This is my personal journey how I came to do "Semen Retention" and the experiences following that the last 3-4 months. It's personal; for generic information, follow the links at the bottom.
My journey includes a lot more than just semen retention, but it was a step that profoundly accelerated everything. I have a hard time expressing how big this shift has been for me; each week has felt like a month of active self development, and I can only hope to inspire someone else to try this out and get their own amazing new perspective on life!First encounters with non-ejaculation
Back in 2000 I bought some of Mantak Chia's books. The one I studied most teaches how to awake and use the microcosmic orbit, circulating the qi energy for improved health. The other ones are about "sexual kung fu"; I read some and tried practicing non-ejaculatory sex in 2001 with what later became my wife, but I was not very successful, rather it was just frustrating for us both with me stopping constantly. He talks about not ejaculating, and that there are great benefits from circulating the jing energy stored in the semen through the microcosmic orbit, but I never managed to experience that back then…
The teaching is that according to taoism and traditional chinese medicine, our semen contains huge amounts of jing, and by frequent ejaculation (like every week and more…), that energy is lost and instead a lot of otherwise available energy goes to producing new semen. There are physical parts of this, like nutrients required for the body to form new semen, testoterone increases after 7-10 days without ejaculation etc. Jing energy from semen can be transmuted to other types of qi and used for bodily healing, and if you learn to move it through the microcosmic orbit, it leads to even more healing and eventually spiritual enlightenment.
In ayurvedic terms, they talk about ojas, a type of energy said to promote mental strength, stability, endurance, patience, calmness, good memory and sustained concentration, happiness, contentment and bliss!
But, most importantly the effect is one of the change in mindset; regarding yourself, your sexuality, and your relating to other people, especially the people of your arousal.A meeting of hearts ????
Jumping ahead to the summer of 2018. We had our annual shamanic gathering here at Hökås gård, with people offering different workshops. This year, Ove & Maria held a "Hearts meeting" ceremony with breathing together in double circle and then sitting in couples breathing through each other, eye gazing, for a long while; breathing deeply, laughing, crying, seeing the full beauty of this woman I only knew as an acquaintance before. It was very intimate, and at times arousing. The rest of that weekend during the gathering, I was frequently sexually aroused, and honestly had a hard time not looking at all the beautiful women as sexual beings, and at the same time feeling shame for having that association in a non-sexual context. I tried going for masturbation, but my heart was not interested, it didn't feel right…
After the gathering, I started feeling an urge to meet people, being more personal. Up to this, most of my free time outside work and family I dedicated to projects and open group activities; the activity was the focus, not the person. Now I was interested in being more personal. I went to wonderful shamanic drum circles, getting insights and opening up. I went to two "Sexsibility" meetings in Gothenburg (clothed but intimate tantra inspired group activity); which was both exciting but really more frightening - leaving me with a feeling of being unwanted and unattractive and having me face my fear of rejection, even though looking back, that was just me manifesting that fear in the meeting. I got to meet those fears, and took weeks to turn them over in my head and journal, talking to my wife, crying and both wanting to go to another meeting while still dreading it. I was signed up for the last one in 2018, but didn't have the energy to go and meet my fears that day, so I never went.
But, as it does, winter came. It got still. My process took a pause, as I remember it, until the summer of 2019 arrived.Ceremonies, sweat lodges, starting to let go
One warm Saturday alone in my garden I felt the calling to hold a sweat lodge ceremony again. Since we moved out, we only held one or two lodges per summer, and often as a preparation for something else; but now, spirit said it was time. Instead of making an open invitation to relevant contacts, I invited one by one in personal messages, letting my intuition guide me on who to contact. I felt this should be a close intimate ceremony (non-sexual of course) letting go of social barriers and going in naked. Nudity was common during our gatherings, people taking a bath, and during my work with the tobacco spirits I had repeatedly been told to take off everything as a ceremonial letting go, and I invited this closed sweat lodge group to that.
But, I noticed disturbing associations in my mind. Nudity in summer during ceremonies or bathing has never made me sexually aroused in any way, but THINKING about nudity did. So when inviting friends to a naked ceremony, I got to really question my motives. The sweat lodge is never sexual, that is extremely clear from the spirits guiding me. So when getting a thought around inviting a beautiful woman, having my associations make me horny, made me question: is this really my intuition, or some hidden sexual attraction? With meditation I cleared out my motives, but my associations from thinking about naked women to sexual arousal distracted my thoughts, and I wanted to get rid of that connection in my brain. I assume it is a very common association in a man's brain in this society, considering both pornography and how movies and advertisement uses (semi-)naked women, but that doesn't mean I have to have it. I thought I could at least weaken it so it wouldn't invade my thoughts in a meditative flow.
The sweat lodge was good. And personal. Opening up and connecting to all participants, I also sent out prayers to help me get rid of my unwanted connections to sexuality, in essence to heal myself from associative sexual thoughts. And I held one more. And one more…The last masturbatory ejaculations
In the beginning of September, things started shifting inside. I started to get another relation to my own sexuality, accepting my arousal but disconnecting that from the urge to have sex or reach ejaculation. I saw more and more how much shame I had around my own sexuality, not even wanting my wife to see me with an erection if we were not having sex that moment. When noticing myself getting sexual associations, I started shifting the lust into love quite easily, seeing and appreciating beauty rather than feeling an urge to have sex or touch. Later on I also learned to appreciate arousal without the want for anything more.
In some of my morning ceremonies, I started reconnecting to my sexuality, praying and intending to heal it from the associations and lower urges of it. When the weather allows, I'm naked during ceremony, and I could enjoy my body freely. Sexuality in itself was never banned in my daily solo ceremony (as it is in sweat lodge), but when acknowledging the arousal with a ceremonial mind set, and in thinking about a woman who was not in ceremony or even in an active sexual relation with me, I got a very strong message: Keep it clean. The meaning was clear, I may NOT fantasize about another person in my ceremony (unless they've asked for healing or so), my flow is my own and inside my energy body; thoughts are affecting reality, and unless asked to, it is disrespectful to indulge in mental imagery about anyone else. In the same instance, I got very aware of an energy tension in my throat and in the front of the top of my chest, connected to the urge to reach ejaculation; tied to the part of lust that is, for me, "unclean". Focusing on that point and relaxing that, the urge was completely gone! The flow of sexual energy, arousal and enjoyment was still very much present, but without wanting to bring myself to ejaculation.
So then it all shifted. I lost interest in porn, seeing the beauty in any body without getting horny unless there was a real intimacy with the right energies flowing. After that morning (at Sep 11), during the following two weeks, I did ejacualate twice from masturbation getting pulled into old thought habits when having a cold and being tired, but those were the last times I ejaculated on my own. I started coming to terms with being a sexual being, which also started to reflect in my relation with my wife. I have for many years had much more sexual lust than my wife; she being tired from illness and whatnot. We have almost from the first month had an open relationship by principle; not seeing the need to restrict the other, but I hadn't had sex with anyone else. At times I have wanted to meet someone else to match my sexual desires, but not seeing myself as sexually attractive and fearing rejection made that more frustrating and most of the time I let go of those wishes. That, too, was about to change… Starting to let go of shame, I was able to talk about sex with my wife more than we've done for a very long time.
Masturbation turned into a self-massage. All fantasy gone, and all urges for ejaculation; left was just the feeling in my own body, my penis, scrotum, and anus. Not completely new to me, but most of my masturbation had been about fantasies and building up towards ejaculation. Now, the sensations themselves took precedence instead of constantly feeding the mental association between thinking about women and wanting to ejaculate. You can argue for hours around pornography and its place in our society, but for me it has very clearly been a mental poison destroying my sexuality.
In the end of September, a week after the autumnal equinox and under the new moon, I held a sweat lodge with the theme "Into the darkness", focusing on going deeper into our own darkness for spiritual healing. I sent out prayers to get help with habits and associations that does not serve me, regarding food, relations and sex, and I asked to get reminders of when I go outside of my true flow. The lodge was fantastic and strong, and the group was so healing in closeness, everyone's own magic flowing together to build the group momentum and call in the spirits…Out of the darkness
The morning after the sweat lodge, I sat a long while with my journal, consolidating what I've taken in and gone through in thoughts and spirit. I had started thinking more about the taoistic sex teachings last weeks, as described by Mantak Chia, around non-ejaculatory sex, and I decided to give it another try, after 18 years or so; because even if I had let go of the need to bring myself to ejaculation, I still came during sex. I was also thinking a lot about my sexual desires and wanting to meet some other woman in a more spiritual-sexual merging of energy and body, but I was not sure if that longing was relevant anymore. Was there a purpose to that, or should I just let go of those thoughts completely, accepting life as it is and enjoying sex when my wife wanted? The recent growing and better communications did make it better, but I felt something was still way off in our relationship, we didn't really meet each other on a deeper level. I felt as if I was accepted, but seldom wanted or really received. I was longing for someone who could meet me with the energy and love that I felt.
While writing about this in my journal, considering letting go of that longing for someone else, I got invited to a new Facebook group for "Alive dating" (translates badly, "Levande dejting"), for people interested in spirituality, seeking relationships of all kinds. I felt a bit baffled from this invitation by a person I had met at some spiritual event but hardly knew. OK. Was this a sign to keep that longing, or to clarify my intention and see if I was really ready to let it go? And, if I would accept that invitation, what would I write there, knowing my friends and wife might read it? Writing about my longing for a deeper connection including spiritual meeting in a Facebook group was quite a bit outside my comfort zone, to say the least. But, expanding my comfort zone was something I was ready to do. So I wrote a presentation, open and honest about what I was looking for and that I was in an open marriage.Into non-ejaculation and semen retention
I got some nice chat contact with a few women (and later on got more than I ever had imagined…). Excited from the new contacts and inspired by the great feeling of pushing my comfort zone, I pushed it a bit more, putting up a video of me singing:
My quantified self statistics indicates clearly the profoundity of the switch. I've been logging daily every ejaculation and every intercourse in a spreadsheet, since I knew it could affect my health and well-being, and it's surprisingly clear from the chart that when I stopped ejaculating, I started having much more sex. Without looking at the numbers, with RED being sex, BLUE indicating me throwing away my jing energy (and yellow indicating days in a row without throwing away jing), the shift around October 1st is not minor...
(Blue: ejaculations. Red: sex. Yellow: Days without ejaculation. Charted projection, not absolute numbers.)
My semen retention started making itself noticeable. Before September, I had been ejaculating at average 3.4 times a week, 0.7 of these being during sex. After 6 days without ejaculation, I could clearly feel the energy building up. It was a bit harder falling asleep; and yes, before I have used ejaculation to more easily fall asleep sometimes. I woke up earlier, with more energy in the morning. I started feeling attractive, gaining more confidence. I noticed myself looking others in the eyes a lot more than before, kind of standing my ground in being present while meeting other people, where I previously would have had a short eye contact and then looked away.
One of the women from that group offered me a lingam massage with an ayurvedic walking massage. I was of course nervous, going to an intimate massage from someone I had never met in person. But from the contact with her, I felt very safe and cared for. This was on day 7 of my semen retention. It brought me to tears and laughter and a long full body non-ejaculatory orgasm. It also brought me a deep feeling of being allowed to receive, that I am worthy of being touched in a compassionate way, someone cared for me. It seemed odd to react that way, with having a caring wife and great friends sharing long hugs... But there is a difference between sharing a hug and receiving a compassionate touch. And it made me face even more of my self imagery of self worth, and confront old wounds from an earlier relationship that ended after the last year without any sex at all which left me feeling quite unwanted and unattractive. Maybe I didn't need to be that unwanted unattractive man with shameful sexual associations anymore.
The first time I had sex after that, it was a completely new experience, energetic orgasms cursing through my body, and apparently through my partner's body; in the words of my wife:Wow, that was fantastic! I never want to stop, I just want to stay in this energy!
The energy was flowing through my body in more areas of my life. Talking in group ceremony like a blot felt a lot more charged than usual. Doing yoga and qi gong was more pulsating than before, and expressing the passion in latin dance classes with a much stronger presence. And I can feel attractive in a way I never did before; getting that confirmed from other women! I don't know how much is me just opening up to receiving that confirmation of attraction, and how much is really becoming more radiant from the energy, but to both effects, I am truly grateful. At the same time, my sexual desperation is gone, and I'm no longer interested to have sex with every beautiful woman that would allow me to ????
I could feel the energy flowing through my body when giving massage (all kinds of massage), and I feel more energized afterwards. It is a healing flow for both me and the receiver, and it inspired me to learn a lot more about massage, especially tantric and tao-massage for opening energy flows. And yoni massage seems to open up quite a lot of healing as well; my wife describing how she got back the warmth in her hands from the first yoni dearmouring I gave her, a warmth she hasn't had in many years now but used to have when she was younger.
Building up all this energy felt like coming out of a cocoon. I started facing my own fears in a rate that puts the previous 43 years to shame. Reexamining my life and my relationship with my wife, for a moment realizing that I really thought our relating to each other had a lot of problems for many years and feeling that we were in very different places, we in a week came through a rough spot in sharing tears and reaching a much deeper relating with such an open honest communication that I haven't really dared to imagine before. Rather than leaving her behind, we both took giant leaps in opening our hearts and in the way we meet, both in communication and energetically.Effects of ejaculating after some weeks
18 days into my semen retention, I had some fluid come out of the penis during sex, and I thought it was a partial ejaculation, so I chose to come fully. Later I learned it was not (there are other fluids coming that way, especially if you start using the perineum musculature and PC-muscle more…). I have ejaculated a few times more or less involuntarily during sex since I decided to quit. Sometimes it just comes on too quickly, getting into the old habits of trying to get the partner to orgasm rather than just enjoying the meeting and letting the energy guide.
Quite immediately after ejaculation, I can feel something best described as a sucking feeling behind and a bit below my eyes. The second time it happened, I went down to the store, and I could feel an insecurity, a want to shy away and not be in contact with other people, and I definitely did not want to look anyone in the eyes. There was no shame from ejaculating, and I didn't see it as a failure, but still it was like a step backwards from all the gains I had experienced in just those few weeks. A few hours after one ejaculation, I was making dinner for my family, but I just wanted to go and be by myself with no human contact. I felt like I could fall into anger to distance me from the world, and I realized that it was a feeling I had often felt before, when being tired after work, and just wanting to be left alone. Only, I hadn't felt that now since I quit (mostly) ejaculating and was no longer used to it.
BUT; I didn't go all the way back. Most of the positive effects were either still there, or came back in a day or two. That's why counting retention "streaks" seems a bit pointless, it's more about frequency. I've gone from more than thrice a week to less than twice a month. Although, I do intend to make that a few times a year or not at all…Postive egoism and great sex
Being present, open and honest, I have the deepest respect for anyone I meet. In this process, I've also developed a deeper respect for myself. Finding a positive egoism, learning to both feel and say what I really need and want, has opened up for so much more authentic relating in all relationships. Sure, it can be scary. But being more of myself, I have all in all found that I also have so much more to bring to a meeting. I have started letting go of all the thoughts about impressing people, or pleasing others, and instead just being me. I still like making others happy, but it doesn't come from a place wanting them to like me, it comes from the joy of the others' happiness. If someone meets me, they should meet me, why then play a role of people pleaser or trying to impress with being knowledgeable or anything else?"Great sex is about presence, not performance." - Chris Bale
With my own ejaculatory orgasm off the table in sex, it stopped being about reaching a goal. Sure I could still want to bring my partner to orgasms, but enjoying the moment, appreciating all sensations and not building up a tension toward a goal, made sex more awesome.Links, books, etc
There is so much more interesting happening these few months, but writing it all would make it into a book rather than a blog post. Please contact me with any questions or comments on Facebook.