January 25, 2012

The Curse of the No-Reason-Boner

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It’s happened to all of us (all of us guys at least). That one, excruciatingly awkward experience when a no-reason-boner pops up to say hello. Most men have had several, and trust me, they remember each and every one. My personal worst NRB came over this winter break on a team training trip.

Waking up in a cabin full of guys, my morning wood simply would not go away. And this was no semi-erect, just stopping by to catch-up morning wood, this was a battering ram knocking down my front door. For what felt like forever, but was more likely 15 minutes, my little Bruce Banner had turned into the Hulk for no apparent reason. My cheeks burned red as I gradually arose and began to change, cowering down in a failed attempt to hide the insatiable beast. Things only got “harder” when I had to go brush my teeth, walk to breakfast and ride in the van all the way to practice.  Needless to say, my attempt at boner espionage failed, and I endured snickers, glares and punitive looks of disgust. I’ve experienced an elephant in the room before, but let me tell you: A snake is much worse.

Events like this happen every day and there is nothing we can do about it. No-reason-boners hamper studying, social interaction and even sleep. It is my contention that if men could control when and how they became erect, cancer would be cured, humans would be living on Mars and teenage guys would always be wearing sweatpants.

Can’t-sleep-boners are among the worst. I often go entire evenings boner-less, (enjoying dinner, hanging out with friends, etc.) but the second my tired head hits the pillow … WHAM! Six to midnight. Now, you might say I should just “take care of business” and pass out — which is often a successful strategy — but this pre-sleep “me time” can also lead to the most dreaded boner of all: already-whacked-it-why-is-it-back-again-boner. This type of class four inescapable boner often causes its victim to lose two to three hours of sleep each night. That’s two to three hours of physical and mental torture spent fighting off little Dr. Banner as he gets angrier and angrier — something I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemies.

But can’t-sleep-boners and already-whacked-it-boners (I believe professionals refer to them as AWI’s) aren’t the only NRB’s men have to deal with on a daily basis. There’s morning wood, delayed morning wood (usually comes around breakfast time), 1 p.m. wood, travel-boner, shower-boner, lecture-hall-boner, church-boner, inappropriate-turn-on-boner, the endless semi, and even the dreaded dude-boner A.K.A. The Broner (a no-reason-boner with only dudes present). Plenty of other boners can turn a perfectly good day into a disaster, such as the tuck-untuck-boner, which occurs when a subject tries to tuck a boner up into their boxer strap in order to make it go away, only to have the boner come roaring back to power the second you untuck it.

Two personal enemies of mine are the guest-house-boner and the snuggle-boner. The guest-house-boner occurs anytime you are staying in someone else’s home and suffer from can’t-sleep-boner syndrome. Normally you could risk an AWI and just try to do your business, but this time you’re in someone else’s home. In my experience, most hosts are NOT okay with guests masturbating inside their homes (just ask my ex-girlfriend’s parents). Thus, all you can do is lay there and pray the little bugger goes to sleep sometime soon.

Studies have shown the snuggle-boner to be a real problem for males in intimate relationships. Often a girl might say, “Let’s not have sex tonight; I just want to snuggle with you.” Whether or not you approve of this plan is beside the point — Don Johnson down there is ready for some action. Thus, while your heart, body and mind may be casually spooning and listening to an old Boyz II Men album, she’s got a 6-inch rod stabbing her in the back the whole time. In my experience, this results in her either becoming angry that “all you care about is sex” even though you were happy snuggling, or the boner taking control of your mind so that all you do care about is sex. In either case, she usually leaves or goes to sleep, and you’re left with can’t-sleep-boner.

In conclusion, I feel that no-reason-boners are a disastrous phenomenon that harms social, academic and emotional growth for young men around the world. I’ve heard the sexes’ debate over which hurts more: giving birth or getting kicked in the nuts. I myself prefer to ask, which is worse: carrying a pregnant stomach for 9 months, or experiencing Christmas-morning-while-opening-presents-with-the-family-boner. Believe me — it happens.

Lawrence C. is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. One Night Stand appears periodically this semester. Feedback and submissions may be sent to opinion@cornellsun.com.

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