November 6, 2018
Among my forays into relentless self-experimentation, I have experienced many twists on sexual health-hacking.
High-intensity acoustic sound wave therapy blasting my crotch? Been there, done that – multiple times, in fact.
Digital penis pump? Own it.
Tantric sex? Yes, even the whole “reverse orgasm” thing.
Gas station dick pills? Embarrassingly, yes.
Red light therapy on the balls? A daily must at the office.
Platelet-rich plasma injections, since stem cells jammed into my penis just weren’t enough? Sure.
And to top things off: I went under full body sedation in 2018 for a complete stem cell full body makeover, complete with full cosmetic and sexual enhancement, including getting exosome-upgraded bone marrow stem cells from my own hips injected everywhere in my body – and I do mean everywhere.
Fact is, just like exercise, brain-training and eating plenty of plants, enhancing my sex and fertility is just another tool in my overall wellness and longevity toolbox, and in this article, you're going to discover exactly why.
Why Sex Is So Good For You
Pardon the expression, but I suspect your mind will be absolutely blown by the effect regularly getting busy with a partner can produce on seriously legit biological benefits that go far beyond orgasms or propagation of the human race, including:
#1: A stronger immune system: Researchers have discovered a direct correlation between sexual activity a few times a week and higher salivary levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody that helps fight infections and the common cold. In contrast, IgA levels were lowest in people who had no sex or lots of sex (more on excessive sex frequency later in this chapter).
#2: Less depression and stress. Contact with semen during intercourse actually acts as an antidepressant for women, regular intercourse makes blood pressure more resilient to stress, reduce overall psychological stress, and reduces plasma and salivary cortisol, while producing research-proven beneficial mental-health effects.
#3: Better brainpower. A study on rodents found that sexual activity increases neurons in the hippocampus, the section of the brain that stores memories. In addition, sex may also increase analytical thinking capabilities.
#4: Improved overall physical fitness. Depending on how you do the act, a half hour of sex can burn through close to 150 calories (that counts for at least a couple of those chocolate covered strawberries). By the way, the reverse is also true: frequent exercise has been shown to enhance sexual performance.
#5: Reduced pain. Oxytocin is the “trust hormone” that makes you want to snuggle up to your partner after sex, and it also reduces stress and promotes feelings of calm and wellbeing. In addition, sex causes a release of serotonin, endorphins, and phenylethylamine, which are all hormones that generate intense feelings of pleasure while at the same time killing pain. This is likely why studies have shown intercourse can stop migraines and lower the discomfort of arthritis.
#6: Improved sleep. Following an orgasm, and even during sex, the brain releases hormones including norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin, all of which can trigger lower sleep latency and higher deep sleep percentages. Men are especially likely to succumb to the sleep-inducing effects of sex because the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for interpreting and responding to new information, slows significantly in males after orgasm.
#7: Enhanced olfactory perception and smell. After sex, the body produces the hormone prolactin, which can generate new neurons in the olfactory bulb, which is the part of the brain that controls how you understand and react to smells.
#8: Anti-aging. Studies have shown that couples who had intercourse three or more times a week appeared on average ten years younger than their chronological age. Orgasms also trigger the release of estrogen in both men and women, which can improve hair and skin quality, making people look more attractive, too.
#9: Heart health. Studies show sex reduces the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease in men. Men who have sex once a month or less are 45% more likely to contract a cardiovascular disease than those who have more frequent sex, and evidence suggests that men with better overall health have higher libidos and therefore more sex overall, which creates a positive feedback loop that further builds a healthy cardiovascular system. Interestingly, results from most studies suggest that high frequency of sex is positively related to later risk of cardiovascular events for men but not women, whereas good sexual quality seems to protect women but not men from cardiovascular risk in later life.
#10: Stable periods. Scientists have found that women exposed to male sweat during sex are calmer and more relaxed. These women also experience smaller changes of levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), which controls the menstrual cycle. The stress-reducing effect of sex is another contributing factor in maintaining regular periods.
#11: Lower blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause erectile dysfunction in men and reduced arousal and ability to orgasm in women. But multiple studies show a link between low testosterone and high blood pressure, and the spikes in testosterone associated with sexual activity may actually help lower blood pressure in both men and women.
#12: Lower risk of prostate cancer. As you’ll discover in detail later in this article, there is a link between regular ejaculation and prostate health. Some studies suggest sex “flushes out” any carcinogens in the prostate gland. On the flip side, a recent study showed that very frequent sexual activity in young men (20s and early 30s) could actually increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. But frequent ejaculation in middle-aged or older (50+) men decreased disease risk. In other words, the verdict is still out on this one – and later in this article, I’ll cut through the confusion and address actual frequency of sex.
#13: Lowered pregnancy risk. Frequent sexual intercourse and exposure to semen can reduce the risk of a woman developing a serious pregnancy complication called preeclampsia, which can cause swollen extremities, headaches, nausea, and seizures. This is because a protein found in semen called HLG-A can regulate women’s immune systems and lower the possibility of experiencing preeclampsia.
#13: Enhanced sperm. Studies show that men who ejaculate daily for seven days have higher-quality sperm at the end of the week, and the sperm’s rate of DNA fragmentation drops from 34 to 26 percent, meaning it is more likely to fertilize an egg. This is likely because frequent ejaculation means that sperm spends less time in the testicular ducts and is less likely to be damaged over time.
I find it interesting that when overlapped, expressing and receiving the emotion of love and experiencing the physical act of sex builds just about every health base you need to cover, which makes frequently loving and making love one of the most powerful things you can do for your health and longevity.
How Much Sex Is Too Much?
Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking hour as a sex-obsessed maniac in the bedroom, the fancy hotel and the giant heart-shaped hot tub. It turns out there are actual philosophies and science that address how optimal health, longevity and sexual performance can be influenced by ejaculation or orgasm frequency. Admittedly, while teachings and research on frequency of orgasm in women are scant, there is plenty of theory and research in men.
For example, according to the eastern philosophy of Tao, there is a foundational sex guideline formulated over centuries and emphasized repeatedly in Taoist literature. The guideline is that a man must “preserve and retain his semen in order to enhance his strength, health and longevity”. The Taoist philosophy maintains that men who regulate their ejaculation to a minimum and retain their semen can grow strong and have a clearer mind. Men who practice this type of ejaculation control supposedly also maintain higher levels of testosterone, sperm and semen and will a more voracious sexual appetite.
Taoist theory also teaches that semen retention via reduced ejaculation frequency also strengthens the brain, claiming that the essential nutrients in semen and related hormones are all absorbed by the prostate when they don’t seep out elsewhere and that they can then enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body to nourish other tissues and organs, including the brain. Since semen and cerebrospinal fluids contain the same basic ingredients, preserving semen could theoretically nourish the brain by making more essential nutrients available to it.
These Taoist principles are built upon the premise that a human body is endowed with a limited supply of primordial energy (Ki!), and that your lifespan (including your sexual lifespan) is determined by both the rate at which this energy is used up and the quality of a lifestyle that does or does not replenish and strengthen that energy. Since a man's life force – which is also commonly referred to as his “jing” – is theoretically used up with each ejaculation, ejaculation frequency should be regulated to allow the body to be able to rebuild before the Ki or the jing is used up again through ejaculation.
So what does more modern medical evidence suggest? Studies do indeed show that men indeed experience a significant loss of zinc with each ejaculation, which is probably why eating foods high in zinc, such as pumpkin seeds, shellfish or (my favorite) black ant powder before or after sex is recommended. Long-term excessive ejaculation may actually cause chronic low zinc conditions, which can cause chronic fatigue, mental confusion and significant loss of sexual drive. Research published by the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health has found that after seven days of not ejaculating, men’s testosterone levels reached 145.7% of the baseline. There is also some evidence that when ejaculation frequency exceeds the capacity of the body to fully replenish semen, men can experience chronic fatigue, low resistance to stress, loss of sexual drive, loss of focus and irritability.
On the flipside, although a study published in the 2004 Journal of American Medical Association concluded that suggest that ejaculation frequency is not related to increased risk of prostate cancer, there are other studies, that suggest that frequent ejaculations may decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer. According to researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health, ejaculating at least 21 times a month may reduce a man’s prostate cancer risk. Of course, the question remains about whether increased ejaculations were performed by men who were healthier and thus had higher sexual activity due to better health, with absolutely no relation to ejaculation frequency.
Then there’s the testosterone component. There haven’t been any extremely compelling studies on sex frequency and testosterone correlation in young men. But one big observational study on 1226 older men (aged 70+) found that regular sex helped to diminish the decline in testosterone that occurs naturally with age. The study authors reported:
”We found a consistent association among older men followed over 2 years between the decline in sexual activity and desire, but not in erectile function, with a decrease in serum T. Although these observational findings cannot determine causality, the small magnitude of the decrease in serum T raises the hypothesis that reduced sexual function may reduce serum T rather than the reverse.”
One small study also found out that men having sex in a sex club had an average increase of 72% of salivary testosterone after sex (I am not endorsing sex club visitations as a staple in your sexual health routine, but just sayin’). Interestingly, men at the sex club who were only masturbating while watching sexual acts raised T only by 11%. The number of questions I have about how this study was logistically conducted are obviously numerous.
Another study showed that a short-term abstinence of sex for three weeks can slightly increase testosterone, and a follow-up study actually verified that – for testosterone increasing purposes – the optimal ejaculation frequency for men is about seven days. The study noted that on the seventh day of abstinence, there was a significant increase in testosterone production (146%). But too long a period of abstinence – over three months – can actually suppress testosterone production. Granted, there are other elements involved with frequency of sex, such as happiness, connection, longevity, prostate cancer risk, etc., but it does appear that for hormonal production purposes, having sex once a week (clarification: not masturbation, but sex with a human being) is a good frequency for elevating your testosterone production.
Then there’s the whole “no sex before a game” debate. When it comes to the sporting and competition component, many western and eastern athletic coaches advise their athletes to not ejaculate the same day prior to athletic competition as it is scientifically documented that testosterone levels might drop immediately after ejaculation and theoretically diminish athletic performance. One sexual performance anecdote, mainly derived from athletes, is that sex the previous day or even many days before competition somehow hinders performance.
But this topic has actually been researched and may not really make sense. For example, one study comparing the maximal effort on cycle ergometer found out that having sex two hours before performance slightly diminished recovery capacity, while having sex ten hours before the event had absolutely no effect on performance or recovery. Another study found that having sexual intercourse twelve hours prior to maximal treadmill effort didn’t produce any negative effects on performance.
But let’s say you do decide to experiment with ejaculation frequency. How can you, in practical terms, pull this off (excuse the pun)? The most common system is to simply limit ejaculation frequency to occur every few days. One popular theory among Tao practitioners is ejaculation based upon the frequency of intercourse, with ejaculation occurring only two or three times out of every 10 sexual encounters. One Tao theorist, Sun Simiao, recommends ejaculation no more than once every 20 days for men over 50 and no more than once every 100 days for men over 60. Another Tao theorist suggests ejaculation frequency should be regulated according to the seasons with recommended ejaculations during spring of no more than every three days, twice a month in summer and fall, and not at all during the cold of winter! Many men I know, including Pedram Shojal, author of The Art Of Stopping Time, practice reduced ejaculation frequency as a lifestyle and recommends the following frequency:
-20s: all you want
-60+: once a week depending on health
From a practical standpoint, you “injaculate” rather than ejaculate by squeezing the same muscles you’d squeeze if you were trying to stop the flow of urine, while “breathing the energy” up your spine. And if you get too close? Jam your fingers and apply pressure into your perineum, the soft tissue between your scrotum and your anus. The book “The Multiorgasmic Man” is how I learned this tactic, and is an excellent read if you’d like to learn more.
But it’s much harder than you can possibly imagine to finish a good romp in the bedroom without blowing your load. Call me a weakling, but I lasted about a month attempting sex without ejaculation when I personally experimented with reduced ejaculation frequency. It’s difficult enough for a busy father of twins to find a quiet love-making moment with his wife. When those times arise, I don’t want to hold anything back. Cookie Monster’s balls were never so blue, but patience can be a virtue. But the beauty of this tactic for you male readers is that it’s free, aside from the tranquilizers you might need to keep from transforming into a pent-up, angry, moody, aggressive, blue-balled man on those days you decide to have sex but not ejaculate. After having sex frequently without ejaculating, I felt as though someone handed me a double espresso, especially when it was a morning romp. I have a lot more energy during my midday workout. At night though? I miss that cuddly, post-sex, oxytocin-induced coma. I feel like I need to take a sedative to get to sleep post-intercourse on those non-ejaculation days.
So ultimately, the decision of how frequently you’re going to ejaculate is up to you, but I personally find that in an era of loneliness, internet addiction and the reduced personal interactions you discovered in the last chapter, most human beings need to be having more sex, not less. This means that if you’re going to experiment with reduced ejaculation frequency, it’s important to understand that it does not mean less physical interaction or even less sex. It simply means that you may want to think twice before you blow your load every time.
Interestingly, things are a bit different for women. Although women do indeed ejaculate, there isn’t much research on frequency of ejaculation in women. However, there is research on frequency of vaginal intercouse. Specifically, women who have more sex (specifically once per week or more) have better mental health and higher levels of emotional satisfaction, higher heart rate variability, lower resting heart rate, lower levels of the inflammatory markers homecysteine and CRP and lower risk of mortality. Unlike men, neither being sexually active nor frequency of sex is significantly related to women’s cardiovascular risks, but the majority of data suggests that the more sex a woman has (within reason), the better.
One Potent Sexual Biohack
Finally, I'd like to finish with the one potent sexual biohack I promised. I'm often asked, of all the protocols I've used to enhanced sexual performance, which was the most immediately noticeable, without necessarily requiring fringe injections and thousands of dollars worth of stem cell therapy. Hands down, it would be the GAINSWave® protocol, which I've talked about in multiple podcasts, including my recent episode with Dr. Judson Brandeis “The Best Sexual Biohacks, Can Vasectomies Decrease Testosterone, Foods & Supplements For Boosting Nitric Oxide & Much More.” and also with Dr. Amy Killen and Susan Bratton “Sexual Biohacking With Scream Creams, Testosterone Replacement, Multiple Orgasms, Vaginal Stimulating Devices, Salad Dressings For Better Erections & More!”
Contrary to what most men and women think, the GAINSWave treatment does not just involve “getting one's genital shocked”, just as a yoga practice is technically not just “stretching”, but instead an entire mind and body supporting system. Sure, the actual science behind the GAINSWave technology involves something called low-intensity shockwave therapy. Shockwave therapy has existed in modern medicine for decades and has primarily been used as a treatment for lipoatrophy (localized loss of fat tissue) and to break up kidney stones using high-frequency acoustic waves.
About fifteen years ago, researchers in Europe realized that by using lower intensity acoustic pulse waves, they could also apply these same waves to the penis without damaging the skin or organs. Based on this trendy breakthrough of kidney doctors blasting their gonads with sound waves, physicians were eventually able to treat erectile dysfunction at its root source: poor blood flow.
When the acoustic pulse waves are applied to the penis (or the vagina), they supposedly break up micro plaque and also create a micro-inflammatory process that releases nitric oxide, a vasodilator and the same chemical induced via the consumption of stuff like Viagra or Cialis. Over the course of eight to twelve weeks after the procedure, new blood vessels in the genitals are supposed to grow, a process known as “neovascularization.”
Scientific studies suggest that this therapy might be more effective than other treatments, including medications and really expensive penis pumps. But thanks to the overcrowding of the sexual performance industry by pharmaceutical and supplement companies, there were no standardized protocols, machines, or training programs until the folks at GAINSWave designed their patented method of bringing this technology to the masses. As a bonus, these same shockwaves also may supposedly “wake-up” dormant stem cells in the penis, leading to improved erectile function and enhanced tissue growth. In other words, GAINSWave therapy may also increase the size of the penis.
In addition to the 20-minute GAINSWave acoustic sound wave therapy session you experience when you visit one of their medical clinics for a treatment, the protocol also involves:
-Going home with a penis pump (or if you're a woman, a clitoral pump as discussed in this podcast).
A pump is a great way to “exercise” your organ at home and keep the blood flowing. The pumps draw blood into the penis, making it swell, and allowing more blood to flow through the revitalized vessels. Ideally, you use it once or twice a day for 10 minutes.
-Eating low-carb, nitric oxide boosting foods.
Increased nitric oxide production allows blood, oxygen and nutrients to travel to every part of the body effectively. A limited capacity to produce nitric oxide is linked to diabetes, heart disease and, of course, decreased sexual performance and ED.
A few examples of low-carb, nitric oxide boosting food include:
- Dark Chocolate (raw cacao)
L-citrulline: L-citrulline is highly recommended by the folks at GAINSWave. It is an amino acid that changes into L-arginine, which is then converted into nitric oxide to help blood vessels relax, thus boosting circulation.
AFFIRM: AFFIRM, which I discussed in this podcast, is a nitric oxide boosting supplement that contains L-citrulline, Red Beet Extract, Muira Puama and Asian Ginseng. It has been shown that the combination of AFFIRM and GAINSWave significantly improves erectile function. The combination of AFFIRM, GAINSWave treatment and PDE-5 inhibitors like generic Viagra and Cialis (this is called “Triple Therapy”) is considered to be the gold-standard protocol, but obviously to get Viagra and Cialis you'll need a prescription from the GAINSWave clinic you visit. You can get Affirm from AffirmScience.com with code BENG for a 20% discount.
-Adding a PRP shot (optional)
To complement the GAINSWave treatment, some men may opt for either stem cells or a PRP shot. PRP involves harvesting the patient’s growth factors located in the platelets and injecting the purified platelets into the genitals to help repair and rejuvenate the blood vessels. Stem cells can be isolated from your fat or bone marrow or can be purified from an external source such as umbilical cord blood or placenta. Umbilical stem cells tend to be more expensive and usually reserved for those with severe ED. However, any of these options can be introduced after the “micro-trauma” caused by GAINSWave and enhance the treatment due to a release of growth factors and cytokines.
While undergoing GAINSwave treatment, high intake of anti-inflammatories should be avoided, especially NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Aspirin, etc.) and steroids like Prednisone. These reduce the inflammation that is required to build new blood vessels.
You can find more information about GAINSWave here.
So that's it! If you want more resources on testosterone, sex, GAINSWave or any other related topics, here are a few of my recent posts and podcasts for you:
Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for me about sex frequency, sex tips or sex biohacks? Leave your comments below and I will reply!
12 thoughts on “Why Sex Is So Good For You, How Much Sex Is Too Much & One Potent Sexual Biohack.”
Hi Ben, great article.
Could you provide more resources on the reduced ejaculation frequency practised by most men you know (including Pedram Shojai)? Would love to figure out an ideal ejaculation frequency for myself?
I would love to see research done on the taoist old viewpoint in contrast to western daily lifes possibilities –
From where im standing, its looking like its about ojas building, and that in old taoist days people were poorer, the way a westener is able to live today would not have been done by most back then, but moreso by the really rich or royalty…
So if i sustain myself mainly on wild whole local animals and berries, paired with longevity herbs and foods like cacao, coconut, and adaptogenic herbs – from all over the world… My conclusion is that life force is built much faster. Guessing this is why you Ben does not seem as interested in holding it… – with all you practice, ojas mightb e built much much more efficiently than any daoist monk ever was able to pull off…
Actually late this summer at age 27 i woke up having ejaculated for the first time in my sleep without waking – after having consumed a hell of a lot of berries and honey for days testing mimicking what i would find in nature alone in my surroundings, as main feed.
Possibly a ridiculous amount of life force consumed there, leading to an overload my body had not experienced before…
How the fudge would one perform studies on this though… ?
Hi Ben, I recently read your article on the shockwave therapy that you had at the GAINSWave clinic back in 2017 and wondered if you’d noticed long-lasting/permanent beneficial effects from the treatment or whether it was really just relatively short term (I think you mentioned you returned to normal after about a month (although I know you didn’t have a problem in the first place!))? The reason I ask is I was wondering if a course of shockwave therapy could permanently fix erectile dysfunction long term or whether it is something that is just short/medium term and you would have to keep on having treatment?! Thanks
I would reach out to the folks at Gainswave so they can gather more information about your unique situation. You're right though, the effects lasted a little over a month, so you would definitely need a course of treatments… How many though, I can't really say. BenGreenfieldFitness.com/ben-recommends/anti-aging/gainswave/
You mentioned Dr. Joel Kaplan’s penis pump. While doing some internet research on him I see his company was written up by the FDA which gives me concern about the legitimacy of his products. Are you pleased with the pump and feel it does make a difference.
Seems to work fine, but I tend to not get too caught up with all the FDA controversies. ;)
Hey Ben, has it been long enough got you to see how much of a difference going through the procedure with Dr. Killen, the penis injection thing with all the goodies in it? Also the difference on your joints, I’m putting the money together to have knees and elbows and Amy B. Killen it thing also.
What about those of us who’ve never had a really high libido or garnered any satisfaction from sex or masturbation? I’m not even interested in any form of relationship and love living alone. I’ve had my fill after 16 years of marriage and have pretty much lived as a monk for for past 25 plus years. What concerns me is my overall health from not having any interest in sex or sexual relationships. On a scale of one to ten most of the time it’s a minus 4. I find the whole act repulsive and a waste time and energy. Porn does nothing for me and really never did. Wet dreams are a thing of the past. They just don’t happen anymore. I don’t think my brain works like most of my friends. I want a high testosterone level for overall health, longevity and muscle mass and I think I’ve achieved that through following the basics you recommend (sleep, diet, exercise, etc.). The studies show that masturbation isn’t sex and it’s effects on the endocrine system are not the same with the only benefits being “maybe” aiding in prostate health. I don’t and have zero inclination and haven’t masturbated for over 20 years. I think there are many like me. I’ve encountered a few. Is living a sex free life going to negative impact my overall health and longevity? The research I’ve encountered so far is very inconclusive.
I discuss the concept of reproductive usefulness (refer to #12) in this article about increasing longevity. https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/ancestral-habits…
What kind of hacks do you have for increasing fertility? Overall sperm quantity and quality? Joovv light be an option?
There is a supplement called Proxeed Plus with carnitine which has been scientifically show to improve sperm quantity and quality.
Judson Brandeis MD
Check out this article! https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/biohacking-your-…