I received this question and I thought of the readership of the RPM Forum(now at 165!).

“Are there benefits from not masturbating and abstaining from sex like masturbating without ejaculating?”
Thank you for your question. Abstaining from sex and masturbating without ejaculating are quite different. In the former, there is an absence of solo or paired sexual stimulation or a period of not exercising the brain-genitalia connection resulting in the loss of production of sexual energy, the endocrine response associated with sexual exercise, and the related psychological and physiological benefits. Masturbating without ejaculating is sexual continence. It has all the above mentioned benefits of sexual activity while retaining and absorbing semen: a veritable innate pharmacy constantly providing a most potent and pure supply of sugars, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, aminoacids, enzymes, and hormones direct into the bloodstream, reaching all parts of the body, but especially the brain, whose diet requires many ingredients shared by semen. 

On February 16, 2018 at 9:15 AM Charles Perry wrote:

Hi Dr. Kolb,

Are there benefits from not masturbating and abstaining from sex like masturbating without ejaculating?

Thanks,

 

sexual exhaustion is not a wacko tea party conspiracy

OK, I get it. When it comes to sex, clergy and tea party wackos are not reliable sources of expert advice; nevertheless, the issue of sexual exhaustion deserves serious, open-minded consideration. If you don’t invest much credence either in millennia of Taoist and Hindu transformational sexual doctrine, maybe some modern medical perspectives are worthwhile considering lest we fall into the abyss of ignorance-“Those that laugh at what they don’t know are on the road to becoming idiots.”, words of Victor Hugo.

Sexual exhaustion is often considered as a problem with over-ejaculation in men.  But engaging in too much sex or masturbation can also harm women. Much the same way sexual exhaustion can affect men it can also affect women. Exhaustion can impair our mental faculties as well as put a damper on our relationships while slowing our physical responsiveness, making us sluggish and weak. 

Excessive sex or masturbation can trigger a chronic elevation of prolactin and dopamine-norepinephrine/epinephrine conversion leading to pituitary-ovarian functional disorders and sexual exhaustion symptoms.  The side effects of female sexual exhaustion, like those of drug abuse, can induce inflammation of arteries, constricting blood flow to the brain.  Excessive sex or orgasm can exhaust the ovarian function and induce menstrual disorders as well as discharge the brain’s supply of acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. This results in nervous, liver, kidney, cardiovascular, and endocrine disorders.

The neuro-endocrine system, if over-discharged, won’t recharge by itself. Inflammatory byproducts will then damage or burn out numerous nervous cells, leading to some of the symptoms described. This state usually affects one’s hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-testicular axis. The production of vital androgen hormones, such as testosterone, DHEA, and DHT, plus the pituitary oxytocin become too low to support neuro-immune function. The inflammatory hormones – cortisol, prolactin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, being excessive, will disable one’s pituitary-testicular-ovarian axis for a few days, weeks, or in the severe cases, even months. This will lengthen the refraction time, leading to a chronic sexual exhaustion and strange inflammations.

Some sexual exhaustion symptoms include:

Memory loss – in the form of attention deficiency or/and losing memory, and mind concentration. This is caused primarily by a deficiency of the neurotransmitters serotonin and acetylcholine, responsible for  memory protection.

Headaches or migraines – due to excessive release of the inflammatory hormone prostaglandin E-2, accompanied with excessive dopamine-norepinephrine-epinephrine conversions in the brain (as a result of the exhausted the acetylcholine, serotonin and GABA nervous systems).

Tiredness and exhaustion – low levels of dopamine, and excessive prolactin to shut down the testicular function, leading to failure in the parasympathetic nervous recharging system.

Weakness in the muscles – due to deficiency of testosterone, DHEA, and DHT.

Parkinson’s symptoms (muscle tremors or twitching) – through acetylcholine and dopamine deficiency.

Low libido – through locked hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-testicular axis, high levels of prolactin, and deficiency of acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.

Depression and mood swings – due to unstable levels of all the vital neurotransmitters – acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, and GABA.

Sex and hair loss?

I received an interesting question regarding sex-edging orgasms and accelerated hair loss. Here is some info from the web:

There is a direct correlation between sexual activity and testosterone levels in the blood. However, the DHT and 5-alpha reductase levels have been shown to impact hair loss. 

1) A Hidden Factor in Elevation of 5-alpha Reductase Levels

It’s not a high serum DHT that contributes to hair loss–no! It is an elevated 5-alpha reductase level. In fact just to be clear, research shows that a high blood level of DHT is inversely correlated to balding. However, a high 5-alpha reductase level can increase DHT in local tissues, and that appears to be the factor in hair loss. Getting that important discussion out of the way, there are many hidden reasons why the enzyme 5-alpha reductase increases. Sometimes it is a result of medication, other times it could be thyroid problem and/or an endocrine system problem. http://longevitypost.com/a-hidden-factor-in-elevation-of-5-alpha-reductase-levels/

2) Hair Loss & Low Testosterone | LIVESTRONG.COM

Hair loss may occur through several mechanisms, however the only form related to testosterone levels is known as androgenetic alopecia. A hereditary disorder characterized by thinning of scalp hair, androgenetic alopecia occurs in both men and women through an androgen mediated mechanism. While this syndrome is technically a low testosterone state, in fact the body is experiencing high androgen levels due to the mechanism of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a metabolite of testosterone with potent androgenic effects

Hair Physiology

In a healthy hair follicle, circulating DHT binds androgen receptors located on hair follicles. DHT has a potent effect on these receptors, directly inhibiting the growth of the hair follicle. This occurs in normal individuals, allowing accurate control of the hair growth cycle.

Hair Loss Pathogenesis

Circulating testosterone is converted peripherally to DHT by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Patients with elevated 5-alpha reductase levels may develop a high DHT/low testosterone state. Pathologic hair loss occurs when the individual’s DHT reaches levels at which the inhibitory effects outweigh the stimulatory forces on the hair follicle. Therefore, while low testosterone is associated with hair loss, the pathologic mechanism occurs via the elevated DHT levels. This results in progressively shorter, less pigmented hair production, which ultimately presents as hair thinning and loss. (http://www.livestrong.com/article/302151-hair-loss-low-testosterone/)

3) Does oragasm or having sex or sexual activity increase DHT which cause hairloss? Doctor Answers, Tips

There is no correlation between sexual activity and DHT levels, so you can certainly feel free to have a very active sex life and any degree of male pattern hair loss that you will experience is… SHOW MORE genetically determined and other than the addition of Finasteride, topical nutrient serum shampoos, low-level light therapy, plasma rich protein and the amount of recession and thinning that you experience will be genetically

Ways to ratchet up sexual energy

There are those times every month when I get hot flashes. I’m not talking about those uncomfortable body temperature spikes often attributable to menopause which I, as a sexagenarian, fortunately do not experience. No, in this case I’m referring to feeling downright randy and prone to impromptu episodes of ‘backstroke roulette’. So while my hands were dutifully employed, my mind got to pondering about some of my favorite ways to ratchet up sexual energy during solo and paired trysts.

I often use fantasy during my masturbatory practices as ‘kindling’ to ignite the inner sexual fire that will sustain my eroticism and energy for the time that pleases me. The mind is our foremost erogenous zone, limitless in terms of conjuring the most titillating sexual ambiences. Once my sexual energy is peaking, I then like to get into a ‘sensate focus’ mode where I’m very focused on the flow of sexual energy in the sacral region as well as throughout my body, ideal for ‘edging orgasms’. For some of my longer solo sexercises, I can periodically conjure any sort of erotic fantasy to quickly and effectively rev up my energy to ‘red-lining’ levels…ooohhh, it hurts so good!

Massaging the scrotum also has the effect of upping the flow of sexual energy in the sacral region, especially in the erect, blood-engorged phallus. Yep, massaging the testicles actually increases blood circulation in the genitals, boosts testosterone and sex drive, and improves erection quality. I often keep one hand working my testicles while the other is gallivanting on my erection, a wonderful ‘tag team’ arrangement making for sublime edging.

Of course, there are powerful pelvic thrusts well known to increase the vigor of sexual activity and an effective means to bodily communicate an excited libido. Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson were legendary pelvic provocateurs, the former often caused fits of steamy carnal euphoria among his raging audiences. Even babies as young as 8 to 10 months of age are known to be prolific hipsters whereby they show affection and initiate innate sexual behaviors while clinging and nuzzling to a parent, then thrusting and rotating the pelvis for several seconds.

Like fantasy and scrotal massage, I use pelvic thrusts to leverage more sexual energy and rapidly get to the threshold of spasm, ideal for edging and channeling sexual energy. Betty and Carlin have prolifically counselled about the benefits of Kegel and pelvic floor exercises to enhance sexual function and pleasure. While researching how pelvic thrusts increase sexual energy, I found a Qi Gong perspective that elaborates how pelvic thrusts promote sexual, nervous, and certain organs’ health.

The Benefits

(http://www.acupuncture-and-chinese-medicine.com/pelvic-thrust.html)

  • Stimulates and stretches the nerve fibers in the sacral region, thereby stimulating secretions of sexual essence in testicles, ovaries, prostate, and other sacral glands.
  • Limbers and tones the vertebrae and nerves of the lower spine, which regulate sexual functions.
  • Stimulates kidney and bladder organ energies. Draws blood and energy into the sacrum, thereby enhancing sexual energy.
  • Encourages energy to rise up from the leg channels to the perineum which triggers conversion of sexual essence into sexual energy.

Or if you prefer a more contemporary approach, SpongeBob SquarePants has this advice:
“First go like this, spin around – stop! Double-take three times… one, two, three. Then… pelvic thrust! Woo! Woo! Now it’s time to bring it around town. Bring it around town!”

Sexual satisfaction and pleasure: different bedfellows?

Fabiola, a Bodysex instructor from Mexico posted a wonderful question to Betty and Carlin: Do you consider sexual satisfaction and sexual pleasure to be different constructs, and why?

Querida Fabiola, Thanks for a wonderful inquiry looking at satisfaction and pleasure. One can view satisfaction as meeting or exceeding expectations. For example, I sit down and relax to start an RPM (my acronym for Rejuvenating Power of Masturbation) session which I expect to last a certain time and allow me to edge orgasms while feeling invigorated and euphoric. If I fulfill my expectations, I feel satisfied. And the exercise is highly pleasurable, meaning that my stimulated body produces hormones and sexual energy that register in the pleasure receptors of my brain which my mind interprets as pure delight. Ergo, satisfaction tips more on the cognitive scale while pleasure relies a lot on innate body and mind responses.

Intimacy before an athletic event

Greetings Courtney(reporter for Bustle Magazine), I’m Dr. William Kolbe, author of “The Rejuvenating Power of Masturbation” (www.therpom.com ). First, let’s come to terms with ‘intimacy’ which I refer to as solo and paired sexual activity. That having been said, let’s also look at intimacy in terms of its process and finale. Solo and paired sex produces marvelous responses in the body: increased heartbeat and respiration, stimulation of the entire nervous system(neuromuscular energy flows throughout the body producing feelings of bliss, well-being, and euphoria), and stimulation of the endocrine system( the stimulated pituitary sends target hormones to the thyroid, adrenals, and sex glands). The pituitary, our master endocrine gland, ‘mandates’ the sex glands to step up production of our sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, which are vital for the function and integrity of our muscular, skeletal, and cardiovascular systems. Therefore, intimacy before an athletic event can be a performance enhancer; however, there is a caveat. Full body orgasms accompanied by ejaculation(especially for males) is a high energy-consuming event requiring a substantial refractory period to replenish both the lost fluids and the expended energy. However, by edging orgasms, that is repeatedly getting to the threshold of spasm but holding back, one can become invigorated and vitalized capitalizing on stimulated nervous, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems. Incidentally, martial artists can enhance both the force of their punches and their resistance to physical blows by using the latter technique, often mentioned in Qi-gong literature as Wai Dan and Nei Dan.

Solo Tantric Sex

I had the opportunity to interview with a researcher investigating Tantric Sex and want to share some excerpts with you. I am also elated to have recently organized several groups dedicated to bringing together people and engaging in open conversation about the transformative and generative potentials of our sexuality. I’ll keep you posted…

What is tantric sex? Tantra is a sanskrit word meaning ‘an expansion of consciousness’. Tantric sex, solo and paired, involves prolonged sexual excitation with sincere reverence for one’s partner and one’s self leading to heightened states of sensual pleasure and euphoria often culminating in ecstasy and enlightenment. In Tantric sex, the goal is not necessarily the ‘full body orgasm’, but instead, an enhanced nurturing of sexual energy flowing throughout the body which can be accomplished by ‘edging orgasms’- getting to the threshold of full body orgasms but not going beyond. 

Why do you think there’s a rise in tantric sex all of a sudden? People are becoming aware that there is much more to our sexuality than its reproductive and gratification functions. There is now available information spanning ancient Taoist-Hindu-Yoga sexual doctrine and modern medical information that highlights sex’s transformative and generative functions.

Who is tantric sex good for? Tantric sex is good for everyone, of all ages(following full sexual development), of all sexual orientations. Tantric sex has the power to connect people, solo and paired, in a timeless state of euphoria and ecstasy thus creating an enriched state of well-being that always accompanies us. Tantric sex is one of the best exercises available to stimulate our brain, our endocrine system, and our overall nervous system. Of great importance is how Tantric sex stimulates the sex glands to produce our important sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, responsible for maintaining healthy our memory, bones, muscles, and brains.

How can you get your partner into it? Finding and sharing the appropriate literature with a clear and practical approach to enjoying and appreciating our solo and paired sexuality is an important step. Masturbation with edging orgasms is helpful allowing people to explore their own sexuality, learn orgasmic control, and ultimately become better lovers with themselves and their partners. 

Thanks for the info, Bila

I want to learn more, especially about solo techniques.  With my limited knowledge and practice I have found masturbating to be very valuable to my health and recovery.  For sure it gives me more energy and less pain.  Any day that starts with a half hour or more of masturbating is bound to be a good day.  Even better when I can do it outside.

Specifically, I want to learn more about distributing the energy from my penis to the rest of my body.  Edging feels nice, but it seems to concentrate the energy into the “about to ejaculate” feeling.  Sometimes I can kind of pull the energy into my abdomen or up my spine but not consistently.  What is the tantric method of doing that?

Greetings Rick, First, I would suggest you get a copy of my book(available on my website) which goes into great detail about channeling sexual energy through the coccyx, up the spine, into the head, and through the major chakras which are linked to our 7 major endocrine glands-pituitary, pineal, thyroid, thymus, adrenals, pancreas, and sex glands. In the meantime, here’s the gist:

1-      Stimulate yourself to the point where you feel sexual energy has filled your engorged penis, basically at the edge or threshold of spasm.

2-      Massage/squeeze your right testicle, do repeated sphincter contractions, and pull the sexual energy to the coccyx. Visualize this.

3-      From the coccyx, visualize and feel the energy as you pull it up the spine arriving at your head while still doing sphincter contractions and testicle squeezes. Then, pause for a moment and enjoy the feeling of the sexual energy in your head and throughout your body.

4-      Then go back to stimulating yourself to fill your reservoir with sexual energy. Take your time, enjoy…

5-      Repeat step 1, then for step 2 massage your left testicle, steps 3, 4  are the same.

There are mantra or mental vocalizations that can accompany each of these steps. As you bring the energy down from the head to the chakras there are also mantras to mentally vocalize as you visualize the energy reaching each one of these areas. My advice is to first work with drawing the energy from your genitals and consciously channeling it up to your head. Get comfortable with this and then you might want to explore working with your chakras(although your body naturally does this when sexually stimulated- the pituitary sends target hormones to the thyroid, adrenals, and sex glands).

Things are beautiful if you love them

America’s premier advice columnist, Dear Abby, received a letter from a distraught young woman. While going through her fiancée’s iPhone she stumbled upon some gay porn sites. Concerned about her beau’s sexual identity and gravely worried about their upcoming nuptial, she posed Abby with the question whether viewing gay porn classified ‘Mr. Maybe’ as a closet homosexual or a reasonable facsimile thereof. Abby referred her inquiry to Larry Flynt and a psychologist. The creator of Penthouse ruled that the likelihood was great her fiancée did indeed have covert homosexual tendencies. The ‘shrink’ suggested people can fantasize about same sex dalliances but that does not necessarily bear any impact on their sexual orientation. I think both of these responses undeniably carry some truth; nevertheless, they lacked some fundamental perspectives on sex, beauty, and love.

Without getting into the right-to-privacy and homophobic arguments reeking in Ms. Concerned’s letter, I’d first like to share what I learned from a good friend as to what is basic understanding about anyone’s sexuality/sexual orientation-identity. At heart, it is a function of who we love as our significant other, lifelong companion, or spouse. Pretty simple. This works for me. I’ve been married thirty-seven years to a woman I want to be with for eternity. I am eternally grateful to the benevolence of the Universe for putting me on this trail to the discovery of Love. I have come to believe that Love is the greatest source of power, goodwill, transcendence, harmony, healing, well-being, empathy, sexuality…I’m panting out of breath listing Love’s attributes.

Now Beauty. We find beauty in a birdsong, the Golden Mean built into the dimensions of the Parthenon, autumnal foliage, ideal human physiques, joyful smiles, genitalia, breastfeeding mothers…we are hard-wired to be awestruck by the infinite manifestations of aesthetics. This goes beyond our cognitions, even our emotions take some time to catch up to our initial response to first contact with the archetypes of le beau ideal. The allure of beauty opens the doorway to our hearts. Saint Augustine stated, “For love is the beauty of the soul.”

No matter our viewpoint on the pros and cons of porn, among many of its performers are those with gorgeous bodies, living Greek statues of divine proportions that excite our amygdala. Beauty transcends sexual orientation. Beauty should not be stigmatized or charged with exclusivity. Beauty can be enjoyed by everyone. Males should not fear being vilified for admiring muscular, ripped, well-hung studs in any type of sexual enterprise. The same goes for women mesmerized by viewing sexual divas explicitly exercising their sensuality in the company of others or alone.

Since Abby didn’t seek my advice, I’ll recommend the following to Ms. Concerned: whereas your fiancée watches porn, he probably enjoys masturbating. And, since he likes masturbating, there’s a good chance he nurtures a generous portion of self-love. I’m guessing he even likes to look at and admire his own manhood. He might even have a name for him. And there’s nothing wrong with admiring or fantasizing about other people’s beautiful genitalia. On the contrary, your beau is quite lucky to be unscathed by the vitriol of homophobes and dogmatic catechisms. You are fortunate for having the opportunity to let Love clean away the murk of fear and perversion from your soul. Things are beautiful if you love them (Jean Anouilh). Love the cock! Love the vulva!

Rudolph was a girl

Rudolph was a Girl

 

This month’s issue of National Geographic had a myth-busting revelation: that our beloved Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer must be female given that the caribou of North America and the reindeer of Eurasia are the only deer species in which both sexes grow antlers.

However, by November or December, antler equality undergoes a dramatic change. Once the cows are pregnant, adult bulls’ testosterone levels drop, their antlers fall off, and their behavior changes. No longer is there a need to aggressively drive off other bulls in rut to jealously defend their harems. Not so with the cows who keep their imperious racks until birthing time in April or May. Nonpregnant cows drop their racks a few weeks earlier.

You might wonder where I’m going with this. Campaign for changing the three him to her in the famous song lyrics? Create a new cause-celeb for why Rudolph should ‘go down in history’? Admonish Coach Comet for ostracizing Rudolph from the reindeer games? Or, for the staunch chauvinists, keep Rudolph male but dump the antlers? Well, what really struck me were some parallels between how sex hormones affect behavior and bone health in reindeer and humans.

Pregnant women often experience heightened libido via the action of increased sex hormone production resulting in larger and more sensitive breasts as well as an engorged and more sensitive vulva. Following giving birth, many women can experience a loss of desire or even an aversion to having sex that can last for months. A shift in sex hormone production is an accomplice culprit here. For the bulls, best beware lest they try to snuggle up to a pregnant cow endowed with a sturdy rack.

Sex hormone (testosterone) levels in adult bulls and men skyrocket during courtship rituals where facing competition elicits stinginess, dominant-aggressive, and antisocial behavior. But once fatherhood is realized, these take a precipitous fall and testosterone shows its more benevolent prosocial, protective, and generous sides. Family men also see testosterone take a back seat to oxytocin, the love hormone enabling social bonding/monogamy, trust, and generosity. This hormone helps fathers remain lovestruck with their partners and mothers bond with their infants.

Underscoring all these behavioral changes choreographed by sex hormones is how important these hormones are to our bones, and in the case of caribou and reindeer, their antlers. For me, Rudolph’s postpartum shedding of her rack serves as a compelling analogy for what happens to men and women when their sex hormone production goes awry such as in the case of menopause and osteoporosis. Skeletons become brittle as the amount of bone declines because removal of old bone exceeds formation of new bone.

Of course, where we humans have one up on the caribou and reindeer is our ability to freely engage in sex beyond its reproductive function and willingly benefit from its gratification and generative potentials. Keeping up production of sex hormones helps keep our bones stronger longer. Other hormones from the thyroid, the parathyroid, the pituitary, and the brain also control levels of calcium in the blood, energy levels, and ability to grow. Healthy bones need the correct levels of all of these hormones.

So let’s heed Rudolph’s example as a resolution for 2016: a robust sex life for a healthy rack!

Erectile Dysfunction Linked to Cardiovascular Complications and Premature Mortality

Emerging investigative work has shown erectile dysfunction (ED) to be an important risk factor linked to contracting cardiovascular disease and suffering premature mortality. I am not sharing this tidbit of recent medical research in order to scare the nearly 50+% of  US male baby boomers and older men who suffer from partial to complete ED into believing that their future is prescribed with gloom and doom. On the contrary, news of this nature is meant to serve as an affirmation of how important proper maintenance and exercise of our genitalia are to our overall health and longevity especially as we trek into our fifties and beyond.

The 2015 USA study appearing in The Journal of Sexual Medicine involved 1,790 adult men ranging in ages from 20 to 85. During the eight year investigation, 244 of the 557 having ED deceased leading the researchers to conclude that those with ED had a 70% increased risk of premature all-cause mortality compared to those without ED. A comparably designed 2013 Australian study with 123,775 men came to a similar conclusion. Nevertheless, it is no surprise that men in their later (70+) years normally show higher indices of both ED and all-cause mortality. While there was an evident statistical correlation between the two, even so, reporting such an outright causality is highly suspect. Studies of this type do not take into account factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, lifestyle, environment, etc. that obviously impact sexual health and longevity.  Better heed these studies as a warning rather than a death sentence. The researchers concluded that “patients with ED should be screened and possibly treated for complications that may increase the risk of premature death.”

I believe appropriate approaches to remedy ED and the related health complications should go beyond screening and treatments, both of these constrained to dealing with the effects while often neglecting the causes. It is time we liberate ourselves from the limiting notions and conditioning that ignorantly assign only reproduction, urination, and gratification to our marvelous phalluses. It is time we dedicate research, education, and practice to exploring the generative and transformative potentials accessible from a robust and knowledgeable sex life over our lifetimes. It is time we get a ‘handle’ on ED via curative self-help techniques and accessible therapies designed without incurring the use of injurious drugs and pharmaceuticals. It is time men realize that to stop having erections and sexual activity, whether due to dysfunction or disinterest, can be a step toward reducing the quality, length, and enjoyment of their lives.