The ischiourethralis (IU), a striated perineal muscle presumed to be involved in sexual reflexes, was studied in the rat. The paired muscle arises from the penile crus and the penile bulb and unites in a raphe over the deep dorsal vein of the penis. Retrograde tracing studies show that the muscle is innervated by neurons in the dorsolateral nucleus of the lumbar spinal cord, a pudendal nerve motor nucleus which also innervates the ischiocavernosus muscle. Excision of the IU muscle did not interfere with the ability of males to display normal copulatory behavior, nor did it affect significantly the number and intensity of reflexive erections. It nevertheless remains possible that the IU may contribute to intense glans erection by compressing the deep dorsal vein.