In medicine, the word “refractory” refers to anything that’s unresponsive to stimulus. This is the basis for the term refractory period: the time after an orgasm in which it is physiologically impossible for a man to ejaculate again.
Your refractory period starts right after ejaculation and lasts for an indefinite amount of time depending on all sorts of factors such as age,alcohol intake, and how horny you are that night.
Scientists aren’t quite sure why we aren’t capable of infinite ejaculations. All they know is that after an orgasm, your body pumps out prolactin—a hormone known to stymie sexual desire.
So, if your lover wants an encore after a five-minute break, should you even bother trying?
How Long Is the Average Refractory Period?
“Unless you’re 14, you’re probably going to need at least an hour to become erect after ejaculating,” says urologist Richard K. Lee, M.D., of Weill Cornell Medicine.
For context, one hour is only the average. Someresearch has found that 18-year-old males have a refractory period as short as 15 minutes, whereas it can take a man in his 70s an entire day to get it up again.
There are no hard numbers (no pun intended) when it comes to refractory periods, so don’t waste your time setting an alarm for when to hop back into the sheets.
Is the Refractory Period Different When You Masturbate?