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Male Puberty :: The Ups and Downs

Puberty can sometimes be embarrassing.

Hitting puberty is particularly hard on guys. We have the low-down on what's going on during some of the more embarassing moments and how to deal.

What Causes Erections?

An erection is when your penis gets hard. This happens when tubes in the spongy tissue of your penis fill up with blood. Many erections are caused by sexual arousal like when you think about someone who is really hot. This sexual stimulation causes nerve cells in the penis to release nitrous oxide molecules (nitrous oxide is the same stuff laughing gas is made from). The nitrous oxide combines with other chemicals in your body to relax the muscles and blood vessels in the penis. This allows greater blood flow to the penis. At the same time, the small veins in your penis tighten up and voila! - the erection is complete. But erections can also happen for no real reason, especially during puberty. They can sneak up on you in the morning, when you're just really relaxed, during a boring math class or even when you eat a tasty sandwich.

What's Normal?

It's tough to say what a "normal" number of erections is. Some guys get several a day while others may not get any. It all depends on hormones, which can change depending on age, sexual maturity, how often a guy exercises, or even how much sleep a guy gets.

Avoiding Embarrassment

There's not a lot you can do to avoid getting spontaneous erections when you're going through puberty. It's totally normal to get them, but let's face it, they can show themselves at some pretty inconvenient times so here are a few tips on hiding 'em to avoid embarrassment:

  • Hold your binders or text books in front of your crotch.
  • Cover it up by wrapping your sweater or jacket around your waist.
  • Avoid wearing sweatpants because they don't hide erections well. Stick to jeans and underwear that keep things in place.
  • Put your hands deep in your pocket so your jeans flex outwards. Note: This is a last resort, since it's an old trick and a dead give away that you've got an erection.

Don't Sweat It

The important thing to remember is that erections happen to every single guy and don't make you "weird" or "gross". As you get older, your erections will become less spontaneous and more restricted to sexual occasions. So hang in there and just deal with the ups and downs of puberty as they happen!

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

XxIHateMathxX
XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
I like Harry Potter too.  :)
reply 30 minutes
young fee
young fee posted in Friends:
I think you can not be sure he likes you. take me as an example theres this girl in my class who i talk to everyday. Now i see her as a sister and i have and will go to lengths just to make sure shes okay and her boyfriend doesnt hurt her. This might be what is happening in your situation so i advice that you wait a bit longer because him loooking at you may mean that he likes you and is waiting for the right time to tell you. Meanwhile you can get closer to him and flirt once in a while to asure that him you also like him (that is if he isnt sure). And dont worry if he doesnt like you back its better to have a friend who cares about you than a boyfriend who doesnt like you that much and is dreaming about someone else.
reply about 1 hour
heyitsangel
heyitsangel posted in Style:
Both
reply about 9 hours
InternetOwl
What part of it are you scared of? Is it eating in public and around other people, or just eating in general?  What it might be, if it's eating in public you don't like, is social anxiety, or social phobia. You should ask your doctor to check, because if it is, they can offer you ways to help. For instance, they might recommend therapists or group sessions to help ease your fear.  Even if it's just a phobia or, in unlikelier circumstances, an eating disorder, you should still go to your doctor or a therapist so you can try to overcome it. Try doing things that calm you down before these situations as well, like exercise, reading or listening to music (I'm not sure what relaxes you but sometimes these help). Also, you should try to slowly get used to the situations. So don't force yourself to eat straight away when you're out, but slowly start doing so whenever your comfortable with doing so. Unlike your mum wants, you can't just "stop" being scared because that's not how it works.  But right now, please don't force yourself into any of these situations. It's not good for your mental health to be forced to face a phobia of yours often. 
reply about 10 hours
ElfyKathy
Dear Dish-It, Within the last few years I have felt a bit sick and shaky when we go out to eat. It's not so bad when it's a carvery lunch or something at a pub, but settling down for a chocolate brownie and a milkshake shakes me up. Don't get me wrong, I love going out with Mum, but it's just sitting down and taking a bite. I want to chuck it in the bin. I love eating brownies and stuff at home and I'm pretty healthy. But I refuse to go to the town before lunch in fear. Mum told me I got to stop this or I'm going to develop a terrible phobia.  Please help! ElfyKathy, worried
reply about 10 hours

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