In its daily effort to orient me to the health issues around erectile dysfunction, the Morning Glory app pushed a notification to my phone: “A boner a day keeps the doctor away.” There is no phrase that better encapsulates the mission of the simple app from men’s sexual health startup Roman. Morning Glory is, simply put, an erection tracker. And apparently, using it would give me a window into my health. Along with lots of .gifs.
Think of the Morning Glory app like that good friend in high school who was overly fascinated by dicks. You know, the kid who was drawing dicks, making dick jokes, and being far too frank about the frequency and size of his erections. Imagine that kid tapping you on the shoulder every morning with a sideways grin, asking about the state of your penis, and then offering an appropriately goofy commentary. Now imagine, and this could be a stretch, that kid is also a physician.
For all of its puerile weirdness, the folks behind the Morning Glory app are dead serious about why tracking morning stiffies matters. Their extensive in-app FAQ explains that morning erections are linked to overall men’s health because a lot has to work correctly for morning wood to tent-pole those PJs. First, the right hormones need to be released, then the nervous system has to kick in and send the correct signals and the heart has to pump some extra blood. Also (and this was elucidated through another push notification) contrary to popular belief, morning erections have nothing to do with needing to urinate, aside from making it difficult to do so.
That was enough to convince me to download the Morning Glory app and check in on my own penile performance. But things didn’t start off great. Which had nothing to do with the app.
I’d started the day flaccid. And when I answered “No” to the app’s daily query about my morning wood, I was treated to a .gif of a frustrated Skeletor, arms outstretched screaming “Noooooo”. The app suggested I get more sleep. Which wasn’t a bad idea, really.
In fact, interaction with Morning Glory made me think, uh, long and hard, about the mornings prior to downloading the app. I could not recall if I’d had erections or not. And that was worrisome. Particularly because I’d never had trouble in that area. But recently I’d had a medication change and felt a diminished spark down below. Was my libido being hampered by my meds? Uh-oh.
The next morning I woke before the alarm. My eyes shot open and I reached down to my crotch. Happily, below the duvet, my buddy was standing proud. I entered the erection into the morning glory app, Nick Cage from Con-Air flashed on the screen. His long blond hair flying in the wind. A blissful smile on his face. Still, I was wary.
But a few days later, I’d cataloged the third morning erection in a row, resulting in a flurry of in-app confetti. “Boner Streak Achieved!” the app announced. I really should not have felt as proud of myself as I did. But, there it was.
I can’t say how long I’ll use the Morning Glory app. I suppose as long as I’m greeted with sly Ron Swanson gifs and a deep sense of winning, I’ll keep logging my wood. Will it really be helpful for my long-term health? I think the jury is still out. But I will say that the app did remind me to pay attention to my libido on my new medication and maybe have a talk with my doctor about what’s normal. So that, at least, is worth the effort of the download.