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It's very clear to me from the emails I receive at All About The Penis, Men & Male Sexuality that few boys are adequately instructed about male sexuality by their fathers, schools, friends or anyone else. And unfortunately the current witch hunt by agents of various repressive governments against websites which seek to enlighten teenagers is not helping matters. For more information on male initiation, check this out.
But the truth is that everyone has a right to decent sex education, presented safely, about their body and its sexuality.
The simple fact is that male teenagers will start having orgasms at some point - and when they do, they may be terrified, especially if no-one has explained what is happening to them!
I have received a lot of emails from British-born Asian boys who are certain that masturbation and ejaculation produces weakness of all kinds - including some conditions even unknown to medical science! - as well as lack of mental and physical development.
Goodness knows what is being said to these guys in their homes, but whatever it is, it isn't going to help them enjoy their sexuality and become good husbands, fathers or partners or relaxed at sex. But this isn't a racial thing - sexual ignorance, though possibly less extreme among whites, is still strong among all races and sections of the population.
Here are some facts which may be helpful to Dads or teenagers. (They are all taken from The Big "O": Understanding and Improving Your Orgasm and Your Partner's by Dr David Delvin & Christine Webber, who rely in turn on surveys by themselves, Alfred Kinsey, and Shere Hite.)
Age of first ejaculation
A remarkable 0.1% of boys have their first ejaculation as young as 8 years of age. In addition, in about 8% of boys it happens before the age of 12 years, so early sex education is vital for all. But the majority of teens have their first ejaculation around 13 years and 8 months; as many as 3.1% have it after they are 17 years of age.
Cause of first ejaculation
Knowing how fascinated little boys are with their penises, it will come as no surprise to find that over two thirds of all first orgasms and ejaculations are the result of masturbation. But there is an interesting question here: how do boys find out about masturbation?
The answer, in most cases, is that they find out by accident - sixty percent apparently reach orgasm through playing with their bodies - masturbation, if you like - and the consequent discovery of ejaculation when they stimulate their penis for long enough.
In addition, about a third are told what to expect by a friend or friends, and most of the remainder claim they found out from a book. You'll observe that this leaves almost no-one claiming they found out about masturbation through any formal process of sex education.
The next most common cause of first ejaculation is, not surprisingly, the famous "wet dream". In fact, this was my first experience of ejaculation, and although it took me by surprise, I knew what it was (and very pleasant it was too: I must have been partly awake when it happened since I remember it). About 13% of teenagers will have their first ejaculation in the form of a wet dream.
Judging by teenagers' emails and comments in sex surveys, such nocturnal emissions cause no end of embarrassment!
The semen stains on the sheets are often quite marked, and they can cause a boy no end of embarrassment, not to mention effort, in furtively trying to clear them up. The fact that they are so common, and so potentially worrying, surely means that good sex education is vital for boys before they reach the age at which these things may happen?
Around 12% of boys have their first experience of ejaculation through intercourse. At least, that's what the survey respondents say, but boys and surveys are notoriously unreliable partners - boys will lie to amuse themselves and to boost their egos.
So who knows if such claims are true? If they are true, the problem is that such early attempts at intercourse are between two emotionally immature people, who often don't know anything about contraception.
Only 4% of boys have their first ejaculation in sexual activity with another boy - unless some of the teens who said they had their first orgasm through masturbation should actually be in this category. The problem in establishing the facts is that the survey questions were not precise enough to distinguish such fine detail.
(Perhaps I should run a better survey here on All About The Penis, Men & Male Sexuality.) Of course boys who go to boarding school are much more likely to have an experience of mutual masturbation in the dormitories.
I think much of the above data is suspect, and I will run a survey in the near future to try and get better information.
What happens at first orgasm?
The interesting thing is that a teen's first orgasms may not be accompanied by the ejaculation of much, or indeed any, seminal fluid. In other words, they are dry orgasms. This can be a source of worry, especially if a boy has been told by his friends that if he plays with his penis he will produce "spunk".
And even when he does first ejaculate, it may not be white fluid that he produces, but clear or gray fluid: and he may conclude that he is abnormal or ill, and worry about this. So, once again, we see the need for good sex education. However, these early ejaculations do contain sperm, and they can get a girl pregnant! Fathers - it's your job to tell your sons about sex, masturbation and condoms, so do it!
And if there is no first orgasm?
It's infrequent, but not rare, for sixteen or seventeen year olds to seek help because they haven't had a penile growth spurt, or because their body hair hasn't grown, or because they haven't ejaculated yet.
That's especially true when everyone else in the class seems to be boasting of their masturbatory or sexual exploits! The crucial age is between 15 and 16 - if a boy shows no signs of sexual development, or he has only experienced limited sexual development by then, he should be encouraged to seek advice from an endocrinologist.
Many doctors will shrug their shoulders and say "Oh, he's just a late developer", but it's my view that a boy often knows something is wrong when he is not developing normally, and if he is seeking help (or even if he isn't) this should be respected and a full battery of tests arranged to establish what the problem may be.
If he required hormonal therapy to kick start his puberty, better that it's delivered at the right age, so that he can enjoy the normal sex life of a fully developed male later in life.
Helpful websites for teenagers:
Transitions from youth to masculinity don't come easily - sometimes counseling is needed.
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