Field of Science

Penis injections lead to 1.5 hour erections, scientists regret not letting the subjects just watch porn.

Over the weekend I was searching for a paper unrelated to anything whatsoever, and I came across this little gem: Hand and Genital Sympathetic Skin Potentials in Flaccid and Erectile Penile States in Normal Potent Men and Patients With Premature Ejaculation by Ertekin et al, 1995. I originally intended to blog about this paper because it made me laugh so hard, but the results actually wound up not being very interesting at all. So, instead, I am going to share with you this section of the methods that I found particularly amusing:

First, the hand and genital sympathetic skin potentials were recorded with the penis flaccid. Afterwards, in each patient 50 mg. papaverine hydrochloride were administered. Because erection induced by intracavernous papaverine injections may be influenced by external factors, such as stress and anxiety, 1 normal subject and 3 patients who had negative results with failing erection were excluded from the study. The study included only patients who had satisfactory erection with or without rigidity (full erection or skeletal erection phase, classified by Aboseif and Lue'). After maintaining the erection for 10 to 30 minutes the hand and genital skin sympathetic skin potentials were again recorded and measured. In some cases the duration of tumescence and rigidity was long enough that sympathetic skin potentials were repeated twice and even more with time. Since full detumescence was not obtained in subjects investigated in this study during a 1.5-hour period recording of the sympathetic skin potentials could not be repeated to observe a later flaccid penis. As a result, sympathetic skin potential patterns of the hand and genitalia were compared before and during penile erection. We might prefer more physiological erections, such as achieved by visual arousal or hand manipulations, but these produced an erection that was not maintained long enough for satisfactory recording of slow skin potentials in a number of averages. Therefore, we were obliged to use the unphysiological approach of pharmacological erection.

This means that the scientists recorded the electrical potential of the skin of the test subjects' hands and genitals with a flaccid penis, then gave the test subjects an injection IN THE PENIS of a drug that would give them an erection. Four subjects failed to get an erection because they were too nervous. I would be too if someone told me they were going to give me a shot in my penis. They then determined that the remaining subjects had achieved 'satisfactory' erections, and I have wonder how they determined that, exactly. What makes an erection satisfactory? Anyway, after half an hour the scientists measured the skin electrical potential again. Some subjects maintained their erection long enough to have several measurements taken. One and a half hours later, all of the subjects still had their erection, so the scientists said 'fuck it' and decided not to wait for them to go flaccid for another flaccid recording. I don't have a penis, but I imagine maintaining an erection for that long has to be painful and/or annoying, especially when your surroundings aren't particularly sexy and you're not getting any enjoyment out of it since you just had your penis stuck with a needle. Finally, the scientists end the paragraph with a musing about how they probably should have let the subjects watch porn or masturbate to achieve erection instead of injecting them in the penis with drugs.

I love science. Happy Sunday.


  1. I saw this one too! I was also disappointed in the results. You'd think they'd have found something wild.


  2. I would be too if someone told me they were going to give me a shot in my penis.

    Wot!! You have a penis?!

  3. Sci-- I know. That paper left me with scientific blue balls.

    pc-- No, I don't. I suppose that would make it even more alarming if someone told me I was about to receive an injection there.


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