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A model of penile hemodynamics was developed to explain the process of erection that is not yet fully understood. Contradicting observations regarding blood flow and vessels occlusion during erection were examined. The model that was based on the physical structure and physiological function of the system was validated by comparing its predictions to clinical and experimental observations. Simulation of the process for both normal and pathological conditions indicates that pressure buildup in the corpus cavernosum during erection depends mainly on the interaction between the arterial inflow system and the venous draining system and that the venous draining vessels do not fully collapse and flow through the penis continues throughout the erection period. In pathological conditions, the model predicts that tumescence can be obtained without functional rigidity and demonstrates that small increases in vessel stiffness can result in such behavior.