Are There Benefits to Withholding Ejaculation During Orgasm?

A man recently wrote in and asked this question: what are your thoughts on male orgasm and Eastern/tantric practices which advise against physical orgasm (but might be favorable towards energetic orgasm)? I’m asking as I’m curious about how holding back on orgasm influences the male body/psyche. I’ve been always been a guy who ejaculates frequently, but am thinking about shifting that – and finding it difficult.

Here is my response:

It is so funny you asked about this, I was just talking with a client who is a Tibetan Buddhist and has been exploring what orgasm means for him.

To me orgasm is a physical body function. I like facts and things that are tangible and measurable. My definition of orgasm is the involuntary muscle contractions of the pelvic floor.

In the tantra world, they will call other movements of pleasurable energy orgasm.

Men can have orgasm without ejaculation, but it is uncommon. This experience often leads to “retrograde ejaculation” – the ejaculate goes into the bladder and will later be peed out. This can be very painful and also, someone can get stuck in a cycle of ejaculating into the bladder rather than out. This is not all that common, but does happen. I often try to steer men away from such things and try to get them to learn how to hold more erotic energy in their bodies without worrying so much about how many orgasms they have. When you can focus more on the sensations of pleasure and allow those to become more expansive, the orgasm will have more pleasure built behind it and often leads to more intensity at the moment of peak (orgasm).

In terms of the orgasm and the release of energy, most urologists you will talk with will recommend ejaculating three times a week for continual prostate health. I agree that people seem to be more balanced when they are regularly moving fully through sexual experience. I know I feel a hell of a lot more balanced!

The Tao or Taoists are the ones that mostly talk about non-ejaculation: “A man must preserve and retain his semen in order to enhance his strength, health and longevity. This philosophy believes that men that regulate their ejaculation to a minimum and retain their semen will grow strong and have a clearer mind.” While I can see the idea behind this, I imagine it would really have to become your spiritual way of life and I am by no means an expert in Taoist philosophy.

If I were to suggest somewhere to start, it would be setting an intention around non-ejaculation as a spiritual goal (think of this like a cleanse: you do it to get re-aligned with whatever you are needing alignment with). Pick an amount of time that feels reasonable for you, maybe one or two weeks, and be completely clear with yourself about what you are hoping to deepen into. I do not feel ok recommending this for someone in the long-term. You can give yourself a serious complex and develop delayed ejaculation, which it not easy to fix.

Often when men go up the arousal curve, they just go from 1 to 10 with very little flexibility in the curve. If you think about the way most women move up and down the arousal curve, it is up to a 7, down to a 4, up to a 8, down to a 5, then 4, then up to a 6 then 9, 10, back to a 6, then 8, then 5. You get my point. I believe this is because 1) women can have more than one orgasm therefore penetration does not have to stop when they reach orgasm; and 2) men have so much pressure to get hard and stay hard that they don’t allow themselves the space to go up and down the arousal curve. They try so hard to get hard enough and stay hard enough, going down the arousal curve feels really scary. I have heard nightmare stories about women who completely freak when the guy’s cock gets soft. It is normal for your arousal to come and go even if you are really turned on.

Also, most men typically go right up the arousal curve, ejaculate and then go back to a 1 or a 2. That is a pretty big drop in arousal happening very quickly. This is a huge loss of energy and can sometimes feel “bad.” Especially if other psychological factors like guilt or shame about orgasming are involved.

I think this can also have a lot to do with how you are getting to your orgasm. The man I talked about here at the beginning of this post was using porn to masturbate with and was feeling a lot of anxiety with his partner, so during most of his sexual experiences he was outside of himself. In sessions, he has been learning how to embody his erotic energy, hold it and deepen into, and he has reported a completely different experience in his body after orgasm. He actually said he has more energy than before and is now feeling much more secure in the world. I believe him because I can see the physical change in his face and body movement from the weeks prior.

Sometimes, I do suggest that men who struggle with early ejaculation should try not ejaculating for a week, or every other time they are pleasuring themselves (or with a partner). This is a bit of a separate topic, but sometimes the desire for instant gratification of orgasm can keep you from feeling the pleasure of what is actually happening in that exact moment.

To sum it all up, I would suggest trying to not focus so much on the idea of not ejacualting and see if you can’t try to learn how to relate more with your erotic energy. When you are feeling fully connected with your erotic energy, can you simply just be with it? I like to use the idea of welcoming and meeting the erotic energy in your body just like you would greet a guest at the front door who is over for dinner. Invite them in, allow them to get comfortable and get each other up to speed since the last time you met, and then enjoy the main meal and dessert, there’s no need to rush through it!

– Keeley

Thumbnail image via imagerymajestic on FreeDigitalPhotos

2 thoughts on “Are There Benefits to Withholding Ejaculation During Orgasm?

  1. Pingback: Are There Benefits to Withholding Ejaculation During Orgasm? | Keeley Rankin

  2. Pingback: Are There Benefits to Withholding Ejaculation During Orgasm? – Keeley Rankin – Sex & Relationship Coach

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