What Comes Out

It is important for a vulva owner to understand what sorts of things downstairs are common and “normal”, and which are potentially a bigger issue. This list cannot describe all possibilities, so please consult other resources or medical resources if there are concerns.

The vagina is the most common escape route for a baby looking to flee the uterus. There is typically ample advance warning (up to around nine months, in many cases) that a baby may be intending to use this passageway.

This is the most common thing to come out of a vulva. Usually happens to anyone who owns a vulva several times a day. Urine is a waste product of the biological processes of the body. It is usually released in a high pressure, high velocity stream. It is a flowing liquid in consistency and ranges from clear to deep yellow-brown in color. The exact volume varies, but it is typically a notable amount.

Urine is released from the urethra, which is located between the entrance to the vagina and the clitoris.

For a period of time, roughly once a month, there may be a flow of blood. This blood may be heavy, may be light, may be somewhat clotted and “chunky”. This flow is the result of the uterine lining breaking down and being discarded by the body. Vulva owners will often use a menstrual product, such as a tampon, pad, or cup to catch the blood flow.

It may be possible to lighten or even prevent menstruation from happening through the use of hormones sometimes called “birth control” for their ability to prevent pregnancy.

When aroused, the lining of the vagina may self-lubricate. This is generally a clear, slippery, viscous fluid. It’s similar in consistency to some kinds of liquid soap and a small string of fluid will bridge the gap if you pinch some of it between your fingers and slowly open them.

This natural lubrication may or may not be adequate for penetrative activities.

Throughout the month, there may be mucus that comes out of the vagina. The appearance can change from time to time, and these changes can be an indicator of the phase of the menstrual cycle. The mucus can range from clear to white to slightly yellowish, and may be reminiscent of snot. Sometimes it may be sticky.

Some other types of discharge may be signs of infection or other problems. If you notice a new type of discharge you’ve never seen before, it may be worth looking for more information or consulting a medical professional.

After penetrative intercourse that involves a penis ejaculating inside the vagina, a significant amount of the semen may drip out.

What Goes In

This is a non-exhaustive list of things that may potentially enter a vagina.

Nothing at all. Some people don’t want anything going in there, and that’s perfectly fine. The owner of the vagina gets to decide what to let in and what stays out.

As noted elsewhere on this site, it’s often possible for vulva owners to participate in sexual activities, masturbate, and experience orgasm without involving the vagina whatsoever.

Some menstrual products, like tampons or cups, may be inserted into the vagina to catch the blood during a period.

Certain medical procedures may require internal vaginal use of some sort of medical device. A speculum is a sort of metal duck bill-looking thing which is designed to hold the walls of the vagina apart. A swab, similar to a Q-tip may be used to take a sample. IUDs, or intra-uterine devices, are a form of birth control that is placed in the uterus, which will be accessed through the vagina. Sometimes dilators may be recommended to gradually stretch the vagina, if the vulva owner has a small vagina or a condition like vaginismus and wishes to take part in penetrative activities.

It is always your right to ask the doctor to explain a procedure beforehand and ask whether the procedure is necessary. Some procedures may not be warranted if you do not engage in penetrative intercourse. It is always your right to weigh the risks and decide not to proceed. If the procedure involves a speculum, you can typically ask the doctor to use a smaller size.

Sometimes body parts, such as fingers or penises, may be used inside a vagina. Lubrication might make this process more comfortable.

Sometimes toys, such as dildos, vibrators, or Kegel exercisers may be used inside a vagina. Lubrication might make this process more comfortable.

[Content Warning:  This post talks about handjobs in detail, including mentions of ejaculation. There are no images or illustrations.]

Full disclosure:  I’ve gotten a total of about three, given absolutely none to other people.  This post is mostly an extrapolation from solo experience with a few scattered tidbits pulled in from other sources.  So, uh…  Your mileage may vary.


A handjob is the manual stimulation of someone else’s penis.  In other words, using your hand to try to induce pleasurable sensations in a member belonging to another person.

Sometimes a handjob is the primary focus of a sexual interaction, while other times it is done in conjunction with or as a prelude to other activities.  For instance, a handjob can be done simultaneously with a blowjob in order to increase the area of stimulation, or it can be done as part of foreplay to produce or maintain an erection for penetrative purposes.  Sometimes it can be done as a finishing move after other activities, particularly if internal ejaculation is not desired, but an orgasm is.

A handjob need not lead to orgasm or ejaculation, if those are not desired.  Often, the stimulation before those events can be pleasurable in its own right.  A handjob is also not a “lesser” form of sexual activity and is not a “substitute” for other things.

A handjob is a fairly “low effort” activity.  It doesn’t require much movement. There’s not a lot of setup required, and it can even be done fully clothed.  And it is versatile and works well in almost any position.  It’s also a largely safe activity, as no fluids need be exchanged, and gloves or a condom can be worn for added protection, if desired.  There’s also no risk of pregnancy, as long as care is taken to avoid accidental transfer of semen into the vagina.

This post is written with the assumption that the owner of the penis has some experience in the method of its operation and will be able to provide guidance and feedback.  If this is the case, you should seek that guidance and take that feedback where possible.  However, it’s also possible the penis owner themselves has no idea what to do with the thing.  That’s fine, as well.  What’s outlined here will give you the basics, it just might take a bit more trial and error to determine what’s working.

The Basic Technique

Wrap hand around penis and move back and forth until done.

Hold On A Minute…

That sentence above is basically how other people describe them, but that’s a recipe for a really bad attempt.  There’s a bit more finesse required.

But first, some terminology and some misconception busting.

In this, I’m going to mention a few locations on a penis.  Since a penis can twist and turn and flip and flop, and since the owner of it can also be in any position to start with, “up”, “down”, “top”, “bottom”, whatever, don’t necessarily make sense.  So here’s what I’m using terms to mean.  “Base” is where the penis attaches to the rest of the body.  “Tip” or “end” is the free end, where the glans and the urethra are.  “Up” describes a movement toward the tip, while “down” is a movement toward the base.  The “top side” or “front” is the side that faces out when the penis is flaccid, and is on the same side as the owner’s chest.  The “bottom” or “back” is the side that rests against the testicles when flaccid, and is where the urethral tube runs.  The glans or head is the knobby mushroom bit at the end, and the coronal ridge is the bit of the overhang there.  The shaft is the tube section that connects the glans to the body. The foreskin is a extension of the skin of the shaft that covers the head, but it’s not present on every penis. Then the testicles are the dangly bits in a separate bag, behind the penis. This site’s section on The Penis has a more in depth guide to the anatomy of that area, including illustrations and labeled photos, if you need more information.

As for the misconceptions:  There are a lot of euphemisms for handling a penis, often related to masturbation.  Jerking off, whacking off, tug job, beating meat, and so on.  These all imply violent, intense motions.  These implications are largely wrong.  A jerking motion is often not conducive to pleasure, the penis probably shouldn’t be grabbed and tugged like a rope, and only a handful of people would actually enjoy having their meat beaten.  The motions are often more continuous and flowing, even when they’re intense and fast..

The Slightly Less Basic Technique

(This section assumes that the penis is already reasonably erect, but there’s a section later on what to do if it’s not.)

First, position yourself so that you’ll have a comfortable way to reach the penis without strain.  This is important, because you may be at this for a while and don’t want to hurt yourself.  (If you’re going for the speedrun, it might only take a few minutes, but expect 10-30 minutes for a more typical session.)  Also, the first few times you do it, you may experience some fatigue, because you’re using your hands and arms in a way you’re not accustomed to, but if you experience too much soreness or fatigue (especially in the wrist), that’s probably a sign that you should shift position.  The penis probably won’t care too much about which direction your hand is facing, so be more concerned about your comfort, at least to start.  (More advanced techniques would require more specific hand positioning, but those aren’t covered in this guide.)

Wrap your hand around the shaft of the penis, sort of like you’re grabbing the handle of a milk jug or a rolled up newspaper.  If your situation involves a larger penis or a smaller hand, don’t worry if your grip doesn’t make a complete loop around the circumference.  It should still work out.

The goal is to hold it somewhere between loosely and firmly, but not super tight so that you’re crushing it.  Finding the ideal pressure will take time, and it’s largely up to the owner of the penis to communicate their preference.  But for now, just give it a best attempt.

Move your hand up and down along the shaft of the penis.  Start slowly to get the feel of it.  Go for a smooth, uniform motion.

You should feel the skin of the shaft slide across the harder inside parts of the penis somewhat, but your hand should also slide across the skin as you go.  You can use this to calibrate your grip pressure.  If you don’t feel the skin sliding against the harder insides, you’re probably gripping too loosely.  But if you’re pulling the skin and it’s not sliding under your hand, you’re probably too tight.  But that’s just a general guideline. Each one is different. In the case of a penis with a foreskin, it will have more travel on the shaft, so you might not need to let the skin slip much under your hand, while some penises without foreskins might not have skin that slides over the shaft much at all, and therefore would require the hand to slip over the skin to a much greater extent. The owner of the penis can tell you what’s too much, too little, or just right.

Once you’ve dialed in the pressure, move on to speed.  Too slow, and there won’t be enough stimulation to maintain the erection nor the interest of the penis owner.  Too fast, and it can be overwhelming and unpleasant (and you’ll get tired).  Like pressure, the ideal stroking rate should be determined in consultation with the owner.  Fortunately, there’s likely a pretty wide range of speeds that work.  Unfortunately, I have no clear way of determining nor describing what that range might be.

After pressure and speed, the third component is stroke length.  The most basic technique is to just stroke the full length, from the base to the tip.  Some caution should be taken around the glans, as it can be super sensitive in certain circumstances for certain people.  If the penis has a foreskin, it might be preferable to pull the foreskin up and over the glans. Consult with the owner for more information.  If you’re given the go ahead to include the glans, stroke all the way up so that part of your hand extends past the tip, but not so far that the penis comes completely free of the grip.  If the glans is off limits, halt the upstroke before you reach it (The coronal ridge marks a good point to turn around).  On the downstroke, you can move all the way to the base (or to the extent that the skin will allow, if you’re gripping more tightly. Don’t try to pull the skin past where it resists.) before turning around.

Modify the size and shape of your grip to conform to the size of the penis underneath.  Don’t hold a rigid, fixed diameter cylinder in your hand. This is particularly important if you go over the head, as you’ll want to try to match its curve to remain in contact the whole way.

Continue stroking up and down until done.

If the stroking results in an orgasm, it is highly likely that some or all of the penis will become hyper-sensitive during and immediately after.  In this phase, if you continue stroking, it could be overwhelming and unpleasant for the penis owner.  If that happens, they’ll likely request that you stop, potentially in a squirming, non-verbal manner. It may be a good idea to slow your stroking speed dramatically before it reaches that point.  However, don’t remove your hand and don’t stop entirely during the orgasm, unless asked to do so.  Removal of all stimulation suddenly can decrease the pleasure of the event.

After an orgasm, a penis will typically go into hibernation for a bit.  It may no longer respond to stimulation, and the erection may dissipate.  The owner of the penis may also go into hibernation themselves for a while.  Multiple orgasms are possible, but that’s an advanced technique that’s not covered here.

One more thing for this section that’s a bit important is the angle you’re stroking at.  When flaccid, the penis moves in all sorts of directions easily.  However, when erect, the range of motion is limited considerably.  Commonly, an erect penis will move freely in an arc from straight out and perpendicular to the body, to lying flat against the stomach, pointing at the owner’s head.  Movement is limited toward the feet and side to side. Take care not to move it outside of this range or you can cause pain or even injury.  Some advanced techniques may push the boundaries, but don’t do that yet.

And there you have the basics. 


Sometimes (Often?), the sliding motion needs a bit of assistance.  After all, there’s a fine line between pleasure and friction burns in an embarrassing place.  In particular, if the penis does not have a foreskin, there may not be enough skin to do the sliding over the core of the shaft.  And even in cases with a foreskin, going dry may not be the most pleasant experience.  This is where lube comes in.

Lube is basically anything that makes something slippery. Applying lube to a penis will reduce friction and allow the hand to move more easily over the surface, which generally results in a more pleasurable experience.

However, you need to use just the right amount of lube or things won’t work.  Too little, and friction isn’t reduced enough.  In some cases, not using enough lube can actually make things worse, as the lube ends up being more sticky than slidey.  But on the other end of the spectrum, applying too much lube will make your hand slide right off.  You want to find the sweet spot, where friction is reduced, but not eliminated.  You still want some friction to allow the hand to pull at the skin slightly.

The primary rule of lube is to remember that it’s easy to add more if you use too little, but hard to take it away if you use too much.  So always go on the lower side of what you think you might need, and add more if it’s not enough.  It usually won’t take much.  And each type of lube will need a different amount.

Yes, there are multiple types of lube.  Different consistencies, different ingredients.  Far too many to get into here, so I’ll just mention a few things to keep in mind.  Oil based lubes will wreck condoms and toys and can sometimes cause problems if used vaginally.  If all you’re doing is the handjob, they’re fine, but stick with water based lubes if you’re doing anything else.  Water based are a good all-around lube that’s safe for condoms, toys, and internal use, however, they can dry out and get sticky pretty quickly when exposed to air.  Saliva can work, and is probably your best bet if you’re also planning on performing a blowjob. The penis itself may also produce a lubricating fluid in some circumstances, but it often isn’t enough for a handjob. (There is a more in-depth guide to lube here.)

Some lubes may stain some fabrics.

There’s a pretty good chance that if the penis needs lube to operate, that the owner already has a preferred lube available that they use when operating it themselves, so you can use that.  If they don’t or it’s not available, probably the most common lube for dealing with a penis is ordinary hand lotion.  Cheap, long lasting, easy cleanup, and works pretty well.  However, it’s usually oil based, so don’t use it if there will be condoms, toys, vaginae, or mouths involved at some point in the session.

The “Ending”

Often, the goal of a handjob is to proceed to an orgasm.  In most cases, that will be accompanied by ejaculation.

If you’ve never seen that happen before, here’s what to expect.  The penis will begin to contract, and a relatively small amount of a whitish fluid will be expelled from the urethral opening at the tip of the penis, with each contraction.  The amount of fluid, the number of contractions, and the force of each burst is largely unpredictable and is based on a number of factors, including how long it’s been since the last ejaculation, how hydrated the owner is, how “good” it was, and even things like angle and pressure on the shaft.  An ejaculation can be anything from a tiny amount barely dribbling out, to several milliliters flying several feet across the room.

While some people enjoy the result, others find it extremely off-putting.  Sometimes so off-putting that if can ruin the entire experience.  This is especially prevalent among ace people, although certainly not universal.  Here are a few different tips for handling the ending in different scenarios.

If ejaculation isn’t an issue for you, then stroke away.  You might want to direct it where to go, though.  (More on that in a bit.)

If ejaculation is entirely out of the question, you can stop before you get there.  The owner of the penis can typically tell when they’re approaching orgasm, so if you speak with them ahead of time, they may be able to warn you.  Sometimes, though, the advance notice that the penis gives doesn’t leave enough time to prevent the ejaculation entirely, but with a partner who’s paying attention, you might be able to get your hand away.

If ejaculation is fine, but you’d rather not touch that stuff, there are a few options.  First, you can ask the owner to take over and finish the job when they’re getting close.  Or, you can have them wear a condom, since condoms are designed to contain that when it happens.  On a similar note, you can wear a glove.  Finally, as you build up your experience points, you’ll likely gain an aiming perk, which lets you direct it where you want it to go.  With that, you can direct it so you, including your hand, can stay out of the line of fire.

(As a side note, the default case is that if the handjob proceeds to climax, that ejaculation will not be an issue.  Any alteration from that default should be discussed with the penis owner before commencing to avoid confusion or disappointment.  Plus, they will need to be aware that they will need to tell you went to stop.)

Aiming it is useful in general.  It’s easier to clean if you know where it all went.  While the distance it travels may vary, in most cases, it will go at most a few inches, pretty much straight out from the tip.  Gravity and air resistance will take over pretty quickly, and it will fall.  Overall, it tends to trace the path of an arc.

Now, you can use calculus to predict the trajectory, or you can just use this cheatsheet:  If you aim the penis straight up, the ejaculate will come straight down and land on the tip of the penis or your hand.  If the owner of the penis is standing, the ejaculate will go in front of them and will land in front of their feet.  If sitting or laying back and you aim at an angle up toward their torso, it will typically land on their stomach or chest.

You can also put a towel or a tissue over the tip just before ejaculation for the easiest cleanup outside of using a condom.

Porn alert!  A lot of porn places a lot of emphasis on having the semen land on the partner.  This is not, under any circumstances, required!  You certainly can do that if you like, but you don’t have to.  An orgasm will feel the same, regardless of where the semen ends up landing.

(BTW, I put “ending” in quotes because while orgasm/ejaculation often marks the ending of a sexual session, it doesn’t have to.  You can stop before you get to that point if you want, or shift activities and keep going afterwards.)

“Can I Watch?”

One way to learn what works for the penis owner is to ask them if they would demonstrate for you.  Practically speaking, the primary difference between masturbation and a handjob is whose hands are involved.  So, watch how they masturbate, then try to emulate what you’ve seen them do.  Obviously, you won’t have the direct feedback mechanism that lets them know what’s working, but you might pick up a few tips.  As a bonus, the penis owner may find the request itself extremely exciting.

Related to “Can I Watch” is “Can You Show Me How?”, where instead of just demonstrating, you can ask the penis owner to more directly guide your hand.  This is a good way to dial in the pressure, speed, and stroke length.

Of course, these really only work if the penis owner is already experienced in these procedures and is willing to show them off.  Some people (and this is more likely if your partner is ace as well) do not masturbate, and some people do not feel comfortable masturbating in front of another person, so this option may not be available.

Start It Up

Movies and porn and society in general would have you believe that the penis goes from soft to hard instantly, with the single tap of a magic wand.  That’s not the case at all.  Sometimes you’ll have to help get it going.

One option is to ask the owner to take care of it for you.  That’ll probably work, although it’s probably not their preferred method.

You can take the direct approach, where you grab it and start sort of pulling, pushing, squeezing, rubbing, pressing, and kneading it until it starts to stiffen a bit.  When it’s flaccid, you won’t be able to stroke it because it will just bend out of the way, but you can still sort of do some of the motions.

If oral sex is on the table, then you can try sucking on it a little bit with your mouth.

And then there’s the indirect approach, where you do other things in the hopes that the penis responds.  Some options include kissing pretty much anywhere, but particularly the mouth, neck, nipples or chest.  You can run your hands along their chest, stomach, or thighs.  You can fondle the testicles slightly.  You can press your body against theirs.  You can remove some or all of your clothing, if the situation and your comfort level allows and if you haven’t already done so.

Eventually, the penis should reach the point where it is erect enough to begin the stroking procedure described above.

The Slightly More Advanced Techniques

So, we went over the basics earlier, but that’s not even close to the full story.  There’s far more out there, far more than can be covered in a single post, and plenty which I’m not even aware of.  But here’s a few slightly more advanced techniques to try incorporating as you go.

Be aware of the different zones of the penis.  It’s not one uniform dangly piece of skin.  Different areas have different levels of sensitivity and capacity for pleasure, and it’s possible to use this feature.  The front side of the shaft is generally the least sensitive area, while the glans and the bottom side are more sensitive.  The frenulum and the area around it can be one of the most sensitive zones.  This is located on the “bottom” side of the shaft, near where it meets the glans.  And there’s even a secret hidden section of the penis!  The structure of the penis actually extends behind the testicles, between the legs, and sometimes rubbing or pressing that area can even be pleasant.  Experiment with focusing on these areas, applying more or less pressure to them, and see what happens.

There’s more movements than just the basic full hand stroking action.  In the earlier section, the only motion described was a simple, continuous back and forth stroking motion, using the full hand.  That’s not all there is.  Sometimes you can twist or swirl a bit (Can work well on the head).  Sometimes you can use a couple of fingertips to rub in circles (Can work well on the frenulum).  Sometimes you can make quick, short strokes (Can work well close to orgasm).  Sometimes you can squeeze harder (Can work well if the penis loses its erection slightly).  All of these different motions can produce different sensations.

Change up what you’re doing.  The basic back and forth motion the same way can get tiring and boring after a while.  So shuffle it around a bit.  Go faster.  Go slower.  Squeeze harder or ease up.  Slow to the point that the penis starts to go soft, then speed back up.  Do two full strokes, followed by four quick strokes focusing on squeezing the frenulum and coronal ridge area, then do one long, slow downstroke all the way to the base.  Switch hands.

Upstroke and downstroke can feel different.  You can change the speed and pressure to enhance these different sensations.

If you have two hands, you can use them both.  It may be tempting to just use the second hand to also stroke the penis in tandem with the first one, but it’s often best employed in a support role, doing something entirely different.  Rub the chest and stomach.  Play with the testicles.  Press or rub the base of the penis or the area where it extends between the legs.  Caress the thighs.  Go for the prostate (only with explicit permission and preparation).  Pinch the nipples.  Focus exclusively on the glans or the frenulum while the other strokes the shaft.  Masturbate yourself or touch other areas of your body, if that’s something you’re willing to do.  Note:  Your other hand should probably not be used to scroll through Pinterest on your phone.

There are different phases of sensitivity response.  If you learn these different phases, you can use them to your advantage.   There will often be a spike in sensitivity and pleasure just before the orgasm.  If the penis owner indicates that they are in this zone, there are a couple of things you can do.  If you ramp the intensity up to 11, that can quickly push them over to a strong orgasm.  Or, you can slow things down a bit and try to stay in that zone.  The pleasure factor is ramped way up in this area.  A super slow full downstroke that takes several seconds to complete would’ve been dull earlier in the session, but while in this zone can feel extremely good.  It’s possible to stay in that zone indefinitely, but to do so requires the penis owner to let you know when they are approaching orgasm, and for you to slow or stop until they fade away from that edge and indicate that it’s safe to proceed.  But at the same time, you’ll have to take care not to diminish the stimulation so much that they revert to an earlier, less pleasurable phase.

[Content Warning: This page is discusses many types of fluids. Feel free to skip this section if that’s not your thing.]

This is the most common thing to come out of a penis. Usually happens to anyone who owns a penis several times a day. Urine is a waste product of the biological processes of the body. It is usually released in a high pressure, high velocity stream. It is a flowing liquid in consistency and ranges from clear to deep yellow-brown in color. The exact volume varies, but it is typically a notable amount.

Semen is usually discharged during ejaculation. Semen consists of sperm and several other fluids, all mixed together. Sperm are microscopic tadpole like cells which can combine with another special type of cell in someone else’s body and cause it to turn into a baby, which is really weird when you stop to think about it so let’s not stop to think about it.

Sometimes the force of ejaculation will propel the semen at high speed some distance (up to a couple of feet) away from the penis, while other times, it won’t flow with enough energy to go even half an inch.

The consistency of semen can vary considerably. Sometimes it can be thin and watery, other times it can be thicker and closer to the consistency (though not stickiness) of syrup. Over time, even the thicker type will tend to thin out and become more runny.

Semen is usually white or yellowish white in color, although it may appear more clear when it is thinner.

The exact volume varies, but it is usually a fairly small amount, on the order of just a few milliliters.

Sometimes when aroused (although not necessarily erect), the penis will begin to produce a small amount of pre-ejaculatory fluid, also called “precum”. This is a clear, slippery, viscous fluid. It’s similar in consistency to some kinds of liquid soap and a small string of fluid will bridge the gap if you pull a drop away. Pre-ejaculatory fluid is not expelled with any force at all, and will usually remain around the opening of the urethra unless gravity or some other force acts on it. This fluid does not always appear, and when it does, it is often just a few drops. In some cases, there may be enough to use as a lubricant for stimulation purposes.

Pretty much anything else that comes out of a penis is something you should see a doctor about.

[Content warning: Generalized discussion of the sensations of an orgasm, with a mentions of fluids at several points.]

A lot of aces aren’t sure whether or not they’ve had an orgasm, and the common descriptions are “It Feels Good” and “You’ll Know It When It Happens™”, which aren’t very helpful to a lot of people.

An orgasm is a complex convergence of a lot of different sensations, made even more complicated by the fact that some of these sensations don’t happen every time and their intensity and duration varies wildly, and by the fact that every one of these sensations can happen without orgasm. No two orgasms will be exactly the same. One of the main reasons people resort to the “You’ll Know It When It Happens™” description is that it’s very hard to describe one. It’s also rather embarrassing for most people to go into details, plus, breaking it down into its components can be a bit of a turn-off because it sounds like something you’d call 911 for.

So how can you tell if you’ve had an orgasm? Take a look at the list of sensations below and see what you’ve experienced. An orgasm will feel like a package deal of a number of them happening around the same time, but keep in mind that you likely will not experience all of these. I’ve also grouped the sensations into Before/During/After, although the lines between stages can be a bit fuzzy, especially if you’re not already pretty sure what an orgasm is like.


  • Sensations Are “Stable”: Before an orgasm, many people reach a “plateau”, an area where things kinda remain the same for a while. Level of arousal stays steady, level of pleasure (if any) stays steady, heart rate, breathing, etc. There might be some ups and downs, but in the big picture, it doesn’t change a whole lot. In some cases, there might be a sense that if you keep doing what you’re doing, you can stay in this zone for as long as you want.
  • Building To Something: There can be a sense that something is “building”. A sort of pressure or fullness or tension or something may gradually increase. For many people, this is a sign that they are climbing beyond the plateau and are getting closer to orgasm, but this sensation isn’t usually considered part of the orgasm itself.
  • Up Against A Wall: Sometimes the building sensation gets stuck, in the sense that it feels like there’s a limit that you’ve hit. It seems like there’s something else just ahead, but there’s a block in the road preventing you from moving on.
  • Sporadic Twitching: Areas downstairs might start twitching and squeezing in a sporadic, haphazard way. Not really like a twitchy eyelid, where it’s a fast fluttering, but a slower, deeper sort of tensing. It will often be the muscles used when holding/stopping a flow of urine sort of acting on their own.
  • Sporadic Moaning: During the leadup to an orgasm, people may find themselves moaning or making other semi-involuntary noises. Sometimes these noises are connection to a sense of pleasure, sometimes not.
  • Muscle Tension Outside Of The Genitals: Your legs may stiffen, your back may straighten or arch, and you may experience facial contortions. These can be semi-involuntary, where they’re sort of happening on their own, but you could probably stop them, but at the same time, it may feel like they should be happening, and they may intensify the other sensations, so you let it happen.
  • “I Gotta Pee”: Many people report a sensation like having to urinate during the lead up to an orgasm. It’s a lot of the same parts and same muscles getting involved, so that’s understandable. In most cases, an orgasm will not cause a release of urine, although that is known to happen from time to time.


  • A Sudden Spike/Surge of Pleasure: This is one of the primary signs of an orgasm. In fact, for many people, this is the defining feature of an orgasm. This surge of pleasure is often relatively sudden, relatively short lived, and tends to be considerably stronger than the pleasure experienced leading up to it. However, this is not always the case! The surge of pleasure is not a universal feature of an orgasm. Some people don’t feel this at all, or don’t feel it nearly as strongly as other people do. It is inaccurate, confusing, and misleading to define orgasm simply in terms of pleasure.
  • A Series Of Rhythmic Muscle Spasms/Twitching/Convulsions/Pulsing In Genitals: An orgasm is often accompanied by a series of rhythmic contractions in the genitals. These are a sort of hold-release-hold-release pumping pattern, with about a second or so between events. They’re usually stronger and quicker near the beginning and slower and weaker toward the end. If there is a spike in pleasure, it may come in waves that correspond to these contractions, though not always. The number of contractions can vary wildly from person to person, orgasm to orgasm, but in general it’s in the neighborhood of 5-20-ish, although it can easily be higher or lower.
  • Ejaculation: For someone with a penis, the muscle contractions of an orgasm usually coincide with ejaculation, where each contraction leads to another release of semen. For those people, this is often considered a strong indicator that an orgasm occurred. Contrary to popular belief, however, it is possible for an orgasm to happen without ejaculation and for ejaculation to happen without orgasm. Some people with vulvas may also experience ejaculation, although this is relatively uncommon, and the fluid will not be semen.
  • Increase in Genital Wetness: For some people with vulvas, they may experience an increase in genital lubrication or wetness around the time of an orgasm.
  • Point of No Return: Immediately before orgasm, there can be a sensation where it’s clear that the orgasm is about to happen no matter what. Even if all stimulation stops, the orgasm will proceed in some form anyway. This is probably only recognizable after you’ve experienced a number of orgasms (even if you don’t know that’s what they are). It’s also possible to recognize when you’re about to cross this line before it happens.
  • A Feeling Of Release: Everything that was being built up, all that tension/pressure/warmth/whatever, it all just sort of lets go. You get past the wall or over the hill or the dam breaks and it’s able to run free for a bit.
  • A Distinct Change In Feeling: This is a nebulous point, but in a lot of cases, there’s a sort of feeling that an event is taking place. There’s a sense that there’s a point where something is about to happen, then it happens, then it’s over. Like… Things are different now than they were ten seconds ago.
  • Warmth/Tingly Sensation: A lot of people describe a kind of warmth or fuzziness or tingling sensation that tends to be centered in the genitals, but that may spread to other parts of the body.
  • A Sense Of Auto-Pilot: When orgasm happens, the confluence of events can lead to a temporary feeling like your body has turned on auto-pilot and you’re simply being taken for a ride by the process.
  • Sharp Internal Focus/Less External Awareness: During orgasm, the outside world can fade away, as your focus turned to the events and sensations that are taking place.
  • Non-Genital Muscle Contractions: Many people experience sudden muscle tension in places all over the body when they have an orgasm. These may include facial contortions, toe curling, back arching, and leg stiffening.
  • Full Body Shaking/Shuddering: Sometimes the non-genital muscle convulsions will cause full body shaking or shuddering.
  • Moaning/Vocalizations: Moaning or other noises can also be a feature of an orgasm, although the louder, more theatrical expressions tend to be an exaggerated performance. You’re probably more likely to make a soft “oh” or “mmmhm” than a “YESYESYESYES OHMYGODIMCOMING YESYESOHHHHHHHHYES” type noise.
  • Change In Heart Rate: Orgasms will often increase your heart rate.
  • Change In Breathing: Orgasms will often change your breathing. Quicker, shallower breaths, sometimes even holding your breath may happen.
  • “It Felt Like A Sneeze Downstairs”: I hate this description of an orgasm, but I also think it’s useful as an illustration. An orgasm feels very different from a sneeze. Very different. But a sneeze can provide a common reference point for how the situation proceeds. Like an orgasm, a sneeze has a before, during, and after. Before a sneeze, you may be able to tell that it’s coming through a building sensation. There’s often a point where you know it’s going to happen no matter what, but you can no longer stop it. Afterward, there’s a sense of relief.
  • Over-Sensitivity In Genitals: During orgasm, your genitals may become over-sensitive to the point where attempting to continue even a fraction of the stimulation that brought you there can be extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant. It’s almost like your body is screaming out for you to stop because it’s had enough.
  • Nausea: Sometimes the convergence of sensations can all crash together and leave you feeling a bit queasy.
  • Can’t Hold On To It: Prior to an orgasm, it’s generally possible to maintain consistency, where you remain at the plateau level. Some people deliberately take advantage of this to remain in the pre-orgasm zone for a long time to maximize their pleasure. But once an orgasm hits, it has a course that it runs on its own, and while you might be able to prolong it slightly, you probably can’t keep it going indefinitely.
  • Lasts A Few Seconds To A Minute: The length of time of an orgasm can be very different. Sometimes it’s a few seconds, sometimes it’s closer to a minute. 5-30 seconds seems to be the typical range. However, for some people, perception of time can be a bit skewed, so it might seem like it lasts longer or took less time than it actually did.


  • “Ewww, What Did I Just Do?”: A lot of people report a sudden wave of disgust that comes over them after an orgasm.
  • Loss Of Interest In Sexual Things: For many people, an orgasm shuts off their interest in sexual things for a while. Something that was interesting or exciting just a few moments ago is now just blah. There are many people who seek out orgasms specifically for this response, in order to quiet a nagging libido.
  • “I Gotta Pee”: After all the jostling and contractions and everything else going on, some people say that orgasms make them have to pee. (It may even be useful: Scientists have reported that peeing afterwards can help prevent UTIs in some cases.)
  • Deep Relaxation: An orgasm can often be followed by a period of deep relaxation. A lot of people will masturbate before bed to get this benefit to help them fall asleep.
  • Feeling Stimulated/Wired/Awake: Not everyone gets relaxed after an orgasm. Sometimes its the opposite, where a person will get wired like they got a shot of caffeine.
  • A Sense Of Feeling “Done”: Outside of everything else, an orgasm may lead to a feeling that you’re “done”, that whatever you had been getting from the stimulation is over now, so it’s time do something else. This is different than simply getting bored of what’s going on or a loss of arousal that makes it difficult to continue. This is more like your body suddenly telling you “break time!” after everything happened.
  • Nausea, Headaches, Generally Feeling “Bleh”: For some people, the after-effects of an orgasm can be highly unpleasant. This experience can be bad enough that it will lead some people to avoid orgasms entirely.
  • Loss Of Sensitivity In Genitals: After the orgasm subsides, the over-sensitivity will usually fade, followed by a period where your genitals might not be sensitive at all. In this phase, touching the genitals may not feel much different than touching your arm. It’s like your downstairs bits have decided to take a nap for a bit. This can last for a few minutes to several hours, even days.
  • Loss Of Arousal: After an orgasm, physical arousal may fade somewhat rapidly. This is particularly noticeable in people with penises, where the penis will often revert to a fully flaccid state within a few minutes. In this stage, it may be difficult or even impossible to regain arousal. Even if you are able to, the loss of sensitivity may make it difficult to proceed. Much like the loss of sensitivity, this can last for minute, hours, or days.
  • Time To Cuddle: For people with a partner, the orgasm and many of the after effects can combine and contribute to a strong desire to cuddle.
  • You’ll Know It When It Happens™: And as much as I hate to use this description, one of the ways that many people know they’ve had an orgasm is that they know they’ve had an orgasm. The convergence of events just makes them say “Well, that happened”.

Sex toys are objects used for the purpose of stimulating parts of the body, frequently (though not exclusively) with the intent of producing or enhancing an orgasm.  Most sex toys are used on the genitals, but some are used elsewhere.  Sex toys can be items that are specifically designed for the purpose, like vibrators, dildos, and sleeves, or they can be regular household objects that have been repurposed, like handheld shower attachments or pillows.

Most people think of sex toys as some sort of plastic mutated exaggerated form of disembodied vibrating genitalia, and it’s true that there are many toys that fit that description.  But there are also many plain or abstract designs that look more like sculptures than anatomy, and focus more on function than looks.  If you’re not a fan of simulated body parts, it’s possible to find almost any type of sex toy in a non-anatomical form.

Many aces report that sex toys are a way to engage in masturbation without having to directly touch their genitals or any fluids involved.  Many vibrators or dildos have a long handle, so they can be held at a distance, while many sleeves will fully enclose the penis and contain any fluids that may be involved.  Some toys can even be set up to be used completely hands free.

A lot of aces (and even many non-aces) find that sex toys are the easiest way, and perhaps the only way, to achieve an orgasm.  If you’ve tried masturbating by hand and have never had an orgasm, perhaps using a sex toy might help.  It’s definitely not a guarantee, though.  And although sex toys are generally intended to be used to help achieve an orgasm, that does not have to be the result.  You can use one to go as far as you like, but still stop short of an orgasm, if you prefer.

Sex toys can be made out of a number of materials.  Most are plastic, rubber, or silicone, but there are toys made from glass, metal, wood, even cloth.  You should pay attention to toy safety guidelines for toys made from various materials.  Some toys are considered “body safe”, which means they are non-porous (so bacteria and other icky things can’t find little nooks and crannies to grow in) and made from safe, non-toxic materials.  Glass, metal, silicone, and hard plastic tend to be the least porous, while “jelly rubber” tends to be the most porous.  (Jelly rubber is also potentially carcinogenic, so two strikes there.)  For some porous toys, condom use is recommended (whether that’s a condom on you or on the toy depends on the type of toy).  Additionally, some materials have a strong chemical smell or have a slimy, oily feel to them.  A few good rules of thumb are that if it smells bad it probably is bad, and if the material has a “brand name” sounding name, it’s probably junk.  There are many resources out there around sex toy safety, and I encourage you to read up on them.

And regardless of the material, be sure to clean your toys regularly, especially if it goes inside you or you go inside it.

Artificial lube can be helpful when using some toys, particularly sleeves or anal toys.  However, certain toys and certain lubes don’t mix.  For simplicity, stick to a water based lube.  They’re usually the cheapest and easiest to find, easiest to clean up, and are pretty much compatible with anything.  Silicone lubes or oil-based lubes might destroy your toys.

It’s okay to be asexual and be curious about sex toys.  It’s okay to be asexual and use sex toys.  It’s okay to be asexual and enjoy sex toys.  It’s even okay to be asexual and enjoy using vibrating curiously exaggerated disembodied genitalia sex toys.