"when Dutch researcher Gert Hostege scanned the brains of men ejaculating, he commented that the scans resembled brain scans of those shooting heroin."
Why might this be a problem?
Well, as I'm reading in the fascinating book "Cupid's Poisoned Arrow. From Habit to Harmony in Sexual Relationships." by Marnia Robinson, there are biological reasons why we are GENETICALLY PROGRAMMED TO BECOME DISSATISFIED & FEEL OUT OF KILTER AFTER ORGASM.
Just like a drug addict after shooting up.
Meaning there is then the feeling of coming down from a high and the urge to compensate for that.
In their ignorance, humans tend to blame/associate their lover for their drop in energy & feel-good chemicals. And go seeking that high again. Whether through more s@x (hello porn addiction), food, work, adrenalin highs, drugs etc.
Now, as someone who's been in the tantra world for almost 20 years, it's nothing new to me to read about the benefits of non-ejaculation.
In tantric and taoist practices of mastering the flow of s@xual energy, this is a way both to enhance vitality and support spiritual evolution, whilst also creating greater harmony, pleasure and awakened intimacy with a female partner, who expands most energetically and s@xually, when there is no rush to penetration and orgasm, but rather an all-encompassing focus upon loving, meditative communion.
Certainly, I've been blessed to experience several lovers who could orgasm without ejaculating or who were content to make love and not ejaculate. And it's with these lovers that I had the most transcendent experiences and, generally speaking, deeper bond.
And I've also experienced men pursue me with incredible ardour, only to disconnect immediately after ejaculation to the point of not even wanting to cuddle and having to fight off the urge to run away. Which for me - and I'd venture to suggest most women - is as far from transcendent or bonding as one can get.
Robinson's book makes sense of all this from a purely neurochemical, genetic, biological perspective.
Her proposal is that we are coded to mate to procreate. So "the chase" for s@x and orgasm gives us a massive dopamine high.
But then - if we orgasm/ejaculate (she does not seem to distinguish between the two ) - there is a 2-week (yes, 2-week) period of after-effects that include:
" restlessness, irritability, dissatisfaction, desire for less contact with others, weepiness, anxiety, fatigue, hostility, fuzzy thinking, feelings of insecurity, emotional neediness, compulsive analysis, burning desire for escape, relief or oblivion, cravings for substances or activities that raise dopamine and... ATTRACTION TO OTHER PARTNERS."
She theorises, that in this general post-orgasmic dip, we tend to project these dissatisfactions out onto our partners and therefore find them suddenly less attractive.
The chemicals in our brains literally affect our perception.
So our lovers can look and seem so fascinating and hot in the build-up to s@x, but then appear boring, annoying and ugly after.
And that cute woman/guy at the office suddenly appear irresistible.
From a genetic point of view, this is great. Because it ensures we mate as much as possible. Survival of the human species 101.
BUT, from a harmonious relationship and emotional bonding point of view, it's disruptive.
I've not finished the book yet, so there's more to come, but in principle her theory is that:
1) if we have s@x to procreate/mate (ie. orgasm) we are creating disharmony in our life, being and relationships
2) if we want to have harmony in our life, being and relationships, then we need to learn to make love WITHOUT ORGASM.
Approach 2 includes lots of non-sexual touch and appreciation through the day (which stimulates bonding hormones).
Sounds good to me!
There are parts of her theory I question:
1) Equating orgasm with ejaculation, for example, when the two can be distinct.
2) Regarding all orgasms as equal, when they are - in my experience and wisdom at least - not.
3) And, here's the biggest one - assuming the dissatisfaction is the same and for the same reasons in both men and women.
My sense is that it is more likely to be men who feel shut down and women who feel weepy/insecure after orgasm, and that the dissatisfaction/weepiness etc. women feel is more because s@x was so penetration/ejaculation focussed and they then felt the man pull away energetically and emotionally after his ejaculation, which can feel like an abandonment, when they have just been surrendered open.
Either way, though, I really appreciate adding this understanding of the brain chemistry around s@x to my learning.
It helps me to take the behaviour of those men who came (literally) and went less personally.
And, thus far at least, it only reinforces my belief that tantric living and love-making is a beautiful path to conscious relating, s@xual ecstasy, body-mind-spirit well-being and a more peaceful, harmonious society and planet.