Dear Em & Lo,
After a particularly hot session with my husband the other night, he had what seemed to me like a really intense orgasm. But when I went to the bathroom afterward to clean up, it appeared as if he didn’t actually ejaculate. Basically, there was nothing to clean up, even when I checked inside myself with my fingers, and no smell or sign of semen. I asked him if he came, and he said that yes, he did.
I’m wondering what to make of this. In the past, when he hasn’t been able to come (too tired, too distracted, too much to drink), it’s never been a big deal between us. Usually he’ll just say that he doesn’t think it’s going to happen for him, and we’ll call it a night. There isn’t any kind of baggage between us that would cause him to pretend to have an orgasm when he didn’t. And anyway, it didn’t seem like he was struggling to get there. On the contrary, it seemed like he’d been struggling to hold on until I came, and he came very soon after me.
Just for a little context, because of our work schedules, we don’t actually see each other awake during the week, and we’re usually only squeezing in sex on the weekends. So it’s not like we’d done it five times already in the last 24 hours and he’d be tapped out.
So … did he fake it? Or can a man have an orgasm without ejaculating?
— Dry Run
We think there are probably three possibilities here:
- He faked it. Guys do it all the time. It’s less common among men than women precisely because guys usually leave a few teaspoons of evidence behind when they climax (unlike most women). But they can certainly feel the same pressure as women to “perform” (and sadly, in our culture, money shots are practically a requirement to be a man). Just as women fake to be nice, guys may not want to hurt their partner’s feelings with a no-show O. Maybe your husband started feeling a little insecure about the number of times it wasn’t happening for him recently and he tried to cover it up. Though it sounds like you guys have a fairly solid, communicative relationship, so we wouldn’t put our money on this one.
- He climaxed without ejaculating. A.k.a. the dry orgasm. It happens. Sometimes spontaneously. It’s usually harmless, though it can be caused by problems like diabetes, prostate issues, multiple sclerosis, radiation therapy, a blocked sperm duct, bladder cancer… Some medications may inhibit ejaculation, too. But many men train their minds and bodies to be able to achieve the dry orgasm voluntarily via breathing and PC-muscle exercises — since doing so can mean multiple dude-gasms. In fact, pulling yourself back from the brink of orgasm (like it seems your husband was doing during your sesh) is part of the training regimen (check out The Multi-Orgasmic Man and this abbreviated version). But be warned: some of these methods suggest pushing on the perineum to block semen flow, which can result in retrograde ejaculation, where the ejaculate gets detoured into the bladder, resulting in cloudy urine — which according to many medical sources is not good. Some of the problems mentioned above can cause retrograde ejaculation, too, so that’s something to look out for. It doesn’t sound like this was intentional by your hubby, so if it keeps happening involuntarily, he should definitely go see a urologist.
- He was already spent. You don’t see each other during the week, so he probably masturbates regularly when you’re not around. Maybe he rubbed one out right before he saw you and his reserves were a little low. They probably wouldn’t be non-existent, as you say, but maybe low enough to seem that way by comparison to the norm.
Whatever the cause, you should feel free to bring it up with him — not accusingly, just inquisitively. If he did orgasm but didn’t ejaculate, he’d probably want to know (’cause it sounds like he doesn’t), especially if it’s something that starts happening regularly that he should get checked out (though it’s probably just a cool bodily aberration that he won’t be able to replicate). If, however, his answer is behind either door number 1 or 3, don’t give him a hard time about it — #1 is sweet, and #3 is natural.
Blowing our load,
Em & Lo