This may seem like a strange and hopefully not too provocative question, but many people who have gone paleo report having better libidos. Obviously one's libido is effected in part by one's hormone balance which we know is effected by food/sleep/exercise/etc. My question is, does the frequency of orgasm also effect one's hormone balance and is there an optimal frequency for maintaining a "youthful" hormonal profile? The answer may not be the same for men and women. For example, I know in Traditional Chinese Medicine, frequent ejaculation is considered bad for men because it weakens their kidney chi. Some men are able to separate orgasm from ejaculation in order to get the obvious benefit without the negative. I think this isn't considered a problem for women in that system.
By the way, I am not trying to be pointlessly provocative. This whole move to Primal/Paleo has me thinking about everything in life in a fresh way. I have always enjoyed myself frequently and have also always been mistaken for someone much younger than I actually am. This is also true for the handful of other people,men and women, I know who have shared this personal information with me. Is there any cause and effect? Maybe it's just the stress relief? Does cortisol lower immediately with release? I am curious what you think.
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"I think more than orgasm frequency having an effect on hormonal balance, is hormonal balance having an effect on orgasm frequency." I agree, well said
It has been shown, unequivocally, that mens serum testosterone levels will shoot up significantly by watching erotic movies or pictures. this has also been demonstrated to happen when speaking or interacting with new or attractive women and the morning after sex with a partner (well above the normal am peak). based on this, I think it inescapable that orgasm frequency (from sex) would have a pretty significant impact on a males hormones. I can't say with confidence but it probably holds some level of truth for masturbation too. sorry gals but I haven't read anything on how orgasms might effect your hormones.
Long term abstinence (~8-12 weeks has been shown to significantly lower testosterone levels in men. the only study I've seen that shows an increase in T is one where men abstained for 8 days (maybe more) the T levels didnt change until the 7th day where they were significantly elevated, on the 8th day the T levels rapidly fell back to baseline or a bit below due to negative feedback suppression of Leutenizing hormone.
Sex is good. Sex feels great. Sex is healthy. Sex will positively effect your hormones.
you might be interested in this paragraph from a recent post I did from here.
"What else might we consider to do? T2D have metabolic inefficiencies from their disease, and this implies low intracellular magnesium levels, low DHEA levels, and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is strongly associated in the gut with altered production of Vitamin K2 from our gut flora. Exogenous vitamin K2 can help people with insulin resistance, menopause, peri-menopause, and andropause. We can also use vitamin K2 to sensitize them to insulin helps further. In artificial light environments we find alterations in the gut flora because it become simplified. Simplified means lower shear numbers of bacteria and decreased species of bacteria. When this happens as we mentioned in Brain Gut 9, we dont not make enough vitamin K2 from our gut flora.
This often will increase their androgen levels too. Often times, it may give them their lost libido back too. One of the clinical signs I ask about in these cases is the ease and power of their orgasms. This usually shocks people initially. Then when they think about it, they realize that their libido and sexual performance has also lost its power and luster too. When this axis is reengineered, women often report they seem to climax easier. They also the depth of the experience of orgasm is back to when they were young. In MJ???s guest blog (BG-10), this discussion caught her totally by surprise. I told her and Danielle that a good orgasm is like great exercise, because hormonally, sex and exercise do the same things to our brain. They increase the anti-oxidant protection of our brain to ROS from any cause! The duration and intensity is the only major difference in this case. Oxytocin is the second most powerful anti-oxidant in the brain and lowers inflammation and makes neurons more reduced chemically as we see in normal sleep. Recently, I have noticed more older women asking about exercise induced orgasms done during abdominal crunches on a ???Captain???s Chair??? machine at their gyms. They seem to be experiencing them more often now and are wondering if it is pathologic or normal. The response I give is that it means their hormones are approaching what they were when the 17-25 years old and that is a great clinical sign their circadian cycles are becoming entrained back to normal once again. It is hard to get a women to this point who is not doing a lot of this right, but it can be done with persistence and the knowledge of the clinician. There is a cite below that discusses this phenomena. It not a mirage. It is a clinical sign a women is re emerging back to optimal. This is how ???Stella found her groove??? again."
Part of my question was about apparent youthfulness. Has anyone noticed markers of youthfulness, like clear bright eyes, good skin, overall vibrancy in people (maybe themselves) whom they know enjoy themselves frequently? And conversely, older characteristics in those whom they know never do? Granted, people might not do it much if they were sick or depresse,d which would greatly hinder their likelihood of passing as someone much younger, but let's throw those cases out.
I think it has some effect, but not a lot. I think more than orgasm frequency having an effect on hormonal balance, is hormonal balance having an effect on orgasm frequency. You can certainly alter your hormones temporarily through abstinence or otherwise, but you won't change your body's natural patterns or homeostasis.
For example, I notice significantly more vitality when I abstain for several weeks. I enjoy greater concentration, energy, social lubrication, general well-being. But I don't think it makes me a more virile person, just more virile in the moment.
'Traditional Chinese Medicine' is just that, traditional. Chinese tradition is not superior to European tradition, just different.
Anyone who attempted to practice 'Traditional European Medicine' would (rightly) end up in jail. Traditional concepts like 'balancing humours,' and the matching 'signatures' to illnesses, have long been disproved and given up in practice.
Chinese medicine has no tradition of critical assesment. Traditions were passed down without question. Thus China banned 'traditional' medicine until Mao chose to revive it in the 1960s.
A good place to start homework: http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/acu.html
Take it from someone who hasn't had an orgasm with someone else in the room for quite a while (sigh).....and from someone who was so stressed out and unhappy in her job/life that it ultimately led to estrogen dominance...
Here's what I think:
If you're having sex regularly (or even, um, "taking matters into your own hands," if ya know what I mean) and achieving orgasm, then it stands to reason that your stress levels might be a little lower. (You're a little more relaxed b/c you've been gettin' some...even if it's by yourself...you still get some of those feel-good chemicals.) If your stress levels are a little lower, you're likely preventing what they call the pregnenolone steal -- where so much of your pregnenolone goes toward making cortisol to keep up with all the stress and it gets siphoned away from making the other things pregnenolone ultimately leads to -- estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
The interesting thing for me is the causality -- are your hormones better balanced because of the orgasms, or is your libido better because of balanced hormones, which makes you want to have sex/orgasms more often? Which leads to which? I don't know, but I suspect it can be both, depending on a person's individual situation.
Overall, as a general, sweeping observation, I think it all works together. Better physical health, better psychological health, better/more positive/optimistic moods, better libido, more self-confidence, increased desire for sex -- just being healthier, feeling more alive, and more vibrant ALTOGETHER.
Edited to add: after reading cbucker's answer, I think my answer applies more to sex with a partner than by oneself. Part of what makes people feel better and have all those happy little butterfly feelings is the excitement/warmth/whatever of being with someone else - someone who loves you and whom you love. It'd be interesting to see if there is any difference wrt masturbation vs sex with a partner, or even regular sex in the context of a loving relationship vs, say, an "escort service" or something.
I think that is a great question! Not a clue about the answer, but I'd be willing to experiment a little to see if it balances out my hormones, lol.
Joking aside though, without oversharing, I can tell you that my hormones are way out of wack. They have been for most of my twenties (29, now). They have gotten worse over the last few years and there might be an interesting correlation between my, ahem sex life. The hubs and I have two toddlers and zero energy for sex. I think I may just try it out more and see what happens!
Not really. I looked at this at one point, since the question of orgasm/masturbation and acne comes up often. Basically abstinence increases testosterone levels, which makes the person want to.. errr.. participate in sexual activities. Increase in T levels plateaus at day 7. Orgasm and ejaculation drops T levels back to pre-abstinence lavels.
I only looked at T and not other hormones. And only in males. I have no idea about women.
Looks like I remembered this wrong. I just checked the source again. It seems T levels peak at day 7 of abstinence, but there was no significant change to T levels on days 2 to 5. Here's the study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12506329