Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Male Orgasm Project.


For all the emphasis we put on male attraction and titillation, male orgasm is often unexamined in our culture--dismissed as a joke, taken for granted, and not credited with the beauty and complexity of female orgasms. It's ignored via sexism, either by assuming that the male experience is default and thus need not be explored, or by worrying that to do so would be gaaaaay, or by brushing it off as comical or disgusting rather than erotic. I've had sex with enough men that I write a little tilde on the Planned Parenthood forms ("number of sexual partners: ~23") and I still don't really know.

I want to remedy this. I want to put together an essay on experiences of male orgasm. I want to do it to provide an educational resource for women, to learn about variation in men's experiences, and simply to honor male sexuality as a complex subject that goes far deeper than liking bikinis and blowjobs.

So this is an invitation for all male-identified people to tell me: what is it like to have an orgasm? Physically, emotionally, whatever it means to you. Use as many or as few words as you need. Your words may be reposted on this site but no identifying information will be used (unless you want to plug your blog or site, then I'll put in a link for you).

Email your description to, or if you want to be completely anonymous, use the comments to this post. (I don't track IPs or anything of anonymous comments.)


  1. I am a circumcised male.

    I find that most of my orgasms are very underwhelming. No part of my penis is really that sensitive (although, as expected, the head is more sensitive than the shaft). I find that, during sex, I get to a point where I'm approaching orgasm and then I just get more physical with all my actions. That part is much more satisfying than the actual orgasm, which is really more of a release and leads to relaxation. My masturbation tends to be very bland. It's usually just a way to get my rocks off. One interesting aspect of my orgasm (loosely speaking) is my nipples. They tend to start off really sensitive (more so when I'm more aroused) to light touch, and then stop being sensitive (much to my disappointment). I have once managed to give myself a full body orgasm through an as-yet unrepeated combination of arousal, tickling, improvised handcuffs, and nipple stimulation. Also, the way I react to my nipples' interaction with pins and needles has led me to consider getting piercings, but for the fact that I think they'd look horrible on me.
    I have found my orgasms to be much stronger and more enjoyable when I am not fully in control of when I have them, not because of anything power related (although that can also be a plus) but because it means I have more stimulation before I ejaculate. I think it would be very interesting (and probably enjoyable for me) to be a sub (term used here very loosely) in a situation where I am given stimulation to every/any part of my body that is not my penis.
    Weirdly, my inner forearms are rather sensitive sexually.

    Hope this serves your intent.

  2. Orgasm is the moment that Adam and Eve bit into the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

  3. Please feel free to use the version I posted in comments or the relevant part (slightly edited for clarity) of my blog post here. I guess a plug would be kinda nice.

    lxr - I've been deliberately brought to orgasm through nipple stimulation plus the constriction and friction of boxer briefs. Was not my best orgasm by a long shot (lacks the envelopment I prefer) but was really interesting to do; I'd love to try it again without the briefs with someone really patient.

  4. I'm a (circumcised) male, and here is my story.

    Orgasm for me tends to be very underwhelming. The moment of orgasm itself, and its aftermath, is generally nothing special. It is a need, rather than a desire; something that makes me feel unfulfilled if I don't reach it.

    In the moments leading up to the good orgasms, I feel as though I'm being abstracted (I know that makes no sense), as though there is a tingling in my body that's entirely within my mind, as though I'm poised in perfect balance with this soaring feeling within me. And it makes me *want* to come, to orgasm as hard as I possibly can... and then the orgasm comes as a disappointment, every time.

    In the best orgasms I've ever had (a combination of being teased for a significant amount of time, anal stimulation, sex, and a bit of the submission headspace) the tingling is real and actual; I can feel my body tingling hard, as though it's on fire with tingles.

    I spoke during that orgasm and my partner says it was Hebrew, but I don't remember speaking. I cried her name out, too, and don't remember that, either.

    Before, after, and during orgasm I crave stimulation; light touches, the gliding of a fingernail over skin. Everywhere other than my nipples; for some reason, every other part of my body is more of an erogenous zone than my nipples.

    After orgasm, my mind skitters away from the sex, and I go back to musing and thinking about the randomest things, meta-analyzing what's going on, etc. I do love to cuddle afterwards, though; lightly touching each other, arms around each other, snuggling up.

    I honestly don't think my circumcision has anything to do with the bleh-ness of my orgasms, though. It's almost like the orgasm isn't happening to me *during the orgasm*, but rather just before it... so strange.

  5. Holly, woman here, but I just wanted to say that I'm really glad you're doing this. Reading the few comments that have been posted here have been very interesting to me, as several of them describe my own experience quite closely as well. I don't know why, but it was oddly comforting to read.

  6. I speak from own-hand experience only. I have three basic masturbation techniques, two of which include ejaculation and orgasm. I also cuddle myself a *lot*, it feels good and makes me just barely aroused. This kind of sensual play is something of a taboo in male masturbation. Actually, my sexuality is kind of like the stereotypic female sexuality: delicate and sensual, easily distracted, not very orgasm-centered.

    For ejaculation and orgasm, I need both direct genital stimulation and kinky fantasies or fetish play. Ejaculation can be induced by wanking when I'm only briefly and lightly aroused, but then the associated orgasm tends to be very mediocre. By building up arousal from fantasies I can get more intensive and pleasurable orgasms, but nothing very earth-shattering. I wanted to analyze the relationship between orgasm and ejaculation further, but my second-language English doesn't permit that.

    Usually I wank with a pretty specific choreography, standing by the bathroom sink, especially when I just feel the need to get off. On the other end of the spectrum, when I'm really positively horny, I put on a condom and have some self-bondage on my bed with less focus on genital stimulation. With heavy arousal and not-so-crafty wanking I get an orgasm that feels more intensive and "uncontrolled" but not generally more pleasurable than the usual. Mostly I do these scenes just for their general awesomeness.

    On rare occasion, when I've spent some time in bed cuddling myself, I may get a sudden "zap" feeling followed by warm, soft relaxation that makes me want more cudling. I don't really know if it counts as an orgasm, and certainly it is very different from ejaculative orgasm, but the afterglow feels wonderful. I can't induce it, it just comes without warning.

    I posted this partly to say: Thank you for blogging. I've been lurking since last winter, having nothing much to comment. I just really love this blog.

  7. I'm surprised so many guys in these comments are leading off by pointing out how mediocre their orgasms are. Maybe it's just trying to offset the perception that orgasms are the best thing ever for guys. I've had a lot of boring, "maintenance" orgasms too, but I've also had the hard-earned mindblowing variety, and as long as we're competing with intricate female orgasm flowers I thought those would be the significant ones.

    Having said that, I don't know if I have the words to describe a mindblowing orgasm. In particular, the path to there is constantly changing, and as I get older I think it might be getting slightly longer, but I think the rewards are also improving with age.

    One thing's for sure: the longer the stimulation, the better the orgasm. Quality of stimulation is important too, but quantity is key. The longer time must help the seminal glands get all full and engorged, because when I blow a well built-up load, the load is larger. With smaller loads I often don't actually feel the semen flowing. It's lost in the other sensations. But a real big load gives a momentary gushing/firehose feeling which is fucking awesome. Technically, I can recognise some of the sensation when urinating, so there's nothing mechanically special about it. But man, Holly, if you could piss hard through your clit, right as you start coming... Well I think it's pretty swell anyway. It's not all about load size of course, but longer buildup is still better and the rest is a lot harder to pin down.

    PS I just read Mousie762's description under the female orgasm post, and his analogy of the cartoon firehose is pretty good. Like an empty hose being suddenly filled from a fire hydrant.

    Holly's orgasm thesis was a loss of control. For me, I'd have to say it's more of a quest to scratch an itch. That makes it sound a lot like the "guys just need to get off" rhetoric, but it's not that simple. It's an itch that I don't necessarily start with, but once I start scratching the itch only gets more assertive. So I have to scratch more, push harder, thrust deeper, clench harder. I can get pretty animalistic about it on when closing in on orgasm, but it's not exactly a loss of control, just a single-mindedness. It is a quest, a compulsion, a task, and anything that distracts from this task is unwelcome. I hesitate to call orgasm a goal, since that seems to imply all the sex is just a means to an end, something to struggle through to reach the "goal", and it's not like that at all. Like Mousie762 said, the climax of a story doesn't stand on its own. A good, long buildup to the climax is an essential part of the story.

    The orgasm itself is the hardest bit to describe as the better it is, the less I am in my right mind. The tipping point right before orgasm is vividly clear though. I see it in my mind as a graph like volcano, with slopes rising up and then dropping abruptly into the central crater. The rim is smooth and polished: once you step onto it there's no friction, and you quickly drop off into a black hole of brain chemistry oblivion.

    I'll second Mousie's assertion that it is spectacularly frustrating to lose stimulation at this point. It is the collapsed house of cards, the knocked-over domino in the middle of the row. It's saving the biggest firework for last only to find out it's a dud. If I didn't know that I could still have other orgasms on other days, I would cry when this happens.
    (Wooooords limit)

  8. (Continued)
    Crummy orgasms are the disappointing splurts you hear about: it feels good but so fleeting it's like, "that's it?" Great orgasms on the other hand are full-body ordeals. There's a heat in my groin, fire in my cock, the rushing firehose feeling... And actually I'm not sure what else. The fireworks are clearly all in my head, but they're clearly directed to my crotch. The sensation in the rest of the body is more simply a tension in the muscles, but I think it counts.

    The period after orgasm is actually the point I find most interesting lately. I think it's most complex phase. First of all is the moment right after the clenching ends, and it's like the feeling of finally catching my breath, except with my body instead of my lungs. Or the feeling of releasing after stretching some tight muscle, which I suppose is not far from the truth. It feels so good I bet some guys would lump this into the orgasm proper, but it's definitely past a point for me. The little pilot of the jet fighter that is my head, who had blacked out in a turn, is now coming back to and groggily trying to figure out his status and regain control of his plane.

    The most interesting part though, if I may stretch this metaphor, is it's like a completely different pilot wakes up instead of the old one. My mood often completely changes at orgasm. Right before I'm all "sexsexunfunfsexunf", and as soon as I orgasm - sometimes while I'm still ejaculating, though I'm usually blacked-out for longer than that - I literally find myself thinking "Haha omigawd how did I get myself into this situation, legs over my head, covered in lube and a dong in my ass? This is ridiculous. I need to get cleaned up." I become MUCH less interested in sex. I'm sure this is a big part of the stereotype of men losing of interest after their own orgasm. Once I regain my wits I'm certainly willing to help a partner along, but I want to state this change is not JUST the guy being a selfish jerk, it is REAL, and something in spite of which non-jerks will continue sexing. I'm not trying to garner any sympathy for post-orgasm guys either. I'm just saying, brain chemistry: it's pretty astounding.

    Though not exactly sexual, I often love the feeling of the first deep exhale after orgasm. During orgasm my breathing turns shallow and I clench up, As soon as it's over I let out a breath that I never realised I took, and it's as if I'm blowing the smoke from some internal sexual combustion out through my nose. A lot of the tension goes out with that breath. Feels great. Feels like I ought to see actual smoke, and singe my partner's eyebrows with that breath.

    Something I never used to get but I've been getting more of in recent years is a kind of aftershocking after some orgasms. It's a lingering tenseness is all my muscles, like my body is a musical string that was plucked at orgasm and continues to ring up to a couple minutes later. I'm not much of a drug user but it feels like what I imagine a body high to be. It makes me just want to lie still, boneless, not touching anything, not saying anything, barely breathing, just ringing. Needless to say it feels awesome, sometimes better than the orgasm itself even though it's more subtle, just because there's so much of it to enjoy. I used to think such drawn-out physical pleasure was the purview of female orgasm. Really good aftershock is still pretty rare for me, but it's nice to know it's out there. I'm also sure again that this (or something like it) accounts for the stereotype of men rolling over and going to sleep after sex. Speaking for myself, I'm not sleepy, I just... give me a few minutes...

    Since some guys mentioned it, I'll add that I'm circumcised. I'd rather I hadn't been and I suspect it makes it harder to reach orgasm, (spilt milk, etc.,) but I think the orgasms themselves are pretty good once I get there, regardless.

  9. Anonymous:
    I don't know about the other guys who mentioned the "bleh"-ness of their orgasms, but I mentioned it because it's the norm. I have had fewer great orgasms than I can count on one hand. I have had great sex that didn't end in a great orgasm, and good sex that ended without my orgasm. I find that I don't have a desire to orgasm: I sometimes have a desire to ejaculate (pure physical release) and sometimes a desire to have fun (in a general sexual sense). The former occurs primarily before masturbation; the latter usually occurs before sex (or sexual play without intercourse, which I still refer to as sex). In the former, the orgasm is bland. In the latter, the orgasm is a double-edged sword: it feels good, but it's coupled with ejaculation, which ends the fun. It's interesting to note that I [think I] focus more on my partner's pleasure than on my own until I hit a point in my arousal, and then I just snap and get very focused on achieving my own orgasm.

  10. I'm not even sure I ever had an orgasm. I just recently began to wonder if male orgasms really aren't more than ejaculating and a little grunt. If so, I should sue those darn hormones for fraud!

    Well. As long as this essay of yours isn't done, I'll continue experimenting with my prostate :) ... and maybe check back if there are any epiphanies earned ("earned"?...) on the way.

  11. To the extent that orgasm is associated with ejaculation, I'll assume that what I feel is an orgasm.

    To expound: during either sex or masturbation, what gets me off is a single thought, which could be anything from thinking, "OMG, this is actually happening" to my girlfriend saying something that wraps itself around my mind like a steel cable.

    At this point, something "snaps" in my head and I know orgasm is inevitable. At this point, I can either let it sputter (by cutting off all stimulation) and maybe have a go in a little bit, or put my foot on the gas and take whatever motion I was doing up to eleven.

    If I decide to withhold stimulation, I get a small buildup and a series of small muscle contractions in the same muscles you use to stop peeing. In fact, that is what it feels like, but involuntary -- instead of voluntarily clenching these muscles, they are clenching on their own, rhythmically, for about 5-10 seconds. Maybe a small ejaculation and a minor refractory period, but usually no loss of erection.

    For a full-on orgasm, I feel a "drawing up" sensation in my thighs and abdominal muscles: as though something hot is running through these regions towards my cock. This is usually associated with full-body tension. Once the fiery sensation reaches my cock, the tension in my body is released spasmodically, in sharp little jerks, and the burning sensation, now concentrated in my cock, erupts, associated with the same muscle contractions described in the previous paragraph.

    Depending on the intensity of the psychological stimulation I'm receiving, I can find myself saying and wanting things that I don't normally say or want. Likewise, as I get more intensely aroused, sensations that would normally be painful become less so.

    Lastly, orgasm is usually associated with a feeling of intense guilt, as though I've been behaving irresponsibly both by ejaculating in proximity to another human being and by being horny for however long I was horny in the period preceding the sexual encounter. I don't know where these feelings come from, but they're inconvenient, to say the least.

    That's my take on it. Enjoy.

  12. Other than the very rare "that's it?" orgasm, I have 3 types:

    One is the slow but steady build; usually these are of the "we want to fuck, but we're tired, so let's just get to it" trysts. They are nice and relaxing; for me, it's about envelopment (hands, pussy, etc.) and a nice steady rhythm. Guaranteed relaxation.

    The 2nd type is more satisfying; both - or just me, sometimes - very turned on and into each other. Every movement brings more, building steadily to a mind blowing climax for both of us.

    The 3rd type is rare, but wonderful: These are the ones where I'm horny, I really want to orgasm, but I purposefully try to resist orgasming. If I can do it for a while - at times I fail! - the combination of "no, not yet!" and omygod removes any and all awareness of the outside world and leaves me shaky, weak and completely satiated for at least 1 day. It's best if I can have something in my ass at the time; sadly, that isn't always the case.

  13. My orgasms seldom vary from the norm I have had since I was a teenager. Typically during masturbation, I find the sensation rather boring and merely continue so as to reap the reward at the very end. As a Gay male and a top, my orgasms with a partner are not as intense as those from masturbation. That said, my typical orgasm consists of 3-4 major contractions with a few more diffuse follow ups. Sex is over immediately afterward. I am uncircumcised and do regular P/C (pubococcygeus) muscle exercises for strong erections and strong squirts of semen. Typically I produce 6-10 spurts if I have a day or two lapse between ejaculations. However I find the wetter the orgasm, the less intense and shorter in duration. My typical orgasm lasts 4-5 seconds even if completing ejaculation adds a few more seconds to the entire process.

  14. I don't know that I'd say I experience orgasms in precisely two ways - I experience them along (in my experience so far) one continuum, and they're pretty clustered at the two ends of it. It's not a strictly one-or-the-other thing, but, well, I can choose which one, and there's not much benefit from the middle.

    At the one end, there's an orgasm that I'm not really into - usually it comes (hur hur) from much faster stimulation, just jerking up and down really fast, lube or spit, whatever, and then the stuff comes out. I think of those as wasted orgasms, which is really very stupid. What I get out of those is mostly a messy hand/stomach/paper towel. I don't get these that often, because if I'm going to fap, I'm going to do it right, dammit. (And I don't seem to get the "need to masturbate" urge that much! I assume if I did this would be fantastic for sating it). I've had this and barely felt it - my crotch tenses up and it feels really nice for a few seconds, but, well, there's not much to tell.

    At the other end there's the really good orgasms - I guess. I don't really think of the orgasm as the best part! The orgasm, to me, is kind of a letdown. It just means that I can't fap any more. It's the build-up that matters to me, with the requisite heat, tensing, and desire.
    If I may use another hill metaphor - in my climb, there are the following stages:
    a little cliff that I clamber up (I haven't masturbated in too long! That's fun! time to give myself an erection!)
    a longish, uphill slope (this story's hot, so long as I disconnect my literary criticism! keep touching myself!)
    finally, the best part, a fairly flat, maybe ever-so-slightly uphill section, with a peak followed by a rather steep drop (oh fuck oh fuck I better stop or I'm not going to be able to stay)

    The key thing is that staying at that top area is perfect - I don't even know how to describe it. That's just where I feel that burning heat in me that I love. There is the matter of inertia, though - if I'm really close it's hard to tell if I'm really past the point. There've been many times that I've dropped my hands and stopped moving and then, several seconds later, had to clean up - frustrating!
    The eventual orgasm is better the longer I stay there (or the more times I go there in quick succession). At that peak, every touch is magnified. I think.

    The orgasm itself is also fantastic, but tainted by "Man, now I can't do this for a while...".
    If I had to pin a location on it, it'd start lower down my shaft the longer I've been at it, as a heat and mostly a strong tensing sensation, that spreads out from there mostly up my shaft but also throughout the rest of my body - my thighs and abs get it the most, and it's pretty awesome. That's the part where I double over and pant and stuff. I like that part too.

    I've tried fapping a few times in succession and subsequent orgasms take prohibitively larger amounts of effort, and the orgasms aren't very satisfying.

    When someone else is involved, I get off differently - when I'm by myself, it's essentially pure stimulation, up until the end when I start rocking back and forth. But with another person there, it's a matter of getting off on them - what gets me hot isn't what's happening to me, it's what's happening to *us*. Rocking with someone, rolling against each other, passionate, heated kisses - Much better than porn. Those orgasms sneak up on me but the heat's been building for so long that it's cool.

    (Jesus, when did I become Tolstoy?)

  15. It starts with a warm glow in my prostate radiating in waves up through my perineum and into my testicles. Heartbeat after heartbeat more blood flows into my hardening penis than flows out of it. The warm glow intensifies into a pulsating heat rising from the root of my being through my spine, down my semi hard penis and electrifying its head. As my penis hardens or is manipulated, my foreskin slides over the coronal ridge of my head triggering an involuntary twitch of my pc muscle which squeezes out a clear drop of precum. The urge to thrust my hips, spread my legs and have my penis enveloped in something warm and wet consumes my consciousness. My testicles feel swollen and heavy and my scrotum thickens and becomes taught. I can feel my prostate slowly starting to fill, my penis hardens almost to the point of pain, becomes quite red and veiny, my testicles are pulled up slick to my body or even slightly into my body. I could easily trigger an ejaculation and a lackluster orgasm at this point but instead I relax my pelvic floor, focus on my breathing and the sensations in my body.

  16. Continued; The head of my penis becomes extra sensitive, similar but not to the extent and more pleasurable than how it feels post orgasm. My prostate no longer feels like it is overflowing, but it is far from empty and still begging for release. My mind is fogged over with lust for sexual aggression and release and any remaining inhibitions are forgotten, I no longer worry about losing control and cumming too soon, I am more aggressive, slowly but with steadily rising speed and intensity my penis is rubbed, sucked or fucks. My prostate re-fills and rises over the rim, held by surface/sexual tension, it feels like pure molten pleasure ready to explode into a shower of sparks inside of me. A ripple of tensioned calm passes though the muscles in my perineum and core, my skin flushes and my breathing intensifies, my buttocks clench, my hips thrust, my penis becomes painfully hard and I can feel myself slip past the point of no return… That moment of pure bliss as I teeter on the edge, as my pupils dilate and I become inundated with sensory input as my insides explode while the first ejaculatory contraction and orgasmic wave starts to rip through me, up from my prostate into my urethral bulb, through my penis and spine through to the rest of my body. By the second contraction thick creamy spurts or dribbles of ejaculate are flowing out of me as I buck, shake, moan and groan and curse. After three or four intense contractions and ejaculatory spurts followed by eight to ten medium contractions oozing ejaculate, having every last drop milked and squeezed up and out of me as the final twitches of my ejaculation subside is a deeply relieving and satisfying experience. I am panting, overheating and dehydrated, my penis continues to twitch involuntarily as a euphoric, fuzzy and glowing, almost drugged feeling overcomes me, I feel thoroughly contented and satiated. Having someone to share and help me through this build up and release of energy is something that I cherish and interpret as an act of love. That another person is willing to engage in carnal, menial and dirty acts to make me happy makes me feel special and loved. Being able to look into someone's eyes as they push me over the edge and past the point of no return is soul satisfying, even more so if I can do the same for them.

  17. Like so many of the guys that posted here, I don't know that I ever had an orgasm from sex. Usually she is done way before I am, and I'm simply let down after she has her orgasm (which to me in itself is pleasurable, just the thought of "I did that to/for her").

    I have had non-sexual bodily orgasms, at least where I lost control of my body and pretty much collapsed. There was no adrenaline rush or anything spectacular about them though.

    One was caused, oddly enough, when I was driving with the windows down on a warm Summer's day and a warm breeze blew across my ear. The light, warm sensation brought me instantly to shudder (not to mention crash) with a bodily convulsion.

    The second was when a girl friend took me to get a Prince Albert piercing. The piercing felt like I came a bullet and the adrenaline rush made me drift off for a while.

    As far as mind blowing sex, never had it. Great sex yes; but never mind blowing.

    Hope this helps.

  18. I can have sex and not finish and feel ok. Sometimes it's with a girl and sometimes with a boy. I'm 26 and work in customer service at a Walmart store and I'm bi so I meet a lot of people I want to have sex with. Some girls give me orgasms that are good but when I am with a guy it can be amazing especially if he really wants to "service" me and really pleasure torture me so that when he lets me cum it is powerful. An example would be when a guy edges me toward the climax. He tickles and teases me and he even teases my nipples and he brings me right to the "edge" of orgasm but won't let me cum till he says it's ok to do it. When he finally lets me cum my ejaculation is really powerful and I usually shoot five or six times and the more jit I can shoot, the stronger my oorgasm will be. I like feeling controlled I guess and a guy really does this for me. Most girls I have been with are ok but really not into playing and don't really know how to play with my penis but guys certainly do so it is always better for me with a guy. I always try to give alot of pleasure to my partner too and always listne to what the boy likes and wants me to do to him. One other way I have strong orgasms is when I frot with a guy. That is when two guys rub their penis together in a ll sorts of different ways and then both try to reach orgasm at the very sme time. It can be pretty messy but it can be exciting as hell and I really enjoy my orgasms when I do this.

  19. I am a male, I am not circumsized although I do not believe that affects my orgasm. But after extensive reading, curiousity and expirement I have finally begun to understand what tantrism is all about. I have been able to achieve multiple orgasms without ejaculation until the last orgasm. From what i found an ejaculatory orgasm is very different from a non ejaculatory orgasm. When I ejaculate my whole body contracts inward and it is more a pleasurable release, but a non ejaculatory orgasm ends up in my entire body radiating in my spine outward, I get to the point of no orgasm return and actually relax my pelvic area and consciousley contract at my will increasing to a non ejaculatory orgasm that turns into to full body followed by more orgasms. The non ejaculatory start at the base of my penis then up my spine and out to my limbs and everywhere and from what I know is similar to a womens orgasm.