The Feel Institute

Who is this erection for?

Who is this erection for?

Yes, I am talking about erections, hard cocks, erect pricks, and big knobs. Maybe you prefer a more technically correct penis, or is it a love muscle when you are in the mood for some Barry White?

Whether you’ve got a cock or not, erections seem to be a measure of a successful sexual encounter. There is a billion-dollar a year industry built on the back of the seemingly elusive, ever-present, ready whenever, rock hard cock.

Why are we having sex?

This is a question I notice is rarely asked nor can the real answer easily be admitted. There is often more than one reason, most of which are unknown or unsaid. Reasons range from wanting to connect and feel close to each other, from orgasms to intimacy, from feeling something (anything!) to lustful fucking.

Sometimes I forget I want to give and receive pleasure. If I strip it all back, that’s what I think I am usually wanting when I end up having sex. It is a nice reminder that pleasure doesn’t have to include an erection. Pleasure can come in an almost endless variety of forms, so why is it so focused on the erection and who exactly is this erection for?

Ego strikes again

I must confess, I do get a thrill during a deep delicious kiss when a person I am hot for gets a stiffie. It becomes about our erotic possibility and my ability to bring this state on in another.

Similarly, when I want that cock inside of me, and it is not quite as alert as I would like, and neither of us seems to be able to muster up the rigidity, despite tried and tested measures, a part of me does wonder ‘what am I doing wrong?’. That’s quickly followed by, ‘Do they still find me attractive?’ and ‘Am I losing my touch as a lover?’.

Where did this expectation of erection come from?

Is it because the sex education most of us received was reproduction based and to produce semen is the norm, so, therefore, there must be an erection?

Perhaps it is as simple as the cocks we see in porn being generally big and hard?

My intuition says it’s that those with cocks aren’t taught or encouraged to talk openly about this part of their beautiful bodies and they aren’t hearing others say, ‘Yes, that happens to me too!’.

I’ve definitely picked this unhealthy hard cock expectation from somewhere and I know I am not alone.

A professional understanding

The sex coach part of me knows it is natural for erections to come and go. I know that arousal has a natural plateau and that you can feel pleasure without an erection, in the same way, I’m not always dripping wet when I am turned on.

Despite this, I find myself taking on a range of unhealthy and mostly unspoken stories and meanings about the state of another person’s body part.

Exposed and vulnerable

This also got me thinking about how vulnerable it is for the people who have willies. Having the primary sexual part of your body being external and often on show for all to see, well, that’s a lot to contend with.

I have a vulva and a vagina. My arousal fluctuates, even in the most erotic and exciting of experiences, however, the dips are less obvious. I’m noticing how it seems to be less of a deal-breaker and often goes unacknowledged.

With a cock, on the other hand, a similar fluctuation can bring an abrupt stop to proceedings and it frequently has feelings of shame, judgment, anxiety, and embarrassment associated with it for those involved.

Performing penises

It is not just about getting and sustaining an erection either.

Once you’ve got it don’t shoot your load too quickly! Others say ‘don’t come before I do!’, ‘make sure you do come though’ and ‘don’t take too long’.

Premature ejaculation is defined as coming before you or your partner wants you to. How do we measure that let alone agree how long is long enough?

I’m getting tense just from writing this. Are we still doing it for pleasure?

Appreciating touch

Multiple hands touching a man's back, consoling him: a hard cock is not the be all and end all!

Touch, touch and more touch

I’m reminded how lucky we are to be sensory beings with the capacity to touch and feel.

The honour of being able to touch ourselves for pleasure never mind other people is a gift. For me it is about seeing the person and having compassion.

Personally, I love a soft cock.

If anything, I don’t get to touch soft cocks as much as I would like. Cradling a cock and balls in my hand is yummy and I appreciate the trust. I have had numerous lovers where I would fall asleep cupping them. It was comforting and an honour. It was an incredibly intimate and beautiful experience for me and them.


Rather than advocating a flaccid cock fan club and losing the love of the erection, I would love to see a celebration of all cocks.

Let’s see them in all shapes, all their sizes, in both natural and assisted states, with proper signposting and celebration.

I reckon we’d be kinder and more appreciative of each other and ourselves if we did.


  • Michael Chevalier

    Lovely piece Sue – as a man who has suffered from ED it is great to get past the performance anxiety of getting and maintaining an erection – and let the intuitive creativity of lovemaking take over. xx

    • Sue

      Thank you Michael. Appreciating your candor and yes, less performing and more creating is the order of the day xx

  • Stuart

    Stumbled across this thoughtful piece and loved it. Having recently had a prostatectomy I’m having to come to terms fast with everything being a lot softer without chemicals or pumps!

    • Sue Sutherland

      So pleased to hear that it resonated. When our bodies change there is that period of accepting and exploring a new landscape and it can open doors to new and welcome experiences!

Post A Comment