Awakening with an A.M. stiffy is a confusing, pubescent surprise as a boy. Life drags on and the daybreak boner becomes second nature, something we take for granted. At certain points it can even be burdensome, if, for instance, a groggy sleeper wants to slumber face down. Thank goodness for the tuck rule. At other times, the sunrise soldier is a blessing, initiating round 2 (or 3 or 4) of intimacy or, following a sexless snuggle, it pops up as a conversation starter for potential morning delight.

In general, however, morning wood doesn’t seem to be a primarily sexual function. The cockcrow hard on is urinary biological preventative measure, keeping your adult years dry. That’s right Milhouse, your bedwetting days are over once you hit puberty. Mr. Boneman sprouts you a beam – night in and night out, as necessary, until you’re back in diapers at the retirement home. Your top o’ the morning tinkle might be Austin Powers-length and require some uncomfortable bending and contorting, but that’s little price to pay for a moistureless mattress.

Blackout drinking is the morning wood’s only known kryptonite. On one occasion, a couple of us crashed at a friend’s house in high school. When our host rose to hit the bathroom, my fellow houseguest (who shall remain nicknameless) whispered to me, ‘I have to do something quick. I think I pissed the couch.’ Tough situation. If you’re a notorious drunk sleep urinator, always take the floor. If you gain a reputation, hosts will usually plan for your college visits with specific sleeping instructions, like “You’re in the tub.” I don’t recall how that particular yellow op ended for my pal, all I remember is the guy’s mom made us an incredible steak and scrambled eggs feast for breakfast.

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Waking in a crowded room with a boxer tent is nothing compared a potential wet couch embarrassment. Simply utilize the classic ‘casual pillow over the lap maneuver’ until you can locate your pants.

Outside of a blackout, your dawn dart is there to look out for you while you’re enjoying unconsciousness. Next time you wake to find him already risen, give him a salute before you swaddle him in sweatpants.