Myth: Men Can Not Have Multiple Orgasms

This times’ myth is that men can’t have multiple orgasms. Now, although it seems to be common knowledge that women are capable of having multiple orgasms, and in fact often erroneously believe that all women should have multiple orgasms or are able to but they’re just not doing it, or somehow they have a problem and that’s why they’re not having them, or their men are not doing the right things to them, and that’s why they’re not having them. And that of course, isn’t correct – all women can’t have multiple orgasms – some do and some don’t, and it’s not something that women should be wishing for or working towards. You do if you do and you don’t if you don’t.

Most people believe that the phenomenon of multiple orgasms does not exist in the human male. Multiple orgasms in women were defined by Masters and Johnson as “one or more additional orgasms within a short time without dropping below the plateau level of sexual arousal.” They went on to say that men were not able to have multiple orgasms if it is defined in the same way; that is, the same way as they defined multiple orgasms for women, because, after ejaculation, men enter a refractory period when they lose their erection and are too sensitive to be re-stimulated. It has been traditionally understood that there are several stages of ejaculation and orgasm in men. The first stage is called emission. And I’m going to give you now a lesson in male sexual response. Now emission is the deposit of seminal fluid from the testicles and the prostate gland into the upper end of the urethra. Now I know a lot of people feel that this is all one thing – that a man has an orgasm and ejaculation, it’s all sort of one experience – but it’s not. They’re all separate and they’re all separable. So the first stage is that emission – when the sperm and the parts of that experience come from the testicles and they’re mixed with fluids from the prostate and other glands at the top of the urethra. This also involves the simultaneous closing of the valve that’s the junction between the urethra and the bladder. Otherwise, the semen would go up into the bladder when the push comes to send it out into the penis, and it would travel backward into the bladder instead of forwards out of the penis.

The next stage is called ejaculation. That’s when there is an intermittent relaxation of the muscles around the end of the prostate, near the upper end of the penis, and three to seven muscular contractions which push the seminal fluid out of the urethra out of the opening of the end of the penis. So you’ve got a closing at the upper end of the prostate, an opening or a relaxation at the lower end, and you’ve got the contractions going so that it pushes the semen, which is the sperm and all these fluids from the prostate and from other glands, out the end of the penis, which is what you see, and simultaneously either with emission or with ejaculation or with both of them, it is orgasm, which is a brain event. It takes place in the brain simultaneously with emission or ejaculation and is related to physiological mechanisms that we don’t understand yet. But people are certainly doing research to find out.

Now, most men experience a time when they lose their erection and they feel too sensitive to receive any more sexual stimulation. However, there are two papers in the scientific literature and one book that describe and report on men who are capable of experiencing the same thing that some women do – that is, experiencing multiple orgasms just like women do. Some of these men have always had these experiences and some discovered the experience of multiple orgasms fortuitously – that is, it just sort of happened to them one day – or some report that they actually trained themselves to be able to multiply orgasmic. And I’m going to spend some time now telling you about these men in detail because since most of us have never heard about this, I think you’ll find it interesting. I certainly found it interesting when I learned about it. The other thing that I want to tell you about that we’ll talk about at the end is that we have very new information from the last few years that may explain why some men can do this and some men can learn this, and maybe you’re one of these men and you’ll want to try to find out if you can learn to do this, or maybe you won’t be interested if you can.

Now let’s define what researchers identified as multiple orgasms in their male participants. In order to be part of these two studies, a man had to experience two or more orgasms with or without ejaculation, and with only limited softening, or detumescence, of the penis during one and the same sexual encounter. The men had to maintain enough of an erection so that both the man and his partners really did not notice a significant change in the rigidity of his penis. The concept of one and the same sexual encounter included the following: during continual intercourse – he could change position during intercourse, that was OK. He could go from vaginal to anal intercourse or anal to vaginal intercourse – and by the way, remember if you do that you have to clean the penis or you have to change your condom or take the condom off to go from anal to vaginal. We don’t go from anal to vaginal ever – you can go from vaginal to anal but not anal to vaginal because of the bacteria – just reminding you! Or he could go from oral stimulation to vaginal, or oral to anal, or he could have two orgasms during fellatio, or he could have two orgasms during manual stimulation. I think you get the idea. But that would all be considered one event. Or he could have three, four, or five orgasms – as you’ll see, some people do. If the penis became soft after orgasm, and/or a resting period was necessary, more than just a few seconds, before another firm erection could be attained, then there were two encounters, not one encounter, and that did not count as multiple orgasms.

Now this major study reported on 21 men, and they ranged in age from 21 years old to 69 years old. The majority of the men were over 43 with seven of them age 55 or over. 20 were heterosexual, and 1 was gay. The men were found through announcements requesting subjects who had had this experience during lectures by the researchers at lectures on other sexological events or issues – so they weren’t lecturing on multiple orgasms in men, they were lecturing on other things. And it’s interesting that often the subjects were found through their female partners who happened to be at these lectures, and would come up to the researchers and say “oh, my partner does this” and they would then contact the lecturers after speaking to their partners, and their partners would agree to be part of the study. Although there were no physiological measures in this study, there was corroboration of this phenomenon from many of the subjects and many of the female partners were actually interviewed as well, which I’ll mention later. None of the subjects recalled having experienced multiple orgasms before adolescence, so this was something that happened after their hormones, their adult hormones came into physiological play. Participants fell into two categories – men who remembered being multi-orgasmic from their very first sexual experience with a partner, and that was 13 of the 21 subjects, and then men who became multi-orgasmic, usually after the age of 35. And that was 8 subjects. So if you are less than 35, this may happen to you! The “always” group reported experiencing multi orgasms during masturbation and/or from their first partnered orgasmic experience. Most of them believed, at first, that all males were multi-orgasmic because they had no other experience. It was usually from a partner that they found out that they were unusual. The men who began experiencing multi orgasms later in life were divided, again, into two groups – those who fortuitously began to experience them, and that was 6 of the subjects and 2 who deliberately learned or planned to be multi-orgasmic. The ones who had surprise multiple orgasms tried then, on subsequent occasions after that, to repeat the experience until they learned to repeat it and to repeat the conditions that led to the event since they enjoyed it, they wanted to do it again. Sometimes it was just the simple idea of continuing to thrust after ejaculation, or containing themselves inside the vagina for a few seconds or half a minute, maintaining their erection, and then beginning thrusting again and finding that their erection actually didn’t disappear, and then another orgasm arrived. The two participants that deliberately planned on becoming multiply orgasmic after hearing about this phenomenon somewhere, reading about it or hearing about it, or decided that if women could do it, why couldn’t men? These men practiced coming to the edge of orgasm and then inhibiting their ejaculation until they reported that they were able to separate the sensation of orgasm from the experience of ejaculation. Both of these men reported using techniques such as the squeeze technique or the stop and start method in their initial efforts to try to train themselves. And these are techniques that are recommended to help men who have rapid or premature ejaculation to work on their problem. And you can find these in books – they’re in a lot of textbooks, sex education textbooks, so that’s easy to find if you want to try it.

So in this group of subjects, being multiply-orgasmic occurred in three ways. It was either always there, and it was just the way they functioned from their very first sexual experience. Or it occurred suddenly and fortuitously in their later lives and then they practiced and it kept happening again. Or the men deliberately trained themselves to do it. This does not mean, by the way, that there might be many other ways that this happens to men or that they learn to do it. But, since this was a small population, a small sample, a volunteer group, this is what we know at this point.

Now, what do we know about time between orgasms? Were there differences among the men in the time it took to achieve orgasm after the first one? And then after the second one, and the third one, and so forth. And the researchers found that the men were again divided into two groups in terms of in the time between orgasms. The first group, which included 5 subjects, seemed to need minimal or no time between one full erection and the next. And again, remember, they didn’t lose much erection at all – they might get a little bit soft but really, you could hardly tell the difference. So there was not a big difference in their being able to just continue thrusting and maintain their erection after the first or the second or the third orgasm. But there was a delay before the second or third orgasm came. Now, these men just continued stimulation of some kind – whether it was oral or vaginal insertion or manual stimulation by their partner or themselves. Some kind of stimulation – and they continued to experience pleasure until the next orgasm arrived. And then again, time would pass, with more stimulation, and the next orgasm would be experienced. The second group, which included 16 subjects, had a different pattern. These men did not lose their erections at all between orgasms, but the orgasms following the first one occurred within a few minutes of each other. Their re-arousal to orgasm time was very short, and they might have one after another after another with just a very short time between each orgasm.

Now the next question you might ask is, “how many orgasms could these men have in one sexual encounter?” Most of these men reported between 2 and 9 orgasms per session. One man said that he had experienced as many as 16 in one session. Now, when reporting the duration of erection in a multiple orgasm session, the subjects in this group estimated sexual encounter timeframes were from 15 minutes to more than 2 hours without noticing a loss of erection between orgasms. Now, what about the sequences of ejaculations and orgasms? And I bet you would feel that they must have had the ejaculation at the end of whatever the sequence was – that would be what most people, I think, would guess. Was there a specific sequence, and did each man have the same sequence each time? So that’s another question that we might have. 2 of the men ejaculated on their first orgasm usually, and then had a series of dry orgasms. 16, however, had varied patterns, with the possibility of a full, partial, or no ejaculation happening at any time within any particular sequence. 3 subjects were similar to all those reported in the other, earlier study that I reported to you, in which the first series of orgasms were all without an ejaculation, followed by a final, more intense ejaculatory orgasm – which I guess is what everybody would think is most likely, but in fact, only 3 subjects had this.

Some of the men reported that dry orgasms were the strongest ones, while others reported that the ejaculatory ones were the most intense. Others said there was no relationship between the intensity of orgasm and whether they ejaculated or not, which I think is very interesting because I would have guessed, and maybe you would have guessed too, that the ejaculatory ones would be the most intense, but that just was not true. Now, as I told you, female partners of 14 of the men were interviewed, and they all confirmed the reports of the male subjects with regard to the men’s behavior and their responses. So as far as they could tell, from the outside, what the men were telling the researchers seemed to be accurate.

Now, what about techniques? Were the men doing anything special to make this happen, to have this continue happening? Most of the men who began their sexual lives experiencing multiple orgasms were unaware of anything they might be doing to produce this phenomenon of multiple orgasms. Those who had begun experiencing multiple orgasms later in life were generally aware of something that they were doing, something consciously that they were doing to make them happen. Usually, these men were using some form of stimulus reduction at the point when ejaculation felt as if it was inevitable. A lot of it was like what was taught in the stop and start method, or the squeeze technique that I mentioned to you. They would build to a peak, stop, slow down or stop altogether, build to a peak again, then stop and deeply relax. When they reached the sensation of orgasm, they would again relax deeply. So when they had the orgasm they would again deeply relax but they would continue to stimulate even though they were trying to relax. 3 of the men used muscle contractions at the point of feeling that ejaculation was about to occur. They reported the feeling of clamping down and doing what’s called Kegel exercises. Now, Kegel exercises for men and for women is the same kind of feeling as if you try to stop the flow of urine when you’re urinating. So if you want to try that, you can – you can try it, in fact, when you sit down on the toilet – or stand up if you’re a man, but you can do it either way, and it’s usually neater if you sit down on the toilet, even if you’re a man – and try to stop the flow of urine while you’re urinating. It’s those muscles that you can strengthen with the Kegel exercises. And by the way, there’s some evidence that it helps to enhance orgasmic feelings by doing that, for both men and women, it actually strengthens your feelings of arousal and orgasm by strengthening those muscles. Those are the muscles in the abdominal area that are involved in sexuality. And these men say that by using those muscles they can help themselves to control and separate their ejaculation from orgasm and help themselves to have these multiple orgasms. Then they continue stimulation, and they have multiple orgasms.

Now here are some of the things that they say are very important to have this experience: continued stimulation and a warm environment are essential to maintaining erection after orgasm. So, again, important is to be able to continue stimulation – if you feel very sensitive, you stop the stimulation for a short time, but you keep warm – stay inside the vagina or the mouth, or having your lover hold your penis, keeping it warm – and then start stimulation again. If they felt sensitive, they would only rest for a very short time before continuing, or their erection would be lost, they reported. Here are some other things that were absolutely required by all of these men, they reported, for being able to do this. They said they usually required, almost all of them, a familiar partner – this was not something they could do with a new partner or a casual partner. They needed a non-demanding environment with emotional closeness and the opportunity for leisurely sex – this was not something that you do in the backseat of a car or in some scary environment. They needed a partner who was vaginally responsive – that is, a woman who was enjoyed sexual pleasure from vaginal stimulation and was well-lubricated, obviously. And that lubrication could come from her or it could come from additional lubrication added – water-based or silicone-based. A woman who enjoyed prolonged sexual intercourse or oral contact – and obviously that would be the case because we’re talking about sexual encounters that last from 15 minutes to more than 2 hours. A woman who was highly sensual and signaled continual interest. A woman who was telling her partner, in different ways, how much she enjoyed the sexual encounter.

Now, you might ask how common or uncommon multiple orgasms is in men. And again, this is important for those of you who are listening to this, because we don’t want to put any pressure on anybody that this is something they ought to do, or they should be doing, just like we don’t want any woman to feel that this is something she ought to be doing or should be doing. Now there’s one earlier study that I mentioned to you that I found in the scientific literature which reported on 13 men age 22 to 56, with the majority under age 36. And one book that’s been written with instructions on learning how to achieve multiple orgasms in men, who, I think erroneously, said anybody could learn this – I don’t think that’s true at all. But there is no way for us to estimate how many men in the general population experience multiple orgasms or, in fact, are capable of doing it or learning how to do it. These two studies concern very small groups of men who volunteered to talk about their experiences, and they were not easy to find. So there’s no way for us to guess how many people can do this or are actually doing this.

But we’ve got some really new data, just in the last few years, that give us some clues as to what about these men – and maybe women too – make this possible, and why some people do just experience this out of the blue from the beginning, or fortuitously experience this. And this research is in the area of neuroendocrinology, that is, the study of hormones and the brain. And it’s particularly related to the phenomenon of orgasm. And we’re now starting to find out more about orgasm and more about maybe why some people naturally have this ability. Recent research has demonstrated that sexual activity in men and women results in a long-lasting increase in a hormone called prolactin. And when I say long-lasting, I mean up to thirty minutes, which is long for hormones. Particularly, orgasm has been shown to produce a significant increase in the secretion of this hormone called prolactin in both men and women. And this is a hormone that is stimulated by the hypothalamus, which is a little part of the brain and made by a little gland that hangs right underneath the brain, right above the top of your mouth, the roof of your mouth. This hormone is also involved, interestingly, in the phenomenon of lactation – that is, in making breast milk – and also in the delivery of babies. So interesting that hormones have different jobs that are in both men and women. And by the way, if anybody tells you that testosterone is the male hormone and estrogen is the female hormone, they’re only giving you a really very skewed story, because women have testosterone, and it may be involved in their desire, and men have estrogen, very important for the health of sperm. It’s just that men have a lot more testosterone than women, and women have a lot more estrogen than men. So there’s no such thing as a hormone that’s only for men and a hormone that’s only for women. And prolactin is something that both men and women have, and they use it for different things. Sometimes for the same things, like perhaps it’s involved in orgasm.

Now, getting back to prolactin’s role in orgasm. A study of 10 men has recently shown that prolactin increases immediately after orgasm and remains elevated for up to 30 minutes following orgasm, in comparison with other hormones that are not so affected, because they looked at a whole bunch of hormones. The research has suggested that these prolactin levels might be elevated and might be the cause of the inability to renew erection in men and experience immediate subsequent arousal and orgasm for most men. So it might be this elevated prolactin that stops men from being able to become immediately aroused again after orgasm.

Now then another study was done. And it compared 1 multi-orgasmic man with 9 single orgasmic men. That’s because they could only find 1 multi-orgasmic man to look at! Blood was drawn continuously from these 10 men while they masturbated and had orgasm. Now the 9 singly orgasmic men all evidenced the average rise in prolactin in their blood after orgasm, as we would expect. But the one multi-orgasmic man showed no prolactin response after he experienced 3 orgasms. Very interesting. So at this point, it looks as it men who experience multi orgasm may normally produce very little or no prolactin in response to orgasm, and therefore they get a special bonus! They can continue to have an erection and can continue to have orgasms. And perhaps those who learn to have multi orgasms are men who have lower than average prolactin and, with practice, can overcome those lower levels, or maybe their prolactin levels seem to decrease as they get older, because a lot of these men have their first multi-orgasm after the age of 35, and for some reason their prolactin levels in response to orgasm lower as they get older, and then, hello, all of the sudden they’re able to do this.

So – if this experience, that is, if having multiple orgasms is something that interests you, the only way that you can find out if this is something that you can do is for you to try. Because since most of you thought it was impossible, you maybe never tried it! You had your orgasm, you started to get soft, and you took it for granted that that was the end. Well, maybe it isn’t, so maybe you ought to see if you could try. By the way, the same mechanism, that is, this prolactin response, may be what underlies the differences among women in their abilities to experience multiple orgasm. So maybe those who do have lower or no prolactin in response to orgasm, and those who don’t have multiple orgasms are ones who do have the more average rise in prolactin after orgasm.

So – we end this myth with the answer that, when it comes to multiple orgasm in men, at this point what we can say is we do know that some men CAN have multiple orgasms, but we don’t know whether all men can or whether all men even want to. And that’s the end of our myth for this month.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.