A little over a month ago, I wrote a long post detailing and defending my stance on the definition of the female orgasm as part of a debate I agreed to do with Edward Clint over at Skeptic Ink. Turns out a guy who calls himself Reverend Hornibastard (because, honestly, why wouldn't you call yourself that), read it and asked me some thoughtful questions in the comments. We had an enjoyable exchange, and a couple days later he commented that he had written something inspired a bit by my blog post.
He has a blog called Hornibastard's Mad Muse (obviously), and he decided to write a post about the what the male orgasm is. You can find it HERE. He first spoke about my post, and what I really appreciate is that he got a lot of what I was saying - that a clear definition of the female orgasm must be used by everyone from researchers to sex advisers to pretty much anyone who speaks on the subject, if we as a culture are ever going to be able to move forward on the subject. Right now, we're talking around each other more than anything. Anyway, he got that, and honestly, that's a part of my argument that people seem to disregard or misunderstand a lot, so I very much appreciate him saying what he said.
Then he went on to speak about how he defines orgasm for himself. His thoughts are self-admittedly informal and anecdotal, so not exactly great to draw larger conclusions from, but they are personal and he doesn't try to make them more than that. I'm always interested to hear how people view and experience their orgasms and sexual pleasure. I think it's incredibly interesting and important. Here's how he began
All this got me thinking, "What defines the male orgasm?"
This may seem like a silly question to most people. Everyone regards the male orgasm as the point when the male ejaculates. The sudden emission of semen and all the exquisitely pleasurable convulsions of the muscles in the male's erogenous zones that produce that geyser of baby batter defines the male orgasm for nearly everyone.
But not for me.
Like almost everyone else, my orgasms almost always coincide with ejaculation and all those wonderful muscle contractions that make the ejaculation happen. But a lifetime of unofficial, informal research suggests that there is more to a male orgasm than the emission of semen. There is also a vital psychological component.
He goes on to describe times when "semen unexpectedly started shooting out of" his kielbasa when he was only beginning to get excited; times when we woke up having splooged in his sheets without going to bed horny or remembering any erotic dreams; Times when he felt an orgasm but nothing came out.
By the same token, I've occasionally had a "dry orgasm." In those instances, I was extremely happy and felt like it was time to discharge my bazooka. But when those intensely pleasurable reflexive muscle convulsions got underway, absolutely nothing came out.
Nary a drop.
Despite the lack of a proper ejaculation, I still regarded those events as orgasms. They felt like orgasms (in both the physical and psychological senses).He uses all these anecdotes to point out that he doesn't feel as though he can define his orgasm in a clinical way. He concludes with:
I realize my analysis is informal and anecdotal, but for me the physiological markers alone do not define what I call an orgasm. The right emotional and psychological states must coincide with those physiological events.
Researchers can define an orgasm however they want, but I will always cherish most the orgasms that meet my own personal criteria.I love that ol' Reverend Hornibastard is thinking and writing about this topic. I think that the discordance people feel between a very clear physiologic definition of orgasm and the way they feel and experience their orgasms and their sexual pleasure is one of the trickiest and most charged parts of the conversation SSL is trying to elicit. Putting labels on anything is generally gross to people, but particularly when talking about something like orgasm which, although a physiologic event, is so deeply intertwined with emotion, love, pleasure, and human contact. It's a hard (pardon the pun) conversion, but an important one to pick through, so Thank You, Thank You Reverend Hornibastard.
Now, I'm going to be picky ol' me and point out a physiological thing that struck me as important to the points he was making. Orgasm and ejaculation are actually different physiologic events for men, just as they are with women. Normally men experience them in perfect tandem, so that the ejaculate is pushed out into the urethra (the ejaculation) and the spasms of the pelvic muscles (the orgasm) propel it with force out of the penis. They can happen without the other though.
From what I've read, it seems like men who can have multiple orgasms do so by controlling their bodies in such a way that they orgasm sans ejaculation until the ejaculation finally happens and puts an end to the fun. There can also be ejaculations without orgasm - for instance with prostate stimulation minus the penile stimulation. I don't really have an data or studies to back this up, but I've often wondered if for men, a significant component to their level of pleasure at orgasm related to how well their body happened to time the ejaculation with it. So, maybe an ejaculation happening just slightly earlier or later than the orgasm could make the whole thing feel quite different. Maybe an early ejaculation puts a bit of a kibosh on the orgasm following it. I don't know, and I don't even have the male junk to test these thoughts on and give you some personal anecdotal experiences. I just wanted to point out that maybe for Hornibastard and for other men too, some of the variation they feel in their sexual releases have more to do with physiological issues and a little less to do with emotion than one might think.
To me, his post made me even more interested in seeing how clear definitions in regard to sexual release could possibly help people - men and women - understand, describe, and pursue their orgasm in better more thoughtful ways.
Sorry I'm always over-analyzing these types of thing, Mr. Reverend Hornibastard, but that's the nature of my blog. Thank you again for writing about this, thinking about this, and for talking about your experiences. Rock on with your self and you Mad Muse blog!