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Two weeks ago I decided to taste my own semen. Right now I feel like I have a fever and also see white patches on my tongue, even though I've never had sex. Is it possible to catch HIV from your own semen?

No, it's not, just as it isn't possible to give yourself a cold by inhaling your own sneeze. Do yourself a favor and learn something about STDs — it's just as important, perhaps even more so, to learn what activities do transmit STDs.

I am a 16-year-old male who masturbates regularly (about once a day). However, about a year ago my mother asked me about all the tissues I have been using and if I was all right. I lied and said that it was just a cold and she disregarded it. However, after that I stopped cleaning up in fear that I will be found out; sometimes I just ejaculate onto my stomach or my arm and leave it there and let it dry. Is this bad for me?

No, not at all. However, I think you're being paranoid about the tissues and everything. Your mother is perhaps a bit dense in not figuring out what all of the tissues were about, but if you don't want her to see your used tissues, just hide them a little — like under a piece of clothing — and then flush them when it's convenient. And by the way, you don't have to live in fear of being "found out." That's just ridiculous. What you're doing is normal and healthy, so there's no need to be so ashamed about it.

In the last few months, my semen has become very watery. There is very little smell compared to before. Previously, if I touched it with a finger, the semen would stick and create a string if I pulled the finger away, and now it doesn't. Am I sterile? Am I dying?

Probably not, and no. Semen appearance and texture can change naturally over the course of months, days, or even from one ejaculation to another, due to a variety of factors inculding diet. Read more about semen composition here.

I've heard that eating your own semen is like taking a healthy version of steroids. They said that it's just like eating testosterone, and it will help build muscle, without the bad side effects. Is this true?
- age 16, Texas

No, it isn't. This is one of those ideas that might make sense if you don't understand the science behind it. For one thing, semen doesn't contain significant amounts of anabolic steroids, if it contains any at all. Second, consider the fact that "eating testosterone" wouldn't help you build muscle, anyway — the acids in your stomach would break it down before it could enter the bloodsteam. That's why athletes who "juice" — something that's a bad idea for many reasons — have to inject the drug with a needle. You'd probably get a greater muscle-building effect by eating a piece of beef jerky. (I will once again point out that with topics like this, doing some online research by checking with objective, reputable sources is a little more useful than polling your friends.)

I am a chef as a hobby, and I've studied the unique chemical properties of eggs and how they can create recipes that would be otherwise impossible. Uncooked, of course, they taste horrible — but cooked properly, they can create wonderful recipes. I then wondered: While there is a natural propensity to dislike the idea, why hasn't anyone seriously looked into recipes using semen — not as a joke, but in a serious gourmet manner? Semen is free, easy to obtain, and has unique properties that might create recipes otherwise difficult to procure. There once was a site devoted to this, but apparently it was taken down. Why is such a thing so harshly fought against? Is it because it is considered cannibalism or such? Why is eating semen considered appropriate in a sexual context, but serious cooking with it is thought to be horrible?

Ingesting semen is considered by most people to be repulsive except, for some, in the specific context of sexuality. Outside of this context, there seems to be a near-universal (or at least societal) aversion to the ingestion of any bodily by-products; imagine how most people would react if you mentioned a snot milkshake, saliva daiquiri, fingernail Jell-O, or (since we're on a roll) an actual "hair pie." Most people are at peace with their own saliva in their mouths or their own hair on their head, but once a bodily by-product leaves or is detached from the body, it somehow becomes "dead" — something to be discarded quickly. That "eww factor" definitely intensifies when it's someone else's bodily by-product (again, outside of sexual contexts) or a sexual thing like semen. On a more practical note, semen is highly variable from person to person and even from day to day, so even if you were just whipping up a seminal souflée or apple crisp à la load in your private kitchen, it would be difficult to get any consistency in flavor or, um, consistency. So, I wouldn't invest just yet in that semen-cuisine restaurant — but if you're looking for possible names, may I suggest: The Fertile Crescent? Poppa's? Chez Onan? Shooters?

I am 21 years old. Is it bad that I produce more semen that normal — like, a little over a Dixie cup full? Also, the semen comes out with much force. My girlfriend is concerned with this, as she thinks something may be wrong with me.

That kind of volume is definitely unusual, but no cause for concern. Just like penis size, ejaculation volume and force are highly variable from individual to individual. Most guys want to ejaculate more semen with more force — but like a guy who thinks his penis has grown too big, you might think your ejaculations are a little over the top. It's just one of those things you (and your partner) will need to come to peace with and get used to, if you haven't already.

This sounds gross, but every now and then after going #2, the head of my penis is wet with semen. Sometimes it even drips. If I squeeze my penis, a little more will come out, like it does after you're finished masturbating — but the last time this happened, I hadn't masturbated for a few days. I know it is not V.D. because I am still a virgin.

It's not actually semen but rather prostatic fluid, which is a major component of semen. The prostate lies against the wall of the rectum, so sometimes a bowel movement can put pressure on the gland, pushing fluid into the urethra and out the penis. It's nothing to be concerned about.

As many have experienced, if one accidentally ejaculates into one's eyes, it can be a very painful experience. What is the reason for this? Is it due to the alkalinity of the ejaculate, perhaps the oxidizing agents present in the solution (e.g. chlorine), or could it be, as many of my friends have theorized, that the sperm cells are actually trying to "fertilize" one's eyes?

Certainly not the latter! I would guess that there isn't one specific thing that causes semen to sting the eyes. Semen is a mixture of many substances, and outside of water and saline solution, it's rare for anything put into the eye not to sting. Basically, the sting is the eye telling the brain, "That stuff doesn't belong in here." As for your eyeball getting pregnant, I wouldn't worry about it.

I'm almost 21 years old and have been masturbating ever since I was 12. Sometimes I masturbate multiple times a day. I'm afraid that because I masturbate too much, I'll either become sterile, or my sperm count will go down and thus I will not be able to impregnate a female. Is this true? Can masturbating for as long and often as I have cause a guy's sperm count to go down?

No, definitely not. If that were the case, the human race would have gone extinct long, long ago.

Don't get me wrong, I know that on the Internet people sell all kinds of enhancement and enlargement pills that don't work. I know that you can't make your penis bigger with pills. But what about ejaculate size? Can vitamin supplements or special "volume" pills make you ejaculate as much as 500% more? Peter North, a man known for big ejaculations, is the poster boy for one kind of enhancement pill. Is there any truth to their claims?

Well, you're correct that a pill is more likely to make you ejaculate more than it is to make your penis grow (which is impossible). However, whatever a pill company's claims are, you can probably do just as well with zinc and lecithin supplements. (Use zinc supplements in moderation; too much zinc intake can be dangerous.) For some guys, these nutrients do have a noticeable effect on ejaculation volume, and they're a lot cheaper and easier to get. In general, stay away from mail-order pills sold by less-than-reputable companies; you really don't know what's in them, and their claims are almost always untrue or at least greatly exaggerated. Finally, on the social responsibility side, you should never do anything to support businesses that advertise via spam or that target people's sexual insecurities.

Why is it that drinking water hours before you masturbate increases the volume of semen?

Good question. I think it's because your body becomes more hydrated overall, so any glands responsible for secreting a watery substance (such as those in the male reproductive system) are able to work more efficiently and have less trouble getting water from the bloodstream. If you're dehydrated, on the other hand, your body will want to conserve water, so these glands will not have as much water available, and you'll ejaculate less.

Lately my semen temperature has risen quite dramatically. It isn't painful when I ejaculate, but the semen is burning hot. What is causing this, and should I be concerned?
- age 22, New York

Huh? How can that be? Your body is unable to ejaculate or otherwise secrete anything that's above body temperature. Dragons (and a creature called the bombadier beetle) may be able to do this kind of trick, but human beings just aren't designed this way. Is it your imagination? Could your semen be irritating your skin to the point where it feels like it burns? Another possibility is that you're so psychologically repelled by the thought of semen touching your skin that your mind has created this burning-hot sensation. In any case, unless you have a fever, I guarantee that it's not coming out any hotter than about 99 degrees Fahrenheit.

I'm 14. Whenever I masturbate (at least once per week) I feel all the build-up — but just when I am at the crescendo, when I'm about to ejaculate, it all dies away. Nothing comes up, and this causes much frustration for me. I usually try short spells of 10 to 15 minutes. Can you suggest a required diet for ejaculation, or introduce a new method?

No — it sounds like your problem is a little more involved than your diet or technique. Though you're still young and developing, it isn't normal for a sexually mature male to be able to get highly aroused but then be unable to ejaculate. One possibility is that your orgasms are just naturally very weak (to the point where you barely notice them) and you have a condition of retrograde ejaculation, in which semen is ejaculated into the bladder rather than the urethra. Consult a doctor, preferably a urologist, if you're still unable to ejaculate in another year or so, or by the time your other sexual development nears completion.

I am 14 years old and have been masturbating for a few years. I do have orgasms, but I have never ejaculated. Should I be ejaculating at my age? I wouldn't say I am a fast developer; I started getting pubic hair only this year. The thing that worries me is that I have had an infection on the head of my penis for as long as I can remember. May this be why I am not ejaculating?

First, you need to address that infection on your penis. Tell your parents you have an infection in a "private region," and have them take you to a doctor. That's the most important thing. While you're there, you might as well ask the doctor your ejaculation question. It's most likely that you're just a little behind schedule; it isn't abnormal for a 14-year-old to still be waiting for his first ejaculation. Really, though, get the infection taken care of first. It's serious.

Lately when I ejaculate, the amount of semen seems less than normal, and I think it might have something to do with this body wash I started using. It says it has Yellow #5 in it, and I've always heard Yellow #5 reduces sperm count. Is this true? And is this the cause for the decrease in amount of semen?

According to our favorite authority on urban legends,, Yellow #5 does *not* reduce your sperm count, shrink your testicles, or shrink your penis. This is one of those baseless scares that gets passed from person to person year after year with no merit at all. Plus, you're talking about a body wash , which is used externally — even if Yellow #5 did have harmful effects, how could it be getting into your bloodstream? Read more about this myth here.

I sometimes find semen coming out of the end of my penis right after taking a bowel movement. Is this something to be alarmed about?

Not necessarily. You're probably seeing prostatic fluid, a major component of semen. The prostate lies against the rectum wall, and when a stool passes, it can press against the prostate and cause it to expel fluid into the urethra. If you're in you're 30s or older, though — particularly if you have any problems urinating — you should have your prostate checked for possible enlargement. An enlarged prostate might be more susceptible to this leakage, and an enlarged prostate is at risk of becoming cancerous or developing other problems.

My semen is very thick. You can basically pull it out of my penis, almost like a noodle. I didn't think anything of it until my girlfriend mentioned that it's unlike the semen of the other males she's been with. I was told to drink a lot of fluids and to ejaculate often, but it hasn't helped at all. I've been tested for AIDS and a few other STDs, and they have all come back negative. Is there something wrong with me, and can I change it?

Of all the various aspects of the male human body, few are as variable from individual to individual as semen. The color, texture, and quantity — not to mention the force of ejaculation — vary greatly. Based on outward appearance we are all amazingly similar: virtually everyone has eyes, ears, a nose, and a mouth in the same place. But semen just doesn't work that way. Your situation is not abnormal, even if it is pretty unusual (there's a difference). It probably has to do with the mixture of ingredients in your semen: Semen is designed to "gel" a little immediately after ejaculation, so that it will be retained within the woman's vagina, improving the chances of egg fertilization. Yours just gels a lot. In any case, it's not due to an STD and should not affect your chances of fathering children. But if you're in doubt, ask a doctor (ideally a urologist) if he has any ideas.

How exactly are sperm alive? Are they alive in that they have a choice to go where they choose, like tadpoles, or are they like some kind of bacteria?

Well, neither, really. Sperm are not autonomous beings like tadpoles or bacteria; for one thing, they have only a half-set of genes (the egg contributes the other half to create a human embryo). Sperm are simply cells produced by a man's body. They're almost like blood cells, except that as you noted, they are mobile thanks to their tadpole-like tail. But they can't really "choose" to go anywhere, since being single-celled they obviously lack any kind of nervous system or brain, although they do respond to certain stimuli and move in particular directions to maximize their chances of finding an egg to fertilize. And unlike truly living beings, egg fertilization is their one and only function; they don't eat anything and cannot reproduce themselves, two things that all true living things do. So all in all sperm are pretty stupid, even by bacteria standards! But they sure do get the job done.

The other morning I was masturbating in the shower. After I reached orgasm, I slowed down and ejaculated a small portion of semen. I then began to masturbate more rapidly, and surprisingly, I had a second, stronger orgasm and ejaculated a little bit more than the first one. Can boys really get multiple orgasms like girls, or did I just happen to get lucky?
- age 15, New York

Both, actually. It is possible to achieve a second orgasm sometimes, when you slow down or stop and then start again — but your timing has to be just right to make it happen. We don't describe the technique on JackinWorld because it's difficult to achieve. Personally I've never had any interest in trying such a thing, mostly because I never want to stop the stimulation at that point, and because I'm generally a fan of your basic "explosive" one-orgasm masturbation session.

Two years ago I had a operation to remove a dead testicle. Will losing one testicle affect how much semen I produce? Also, my health teacher said that every normal man has one testicle filled with "female" sperm (for a girl baby) and one with "male" sperm in it (for a boy baby) — is this true?
- age 15, Australia

I don't know where your health teacher is getting their facts, but they shouldn't be teaching a health class if they're giving out such wrong information. "X" sperm (which contributes toward creating a girl) and "Y" sperm (for a boy) are produced in near equal numbers by both testes and are randomly mixed in semen. Each testicle is capable of producing many millions of sperm cells each day, so assuming your remaining testicle is normal, fertility should not be an issue. Regarding your first question, remember that many more parts of the male reproductive system besides the testes are involved in making the various semen components, so your ejaculate volume probably is not all that different than if you had two normal testes.

I cannot look at semen at all! When I masturbate, I have to rub my penis over my pajama pants. I can't look at my penis ejaculate — it grosses me out. And being gay, I have been with other guys, but I cannot ejaculate and I don't want them to. I'll reach a point where I can feel my semen about to come out, and then all of a sudden I get scared and disgusted and I lose my erection, and when they give a slight hint that they'll soon ejaculate I'll stop whatever I'm doing and put my clothes on and I'll all of a sudden become disgusted in the guy, just by the thought of semen. I cannot climax when I masturbate or have sex because I'm so terrified at the prospect of just watching myself (or somebody else) ejaculate. It has gotten to the point where I am paranoid that semen is all over the place — like my toothbrush and food and other people's hands, and it makes me despise masturbating. Is this an everyday anti-sperm problem, or is it more psychological? What is the best way to get over this without freaking out?
- age 18, California

You are describing an extreme psychosexual dysfunction that isn't normal in any way, shape, or form. Clearly it's preventing you from functioning sexually, either with a partner or alone. It may be an extreme manifestation of masturbation guilt or internalized homophobia, but that is something you will need to sort out in therapy. The situation isn't hopeless, but seeking professional help is almost certainly the only way you will be able to come to terms with the very ordinary concept of semen as a normal body secretion. With guidance you may be able to root out the cause of the problem and work toward leading a normal life, which will allow you to enjoy both sex and masturbation without this huge hindrance getting in the way.

I'm an athletic 24-year-old. When I ejaculate, even quickly, my semen always "shoots" really far (to my hair or beyond). At times I've measured it going 5 to 6 feet. I also ejaculate a lot of semen. Is this normal for my age? Does exercising the "PC" muscles between the testicles and anus have anything to do with the long distances?

If you've done exercises like Kegels For Men, yes, it may have increased your distance — but probably not your volume. Sure, your ejaculations are normal, though they aren't by any means average (there is a difference). There's a *huge* variation from person to person with regard to ejaculation force as well as volume, and neither has anything to do with anything important (such as having children), even though your performance may look impressive.

You said that semen sometimes contains traces of urine, and you also said that you can't contract any illnesses by eating your own semen. But what about the traces of urine? Won't the urine give you an illness?

You wouldn't want to ingest a significant quantity of urine, but with the amount that may (or may not) be in a single ejaculate of semen — just a trace — it wouldn't be a problem to ingest. Urine is some 98% water anyway, so the amount of undesirable substances from urine that may end up in a couple teaspoons of semen is negligible.

I masturbate 5 times a week, and about 3 of those times I can usually catch my semen inside my mouth. Are the rumors true about semen putting hair on your chest? My Greek friend drinks his semen all the time, and he has a really hairy chest. If I drink more of my semen, will I start to get more hair on my chest?

Certainly not. Your Greek friend has a hairy chest because he's...uh, Greek. Men of southern-European/Mediterranean descent tend to have a lot of body hair. You might think that since semen is such a masculine substance, that drinking it would infuse your body with even more masculinity — but that kind of belief is right up there with thinking that eating powdered rhinocerous horns or dried tiger penises will cure erectile dysfunction. They're all just myths that have no basis in scientific fact.

How long does it take for a single sperm cell to be created, move through the reproductive system, and be completely ready for ejaculation? And when a man ejaculates, does he release all of the sperm stored in his "reserves"?
- age 18, Ohio

For men of normal fertility, sperm creation is a constant, ongoing process. Millions of sperm cells are created each day in the testes; they mature in one to 3 months, after which they're ready to be ejaculated. So, since there are always sperm cells being made, there is a lot of overlap between your "loads." Once one has been released, another should not be far behind.

I'm 18, and I've masturbated since I was 15. My semen used to be kind of thick, but lately it's been whitish-clear and watery. What's wrong with me — am I sterile?

That's unlikely. Unless you aren't ejaculating any fluid at all, the only way to tell if you're actually sterile is to have a sperm count done. A lot of factors go into the appearance and consistency of semen, including diet, ejaculation frequency, etc., so changing any of these can alter the way your semen looks. Also, it's easy to think that semen is simply sperm cells in water, but it's a much more complex substance than that. So it may have been the absence or presence of something other than actual sperm cells — such as sugars or proteins — that caused your semen to look different before.

Do you have any suggestions about getting rid of semen stains? I used to wear white briefs and boxers, but I would masturbate before going to sleep and neglect to clean up. The result was permanent yellow stains on the underwear, which is kind of embarrassing when my mom sees my laundry, or in gym class.

As with any sort of stain caused by a bodily fluid, it's best to clean the stain as soon as possible, preferably while it is still wet. However, if you can't get to the stain until first thing in the morning, you should still have a chance at salvaging your undies. Try mixing one-half teaspoon of dishwashing soap or fine-fabric detergent into one cup (8 oz.) of warm water. Apply a small amount, blotting until the stain is removed. Since your stain is dry this might take a while, but it should at least get most of the yellow tinge off of your boxers. Rinse your underwear with cold water once you are satisfied with how they look. If the stain persists, try mixing one part white vinegar and two parts water, applying a small amount and blotting — but do this only once. Finally, put your underwear through a cycle in the washer and dryer. Of course, you can avoid this hassle just by masturbating with some tissues or a towel nearby. That way you can mop up your semen right away, without having to get up from your bed, preserving your underwear in the process.

Are there any vitamins or minerals I can take to increase the volume of my ejaculation? Two I've heard of are zinc and lecithin. Is there any truth to this?

There is a connection between the intake of certain vitamins and minerals and the quality and quantity of a man's ejaculation, not to mention his sexual health in general. Vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and essential fatty acids are found in the prostate in high levels, and are all necessary to produce semen. Low zinc levels have been connected to decreased production of seminal fluids, as well as lower testosterone levels. A healthy balance of nutrients is important for maintaining vascular health as well, which improves your ability to achieve and maintain erections. There isn't a need to go popping extra vitamins if you are already eating a diet rich in nutrients, particulary from fruits and vegetables. Essential fatty acids are found in certain kinds of fish (like salmon) and nuts.

You say you can eat your own semen but you shouldn't eat anyone else's. Why is it then that you see women eating semen all the time?

Well, I don't know what restaurants you go to! (Talk about your soup of the day!) Seriously, my guess is you're talking about women in pornographic movies. You certainly should not take anything you see in such movies as reality. Things like unprotected intercourse and semen-eating sometimes appear in these videos because they sell, irresponsible as they are. It's also possible that the actors were screened for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases before they mutually agreed to indulge in such behavior on camera. In the real world, though, outside of long-term monogamous relationships it's risky for anyone to get someone else's semen in their mouths. With HIV transmission statistics on the rise, continuing to follow safer-sex principles is more important now than ever.

How long does sperm live outside of the body?

That depends on the conditions. If the conditions are right, such as if the semen is deposited in a woman's vagina, the sperm cells can survive for several hours — basically until their store of "onboard" energy runs out. If it's a place that's at room temperature, the sperm cells slow down and die much quicker, probably within an hour. And if it's a hostile environment, such as a chlorinated hot tub, the cells die very quickly — almost instantly. But that doesn't mean you can ejaculate freely in your hot tub — you have to be considerate of your fellow tubbers and think about how they'd feel if they knew what you were doing.

I'm 13. When I ejaculate, the first squirt or so is usually milky white (and pretty sticky and thick), but when I keep going, the fluid that comes out is either clear or a bit yellowish (I haven't observed it very closely). It smells kind of like urine, and I was worried I might be ejaculating urine. Is there something wrong with me?

There might be a little urine in it. Sometimes males in early puberty actually ejaculate urine — but that usually goes away as the person gets older and his reproductive system matures.

Does penis size (either length or width) and/or testicle size have anything to do with the amount of sperm that is ejaculated during orgasm?

Certainly not penis size — there's simply no connection — and doubtfully testicle size. A number of organs are responsible for secreting the various fluids that make up semen, and most of them are hidden within the body. Even with any given organ, its size and its productivity are not necessarily proportional — you could have a small prostate that secretes lots of prostatic fluid, for example, and that would result in a larger volume of semen.

I am 18 years old and am very involved in weightlifting, so I eat and drink lots of high-protein foods. I've heard semen contains protein, so by ejaculating, am I losing a lot of protein that I need to build my muscles?

Semen does contain protein, but the amount you ejaculate is negligible compared to the total amount your body takes in. Eat an extra peanut or two and you've more than made up for the protein "loss" from one ejaculation. So no, masturbating will not reduce your body's ability to build muscle.

I sometimes ejaculate blood in my semen. I am really scared I might be messing myself up!

Occasionally ejaculating small amounts of blood is not terribly uncommon, and it's also not necessarily a cause for alarm. However, you need to consider the amount of blood in the semen and how often it happens, as well as your history. A small amount every once in a while is probably nothing to worry about. But a very noticeable amount of blood in the semen, or a significant amount that persists for several days or a week, is not normal. In such a case you really should see a doctor about it.

When I ejaculate it feels like about a third of the seminal fluid comes out. I don't know about the rest, but I get a ripping pain for about 4 seconds. Also, the seminal fluid is closer to a solid than a liquid — there's a thin liquid with a couple solid-like clumps of a glossy, pearly-white substance. Is something wrong with me?
- age 16, New Jersey

This does not sound good. Although a little lumpiness to the semen can be perfectly normal, ejaculation accompanied by pain is not a normal condition, and if it's happening repeatedly I really think you should see a doctor. It sounds like some kind of dysfunction of the ejaculatory mechanism. I wouldn't say you should be scared about it, but it is clearly a medical condition that needs to be discussed with a doctor. There may be a simple remedy that will allow you to ejaculate normally and enjoy masturbation. Or, it may be a tougher problem to solve, or perhaps it can't be fixed at all (although that's less likely).

I just turned 15. When I have a "wet-dream" [nocturnal emission], the semen is thick and white-colored, but when I masturbate it's clear and a little thinner. Is there a reason for this?

I'm not certain, but my educated guess would be that the composition of the semen is different depending on the nature of the ejaculation. A nocturnal ejaculation may have more prostatic fluid in it (which is whiter and thicker), while a daytime ejaculation may have more sperm and fluid from the seminal vesicles, which tends to be more clear and less viscous.

Most of the time when I masturbate, my semen smells like Clorox bleach. This just started about a month ago, and I am getting really worried.

Relax! The smell is completely normal. Some people describe it as smelling like Ajax or some other kind of cleanser. The bleach-like smell is extremely common, if not universal.

It's embarrassing when my semen gets on my underwear after I masturbate. I have found that urinating after cleanup prevents excess semen from oozing out during the night. It seems to clear out the passageways within the penis. Is this true?

Absolutely. If you aren't going to urinate, though, it helps to "milk" the penis gently once your erection has gone down, as this squeezes out most of the semen from the part of the urethra that passes through your penis.

I'm 16, and something's been bothering me for a while. I was wondering if semen is always supposed to be pure white, because mine is usually kind of yellowish. Does that mean I have some sort of problem?

No. Many males report a yellowish tint to the semen. If you have a serious health concern, though, you should talk to your doctor.

Whenever I'm masturbating I really want to eat my semen, but when I finally ejaculate, I get grossed out by the idea. What can I do to make myself eat it?

This is quite common. The loss of desire to eat your semen once you ejaculate goes along with the post-ejaculation loss of interest in sex in general. I don't think there's anything you can do to "make" yourself eat it. You could, of course, save your semen from the previous ejaculation and warm it in the microwave! (Whatever you do, though, don't keep it in the refrigerator in a container marked "non-dairy creamer"!)

After seeing this question, a reader wrote in another suggestion — to position yourself so your semen drops directly into your mouth when you ejaculate.

Sometimes when I ejaculate, my semen is lumpy. It looks kind of like Jell-O. What causes this, and is it okay?

This is actually quite common and, as far as I know, completely normal. It has to do with the various components of the semen mixing when you ejaculate, which causes the fluid to thicken — sometimes into an almost semi-solid form.

I have been masturbating since I was about 12 years old (I am now 15), about twice a day every day. I have seen changes in the force of my ejaculation — I just dribble now, where I used to shoot. Is there a reason for this? Is there I way I can fix it? If I regularly exercise that muscle under the penis (under the pubic bone), will it help?

I don't know why your ejaculations may be losing force, but it shouldn't be that important to you. You can try the Kegel exercises in JackinExpert; they may help.

I've never had a "wet dream." Might that be because I masturbate a lot? It's kind of funny how they say in health class that boys will start to have "wet dreams" in their teens, when in reality, many don't because they masturbate a lot.
- age 14, Texas

You're right. It's perfectly normal for someone who masturbates regularly never to have a nocturnal emission. My feeling about the "teaching" of nocturnal emissions is that teachers do it because it's considered acceptable, whereas the "teaching" of masturbation is not acceptable. This leads to considerable confusion and guilt among people like you who do not experience nocturnal emissions because they masturbate.

I'm 15 and have been masturbating for about three years. But my problem is I think I orgasm too quickly. I've never actually timed myself, but it usually doesn't take me longer than about 30 seconds, and after I finish I get angry I finished so fast. What can I do to delay it? I don't really like stopping in the middle, but if it's the only solution, I guess I'll have to go with that.

It sounds like when you masturbate, you go at it full-force and at top speed until you're done. That's not the best way to go about it, unless you really need to finish fast. If you want to enjoy it longer, try going a little slower, so that your feelings build more. (You can always move your hand faster when you ejaculate.) In short, you need to train yourself to relax and "cool it" at key times. With a lot of practice, you might find you have to stop when you start getting close. Just work on it — it's pretty much the only way to learn to pace yourself, which you really must learn if you want to have a successful two-person sex life later on.

What is the average amount of time it takes for a person to ejaculate while masturbating?
- age 19, Texas

About ten seconds, depending on where you define the "starting" and "stopping" points.

I am still a virgin and masturbate a couple times a day. I was just wondering, how long does it take you to ejaculate while having sexual intercourse?
- age 15, Alaska

If you're talking about the time from the beginning of the ejaculation until the end, it's roughly the same — about ten seconds. If you mean from the beginning of intercourse until the onset of ejaculation, that varies widely. Some guys have the problem of ejaculating right away, because of the excitement and the visual stimulation involved; this is called premature ejaculation. Others can delay ejaculating nearly indefinitely. It all depends on the person.

How do you get more sperm to come out? I only get a little.
- age 14, California

There isn't a really good way to increase the amount of semen you produce, except for "saving it up" by not ejaculating for a while. You will probably begin to produce more in a year or two. Until then, just enjoy masturbating!

I see you said guys have an "unlimited" supply of semen. But I have found if I wait two days or so to masturbate, I ejaculate more semen. Can you explain this?
- age 14, Nebraska

Sure. When I said you can't run out of semen, I meant in the long term. In other words, you won't one day no longer be able to produce semen because you've "ejaculated it all out." In the short term, though — over the course of a day or so — you can "dry up" and ejaculate less and less each time. Fortunately, given a little time, this supply "refills" itself.

What's the average amount of semen for a 13-year-old? I read in JackinHow-To that it's a few teaspoons, but I don't know what age male you were referring to. I squirt about three small squirts, but not a teaspoon.
- age 13, Michigan

Well, a teaspoon is a pretty small amount. I was giving a rough estimate — I believe the actual amount for an adult male is 2 to 3 milliliters, which isn't that much. You're probably average for your age.

I masturbate about twice a day, but I never ejaculate. Do most 12-years-olds ejaculate? How long do you think it will be before I can ejaculate?
- age 12, Louisiana

Hold your horses! Your age is right about the time most boys start being able to produce semen and ejaculate it. Chances are, you'll be ejaculating semen within the next year or two.

I ejaculate a large volume of semen, but it only dribbles out. How can I get it to shoot?
- age 13, Canada

We learned from the JackinWorld Survey #2 that guys tend to start off by dribbling semen when they ejaculate, and then "shooting" it more as they get older — so your situation may still change. Other than that, there isn't a whole lot you can do to affect the distance you "shoot" — except that the more aroused you are, and the longer you've been aroused, the more the semen builds up and so it is ejaculated with more force. Different people "shoot" further than others — that's just part of human variety.

I just turned 14, and I like to masturbate a lot. But I still don't "shoot" when I ejaculate, and my sperm is still clear. Should I be worried? I seem to be a little more through puberty then the average kid at my school.

There's no need to worry. Some guys never get their semen to "shoot" out of their penis. If your semen remains "clear" after a couple more years, though, you might want to talk to a doctor about it.

When you ejaculate, what should you do with the semen?
- age 15, Montana

Most guys just wipe it up with a Kleenex and throw it away.

I masturbate only in the shower, so it's easy to clean up. Isn't it hard to clean up if you do it in your bed by ejaculating on the covers or ejaculating on your bedroom carpet?
- age 17, Florida

I wouldn't say it's hard to clean up, but it is harder. If you ejaculate onto a sheet, you can wipe it up right away, but even then some of it has probably soaked into the fabric and may leave a stain behind. That's why the most common way to masturbate is on your back, so your semen ends up on your stomach or chest. Then it's very easy to clean up.

Is there anything wrong with ejaculating into my own mouth?
- age 16, Wisconsin

No. If you enjoy doing this, go ahead. It's completely non-toxic, and there are no harmful side effects — although for health reasons it's not a good idea to eat anyone else's semen.

All over the Internet I've read that people enjoy eating their own semen. But for some reason nobody says anything about whether eating your own semen could be dangerous. To clear it all up, can you PLEASE tell me whether you can get any sickness, illness, or disease from eating it? One of my friends got scabies (the bugs that crawl inside your body and make you itch real bad) because she didn't wash her hands before she ate. Can I get scabies from eating my own semen, or any related type of illness?

You cannot catch any sexually transmitted diseases from ingesting your own semen. Think about it for a second — if the fluid has come out of your body, that means any STD that's in the fluid has already been in your body, right? So how could eating it cause you to catch anything? The only way you can catch a disease from eating semen is if it's from someone else, or if the virus (or whatever) somehow got into the semen between the time it was ejaculated and the time it was eaten. It is possible to get sick from ingesting other things from your body (most notably feces — yuck), but this doesn't apply to semen. In your friend's case, the scabies came from outside her body. You cannot catch scabies from yourself.

When I first start masturbating, clear stuff comes out. Then I have an orgasm. What's going on?
- age 15, Florida

That's just what we call "pre-cum." It's similar to watered-down semen, with a few sperm calls, and its purpose is to lubricate and clean out the tubes inside you that carry the semen and get them ready for the ejaculation.

At what age do you produce milky semen? Mine is still clear, but a little creamy.
- age 12, Alabama

The "clear" stage happens when some of the parts that make up semen are there but others aren't. The "milkiness" should happen pretty soon — no rush, though!

I masturbate about three times a day. When I ejaculate, the semen seems really liquidy — almost watery. Is this a result of the frequency with which I ejaculate?

Probably not. It's probably either your age (semen tends to be more watery when you first start ejaculating), or your personal body chemistry.

I've been masturbating for quite a while now, and recently I ejaculated a white liquidy substance. It was like semen, only not as thick. I'm worried now — am I sterile? Do I have a low sperm count? Will I continue to ejaculate like this?

You probably have nothing to worry about. Semen changes consistency from time to time. And remember, it takes only one sperm cell to fertilize an egg, so it's rare for a male to be completely sterile. You can always have your sperm count checked at a fertility clinic, but for now I wouldn't worry about it.

When I masturbate for a short time — say, 10-15 minutes — my semen is white and creamy. But if I make it last an hour or so, as I often do, when I ejaculate it's almost like water. Why is this? Am I melting it by taking too long or something?

Semen is composed of different fluids made in different parts of the reproductive system (see Science Corner article on Semen Production & Ejaculation), and these different components often have different qualities. What's probably happening is that in your longer sessions more of one particular component is being produced. It's common for a longer session to produce a larger volume of semen — yours just changes consistency a little, that's all.

Why does semen smell the way it does?
- age 16, Washington

There are a lot of components to semen; several glands are involved in making the components of seminal fluid, and each component has a function. I'm sure there's a scientific explanation for the smell, but it's just that one or more of the components has a characteristic smell — the same way urine has a specific smell.

The other night my girlfriend masturbated me. It was unbelievable — I'd never seen myself ejaculate so much. My question is: Is the amount of semen ejaculated affected by the level of stimulation you experience? I might add that we had been making out previous to her masturbating me, and that I'd come pretty close to ejaculating a couple of times but hadn't. Might that have increased the amount of semen I ejaculated, or was I just hallucinating?

You're absolutely right. The volume of semen you ejaculate is definitely affected not only by the intensity of the stimulation beforehand but by the duration. Every time you "almost" ejaculate, your body produces more seminal fluid (not necessarily sperm), and this builds up in your body. All of it (or, I should say, most of it) is released when you finally ejaculate.

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