Reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
How many erections per day are men supposed to have? Like a certain children’s story about porridge, we suspect that if you’re reading this, you’re curious about what’s too much, what’s too little and what number of erections per day is just right.
That’s not even considering the question of how long an erection should last — a totally different topic, albeit an important one when you think about sexual intercourse and sexual activity in general.
A certain number of erections per day hasn’t been associated with any metric of erectile or sexual health that we’ve been able to find. But for the average erection-having guy worried about a medical condition like erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation, trying to get a sense of how “normal” your day-to-day function is makes perfect sense.
We’re not sure there’s much comfort in meeting a specific number. In fact, we’d like to point you in the direction of other measures of sexual health that might be more beneficial in assessing your own. But we also did some digging to find out more about this curious mechanical metric of masculinity.
So, how many times a day does a man get hard, on average? And how many many erections per day is considered normal?
Let’s dive into the question of erections per day, including why it matters, what’s a normal erection number and what you might want to pay attention to instead.
How often do guys get boners? There don’t seem to be any good estimates for the number of erections you should be experiencing on average throughout the day, unfortunately.
We’ve seen numerous sites point to a number of “11 erections per day.” This was initially attributed to the NHS (National Health Service) of the United Kingdom, but that source seems to have been removed, and another original claim doesn’t appear anywhere else.
The number is almost certainly one or more, and we’re pretty sure 100 isn’t realistically an average, either. But it could be a handful, a dozen or something in between — the research just isn’t really there.
One thing is for sure: it’s normal to get erections with some regularity. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it’s normal for men and boys of just about every age (and even before birth) to get erections.
Men even get erections in their sleep. You probably know this about nocturnal erections and nocturnal emissions — you may have even stumbled upon one when waking up one morning.
The technical term for erections alongside your rapid eye movement cycle is nocturnal penile tumescence, though most non-nerds refer to it as “morning wood.”
How many erections per day is not enough? If you’re getting zero erections throughout the day, you may be worried. But the reality is that even if you’re not pitching a tent at random times, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dysfunctional.
For the record, erectile dysfunction is an inability to achieve or maintain an erection in intimate situations. That can be with yourself or a partner, but generally speaking, ED only occurs when you want to be hard, but aren’t.
Random erections throughout the day? Not the best metric for determining whether you’re experiencing ED.
Typically, ED is caused by a physiological issue, like diabetes or cardiovascular disease, hormonal imbalance, obesity or hypertension. Psychological factors can also create or increase risk factors for erectile dysfunction and sexual dysfunction, generally, but there are often multiple factors at play.
The symptoms of ED aren’t measured in days without an erection — you don’t need a chalkboard on your wall to keep track. Instead, it’s best to consider whether an inability to get or maintain an erection during intimacy has happened more than once (in a pattern) over a period of six months.
If you’ve had trouble getting it up when you want to on more than one occasion in the last six months, it might suggest you’re experiencing ED.
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Beyond how many erections per day the average man has, some guys may have trouble getting many (or any) at all. Luckily, erectile dysfunction is very treatable these days, and there are a few ways to approach it.
You can even pursue some approaches without the help of a healthcare professional. For instance, if your current health and lifestyle would be considered unhealthy, significant day-to-day changes can clear up ED in some circumstances.
Excessive drinking, smoking, illicit drug use, a sedentary lifestyle and poor sleep hygiene are all contributing factors to ED. As such, protecting your sleep, lungs, liver and heart from your own choices won’t just help you to live longer — it may also help your erections to thrive.
But self-control is about the extent of what you can fix without professional intervention. Luckily, the effort of talking to someone about the symptoms of ED can be well worth the initial awkwardness.
These prescription medications treat erectile dysfunction by inhibiting the action of something called phosphodiesterase-5, which can restrict blood flow to the blood vessels of your penis and interrupt the process of becoming erect.
PDE-5 inhibitors like sildenafil and tadalafil inhibit this enzyme, and in doing so, make it easier to get an erection.
Depending on your needs, you might be better suited with one or the other of these medications. Sildenafil is taken on an as-needed basis, while tadalafil can be taken either as needed or on a daily basis.
But psychological causes of ED — low self-esteem, performance anxiety and body image issues — may benefit more from therapy as a method of intervention. A sex therapist can help you build confidence and face your fears of intimacy, which could be behind your ED when no other physical explanations exist.
Before you go off to look up "how many times day guys get hard", this answer can vary thanks to a number of factors. The good news is that if you’re able to function in sexual situations, you don’t have to worry about median household erections, erections per hour or any other dumb metric of masculine energy to consider yourself healthy, sexually fit and ready to dive into intimacy.
But what happens if that’s not the case?
If you’re concerned about your erections per day or your erections in general, it may be time to talk to a healthcare professional.
A healthcare professional can help you determine the cause of any reductions in erectile frequency. They can also offer treatment options for resolving these issues.
Potential treatments may include medication, lifestyle changes or therapy — but it’ll depend on your individual circumstances, which aren’t something we can speak to from here.
Want to talk with someone now? Consider our sexual health resources.
We offer a fast and easy way to speak with a healthcare professional about your sexual function concerns without the drive to a doctor’s office or the awkward face-to-face discussion about what’s not working the way you want it to.
If your performance has been bugging you lately, reach out. One of the easiest ways to be above average is to seek treatment and get back in the game.