Panic boners: They're real — and here's what causes them.
It was a night like many others. I crawled into bed with my lady-love, who was peacefully perusing Pinterest, and announced, "Man, I have the worst panic boner."
Her gaze crept up from her computer screen and landed on my junk. Slowly, she twerked her head to the side, and I watched her look go from methodical to straight-up confused.
Lady-love: "Wait, time out. What the f*ck did you just say?"
Me: "I saaaaidddd, I have the worst panic boner."
Mouth agape, she stared at me like I was a complete nut job (I mean, I am, but I digress). In her defense, it's a rather strange thing to hear if you're not familiar with the terminology.
So, at the expense of possibly embarrassing myself, I hereby vow to shed light on this rather interesting and exotic genital state. Welcome to Sex Ed 101, readers. Lets all put on our clinical hats and dig in further, shall we?
For those of you who already know what a "panic boner" is, you know that despite the panicky terminology, this particular aroused state isn't a life or death situation. (However, I personally can't ever recall coming across a blog entry, article, tweet, or even a comical anecdote where a panic boner is referenced with any sort of explanation.)
That said, ask any guy and I bet you'll find that they're not only familiar with this phenomenon, but they've also experienced it a time or two themselves.
A panic boner is not to be confused with the unfortunate affliction of shrinkage (a significant lost of blood flow to the penis causing it to shrivel in size, most commonly due to being in cold water) or a fear boner (an erection caused by the fear of immanent harm).
No, a panic boner is quite different.
Just like a typical erection, during a panic boner, blood fills the spongy tissue in the shaft of the penis, commonly due to some sort of sexual arousal.
However, during a panic boner, the penis feels firm to the touch, but doesn't grow in size.
Why does this happen? I'm clearly not a doctor but as far as I've gathered, there are two causes for your penis to go into panic mode:
1. Vigorous physical activity. I've talked to a few guys who've experienced a panic boner after, or during, a workout. What we've hypothesized is that in these instances, the body must be using its fluids to swell the muscles, causing your genitals to pay the cost.
This doesn't happen to all men, but most dudes I've spoken with admitted to experiencing this sensation at least a few times during workouts.
2. The "fight or flight" response. During times of aggression or increased adrenaline production, the body can — for lack of proper medical terminology — "suck up" a male's testes closer to his body, sometimes even inside the body, as a way of protecting themselves from harm during combat.
Like balls, the penis has a similar response: the closer to one's body the penis can get (or the less freedom from its dangling state) the further the penis is from harm. At least if a penis could talk, that's how I think it would describe this phenomenon. Subconscious basic human instinct at its finest — gotta protect the baby maker.
So, why did I have a panic boner when I crawled into bed that night?
Without psychoanalyzing myself too deep, at the time, I was under an immense amount of stress. And after a particularly brutal phone call with my ex-wife, I felt like if one more thing didn't go my way, sh*t was going to hit the fan.
That sensation produced adrenaline inside my body, thus, causing me to have a panic boner. Suffice to say, my girlfriend was not interested in "hate" sex that evening. I can't say I blame her.
I know you're out there, guys. Who else has a experienced a joyful panic boner? Fact or fiction? Any doctors out there who'd love to shed some light? Ready. Set. Boner.