Sex, Love & Biohacking
"Biohacking sex is BIG business"
That’s right ladies & gents, this is a fairly explicit article. But that’s not the point. Why are we biohacking sex? Because sex has some incredibly tangible, powerful health benefits for men and women. Anything from looking and feeling younger, to cardioprotective effects, to mental health benefits. Love, on its own, has very powerful physical and psychological health benefits. Combined with the physical act of love, body, mind and spirit can be optimised exponentially!
But would I jump into the practical, easy-to-implement, testosterone-boosting (for men and women), libido-enhancing, neighbour-complaining-sex-tips when your minds are all still on the first paragraph, screaming WTF is vaginal weightlifting?! Nope, I would not.
While you may all have heard of Kegel exercises or jade/yoni eggs, vaginal weightlifting is purportedly a 5,000-year-old ancient Chinese practice involving jade eggs. Today, it is practised as what Kegel exercises were originally meant to be: adding resistance to the pelvic floor exercise. There are jade eggs with a hole in them. You tie string around said hole, insert into your vagina and then tie weights to the other end of the string. The idea is that you need to contract and hold the egg inside with the strength of your pelvic floor. Benefits: amongst others, better sex and stronger orgasms.
Turns out, Kegel exercises are a rather political topic. Some believe that the version we know today (sans string and weights) is a bastardised version of what Dr Kegel initially intended, where resistance was key. Some say jade and yoni eggs are lifesavers for incontinence while others argue that it leaves you open for infection. I say, find what works for you. If incontinence post pregnancy or unsatisfactory orgasms are concerns for you, investigate these options and implement them into your life armed with your own research!
OK, that covers vaginal weightlifting. Let’s get on with how to biohack for living your best sex life!
I find that people are often willing to accept a lacklustre sex life. Whether you are single or in a relationship, we too often accept a low libido, erectile dysfunction (ED) or unsatisfactory sex as par for the course or blame it on a busy lifestyle or out-of-whack hormones. Considering that all of these can be “hacked”, I think the below list of reasons of why sex is good for you might just convince you to want to put a little more lead in your pencil or jump on the tumble-dryer and let the good times roll! So, stop blushing and read on!
Why Sex is so Good for your Health
Studies shown that having sex 3+ times a week actually makes both men and women look on average 10 years younger than their age: orgasms trigger oestrogen release in men and women, which improves hair and skin quality.
Remember next time that you’re feeling too stressed or wired to want to have sex, women who are exposed to male sweat (odourless male pheromones) from some sexy time, are biologically calmer and more relaxed. Women experience real stress reduction from satisfying sex, which lowers cortisol and aids with regular periods. In fact, contact with semen during sex actually serves as an anti-depressant and improves blood pressure.
Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer
Regular ejaculation has been linked to prostate health as it potentially flushes out carcinogens in the prostate gland.
Immune System Strength
There is a direct correlation between frequent sexual activity and immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody that helps with fighting infection. In addition, contact with semen (which contains a protein called HLG-A) can regulate a woman’s immune system.
Improved Fitness and Reduced Pain
Having sex burns calories. Conversely, being fit also enhances sexual performance, so it really is a win-win! Sex causes a release of serotonin and endorphins, all which are hormones that create pleasure and reduce pain (even migraines and arthritis)!
During sex and post orgasm, the brain releases serotonin, oxytocin and norepinephrine, all which help with how fast you fall asleep and how long you are in deep sleep. Ladies, ever noticed how drowsy men are after sex? That’s because their prefrontal cortex, responsible for interpreting new information, basically slows down, a lot, after an orgasm. It just means the sex was gooooood!
OK cowboys and cowgirls: saddle up and let’s ride this pony – I mean, let’s address how to make the above health benefits, yours!
How to Biohack Sex
There are two types of exercise you want to consider here: exercises for your penis/vagina and exercise for your body.
Exercise for your penis/vagina: for women, we’ve already touched on vaginal weightlifting and jade eggs. Together with Kegel exercises (squeeze and contract the muscles you’d squeeze if trying to stop the flow of urine), these have been shown to be effective for women (and men) for a variety of complaints.For men, the best exercise is the towel technique: you literally hang a towel over your erect penis and practice repeatedly contracting to lift the towel. As you progress, the towel becomes bigger and/or wetter to add weight! Men have reported better erections and stronger orgasms from this type of training (think around three times per week).
Exercise for your body: The main aim of exercising for better sex (for men and women) should be to increase testosterone. Some exercises promote the production of testosterone more than others, and you want to specifically focus on compound exercises (squats, burpees, chin-ups are especially good for libido).Try the following to get sexy back:
- Strength training and muscle gains often lower body fat, which boosts testosterone levels naturally. Aim to lift medium-heavy weights EXPLOSIVELY for testosterone production, especially if you add weight progressively over time. Important though to note that too little body fat can be detrimental to testosterone production.
- Lift heavy enough and focus on body parts that have a high density of androgen receptor sites (chest, shoulders, legs).
- Do sprint intervals to activate fast-twitch muscle fibres.
- Strengthen your hip flexors and abdominals which aid with stabilising your body for a number of sex positions: try barbell squats, hip thrusters, front plants, narrow-grip push-ups and ab wheel rollouts.
- Most effective: deadlift squats, weighted squats and chest presses! Least effective: too much endurance training or excessive cardio lowers testosterone levels significantly.
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Diet matters, like, a lot. Protein is particularly important for adequate testosterone production. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that when men replaced meat protein with soy protein, their testosterone-to-oestradiol ratio dropped significantly. So, the protein source (animal vs other) also matters.
If you follow a low-carb diet, it’s important to consume adequate healthy fats, otherwise your hormones, particularly your thyroid function, become compromised, compromising testosterone.
Read More: Your Health Starts In The Gut
Attention to Androgens
Androgens are hormones (testosterone, androstenedione) present in both men and women and responsible for normal sexual organ development before birth and, as an adult, androgens are important for libido, physical performance and act as precursors for other hormones like oestrogen. The more androgen receptors you have, the better your body can respond to your hormones. Boost receptor density as follows:
- Fasting (not calorie restriction)
- Caffeine: a cup or two of coffee after exercise can boost testosterone significantly
- Explosive resistance training
- L-Carnitine: 2g per day provides fuel for androgen receptors
Supplements and Foods
- Maca Root: Enhances libido in men and women and has been shown to treat sexual dysfunction caused by certain types of antidepressants.
Nitric Oxide Producing Foods: Low nitric oxide (NO) levels cause blood vessels to narrow, leading to poor circulation, leading to softer erections that are harder to maintain. This is the basis on which Viagra works: it boosts NO production to act as a vasodilator (lowering blood pressure). There are a number of NO-producing foods to include in your diet:
- Cocoa: chocolate body paint. Just kidding, sort of. Cocoa supports NO levels, improving blood flow and alleviating this kind of ED. There’s a reason why bodybuilders use dark chocolate and red wine before a show: it improves blood flow and vascularity. It also happens to be the perfect combo after dinner if sex is on the cards.
- The Ben Greenfields Sex Salad: Rocket, spinach, cooked beets and carrots, chopped walnuts, red onions, red apple, fenugreek seeds and extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. These are all NO precursors and combined with dark chocolate and red wine, the makings of a great night in!
- Fenugreek: This seed is known in Ayurvedic medicine for increasing virility and libido. It is so easy to incorporate in stir fries and salads and high doses are known for increasing sexual satisfaction. No brainer.
- Vitamins and minerals: if you are deficient in any of the following, it may be affecting your fertility and sexual performance. If for any reason you think you may be deficient in these, try supplementing them through your diet or supplements: Creatine, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, boron, iodine and DHEA. SHOP HERE.
Optimise your Hormones
If at all possible, having your hormones tested with a good functional medicine doctor or endocrinologist is key. Bioidentical (i.e. the same as what your own body makes) hormone replacement therapy is an invaluable tool for men and women in a world where our hormones are often severely compromised due to external factors. Getting your thyroid optimised, ensuring your oestrogen to progesterone ratio is correct and, very importantly, testosterone is in a good range are all crucial for libido and healthy sexual functioning.
Shop Here: Adaptogenic Supplements
Points to note:
- Don’t accept synthetic hormone replacement therapy
- Testosterone (and other hormones) are crucial for men AND women
- The decision to start with therapy should be made carefully and in agreement with your doctor. Once you start with Testosterone Optimisation Therapy (TOT), your body will inevitably decrease its own production of testosterone, so you will in all likelihood need to continue to supplement going forward. However, if your testosterone is low and you struggle to get it up naturally, then that pay-off is certainly worth it given the difference it makes for people
- Successful TOT has been clinically proven to boost confidence and assertiveness, improve mental resiliency, increase muscle mass, improve heart health, decrease body fat, treat depression and improve memory.
Other Low-Hanging Fruit
- Control Stress: Hormones are all about balance, relative to each other. If cortisol goes up, testosterone goes down as they’re competing for the same raw materials. Meditation, breathwork and ashwagandha and ginseng (both also good for testosterone production) can really help here.
- Hydration: Dehydration also raises cortisol levels. Stay away from plastic water bottles that contain endocrine (hormone) disrupting additives like BPA.
- Red Light Therapy: Shining red light on your balls is one of the most effective ways for men to raise their testosterone levels and sperm mobility. Sunlight will do the same, but I wouldn’t risk sunburn on the misters!
- Cold Therapy: Cold thermogenesis lowers cortisol. A large study showed that sperm quality and volume are highest in winter, and Russian powerlifters are known to ice their balls before competitions to increase testosterone. Perhaps slightly more comfortable would be to take occasional cold showers, wear loose boxers (commando is better), sleep without underwear and don’t sit too long!
- Don’t carry your cell phone anywhere near your testicles or ovaries. Just don’t do it. It disrupts hormones, affects sperm count and quality and is an all-round bad idea.
- Oxytocin: Sexual activity stimulates the release of oxytocin, known as the “love” or “trust” hormone and is also linked to the intensity of orgasm. An oxytocin nasal spray is quite a nice addition before engaging in sex.
- Clean Food and Products: Choose natural products for your body, household, pets and kitchen. The chemicals found in products disrupt hormones and affect your sex life.
The Final WordSex is a wonderful component of a healthy life. It includes everything from masturbation to tantric sex to scheduled date night lovemaking or impromptu I-must-have-you-now sex. Whatever form it takes, it should always include mutual respect and an understanding of the powerful health effects it can have for men and women. Above all, a sense of humour and being safe is important. If all those ingredients are present, GO GET ‘EM TIGER!
- Thea is the founder of Neolaia – Biohacking SA and passionate about all things biohacking, functional medicine, holistic and ancestral wellness. She enjoys the occasional triathlon, is fanatic about yoga and the gym and loves n=1 biohacking experiments more than anything else! Learning about the latest in scientific research for health and wellness and applying this knowledge is what makes her happiest!
This information does not serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is for informational purposes only and does not provide a comprehensive explanation of the different compounds. Always consult your doctor first when making any changes to medication or supplementation.