Sex Ed

Can Men Have Multiple Orgasms Too?

March 10, 2014 by Justin Lehmiller


Scientists have long known that women sometimes experience multiple orgasms. Indeed, in their 1966 book entitled Human Sexual Response, William Masters and Virginia Johnson noted that:

“The human female frequently is not content with one orgasmic experience during episodes of [clitoral stimulation]…Many well-adjusted women enjoy a minimum of three of four orgasmic experiences before they reach apparent satiation.” (p. 64)

Of course, this is not necessarily true for all women. Some studies have found that close to half of the women surveyed have experienced multiple orgasms previously; the other half may not be physically capable of this, or they may not have tried to experience (or do not want to experience) more than one orgasm in a row. But what about men? Is it possible for guys to have multiple orgasms too?

Many have argued that men are incapable of multiple orgasms due to the refractory period that they experience immediately after orgasm. The refractory period is a specific period of time during which no additional amount of sexual stimulation can yield another orgasm. The length of this period is highly variable across men, but could be just a few minutes in a younger guy compared to hours (or maybe even days) in older guys. We don’t know exactly why this occurs, but scientists think that it has a basis in certain neurochemical and hormonal changes that occur in the body upon orgasm.

That said, there are some men who have reported experience with multiple orgasms. What exactly do I mean when I say “multiple orgasms?” Scientists define male multiple orgasms as:

“Two or more orgasms with or without ejaculation and without, or with only very limited, detumescence during one and the same sexual encounter.” (Dunn & Trost, 1989; p. 379)

In other words, multiple orgasms do not necessarily imply multiple ejaculations because, contrary to popular belief, orgasm and ejaculation are two different things (although they often co-occur). Orgasm refers to the series of muscular contractions in the genital region that is accompanied by intense feelings of pleasure, whereas ejaculation refers to the expulsion of seminal fluid from the body. To qualify as having multiple orgasms, a guy does not need to ejaculate multiple times or at all. In addition, in between orgasms, the penis cannot go limp and come back–otherwise, we would count that as more than one sexual response cycle.

Researchers have documented multiple orgasms in a small number of adult men [1]. For example, in one study, researchers recruited a sample of 21 men aged 25-69 who reported having previously had multiple orgasms. About half said that they had always been multiply orgasmic, while the other half said that this was something that they did not experience until later in life. For the men who had always been multiply orgasmic, most of them thought that all men had multiple orgasms and they did not know that their ability was unusual until one of their partners pointed it out.

Among the men who said multiple orgasms developed later in life, most said that it happened fortuitously—however, two men said that they had taught themselves to become multiply orgasmic. How did they do this? According to the researchers:

“These men practiced coming to the brink of orgasm and inhibiting ejaculation until they could separate the sensation of orgasm and the experience of ejaculation. Both of these subjects used techniques such as the squeeze or stop-start method in their initial practice.” (Dunn & Trost, 1989; p. 382)

The “squeeze” and “stop-start” methods are techniques used by some men with premature ejaculation as a way of learning to last longer in bed. You can read more about them here.

The men in this study reported that the amount of time between orgasms was brief (usually just a couple of minutes), and most reported having had somewhere between two and nine orgasms in a row before (one guy reported as many as 16!). However, most of these guys reported that they did not have multiple orgasms every time they had sex. I should also note that none of these men reported having any erectile or other sexual difficulties, which suggests that having multiple orgasms isn’t necessarily harmful to men’s bodies.

As you can see, multiple orgasms do indeed appear to be possible among both men and women. Although the experience is much rarer among men and more research in this area is needed, the findings from this study suggest the provocative possibility that men who are very motivated may be able to learn how to become multiply orgasmic.

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[1] Dunn, M. E., & Trost, J. E. (1989). Male multiple orgasms: a descriptive study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 18, 377-387.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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