September 30th, 2013
If you ask a man whether he knows anything about ejaculation, he will look at you as if you were crazy. Of course he does; and if asked to explain ejaculation, he will look at you again, asking whether you are crazy….but this time because he has no idea what ejaculation physiologically is, what the ejaculate consists of, how ejaculation occurs, and what possible ejaculatory disorders might be.
The term ejaculation means the secretion of some sort of fluid from a glandular organ. In the specific case of male ejaculation, the term ejaculation refers to the excretion of the ejaculate through the erect penis.
Before ejaculation, usually there will be some sort of arousal which usually will lead to penile erection. But ejaculation may also sometimes happen at night when we are asleep (‘wet dream”). In order to clarify the terms it needs to be said that neither arousal nor erection by themselves can lead to orgasm. It is rather the sexual stimulation and the stimulation of the penis which ultimately leads to male orgasm with associated ejaculation of semen. During sexual arousal and before ejaculation, a clear fluid called ‘pre-ejaculatory fluid’ or “pre-cum’ is produced and secreted from the urethra. While the pre-ejaculatory fluid does rarely contain any sperm, it may contain sperm from earlier ejaculation which has remained in the urethra and even infectious bugs such as the HIV virus. So make sure you take all precautionary measures for safe sex before you start with the foreplay.
Now, just to briefly address the fluids secreted before and during ejaculation, here some words about “semen“. The clear pre-ejaculatory fluid is discharged during arousal, masturbation, foreplay or at an early stage during sex, some time before the man fully reaches orgasm and semen is ejaculated. It is primarily produced by the bulbourethral glands (Cowper’s glands). The fluid mainly contains some chemicals associated with semen, such as acid phosphatase. Some semen markers, such as gamma-glutamyltransferase, are completely absent from pre-ejaculate fluid.
The actual ejaculate has a milky/cloudy white color and is secreted during the first contractions of orgasm. Semen or seminal fluid is produced in the testicles and contains several components such as the sperm, proteolytic and other enzymes as well as fructose which promote the survival of sperm, and provide a medium through which they can move or “swim”.
Now back to ejaculation. When a man has achieved a sufficient level of stimulation, ejaculation begins. The male orgasm begins with rhythmic contractions of the penis base muscles (note: the actual penis does not contain any muscles!). During the first contractions the semen is ejaculated through the urethra. The male orgasm lasts for several seconds before entering the refractory phase where the cycle of stimulation, erection, orgasm, and ejaculation can start over again.
A typical orgasm consists of 10 to 15 contractions. After the semen has been ejaculated, the muscle contractions may continue without any further emission. The amount of the sperm produced and ejaculated is usually different from man to man and from time to time in the same individual. Many different factors will affect the amount of ejaculate produced. While the amount of the ejaculate may vary from time to time, but have you ever wondered about how far you actually can propel your sperm? Never thought about it? Let’s measure it next time.
In one study, Alfred Kinsey measured the distance of ejaculation being somewhere from inches to up to seven (rarely eight) feet. In another study Masters and Johnson reported ejaculation distance to be not greater than 30–60 cm. Regardless of amount of ejaculate produced, and regardless of the fact whether you are a long distance shooter or not, there are several ways to improve and maintain a healthy ejaculate production and secure the upcoming generations.
Furthermore, do not miss to read our next blogs about ejaculatory disorders such as premature ejaculation, anejaculation, and delayed ejaculation, as well as retrograde ejaculation.
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