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Is Male Orgasm Complex? Exploratory Study of Discourse About the Orgasm of 923 Men in Heterosexual Couple

23 May 2019

Publication Date
12 March 2018

Original Abstract
To question the subjective experience of male orgasm based on testimonies of 923 men in heterosexual couples: is male orgasm a complex phenomenon? Can it be assimilated to the physiological mechanism of ejaculation? Is the orgasmic experience common to all or can we highlight interindividual variability? Can these variabilities be related to sociodemographic characteristics, with potential sexual disorders or psychological disorders?

The data were collected during a national survey on sexuality. The themes were extracted according to the meaning extraction method (Chung and Pennebaker). These themes were crossed with sociodemographic indicators as well as self-reported sexual and psychological difficulties.

Ten topics related to the experience of male orgasm have been identified. They are related to sensations, or feelings and emotions. When the feelings are part of the temporality of the ejaculatory process, the two physiological stages of ejaculation can be distinguished. The feelings, however, are not limited to the ejaculatory physiological process; they are also to be thought according to the relational context of orgasm. Significant relationships between identified themes, sociodemographic indicators and those related to sexual life were found. The analysis of the effects of psychological, sexual and orgasmic interactions shows that sexual dysfunction and psychological disorders potentiate each other to give meaning to the experience of male orgasm.

The male orgasmic experience is a complex bio-psychosocial process. Its verbalization can brings information on the disorders met. Investigating the orgasm discourse could (i) help to overcome the difficulties that patients encounter in dealing with their sexual difficulties; (ii) provide initial diagnostics; and (iii) support the establishment of an optimal therapeutic alliance.

Gouvernet, B., Wunsch, S. and Brenot, P. (2019) Is male orgasm complex? Exploratory study of discourse about the orgasm of 923 men in heterosexual couple. Sexologies. Volume 28, Issue 2, 73-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.sexol.2018.02.014.


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human male orgasm, discourse analysis, vulnerabilities, qualitative analysis, modelisation


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