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Ways for men to have multiple orgasms

On April 4, 2012

Dear Sex Matters:

Can men have multiple orgasms? I have heard that this can happen, but don't really understand how this can work. Is this just an urban legend, or is it real? Is it something a person can learn?

Looking to Learn

Dear Looking,

It's definitely not an urban legend, although multiple orgasms for men do sometimes take on something of a mythic quality.

Men can, do, and have had multiple orgasms for thousands of years. Ancient Taoist texts on sexuality provide the earliest teachings that give explicit instruction for men on how they can experience multiple orgasms. As with other spiritual texts that discuss sexuality, the Taoist texts were not just about technique; the teachings supported a philosophy, tradition and a belief system. The Taoists believed that ejaculation depleted energy. In order to retain and build inner energy, men could learn to have multiple orgasm without ejaculation.

Western sex researchers have also studied this experience in men and found clear physiological evidence that male (and female) multiple orgasms do happen. They also found that having multiple orgasms can be learned.

Central to the concept of male multiple orgasms is the often overlooked fact that ejaculation and orgasm in men are two separate physiological and psychological experiences. While we generally assume that these are separate for women (and really, many people are still surprised to learn that women can actually ejaculate) we are rarely taught that they are also separate for men.

Because most men learn to orgasm easily, and for most young men ejaculation is also a routine response to sexual stimulation, the distinction between orgasm and ejaculation in our culture has been lost. But they are two different experiences, and when men learn to separate them, they can also learn to have more than one orgasm for each ejaculation.

Because orgasm and ejaculation are separate responses, having multiple male orgasms as a man doesn't mean learning to have multiple ejaculations in one session of sex. Instead, you would learn to control your ejaculation and hold it back, while you have several non-ejaculatory orgasms.

Teaching your body to perform this response can be challenging and can take a lot of time and practice. There are several techniques that can be helpful - for example, strengthening and squeezing the PC muscle, practicing deep breathing at peak moments and applying pressure to points toward the top of the penis are often recommended as ways to learn to control and postpone ejaculation.

As you are practicing and learning, I would suggest a relaxed, more playful experimentation over time; as many of us know, trying to force an orgasm of any kind, or creating stress around a sexual outcome can sabotage the best of intentions.

So you may be wondering, "Are these multiple orgasms really all that great?" These non-ejaculatory orgasms aren't necessarily better or worse, they are just different (similar to the differenct experiences of a clitoral or vaginal orgasm for women). How you experience them will be unique to who you are. Some men love the feel of holding back ejaculation and having multiple orgasms and incorporate them into their regular sexual repertoire. Some men find this experience to have a spiritual element, while others just like having more physical options around sex. Other men find that they aren't as satisfied with non-ejaculatory orgasms and they go back to having the same sort of orgasmic response they had in the past.

No matter how you respond to experimenting with multiple orgasms, recognizing the possibility to experience orgasm in a fundamentally different way can expand your awareness about your own sexuality being much more complex that you may have been led to believe.

You will pay more attention to your own body, and learn a lot more about your own sexual response.

This can be a good thing, as your curiosity and acceptance about yourself can then move into a greater understanding of your partner's complexity as well. Alone or together, sex can then be an opportunity for learning, playfulness, curiosity and connection.

Contributed by Rebecca Alexander, a licensed counselor working with OASIS. Questions may be emailed to

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