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So why write about the male orgasm? Well, quite simply, the male orgasm has been, is, and will continue to be a primary driving force behind many of the things, both good and bad, that happen in the world. The average male is obsessed with sex...literally addicted to it, and the pursuit of it (or the diverted energies meant for the pursuit thereof) is an extremely powerful engine that drives the majority of males. The male drive for warfare, competitive sports, the predominantly male crime of rape, the predominantly male crime of pedophilia, the male lust for power, all stem from the sex drive of males. And while the orgasm is not the sum total of sex for males, it is certainly the culmination of the sexual act and represents the ultimate satiation (temporarily) of that powerful force.
Often women don't really have a true idea of how sexually driven the average man is. Of course, there are exceptions, and men vary in their libido, especially over the course of their lives, but the average first-world male between the ages of 15 and 50 is extremely sexually oriented. He lives, eats, drinks, breathes, and thinks sex sex sex. The old canard that the average male thinks about sex once every 8 seconds on average is not inaccurate, especially when in a social situation where women (assuming a heterosexual male) are in proximity. There is a biological imperative for the male gender of the species to procreate often and with as many partners as possible, and even with the monogamous civilized male, this instinct is active and roiling at all times, even if kept securely under wraps.
In the course of my life, especially in college when shooting the breeze with friends, when the topic has turned to sex, I have often been asked by women what the big deal is about sex for men. "After all", they say, "it does feel nice and intimate, but what's the big deal with the orgasm? I mean, when you think about it, it's just a little muscular contraction and a bit of fluid coming out." I have even had women tell me they don't understand why ejaculation is such a big thing when even more liquid comes out of the same spot during urination. "Why don't men get as much pleasure from urination?" she asked me.
The simple answer is that no woman will ever really know what the male orgasm feels like. Now, I am not diminishing the female orgasm, but clearly the female orgasm is not the underlying foundation of the female sex drive (or lack thereof). Just as a man can never truly know how it feels to give birth to a child, so it is with the male orgasm viz a viz females.
That said, it is certainly possible to try and at least describe the male orgasm in such a way that a woman can relate to the feelings involved and to understand why the male orgasm is such a driving force of pleasure for the average male. And while the female orgasm is surely deserving of just as much introspection as the male orgasm, the fact that I am a male limits my ability as to which orgasm I can best describe. I welcome a similar essay by a thoughtful female dealing with the elusive female orgasm.
What is the male orgasm? On the surface, it is not all that impressive. There are a few muscular contractions in the groin and a rather small amount of fluid comes out...and that's it. However, beneath the surface of that rather unextraordinary act, quite a lot is going on, and it's all really really nice. Basically, the male orgasm can be broken down into four distinct virtues: Stretching, Release, Pressure, and Drugs. I will deal with each of these in turn.
Everyone can relate to a good, old-fashioned stretch...no? Posit the following: you have had a refreshing full night's sleep, it is a cheery Sunday morning, and you are in a good mood. Just before you are ready to get up, fix a bagel, and read the Sunday paper, you give a nice, long, cat-like stretch. You thrust your hand above your head, arch your back, and stick your legs out as far as they can go, curling your toes in the process. And it feels so, so good!
Stretching is a wonderful feeling. Biologically, it helps to squeeze out toxins that build up in muscle tissue when it is inactive. Physically, it simply feels great to get the muscles moving and the blood flowing. It clears the head and simply reinvigorates the entire body.
The male orgasm involves all of the pleasures of stretching. In fact, with most orgasms, at the moment of climax, every single muscle in the male body is stretched taut. The toes curl. The eyebrows lift. The eyeballs even strain in their sockets. The heart pumps. The diaphragm heaves. The arms and legs and torso muscles become rock hard, and even the gluteous maximus contracts. And muscles that the male normally doesn't use except during orgasm, the muscles in the perineum (the space between the testicles and the anus) for example, stretch as well. In fact, the orgasm is the only way a male can ever really stretch these perineal muscles.
So, the male orgasm is a really great stretch. All the muscles feel alive and cleansed after orgasm, and the blood flows freely (which has other benefits under Drugs below). Every male orgasm is like that perfect Sunday morning stretch that both males and females experience from time to time.
Release is another virtue of the male orgasm, and this is something that women should have no trouble relating to. Everyone loves a good release. By definition, a release feels good because something has been pent up and that tension has now been alleviated. The obvious parallels to the release of the orgasm are the various other bodily functions.
Posit the following: you have been drinking sodas all day at the concert, perhaps some beers as well, and it started at 5PM. It is now 10PM and you have just arrived home and your bladder feels like it is about to burst. Your teeth have been clenched for the entire car ride home and now your gums are literally tingling with the urge to urinate. You rush out of the car, into the bathroom, and plop down on the commode and finally release your poor bladder. The feeling of finally releasing feels like heaven.
The same can be said of defecation as well. I don't need to elaborate the relief that accompanies a good dump when it has been a long time in coming.
Forgetting about the bathroom, the same release occurs when you have to sneeze, but just cannot quite sneeze. You come close, you stop in your tracks, you start the "Ah...." but cannot get to the "choo!". Then finally, you inhale and build up a big sneeze and "Ah-choo!" you sneeze. Your head feels clear and your throat doesn't tickle and all is bliss.
The male orgasm operates on this same principle. Sperm builds up in the testicles and semen in the prostate and after a while this pent up fluid begs release. Now, the process of buildup is subtle, much more subtle than with a sneeze or urine or defecation, but it does occur. It is so subtle, that usually a male does not realize he is "congested" until after the orgasm. Then the feeling is one of "Gosh, I didn't realize how congested I was down there until I cleared it all up. Now I feel great!"
And it does. The entire groin area feels clear and empty and wonderfully light and airy. The whole area feels less tense and more relaxed as well. It is as if a giant sneeze has taken place down there.
Of all of the virtues, pressure is the least profound, but it is still a factor. Pressure generally feels good. Not undue pressure, of course, which is called "pain", but moderate pressure, of the kind in a light therapeutic massage, or a hug, or a handshake. Some people like to have others walk on their backs...it feels good. My father enjoys having his fingers pulled. Other people I know like to have their hair tugged on, to put pressure on their scalp.
Pressure is especially pleasurable when it occurs in an area where pressure is usually not applied, or in a fashion that a given area is not used to. Hence walking on the back feels good because it applies pressure to the spine perpendicular to the spinal column, which is a refreshing counter to the normal parallel pressure from standing upright and carrying burdens.
Related in a way to applying pressure to an area not accustomed to it is also the novelty factor. Remember when you were a little child and lost a tooth? Could you resist putting your tongue into the gap and feeling your virgin gum with the tip of it? Or when your tooth was loose...could you avoid fiddling with it with your tongue? The irresistibility of these two toothy attractions comes from the novelty. It feels weird to place pressure on areas unaccustomed to pressure or sensation, and this weirdness has an attractive quality to it.
This pressure occurs during the orgasm as well. There are pipes and tubes and muscles involved during orgasm that basically never see action at any other time in a man's life. Specifically, the muscles of the perineum, and testicles, the prostate, the vas deferens, these all come into play and can be felt only during orgasm. For this reason, the orgasm feels nice simply because it activates and places sensation and pressure on those areas of the body that never get such stimulation otherwise.
I have saved the most important virtue for last. Ever felt that most men seemed like they are addicted to sex? Well...they are! Upon orgasm, men get a nice jolt of a chemical called endorphins, which are chemically equivalent to morphine and are cousins to heroin.
The endorphins involved in the male orgasm are a small dose, but enough to addict men to sex and to provide a wonderful feeling after sex. After an orgasm, if you are very still and very perceptive, and not distracted, you can actually feel the endorphins flowing through your body. Of course, you cannot actually feel the chemical itself, as the dosage is too small and diluted to actually feel a dripping in your veins, but you can track the wonderful feeling of well-being and relaxation that seems to flow through the muscles of your head and down to your toes and into your fingers.
The feeling is wonderful! Some men get so relaxed that they fall asleep. This is the reason many men have an urge to roll over and snooze after sex. It is also the reason many men don't like to talk after sex.
These endorphins cause the muscles to relax. One way I like to describe it is that it feels like your whole body has become liquid and seeks the lowest centre of gravity. You almost seem to puddle into the recesses of your bedspread. Every muscle, having just stretched, is now ultra-relaxed. The heart rate slows. The eyelids droop. And there is a sense of completeness and well-being. All is right with the universe at that moment. It is the ultimate sigh.
Of course, the dosage is so small, the male is not incapacitated. He is fully capable of jumping out of bed, thinking clearly, or whatever. In fact, the endorphin high is tenuous enough that it must really be cultivated to enjoy. The best way a man can enjoy his post-coital high is to simply lie in bed with his arm around his partner and stare at the ceiling and just be aware of his body and how it feels at that moment in time.
In fact, I would like to recommend to women reading this that they allow their male lovers a nice 3-5 minute pause after sex to enjoy this high. Don't talk. Don't kiss. Don't distract. Simply hold each other and let him enjoy the bliss for a few minutes. After that time, the high will pass and then, if you feel like talking, talk away.
Any man who has experienced the bliss of this endorphin high should understand how truly addictive a drug like heroin really is. Consider this. The small dosage endorphin high men get after sex is still a strong enough force to addict men to sex, make most men think about sex constantly, and is the single most powerful factor of the male sex drive. Yet this sexual dosage is merely the slightest fraction of the dosage one gets with heroin usage. Addicts have told me a heroin high is like a thousand orgasms rolled into one. Think of the addictiveness of that! Think of how seductive and how dangerous that would be.
This then, is the anatomy of the male orgasm. I hope this brief essay has provided some insight into this most blissful of male experiences. Your comments are welcome.
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