Thought Catalog

Ejaculation Vs. Orgasm, What’s The Difference?

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image - Flickr / Firesam!
image – Flickr / Firesam!

Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: What is the difference between ejaculation and orgasm for a male? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.


The simple answer is that orgasms happen in the brain, ejaculation happens in the prostate and urethra, and they are two different things that usually (but not always) happen together.  In reality, it isn’t that simple because orgasms also involve the PNS and involuntary contractions of the anal sphincters and other muscles, in the groin and elsewhere, but the simple version captures the main idea.

In brains scans, an orgasm looks remarkably like an epileptic fit, an electrical storm that sweeps over the brain.  It actually begins at “the point of no return,” followed one to three seconds later by the onset of ejaculation.

The key point is that you can have either one without the other.  Men who have experienced anorgasmic ejaculation (without sexual arousal or orgasm) say it’s not at all pleasurable.  Men who experience orgasm without ejaculation are divided.  Some (mostly younger ones) say that a non-ejaculatory orgasm is somewhat less pleasurable or intense.  Others (mostly older men) say they’re equally enjoyable.  Still, it’s pretty clear that most of the pleasure comes from the orgasm itself.

The other important point is that there is no loss of erection if you have an orgasm but don’t ejaculate.  It’s the ejaculation, not the orgasm, that dumps the hormones into your bloodstream that cause detumescence.  So being able to orgasm without ejaculation increases a man’s stamina and allows him to have many more orgasms.

When Hartman & Fithian did their monumental study of human sexuality (over 10,000 hours of recordings of people masturbating and having sex while wired up in the lab!), they found that about 12% of their male subjects were able to have orgasms without ejaculating and without losing their erections.  These 33 men averaged 4 orgasms per session (usually half an hour or so) and one had 16 orgasms in less than an hour.

Some links you may find helpful:

In my own interviews with experienced Tantrics, around 40% of the men could choose to have an orgasm without ejaculating, probably because men who are motivated enough to learn Tantra are more likely to be motivated enough to learn this trick as well. TC mark

This post originally appeared at Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and get insider knowledge.

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