You’re doing all the right things, eating a healthy diet, exercising, monopolizing on your natural sleep patterns but you’re still not at an optimal level of productivity and wondering why?  Well, it could be that your sex life is sabotaging productivity.

If you’re increasing your energy with all of these really great lifestyle changes, the last thing you’re going to want to do is hijack it.  And yet we do, in many ways, including how much time we spend thinking about and engaging in sexual activities.  When we’re not actually doing it, we’re thinking about it, and then when we think we’re not thinking about it….we are!  For example, are you spending time at the gym for healthy reasons or because it enhances your sexual appeal?  If you’re eating a super healthy meal, is your sexual attractiveness the underlying motivation?

From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense that we would expend so much energy on sex but from an individual standpoint, two problems arise in spending energy on sex. The first one is that your energy is not a finite resource, the more you spend on sex the less you have to spend elsewhere.  Intuitively, if you expend less on sex then you’ll have more to spend doing other activities.  That’s why athletes abstain from sex prior to competing.  Even Muhammad Ali avoided having sex for six weeks prior to one major fight!

The second issue presents differently for men and women.  Female orgasms produce a number of positive behavioral chemicals.  First, levels of cortisol are lowered (the chemical responsible for inflammation and stress) and levels of serotonin (better mood) and oxytocin (zen feeling) all increase.  Not to mention estrogen, which gives that oxytocin an extra kick.  After males ejaculate, they primarily get a hefty dose of prolactin (which makes them groggy) and then it counteracts their levels of dopamine, which results in a “down” or “depressed” state.  Knowing that, it makes sense that women often want to run marathons after sex while men feel more like hiding beneath the covers! So, while orgasms benefit women by causing extra energy and an overall “feel good” state, it’s likely having the opposite afect for men.  

Want to find out if sex is sabotaging your productivity?  Try this little experiment, if you’re male, try limiting your orgasms to one per week for a month.  If you’re female, try seeking out more frequent orgasms and see what it does for your creativity and productivity.

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