Remember that episode from FRIENDS where Monica realizes that Chandler could and did fake it in bed? Turns out that's something a startling number of men do. Much is written about all the many, many things men don't know about women's pleasure. But there's a world of research out there on things you'd never imagined about men and their orgasms. Here are nine very interesting revelations.
Hallelujah, all men are bigger than they think
Twice as long, to be precise. Much like the clit, half a man's penis is hidden inside their body, with its root attached to the pubic bone.
Men can fake it too
Men might be from Mars and women from Venus, but the two sexes are united in one little-known way: men fake orgasms too, to spare their partners' feelings. In a University of Kansas study in 2010, 25 percent of the men surveyed admitted to having faked an orgasm, and for the same reasons given by women so often: stress, exhaustion, alcohol and drug abuse. And, of course, a man's two big worries — performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction. How are men able to hide the evidence, given the external nature of their plumbing, you wonder? The answer is simple; by quickly disposing the condom before their partners catch on. For those who go without a condom but insist on faking it, Richard Herring, in his book Talking Cock, suggests a rather innovative method — spitting on her nether regions, while doing it doggy-style!
Grow-ers and show-ers
On an average, penises are about 5 to 6 inches long when erect and 3 to 4 inches when flaccid. But according to pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, not all penises behave the same way. He analysed the measurements of more than a 1,000 penises and found two types of penises: grow-ers and show-ers. Penises that appear big when flaccid but don't gain much length with erection are called show-ers, whereas those that become much bigger than their flaccid size are called grow-ers. Shorter flaccid penises tend to gain about twice as much length as longer flaccid penises, according to Kinsey's data. However, the data also showed that most penises aren't extreme show-ers or grow-ers — when erect, 12 percent penises grew one-third or less and 7 percent doubled in length.
Sex > masturbation
While any and all orgasms are great, there's a qualitative difference between an orgasm from sex when compared to masturbation. A 2006 study published in Biological Psychology by University of Paisley, UK, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology found that the prolactin levels in the blood of both men and women is 4 times higher after intercourse as compared to masturbation. Since prolactin is responsible for triggering the feeling of contentment and satiation in the brain, this means that an orgasm after sex affects us more positively than masturbation. This also explains why men need recovery time between orgasms (usually an hour), considering that elevated levels of prolactin are linked to erectile dysfunction.
G-spot for men?
Not really, but close. Like women, men have extreme erogenous zones as well. According to a study published in the British Journal of Urology International in 2009, most men rated the underside of the head of their penis as the most erotic part of their body.
It can literally feel like a heroin rush
In a path-breaking 2003 study, a Dutch neuroscientist used brain scans to study the effects of orgasms on men and women. He discovered that in men, orgasms activate the ventral tegmental part of the brain. In layman's terms, this is the brain's "reward circuit" and triggers the release of dopamine, producing the same effect that heroin and cocaine would have on the brain. Apart from the sensation of pleasure, this serves an evolutionary purpose. Since reproduction is not possible without ejaculation, biology has ensured that the human species views ejaculation as a highly rewarding behaviour.
Coming without cum
The medical term for an orgasm without any discharge is called retrograde ejaculation, or, more commonly, dry orgasm. The semen travels backward into the bladder instead of squirting out of the penis during a dry orgasm. While it isn't harmful, retrograde ejaculation is a cause of infertility.
Pleasureless sex is a real thing
It's rare, but possible. Men can experience all the signs of an orgasm — muscle contractions and ejaculation — without feeling any of the pleasure. The medical term for this is called sexual anhedonia. There are several factors that can lead to the onset of sexual anhedonia, such as very low testosterone levels, erectile dysfunction due to high levels of prolactin in the bloodstream, multiple sclerosis and, the most common, using a class of antidepressants called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI). These anti-depressants can inhibit sexual desire so much that patients are forced to discontinue them after a while.
Don't underestimate the little swimmers
If you're relying on coitus interruptus (withdrawing before ejaculation) to prevent an unplanned pregnancy, it might be time to rethink your strategy. A 2010 research published in Human Fertility states that 41 percent of men tested positive for sperm in their pre-ejaculatory fluid, or pre-cum and in 37 percent of those cases, the sperm was motile. Since there is no way for a man to control or monitor pre-cum, switch to another form of contraception.