Non Ejaculatory Orgasm

Man looking sexually satisfied lying on the ground looking at the sky.
ferrantraite/E+/Getty Images

The term non-ejaculatory orgasm refers to the physiological and/or psychological experience of an orgasm which is not accompanied by ejaculation.  It seems like a simple enough idea, but the medical model of sexuality, which relies on thinking about sex and gender as binary, makes it far more complicated.

Who Ejaculates?

The simple truth is that all bodies may be able to ejaculate.  Ejaculation isn’t something that only men do, it isn’t even something that only happens when you have a penis.


But standard medical texts still refer to ejaculation as a process that only happens in a body with a penis and testes (what most people call a male body).  Despite a growing body of research, and hundreds of years of women’s experience, the idea of female ejaculation is still seen as debatable.  

Since science resists the idea of women ever ejaculating, non-ejaculatory orgasms are only notable in men, because they are supposed to ejaculate and orgasm.

Connected but Distinct

To make matters more confusing, a lot of people think that orgasm and ejaculation in men are the same thing.   They are connected but different experiences and processes.  Orgasm is the experience of a peak of pleasure, ejaculation is a two stage physiological process that includes muscular contractions resulting in the emission of fluid.

Even though for most men orgasm and ejaculation happen almost simultaneously, they are not the same thing, and in fact men can learn to separate orgasm from ejaculation.

Sexual Dysfunction or Sexual Technique?

Most of the time when researchers or doctors talk about orgasm without ejaculation they are talking about sexual dysfunction.  One condition, called retrograde ejaculation, results in the ejaculate spilling into the bladder instead of being expelled out of the penis.

Often men with erectile dysfunction will either have, or perceive themselves as having a far reduced amount of ejaculate (another condition called PEVR).  But with both of these conditions the body is still ejaculating, it may just not be as noticeable because of an absence of semen outside the body.

It is a completely separate thing to learn how to separate orgasm from ejaculation, and then to learn to orgasm without ejaculating at all.

Why Learn Non-Ejaculatory Orgasm Technique?

The practice of having orgasms without ejaculating is not a new one.  It is one of the elements of sexual practice in a Taoist spiritual tradition which understands ejaculate as part of a life force energy that should be kept inside the body, to circulate and grow.

Within this understanding of sexual energy, when someone ejaculates, their energy leaves their body, and leaves them depleted.  When someone orgasms without ejaculation, they can direct the same energy inward, and build to a different kind of sexual peak.

This practice has been translated in the west as teaching men how to have multiple orgasms.  When men have multiple orgasms they are not ejaculating multiple times in a row (which as far as we know is physiologically impossible) instead they are having a series of non-ejaculatory orgasms.

Another reason to learn how to distinguish orgasm from ejaculation is that it can help men who want sex to last longer before they ejaculate (what clinicians call premature ejaculation).  Learning how to have non-ejaculatory orgasms requires you to pay close attention to how your body works and feels during arousal and climax, and this can help men who want to learn to control the timing of their ejaculation.