Physiology of the Male Sex Drive

man holding kettle ball
by ><> Paul and Lori <><

It’s not “all in his head.” There are mental, emotional, and physical reasons that men feel a need for regular sex. But few men and even fewer women understand the biology behind the male need for “release”. The following will explain two mechanisms that create pressure within the male body.

Two glands, called the seminal vesicles, produce the majority of the fluid which makes up semen. This fluid is stored in the seminal vesicles until ejaculation is about to occur. Think of the seminal vesicles as two small bladders; and like the urinary bladder, they fill up. The fullness may or may not be noticeable as a slight pressure inside the body (not the testes), but the body signals the brain that release is needed. In a normal healthy man under 50, it takes 24 to 72 hours for the vesicles to fill up. While not getting release doesn’t result in damage to the body, it can cause a sense of discomfort and make the fellow “grumpy.” This is one biological reason a man feels a regular need for release.

A second source of pressure is the prostate. During levels of high arousal (like foreplay) the prostate produces fluid in preparation for ejaculation. If extended arousal is not followed by climax, the prostate can become tender and feel a bit like the pain of not urinating when the bladder is very full. This condition may account for what some call “blue balls”, although guys who claim this affliction may be trying to manipulate a girl into sex. A full prostate can be more of a problem than full seminal vesicles – if significant arousal is not followed eventually by ejaculation, very real pain can result. Most men won’t let it get this far before they masturbate. However, men who think masturbation is sin have been known to end up at a urologist office due to pain that results from arousal produced by “making out”.

Please understand that we aren’t saying either of these biological pressures is an excuse for bad behavior. A biological pressure of need does not in any way exempt a husband from loving, caring behavior. Neither do these things explain men who express a “need” for sex several times a day. Normally there’s no physical reason for a man to need release more than once a day, (the only rare exception being a man who has had several climaxes each day for many years from early adolescence on) and demands for this kind of sexual frequency are usually based on emotional emptiness, habit, or just plain selfishness.

The unmarried man who understands these things should avoid situations that lead to extended arousal, so as to avoid an increased need. He can easily relieve seminal fluid pressure by masturbating (we don’t think masturbation is, in and of itself, a sin… though we know some disagree), but self-control is important. A married man hopefully has a wife who will willingly help him (we think it is a sin for a married man to masturbate alone unless his wife regularly refuses him), but wisdom suggests avoiding things that create a desire which exceeds the wife’s willingness to deal with.

Anything which causes strong arousal will create a need in a man, and a wife who understands this can use it to bless her husband. First, she can avoid creating strong arousal in him when they will not be able to have sex for some time. Second, she can make sex better for him by “priming the pump” earlier in the day. We hope that a wife who understands why her husband feels a need for release, may find it easier to meet that need.

a note from lori to wives

A little analogy: When you skip a meal or two, you get very hungry. Pretty soon you stop caring much about what or where you eat, just as long as you can get something to eat! It is something like this for men in the area of sex. When a man constantly feels a strong need for release, it is very hard for him to focus on the other very important aspects of intimacy (he’s too hungry). The good news is that a man, who has the regular release he needs, finds it much easier to approach sex in way that is physically and emotionally fulfilling to both partners. Also he will find it much easier to be emotionally and spiritually intimate in the rest of the marriage.


image credit
man/kettle ball © Minerva Studio / Adobe Stock