To Ejaculate or Not to Ejaculate? That is the Question
Updated: Apr 13, 2022
As a spiritual intimacy teacher, male ejaculation is a topic that comes up a lot when working with men. But what's the truth when it comes to this ancient esoteric masculine practice?
I have been doing this practice for many years, first introduced to the technique by one of my primary teachers, David Deida.
Beyond my work with David, I've spent years studying every spiritual tradition that has something to say on the topic, as well as looking into any scientific research from the Western world that could help provide further insight.
Here's what you need to know...
Some of the greatest spiritual adepts of our time have said, point blank, that seminal retention enhances natural energy levels and increases vitality. But in addition to this, they have also said that it enhances one's spiritual aptitude—bringing online a number of siddhis or "supernatural powers," which normally lie dormant in the average man—and accelerates his progress on his spiritual path. G.I. Gurdjieff has said this. Sir John George Woodroffe has said this. Even Gandhi has said this. As well as countless others.
Practices such as the Sexual Kung Fu of esoteric Taoism, the yogic sexual rituals of Kashmiri Shaivism, and the Karmamudra of Tantric Buddhism each approach the subject a little differently, but essentially all agree that a man's body and mind can be purified by disciplined sexual practice, and assist his spiritual growth as he works his way towards Immortality, Liberation, Enlightenment.
It's important to mention, that very few Buddhists, Taoists and Tantrikas practice these techniques. In an esoteric world, seminal retention and conducting internal orgasms for spiritual growth is as esoteric as it gets. Few Buddhists know (or are even willing to acknowledge) that the famous Buddhist artwork of the male and female deities in sexual embrace have anything to do with actual sex—it's often suggested to be merely metaphorical. While other experts in the field, who themselves have grown up in practicing Tantric Buddhist villages in Tibet, namely Dr. Nida Chenagtsang, say point blank, those images absolutely have everything to do with actual sex.
Although they are few and far between, spiritual traditions around the world have long taught the practical and spiritual value of sexual self-mastery, and have built some very elaborate practices to help one progress along the path.
When it comes to Western science, things are far less exciting. As I mentioned several months ago in a previous post I shared in this group on the origins of the practice of seminal retention, Western scientists have discovered that nematodes live substantially longer if they do not ejaculate at all during their lifetime, as compared to nematodes that ejaculate frequently throughout their lives. While the study was conclusive, it has essentially nothing to do with human beings. Taoist master Mantak Chia has been saying for decades that this is absolutely the case for human beings as well, but Western science has no evidence supporting this claim.
In another study, Western scientists observed male athletes to assess their performances in relation to whether or not they ejaculated prior to competition. What they discovered is that it was all based on the individual athlete's personal preference, and nothing more.
If the athlete believed they would perform better if they ejaculated before the competition, then if they ejaculated they would perform optimally, and if they didn't, their performance would suffer. While other athletes who believed they would perform better if they didn't ejaculate before competition (Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali both fall into this camp), then if they didn't ejaculate they would perform optimally, and if they did, their performance would suffer.
So then, is all this just superstition?
After a decade of study and practice, I can say with confidence that no, this isn't just superstition. But it's not a one size fits all either, and sometimes what your body needs is going to be different in summer than what it needs during winter.
What this practice will give you is a heightened level of self-awareness and sensitivity to your own body's needs and natural energy levels. It will also help train you to be less reactive to your sexual desires, therefore, training you to become less reactive in many other areas of your life. Non-reactivity being an essential skill in all yogic and meditative traditions.
If you constantly ejaculate, you may be more tired than is natural for you, and your mind may feel more cloudy then it should. But you aren't aware of it because you're ejaculating constantly—you don't yet know what it feels like not to. To make the shift, you would need to begin this practice and carefully assess yourself: are your natural energy levels rising as you abstain from ejaculating; is it easier to focus your mind; are you becoming more sensitive to your own body's needs and natural desires? If so, then this practice is obviously medicine for you. But you would need to try it for yourself to find out.
On the other hand, seminal retention can start to overload or overwhelm the body at certain times, making your energy levels feel so high you can't sleep, or feel so overstimulated it becomes difficult to focus. At that time, it is OK to ejaculate. There is no hard science that suggests refusing to ejaculate is going to do you any good. And if you're not a Tantric Buddhist monk who has vowed to never ejaculate again for spiritual reasons, then it's OK for you to ejaculate. As a matter of fact, I recommend it. But keep in mind, when first learning this skill, your body is going to want to ejaculate more frequently than it should because of the habit patterns that have been reinforced over years. When first starting, this practice will feel uncomfortable, but once on the other side of that initial discomfort, then you will be capable of clearly discerning between indulgent release vs. using ejaculation to bring your system back into balance.
Rather than thinking about seminal retention as something you can do to become better in bed (which it absolutely will not do), or as a means of becoming spiritually enlightened (which it also absolutely will not do), think of it as a way to constantly bring your body and mind back into balance.
Do you feel tired, unmotivated, unable focus, directionless or purposeless? Stop ejaculating and start this practice: stop overstimulating yourself, but still allow yourself to become aroused regularly, incorporate specific sexual breath work techniques (which I teach in our monthly men's group calls), and do not ejaculate for a while. Watch your natural vitality return. It will.
When you are burning out from working too hard, your mind is fixed on a single project and prevents you from being present with others, then, as if to hit your biological reset button, ejaculate. 1, 2, 3, 4 times in a row. It doesn't matter. But every time you do, it will take that much longer to return to your naturally vital state. (Age also plays a factor here, the younger you are, the quicker the reset time, the older you get, the much longer it will take.)
What matters is that you are constantly developing greater self-awareness, heightening sensitivity to your state of mind and body's needs to perform optimally, and exercising the discipline of non-reactivity in relationship to your sexual impulses.
Once you seriously establish yourself in this practice, one thing becomes certain, you will never go back to mindlessly ejaculating out of pure boredom ever again because you would have become aware and sensitive enough to notice that the cost is just too great.
If you have a big meeting, competition or performance coming up, listen to your body, know your body, and balance accordingly. Discipline yourself to cultivate awareness around your sexuality and vital desires. Channel that powerful, natural energy that your body produces and pour it into your life purpose, your spiritual work, into real transformation, rather than letting it go to waste in a sock or down a drain.
You may decide you enjoy this practice so much, that you never want to ejaculate again. Wonderful. You may decide you like what this practice has to offer, but you also benefit from ejaculating at certain times. That's excellent too.
For this practice to work, you must be disciplined about it, you must remain mindful and sensitive throughout the entire process. There will be many times when you "want" to ejaculate, but you should not. There is a big difference between laziness and sincere consideration. Develop this skill and use it to your advantage, adapt to your body's unique needs that have it perform optimally, and the rewards will serve you tremendously.