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Letters from Proxima Thule

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Question for the Aggregate
So my friend put up this post and I really want to hear the answers, too. But guys are cagey about this stuff--and maybe humans are in general, though I think I could do it--so she's not getting many answers. Or any, so far. But I want to know!

I used to pester my boyfriends to explain this stuff to me. In the end, I have always found men's bodies baffling and mysterious--envied their ease with certain things, but never understood what it could be like in that skin. My past boyfriends usually changed the subject or made me answer first and then changed the subject so they never had to answer it. So I never even got good answers! And yet it's an obvious thing everyone does. But we have so little vocabulary for such things, and such shame around them, and a cruel kind of repression of self-analysis when it comes to sex.

Ah, so you see where I'm going. A little. Darkly. We're gonna talk about sex up in here.

My friend asked this question--but I'm betting I can get more answers because there are so very many of you and you are such an articulate bunch.

So, let's talk about male orgasms. Or rather - tell me about male orgasms? If you're male-bodied, what do your orgasms feel like to you? In as much detail as you can without getting all porny on me. Don't be shy. You can post anonymously if you want. Free, safe space, no judgments here.

I think this always fascinates me because I have had trouble with orgasms in the past, and therefore, I fall into that cultural trap of assuming orgasms for men are always easy and plentiful as mine were not always, and obvious is a way mine were not, privileged, dominant, part of the clear landscape of sex, whereas many men do not feel the female orgasm is much of a shrub on that particular topography. (Yes, college sucked in many ways.) I know now they are not so easy, always, but our culture overwhelmingly invests in the idea that they are, for a host of upsetting reasons.

After the username conversation it occurs to me that I overshare.

Anyway, to the comments, Batman!

Imagine youer foot falling asleep.

That pins and needles sensation? All over. Your legs and thighs, very powerful, less to above the waist. It goes on for a few seconds, sometimes as many as ten, more if continuous stimulus is applied.

A fried was able to demonstrate that men may have multiple orgasms when she provided oral stimulation, swallowed, and then immediately provided manual stimulation, and I climaxed again thirty seconds later. Same sensation put with a painful intensity. It felt like a muscle was pulled, but it somehow felt pleasurable.

Heh, as I mentioned to the friend's post in question, you're asking for something that we don't have vocabulary for, nor much practice in describing.

(In fact, I vividly remember reading Iris, by William Barton, which had epic amounts of sex and body swapping in it, and there was a description of what orgasm felt like for both sexes. And I remember reading it, and thinking, this is not really comprehensible, even for my sex.)

But! Let's try, however awkwardly. (And, you know how it is, I don't speak for all guys, just for myself).

Arousal feels like... an incredible sweetness in the breath, and breathing is slightly harder. Like every breath taken is very low-level (but somehow intensely) sweet and pleasurable.
There is a tightening of the abs and belly, and, perhaps obviously, a hardening of the cock. Especially when the cock is very hard, it feels like it /aligns and polarizes/ the entire body. That is, the shape of the body (and for me, the shape of my consciousness, if that makes sense) changes into either a cone shape or a spear shape, hard and hungry.
When fucking or masturbating, there are these.. rings or waves of pleasure and tightness that radiate from the cock and stomach and feel like they pass up the body, up the spine to the head, and down to the toes. Imagine the plasma rings passing up the warp core tube in Star Trek: TNG. And breath gets tighter and sweeter (I think tighter from the tightening of the belly). And sometimes the waves flow back down from the head, reverb and resonate.
As orgasm draws nearer, the waves of pleasure from cock and belly become more frequent and intensify. The moment right before orgasm is always this tiny little pause, a revelation. I always always associate it with that pause on the hill of a roller coaster, right before the plunge, but also with a thunderbolt-type realization of something out of the blue. It's a surprise every time, for some reason.

It feels like the quickening waves of pleasure set up a standing wave somehow, the body goes rigid, and I feel like there's a light that intensifies and fills my field of vision. Which is odd (or perhaps exactly because) it becomes very hard to keep one's eyes open at the moment of orgasm, and I usually let them close (although the couple of times I force them to keep open, the field of vision wobbles and tightens to a tunnel).
So, it feels like a tightening of the whole body, and a wash of light coming over you. Pleasure blossoms out from the center into.. well, like an atomic explosion. It always makes me feel of a mushroom cloud, not because it's atomically intense every time, but.. there's something singular and bright about it, plus the component of ejaculation, and the trembling and pumping of PC muscles which feels like a shockwave. I also scream or exhale involuntarily, same way as dropping from that first hill of a rollercoaster.
Then, there really is a moment of darkness and dissolution and void, after the brightness fades. And vision and consciousness gradually restores, and there is a very slight sobering or sadness to everything.

I don't mean to be intrusive, but that was a gorgeous description. Thank you for sharing.

Like the last 20 minutes of 2001 & the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan all mashed together in a few seconds.

Then on the 7th Day, I rest.

An interesting discussion. I would say my orgasms have a very wide range from "hardly noticeable" to an intense build followed by a good 30 seconds of shuddery intense blotto waves, gradually receding. Honestly, I still remember my first - a bit of a shocking experience, kind of like time speeds up almost unbearably fast for a brief moment, and then stretches out again, a rubber band that is relaxing. On a few occasions I've nearly hallucinated (shapes, mind you, not a princess leia holograph, though that would be sweet). Sometimes, though, it can be here and gone so fast you feel like you were robbed. And when you're with an enthusiastically multi-orgasmic partner, those moments are a bit of a bummer, because you have to overcome the desire to not move Very Sensitive Equipment if you want to go for round 2.

I have at least once found myself in a situation where I was dating a supremely confident woman who was unable to turn me on. That, by the way, might be the crux of why she's finding few responses - for men, having difficulty orgasming is right up there with impotence, the Big Male Fear. Which isn't all about the power of the penis, honestly - even when sex is no big deal, sex is a big deal, and it can be awfully difficult to say to a partner, "Little Jim doesn't like what you're doing" because sometimes it's hard to say -why- you aren't responding. As you said, men have a reputation for being able to go any time, any where, for any reason, and if you belie that, well maybe you're less of a man, eh?

Anyway, since I'm not much of a believer of TMI amongst friends (or, uh, I guess strangers), this particular woman used oral techniques that were Certified To Please any man - she was clear about how many it had pleased before. For me, though, I respond to a different kind of touching, so it didn't do much for me at all. I told her I didn't like oral sex, and thought maybe that was true, until later partners proved otherwise, because they actually paid attention to what I like.

Do tell if that helps your perspective.

Interesting--I can sort of "miss it" too, where something just doesn't slide into gear (it really is like a gear slipping) and I orgasm but barely feel it. I HATE that.

An orgasm feels a release of pressure being let go. You have this pressure that builds up inside, and then it's gone with a gentle sigh.

It's not necessarily ejaculation. I've orgasmed without ejaculating, but it's so very rare - it's just better when you come and your insides are rhythmically pulsing your seed into your partner.

And then it's so peaceful and sleepy afterward.

An orgasm feels a release of pressure being let go. You have this pressure that builds up inside, and then it's gone

This for me. I don't get the pins+needles, or the long articulate description above, or scalzi's muscle cramp analogy, or the common "everything went white" thing. And no need for a nap after. There may be a little shuddering or a few seconds of contracting muscles after, but never the full bodily ecstasy that I sometimes hear described. Mostly just extreme genital sensitivity, and often a renewed desire to explore my partner's body.

for men, having difficulty orgasming is right up there with impotence, the Big Male Fear.

My Big Male (Sexual) Fear is neither difficulty orgasming nor impotence but rather on the other end of the spectrum: premature ejaculation.

(Deleted comment)
It's a secret. *sage nod*

The longer the build up, the bigger the bang. For me at least.

Both in time spent between, um, release, and time spent aroused.

So "cracking one off" in a few minutes brings a nice relief, but a long build up bring a more explosive feeling, often starting with a clenching sensation in the prostate.

In that respect (and many others obviously) I tend to have larger orgasms with my partner. Because focusing on her pleasure is a good reward for delayed gratification in its own right.

(Anon, because, well, not that comfortable talking about this)

See this thread for a discussion on how I experienced orgasms through hormonal and bodily changes. It's sort of a tangent, but seemed like it might be relevant anyway.

That was really cool, thanks.

The male orgasm is like the bestest muscle cramp ever. And then you EXPLODE.

And then you nap.

Edited at 2010-09-14 04:02 pm (UTC)

Pardon me while I giggle hysterically.

There was a study done in 1976, by E.B. Vance and N.N. Wagner, in which 24 men and 24 women were asked to provide written descriptions of orgasm without reference to their sex, gender, orientation, or genitalia; these descriptions were then passed on to a panel of various sexological types, who on reading them could not determine which were written by men and which by women. But that was in pre-internet days; see here or here for moreish.

My wife once told me "Stop analyzing. You're in the middle of it, and you're still analyzing."

Trying not to be porny, yet not overly clinical: The skin around the head of my cock gets extremely sensitive, shaft, not so much so. The best spot is right on the underside of the glans. Hands are about the best way to get there precisely, because sometimes, everything else feels like too much: enveloped everywhere.

My urethra--which needs cooler terminology-- gets really sensitive, and starts to feel like a narrow gate that tremendous pressure builds behind. I've heard men feel an irresistible urge to move forward, but sometimes, I'm afraid to let go and do that full force, because it feels like I'll break something. I can see why people use "explode" as the verb.

If this is something quick, then the pressure feels localized in my groin. If things have been going on for awhile-- either lots of foreplay or edging-- the sensation feels more whole-body, as if all the sensation is flowing towards the orgasm. I tend to feel my balls and the rest of all of that tucked inside pulsing. Sometimes they can feel mildly sore afterwards, as if they got a light kick or some other non-traumatic pressure.

(Balls tend to be sensitive in the same way bruises are sensitive. If you apply heavy pressure to them, it has the same odd sensation that a bruise has. That's the closest universal feeling I can equate it with.)

Another thing that I haven't heard of much from men: My butt tends to clench when everything is bearing forward and going off. Should anything be occupying that space, it seems like it can't clench to relieve that minor pressure, so that just gets redirected forward. I don't know if the prostate gets involved or not, but the whole thing feels less like anatomy and more like redirected tension.

While having an orgasm, or close to it, I am apt to hold my breath or take shallow breaths, which isn't so good, as I've caused headaches that way. Big deep breaths are the way to go, because they help circulate blood and slow things down a little bit, though I forget this in the heat of the moment. If I do get a headache, it's the kind that makes me stop everything and take deep breaths. That kind of headache feels like the pressure got let loose in my skull, sending a burning ridge of pain, and usually stops everything.

Sometimes, strong orgasms feel like they are over too quickly. The benefit there seems to be a short refractory period with longer stamina the next go-round. There are times I've held back and gone slightly over the edge, which feels like a mini-orgasm: there's the sensitivity and some fluid, and a little release of pressure, but it doesn't feel complete.

Sometimes, the sensation feels almost too exquisite/sensitive/whatever and I freeze up, because moving more would almost be painful. Sometimes, I can keep moving, and that's better, because it feels like I can ride the sensation out for all of its worth, and then collapse.

I can get desensitized from moving too fast, and it feels like the slipped gear metaphor, except the sensation does not build. It starts to feel more like exercise, and the sensations in my body-- heavy breaths, heart pounding, stamina failing-- feel like plain exertion without any veneer of sex. In those cases, I have to stop and slow down. It's almost like turning around to find a missed fork in the road.

After, it depends. If it's late at night and I'm tired, this can help me relax. Other sensations start trickling back into my body in parts that have been stretched or used like in my hands and thighs, unless my hands gave out earlier on and I had to shift position. If it's earlier in the evening or day, then it may just be time to relax or put the more durable parts of my body to use.

The penultimate paragraph, butt clenching and need to thrust, quickly passing strong orgasms - are all very close or even spot-on to how I would describe my orgasms, and I'm a cissexual lesbian who finds it relatively difficult to come.

So thank you for your description, because it was very good to read about someone's experience being similar to mine.

What do you mean by "male-bodied"? Male bodies, including the orgasmic parts, come in all different shapes. :)

To be honest, in my experience what orgasm is like has a LOT more to do with hormones than anything else (and this has been corroborated by many other trans people I've talked to). Having been on both sides of the equation, as it were, the best thing I can do is point you towards this cartoon which a friend pointed me to, because it's total trufax.

(Deleted comment)
1. They're not all the same. Mind set, length of time since last "rumble in the jungle", hormonal cycle (yes, guys have them too), level of recent exercise (working out makes me randy), physical aggressiveness of the act, whether its solo, duo, or more ~ this is just a series of indicators for what changes in the mix to make each time unique.
2. The best build over time, like high tide. At my age (knocking on 50) I tend to take awhile... I was quick as a youth. Now 30 minutes is quick. At first the sensations are intense. Entry is bliss... and that then fades.
3. There is usually a "jack hammer" period in the middle that is all about animal lust. This can be either dominant or submissive, but its always on an extreme of that scale. There is usually no middle ground here and it's about humping like wild beasts. At this point there usually isn't much tactile sensation involved... touch is not evident during this stage.
4. At some point everything is in my head/heart/soul. Sex is about deep connection for me. On the spiritual side it's about moving energy together. It's about aligning movement, breathing, ambition, and intent. I bring alot from my Wiccian practice to bed, and steal with abandon from the Vedas. This is the stage for sweet nothings in your ear as I nibble and nip. This is when if I know what you both loathe and long for I will say it. We're talking to your lizard mind now and it's usually quite filthy in there.
5. At some point the waves start to build. Everything tactile turns up to 11. My skin flushes, nipples go on high alert, my scrotum tightens. Usually at this point, if not before I gain in length and circumference. I feel pressure, longing for release. If we're in a safe place I'm starting to make incoherent sounds, more like grunting than anything else. Time distorts... it can seem like 15 minutes in this stage, but it's rarely more than one. And then release...
6. There's a distinct wave with each contraction. If my partner is small, likewise climaxing, or has the presence to bear down at this point ~ then I will feel each contraction flow down the shaft and exit. These are the best orgasms, without a doubt. Each time I contract in such a perfect case meets my definition of "orgasm". At least six and as many as twenty contractions will hit. The first is the biggest release. About the fourth or fifth is the best. With extremely skilled partners it goes to twenty and I'm worried for my continued existence... and also just don't care.
6. Afterward I'm either a corpse or ready to mow the lawn. There is once again rarely a middle ground. If there are others in the room then I can be ready for round 2 sooner, since watching is very inspiring.

What kind of surprised me was the extent to which I needed to get used to it.

Trying to be quick and non-explicit: it took me a while to get used to it on my own, then when I was in a relationship I felt strangely inhibited about it, because actually, no, I still wasn't really used to the sensation yet. She and I slept together many times in the year-and-a-half that we were a couple, but we only reached orgasm a few times. We adapted; we got to enjoy the "being close to each other and enjoying each other's bodies" thing, though we were not that great at getting each other to climax. At least my not orgasming was a help in not getting her pregnant, so there's that. (Heh.)

Later, after that ended and I was not dating, I even stopped being used to that. I wasn't trying to date, let alone get laid, and I lost what little training I'd had. Yes, this is possible. So. Then I got worried and insecure about it, to the point that I finally went to a doctor and he practically, almost in so many words, said "You just need a woman." I wanted to ask "Can you put that in a prescription?"

I'm, um, more used to it now (yes! and yay!). When I'm partnered again, I'll be better about that. And better about helping her feel good, too.

It's funny. I'm trying to articulate this for a story in a way that doesn't come across as crass or offensive. Not easy.

Grant Morrison's article on pop magic, in the Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult, kind of got me thinking down these lines. Well, that and being a guy. Thinking about orgasms , like, all the time, kind of comes with the territory. Sex is like magic, after all.

My take on the subject, for what it's worth:

Good orgasms make your toes curl and fill you with euphoria. They leave you filled with a sense of peace and comfort.

Great orgasms make you believe in things you know don't exist. They drive everything out of your mind and put you, ever so briefly, in a state of consciousness where anything seems possible.

Bad orgasms are still orgasms, with an aftertaste of "hell, that's it?" because you know the magic is lost, like a missed opportunity.

There's also the concept of a separation, for men, of a separate action for orgasm and ejaculation. I'm not sure if that's related to Tantra or not. I've only had limited experience with this, but it makes a great orgasm seem ordinary by comparison.

I have the sense that male and female orgasms are similar, but on a different scale. Most guys are like a single stage rocket -- we tend to use our fuel all at once. The end results are the same, though -- slow burn or not.

Bad orgasms are still orgasms, with an aftertaste of "hell, that's it?" because you know the magic is lost, like a missed opportunity.

Count your blessings....

I know what the sort of orgasm you describe is like, but that's not a bad orgasm; that's just a mediocre one. Now a bad orgasm feels like a betrayal: one's body has switched sides and joined forces with the awful person doing these terrible things. And afterwards one is shaking with terror and shame, and feeling utterly incapable of defending oneself from the next assault.

Edited at 2010-09-17 03:23 am (UTC)