We need to understand the overall process and factors that contribute to getting an erection. To put the process simply, think of it as a burglar alarm. It goes off when a specific kind of situation takes place. Boners occur when specific kinds of stimuli trigger certain physical mechanisms, telling the male body that it’s time to get a boner.
1. Presence of sexual stimulus. These can be visual, auditory, tactile, or even from a recollection of a previous sexual encounter. Nature has made sure that men are always ready for reproduction at the flip of the switch. That’s why his penis is prone to stand in attention when these stimuli are present.
Sexually-associated stimuli such as the sight of a naked woman, the sound of a woman’s enthusiastic moans, or getting one’s penis touched in a suggestive way are a few examples of what triggers the male body to produce a boner.
2. The brain and the nerves. The brain and the nerves play an important role in the process of getting an erection. The brain is the organ that processes all incoming stimuli and interprets whether it is sexual or not. If the stimulus gets interpreted as sexual, the cerebral cortex of the brain sends the necessary signals through the nerves towards different parts of the body getting the male in a state of sexual arousal.
3. The circulatory and respiratory system. Once the brain gives the go signal for sexual arousal, the body’s circulatory and respiratory system goes to work to prepare the body for sexual activity. As the tissues in the body crave more oxygen and energy, the man’s heart and breathing rate consequently increases.
4. The penis. When the brain signals reach the genital area, the penis’ blood vessels dilate to accommodate the increased flow of blood and the connective tissue around these blood vessels gets all filled up to the brim giving way to a full erection.
5. Testosterone. Behind every successful erection is the male hormone testosterone. While not directly involved in the process, it plays an important role of keeping the penile smooth muscles and connective tissue healthy to be able to perform an erection. Not only that, it helps generate libido which allows men to maintain longer and harder boners.
This hormone is mainly produced in the man’s testes. It gets circulated by the blood all over the body for synthesis.