Ejaculation


Ejaculation is the release of semen from the penis. It is a normal part of the male sexual response cycle. During sexual intercourse or masturbation, semen collects in the ejaculatory ducts, which are located where the ends of the vas deferentia join the seminal vesicles within the prostate gland.

When excitation reaches its peak, a spinal reflex causes the rhythmic contractions of the smooth muscles within the urethra, penis and the prostate gland, and propels the semen through the urethra out the tip of the penis in spurts.

Once a man reaches a certain point of sexual arousal, he can no longer prevent ejaculation. This feeling of having reached the brink of control once these contractions start is known as ejaculatory inevitability.

The rhythmic contractions of the prostate, perineal muscles and shaft of the penis occur initially at 0.8-second intervals, just as in women, and account for the spurting action of the semen during ejaculation. The intervals between contractions become longer and the intensity of the contractions tapers off after the first three or four contractions.

The semen does not actually appear until a few seconds after the point of ejaculatory inevitability because of the distance the seminal fluid has to travel through the urethra. During ejaculation, the internal sphincter of the urinary bladder is tightly sealed to make sure that the seminal fluid travels forward and to prevent any urine from mixing with the semen.

Male Ejaculation and Orgasm

Male ejactulation and orgasm are not one and the same process, although in most men and under most circumstances the two occur simultaneously. Orgasm refers specifically to the sudden and rhythmic muscular contractions in the pelvic region that release accumulated sexual tension and result in an intensely pleasurable sensation.

Sometimes ejaculation occurs involuntarily and unbeknownst to the man during sleep. This is known as nocturnal emission or, in slang terms as a "wet dream" and is particularly common in adolescents and young men.

Types of Ejaculation

There are several types of ejaculation. In some cases, the fine-tuned process of this sexual response is disrupted.

  • Retrograde Ejaculation. In a condition called retrograde ejaculation, the bladder's sphincter does not close off properly during ejaculation, so semen spurts backward into the bladder. This condition is usually found in some men who have multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or after some types of prostate surgery. It can also occasionally occur in men who do not have any serious problems. It is not physically harmful, but it does render the man infertile and he may have a different sensation during ejaculation. A retrograde ejaculation is also known as a "dry come" because the man may experience orgasm, but no semen is released from the penis.
  • Premature Ejaculation. This condition, also known as rapid ejaculation, is a sexual response problem in which a man consistently feels he has little or no control over the timing of his buildup to ejaculation. Click here for a more complete explanation of premature ejaculation.
  • Retarded Ejaculation. Also known as delayed ejaculation, this condition is a sexual response problem also known as ejaculatory incompetence in which a man is unable to ejaculate even though he is highly sexually aroused.
  • Female Ejaculation. This has sparked controversy among sexuality researchers. There is a body of research documenting that some women expel a fluid from the urethra at the time of orgasm through G-spot stimulation. It has been theorized that this fluid may come from a "female prostate," rudimentary glands surrounding the urethra whose tissue corresponds to the male prostate gland. In fact, some suggest that the female prostate is the anatomical location of the G-spot. Not all researchers have been able to duplicate the female ejaculatory response in their studies, but among those who have, the composition of the ejaculate is subject to debate. Some researchers have demonstrated that the fluid emitted is not urine and does not contain any significant amount of urine. Others assert that the fluid is urine. Not all women experience the ejaculation-like response (estimates vary between 10 percent and 40 percent as to the number of women who have ever experienced ejaculation), but for those who do, it is perfectly normal.

Copyright 2002 Sinclair Intimacy Institute

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