‘Dry orgasms’: If men don’t ejaculate it doesn’t mean they don’t orgasm

Welcome to Relationship Rehab, news.com.au’s weekly column solving all your romantic problems, no holds barred.

This week, our resident sexologist Isiah McKimmie explains the ins and outs of ejaculation.

QUESTION: My husband and I have a very good sex life but I’ve noticed that more often than not he doesn’t ejaculate during sex. He says that he orgasms but I’m concerned that he’s lying. Can a man orgasm without ejaculating? Does this also mean he’s infertile? We’re hoping to have kids in the next few years and I’m worried this means we won’t be able to.

ANSWER: Great questions. Thanks for writing in to ask. I really wish we had more comprehensive sex education in this country so there was less confusion around issues like this.

Orgasm and ejaculation are not the same

Although they most often tend to happen at the same time, orgasm and ejaculations are two different occurrences for men and can happen separately.

It’s possible to orgasm without ejaculating. It’s also possible for a man to ejaculate without reaching orgasm or before reaching orgasm.

So it is entirely possible that your partner is telling the truth and is reaching orgasm but isn’t ejaculating.

Why men orgasm without ejaculating

There are a few reasons a man might orgasm without ejaculating.

Men having an orgasm with seemingly no ejaculation can be due to anejaculation or retrograde ejaculation.

Orgasm without ejaculation is known as anejaculation or ‘dry orgasm’.

Dry orgasm can be caused by a number of factors:

• Sperm not being made

• A blocked sperm duct

• Side effects of surgery or radiation

• Nerve damage (for a variety of reasons)

• Side effects of medication

• Low testosterone levels

Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder instead of exiting through the penis during orgasm.

This occurs due to the bladder neck muscle failing to tighten properly, allowing semen to enter the bladder.

Reaching orgasm without ejaculating is also something some men attempt to learn so that they can have multiple orgasms in quick succession. Most men learning this will do so through Tantra or other ‘sacred sexuality practices’.

Dry orgasm and fertility

Anejaculation and retrograde ejaculation are not necessarily dangerous or problems in themselves. Sex can still be enjoyable without orgasm or ejaculation.

However, dry orgasms can indicate underlying health issues that may need to be addressed.

Both anejaculation and retrograde ejaculation obviously impact your ability to conceive as sperm isn’t being released during sex.

In many cases however, treatments are available.

Inability to orgasm

If your partner isn’t reaching orgasm or ejaculating, that’s something else entirely.

Inability to reach orgasm in men is known as Delayed Ejaculation and can occur for a number of reasons. It’s usually highly treatable with the right support.

Begin with further conversations together

It sounds like you and your partner need to start with some really open, honest conversations together.

If your partner is experiencing dry orgasms, your next step is to visit your doctor to point you in the direction of understanding what’s going on and how you can address this in preparation for starting a family together. If your partner is experiencing Delayed Ejaculation, consider seeing a Sexologist together.

Isiah McKimmie is a couples therapist, sexologist, sex therapist and lecturer. To book a session with her, visit her website or follow her on Instagram for more advice on relationships, sex and intimacy. If you have a question for Isiah, email relationship.rehab@news.com.au

Read related topics:Isiah McKimmieSex Advice

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