Wise Guys: What’s the Appeal of the Money Shot?

Advice from three of EMandLO.com’s guy friends. This week they answer the following: What’s the appeal of the “money shot? To ask the guys your own question, click here.

Gay Single Guy (Angelo Nikolopoulos of The White Swallow): For men, the orgasm is the raison d’être of sexual activity, so the money shot—or facial, if you prefer—seems to be the requisite punctuation mark at the end of the male sexual narrative. Thus, when the sex is mediocre, the money shot provides the same definitive closure a period brings to the end of a sentence: Hand me the towel, honey.

Alternately, when the sex is explosive, the MS becomes declarative and celebratory. Grammatically, then, it’s the exclamation mark: Look how far it went, honey!

Sure, some women might find it degrading, but I think it’s adorable. It’s like watching a man stand back to admire the fruits of his labor. In any event, having your spunk land anywhere—the headboard, a calf—beats exiling it into a condom, that grammatical cesspool of uncertainty: Honey, did you finish yet?

chris_diclericoStraight Single Guy (Chris): I assume the quotes means you are referring to the grandfather of all money-shots, the facial. This one is easy. It’s all about being proud of what you did. A visible, measurable artifact of male potency, left in the only place on the woman’s body that will require her to clean it up before she can do anything else. It’s not quite a money shot when it’s a tiny little dribble, but when you know a volumous one might be on its way, its a real ego boost to see it fly, and land, and then require special attention. I do not think that degradation and defilement are a real part of it. Maybe for some asshole guys, but not the majority. Yes, there is an aspect of domination/submission, but that’s very different. So in short: it’s visible virility and power. I’m getting horny writing this.

Straight Committed Guy (Johnny): If you’d asked me this ten years ago I could have written a dissertation about it. I was absolutely enthralled with the money shot for a long time. Once again the blame lies with porn. It probably never would have occurred to me to come on a woman’s face had I not seen it on video first. Back in the day porn was a lot less nasty then it is now, and a facial seemed pretty damn kinky by the standards of the day.

As with any fetish, though, it’s difficult to articulate the exact appeal. It’s like trying to explain why your favorite food tastes good. I think the facial is now just one point on a long checklist of sexual accomplishments men like to boast:

Much older partner? Check.
Much younger partner? Check.
Huge-breasted partner? Check.
In her butt? Check.
In MY butt? Check.
Facial? Check.

At this point I’ve seen and given so many money shots that it’s kind of passe to me. These days my lady partners actually suggest it more than I do. So, you tell me!

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Gay Guy is Angelo Nikolopoulos, host of an NYC queer reading series The White Swallow; Straight Single Guy is blogger Chris DiClerico; and our Straight Committed Guy is regular EMandLO.com commenter, Johnny. To ask the guys your own question, click here.


  1. I’m with Figleaf on this. Artifact of cheap porn. A wasted opportunity if you have a real partner to orgasm inside her.

  2. Wise Guys must think alike — fellow WG figleaf, you stole my thunder! I, too, have Glickman’s blog in my feed, saw the coincident timing in yesterday’s post, and planned to link not only to it but to the first article he links to, “He Wants to Jizz on Your Face, but Not Why You Think”: http://jezebel.com/5875217/ — totally, uh, topical. 😉

  3. Only time to make the most out of the Money Shot if its not in the porn industry is if you are practising the ‘widthdrawel’ method as a means of birth control. i did this a while back and one time by accident I shot a load right into my partners eye socket. Funniest money shot she ever saw!

  4. I’m not even stepping into the whole “facial” business. I’ll just point out Charlie Glickman’s thoughts from a post that arrived in my newsreader moments before this one: http://www.charlieglickman.com/2012/01/where-does-validation-come-from/.

    Instead I’ll just say I think the “money shot” is a seriously stupid dual artifact of porn. First, in the production of porn it’s just way more convenient to towel semen off skin than out of bodily orifices and therefore it’s more cost effective. This is why, at least early on, it was the low-budget porn shops that did money shots rather than the well-heeled ones. Second, for decades, anyway, porn was primarily an aid for male masturbation and so, I think, money shots are a way to help watchers identify with male actors.

    I really think the masturbation element is key. Yes, you’ll occasionally see men’s parters “finishing” them off, but for the vast, vast, vast majority of cases the man essentially stops interacting physically with his partner, steps back a ways, and basically jacks off.

    Again, fine if you’re at home alone. But seems to me sort of the whole point of sex with a partner is to have sex with them… not just on them.

    Now, that said, don’t get me wrong. If you’re both into it (and increasing numbers of both men and women seem to be) and it’s all good clean fun for both of you then great. Lots of great things about “sex” don’t actually involve sex.

    Also, that said, another name for “money shots” is “the withdrawal method.” And while nothing in life is certain, when ejaculation occurs outside a partner’s body it at best reduces the odds of pregnancy and STI transmission and even at worst it evens them out between the semen donor and semen receiver. So that’s ok too.

    But at the end of the day, for me, the physical pleasure reduction of orgasm via masturbation rather than with a partner isn’t worth whatever symbolic enjoyment it seems to bring other people.

    So, again for me, thanks but no thanks.


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