There is a thick line between Priapism and regular hilariously inopportune erections.
According to Asylum, an ex-con named Dawud Yaduallah is suing New York's penal system (heh) over failure to treat his 55-hour erection. Per the suit, the former guest of the state was told to ice down his groin by the prison's female nurse and was not admitted to a hospital for two days. This Priapism case was the gift that kept giving as it led to erectile dysfunction, painful sex (not in a Mellencamp kind of way) and the inability to climax (b-ing an l, if you will). While I would imagine that a female nurse (is there any other kind?) at a prison has probably dealt with her share of men with hard-ons that needed relief but she could have sent him to a hospital a bit sooner.
Priapism (a painful erection lasting more than four hours) is no laughing matter. Though many comedic scenarios have come (poor choice of words) out of the condition (from a Viagra-popping fiancé on Scrubs to poor, dumb Jason Stackhouse's OD on V in a very special episode of True Blood), it's actually worse than it's polar opposite erectile dysfunction. The rationale is twofold: A) Priapism, like in Dawud Yaduallah's case, can actually lead to ED. That is one bad boner. B) It's hard (heh) to go about a regular day with a raging tent pole in one's trousers.
And this leads us to a term called the NEB: Non-Essential Boner. The NEB is an erection apropos of nothing. The spontaneous petrifaction can have a semi-legit source such a whiff of the sexy lotion or a hug that lasts a bit too long (thanks, Larry David). But the NEB is something that young men plan their entire day around, "I can't even hug my own mother, I'm a monster!" Granted, there are tricks (using the waistband of a pair of pants, for instance) and mind games (do NOT think about baseball, try Dame Judy Dench), but only two things can really handle a garden-variety NEB: time and relief. Read: Doing It With A Drunk
Though numbers on this phenomenon are unreliable (where they exist), it's safe to say most NEBs occur in the public domain, making manual relief a potential felony. That leaves time (and a friendly waistband) as the only salvation for this malady. Sometimes a fella can't get out of a pool at the appropriate time. Sometimes he'd prefer another helping of dinner (a good move as digestion takes blood-low). And sometimes he's not too tired to get out of bed but has been visited by the morning wood fairy and needs a GD minute or two.
In summary, NEBs are hilarious and something that older dudes have to surely miss. Even the word "boner" is, when used in appropriate company, hysterical. In fact, the most-successful home video send-in show of all time would likely just be a collection of men with NEBs, I would call it Inopportune Erections and Bob Saget would host. It could be on Spike TV. His catchphrase would be, "What do you want me to do with it?" So laugh all you want at NEBs, just know that you may inadvertently run into one of these things one day. Then it's less funny (but still funny for anyone watching). Keep in mind, a NEB continues to get funny the longer it goes up until one hour. Then it starts becoming cause for concern. At four hours, a physician should be involved (and not a sexy doctor).