The Men Obsessed With Perfecting A Porn-Style Money Shot

From urologists' offices to message boards, guys are seeking strange DIY solutions to enhance their ejaculations

(Illustration: Tara Jacoby)
Mar 31, 2016 at 1:53 PM ET

At least a couple times a month, Dr. Jesse Mills, a urologist at UCLA Medical Center, sees a healthy young man with a peculiar concern. The patient will sit in his office and explain that he’s worried about his ejaculate—specifically, that there isn’t nearly enough of it, or that it fails to shoot across the room.

There are legitimate medical conditions, such as an ejaculatory duct obstruction, that can lead to a decrease in ejaculate, but these guys are different. There is nothing medically wrong with their semen, and yet they are convinced that it’s a disaster. “It’s always compared to either pornography or the previous male partner of their current girlfriend,” Dr. Mills said. “The distortion of reality is becoming increasingly more common.”

Just last week, Mills saw a 30-year-old patient convinced that he had erectile dysfunction. He was a late-bloomer and starting his first real sexual relationship. “He could not understand why his ejaculate did not do what it was supposed to do,” said Mills, noting that most of this patient’s sexual life had been limited to watching porn. “It took me fifteen minutes to talk him off the ledge and tell him what he’s experiencing is absolutely normal.”

I called Mills after talking to a male friend who recently went to the urologist. He reported back that during his visit the doctor made a joke that he ought to make an app to measure semen volume and velocity. The urologist said he fields so many questions on the topic, that there’s clearly a need for a service to tell men that their semen is perfectly normal.

This is by no means a phenomenon seen by all urologists—in fact, I spoke with a few who had never encountered these concerns—but it’s one easily found in the experiences of experts and across our culture. From online message boards to questions fielded by sex experts, there is no shortage of examples of men saying their semen is inadequate—and that they want to come like a porn star.

There is some actual research on what constitutes normal ejaculation. Approximate average semen volume is 3.7 mL per ejaculation, according to the World Health Organization. That’s around three-quarters of a teaspoon. Of course, the volume of semen does not directly correlate with fertility; a man could have a high volume of ejaculate containing very little sperm, and vice versa. As for distance, that’s something that was measured by the infamous Alfred Kinsey, who rounded up 300 men and filmed them ejaculating. He found that in three-quarters of the men the semen is “not carried more than a minute distance,” while in the rest, “the semen may be propelled for a matter of some inches, or a foot or two, or even as far as five or six (or rarely eight) feet.”

Zhana Vrangalova, a sex researcher and adjunct professor at New York University, does daily Q&As on the live video streaming app Periscope and says one of the most common questions she gets from men is about their ejaculate—or, as she puts it, “How do I increase my cum load?” On her show, this question is right up there with “Does penis size matter?” and “How much masturbation is too much masturbation?” In fact, ejaculate queries are so common, she conducted a poll of her viewers and found that 60 percent of men compared to 17 percent of women thought ejaculate volume mattered. “So yes, men seem pretty obsessed with what my female viewers are saying is completely unimportant to them,” she said.

This obsession plays out in several forums where men swap tips on how to increase their “loads” using everything from zinc to celery, the purported secret of porn star Peter North, who is famous for his prodigious ejaculations. On 4chan, a male user tested various supplements and recorded the impact on his ejaculate in a popular post heralded as the “Holy Grail of Cum Load Increase.” Home remedies are also a topic of discussion on Reddit and the notorious misogynistic Roosh V forum, where one guy detailed his preferred method, writing that if you drink lots of water and give “a few days to build up” you can “drown a bish.”

On the site, a user writes, “For all you brahs who want to blast like Peter North, there is a way.” He goes on to list a series of supplements that will make women “see you as more virile.” As much as porn is a theme in these conversations, so too is masculinity and dominance—take user MuckSnapper who writes, “That feeling when you want to blast a hoe and end up dribbling on her pelvis like a beta cuck,” referring to an inferior, cuckolded man. In some corners of the internet, large ejaculations are referred to as “ropes”—as in, “It’s been a dream of mine to be able to shoot ropes of cum all over the wife.”

Several companies and blogs have targeted this market with pills containing things like pumpkin seed, “horny goat weed” and vitamin E. Their advertisements associate large ejaculate volume with both emulating porn and demonstrating masculine power and virility. “Nothing crowns a super sex session like holding out a hard cock, and then shooting your cum all over a woman,” reads a post on “It lays down an indisputable marker, with the ultimate show of dominance and prowess.” Then there’s Semenax which has ads screaming in big, bold letters, “Want to finish like a PORNSTAR?” and Volume Pills, which promises, “Finish Like a Porn Star to Enjoy the Best Sex of Your Life, Guaranteed!”

The supplement jaculex even features an endorsement from porn performer Spencer Quest, “I never thought I could be in the porn business because I don’t normally shoot those porn-star loads. I discovered this product, have taken it during the filming of all of my movies, and I’m amazed at the results.” Peter North himself has endorsed the now-defunct brand Maximum Pills.

None of these pills are FDA approved, meaning their efficacy has never been proven. In terms of treatments that make medical sense, Dr. Mills recommends something much simpler. “Semen is a bodily fluid just like saliva, so making sure a guy is adequately hydrated is one of the things I recommend,” he said.

Derek Criddle, a 38-year-old from British Columbia runs, an online retailer for ejaculation enhancing drugs, with his wife, and says the most common question he gets from visitors is about how to obtain “impressive porn ejaculations.” He shared an email with Vocativ that he received from a man who wrote, “My girlfriend has recently admitted to me that she has a bit of a semen fetish. My ejaculate loads are sometimes satisfactory, but I can tell when I cumshot a small load that she is disappointed. I’ve checked her internet browsing history and she definitely likes to surf cumshot porn.” Recent Google search terms leading to his site include “how do porn stars shoot big loads,” “shoot cum like a porn star” and “porn star cumblast.”

It’s not necessarily the case the porn stars actually have more voluminous ejaculate, although there are certainly those who are known for it. By some accounts, porn performers sometimes use fake semen to exaggerate the money shot or to make a money shot when the actor can’t quite get there. Max Huhn created Magic Money Shot, a company that sells fake ejaculate in a jar, along with a pump system for dispensing it in a realistic way, to address the latter problem. Mostly, he sells to people within the porn industry, but he says a surprising number of customers come from outside of the industry—although, he’s not quite sure how they use it, exactly. “Several have asked if it’s ok to eat, so I guess it’s going in some mouths,” he wrote in an email.

Regardless of how the average man’s ejaculate compares to that of the average male performer, the fantasy life of porn only becomes a problem in the absence of comprehensive sex education. “Some men think that a massive amount of ejaculate, say two or three tablespoons, is normal—and when they don’t have that they think they have a problem,” said Mills, of men he sees in his urology practice. Tobias Kohler, a urologist at the SIU School of Medicine, said, “It’s surprising how often I have to give basic sexuality, human anatomy, physiology counseling.”

That’s not to mention, porn often portrays, rather than invents, cultural or even biological standards. “I think they probably associate it with masculinity and fertility,” said Kohler, who largely sees older men complaining that their ejaculate is less substantial and forceful than it used to be, which is a normal byproduct of aging. “That’s what the mainstream perception would be.”

Mills sees it similarly. “Men are insanely competitive about sexuality,” he said. “There’s some sort of mating evolution that is probably at play here that causes us to associate higher volume with better sexuality and better virility. This is just another form of psychological chest thumping that men go through.”