Am I having orgasms?
April 4, 2008 9:56 PM   Subscribe

Very personal sex/anatomy question ahoy.

I'm a gay male with an active sex life, but I have never ejaculated during sex. Up until recently, I've been operating under the assumption that I've never experienced an orgasm, but my boyfriend pointed out that I describe my experience as sharp spike in sexual pleasure, after which continued stimulation feels painful and unpleasant. After this spike occurs, I lose my erection, I feel exhausted/spent and my genitals are tender for a few hours afterwards. It certainly feels like I imagine an orgasm would feel, but there is no ejaculation. I've read that they needn't necessarily go hand in hand, but there are complicating factors. I have wet dreams, and so obviously I am capable of ejaculating. Is there something wrong with my ability to ejaculate, or am I just not orgasming, as we've assumed up until now? Will this cause long-term problems? Should I seek medical attention?
posted by zeusianfog to Health & Fitness (17 answers total)

Should I seek medical attention?

Stop masturbating, first. Go without masturbation for a week. The next time you jump your bf, you'll surprise him — and yourself.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:02 PM on April 4, 2008

Response by poster: Oh, there's another mitigating factor. I never masturbate.
posted by zeusianfog at 10:08 PM on April 4, 2008

If I recall correctly from my Human Sexuality classes, yes it is indeed possible for men to orgasm without ejaculation. From your description, thats what it sounds like is happening. I'm sorry I can't answer your other questions, but I think it is something that would be worthwhile to discuss with a doctor.
posted by piratebowling at 10:16 PM on April 4, 2008

There's retrograde ejaculation — except for infertility, which isn't something most gay men worry about, it sounds relatively harmless, but if you're not masturbating and you don't ejaculate when you orgasm, you might consider seeing a GP or urologist.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:21 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

seriously, if there is a chance that your penis is malfunctioning, see a doctor, not the internet
posted by swbarrett at 10:25 PM on April 4, 2008 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Well, doctors cost money--I can afford to see one if I have a really pressing medical problem hopefully, but since this doesn't hurt and it isn't affecting my quality of life, so I just want to know a) if I have serious longterm concerns and b) if I am actually having orgasms, because then I would feel a little less frustrated by the ejaculatory impasse.
posted by zeusianfog at 10:28 PM on April 4, 2008

The first part of your question has left me all hot 'n' bothered.
Sounds like an orgasm to me. But you really should ask your doc. Do you feel any type of spasms or contractions in your genitals when you feel your pseudo-orgasm? Those contractions are what pump the ejaculate out during orgasm.
posted by HotPatatta at 10:43 PM on April 4, 2008

Here's a question. Is your urine different before and after sex? If you don't know, do this experiment.

Take a piss and store it in a 8oz sealed container. Make sure you take that piss a few hours before sex. Next take a piss soon after sex. Maybe even 15 minutes later. If its a smaller volume piss, thats even better. Store it in a similar clear container.

Does it seem different? I'm not talking about the color...but maybe consistency?

If you do notice a difference...that may be indicative of retrograde ejac. You're basically pissing out your semen after sex.

That seems like the best at-home test to me. Otherwise, if you have a centrifuge...
posted by hal_c_on at 10:45 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm given to understand that urine with a lot of bubbles is semen-rich, and I have observed this on my own. But does that necessarily mean retrograde ejaculation in my case? The reason I ask: The pent-up semen would need to escape whether or not I've had an orgasm. I may be pissing out come--in fact, I certainly am, because I'm not having wet dreams often enough not to be--but that doesn't mean that I'm actually having orgasms, which is kind of important to my question. If I have sex with my boyfriend and don't come, there's almost certainly going to be semen in my urine--it's only retrograde ejaculation if I've orgasmed as well, I thought.
posted by zeusianfog at 10:57 PM on April 4, 2008

zeusianfog I totally understand about doctors and money, but you're a gay man in NYC. There absolutely positively has got to be a clinic, dude.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:29 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Call GMHC and ask them for advice/referrals to a free or cheap gay-friendly clinic.
posted by rtha at 11:55 PM on April 4, 2008

Or go see the nice people at Callen-Lourde Community Health Center.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:06 AM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding Callen-Lorde, I did some work for them (years back) and they were great people.
posted by bashos_frog at 11:09 AM on April 5, 2008

Response by poster: I appreciate the clinic recommendations, guys, but I haven't really been convinced by the other answers that this is actually serious enough to see a doctor about. As Blazecock pointed out, since I'm gay infertility is hardly a concern and I just found the Wikipedia page kind of confusing--so will applying pressure to the perineum hurt or help, etc.
posted by zeusianfog at 3:13 PM on April 5, 2008

I may be way too late to this, but if you are still checking the thread...

The fact that you don't masturbate seems relevant here. It, in fact, reminds me of me. I didn't masturbate for quite a long time (not till i was 21), despite identifying as gay and being sexually active since i was 16-17. in fact, i experienced something very similar generally - being unable to orgasm, and experiencing blue-balls feelings, and only coming when i had wet dreams.

for me, the issue was having a particular kink/fetish and not admitting it to myself for many years.

I don't mean to say you must be really kinky/have some sexual fetish that you're ashamed of. I'm just saying that for me, that's what it was. it took a little while for me to accept it/come to terms with it, and since then, no problems. so just something to think about. i mean, what do you fantasize about? if you're not masturbating, does that mean you're not fantasizing/not allowing yourself to fantasize? if not, why not?
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 10:20 PM on April 5, 2008

Response by poster: To add more data, in response to a few comments--

I actually don't think it is blue balls, because I've had that happen before and it's completely different from what i'm describing. When I say the genitals are tender after what I believe may be an orgasm, I mean they're extra-sensitive to touch. When I have blue balls, even if I'm not touching my genitals, i'm doubled over in pain.

I only really fantasize about intimacy, and even then, only when I'm single. Sometimes I've fantasized about three-ways, which my boyfriend is amenable to but which can be difficult to arrange.
posted by zeusianfog at 7:53 AM on April 6, 2008

Best answer: Listen, the reason I suggested seeing a doctor is because whilst retrograde ejaculation is the most obvious culprit, and is not a problem in and of itself if you're not invested in preserving your fertility, it can be caused by diabetes and other things you would want to know about.

Here's the thing. You don't detectably ejaculate. While that doesn't make you a freak of nature and it has it's own certain cachet, the bottom line is that it is not a normal pathology. That does not mean it is something you should see a medical practitioner to "fix" but you should see a doctor to determine if there is an underlying cause that does actually need to be addressed.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:04 PM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

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