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Sexual Versus Sensory Stimulation And Release

a man transmuting sexual energy into sensory via the gym..
Sometimes we think we need a sexual release, when, in reality, we really just need a sensory one.

The times we feel most uncomfortable are the times we most eagerly seek out stimulation. Due to pornography, sexual stimulation is available 24/7, and so many people have made a habit of using it to medicate their pain. A porn habit can have pretty devastating psychological and relational consequences, so this is not a good solution–as you may be able to deduce from your own experience. In this chapter, I elaborate some of the ways we can achieve the stress-relieving, emotionally-cathartic effects of pornography and other impulsive behaviors, without any of the negative side effects.

The human race evolved in nature, where stimulation is abundant. It follows that nature helped to offset the stress of living for most of human history. In modern society, we spend our days cooped up indoors, typically in a sedentary position, while under the constant visual strain of technology and electronic devices. A lack of strong in-person relationships between friends and family is another culprit. When we are around the right people, we feel pleasantly stimulated. When we are around the wrong people–or no people at all–we emotionally disengage and accumulate tension. There is a reason why conversation is often described as “stimulating.” Presence can have a similar effect.  

When we are under stress, we may reason that we need a sexual outlet to help decompress. A healthy sexual outlet can, indeed, have this effect. The issue is when no viable sexual outlet is present. Young people in school or college; businessmen or soldiers away from their spouses; and people with values for whom sleeping around is not an option, all face this challenge. Engaging with the wrong sexual outlet increases stress and creates a host of other problems, so that is also a non-starter.

Transmuting Sexual Energy

Many attest that a number of non-sexual activities can blow off the steam of sexual desire. Lifting weights, cardio, stretching, massage therapy, etc., are all proven, research-backed ways to release bodily tension. Physical activity stimulates the senses; afterwards, we feel good, and our sexual urges often diminish substantially.

Some experts recommend “habit replacement” more generally as a strategy to counteract strong impulses. For example, instead of battling our urges, we may choose to exercise, go for a walk, call a friend, leave the house, and so on. Everyone is different, so the onus is on us to figure out what new desirable activities can function as replacements for old, undesirable ones. In The Powerful Benefits Of Semen Retention, I quote Napoleon’s Hill famous line in Think And Grow Rich about sexual transmutation–or the concept of channeling sexual energy into non-sexual pursuits.

Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times. So strong and impelling is the desire for sexual contact that men freely run the risk of life and reputation to indulge it. When harnessed, and redirected along other lines, this motivating force maintains all of its attributes of keenness of imagination, courage, etc., which may be used as powerful creative forces in literature, art, or in any other profession or calling, including, of course, the accumulation of riches.

Napoleon Hill

Sexual transmutation changes the narrative that not having a sexual outlet is a disadvantage. Many athletes, entertainers, and clergymen throughout history (Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla, Muhammad Ali, etc.) have sworn by the benefits of sexual transmutation, either a temporary fix or permanent lifestyle. This is relevant to keep in mind for those times when sexual activity is unavailable or inadvisable due to spiritual or secular concerns.

For more, see 7 Toxic Beliefs That Keep People From Quitting Pornography. For more, see the complete archive of articles on integrity.

An intellectually curious millennial passionate about seeing people make healthy, informed choices about the moral direction of their lives. When I’m not reading or writing, I enjoy hiking, web-making, learning foreign languages, and watching live sports. Alumnus of Georgetown University (B.S.) and The Ohio State University (M.A.).

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