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Puberty For Male Assigned People

Most changes during puberty happen to everyone, but some are unique to each depending on your body and hormones. This page deals with how testosterone affects your body during puberty. Some things to keep in mind:

  • People born with testicles naturally produce testosterone.
  • People born with penises and testicles are often assigned male at birth (AMAB).

Read below for information on what AMAB folks could expect during puberty:

Hormonal Changes

  • Hormones are chemicals that carry messages throughout the body.
  • When puberty starts in AMAB folks, sex glands called testicles* begin to make more of a hormone called testosterone.
  • Testosterone plays a part in many of the physical and emotional changes you may experience during puberty.

What is an erection?

  • Erections (hard-ons or boners) happen when the penis* fills with blood and becomes stiff or hard.
  • Despite the term “boner” there are actually no bones involved!
  • During an erection, your penis may be curved up or down or stick straight out.

When do erections happen?

  • When you are going through puberty, your body is getting used to the new hormones it’s producing. During that time, erections can happen at any time, even if you are not turned on.

When will these random erections stop?

  • It can be frustrating and sometimes embarrassing to feel like you aren’t in control of your penis, but try to relax if you can.
  • Unexpected erections will start to happen less often once your body gets used to the changes it’s going through.
  • If you’re concerned about other people noticing your erection you can cover it with: a binder, a book, a sweatshirt, standing against a wall with one leg on the ground and the other against the wall, or in many other creative ways.
  • Remember: erections happen to everyone with a penis. It’s not as embarrassing as you might think it is.

What is ejaculation?

  • When someone ejaculates (cums, jizzes or busts), the muscles in the penis push out semen (cum) through the head of the penis.

What is semen?

  • Semen is a whitish, sticky fluid that contains sperm (the cells that can get someone pregnant), as well as other fluids.
  • Sperm only makes up a tiny fraction of semen, the majority of the fluids are from various glands inside your body.

When does ejaculation happen?

  • Ejaculation (or cumming) usually happens when you have an orgasm, but not always.

When will I start ejaculating?

  • Everyone ejaculates (cums) for the first time at a different age.
  • Most people will experience their first ejaculation while masturbating or sleeping.

What is a wet dream?

  • When someone ejaculates (cums) during their sleep, it’s called a wet dream.
  • Wet dreams are really common and should happen less often as you grow older.
  • Wet dreams are very normal and nothing to worry about. Plus, it can be fun and feel good to have sexy dreams!

For more details, check out Ejaculation and Wet Dreams [Link].

Whoa!  What’s happening to my penis?

  • During puberty your testicles (balls) and penis will become bigger, longer and may get darker in colour.

What does a penis look like?

  • Penises come in all different shapes and sizes, so whatever you have is normal.
  • Most soft penises are about 2.5-5 inches long and erect penises are about 5-7 inches long.
  • Your penis may still be growing so try to not to think too much about these numbers.

What is circumcision?

  • When a penis is circumcised the foreskin (a sensitive piece of skin that covers the tip of the penis) is surgically removed.
  • Some parents choose to have babies circumcised depending on what they or their doctors believe or think is best. Sometimes people choose to be circumcised later in life.
  • For more on circumcision, check out Circumcision (Penises) [Link].

Does it matter if I’m circumcised?

  • Circumcision will not make your penis more or less attractive.
  • Circumcision won’t change how much you enjoy sex or how good you are at sex.

Is bigger better?

  • Sex is really all about how you interact with your partner.  No matter what size your penis is, you will be able to enjoy sex and be a good sexual partner. Size really doesn’t matter.
  • Lots of people feel self-conscious about their penis, because we’re often taught that there’s only one “normal” way for a penis to look and feel. This is totally not true.
  • There are as many different penises as there are faces, or hands, or belly buttons.

Can I change how my penis looks?

  • You may have seen penises in movies or on the web that are different than yours.  That’s because every penis is different.
  • The best way to love your body is to be comfortable with it. If you are unhappy with how your penis looks, try to change the way you think about your body instead of changing the way it looks.
  • Expensive surgery can only add 1.5 inches max to your penis, but this is not a guarantee. There is really nothing you can do that will safely change the size of your penis. Creams, pills, exercises, or other devices cannot change the size of your penis.
  • Remember: it’s how you use it that matters most.

Why is my voice changing?

  • During puberty, your voice may get lower and deeper.
  • As your voice changes, it might “crack,” or suddenly go into a higher pitch for a second. This is normal.
  • The pitch of your voice can be all over the place for a while, but this won’t last long and you’ll settle into your adult voice.

I hate it when my voice cracks. Will it stop?

  • If you feel embarrassed when your voice cracks, try not to worry.
  • Remind yourself that you have other friends and classmates who are going through the same thing!

If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]

*We know that these aren’t the words everyone uses for their bodies (eg. trans folks), and support you using the language that feels best for you.

Last Edited: May 2020