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    Posted on Aug 29, 2016

    Here's Why Random Boners Happen All The Time During Puberty

    Pro tip: Wear baggy pants.

    If you’re going through a ~little thing~ called puberty right now, you may have noticed yourself getting a ridiculous amount of boners.

    Touchstone Pictures / Via giphy.com

    Welcome to adulthood! Don't worry, you won't be pitching tents this often for the rest of your life, we promise.

    But for the time being, here's what you need to know about unpredictable hard-ons.

    Random erections are actually a totally normal part of puberty.

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    So you shouldn’t worry about them. Seriously, they’re a healthy part of your development and one of the most obvious signs that your body is working the way it should. But since they’re probably popping up in very uncomfortable situations — like in class, when you’re playing video games, or when you’re with your friend’s parents — it’s probably good to understand why they’re happening in the first place.

    BuzzFeed Health asked urologists Dr. Peter Stahl, director of male reproductive and sexual medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Dr. Seth Cohen from NYU Medical Center to explain why your body is trolling you with these boners even when you’re not thinking about something sexual. Here’s what they had to say.

    You can blame most of this on your fluctuating testosterone levels.

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    Testosterone is a hormone produced in the testicles, and it's responsible for lots of stuff that happens during puberty — like a deeper voice, a more prominent Adam's apple, facial hair, and your eventual growth spurt. It's also involved in sexual functioning, said Stahl, so it helps your penis get hard. And during puberty, it’s coursing through you like the venom that gives Bane the strength to fight Batman.

    Your testosterone levels will vary throughout puberty, and Cohen said that as levels rise, feelings of arousal will too — triggering your boner.

    But surprise boners can also happen when you get randomly aroused throughout the day, even if you don't realize you're getting turned on.

    Like when you’re sitting in a car or on the bus.

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    "If there’s a constant vibration that’s transferring through your legs into the jeans or the pants to the shaft of the penis, I think that would cause an erotic state for some that would cause an erection to happen,” Cohen said.

    Yep, even if you're thinking about a math quiz, that subtle stimulation can be enough to set off a boner. Mainly, this happens because the vibrations are tapping into the nerves on your crotch, Stahl said. These activate the penis and testicles and, well, you know what happens next.

    It can also happen if the head of your penis rubs up against clothing in a certain type of way, Stahl said.

    Via quickmeme.com

    Or for that matter, rubbing up on anything in a certain type of way. Maybe you got new underwear that is just SO SOFT or maybe your pants are a little too tight when you’re sitting down. “It takes very little to stimulate erections,” especially when your testosterone is spiking, Cohen said.

    Sidenote: This rubbing is one reason why you get morning wood, too. The other reason, Cohen said, is because testosterone spikes "super high" first thing in the morning.

    You might even get one from being really happy, relaxed, or excited.

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    While feeling super chill won't necessarily cause a boner, it is easier to get an erection when you're calm than it is when you're stressed, said Stahl.

    The same thing goes for when you’re really happy about something, like a plate of food coming out of the kitchen at a restaurant. Stahl said that just the smell of the food could trigger the feel-good chemicals in your brain to go off. And that could make you super happy — nam sayin'?

    So, with that said, how can you deal with a surprise boner when it ~pops up~?

    A little bit of exercise might help.

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    Playing sports or doing some sort of exercise will trigger the release of stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine, Cohen said. You can kind of look at these as anti-boner hormones — when the body is in fight-or-flight mode, like during exercise, it needs to divert blood from less-important body parts to those that will help it survive, like the heart, brain, and muscles.

    So if you keep having boners "throughout the day and it's frustrating, a little bit of physical activity will help to bring it down," Cohen said. Of course, if you're sitting in class or somewhere else where getting up to do some jumping jacks won't work, then...

    You can try hiding it.

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    By placing it between your stomach and your waistband, for example. (Just make sure your shirt is covering it too.) You can also try wearing baggy pants or briefs instead of boxers.

    Get as creative as you want; just don't "bend, twist, snap, or break the erection to force it to go down," Cohen said. Doing so could damage your boners permanently — not to mention it'll be painful AF.

    Ultimately, though, you can’t really control ANY of it.

    Touchstone Pictures / Via giphy.com

    Stahl explained that our boners are controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which also keeps our hearts beating and digestive systems moving. Basically, it controls all the body processes that we don't have to worry about, and because of that, we don't have much control over it.

    So, sorry about that, but you're just going to have to “push through those tough moments when you’re in class,” Cohen said, and learn to accept the fact that there’s some crazy (but healthy) stuff happening to your body.

    It'll get easier, trust us.

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