to adjust themselves and go about their lives, while we go about ours.

All those in favour, say “Aye”!


  1. alexis says:

    My friend and I were having a conversation about little boys and how they get erections. For some reason, I knew this, but my friend, whose boy is 1.5, didn’t know this until it happened to her son. The first time her sister saw this, she was shocked. This segued into an interesting conversation about childhood masturbation and how to talk about it with your child. Interesting conversation and perhaps something to talk about in a blog post. Most people don’t seem to know that little boys can pop a bone.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      That’s a great idea for a post!

      Recently, The Green Bean has become aware and interested his penis and the things they do. The Man of Mans and I need to have a conversation about what age-appropriate conversations to have with our kid about erections and wanking and the whole nine yards.

      Sigh. This blog is going to be such a source of embarrassment for my kid when he gets older.

  2. Garner says:

    Sometimes erections stem from the need to urinate, not procreate.

  3. Milan says:

    “Can we all just agree that erections are normal?”

    An important addition to this claim is noting that the absence of erections is also normal. Just as people assume that they shouldn’t happen when they are unwanted – and they are wrong to do so – people should remember that they don’t always happen when they are in fact desired, and that stressing out excessively about that or shaming people is counterproductive.

    To a large extent, penises are controlled by brain functions that cannot be accessed consciously or altered through force of will, one way or the other.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      A *very* important addition – thank you, Milan.

      To a large extent, penises are controlled by brain functions that cannot be accessed consciously or altered through force of will, one way or the other.

      The same is true of vaginas. It’s pretty much impossible to consciously control when and to what degree it will self-lubricate.

      The moral of the story is: Genitals gonna do their thang. Roll with it.

      • Milan says:

        And don’t assume that the way genitals behave is indicative of how someone secretly feels! They sometimes operate without rhyme or reason.