I was cruising the nodespace a few days ago and managed to stumble across refractory period. I've been suffering a dry spell on e2, as well as other things, so I put the idea of a nodeshell rescue on hold.

I'm quite happy that I had a research opportunity tonight that allowed me to reexamine the issue with a critical mind. I offer my fellow everythingarians some insights from my back breaking work.

One more time, what's a refractory period?
After a male has an orgasm, there is a length of time wherein he cannot have an erection. Much to women's chagrin, no amount of stimulation will help. The length of downtime increases as men get older. For young men, the refractory period can last just be a few minutes before their collective beef whistles are ready to go again. For Hugh Hefner, it could be hours or a day before he's ready for round two.

Women do not have a refractory period, which leads to some women having multiple orgasms.

Part of the problem lies in the way our bodies, male or female, respond to arousal and orgasm. For the record, I consider it a "problem" any time one cannot acquire or sustain an erection when an attractive, naked female is in the same room as the afflicted. See also "catastrophe." In men and women, blood flows into the genitals as arousal begins. For men, wieners become erect. For women, the labia and clitoris enlarge and the vagina becomes wet. Been there, done that, right?

Immediately following orgasm, blood rapidly leaves the genitals of men and women. That's not such a big deal for women, unless someone is holding a ruler to the labia and/or clit. The vagina will stay somewhat wet because of the amount of lubrication that's already there. Some women may not want to be stimulated for a short time due to hyper sensitivity. Unfortunately for men, that glorious erection begins to wilt and we lose the very mechanism that allows us to have sex. To make matters worse and further divide the male and female postgame, the refractory period sets in. It's in God's hands now and the male can only get his erection back when the Almighty allows.

Tips and Tricks
Unless you have some fantastic lover-partner or a cucumber, you're going to have to deal with the refractory period. Smart couples will learn to work with it and derive advantages from the biologically imposed downtime.

  • The more the merrier
    Hopefully you know that as men have more orgasms during a particular sex session, they take an increasingly long amount of time to achieve orgasm. Similarly, as the number of orgasms a woman has increases, she takes a decreasing amount of time to achieve orgasm. Woohoo, right? The extra bonus is that the refractory period decreases as the number of male orgasms increase! This is a double bonus for all the men out there with understanding women--a blow job or hand job to start things off makes for a better night!

  • I scream, you scream, we all scream for...
    Speaking of oral sex, that's a great way to pass the refractory period, especially if your female friend subscribes to the above recommendation. Since you already got your preliminary jollies off playing tonsil hockey, why not return the favor? Oral sex is always welcome, but sex toys may be another great pastime as long as you find some mutually agreeable instrument(s). That's left as an exercise to the reader.

  • Wait it out
    Sometimes you or your partner just need a break. Hopefully this happens when you are both reasonably satisfied or you need to go reread the above bullet. Even for the same person, the refractory period won't last the same time for each occurrence, so there's don't start a countdown as soon as the orgasm subsides.

    Guys: It's going to come back when it's going to come back. Don't feel pressured about it because that surely won't help. If your partner bitches, find them that cucumber. Hopefully you'll have an understanding partner, but she may not understand what's going on. While no contact should be overtly uncomfortable, if your partner initiates contact that just isn't doing anything to arouse you, ask them to stop or direct their attention elsewhere. It may help to change position while you wait things out. For instance, if you are oriented such that there is a lot of physical contact with your partner, back away ever so slightly so that there is no contact. Moving back together after a short time may be what gets you ready for the next show. Similarly, kissing or making out without passionate touching or heavy petting maybe keep some action going and move things along for you. Finally, it may be in your best interest to be in control of things while in the refractory period. You initiate all contact and direct the positions you and your partner engage in. Even before you get an erection again, you'll know when you're ready to be aroused. Your partner won't know anything until you're sporting a boner, so take the lead here and keep things moving in a way that benefits the two of you.

    Girls: Even if you are feeling sexually frustrated, it's in your best interest to be attentive to your partner. Trust me, he wants to have sex again too, unless he's asleep. Even though he loves that porn star thing you learned to do with your tongue, it's no good here, so don't try. I know you're not used to taking hints from your partner about when he's ready to have sex, but look for them now. Any other time and the fact that he has a pulse means he's ready to go, but now it's a waiting game. Don't try to do anything erotic because 1) it won't work and 2) it puts pressure on the guy to get back in the game quicker. While is not physically discomforting (as is hyper sensitivity) to touch on or about your partner's private region, it still feels weird. The fact is it feels like nothing--the same as if you touched him on the arm--which is in itself weird. It should feel great when a hot chick is handling your junk, but the fact that it doesn't feels weird, understand? Anyway, it's usually safe to reciprocate any contact he initiates on you. When you notice that he is getting or gets another erection, don't rush back into sex. It is more than likely the case that he is raring to go, but just proceed as if it were the first time you had sex that night. If your partner indicates, verbally or non verbally, that he wants to jump straight to the action again, go crazy if you're ready too. Just remember that it's all about communication, refractory period or not, so communicate and don't make one another uncomfortable.

Final Thoughts
Of course everyone is going to react differently so if you are one of those statistical anomalies that can go all night through three partners and two boxes of condoms without the annoyance of a single refractory period, don't /msg me about it. Just understand yourself and understand your partner. Even though females don't have a refractory period like males, there is a window of hyper-sensitivity and the demand of cuddling under pain of death. Guys just need a little time in between giving rides on the bone rollercoaster. Everyone should learn to work with that for maximum enjoyment. YMMV. As far as my mileage goes, I think the best refractory period is when you both drop to the mattress exhausted and fall fast asleep until you wake up a few hours later, ready to go back at it.


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