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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Guys, 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Orgasms

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Any guy who’s past puberty is well-acquainted with the supremely pleasurable sensations of an orgasm and the ejaculation that (usually) coincides with it. But there’s a whole variety of biological processes that are kicked off by a sexual climax, along with a few bizarre exceptions and oddly common habits that many men share. Find out how your all-time favorite activity affects you in ways you never imagined.

1.Your orgasm gets you super high
Brain scans on men experiencing orgasms revealed that the most excited brain region during climax is the ventral tegmental area, which is packed with receptors for neurotransmitters associated with reward. As it turns out, that same brain region lights up like Times Square when heroin users shoot up, Danish researchers found. Why is the unparalleled pleasure of an orgasm a helpful trait for humans? “Because ejaculation introduces sperm into the female reproductive tract, it would be critical for reproduction of the species to favor ejaculation as a most-rewarding behavior,” writes study author Gert Holstege, M.D., Ph.D.

2. Orgasms are better with a partner
Solo sessions are fun, but you’ll want to double up to receive maximum ecstasy. After an orgasm, your body releases a hormone called prolactin. It essentially shuts off your sex drive for up to an hour, which is why you might find yourself suddenly bored with that porn clip you were watching. But Scottish researchers found both men and women release 400 percent more prolactin after intercourse compared to a masturbation-induced orgasm, which is why post-sex spooning still feels fantastic.

3. Sometimes you—yes, you—fake it
When University of Kansas researchers surveyed college students, they found that 28 percent of guys had faked an orgasm with their partner. About one-third of those men said they’d been too drunk to orgasm, and almost half said their main reason for faking was because they wanted to go to sleep. It’s important to point out that most of the guys who faked had been in a committed relationship at the time, so they were likely more worried about hurting their partner’s feelings than making the lovemaking session count. Since the male orgasm usually coincides with ejaculation—but not always, as you’ll soon find out—you’d think it would be difficult to dupe your partner. But maybe not: In addition to moaning louder and speeding up their thrusts, “some men mentioned hiding or discarding their condom,” says study author Charlene Muehlenhard, Ph.D.

4. You can do it again and again, if you’re lucky
For most guys, the typical refractory period—the time between your last orgasm and when you’ll be able to get it up again—is anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. But one recent case study described a 25-year-old German man blessed with the mutant power of being able to continue to have sex within about 3 minutes after his climax. By taking blood samples right after the man masturbated to some porn, the researchers found that his body produced essentially zero extra prolactin post-orgasm, which they surmised allowed him to achieve his multi-orgasmic feat.

5. You might not enjoy it
“Sexual anhedonia” is the medical term for when genital stimulation produces most of the physical signs of an orgasm—the muscle contractions, the ejaculation—without any pleasure. Fortunately it’s fairly rare in men, but when the condition does strike, it’s often caused by a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) that include Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac. It can even continue after the patient stops taking those meds, according to a study from the University of Pittsburgh.

6. Your belly could effect your—err—output
The average amount of ejaculate released during orgasm is 3.4 milliliters (mL), which is less than a teaspoon—unless you’re overweight. Men with a body mass index greater than 30 were 69 percent more likely to only produce 2 mL or less of semen during an ejaculation, according to a Scottish study. The researchers weren’t sure whether all that extra fat around your middle hurts sperm production by allowing your cojones to overheat, or if the same lack of exercise and poor diet that leads to weight gain might also reduce the volume of your semen.

7. You can get her pregnant without orgasming
During foreplay and sex, most men can release a pre-ejaculate, which is a fluid that helps lubricate intercourse and clears out your urethra to allow the semen to travel through unhindered. An analysis of this fluid that was published in the journal Human Fertility found that 41 percent of guys produced pre-ejaculate that contained sperm—up to 40 million of the little swimmers, in fact. It only takes one to make a baby, so keep those odds in mind if you’re not yet looking to become a dad.

8. Orgasms may cure headaches
An orgasm floods your brain with endorphins—the same feel-good neurotransmitters that are associated with a “runner’s high.” Endorphins are powerful pain blockers, so researchers in Germany have been investigating whether doing the deed while you’re having a migraine helps relieve the nauseating pain. In a study published last year, the scientists reported that one-third of patients had powered through sex despite the unpleasant headache, and of those, 60 percent said they felt better post-coitus. The researchers even believe that endurance athletes, including people who compete in marathons and triathlons, have a better chance of curing their migraines with orgasms, since they’ve honed their bodies to release more endorphins.

9. Your gunk is chock full of vitamins and minerals
Semen is actually only 1 to 5 percent sperm, according to a Duke University study in which the researchers were developing an artificial semen substitute. (For what it’s worth, the fake semen sometimes used in porn shoots is reportedly anything from hand soap to pina colada mix.) Like many of your bodily fluids, most of the volume is water. In a typical 3.4-mL load, you’ll let out around 10 milligrams (mg) of sodium, 9 mg of fructose—which provides the sperm with energy as they swim—a little less than 2/10ths of a gram of protein, and smaller amounts of zinc, potassium, calcium, and chlorine.

10. Your semen moves faster than any man can run
The average speed of your ejaculation is 28 miles per hour, which is almost exactly Usain Bolt’s world-record maximum running pace of 27.79 mph. Of course, your semen won’t cross 100 meters—the world record for ejaculation distance is supposedly 18 feet, 9 inches set by a man named Horst Schultz, but that achievement is unconfirmed. After the sperm leave your body, they slow down considerably, taking 5 minutes to reach the woman’s cervix.

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