At puberty a boy’s mind naturally focuses on his penis and its responsiveness. Some young men can become erect many times through the day. Boys enjoy the visual stimulus of nude pin-ups from adolescence onwards. Girls are not aroused by male nudity in the same way. Men are expected to cover their genitals to avoid offending women. Boys do not spend time imagining the social context of having a family as girls tend to.
When he is aroused, a boy’s penis becomes erect and hyper-sensitive so it is very pleasurable to touch. Initially some boys stimulate (or masturbate) themselves because they enjoy the feelings of orgasm when they ejaculate. Later a man has a strong urge to have intercourse with an attractive person.
From puberty onwards, boys are fascinated by their penis: the way it grows and is pleasurable to touch. They learn that their appreciation of eroticism can take them from arousal to orgasm. The average white male ejaculates for the first time around the age of 13 years 10½ months (13.88 years). The more responsive young men wake up each morning with an erection and have spontaneous erections throughout the day as sex-related thoughts occur to them or simply as a result of seeing someone they find attractive.
Even as virgins, boys are aroused by the prospect of sexual activity with a lover. They may masturbate by imagining engaging in intercourse. They imagine the sexual attributes, genitals and behaviour of a partner. They do this through buying pornographic magazines or watching porn movies. Some boys enjoy comparing notes on the sexual attributes of the opposite sex and their chances of manoeuvring a girl into a sexual situation. This is a chase situation where the man is the predator and the woman is the target.
As boys approach adolescence they identify with other male adults. The idea of approaching a woman and penetrating her becomes a natural goal. It feels like an adult activity because only adults engage in sex. A man’s challenge is to find a sexually amenable woman and to succeed in persuading her into a sexual situation. A man has to take all the risk of negotiating a sexual situation and endure the humiliation of rejection.
Male changes at puberty include the shoulders broadening and the chest cavity increasing in capacity. The voice box develops so that the tenor of a man’s voice is lower than a woman’s voice. Breaking of the voice occurs relatively late in adolescence. The change in pitch accompanies enlargement of the larynx and lengthening of the vocal cords, caused by the action of the male hormone testosterone on the laryngeal cartilages. There is also a change in quality that distinguishes the voice (the vowel sounds) of both male and female adults from that of children. This is caused by the enlargement of the resonating spaces above the larynx, as a result of the rapid growth of the mouth, nose and upper jaw. The Adam’s apple, thyroid cartilage that protect the larynx, causes men’s voices to deepen. Male mammals often use a loud call as a means of establishing authority.
Many men have a heavy growth of hair on their face, chest, arms and legs. Armpit hair appears on average some two years after the beginning of pubic hair growth. In boys, facial hair begins to grow at about the time that the armpit hair appears. The remainder of the body hair appears later. Men’s hips are narrower and their buttocks are smaller than women’s. On average men are taller and more muscular, they have less body fat than women.
Personal hygiene becomes more important as hormones cause hair growth and increased sweating. Most men shave their facial hair daily and they need to wash regularly as well as use deodorants. There is a natural discharge from the penis that can accumulate and cause infection if not cleaned. A boy needs to pull back his foreskin and clean the discharge from around his glans regularly. Mothers do this for young boys until they can do it for themselves. Circumcision helps to avoid infections and involves cutting the thin piece of skin that attaches the sheath of the penis to the glans. Circumcised men may experience different sensations from intercourse.
Kinsey found some couples who lived in rural areas had intercourse four times a day every day of the week. When a man works near his home, he is able to return for lunch and also set his own daily schedule so that there is time for sexual activity. It is unlikely that modern lifestyles and office working allow couples to have sex this frequently today. But even in the 1950s such frequencies were unusual. Most couples undoubtedly hover around the once a week mark. This is logical since the weekend offers a break in the work routine and more opportunity for shared companionship.
Kinsey noted that the frequency with which couples had intercourse varied considerably. He concluded that this was primarily a factor of the man’s sex drive. Kinsey found that young couples had intercourse between two and four times a week. This frequency slowed down over the years in line with the gradual decline in male responsiveness. By the age of forty average intercourse frequencies had dropped to about once a week on average.
… physical changes in the adolescent boy usually proceed as follows: beginning of development of pubic hair, first ejaculation, voice change, initiation of rapid growth in height, and, after some lapse of time, completion of growth in height. (Alfred Kinsey 1948)