When relaxed, the penis hangs at the front of the body. When blood flows into the spongy tissue of the penis it becomes thicker, longer and stiffer. This is called an erection. When this blood flow stops the erection goes away.
Boys can have erections from birth, but they happen more often during puberty. An erection can happen when something is sexy, or just because there is a lot of blood flowing around the body, like after sport. Relaxing and thinking about something else might help an erection go away faster.
During puberty a boy starts to produce sperm and will begin to ejaculate. If the erect penis is stimulated, muscles contract, pushing semen (containing sperm) down the urethra and out the tip of the penis. This is called ejaculation.
Sometimes ejaculation can happen when a boy is asleep. This is called a “wet dream” even though the boy might not have a dream and doesn’t wet the bed! Wet dreams are a boy’s body getting used to its new sperm production and usually happen less often as a boy gets older. Only 1-2 teaspoons of semen are released, so it’s easy to clean up. The semen can be wiped up with toilet paper and clothes can be put in the wash.
DID YOU KNOW?
Many millions of tiny sperm are contained in the 1-2 teaspoons of semen released during ejaculation.
Arousal is the tingly feeling that happens when something is sexy. Lots of body parts are involved, but can you guess the main one? The brain! If a boy thinks something is sexy, the brain sends signals making the heart beat faster, the penis swell up, and the skin all over the body become sensitive. This might start to happen during puberty.
Sometimes if someone is aroused they might choose to masturbate. This means massaging their genitals because it feels good. It’s OK to masturbate as long as it’s done in a private place. It’s also OK if a person doesn’t want to masturbate.
Find more information about masturbation here.