Erectilephobia is my own term for any man who allows his fear of possibly having an erection in public to prevent him from trying social nudity. The most unfortunate aspect of this situation is that there is an equal possibility that the same man will not have an erection in public and therefore he’s allowing this possibility to prohibit him from the camaraderie and joys of social nudity. Arousals (erections) aren’t available “on demand” so none of us are immune from this happening, but we’re realists and refuse to let that possibility stand in our way of enjoyment.

There are two official terms used to label the fear of seeing, thinking about or having a public erection. The first of these is ithyphallophobia. “Ithy” is taken from the ancient Greek word for straight and “phallo” is from the same for penis. Thus, a “straight penis” or erection. The second of these is medorthophobia which is likewise identified as the fear of seeing, thinking about or having a public erection. Both of these terms are applicable to both males and females although in the female category, there is no fear of actually having a public erection.  

Erections, or arousals, are a natural male response to sexual stimulation, real or imagined. It is perfectly healthy and normal. There’s absolutely no reason to feel ashamed. The enlargement of a man’s penis can happen when we are alone or in a group setting. No matter what any clergyman may say and/or preach or otherwise may try to instill in our minds, there are always those occasional awkward moments when sometimes a man’s penis really does have a “mind of its own” and reacts accordingly.


Every male who has survived puberty knows that often, we have no control over when and where our erections occur. They can and do happen in an awkward moment when our conscious mind is often preoccupied on the nonsexual, say, for instance an algebra problem or the past-tense of a particular Spanish verb. Without warning they grow and continue to do so until we’re miserable and ready to die of embarrassment and shame. What’s important to note here is that none of us ever died from having a spontaneous (unplanned) erection.


Unfortunately, erectilephobia (ithyphallophobia, medorthophobia) inhibits some same gender loving men from participating in gay naturist/nudist activities. They are afraid of public humiliation in the presence of their peers. Please note that some heterosexual (opposite gender loving) men suffer from this condition, also. It isn’t just a “queer fear.”

With the recent arrival of summer and with the accompanying increase of summer bare or clothing-optional social events (barbecues, cookouts, cocktail parties, sports opportunities, etc.), this post is offered as a resource to calm and erase the anxieties that some men may have with public erections. Everyone, gay, bisexual or otherwise, deserves the freedom to experience the season bare if they want to be and without fear of a spontaneous erection.


First, I’ll attempt to dispel a few commonly believed myths surrounding public erections. Keep in mind, that these are misconceptions that concern people who are new bare practitioners (naturists/nudists). Some may or may not apply to those who are textile (clothes wearing). Second, I’ll offer several personal suggestions as to coping should an unintentional penis reaction occur. Again, keep in mind that these are primarily for those who are nude. The coping strategies usually work for those in swimsuits as well.


Myths or Misconceptions

1. Everyone will know that I’m inexperienced with social nudity. This is a false premise. It is true that those who are “newbie nude” or unfamiliar with communal nakedness are possibly prone to public arousals, this by no means an absolute given. Veteran, or experienced, social nudists get erections, too. Trust me on this, it happens to me, to Aaron (my spouse) and our friends. Regardless of the man, erections occur naturally and randomly, they don’t discriminate based on how many times a guy has been publicly bare.

2. If I get an erection around a group of naked men, everyone will know that I’m bisexual or gay. News flash: heterosexual men get erections in public, also, whether or not they’re around women. An erection, once a guy is past his early teenage years, is generally caused by an increased blood flow and excitement, not necessarily because he is physically attracted to whomever is standing in close proximity. Practically all men get erect regardless of what gender they find attractive.

3. People will think that I’m an exhibitionist or trolling for sex. First of all, one of the very last places for an exhibitionist to visit is a socially nude environment. Exhibitionists are excited about exposing themselves and people’s reaction to this behavior. In a socially nudist event or setting, everyone is clothes-free, they would blend in with crowd and be practically invisible. There’s no reward (thrill) for them. If they are so bold as to masturbate in public, they are ignored, shunned and soon escorted off the property.

Second, almost every social nudist is aware of erectile spontaneity and simply chose to ignore the condition. In a predominantly same gender loving (gay) gathering, we have all been there (had a  public erection) and understand completely. It’s really no big deal (disaster).


4. Everybody will laugh at me or worse. This is simply not true, mainly for the reasons posed above. Most experienced naturists, of both genders, are sympathetic to this situation and too polite to call attention to a man with an erection. Unless the man is behaving in an offensive or provocative way, few will give it a second thought. There is no “erection control police” to embarrass or punish a man for being normal.

5. I’ll be humiliated. If an erection does happen, and understand that the key word here is “if,” this may be true. Remember that the discomfort will last only as long as the erection does. This is usually a few minutes, at most. Once it disappears, get on enjoying the company of others who are around you. Relax and appreciate the freedom of having fun, naturally.


Suggested Solutions

There are some options if (again, “if” not “when”) a man begins to feel the onset of a penile erection. Listed below are a few alternatives that I’ve used or friends have recommended when in this predicament. Keep in mind that these are personal strategies and not from any official rule book (I seriously doubt that one exists). Remember, what may were well for one guy may not be as successful for another. Like everything else in life, no two men are the same.

1. If lying on a towel or a chaise lounge on a beach or pool deck, simply roll over onto your stomach until the penis subsides (calms). Common sense, right?

2. A quick dive into the water and a brisk swim usually conceals an erection and the physical exertion calms the penis. It also helps to take our mind off the situation.

3. If standing, either physically turn away (if possible without being rude) or focus on maintaining eye contact directly with those around you. Then, concentrate on the conversation and not the erection. Continue to interact as though nothing is amiss. If this is done when you first notice your penis becoming aroused, it generally prevents a full erection.


4. If you become aroused during a sports game (one-on-one or a team) or during a social game (charades, board games or cards) again, stay focused on the activity and not the physical reaction (penile). Becoming more involved often decreases the genital reaction, especially if movement is possible.

5. If this happens during a meal, there is a convenience available known as a napkin. Use it to cover your lap while savoring the company and the food. Just knowing that you’re no longer exposed usually relaxes the penis.

6. If appropriate, use self-deprecating humor. Laughter shared with friends changes the mood and eliminates any tension. Seeing the humor often dissipates the problem (erection). Remember the proverb: “Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.”

7. If all else fails, mentally picture the opposite of the situation. Envision castration or affliction of penile dysfunction. Those thoughts alone will quickly erase any unexpected and unwelcome natural urge.


Recognizing erectilephobia (ithyphallophobia, medorthophobia) for what it is, understanding that it is both natural and normal and knowing that others are sympathetic hopefully will reduce any concerns or issues about participating in social nudity. Sometimes just realizing that there is a name for a particular problem helps to ease anxiety.

The above suggested solutions if (that word “if” again) an arousal or erection does occur hopefully provide possible strategies to use in the situation. Sometimes, knowing that there is a “back-up” plan (or several) eliminates the need for planning.

If you have and bare practicing buddies or friends to discuss this issue with, they are an excellent resource and potential ally. They may offer better suggestions for helpful strategies than the ones listed above.

Get naked. Enjoy!

Naked hugs!

Roger/ReNude Pride




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A same gender loving (gay) bare practitioner (nudist) who invites you to explore my blog. At times I may appear irreverent but I am in no way irrelevant!

20 thoughts on “Erectilephobia”

  1. Maybe your readers should know that NOT all erections are caused by thinking, there is a natural increase in the flow of blood to the organ to maintain healthy tissue. This normally happens about six times per day, These, however, are not the full flagpole, but a slight increase in girth and length, a semi. A shift in the towel you have can hide an erection quite easily. (All nudists carry a towel most times,)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I definitely fall into the #6 type of guy…self-effacing, all the way.
    If it happened to me, I’d casually say to whoever noticed, “Oh, no…this isn’t for you”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant post, my blogging buddy! I’ve had this conversation many times with my non-nudists friends and they never seem to be able to understand that it’s really no big deal. If it happens then it happens. Nobody really cares unless you’re bothering someone and they’re not interested.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Second, almost every social nudist is aware of erectile spontaneity and simply chose to ignore the condition. In a predominantly same gender loving (gay) gathering, we have all been there (had a public erection) and understand completely. It’s really no big deal”

    Roger, this is your best post to date. Definitely timely, and with all the responses so far, it has caused a lot of arousal. Mega hairy naked hugs of thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well said! Yes, the topic has been done to death but the message is so often the same — “it never happens, don’t worry about it.” For some, that may be enough. But for others, not so much. And too often this message is accompanied by a lecture explaining that if it does happen, it’s a problem and an indicator that you aren’t a “real nudist”.

    Well….I am a real nudist, and it has and does happen to me on occasion. For years it was a source of concern and embarrassment. But eventually I came to terms with it. I put embarrassment, any feelings of shame, or worry by the wayside. Nudism and naturism are all about understanding and acceptance. Why should this be different? A nude penis is ok but an erect one is evil?

    Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand the concerns and am in no way advocating for sexualizing naturism, even though some will say that’s just what I’m doing. In fact, I’ve spent years doing just the opposite. And i understand the need for mutual respect and to ensure others are comfortable and feel safe. I just don’t believe that a man can’t be nude and erect and be every bit as much of a naturist/nudist than anyone else. He isn’t necessarily on the prowl, an exhibitionist, a perv, living out some sexual fantasy. Maybe he’s just nude, with increased blood flow to a region. Is it always ok? No. But can it be, sometimes? Yes, absolutely.

    Fortunately I have supportive friends and family who don’t mind if I’m erect when I’m nude. I’m usually not but if it occurs, it’s nit something i feel the need to hide or get rid of. They know me, trust me, and understand what I’m all about. If it occurs, we all simply carry on. Yes….it’s possible.


    Liked by 1 person

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