Although there was ample knowledge about the anatomy of the cavernosal body, a good understanding of its physiology was still lacking in the seventies and eighties of the last century. In these years there was a revival of venous surgery on the penile vessels. The idea was that prevention of outflow would improve erection. Now we know that ‘venous leakage’ is not a pathologic condition on its own, but a result of incomplete relaxation of the smooth muscle cells or of cavernosal tissue damage. The history and the understanding of ‘venous leakage’ and the reports of this phenomenon in this journal are being described.