What Does a Male Orgasm Feel Like?

what does a male orgasm feel like
Evan Porter
Written by Evan Porter

So you think you’ve got the male orgasm all figured out. A little hand or mouth on his penis, a little in and out, and then boom! That’s all there is to it, right?

Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that. And gaining a better understanding of the male orgasm and how it works might just do wonders for your sex life and your relationship.

Trust me, your guy will appreciate the effort. And he’ll probably think it was pretty hot that you were studying up during your free time. Have you ever wondered what a male orgasm feels like, for example?

You’re about to learn.

How the Male Orgasm Works

what does a male orgasm feel like

Before we get to breaking down the actual sensation, it’s important to learn the mechanics. They’re a little bit different than you might be used to, but maybe not as different as you might expect!

Let’s start with the obvious: Can men have orgasms?

Of course! But a better question might be… why do they?

There’s a lot of debate around this question in the scientific community, but one common consensus is that an orgasm is simply a fun little reward for having sex and an incentive to do it more often, and potentially make more babies.

As for the how, that’s a much easier question to answer.

There are basically 4 stages of the male orgasm.

Arousal: When a guy gets turned on, his body starts laying the foundation for an awesome orgasm. The shaft of the penis fills with a high volume of blood, giving him an erection. The muscles in his body tighten up and he finds himself ‘ready to go.’

Plateau: At some point during sex, his body starts to get ready for an orgasm — usually somewhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes before he’s ready to blow. His heart rate shoots through the roof (150 bpm or more), his muscles tighten and spasm, and pre-ejaculatory fluid (pre-cum) gets the urethra cleaned out and ready for sperm.

Orgasm: First, during a period called emission, semen moves into position at the top of the urethra and the man reaches “the point of no return.” Then, during ejaculation, incredibly intense contractions in the penile muscles and the muscles near his anus propel the semen out in short bursts.

This quick contract-release pattern isn’t too different from a woman’s orgasm. During orgasm, a man’s brain releases a flood of neurochemicals that launch him into a state of hyper-focused pleasure.

Though it is possible for men to orgasm without ejaculating, and vice versa, but we’ll get to that.

Resolution & Refraction: Shortly after orgasm, all of that muscle tensions starts to fade, the blood drains from the man’s penis and he begins to lose his erection. Some of the chemicals released into his brain during orgasm like oxytocin and prolactin make him feel at ease, relaxed, and quite sleepy.

Is Ejaculation the Same as Orgasm?

what does a male orgasm feel like

Now would be a good time to clear this up.

Ejaculation and orgasm are not the same thing for men!

Sure, they often go hand in hand, but there are some notable exceptions worth mentioning.

Can Men Have Orgasms Without Ejaculating?

They absolutely can, in lots of different ways, too.

For example, men well-practiced in tantric sex can learn to delay and control ejaculation, staying inside the “point of no return” for long periods of time and experiencing amazing and lengthy orgasms.

There’s also such a thing as a dry orgasm: Literally, when a man orgasms but doesn’t release semen. These can happen to men as a result of surgeries to remove the prostate or bladder, or to men who just don’t produce enough semen. Young boys can also sometimes reach orgasm before they’re able to ejaculate.

It’s also possible for a man to have an orgasm but to release the semen into his own bladder, which is a condition called retrograde ejaculation.

Can Men Ejaculate Without Orgasming?

Yes, and it’s called orgasm anhedonia, meaning an inability to feel pleasure from orgasm.

People with this condition likely aren’t releasing brain chemicals in the right amounts at the right time during orgasm. There are a lot of potential causes of this, from depression to drug use, but it doesn’t normally affect their sex drive or fertility.

Male vs Female Orgasm for Better Understanding

male vs female orgasm

OK, let’s get into the good stuff. The simplest explanation here is that, in many ways:

The male orgasm is pretty similar to the female orgasm.

There’s a flood of neurochemicals that induce a state of trance-like pleasure, and fast, intense contractions of muscles in the pelvic area. In other words, it feels damn good! Turns out we’re pretty similar after all.

But… There Are a Few Important Differences

Length: In a standard one-to-one comparison, women’s orgasms last longer. The main flood of pleasure chemicals and intense muscle contractions only last somewhere between 3-10 seconds for men, while for many women it’ll be twice as long. However, men can learn to control ejaculation and have longer orgasms.

Hormones: Our brains release basically the same cocktail during orgasm — a combo that gives us an express ride right to pleasure town. However, there’s some interesting research that shows men “cool down” significantly faster than women, plummeting back down to Earth and into a very relaxed state while women may remain more easily sexually excitable for long afterward.

Refractory period: The refractory period is a measure of how long it takes before a man is ready to go again, or have another orgasm. It can be pretty short for younger men — a few minutes or so — and tends to get longer as we get older, up to a few days! Women, for the most part, don’t have the same limitation on their orgasms.

What Does a Male Orgasm Feel Like: Explained by Dudes

what does a male orgasm feel like

Most guys describe their orgasms in about the same way. First, there’s a huge build up of pressure and sensation;

Like being at the top of a rollercoaster about to rocket down a huge hill.

Then, a mind-blowing explosion! Most guys mention losing track of pretty much everything, completely blocking out the world around them, during those few moments of pure ecstasy.

Finally, relief, satisfaction, and, well… sleepiness! Along with a deep vulnerability and awe of the moment you just shared with another human.

What ‘comes’ Next?

So… not so simple, after all.

Dudes have a lot more depth than people think, especially when it comes to sex.

Our orgasms are actually a lot like female orgasms! Plus, we can orgasm without ejaculating, and ejaculate without orgasming. Not to mention, when we learn better control of our bodies, we can have really long, earth-shattering orgasms, or even multiple orgasms!

In the end, we should all spend a little more time trying to understand how our partner experiences pleasure. There are always new things to learn, and new surprises along the way, that can help us build even stronger sexual bonds and relationships with one another.

About the author

Evan Porter

Evan Porter

Evan is a former writer for Upworthy, a proud dad, and a fierce advocate for health, fitness, and wellness. He wants to help create a more conscious and loving world for his daughter to grow up in.