How Do Orgasms Affect Erectile Dysfunction And Libido?
By Johnathan P Cumberwell
Have you ever gotten super tired and sluggish after having an orgasm? Most men do. And have you ever had several orgasms in one day? If so, what happened?
If you are like most men, your sex drive would have plummeted, and it would have been much more difficult to get (and keep) erections.
Because these frequent orgasms flush away your sexual energy.
Frequent Orgasms Can Cause ED And Libido Problems
A healthy body builds up desire for sex, or libido, throughout the day and night. This build-up goes on non-stop as long as there are no crucial imbalances (nutritional, hormonal, etc.) in your body.
At the same time, you have probably experienced that libido normally also fluctuates, even during the same day. Sometimes it’s high, sometimes it’s low.
Why is that?
And your libido will typically increase when your body and mind are in balance.
Also, the low-point of your libido normally occurs right after you have had an orgasm.
Because at this point, your sexual desires have been satisfied and your body has now completed its reproductive task. At least for now.
As a result, there is normally no, or very little, libido remaining immediately after the orgasm.
The same also goes for your ability to get erections: After having an orgasm, it will normally be more difficult to get erecions.
But the most interesting ‘orgasm chemical’ is probably a hormone called prolactin.
Because immediately after you have an orgasm, your brain is flushed with prolactin.
This flush changes things very quickly. Prolactin promptly brings you back to planet earth.
Prolactin puts the euphoria of the orgasm to an abrupt end, and makes any desire for further sex vanish. Then sluggishness and tiredness normally kick in.
You now enter what is called the refractory period. This is a period where you are typically unable to enjoy further sexual stimulation.
From this point, your body again restarts the process of building your libido. This process will continue until the next time you have an orgasm.
The same goes for your ability to get erections. Right after an orgasm, it’s typically impossible to ‘get it up’. But this too, will improve.
What do you think happens if you have orgasms more often than your body’s natural ability to recover?
If you do this, you deplete and exhaust your sexual energy. Your libido may disappear and you may struggle with erectile dysfunction.
Then what is the right frequency? How often can you have an orgasm and still perform?
Read on and I will tell you.
My Experience With Limiting Orgasms
I was no exception. As a young adult and in my early 20’s, I masturbated or had sex almost every day. And I normally ended it with an orgasm.
Even when I felt sexually exhausted, I still did this, because the craving for the orgasm was so incredibly strong.
I therefore often exhausted myself sexually, and sometimes ended up completely depleted.
This was one of the key reasons why I started struggling with erectile dysfunction.
Too many orgasms..
I then noticed that after having an orgasm, it normally took me at least a day, but often several days, before I was interested in sex again.
And my erections were also practically non-existent during the same period.
This was new. It didn’t use to be like this.
Then I learned something that ended up having a big impact on my life:
I learned about the practice of limiting the frequency of orgasms. I discovered that there were men who practiced this in order to keep their bodies full of sexual energy.
This practice claimed that by limiting orgasms, not only should one be able to increase one’s libido and get stronger erections, but one should also get more energy and feel more alive.
By the way, at this point I struggled with severe erectile dysfunction and my libido was practically dead.
Although I was very skeptical at first, I was still curious and wanted to give it a go. I went for it.
It was difficult to practice. Because I had become almost addicted to the pleasures of orgasms.
The effects were astonishing!
After a little more than a week of abstinence, I started having firmer morning erections.
Then my libido got stronger as the days went by. I could feel I became sexually charged.
And then if I though about sex, I would sometimes get erections. Then my erections came more and more frequently.
My erections also became firmer and lasted for longer.
As more days passed, my libido got more and more intense.
This was simply a game-changer!
I had gained a piece of amazing knowledge: By abstaining from having orgasms, I built up a super strong sex drive. And my erections came back.
What did I do with this knowledge?
I started practicing: For a long time, I completely stopped having orgasms.
However, total abstinence is difficult, if not impossible. And I don’t practice total abstinence today.
But I have learned that when I limit my orgasm to once every 4-6 weeks, I can continuously remain full of sexual energy.
And this is what I still maintain today: Once every 4-6 weeks.
By now, I have done this for many years. I love how it keeps me fully charged. Full of energy.
And you know what else is amazing about this?
My libido rebuilds very quickly after I have an orgasm.
Meaning that the very next day after the orgasm, I again have a strong sex drive.
In addition, by having these orgasms less frequently, the anti-climax I used to experience after an orgasm, has also become less severe.
Hence, I rarely ever feel fatigued or exhausted after an orgasm.
So to summarize:
For me, the practice of limiting my orgasms has been a great technique 1) to keep my libido super high, and 2) to significantly reduce any occurrence of erectile dysfunction.
But wait! You think abstinence from orgasms means abstinence from sex?
Quite the opposite.
Fewer Orgasms Doesn’t Mean Less Sex
You now desire more sex. You are ready for sex. And you may therefore take more initiative to sex.
As a result, you will probably have more sex.
But what is the best way to accomplish this? How do you have sex and at the same time abstain from having orgasms?
It’s actually very simple.
Let me explain.
How To Have Sex Without Having Orgasms
Here is what I do:
When I have sex, I simply slow down the thrusting when I come close to the point of the orgasm.
I make sure I slow down enough, or even stop for a little (depending on how intense it is), so that I don’t cross the point of no return.
After a few seconds, when the intense sensations have subsided a little, I restart the thrusting.
And when I again get close to the orgasm, I slow down (or stop).
And so on and so on.
This way, I can have sex without having an orgasm.
What are the benefits of this?
Firstly, I can continue the sex for practically as long as I want. Sex doesn’t have to be a 5-minute activity. It can be a 45-minute activity.
Secondly, since I don’t climax, I can go again. I can take a short break and then have sex again. Then again an hour later. Then again in a few hours. Meaning, I don’t need downtime to recharge my batteries.
Thirdly, I find this sex super enjoyable. Because I get to spend a lot of time very close to the climax.
And staying in this zone (close to the climax), is for me extremely pleasant.
The only downside is that I don’t get to experience orgasms very often. But that is totally OK by me.
My Accidental Discovery
I discovered something very interesting a few years ago. By complete accident. And this discovery has made the process of limiting my orgasms significantly more manageable.
This is what happened:
I was enjoying sex, and I was slowing down right before the orgasm, as usual.
I got too close to the orgasm before I stopped the stimulation. I didn’t stop in time!
So I ended up ejaculating.
But I didn’t have an orgasm!
This was incredibly strange. I actually ejaculated a full load without having an orgasm!
And the super interesting discovery was:
I could continue having sex!
If I were to have a normal orgasm, my penis would have been too sensitive and it would have been impossible to continue.
But this time, I ejaculated and I could still continue the sex. What a novel experience!
Although it did come with a slight loss of sensation. Meaning, sex was still awesome, it was just slightly less awesome. Perhaps by 10-15% or so.
I have now learned how to separate the two (orgasm and ejaculation).
This is how I do it:
When I have sex, I thrust until I get very, very close to the point where I have an orgasm. I then slow down.
Then when I get even closer, I slow down even more. I continue until I get as close to the orgasm as possible, without triggering the orgasm.
Then I stop.
If I can get close enough, I am able to ejaculate without having an orgasm.
The objective is to get so close that my body triggers the release of sperm, but not the orgasm.
It may seem complicated, but with training, this technique actually becomes very easy to master.
How is it possible to continue having sex after ejaculating?
Because ejaculating does not trigger the same release of prolactin as an orgasm does.
You therefore don’t experience the same level of fatigue, discomfort and loss of libido.
So why do I sometimes practice this technique?
One reason is to flush away a little bit of libido. Sometimes it can be good to let go of a little steam, particularly if my libido gets too strong.
Another reason is that it also helps avoiding vasocongestion (or “blueballs”). This can happen when I don’t ejaculate during intense sexual stimulation.
And lastly, sometimes the woman (or man) you are with wants you to ejaculate. This technique is a good way to accomplish this.
You know what? One day I went 100 days without having an orgasm. Let me share the story.
My 100 Day Experiment
During this experiment, I did have sex. But I did not climax.
What happened to me during these 100 days was mighty interesting..
Let me first say that it was difficult. It was hard not to enjoy an orgasm for such a long time. Particularly towards the end. But I made it.
After a few weeks, my libido became incredibly intense. It got to the point where I seriously thought about having sex with every woman I saw.
In the streets, at the office, on the subway. Everywhere.
I thought about sex way too often. And I got firm erections when I thought about sex. I was basically non-stop horny.
My nocturnal erections were also incredibly persistent.
But something else interesting happened as well. Of a non-sexual nature.
My energy levels went sky-high. My mental focus became razor sharp. I felt incredibly alive and present. And my confidence was almost bulletproof. I felt fantastic.
I also woke up earlier in the morning. It seemed as if I needed less sleep.
It was such an interesting experience. It was like my body and mind really enjoyed sexual abstinence.
And then came the big day. Day number 100. When I finally let myself have an orgasm.
Wow – it was just amazing! I was shaking. Probably on par with the first orgasm ever.
This experience begs a few interesting questions:
Why did I feel this increased level of energy? Why did I get a razor-sharp focus? Why did I feel more alive and why did I need less sleep?
I mean, I understand why my sex drive jumped. But why these other effects..?
One theory is that the more time that pass without having an orgasm, the more your genes push you to procreate.
Your genes are basically whispering: ‘Hi – it’s been too long since you tried to pass us on to a new body – do it now!’
And in order to push you towards procreating, you get more energy, become more confident, get a stronger libido, etc. As a result, you are more likely to find and impregnate a woman.
This exact same experience (getting more energy and confidence, and feeling more alive), is also what other men in nofap forums have had.
And by the way, this concept of limiting the frequency of orgasms, was not my discovery at all.
Limiting The Frequency Of Orgasms Was Not My Idea
This ‘retention of the semen’ is one of the basic principles of Taoist sexual practice.
Taoist sexual practice believes that men that have orgasms infrequently will grow strong, have a clearer mind, will have a stronger sexual appetite, will avoid premature ageing, diseases, and general fatigue.
Ayurveda, the practice of health and longevity which dates back thousands of years from ancient India, also has similar principles. It advocates that orgasms can deplete the body, and limit the energy levels you can achieve.
As do Tantric practices. People following Tantric principles advocate retention of sperm as not only a means for conserving energy, but also increasing sexual pleasure through having more sexual energy.
Tantric practitioners limit the frequency of orgasms in order to save and transform sexual energy into more refined energy, or transforming what is called Jing into Chi.
Scientific Support For Limiting Frequency Of Orgasms
For instance, in the brains of rats that have ejaculated frequently (sexually exhausted rats), scientists have measured the following changes:
As androgen receptor decline, the body is less able to use available testosterone. This will normally cause the body and mind to be less interested in, and less ready for, sex.
Estrogen receptors have also been found to increase gradually as individuals have more orgasms. More estrogen receptors normally means that the body will take up more estrogen.
As more estrogen is taken up, the estrogen / testosterone ratio gets out of balance, which causes testosterone to be less effective.
One study on humans demonstrated that abstinence from ejaculations caused an increase in testosterone. On the 7th day of abstinence, researchers measured a testosterone increase of 146%.
Another study on humans found that abstinence from sex and masturbation for 3 weeks, caused a slight increase in testosterone of men.
It is also reported that when ejaculation frequency exceeds the capacity of the body to fully replenish semen, men can experience chronic fatigue, loss of focus, irritability, etc.
In fact, the rate of human sperm production is among the lowest of all mammals, therefore frequent ejaculations will normally rapidly deplete available sperm.
According to one study, a young man who ejaculates every third day does not deplete sperm supplies. Meaning that ejaculating every third day will keep a young man ‘topped up’ with sperm.
However this ability changes with age, as older men produce less sperm. Therefore, for older men, the number of days between ejaculations will be significantly higher.
In a research study where men ejaculated an average of 2.4 times a day over ten days, their sperm output remained below pre-depletion levels for more than five months.
Therefore, short burst of ejaculating too frequently can also have long-lasting consequences.
Another study on humans have shown that the duration of abstinence had a statistically significant positive influence on sperm concentration and volume.
However, it also had a statistically significant negative influence on sperm motility and vitality.
My experience with limiting the frequency of orgasms has only been positive.
In fact, of all the ways I have changed my life in order to try to overcome erectile dysfunction and a weak libido, of all the experimentation I have done, of all the ways I have tried to listen to and tune into my body and mind..
..I would say that the most important change I have made, has been to limit the frequency of my orgasms.
Chang, J. The Tao of Love and Sex. Plume, 1977.
Chang, ST. The Tao of Sexology: The Book of Infinite Wisdom. Tao Longevity LLC, 1986.
Comar VA, Petersen CG, Mauri AL, Mattila M, Vagnini LD, Renzi, Petersen B, Nicoletti A, Dieamant F, Oliveira JBA, Baruffi RLR, Franco JG Jr. Influence of the abstinence period on human sperm quality: analysis of 2,458 semen samples. JBRA Assist Reprod. 2017 Dec 1; 21(4):306-312. DOI: 10.5935/1518-0557.20170052.
Coolen LM, Fitzgerald ME, Yu L, Lehman MN. Activation of mu opioid receptors in the medial preoptic area following copulation in male rats. Neuroscience. 2004; 124(1):11-21.
Cour F, Droupy S, Faix A, Methorst C, Giuliano F. Anatomy and physiology of sexuality. Prog Urol. 2013 Jul; 23(9):547-61. DOI: 10.1016/j.purol.2012.11.007.
Exton MS, Krüger TH, Bursch N, Haake P, Knapp W, Schedlowski M, Hartmann U. Endocrine response to masturbation-induced orgasm in healthy men following a 3-week sexual abstinence. World J Urol. 2001 Nov; 19(5):377-82.
Exton MS, Krüger TH, Koch M, Paulson E, Knapp W, Hartmann U, Schedlowski M. Coitus-induced orgasm stimulates prolactin secretion in healthy subjects. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2001 Apr; 26(3):287-94.
Fernández-Guasti A, Rodríguez-Manzo G. Pharmacological and physiological aspects of sexual exhaustion in male rats. Scand J Psychol. 2003 Jul; 44(3):257-63.
Freund M. Effect of frequency of emission on semen output and an estimate of daily sperm production in man. J Reprod Fertil October 1, 1963, 6 269-286. DOI: 10.1530/jrf.0.0060269.
Hull EM, Lorrain DS, Du J, Matuszewich L, Lumley LA, Putnam SK, Moses J. Hormone-neurotransmitter interactions in the control of sexual behavior. Behav Brain Res. 1999 Nov 1; 105(1):105-16.
Jiang M, Xin J, Zou Q, Shen JW. A research on the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men. J Zhejiang Univ Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr; 4(2):236-40.
Meston CM, Frohlich PF. The neurobiology of sexual function. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2000 Nov; 57(11):1012-30.
Motofei IG, Rowland DL. Neurophysiology of the ejaculatory process: developing perspectives. BJU Int. 2005 Dec; 96(9):1333-8.
Passie T, Hartmann U, Schneider U, Emrich HM, Krüger TH. Ecstasy (MDMA) mimics the post-orgasmic state: impairment of sexual drive and function during acute MDMA-effects may be due to increased prolactin secretion. Med Hypotheses. 2005; 64(5):899-903.
Phillips-Farfán BV, Fernández-Guasti A. Endocrine, neural and pharmacological aspects of sexual satiety in male rats. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2009 Mar; 33(3):442-55. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2008.11.003.
Phillips-Farfán BV, Lemus AE, Fernández-Guasti A. Increased estrogen receptor alpha immunoreactivity in the forebrain of sexually satiated rats. Horm Behav. 2007 Mar; 51(3):328-34.
Rodríguez-Manzo G, Asai M, Fernández-Guasti A. Evidence for changes in brain enkephalin contents associated to male rat sexual activity. Behav Brain Res. 2002 Apr 1; 131(1-2):47-55.
Romano-Torres M, Phillips-Farfán BV, Chavira R, Rodríguez-Manzo G, Fernández-Guasti A. Relationship between sexual satiety and brain androgen receptors. Neuroendocrinology. 2007; 85(1):16-26.
Stahl SM. The psychopharmacology of sex, Part 1: Neurotransmitters and the 3 phases of the human sexual response. J Clin Psychiatry. (2001)
Zettnersan, C. Taoist Bedroom Secrets, Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press, 2002.