Is there anything used to indicate our sexual orientation more often, whether consciously or subconsciously, than our boners? A lot of guys think that if you get an erection by looking at, thinking about, feeling, or experiencing something, then that thing, whatever or whoever it might be, is the object of our sexual desires. The code of our culture seems to be that erections are not necessarily condemned, so long as we say they are the result of a proper or understandable sexual stimulant.

But we dare not admit ever to getting an erection from a person or object that we don’t want to have sex with.

But let’s face it: we get boners . . . a lot. Especially the younger we are. And over the most inane things! Sometimes they’re completely meaningless. We wake up in the morning, and we’re hard. We put on new underwear and get hard. We sit a certain way or wear certain pants or our dicks get pushed over to one side so that our thighs rub them when we walk, and we start to bulge.

We get boners, gentlemen.

The time I cuddled with my friends on their futon, I had a boner most of the night. But I was so hungry for touch, for love, for affirmation that I refused to let my penis control my life that night. I was wearing only my underwear and a t-shirt, so I had no way of hiding anything. But I trusted my friends not to shame me. And they never did.

I don’t know if they ever noticed I was hard, but I think it was pretty obvious. Yet they never said anything.

For a few years in my late teens and early twenties, whenever I even hugged another guy, my dick would start to bulge. I didn’t let it stop me, though. The Lord had told me it was time for me to start being more affectionate with people I loved, and I needed to do it regardless what my penis was doing.

I wanted to hug my friends and be affectionate, of course, because I loved them. But I was also nervous about getting a boner, freaking them out, and making them not want to be around me anymore.

Not only did I think an erection might put off my friends, but I also feared getting a boner from hugging them would say something profound and awful about me.

I used to be one of those guys who thought the uncontrollable antics of my penis indicated where my sexual drive was aimed. But the Lord taught me the truth.

I talked to guys I knew. I searched and dove into the depths of the secret corners of their hearts. I asked about their fears, the things they never openly admit. I read a lot of confessions and testimonies on internet forums where men would gather to talk about truth and reality in a safe place.

They all admitted to getting erections when there was no real cause. Many said that they, too, got erections from hugging people, even if there was no sexual attraction involved. I learned that meaningless erections are indeed real, that men both gay and straight and everything in between get them, and that erections don’t necessarily dictate our sexual orientation.

I learned that the code of our culture regarding erections was false. Getting an erection from hugging a guy didn’t mean I was gay.

I also realized two other very important points. The first was that my friends loved me. If my friends loved me, then even if I did get an erection from hugging them, they would not reject or shame me for it; in fact, nobody ever did. I loved my friends, and I knew that I would never reject or shame them, either, for something they couldn’t control.

And that made me realize the second point: my friends were guys, just like me, and they had dicks, too, just like I did. That meant that they also had to deal with unsolicited erections. They got morning wood just like I did. They got hard from affectionate touching, wrestling, cuddling, new underwear, and accidental penis shifting, too. And they tried to hide it and ignore it and hoped it would go away, just like I did.

No matter how self-conscious I felt about my problematic penis, I realized I wasn’t the only one, and it didn’t necessarily have anything to do with my struggles with SSA. I was a lot more normal than I thought.

So, I kept going. I kept hugging and cuddling and being affectionate. The more I cuddled, the more I hugged, the more time I spent in physical contact with my friends, the less frequently I got a boner. And when I did get hard, it wouldn’t last as long.

Sure, that first night of cuddling was a wood-fest for me, but by the third or fourth time we cuddled, my boner lasted only a short time. The first few months of hugging my friends more made me want to keep my pelvis a safe distance away. But after a year or so, I could do a full-frontal, belt-to-belt hug and hold it there indefinitely without any worries of my penis acting up or my friend pushing me away.

A lot of guys struggle with this fear, and they think that their dicks determine whether they’re gay. And if they don’t want to be gay, or if they are afraid of what people will think of them, they tend to avoid situations that might give them erections. Unfortunately, many of those situations and actions are normal behaviors that a lot of guys get hard from, and it certainly doesn’t mean they’re all gay.

We need to live normal lives. Our dicks might not react the way we want them to at first, but more often than not, they line up in time. In the meantime, however, we can trust that other men will understand and not care because they have the same issues we do. We can trust that they are men as much as we are.

We can trust that they love us.

Has the fear of an unwanted erection prevented you from pursuing friendships or “masculine” things you wanted to do? Have you ever been rejected or shamed for getting an erection? Conversely, if you care to share, have you ever had an erection, and someone realized it, but didn’t care and treated you kindly anyway?

* Photo courtesy lulazzo, Creative Commons.

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