Sexual desire is a complex interaction among cognitive
processes, physiological mechanisms (hormones), physical well-being, and
positive mood all affecting the drive toward sexual fantasy or behavior.
If a man encounters something that excites him
sexually, messages are transmitted to the portion of the brain dedicated to
sexual response. Many men believe that sexual arousal is always
accompanied by an erection, but this is not necessarily the case at the first
A number of other things happen during the early stages
of sexual arousal. The brain is flooded with natural
chemicals that act similarly to drugs such as cocaine. These natural chemicals,
called endorphins, make the man say to himself that whatever is causing the
sexual arousal is very enjoyable and should be continued. If the sexual response
is the result of observing another person, the man may make an effort to meet
the other person involved.
Most men will produce pre-ejaculate when anything
to be sexually exciting occurs, perhaps even reading a sexually explicit story
or watching a sexually explicit movie. There is no limit to the length of time
that a man can be aroused, and throughout arousal the man can continue to
produce drops of pre-ejaculate.
Normally, excitement is followed by erection. An erection of
the penis occurs as the spongy tissues of the penis are engorged with blood.
There is one large primary artery responsible for blood flow into the penis, but
several veins that drain the penis of blood. When an erection is not happening,
the inflow of blood and the outflow is maintained in balance and the penis
remains flaccid. During erection, blood flows into the penis and holes in
the spongy tissue in the penis fill with blood. At the same time, flaps in the
veins leading out of the penis enlarge, cutting off the drainage. As a result,
the penis fills with blood. As more and more blood flows in than out, the penis
enlarges and becomes harder. Finally, veins in the penis are compressed from the
increasing pressure from the erection itself. Heart rate and blood pressure also
increase, the pressure of blood into the penis increases, keeping the penis
What can go wrong? Several things can
happen. Those with spinal cord injuries are frequently unable to attain an
erection because the nerves that control the valves in the veins and arteries
have been severed. If these valves cannot be opened and closed an erection is
As a man ages, the valves (flaps) controlling the veins
that must be shut off may leak a bit, and not prevent the outflow of blood. And
the blood flow into the penis may be restricted. Also, as a man ages the main
penis artery may fill with sludge, reducing blood inflow. Smoking may contribute
to this, as it does to the buildup of sludge in other portions of the
circulatory system. Alcohol use may decrease the ability of the nervous
system to close off the necessary valves. This is why intoxicated men often
cannot achieve and maintain an erection.
Size of the erection may be relatively
unrelated to the size of the non-erect penis. Typically, those with smaller
penises tend to enlarge to a greater degree when erect, so the differences in
the size of the erect penis may not be that great. According to the book Man's
Body, the average flaccid penis is about 3 3/4 inches long with most falling
between 3 1/4 and 4 1/4 inches, though a few are outside this range. The average
erect penis is 6 1/4 inches, with most between 5 and 7 inches, though a few are
smaller and larger.
An article in Men's Health Magazine indicates that
these data are overly optimistic, and that the average erect penis length now
widely accepted by doctors is 5.1 inches. Which seems a bit short, or at least
for an average number. Erect penis length varies with the degree of erection.
Past puberty, in the teen years, and perhaps during the
twenties, it is possible to get a full erection without any manual stimulation
at all. As men age beyond the 20s, this occurs less and less frequently and
increasingly some manual manipulation of the penis is needed. As the penis
becomes increasingly erect, the nerve endings located there gradually become
more and more sensitive to touch. In general, the harder the penis can become,
the more pleasant the sensations from the touch. Other physiological changes
occur. As the erection grows, the heart and breathing rate increases. During the
initial stages of arousal, before erection occurs, the testicles and scrotum
feel quite large and soft, and are very sensitive to touch. Gentle pressure on
the testicles with the fingertips produces particularly pleasant sensations. As
the erection proceeds, the testicles change as well, increasing in size by up to
50% as they also fill with blood. They become harder and are drawn up to the
body as the point of ejaculation becomes nearer and nearer.
Many men think that an erection must ordinarily proceed
to an orgasm and ejaculation, but this is not necessarily so. By repeatedly
massaging and then stopping the manual stimulation of the penis, a man can go
through many erection cycles that do not necessary need to lead directly to
orgasm. With each cycle, often the man can learn to take a bit more stimulation
Research indicates that stimulation of the septum, a
portion of the brain known to be a part of the limbic system, results in the
feeling of an orgasm, but this stimulation produces neither an erection nor
ejaculation. These findings support the theory that ejaculation and orgasm,
though often linked together, are, indeed, separate events.
Learning how to achieve an erection just below the
level, which leads to ejaculation is an important part of sexual enjoyment. It
is important for the man to learn how to read his body's signals that orgasm and
ejaculation are near. Psychologists call the point where the man is no longer
able to delay orgasm the "point of inevitability". Learning how to lengthen the
arousal and erection period while delaying orgasm is an important part of
maximizing enjoyment from sex. As the erection proceeds, the physical sensations
become increasingly more and more exciting, and the psychological pressure to
ejaculate becomes more and more intense. It is essential to learn how to keep
the stimulation just below the level required for ejaculation, while learning to
deal with the increasing psychological pressure to ejaculate. The
psychological pleasure becomes more and more intense, the longer the arousal can
be maintained without ejaculation, but the greater the enjoyment for the man.
Developing these skills and dealing with the psychological desire to ejaculate
for as long as possible requires practice. Women usually require a somewhat
longer period of time to become fully aroused, so being able to delay orgasm
potentially increases the enjoyment of sex by both partners.
All of the sections of the erect penis are not equally
sensitive. Thus, by varying locations being stimulated, the man can perhaps
delay orgasm. Stimulation of the base of the penis, near the body, while
pleasant, normally will not be sufficient to achieve orgasm. The underside of
the tip of the penis, called the "frenulum", is very sensitive to manual
stimulation. If this area of the erect penis is stimulated very much, an orgasm
(and ejaculation) will occur almost immediately.
A significant portion of the penis, perhaps one- third
to one-half of it, lies inside the body. This portion of the penis also responds
to manual stimulation. It can be felt and externally massaged at a spot called
the perineum area, which is directly behind the base of the scrotum. This is a
little-recognized but highly sensitive area of the male body. This spot is
sometimes referred to as the "second male G spot" though many men are not even
aware that it is a sexually sensitive area. In addition to the possibility of
externally massaging the interior portion of the erect penis, a bundle of nerves
terminate here, and the main artery that is responsible for providing blood for
erections runs through this area. Inside, but directly above this area
lies the Cowper's glands. It is likely that external massage of this area will
to a certain degree stimulate these glands.
The prostate is a little further up, but nearby. It is
possible and often very pleasant to externally massage the prostate, a
walnut-size gland, responsible for secreting most of the liquid contained in the
semen by pressing on the perineum, or directly inside the rectum, as the gland
is located only about an inch inside.
With practice, a man can learn a degree of control over
the point when he proceeds to orgasm and ejaculation. Some men believe that male
orgasm invariably results in ejaculation, but this is not always true. Some men
have learned techniques for having multiple orgasms without ejaculating. Many of
these techniques involving squeezing of the urethra such that the semen is not
allowed to leave the body.
As the point of orgasm approaches, pre-ejaculate
production will normally stop, and the hole in the tip of the penis becomes
slit-like. The testicles become hard and are drawn up near the body in
preparation. Breathing becomes heavier, and there may be involuntary
contractions of major muscles (convulsions) throughout the body.
Finally, the psychological and physical pressure to
ejaculate is released in a series of muscular contractions, usually about 8
major contractions spaced a second or so apart, followed perhaps by several
smaller ones that can last 45 seconds or so.
Generally the more frequently a man has an ejaculation,
the less force that ejaculation will have. If one is able to ejaculate two
to three hours after his previous ejaculation, the semen just dribbles out.
Semen: There is a wide variation in
semen production, but about 60 percent on average, comes from glands
called the seminal vesicles, whereas 38 % comes from the prostate, with the
remainder from glands such as the Cowper's.
Frequency of Ejaculation:
According to a number of studies, Many post- pubescent
young men report daily ejaculation, if not more frequently than that. This
frequency gradually declines for most males to 2-3 time per week, which is
typical of men in there forties. But there is still considerable variation among
adult men of a given age.
Many men believe that it is somehow "un-masculine" to take
advantage and enjoy the sexual experiences that occur prior to orgasm. They may
have been taught at an early age that masturbation is somehow sinful or harmful
to one's health. Orgasm and ejaculation become the focus of their
partner-sex as well, rather than full enjoyment of all aspects of sexual
Once the arousal has begun, there are physical and
psychological changes that take place in men. As outlined earlier, typically, an
involuntary message is sent from the brain to the nerves that control a series
of valves on the veins by which blood is drained from the penis. At the same
time, blood continues to enter the penis through the main artery, the heartbeat
rate increases, and blood pressure rises. With blood flowing in faster than it
is returned, the penis starts to become erect.
When the penis is flaccid, touch seems little different
than touch on any other part of the anatomy. But as erection starts to take
place, the nerve endings concentrated in the penis start to become more
sensitive and pleasant to the touch.
Sexual tension has started. The first sexual feelings
are rather unfocused, but as arousal begins, the man's attention increasingly is
focused on the sensations emanating from the groin area. Many men believe these
sexual sensations occur only in the penis, but there are many other places in
the groin area that are quite sensitive as well.
Equally interesting are the psychological changes that
are taking place, something that few men acknowledge. At the initial stages of
arousal, the man has no particular psychological "urge" to press forward to
ejaculation. But as the arousal and erection continues, the psychological urge
to press forward to ejaculation becomes stronger and stronger. This is the
essence of building sexual tension. Psychologically, the man experiences the
feeling of wanting more and more stimulation to continue and increase the
intensity of the sexual feelings.
The entire experience can be likened to the winding of
a "sexual" spring. Increasing stimulation causes the "sexual" spring to be wound
tighter and tighter, increasing the sexual tension. These sensations are
extremely pleasant, but at the same time, the unreleased tension is also
described as very "frustrating" by most men. Interestingly, some men describe
this as a "delicious" frustration, and many agree that it is among the best, if
not the best of experiences that life has to offer. The tighter the sexual
spring can be wound, the more exciting the sexual "ride" and the more "extreme"
the ultimate release will be. This is a human experience not to be missed. Fully
recognizing this and fully taking advantage of these sensations and
psychological urges in an effort to more completely enjoy them for a longer
period of time without moving directly forward to orgasm, something that most
men must learn. But the results are well worth the effort, both in terms of the
man's own enjoyment as well as for the benefit and enjoyment of a sexual