History of Erections

Ambroise Pare, 1585 – was a French Surgeon and the official surgeon for Kings Henry II, Charles IX, Francis II etc. He said that when a man becomes hot with sexual desire and lust, the blood flushes into his male organ and helps it to become erect’.

The way we understand and predict about an erection of a male organ and focus on how it takes place has changed a lot over the years. Aristotle feels that the nerve branches usually carried ‘energy and spirit’ towards the penis, the result of which caused the penis to inflate to the pressure of air.

It was observed that the penile blood found in men who were hanged were in excess, this made Leonardo da Vinci keep aside the theory of air-erection.

In the year 1573, the great anatomist from Italy Varolio found the ischiocavernosus and the buibocavernosus muscles surrounding the root of a man’s penis. The conclusion generated during that time was that both these muscles used to tighten in order to generate erection in a male.

Since it was not possible to test the theory in a real male person (since it requires the need for incision to be made in the male penis during an erection), the idea remained unsolved for centuries together.

The early days of the 20th century brought about various variations about the theory which mentions that ‘polsters’ were having magical powers, tiny anatomical parts which caused normal erection in a male.

Polsters were small hydraulic pumps which exactly knew when to close and open in order to allow the required filling. Even this theory could not reach anywhere as nobody could actually find the so called ‘polsters’ in any dissection (cutting up a dead body), microscopically or any other method.

Now we have realized that the process is completely straightforward – the conclusion is that arteries release more blood than what the vein releases out, for adequate pressure to be built. When the blood is trapped due to pressure temporarily, the results turn out to be uplifting.


A chemical known as neurotransmitter, which is the central point for the erection to take place is nitric oxide (the abbreviation of which is ‘NO’). Many of them know of Nitric Oxide as a substitute for air pollution. Nitric Oxide is most of the times confused with Nitrous Oxide (the abbreviation of which is ‘N20’). Nitrous Oxide is a type of anesthetic gas.

It was found out that NO was one of the key factors in helping males get an erection during the 1970s. There were a total of three different researchers from America who came forward and began to study the arterial dilation.

It was during this period that the wisest among the three, who found out that NO was a chemical that provided the necessary signals for smooth muscles in the walls of the artery to relax. It was then just a matter of time before the connection with erection could take place.

This link was made by a Doctor Jacob Rajfer, teacher of urology in the UCLA Med school.

After this linked study soon, researchers at Pfizer were able to capitalize on their own results using the discovery of The blue pill.

NO was also referred to as “Molecule of the Year” by Science magazine in 1992 for its participation in a wide variety of activities. Even though it is also associated with processes as varied as preventing bone loss to dilating the penile blood vessels, it’s quite evident which action got the interest of the Nobel committee.

It can’t be a coincidence that they received the Nobel Prize the very same year Viagra entered the market.

Sexual stimulation activates the discharge of nitric oxide from nerve endings. It unwraps the penile arteries so blood rushes in.

The sinusoids, which are spots inside the penis that permit blood to build up under pressure, fill up as a result. As these sinusoids fill, they assist in compressing the veins leading out from the penis, in so doing driving the pressure inside the corpora cavernosae to get to heights sufficient to stand straight up. This pressure, over 100 mm mercury, is not enough to inflate a tire, but not bad.


Certainly, the penis must have healthy supply lines for all this to work. Most significant are blood vessels to carry blood in and veins to control its escape.

Furthermore required for a trouble-free, natural erection are regular nerves to signal the hard drive to boot up, normal hormones (mainly to make you interested), and a mind that doesn’t flood the system with “abort” messages before the job is done.

The activation to start these events can come from a number of various origins, The ones we’re most acquainted with are obvious, Nevertheless, chemical substances injected into the penis can override all other signals.

Yet another circumstance of erection manifesting without sexual stimulation occurs while sleeping, producing the morning erections every man is aware of. Your body effortlessly pushes arbitrarily timed signals to result in erections that peak during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

REM sleep is the deepest phase of sleep, happening primarily toward morning, which is why these erections are often noticed upon awakening. The existence of these nocturnal erections is a beneficial diagnostic clue.

Men with spinal cord injuries and specific other neurological conditions can have reflex erections not related to outside stimuli. This is a response based on nerve activity going from the penis to spinal cord and back.

The timing of this hardly ever fits with opportunity, but with a little luck (or, more likely, with some urological assistance) might culminate in orgasm, ejaculation, and offspring if desired.


No matter what is the source of the signals, as soon as the stimulation actually gets to the penis, a series of steps develop. Nitric oxide effortlessly relaxes the smooth muscles of the penile arteries, permitting more blood to flow in.

The veins leaving the penis close down simultaneously, capturing blood inside and creating a buildup of pressure. As the pressure builds, these veins are pressurized against the tunica albuginea so pressure rises rapidly, as does the penis.

A failure in either inflow or outflow results in failure. Such things happen when either inflow becomes inadequate or outflow exceeds inflow.

Troubles with inflow may appear at any point along the blood supply to the penis, but the typical denominator among most of the causes of erectile dysfunction is that not enough blood gets to its destination. If that occurs, an erection may not.

Even though it seems fascinating to think a blockage can be recognized and opened up or bypassed in the same way just like treating coronary artery disease (hardening of the arteries of the heart), achievement is rarely possible for erectile dysfunction using similar techniques.

This is due to the fact that arteries to the penis are tiny to begin with. It’s often just a manner of narrowing through extended lengths of those arteries.

Problems with outflow, called venous insufficiency, are most likely undervalued. Surgery to tie these veins off might be used, but typically, a constriction ring is the answer.

Oddly enough, during erection there is hardly any real blood flow. The blood coming in and going out are in balance, so the pressure stays sufficient to keep the penis rigid as long as they stay in balance.