Who is the most phallic superhero of all time? It’s not Magneto, the X-Men villain who sports a helmet that absolutely looks like a penis and is currently portrayed by Michael Fassbender, who showed everyone his penis in that movie where he shows his penis.
Without a doubt, it’s the Hulk. (Stay with me here.) For the 17 people out there who didn’t see The Avengers, the Hulk’s greatest power is also his greatest curse; he can grow to incredible size and strength but is almost wholly incapable of controlling that power. It just happens when he gets angry.
Substitute “angry” for “horny,” and you’re talkin’ about boners.
Herein lies the constant struggle for men across the planet. A sock that fills up with blood at the slightest dirty thought. A blessing and a curse. With great power comes great responsibility. A secret buried deep in his jeans. With that in mind, here are six secrets guys won’t tell you about their boners because they’re too embarrassing. That Fassbender movie, by the way? It’s called Shame for a reason.
Maybe male porn stars or yoga instructors can control their boners. But for most men, those things can pop up at pretty much any time for any reason.
Thinking about a certain girl? Phone vibrating from a call? Accidentally remembered that one scene from Fast Times At Ridgemont High? Tuesday? All valid reasons for a random erection. Sometimes, just waking up in the morning is enough of an excuse, which certainly leads to problems at middle school sleepovers.
But as men get older, they learn the secrets to harnessing hard-ons. Think about baseball, or the death of a loved one, or the death of a loved one at a baseball game. There’s even a cheat code: Make a fist or pump a bicep for 30 seconds straight, and the thing just goes away.
Not all men have issues with erections, but it’s a little like having a super reliable car: One breakdown, and you’ll never quite trust it ever again. In the same way an erection can come out of nowhere, they can go away in a split second if the mood changes.
A big culprit of unreliability is alcohol. “Whisky dick” is a little reductive, but for a lot of men it skews close to the truth. Three beers and you’re good to go, but one whisky or tequila shot and your whole date night is shot. White wine, feelin’ fine. Red wine, bed time. Erections can be strong and free-spirited, like a racehorse, but one false step, and it has to go back in the barn.
It’s true. Penises are like snowflakes; every one is different. Not to delve too far into fluid dynamics, but the quality or size of an erection can change depending on a million different factors, similar to how a balloon can be inflated to different sizes depending on how much you blow it. Um, blow into it.
This partly explains the preponderance of the d*ck pic. To a woman, the penis in the text message looks exactly as it did the last 35 times her horny boyfriend sent it to her. But the boyfriend knows this one is special and different and wants to share it with the person he loves. It’s a classic Mars/Venus disconnect for the digital age.
Erections truly have a talent for picking moments. It’s always right when your boss calls you into his office, on the exact day you wore your thinnest pants, when the local Catholic school is touring your building and the nuns are practicing swinging their yardsticks around at crotch height.
Thankfully, men have developed dozens of techniques for concealment. The ever-popular “uptuck” is high-risk, high-reward. It can hide a boner in basketball shorts, but heaven forbid you reach up for a rebound and the bottom of your t-shirt lifts up. The down-the-pant-leg tuck gets rid of a pants tent while seated but can create an “optical illusion” when you stand.
The gist of all of this? You’ve absolutely interacted with some guy in your office while he had a boner, and he was doing everything in his power to hide it.
When you stub your toe, a lot of the pain comes from blood rushing to the area and causing inflammation. The same logic applies to boners. The whole system is based on a bunch of blood rushing to an area, and the longer that blood is there, the more chance there is for pain. Viagra cautions against erections lasting more than four hours, but a normal guy will probably tell you that a half hour with a boner is cause for alarm and possibly a big bag of frozen vegetables. No zucchinis, please.
Remember when Viagra first started advertising a few years ago and people across the nation started to giggle? Despite the 1,000 stand-up routines, those commercials are more popular than ever. If you ever watch sports on TV, you’ll notice a Viagra or Cialis commercial at least once an hour. If you watch baseball on TV, you’ll notice one once every five minutes.
That’s because baseball audiences are older, and older men are much more worried about their boners. To bring this back to The Hulk, it would be as if Bruce Banner took his Hulk powers for granted, got really angry one day, and then realized he didn’t get any bigger or more vascular. Kinda scary, right?