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What is the postejaculatory refractory period?

Emily Nagoski
Emily Nagoski on behalf of Good In Bed
Psychology

Men experience a postejaculatory refractory period, when their bodies do not respond to sexual stimulation and ejaculation is impossible. At ejaculation, a man’s body throws a massive, systemic shut-off switch, which effectively puts his sexuality in park, leans back the seat, and turns relaxing music on the radio. The hypothesized reason for this phenomenon is that it gives a man’s body an opportunity to begin replenishing the sperm stores that were spent in ejaculation. Since women don’t ejaculate (at least not in the same way men do), no refraction happens. It’s important to note that ejaculation and orgasm are two distinct functions; even though most of the time they’re very closely coupled, it is possible to decouple them and experience one without the other. A man who orgasms without ejaculating can maintain his erection, continue stimulation, and even have more orgasms. (Blocking ejaculation requires a lot of practice.) Lack of refraction is a likely reason why multiple and extended orgasms are easier for women than for men.

The Good in Bed Guide to Female Orgasms

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The Good in Bed Guide to Female Orgasms

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.