Penis and Male Sexuality Facts

What's To Know About Semen?

Whatever you call it, semen, come, cum or spunk, it's something that's a very familiar part of all men's lives and, of course, most women's lives too, whether they like it or not.

From the first time that you masturbate and experience an ejaculation, spunk is something that's intriguing, possibly embarrassing as a teenager, possibly symbolic of your masculinity as an adult, but certainly can't be avoided. What is it though?

Some men call it sperm, but that's only partly correct: believe it or not, only about one-hundredth of the average ejaculation consists of sperm. The rest is made of secretions from various glands in the pelvic region.

Obviously, the main purpose of semen is to assist sperm in surviving the long journey from the testicles or testes to the female egg that is, if it's allowed to get there as nature intended!

Obviously sperm are produced in the testes, but they soon migrate into the epididymis, which are the tubes you can feel on top of your testicles if you roll them gently between finger and thumb.

They spend between 60 and 90 days in the epididymis, during which time they mature into motile sperm ready to be ejaculated.

They are not alone, however, when they make the journey out of the end of the penis and up into the vagina (or wherever else they're destined for!)

Each ejaculation contains between 40 million and 500 million sperm. The average is around 300 million, and for a good chance of fertilization an ejaculation should contain not less than 100 million.

Breathtaking, isn't it, especially when you think that the average man fathers just a couple of kids in his lifetime?

Facts About Semen

Although men like to produce a copious ejaculation, the average volume of ejaculate is less than a teaspoonful.

Although it's been "amusingly" claimed that a woman can get nutrition from semen if she swallows during oral sex because it contains fructose sugar to keep the sperm motile, the reality is that there is so little fructose in an average ejaculation that it really wouldn't make any difference to a woman's calorie intake.

What you do find in semen is high levels of potassium, zinc, phosphorylcholine, spermine, free amino acids, enzymes, prostaglandins and various other chemicals, which are designed to neutralize acidity in the vagina, supply nutrients to the sperm, and provide an environment generally favorable to their prolonged survival.

After all, they are invading entities in the female body, and would otherwise be attacked by a woman's immune system. Other invading entries in the body include yeast infection by Candida albicans.

This is a surprisingly common problem, affecting many women, and some men, with both genital yeast infections and infections in other parts of the body.

Some women suffer repeated infection (cyclical vulvovaginitis), and this may be due to yeast's resistance to medication. In these cases, one helpful approach may be to use traditional home remedies - check out where you can get a comprehensive load of information on the causes, cures, medical treatments and self-help approaches for yeast infection treatment. Here are some pictures to make things clearer.

yeast infection on skin yeast infection on skin

oral thrush yeast infection on penis

yeast infection on penis

How much semen does a man produce?

It depends. It depends on how much you've drunk, how many times you've ejaculated within the last day or so, how aroused you are, and how long foreplay has been going on for before you come.

A good tip if you want to produce an impressive load for your lover is to extend foreplay so that the secretions of the seminal vesicles and prostate increase dramatically.

Without such preparation, you're likely to ejaculate around a teaspoonful or less.

Obviously, as you know from experience no doubt, if you go for multiple ejaculations during a single session of sex, the volume of your ejaculation will decrease each time you come.

Men often wonder why they ejaculate less as they grow older: basically, it's because the prostate gland becomes less efficient, ironically as it enlarges with age.

However, this does not necessarily mean that the testicles are producing fewer sperm, and a man's potency - as opposed to his erectile power and ejaculation force - does not necessarily decline with age.

Although there are a number of products on the market on the Internet that claim to increase the volume of ejaculate, there is actually no evidence that these products work, and if you do want to shoot an impressive load, the best way to do it is to extend foreplay.

What Does Semen Look Like?

The appearance of semen can vary, depending on many factors, including your state of health and the number of times you have ejaculated in the last week.

It varies from a clear fluid with jelly like lumps and white streaks in it to a uniform white fluid that becomes more fluid and runny within a few minutes of ejaculation.

The smell is often said to resemble chlorine, but what's really most important is to understand that it isn't consistent, either between men within the same man's ejaculate from one day to the next.

One of the most common variations is to find semen is tainted with a red or brown streak, which usually signifies a small amount of blood.

This could be either due to a broken blood vessel in the urethra, which is nothing to worry about, or a more serious problem in the seminal vesicles, testicles or prostate - usually an infection. If your semen remains discolored for more than two or three days then you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

In fact anything that seems grossly abnormal such as a strong smelling or unusual discharge from the penis, whether it's in your ejaculate or not, needs medical attention.

What is 'pre-cum'?

Pre-come, also known as pre-ejaculatory fluid, can be a very embarrassing experience for men who produce large amounts, particularly during the teenage years, when any sexual arousal can produce fluid that stains both underwear and clothing.

Some men do indeed produce huge quantities of pre-ejaculatory fluid, although most men produce comparatively little and some produce none at all. The purpose is probably to lubricate the movement of the foreskin over the glans, and possibly to neutralize the acidity of the vagina.

It's certainly a normal phenomenon, and should be incorporated into sexual activities as an arousing part of normal male sexuality. If you're embarrassed by it, you might want to ask your partner what she or he thinks about you may find they see it as very arousing!

Certainly a lot of women find the sight of a man ejaculating semen to be highly arousing.

They also find the sensation of man they love ejaculating inside their vagina during lovemaking highly satisfying.

This is one reason for the difficulties in a relationship that occur when a woman whose " boyfriend or husband can't ejaculate during sex assumes that his retarded ejaculation means her man is not aroused sexually by her.

Bear in mind that pre-come may contain sperm and may contain sexually transmitted disease bacteria or HIV viruses.

It's a bodily fluid, and if you're protecting yourself during safe sex, you need to maintain the same precautions against pre-come as you would account semen itself. In particular, if you're HIV-positive, your pre-come and semen may both contain the HIV virus.

While we are on the subject of sexually transmitted diseases, it's worth just remembering that unprotected anal sex is the most likely route for transmission of HIV or sexually transmitted diseases, and unprotected oral sex is much less risky, especially if the receiver does not swallow ejaculate.

However, using a condom is always the best means protect yourself from an infection. Unfortunately, having no detectable level of HIV in your blood if you have previously been HIV-positive is not a guarantee that your sexual partners are safe during unprotected sex.

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in 1998 that demonstrated that HIV DNA was still present in cells in semen when there appeared to be no HIV virus in the blood stream, and this HIV DNA was capable of infecting sexual partners.

None of this needs to spoil sex, for safe sex is just a matter of planning ahead and protecting yourself, and not allowing yourself to be swept up in the arousal of sexual excitement.

More on the various parts of the male reproductive system

Next: The Male Sexual Response


The male reproductive system
The testicles and other male organs
Functions of the testicles
All About Love Between Men and Women
How to manifest reality
All about semen
Female sexual needs and desires
Premature ejaculation
Women think about penis size and sex
Male sexual response
The significance of your erection
How do you see your penis?
Your penis and your life
Circumcision Index
Sex and your penis
Sexual psychotherapy
Sensate focus