It is a myth that the human male orgasm is synonymous with ejaculation. Orgasm is a nervous-system response while ejaculation is a reproductive one. Men can achieve an orgasm without ejaculating and can ejaculate without achieving an orgasm. The two acts are independent of one another and both do not always occur in the same sexual encounter.
The male orgasm has 13 stages, as described in Sexy Origins and Intimate Things, by Charles Panati. A summary of the individual stages follows along with other nuggets of knowledge gleaned in my research of male anatomy and sexual response.
During orgasm, the stage is when the shaft of the penis reaches its maximum length, width and rigidity. This phase is commonly referred to as a “hard-on.”
Second, the head of the penis, or the glans, swells and darkens. This is the result of vasocongestion of blood in the penis itself. Prescription medications for treatment of erectile dysfunction can aid with regulating vasocongestion. (For the mechanics behind these drugs, please read the Your Sexy Librarian blog about these medications.)
Third, the opening at the tip of the penis widens and is lubricated by fluid from the Cowper’s glands. These two glands, originally known as the bulbourethral glands but called Cowper’s glands in honor of English anatomist William Cowper, are about the size of peas and are located inferior, or lower than, the prostate and lateral, or sideways, from the urethra in the urogenital diaphragm in the male pelvis.
Fourth, the testes enlarge by 50 to 100 percent of their normal size before rising and rotating to come into close contact with the body. The testes are a pair of ovoid glandular organs found in males that produce the sex hormone testosterone. Testicles descend, or drop, into the scrotum on their own when males are infants. It is quite normal for one testis to be slightly larger than the other. One testicle is sufficient for production of sperm and male sex hormone for adult males, but if a man loses both testicles in adulthood he will most likely need hormone replacement therapy to reach the appropriate level of testosterone for daily function.
Fifth, the blood pressure shoots from an average systolic, the top number in a blood pressure reading, of 120 to as much as 220. Systolic is the measure of the pressure as the heart beats and forces blood into the arteries.
Sixth, the heart rate accelerates from 70 beats per minute to over 150 beats per minute and to possibly as high as 180 beats per minute. Checking a person’s pulse will measure the heart beats per minute.
Seventh, the breathing rate increases by a factor of three, becoming rapid and swallow.
Eighth, the body muscles are in a state of high tension. The face grimaces, hands claw, toes curl and feet arch. His vocal cords may emit some animalistic cries, or he may simply whimper or moan.
Ninth, all rational thought processes in the brain are overwhelmed by the sensation of intense pleasure. He could simply care less about anything except the physical ecstasy he is currently experiencing.
Tenth, the nipples swell and harden. For some men, the nipples will become highly sensitive to touch. Nipple erection is due to the contraction of smooth muscle that is under the control of the autonomic nervous system.
Eleventh, a flush of blood fans out over his body and reddens the skin, especially the face, chest and buttocks.
Twelfth, the erectile tissues in the nose swell. These tissues are very similar to the erectile tissue found in the penis. Other erectile tissues can be found in the ears; in the urethral sponge, which is a spongy cushion of tissue, found in the lower genital area of females, that sits against both the pelvic bone and the vaginal wall and that surrounds the urethra; and in the perineal sponge, which is another spongy cushion of tissue, found in the lower genital area of females as well, that sits between the vaginal opening and rectum.
Lastly, the moment after orgasm, sweat breaks out over his body, especially on the palms and feet. Some men will be drenched with perspiration.
After all this physical change, it is no wonder most men tend to fall asleep quickly after orgasm. Forgive them for nodding off and allow them to enjoy the after effects of their orgasms.
It takes an average of 40 to 50 minutes for a man to achieve another erection after orgasm or ejaculation. Spend this time kissing, caressing, massaging, nuzzling, fondling or playing with sex toys to allow his penis time to recover from the first round while getting ready for the next round.