Male Orgasm: Understanding the Male Climax

In movies, the climax is considered the end part of the story, where everything falls into place, leading to a satisfactory conclusion. Orgasm also plays a similar role as the climax when people have sex or sexual stimulation. It all starts when a man achieves a state of arousal or an erection. The climax in sex or masturbation is the part when he ejaculates.

The male orgasm, aka the male climax, involves a combination of complex psychological and physiological responses to sexual excitement that often ends up ejaculation of semen from the penis. However, not every person with a penis can experience orgasm due to various reasons such as depression, age-related sexual issues, medical conditions, emotions, or even due to certain medications.

This article covers a basic understanding of male orgasm, steps of orgasm, types, issues during orgasm, and ways to intensify male orgasms. The term “male” here refers to people with penises, irrespective of whether they identify with their gender assigned during birth.

What is a Male Orgasm?

The male orgasm is a sensation triggered by the activated sympathetic nervous system. It is a complex interplay between your brain, brain stem, and spinal cord, heightened through your five senses, such as touch, smell, visual, aural, and oral. All these senses collectively activate your sympathetic nervous system, driving you to achieve an orgasm.

Biologically, the male orgasm is a complex reaction involving your brain and body. The pituitary gland inside your brain is responsible for managing the testosterone hormone. Testosterone helps your body to produce sperm in your testicles and also plays a role in enhancing energy, mood, and libido (sex drive).

Erection in your penis happens when your body experiences sexual stimulation, eventually triggering orgasm and ending with ejaculation. Orgasm can activate the Striatum, the reward center of your brain, which is why a person feels an intense emotion of happiness and achievement during an orgasm. Orgasm is also responsible for inhibiting the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, the part of the brain linked with self-control.

Therefore, people with low testosterone often face issues like decreased energy, mood, and sexual arousal, leading to less responsiveness to sexual stimulation.

How long does the Sensation of Orgasm Lasts?

The duration of sensation varies from person to person. Some experience it for a couple of seconds, while some can experience orgasm for up to 30 seconds.

Four Phases of the Male Orgasm

William Masters and Virginia Johnson from the Masters and Johnson Research Team classified Male Orgasm into four phases in 1966. While the intensity and duration of the orgasm may vary, the order of occurrence remains similar.

Phase 1 Arousal

Arousal is the phase where your body responds to sexual stimulation, leading to an erection in the penis. During arousal, your body sends physical and emotional cues to the brain, releasing a chemical messenger called acetylcholine. This, in return, triggers the release of nitric oxide into the arteries, causing them to expand and fill with blood. As a result, your penile tissue enlarges and stiffens, which we all know as an erection.

Phase 2 Plateau

It is also known as the pre-orgasm phase, which happens right before orgasm, lasting between 30 seconds to two minutes.

During this phase, you may experience things like

  • A rise in blood pressure and body temperature

  • Increase of heart rate between 150-175 bpm

  • Pelvic thrust doesn’t stay within your control

  • Increase speed and intensity during penetration or hand movement (in masturbation)

  • Leakage of pre-cum (transparent seminal fluid) from the urethra

Phase 3 Orgasm

The orgasm phase comprises two parts- emission and ejaculation.

Emission − the phase where semen moves into the urethra and comes close to the tip of the penis. In this phase, ejaculation is bound to happen and is beyond your control.

Ejaculation − The semen gets propelled from the tip of the penis, triggered by a strong contraction in the penis and pelvic floor muscles.

Phase 4 Resolution and Refraction

Resolution is the phase that comes soon after the orgasm, where your penis starts to lose its erection. In this phase, you will feel a sense of relaxation or drowsiness.

Refraction is when a person cannot achieve an erection after ejaculation. Simply put, it is the time between ejaculation and the subsequent erection. It depends on factors such as age, testosterone level, and other factors. This phase can last from several minutes to hours.

Male Orgasm Disorders

Even though orgasm and ejaculation are experienced together, both are different. Although it happens rarely, it is possible for a person to orgasm without ejaculation and vice versa. This process of being unable to ejaculate despite an erection is known as dry orgasm or anejaculation. Anorgasmia is when you fail to ejaculate, even after experiencing orgasm. This happens when you flex your pubococcygeus muscle or PC, which shuts down your urethra, thereby preventing you from ejaculation.

Most of the time, it happens accidentally. In some cases, it happens due to retrograde ejaculation, when the semen goes to the bladder from the urethra without coming out from the penis. Retrograde ejaculation can occur due to prostate surgery. In some medical procedures, a person can still ejaculate even after losing orgasm.

The treatment for these issues includes −

  • Testosterone replacement therapy

  • Finasteride (enlarged prostate treatment)

  • Psychotherapy

  • Treating any underlying condition (if any)

How to intensify your Orgasm?

Sometimes one orgasm feels quite intense from the other. The intensity of an orgasm is a complex process, and in some cases, it is affected by the level of testosterone hormone in the body. This is why younger people feel more intense orgasms as they have more testosterone.

The testosterone level starts to deteriorate as you age and can be affected by stress, lack of sleep, smoking, drinking, etc.

To intensify your orgasm, you can try taking food high in testosterone, such as fatty fish, avocado, eggs, cherries, berries, shellfish, and pomegranate. Besides you can also do some exercise to boost your testosterone level or take supplements (only after talking to your healthcare provider).

Another way to intensify your orgasm is to try a cock ring, but mostly to get ample rest before orgasm again. Meaning if you try to orgasm soon after an orgasm, then you will likely get a weaker orgasm next time.


Don’t try to avoid or feel shame about discussing about issues with orgasm and ejaculation with your healthcare providers. This is a because a lack of orgasm or ejaculation may have underlying issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, enlarged prostate, including several physiological and psychological issues.

Updated on: 18-Jan-2023


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