By contributing writer Erik Petersen

I was reading a short story the other day (I prefer short stories because they take up less time to get to the conclusion) titled “Plan B for the Middle Class” by Ron Carlson.* “Who gives a fuck?” says you. Well you should. I was reading it because this girl I’m interested in suggested the story to me, and since I want to see her naked I am reading it.

As I was reading the first paragraph my mind drifted as I thought about her. She has amazing eyes (cleavage), is very witty (long legs), and has an articulate way of talking (DSLs). All of these thoughts gave me a nice wood—more like mahogany to be exact.

While readjusting so it was in a more comfortable position, I continued to read. At that point the story became much more engaging. The author and a friend had come up with eleven different kinds of boners, but only listed two and part of a third. Was this why the girl wanted me to read this, to learn about my glorious chub? I searched the rest of the story to find out what the other types of boners were, but alas, the writer left me high and dry, like most of my evenings.

I then resolved to take my experiences of living with a constant hard-on and tell y'all about the ones he left out and elaborate on the one he listed. For your convenience I have also included a stiffness number. This number ranges from one to five, with one barely registering as a beef bayonet, and a five being the Mt. Everest of erections.

Good Morning!

#1 – The Morning Wood (4.5)

The author describes it as “stiff as a clothespin.” A clothespin? This guy is weak. Realistically, it’s like a slab of granite rock. This diving board that appears in your boxers every morning requires the morning piss to be made at an acute angle (for the non-math majors that means leaning over, lots). One of your hands tries to push it down a little bit towards the toilet, with little to no success, while the other hand is pressed against the wall trying to stabilize the lack of early morning balance. After a night of drinking this makes it hard to succeed in aim as your vision and balance are very askew, usually resulting in a mess you leave for your roommates to deal with as you meander back to bed.


There, now you can say you masturbated to an article about bonersin a totally heterosexual way.

#2 – The Strolling Pecker (3.2)

This is usually a result of the girls wearing short skirts, tight tops, a bikini, booty shorts (the ones where you see "JUCY" on it from behind and think she must have gotten her Juicy shorts in Mexico, but then realize she has a wedgie), having on that shiny lip gloss, fuck-me boots, or really anything to accentuate your features. I thank all the women for taking the time to dress up, look attractive, look slutty, look classy, or whatever look it is you are going for. Because of it, I can't walk to the corner of the street without seeing something that gives me a hard on. Hell, seeing a female Eskimo in a huge fuzzy full-length parka results in my getting aroused in 1.4 seconds.

School/Work Issues

#3 – The Sorority Girl Chub (3.7)

Most guys first experienced this during junior high when that hot young teacher (Ms. Jacobson for me) caused a sexual awakening in their pants. She’d be writing something on the chalkboard and would stretch to reach the highest point, causing her skirt to pull tight against her ass. Houston, we have liftoff. For the rest of the period you could only focus on her ass when she had her back to you or her cleavage when she was facing you. Drool would slowly run down the side of your mouth and you didn’t know why. You'd use a notebook, the textbook, or a book bag to smash it down into hiding. The worst was if you were called upon to go up and write an answer on the board. At that point you either had to delay (and nobody can delay a 45 minute boner), or play really, really stupid. I think this is why my grades suddenly started to drop.

You can see this today when guys go into a classroom and find out where the group of sorority girls are sitting. Even if sorority girls are not your thing, they’re still wonderful looking creatures that help pass the time while some professor spits up verbal garbage.

#4 – The Working Man’s Hard-On (4.0)

If you work in an office environment, this one comes out of left field. No real cause or reason, sort of like why people give a fuck about Paris Hilton. You are working hard, or reading PIC, or updating your fantasy sports team, then BLAM, your junk slams into the underside of you desk. Your first reaction is to glance around and see if anyone else heard the loud smack. From there, who knows the mystery of this one; it will sometimes go as fast as it arrived. Other times it’ll stick around for a while, you know, just in case Jenny the hot intern wants you to mount her on the copier. It could happen. This leads us to the next one.

#5 – The Fantasy Rod (4.4)

Guys at work or school have fantasies, be they about someone they work or go to school with, or about doing it in some odd location around campus. The Fantasy Rod occurs when you've run out of things to stare at on the internet, or your IT guy is a douchebag and puts up a firewall that blocks all the fun websites (a.k.a. porn) you used to check out. You've got the spreadsheet up so it looks like you’re working, but your mind is elsewhere, and a category five boner rears it’s beautiful head while you wait for the day to end.

Social Bulges

#6 – Victoria’s Secret Boner (3.5 – 4.7, depending on the model)

The game is on, beers are being consumed, and your friend is talking about this girl he’s bent over a car on 6th Ave. Then the Wonder Bra comes on. You know the one, where a single, or many, seductresses bounce around with wings on their back telling you how this is the most supportive and scientific bra to date. Suddenly, the room goes silent, and every guy focuses on this ad, or a least the part of them that is in charge. There are then two thoughts going through everyone’s head: 1) How do I become a Bra Scientist and 2) Will the guys notice if I get up to “go take a piss.” At this point, all the guys in the room want to see a naked woman, preferably many.

#7 – The Blacklight Woody (3.9)

It's a friend’s bachelor party, businessman lunch, end of the semester party, beginning of the semester, you just got your tax return, it is Tuesday, hell, you really don't need a reason to go to a strip club, but every time you tell someone you are going, or that you went, people seem to provide a reason as to why they are there. These are the boners you know everyone else has around you, but you don't think about them. You are focused on the girl doing an upside split on a shiny pole, or thinking about how much you love Envy for rubbing her ass on you as 3-6 Mafia plays in the background. This can cause some frustration with you and your saluting sergeant. That is, unless you have a booty call or a girlfriend. If not, it’s Palmala Handerson and some downloaded Jenna Jameson.

#8 – The R. Kelly (2.0)

No, this is not because guys have a thing for pissing on underage girls, though I guess some do. The R. Kelly actually comes from dancing, or our attempts at dancing. After three shots of tequila, four PBRs, and one red-headed slut (it’s what she wanted to do a shot of), any guy thinks he’s the Rico Suave of dancing and will hit the dance floor looking for that ass to “Bump N Grind” on. It is also in our mind that every girl would love to feel a little firmness on their backside. You know you do.

The Closers

#9 – Pedro’s Savior (4.8)

After your fantasy about the TA or that girl you work with doesn't pan out, but your amazing rendition of the running man has landed you with (Whatever her name is. You'll get it in the morning. For the rest of the night you will call her something like “baby” and shower her with slurred compliments, which are really an attempt to thank her for sleeping with you so you don’t have to jack off again.) this is where your day of erections, boners, chubs, pocket rockets, hard-ons, and purple-headed yogurt slingers has led you. Just whip it out and pound whatever her name is. (That is, of course, after much fumbling trying to open the condom package, attempting to put it on backwards, and finally getting it on.)

#10 – Heaven’s Wood (5.0)

Good for you, you got her name and number the next morning, a good sign you didn't get whiskey dick (that would be a zero—“The Lost Boner”), and weren’t to bad in bed. So you both decided to try something more adult and do the whole relationship route. This boner is a result of all the sex you’re getting, and all the things you’re thinking about doing to her next time you see her. If only she didn't want more from the relationship and force you to switch the channel every time a Victoria’s Secret ad came on.

#11 – After Two Months of Sleeping with the Same Girl Erection (3.0)

No cool name here, just the hard (semi-hard in some cases) facts. She has lost that sexual edge and is settling down, getting more conservative, and wants to cuddle more. Hey when she gets naked you still get hard because that is what naked girls do to guys. Now she is not on your thoughts all the time. There is also an unfulfilled list of places and positions to do it in. She once expressed interest in doing it on your boss’s desk, while riding a Ferris wheel at a carnival, in the fairway during the PGA Tour, in one of those erotic love swings, or in a Burger King bathroom. You begin to experience number one through eight so much more, and depending on who you are, maybe #9 is becoming more of a reality.


*The idea came from reading this portion of a short story:

“I move my lips carefully around the few important things I have to say and then use the bundle of my ten fingers to adjust the knob in my trousers. The walrus has a genuine bone in its penis that ranges in length between ten and twenty inches. The bone is an evolutionary device that is a great help in cold water. Eskimos save these bones, called ‘ooziks,' for good luck. A sperm whale's penis, when erect, is nearly fifteen feet in length. The grizzly bear, more closely related to man, has erections that average four inches and require greater willing or unwilling cooperation from a mate. My watch tells me I've had this tumescence half an hour. It's the kind of erection Ryan used to call a number three, the kind you get about ten in the morning in third period, a wonderful extension that makes you slide down in your seat and stretch your legs. It's related to number one, the one you wake up with, stiff as a clothespin. Number two was what? It was also a morning deal, that one that comes between class, pointed down, trapped in your shorts pointing at five o'clock. Number two was the one you used your chemistry book to straighten out. What were the others? Eleven. We laughed our heads off, but we all knew he was right. There are eleven minimum.”

Written by Ron Carlson, contained within his short story “Plan B for the Middle Class,” published in his collection of stories A Kind of Flying.

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