Is there a difference between withholding orgasm & witholding ejaculation?

Submitted by monk-ki on
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hello there,
excuse me if there are any blunders in this posting. it is my very first one so i haven't been able to negotiate the site & its protocols yet. however may i say what a relief it was to find such a forum full of people willing to contribute to the knowledge pool of such the 'sticky' subject (excuse the pun) of sexuality & intimacy.
i fear i have many questions to ask (and hopefully perspectives & experiences to offer) but will limit my first one or two to this:

i am a male.

can someone explain to me the differences in the approaches mentioned here. i seem to be receiving mixed messages.
on the one hand there are discussions concerning the practice of avoiding the orgasm (from what i understand) due to its function in the reproductive sex act and its associated feelings of dopamine come down & restlessness.

however constantly referred to in this narrative (and web site) is the practice of tantric/gnostic/chinese (etc) practices. from what i understand are not the latter practices mainly concerned with not avoiding orgasm per se, but in actually climaxing but without (male) ejaculation?

if this assertion is correct (which of course i may be wrong in this so please correct me) does not the tantric view hold that it is actual ejaculation that has the draining & distancing effect and NOT the dopamine come down.

and do orgasms in a woman over time really reduce their feelings of closeness to a man as well?
in my experience it seems to bond them more, while having the opposite effect in me ( a male).

or has this all been stated somewhere or i am missing an obvious answer?

any help, clarity or perspective would be much appreciated.




Those are good questions. My impression is that Daoist (a Chinese scholar just informed me that "Taoist" is no longer in fashion among scholars Wink ) and Tantric practices don't really fit neatly into the box you describe. You can find manuals, old and new, in both traditions that recommend all kinds of things. I include some of these materials on this web site simply because they have information and perspectives that I have found helpful, and which I think others might also find interesting.

Daoists didn't have access to recent neurochemistry, so they often reasoned that any problems associated with frequent orgasm were due to semen loss (and therefore didn't affect women). But even ancient Daoist texts state clearly that orgasm (as well as childbirth and lactation) is draining for women, too. See this man's anthology, for example:

I've also seen tantra books that say that unless a woman relaxes into a transcendental state during sex, her orgasm can lead to hysteria and bad feelings afterward. And yoga scholar Georg Feuerstein says it’s not semen loss that’s the problem. "It’s actually the firing of the nervous system during sexual stimulation. That applies to both men and women." In other words, "semen loss" isn't the true, or at least only, culprit. Otherwise orgasm would never have caused problems for women. Some

Daoist lore refers to subtle changes in energy as being the real culprit. That is pretty close to what modern neurochemistry is least the little that has been done on the cycle after orgasm. In short, we believe the real culprit IS the dopamine cycle after sexual satiety and that it affects both sexes...although each person is affected slightly differently, and even differently on different occasions, depending upon frequency of orgasm, intensity of orgasm, degree of bonding behaviors, type of sex, and emotional state.

It is *very* true that, in the West, the manuals that sell well are selling "orgasm without ejaculation" or multiple orgasms. But I no longer think they accurately represent all Daoist or Tantric sexology. Ultimately, experience/observation is the best teacher.

I think your observation is correct that the short-term effects or orgasm are *generally* more pronounced in men, although women, too, can have radical (and rapid) mood shifts. Usually, however, the mood swings don't kick in right away in women, and are therefore usually ascribed to some other cause (ofter her partner Wink ). My worst effects tend to show up during the second week, for example. In fact, I sometimes feel quite loving for a few days...which is one reason that I, too, thought orgasm was a bonding behavior. Now I know that it isn't...not in the longer term.

As it turns out, intercourse is a bonding behavior. The passion cycle (the full two-week cycle of intense stimulation, climax and recovery) is not. It may actually promote habituation (declining desire) between lovers. In fact, we suspect it's the same mammalian mating program that usually moves 97% of mammals onto new partners after a fertilization opportunity, and causes cheating on the side in the rest. Smile

The bottom line for me is, "Does a particular practice create emotional distance between partners over the TWO WEEKS after a passion session?" When women watch for it, they often notice that after sexual satiety their mood *does* become more volatile during the two weeks after. But very few watch for it. Why would they? Every outlet in the media is blaring the message that orgasm will make them happier and healthier...orgasm always feels great, at least in the moment...and no one is actually doing research that shows otherwise.

Incidentally, one researcher accidentally stumbled on some research that hinted at the truth...but still didn't get it.

You might find this article interesting. It gets to the essence of what we've been learning:

Feel free to blog if you like.