As the aging male approaches the plateau phase, his erection usually has been established with fair security. There may be little if any testicular elevation, a negligible amount of scrotal-sac vasocongestion, and minimal deep vascular engorgement of the testes.
Most older men who have had a pre-ejaculatory fluid emission (Cowper's gland secretory activity) will notice either total absence of, or marked reduction in, the amount of this pre-ejaculatory emission as they age.
From the aspect of time-span, the plateau phase usually lasts longer for an older man than for his younger counterpart. When an aging male reaches that level of elevated sexual tension identified as thoroughly enjoyable, he usually can and frequently does wish to maintain this plateau-phase level of sensual pleasure for an indefinite period of time without becoming enmeshed by ejaculatory demand.
This response pattern is age-related; the younger man tends to drive for early ejaculatory release when plateau-phase levels of sexual tension have accrued. One of the advantages of the aging process with specific reference to sexual functioning is that.
Generally speaking, control of ejaculatory demand in the 50 to 70 year age group is far better than in the 20 to 40 year age group.
In the cycle of sexual response, the largest number of physiological changes to come within objective focus for older men occurs during the orgasmic phase (ejaculatory process). The orgasmic phase is relatively standardized for younger men, varying minimally in duration and intensity of experience unless influenced by the psychosexual opposites of long-continued continence or high level of sexual satiation.
For younger men the entire ejaculatory process is divided into two well-recognized stages. The first stage, ejaculatory inevitability, is the brief period of time (2 to 4 seconds) during which the male feels the ejaculation coming and no longer can control it, before ejaculation actually occurs.
These subjective symptoms of ejaculatory inevitability are created physiologically by regularly recurring contractions of the prostate gland and, questionably, the seminal vesicles. Contractions of the prostate begin at o.8-second intervals and continue through both stages of the male orgasmic experience.
The second stage of the orgasmic phenomenon consists of expulsion of the seminal-fluid bolus accrued under pressure in the membranous and prostatic portions of the urethra, through the full length of the penile urethra.
Again, there are regularly recurring 0.8-second inter-contractile intervals. This specific interval lengthens after the first three or four contractions of the penile urethra in younger men.
Subjectively, the sensation is one of flow of a volume of warm fluid under pressure and emission of the seminal fluid bolus in ejaculatory spurts with pressure sufficient to expel fluid content distances of 12 to 24 inches beyond the urethral meatus.
As the male ages he develops many individual variants on the basic theme of the two-stage orgasmic experience described for the younger man. Usually his orgasmic experience encompasses a shorter time span.
There may not be even a recognizable first stage to the ejaculatory experience, so that an orgasmic experience without the stage of ejaculatory inevitability is quite a common occurrence.
Even with a recognizable first stage, there still may be marked variation in reaction pattern. Occasionally, the older man's phase of ejaculatory inevitability lasts but a second or two as opposed to the younger man's pattern ranging from 2 to 4 seconds.
In an older man's first-stage experience, there may be only one or two contractions of the prostate before involuntary initiation of the second stage, seminal-fluid expulsion.
Alternatively, the first stage of orgasmic experience may be held for as long as 5 to 7 seconds. Occasionally the prostate, instead of contracting within the regularly described pattern of 0.8-second intervals, develops a spastic contraction, creating subjectively the sense of ejaculatory inevitability.