It’s safe to say a man knows his penis very well. He’s been living with it for his entire life, after all, and it probably seems to hold no more surprises. Men who are very careful to perform excellent penis care should know their manhood and erections even better than other men might, as they are continuously applying a good penis health crème, paying attention to little changes, and otherwise ensuring their penis looks healthy and strong.

But even those who think they know everything there is to know about their penis might be surprised by these little tidbits.

1) Better sleep means better erections. Actually, this might not be such a surprise. Anyone who has gone through a few days of sleep deprivation knows how difficult it can be to drag themselves to the gym, do a good job at work or even think straight. So it makes sense that a man’s sleep-deprived body produces a much softer or smaller erection. (Assuming he gets it up at all, of course.)

2) Oral sex makes him bigger. No, that’s not something cooked up by male scientists in an attempt to get more oral attention. Studies really have shown that men who received oral sex before measuring their member had a longer erection than those who simply fantasized or used their hand.

3) Lay off the masturbation to impress a partner. Those who masturbate on a regular basis might want to slow things down a bit in the days before getting it on with a partner. Allowing a few days between the last masturbation session can mean more blood rushing to the penis during intimate play, which can actually make a man slightly bigger - at least temporarily.

4) There’s more than one type of erection. That’s right: Men can experience three different types of erections. The nocturnal erection is well known. The reflexogenic erection comes from contact with a partner or from self-stimulation. But there is a third type of erection, known as the psychogenic erection, which is triggered by audiovisual stimulation or fantasizing. This erection can be embarrassing, as it often happens at inopportune times.

5) Men need privacy to get it up. Unless a man is a serious exhibitionist, he needs some privacy in order to achieve peak levels of arousal. This means that living with roommates or being in an otherwise busy household might lead to less powerful erections. There’s a reason many men say the best sex of their lives happens in hotels rooms - with the do-not-disturb sign on the door, of course.

6) Condom aversion really is a thing. The savvy man knows that in order to stay safe with a new partner, he absolutely must wrap it up. Many men who complain about condoms simply don’t like the feel of them, but there are some who truly have a physical problem with wearing one. These men might find that their erection dies the moment a rubber comes into the picture, no matter what they do. The only good answer for this one is lots of extra stimulation to keep things going.

7) Lots of men want to stay up longer. Three in ten men complain that their sex isn’t nearly as satisfying as it should be, simply because they can’t control their penis. They are unhappy with the way their erections ebb and flow, sometimes making it tough to stay hard throughout a sex session. It’s important to remember that a man can’t stay hard for hours on end - that’s actually dangerous. So some waxing and waning is normal, especially during a lengthy encounter.

Staying ready for the main event

Men who want to improve or maintain a good erection should do everything they can to ensure proper penis health. A great way to do this is through the use of a specially formulated penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). Look for a crème that offers numerous vitamins and nutrients, such as L arginine for increased blood flow and vitamin C for its effect on collagen, which in turn has an effect on erections. Look for that bevy of vitamins in a high-end emollient, such as Shea butter or vitamin E, to provide the powerful moisturizers necessary to keep penis skin supple and healthy.