The Biohacker’s Guide to Better Sex
By: Dave Asprey
Disclaimer: this article talks about sex, porn, orgasms, French maids, penis size, and about a dozen other things you probably don’t want your boss to see you reading. Proceed with caution.
Sex is one of the most powerful drives you have. It’s tough to hack it – but it’s also very satisfying. Depending on who you are, you can benefit from having more sex, from having less sex, from boosting your sex drive or from calming down an overactive libido.
This article will take you through the different approaches to improving your sex life, mastering your sex drive, and showing your how you can take your sex life to the next level.
Take a look at your libido
Your libido is your sex drive — how often you think about sex throughout the day. There are things that can make you lose interest in sex, like hormonal imbalances, aging, stress, medications, and more. If your drive is strong, it’s hard to fathom that something that’s always been there for you could be so fragile. If you have low libido, it’s hard to imagine reawakening your interest in sex.
Losing your sex drive isn’t a small matter. Everyone deserves a great sex life, for your own satisfaction and to keep your relationship strong. Sex is an integral part of being human.
Get off porn
The Internet is a wild and woolly place. A click of the mouse gives you access to millions of naked, improbably attractive people doing any sexual act you can imagine, no matter how crazy. And you can switch to a new person whenever you want.
That’s a lot of intense, rapid-fire sexual gratification. It’s also a lot of dopamine flooding into your brain — likely more than you can handle.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a huge role in addiction, and the problem is that your brain isn’t equipped to handle that kind of stimulation. It responds to porn much like it does to cocaine or alcohol – a big rush of pleasure, with diminishing returns over time. And as with addictive drugs, porn seems to cause tolerance. In a survey of 434 people, half of them eventually began watching porn they used to consider disgusting or unappealing. They turned to more intense scenarios to get aroused.
A good theory is that the more you watch porn, the more stimulation you need to turn you on. Seems likely – regular porn users have smaller, less responsive reward pathways, and a study found that 60% of men who watch porn regularly couldn’t get erect with a real partner, while they did with porn.
In other words: when you’re used to watching three French maids in a room together, the thought of sex with your partner may stop being enough to excite you. Quitting porn can reset your arousal and get you back in touch with real, intimate sex.
Not convinced that porn is that big a deal? Try ditching it for a month. It might be more difficult than you expect.
Focus on fun, not finishing
In an episode of Bulletproof Radio, Eli Block, lead orgasmic meditation instructor at OneTaste, talks about changing the way most people view sex.
“The standard expectation with sex is a beginning, middle, and (most prominently) an end: foreplay, penetration, and climax, with climax as the goal (ideally, according to this progression, for both partners),” he explains.
That formula has a couple shortcomings. The first is that it makes sex repetitive. You’re doing the same thing every time, which can become less and less rewarding. The second issue is setting climax as a goal. Focus on getting to the end, and you tend to miss out on the buildup. It also sets up an expectation, which means you can “fail” if you or your partner doesn’t get there. That’s a fast track to shame and performance anxiety problems that can last well beyond your session.
Taking away the goal of orgasm gets you out of your head. It frees you up to focus on the connection between you and your partner. With that comes more oxytocin, more bonding, more fulfilling sex, and more unpredictability. You go with what feels right, instead of a generic prescription for what sex “should be.” Each time is unique, and the sex itself becomes just as pleasurable as climaxing.
Drop your goals and enjoy the moment. It makes sex much better.
Boost your sex drive with maca
Maca is a Peruvian root that grows on the barren slopes of the Andes, where not much else can grow. Researchers still aren’t sure why maca works, but studies show that it’s a potent aphrodisiac.
In one study, researchers gave 57 men either 1.5g maca, 3g maca, or placebo daily. Participants in both maca groups reported heightened sexual desire.
Research in both men and women found that 3g of maca daily counters decreased libido from taking antidepressants. In men, maca also increases sperm count and motility and can reverse mild erectile dysfunction.
Always use gelatinized (cooked) maca. You have trouble digesting the raw version and won’t get the same benefits from it. Take 3g daily, blended into your morning coffee, or take an extract. Here’s a more in-depth look at maca.
You can get more information on maca root here.
Orgasm more, if you’re a woman
Good news, ladies: orgasms are great for your biology. They support your hormones and relieve stress. In an episode of Bulletproof Radio, guest Naomi Whittel says that women need to have 200 orgasms per year to be healthy.
Orgasm floods your system with estrogen and oxytocin. Oxytocin has earned the nickname “the love molecule” because it fosters social bonding, trust, relaxation, and generosity. A lot of that buzzy, warm afterglow you get with your partner post-sex is thanks to oxytocin.
Estrogen enhances oxytocin, too. The two work in synergy when you orgasm, creating a cocktail of feel-good bonding and relaxation. On top of that comes a drop in cortisol, which relieves even more stress, and an increase in serotonin, which boosts your mood.
Basically, if you’re a woman, orgasm supports your hormones and makes you happier. Lucky you.
Just for fun, here’s a guide to better orgasms.
Orgasm less if you’re a man, aka semen retention
Guys, we got the short end of the evolutionary stick here. Men get a much sharper increase in prolactin after ejaculating – that’s what extinguishes your drive and makes you want to take a nap post-sex. Men also get a larger post-ejaculatory dip in dopamine, which explains why a lot of us feel a little down or even depressed after the act.
Men benefit from ejaculating less, a practice known as semen retention. Not too fun from a pleasure standpoint, but it presents a powerful opportunity for biohacking.
Controlling how often you climax can also lead to unprecedented motivation. Back when I was doing one-on-one coaching, a client of mine made a deal with his wife that he wouldn’t ejaculate until he made $100,000 – a whole lot of money for him, at the time. He was $100,000 richer in under 30 days. His ambition and productivity went through the roof. He credits his success to abstaining.
I had a similar increase in motivation. I tried three different ejaculatory control experiments:
The Taoist equation
Ancient Chinese Taoism has an equation for “optimal sexual power:”
(Age – 7)/4 = X
Plug in your age. The number you get for X is the number of days you should go between ejaculations. A 39-year-old man, for example, would ejaculate every 8 days.
I followed this equation for several weeks, tracking my perceived quality of life and sex drive. Both were significantly higher when I was only climaxing every 8 days.
Ways to make ejaculatory control easier
- Heart rate variability training. Heart rate variability (HRV) training teaches you to consciously control your parasympathetic nervous system, which lets you regulate your fight-or-flight response. It’s a great way to control all of your impulses — anger, panic, and sexual gratification, and others.
- Join the NoFap community on Reddit. It’s full of people who are off porn and masturbation. There are also a lot of good stories about how people’s lives have changed when they limit their orgasms. There’s even a panic button add-on for your web browser that you can use to stay strong when the urge hits you.
The 30-day challenge
Go a full month without ejaculating. Have as much sex as you want, with yourself or with a partner. Just stop before you finish.
This one is extremely difficult to do. I also got the most noticeable benefits from it. I saw the highest increase in life satisfaction, my sex drive went through the roof, and I was phenomenally productive. I also got a LOT more attention from women, both my wife and otherwise, although I didn’t track it because I wasn’t expecting it.
30-day challenge: Monk Mode
Go a full month with no sexual stimulation at all. Don’t even touch it.
Abstinence for 3 weeks increases testosterone in healthy men . Which is good, considering average testosterone for us guys has been dropping by about 1% per year for the last 30 years. Sex (not orgasm) increases testosterone by up to 72%. Sex-related thoughts boost it too. I had a lot more of both when I abstained – my sex drive was off the charts.
Abstinence can also lead to greater life satisfaction and, oddly, more attention from women. No studies for these, but there is a lot of personal and anecdotal evidence.
The normal 30-day challenge is tough. This one is much, much harder. I don’t recommend it unless you’re looking for an exceptional test of willpower. With monk mode, I still got happier and more productive as the 30 days went on, but the increase was smaller than it was with the normal 30-day challenge. I also saw shrinkage. About 20%. Use it or lose it? Fortunately, the length came back when I started having sex again.
I don’t recommend Monk Mode if you’re in a relationship unless your partner wants to test his or her willpower, too. It’s not nice to force this kind of experiment on someone you love.
Or, go in the other direction: have more sex
Sex and the hormones that sex produces has loads of benefits. It improves things like:
- Brain function
- Heart heatlh
The list goes on. You can get the details on the benefits of sex here. Also, sex produces hormones that raise your libido naturally (sex begets sex) so you and your partner can do a 7-day sex challenge to fire up your engines.
The key to biohacking your sex life is knowing where you stand today. Is your sex drive too high? Do you have low libido? Would you benefit from extra time with your honey, or from flexing your willpower muscle? You have some tools to try out. See which ones improve your sex life and your everyday life.
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