A Case for a Performative Male Orgasm

It's not enough for men to reach climax. They have to sell it too.

It may not be enough for men to just orgasm during sex and women may prefer more moaning, thrusting, and other bells, whistles, and fanfare, new research reveals. The findings, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, suggest that women’s sexual satisfaction is very much tied to how their partner climaxes — as if there wasn’t enough pressure to perform already.

“During my practical, clinical work I noticed that women have very strong opinions regarding men’s ejaculation — and I am not speaking about the clinical criteria that most research usually focuses on such as…how long the man can control or prolong his ejaculation,” study author Andrea Burri of the European Institute for Sexual Health told PsyPost. “Here, we are talking about other ‘non-clinically relevant’ aspects, such as how much ejaculate he expels, or how loudly he moans.”

ADVERTISEMENT

A disproportionate amount of past research has focused on how long women think sex should last, rather than what they hope the big finish will look like. (Estimates indicate that the sweet spot is somewhere between seven to 13 minutes, by the way. So don’t stress it). To learn more, Burri and her colleagues asked 240 women about their sexual and ejaculatory preferences. They found that just over half of women considered it important that their partner orgasmed, and that women who were able to orgasm themselves place more significance on this than women who did not orgasm. Over 18 percent of women preferred men to orgasm before they did, whereas about 28 percent preferred to go first. Still, most women, 53.5 percent, had no preference on orgasm order. While a majority of women reported that the quantity of ejaculate did not matter, about 13 percent of women considered the amount of ejaculate a reflection of their own sexual attractiveness. A majority of women, 58.4 percent, said that their orgasms were more intense if their partners orgasmed more intensely, which was gauged by louder moaning and stronger thrusting.

“I noticed that many women find it very distressing when their male partner suffers from delayed ejaculation or the inability to ejaculate — mostly because it gives them the feeling of not being desired or attractive,” Burri said.

That’s not to say that women want their partner’s to fake it (which up to a quarter of men admit to doing) but don’t downplay it either. Women don’t necessarily need an air horn to go off, they just want men to orgasm in a way that conveys closeness. There’s evidence that deep eye contact and verbal expressions of affection during male orgasms work just as well as loud moans and thrusts. The study is limited by self-reported information from a mostly younger sample (median age 27.4 years old) and may not accurately reflect the sex lives of married people or parents, let alone the ejaculatory preferences of all women, so take it with a grain of salt. As long as you’re not completely silent and motionless at the moment of climax, you’re probably fine.

“It is noteworthy to mention that there is quite a large proportion of women that are repulsed by men’s ejaculate and this deserves a closer investigation as well,” Burri adds. “Overall, we can say that although male ejaculation and its different aspects seems to play an important role for women – in one way or the other – the study demonstrates a considerable variability of women’s attitudes toward ejaculatory characteristics.”

Get Fatherly In Your Inbox