Submitted by gjnooka5 on
Printer-friendly version

Hello everyone, this is my first-ever post. I have questions and comments about two things. I would very much appreciate anyone's experiences or clarifications regarding either, even if it is stuff you've already said. Here I'll describe my first musing, which regards.....

Masturbation without Orgasm/Rebooting: I've done as much research as anyone could on this subject and I've raised more questions than I've answered. When attempting to completely abstain from orgasm (something I've been attempting for years), this has always been game over for me. Not because I can't will myself to stop before orgasm, but because it only intensifies the urges. It's pointed out on this website that the brain probably notes something very valuable happening and then pushes you to "finish the job." This seems plausible to me because if I leave the realm of complete abstinence from orgasm and ALL sexual stimulation and stimulate myself, even if I stop before orgasm my mind has a hellish time shutting out the images I fantasize about, and my motivation evaporates for days.

With that being said my question is this: What is happening at a neurochemical level when one masturbates without orgasm, and how does it affect the hangover cycle? I feel safe in saying that dopamine surges but does not spike the way it would during an orgasm. I do not think that prolactin plays any part. Any of you who have masturbated without orgasm know that it doesn't leave you feeling satisfied. Can anybody make any additions that would answer my question more completely? Knowledge is power in the struggle for abstinence. Not knowing how you've affected your effort is, for me, about as bad as losing the fight and orgasming.

If rebooting the brain means allowing it to return to a state where it rewards us properly for human connection and interaction, it seems implausible to me that masturbation without orgasm doesn't throw a wrench in the process. After days or weeks of abstinence, the feeling you get from "having fun for awhile" is still, I think, enough to make the brain say "Hmmm, this is easier than social interaction." I bet that at the very least it prolongs the reboot.

Again, I would thoroughly appreciate anybody's further questions, comments, or ravings. I'll post my second musing soon. Thank you all.

If and when I do masturbate,

If and when I do masturbate, I take it slow and enjoy the experience. Focus is on nothing, and in a complete meditative state. If I start it, stop it, I am likely to experience the problem of being charged up and blueballs once in awhile arise.

I have a feeling there is also more of a threat to interaction than masturbation, it is all this technology today. Regardless, I never felt much difference toward people, simply had more sexual energy to put in other places.

~If you never have to chase, then you have already won the race.

I don't masturbate

but this topic is near to my heart for it is where I live. First of all I am a man that suffers from hangover effects that result from orgasm. As I have advanced in age my refractory period has increased so it takes longer to recharge my batteries and return to a state of “readiness” where I am really “hungry” for sex again. I also happen to be married to a very intensely sexual woman whose libido and drive are much higher than mine under normal conditions. Although we found inventive ways to be compatible “in the bedroom” I have struggled (in the past) to keep up with her. I always marveled at how she was easily multi-orgasmic while orgasm basically knocked me out of commission for some time. We established a satisfying sex life together in spite of the differences in libido but I spent considerable time seeking ways to make it even better. Investigation of sacred sex practices led me to the Tantric practice of continence, where the man retains his semen during the sex act to preserve his vital “energy.”

I read ancient text about men consciously withholding semen during the sex act and actively managing scores of concubines and having full sexual congress with woman after woman and bringing each to orgasm again and again and finishing at a higher energy state than he started. This appealed to me as I was always wiped out after sex and the thought of finishing at a high energy state was intriguing. I experimented with this and found it worked great for me. No more post orgasm hangover and I found that I was really able to savor the buildup of energy/endorphin rise and the incredible sensations of joining with my lovely wife. Orgasm was no longer the sole motivator for having sex. And don’t think because I began actively avoiding orgasm that I was depriving myself of the “pleasure.” Not the case at all.

As I understand it a man’s dopamine levels rise steadily from the point of initial arousal and get higher and higher the closer he gets to orgasm. This is nature’s way to insure the man continues until the semen is released. If the release is delayed, the body instinctively increases the concentration of pleasure endorphins relentlessly in the pursuit of the orgasm. If orgasm is denied, but stimulation is maintained to keep the man just under the semen release point you can trick the body into producing and discharging more of the pleasure endorphins than are ever normally released during an ejaculatory orgasm. Once the serum levels of these pleasure endorphins reach a certain saturation threshold a state of euphoria takes place that can be described as a “whole body experience” or “Tantric Waves of Bliss”, etc. These “whole body orgasms” are as delicious as “burst orgasms” (for me anyways) and I found I wanted this more than I wanted to have an ejaculatory orgasm. There was just more pleasure in it for me. Far more pleasure than I ever got from a few seconds of male “burst pattern” orgasm with none of the bad biochemical after effects. Better for me and better for my wife as I no longer experienced any “down time” and was easily able to meet her head on in the bedroom. I maintain my “hunger” for my wife and sharing this much pleasure has created a much stronger bond between us. I will state that my journey to get to the point I was able to experience this was over the course of some years with lots of introspection and increasing awareness of self. I will gladly expand upon this if there is interest.

Another key element in creating the environment where the “tantric waves of bliss” are possible is actively avoiding orgasm and the resulting Prolacin spike and down regulation effects for a long enough period of time for the body to reset itself and allow your dopamine receptors to return to their natural state of sensitivity so a given amount of dopamine has the maximum effect and you perceive this as more pleasurable.

Perhaps Marina or Gary could give their take on this as advocates of Karezza – even though one actively avoids orgasm during this practice how far should you /do you push the envelope up the arousal scale? And does this more relaxed approach to sex without the goal of orgasm take advantage of the increased sensitivity of dopamine receptors so that even with less rise in dopamine the perceived “pleasure” is greater than one would expect? Could you push for a “Tantric” type of experience during Karezza to maximize the pleasure? It would seem to me this would be best one could hope for as you could have your cake and eat it too – extract the full measure of “pleasure” from the experience while avoiding the negative effects of orgasm/extreme endorphin cycling and the resulting disconnect it causes. Anyone have thoughts on this?

Interested in more info

[quote=Virgil]These “whole body orgasms” are as delicious as “burst orgasms” (for me anyways) and I found I wanted this more than I wanted to have an ejaculatory orgasm. There was just more pleasure in it for me. Far more pleasure than I ever got from a few seconds of male “burst pattern” orgasm with none of the bad biochemical after effects. Better for me and better for my wife as I no longer experienced any “down time” and was easily able to meet her head on in the bedroom. I maintain my “hunger” for my wife and sharing this much pleasure has created a much stronger bond between us. I will state that my journey to get to the point I was able to experience this was over the course of some years with lots of introspection and increasing awareness of self. I will gladly expand upon this if there is interest.
[/quote]

I'm interested in learning more of your experience in this area. I tried once following the practices in "The Multi-Orgasmic Man" but I never really did get the concept. It didn't work and I have up after a while and just tossed the book out. What you describe certainly sounds intriguing!

If you don't have a partner,

have a look at these solo practices from various traditions. They may help you find a workable middle ground.

Solo Practices
http://www.reuniting.info/node/3299

It's not easy to figure out what balance means for you, but persistence pays. As for your specific questions, I doubt the answers are "one size fits all," so you'd still have to do your own experiments.

What are you doing to ease your mind in terms of exercise, meditation, friendly interaction, time in nature, etc?

I've done this

but in a different way than Virgil, and perhaps for different reasons. And a different approach. In that I've often brought myself to the edge, but there is a state I can get in where I do expel some semen, but I don't have the full orgasm. Sometimes I can keep it close to this state for several minutes. So I'm not retaining the semen, necessarily, but I am retaining the orgasm, refraining from going over the edge and causing the big dopamine spike and drop and prolactin spike after orgasm.

It doesn't seem these experiences cause any big crash. Usually I can still stimulate myself and feel good for a long time, even after semen has come out, as long as I don't go beyond the point of no return.

As to the question of it making me only desire it more, I suppose it a way it does. But I think there are two sides of it in my experience that may mitigate that. One, I've always enjoyed the trip up as much, if not more, than the actual orgasmic blast. And related to that, I used to do a form of "male multiple orgasms" which are really taking the lower-level orgasmic feelings and expanding on those to get some intense waves of orgasmic pleasure, getting no where near a point of no return. I think both of those factors give me motivation to want to not hit orgasm because then its over. Fun time is shut down and I have to wait. When I'm ready for that, in the past, then I would let 'er rip. But this past month of June I've done this nearly every day yet only slipped into full ejaculatory orgasm twice (not counting the intentional time and the one day of sex with my wife). So most of the month I did this but didn't have an orgasm.

Where I'm at is I am content to have these feelings. I think of it in terms that its either this or nothing at all if I want to avoid orgasm. So I'm happy and content with enjoying these intense feelings. Yes, they make me want to go all the way. Sometimes I find it hard to get to a good stopping spot. But if I've been doing it for, say, 30 minutes, I'm usually getting a bit tired and ready to let it rest. So then I just enjoy the feelings I get and be content with that, without demanding that I must have it all the way.

And, if you want to quit but you have a hard time keeping your hands off, what works for me when I'm ready to stop is even if I continue to stimulate it, I start doing other things while I'm doing that. Like in the mornings, I'll make the bed, read some email, get my clothes laid out, etc. I find even if I'm doing some good stimulation, if my mind is having to focus on something else, it becomes real hard for me to maintain an erection or get much feeling. Doing that for a bit you'll tend to drop the stimulation and focus on other things. Then I don't really notice the urging desire within me to go until I burst!

dapmine vs endorphins

Virgil, Marnia, Cole, GJ,

This is an amazing thread. Can anyone shed some light on the differences/similarities with endorphins and dopamine? Might Virgil's method be the best of all worlds? The endorphin rush without the hangover. This seems to make sense from a Mother Nature standpoint: If we don't ejaculate, "she" will want us to stay hungry and attracted to our partner.

David

Endorphins

are a subclass of the body's own opioids. They are apparently a key part of feeling pleasure, reward and satisfaction. But the dopamine and endorphins interact in very complex ways. It's apparent that as the brain returns to normal sensitivity, subtler pleasures can register as very satisfying. Why struggle for pleasure? Smile

can you speak

specifically to Virgil's description? I understand what he is saying--and certainly believe him. I would just like a different description to help me understand better.

Perhaps it's something we humans still don't fully understand. But I think Virgil might have the right idea.

Actually,

I don't know any more. My sense is that any time there's lots of heat...with or without orgasm...there's lots of dopamine flying around. On the other hand, loving feelings and affection help counteract any ill-effects from high dopamine in everyone....but in some of us more than others. (We still notice a subtle hangover, for example.)

On the other hand, descriptions of the valley orgasm seem to be based on lots of endorphins (or other opioids) flying around, and certainly a healthy level of dopamine (there is no attraction between mates without some dopamine, too).

Remember this article? http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/neotaoism_and_karezza There's more than one way to feel pleasure.

I certainly agree with you that sexual satiety can dull partners' desire for each other, and that we can fool mother nature by learning a practice like karezza.

Your last sentence was most helpful

"I certainly agree with you that sexual satiety can dull partners' desire for each other, and that we can fool mother nature by learning a practice like karezza."

I think Virgil and you are right. By witholding the final ejaculation, Nature thinks we aren't done and keeps ramping up the pleasure so that we DO finish. If we can stick to Karezza, we will reap huge rewards. Let's just say we aren't fooling Mother Nature....but working with her gifts rather than against them.

Thanks Marnia. Your note was very helpful--as usual.

David