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Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert
Orgasms With No Ejaculate
Dry orgasms are defined as an orgasm that does not produce ejaculate, or very little fluid comes out. These types of orgasms can be expected and, in some cases, the desired effect, such as through a tantric practice (control over the PC muscle). However, they can also be a symptom of a health condition.
The lack of semen should not affect the quality of your orgasms, but they may feel different because they're dry. While you will still feel the same sensations of buildup before orgasm, you will not ejaculate semen when you climax.
Types Of Dry Orgasms
There are two types of orgasms that produce little to no ejaculation: dry orgasms and retrograde ejaculation. The difference between a dry orgasm and retrograde ejaculation is that a dry orgasm has no ejaculation, and it does not come out of the penis. Retrograde ejaculation begins to make its way out of the urethra but does not make it out; instead, it goes back up the urethra and into the bladder. After a retrograde ejaculation, you will notice that your urine is cloudy. Retrograde ejaculation is not dangerous or harmful and may be treated if undesired.
Causes Of Dry Orgasms
The causes for lack of ejaculate in either case vary. Causes of dry ejaculation can be seen when men don't produce enough semen to ejaculate. This can be caused by various health issues, from genetic abnormalities of the reproductive system to medications. Retrograde ejaculation can be a form of duct obstruction as the bladder neck tightens to prevent the flow of semen. Again, typically, urination will be a bit cloudy as the sperm will have gone into the bladder. Other examples of medical conditions that can cause a dry orgasm in men are diabetes, prostate disease, neurological impairments, cancer treatments, and spinal cord injuries.
If it is ongoing, it may indicate that a medication is causing it or there is something medically needing attention. Therefore, it is always best to see your physician if it continues. For tips on talking with your doctor about sex, see our helpful guide: How to Talk To Your Doctor About Sex.
Medications Can Cause Dry Orgasms
A variety of medications can cause dry orgasms; examples are those that treat high blood pressure and mood disorders; however, there are many others, so check with your pharmacist for more information on your medication.
Ways to Prevent Dry Orgasms
- Abstain from sex for a few days. Unless it is due to a medical condition such as diabetes, the volume of ejaculate can be increased in this way.
- Try to delay ejaculation for as long as possible. Much of the fluid is produced during the state of arousal before ejaculation (just like in female ejaculation).
- If you think that a drug you are taking is responsible, ask your doctor if an alternative drug is available. Some men taking Finasteride for prostate problems or drugs like Propecia for hair loss may notice a decrease in volume of ejaculate.
Tantric Dry Orgasms
Many men study tantra so that they may learn to have multiple orgasms. Males who experience these using tantric techniques refer to them as dry orgasms, even though they are technically retrograde ejaculations. To experience a tantric orgasm, you focus on building up sexual energy away from your genitals and recirculate arousal without ejaculating.
Taoists and other practitioners of alternative medicine sometimes encourage retrograde ejaculation to conserve the body's energy. While this does not hold the sperm in the body as it comes out with the next urination after being pushed into the bladder, it can create a sense of control. This is done by training the pubococcygeal muscle (PC); however, it should not be used to prevent pregnancy as it is not reliable in keeping all ejaculate from coming out. See our guide for Kegel Exercises for more information.
You can still feel smooth muscle contractions around your pelvic floor by doing tantric techniques. They feel like intense orgasms are held inside the body, remaining powerful while not expelling ejaculate. After a dry tantric orgasm, arousal typically decreases enough so that during intercourse, you can enjoy more vigorous stroking without ejaculating and, in some cases, without having an orgasm. Tantric lovemaking rises slowly as it savors pleasure, reaches a peak, and then repeats repeatedly. For more on tantra, see our guide Tantra & Kama Sutra Tips.