Hardly an hour goes by in my waking life without some kind of thought, action, or desire for something to do with sex. How in the same minute I can have rational, philosophical thoughts, write papers for school, engage in political discourse, and abide by the Scientific Method with the utmost care in my thinking, and then the next moment be completely distracted by a woman in a swimsuit on my Instagram feed boggles my mind when I think about it.
Because as hyper-rational as humans can be, we’re still animals who often think about and are driven by sex. I see this vividly in the fitness industry, where sexualized marketing pretty much runs everything.
Sure, we can resent this. But doing so would be trying to repress a piece of who we are, rather than accepting that our sexual thoughts, desires, and actions are a huge part of our lives.
When I envision myself one, five, or ten years from now, I can’t imagine having a fulfilled life without also having a fulfilled sex life. I have a feeling I’m not alone, and it’s time we admit it.
To quote Oscar Wilde…
“Everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.”
Whether we have sex regularly or not, most of us think about it every day. In fact, a strong sex drive is a sign of good health, and a low sex drive comes with drastic consequences.
Even though I spend a large portion of my life thinking about sex, I don’t have the “being a great lover thing” figured out. I’ve suffered from many of the common issues that plague men. Sometimes I’ve been too anxious to get an erection, which led to more anxiety surrounding sex. Other times, I’ve had the classic 10-second performance, suffering from the premature ejaculation all too common among young men.
However, I also realize I shouldn’t beat myself up over this. How could I expect myself to magically be a great lover when I’ve spent a minuscule percentage of my life having sex? Obviously, I can’t.
Sex is not like training in the gym, playing sports, or learning chess. Because in all of those scenarios, you can practice without fear of failing. If I lose the puck at hockey practice, it doesn’t make me question my worth as a man. I just pick up another puck and learn from the mistake.
But as a young person without much experience, most times I’ve had sex has felt like the biggest hockey game of my life. With those expectations, it’s no wonder nerves and anxiety have gotten the better of me from time to time.
This year I’m shifting away from that mindset and accepting that becoming a great lover takes time, energy, attention, and care to improve just like any other skill. I want to apply the basic growth mindset approach we’re taught when we’re young: who you are and what you’re able to do is not static. You can always improve.
Luke Skywalker did not come out of the womb a Jedi Master. And he couldn’t become a Jedi Master without first accepting that it would take practice and growth. By making sex a conscious practice where I’m free to explore, make mistakes, and learn, I’m beginning my journey to sex Jedihood.
The main part of this practice will have nothing to do with the “mechanics” of sex. The foundation of improvement will stand entirely on how well I communicate.
Open, honest communication is something I’ve prided myself on in the exploration of my dating life. This year, I want to push myself to have upfront conversations surrounding sex and make a point to hold space for open discussions. In the past, I thought that having good sex was as simple as asking the other person what I can do to satisfy their desires such as what particular acts or techniques give them the best experience.
While I think this is a good step, it’s not enough. The connotations of sex wind deep and in different directions for every individual. For example, some people, in particular women, may have shame surrounding sex because of historical cultural norms. That shame they feel might prevent them from having a good experience. By encouraging sharing beforehand, our anxieties can disperse, or at least lessen. And many people don’t know what they really desire because we haven’t been in a space that feels safe and open to explore.
The first area where I can enhance my sexual performance comes well before two bodies embrace: it begins with a conversation. Sex is not just a physical act, it’s an emotional and energetic exchange. To varying degrees, we are emotionally invested and sharing a part of ourselves with another person. I want to give those emotions room to breathe by encouraging conversation beforehand.
In doing this, sex can become more about relaxation and exploration, and less about performance. The importance of relaxing and not entering with certain goals or preconceived notions about how the sessions should feel is one of the main theses of the ancient sex Jedi text: The Heart of Tantric Sex by Diana Richardson. Paradoxically, by releasing the attachment to need to be “good in bed,” I think I’ll actually get better.
Yes, this sounds easy in theory, but I know that difficult, at times awkward conversations require a leap of faith. This focus on uncommonly authentic and open communication surrounding sex, and the importance of not placing a goal or judgment on one’s performance, will be an important step in becoming a sex Jedi. My hope is that just by having these conversations beforehand, a lot of the performance anxiety will dissipate, and thus my sessions will already drastically improve. Conversation for the win.
Of course, there’s also the mechanical component to becoming a great lover. All Jedi Masters are masters of The Force, but they also display a mastery of technical skills, such as wielding a lightsaber. Communication is like The Force. It’s of paramount importance and precedes technical skills. Some Jedi achieved mastery through learning the force alone and never even used a lightsaber, like Yoda. (Except in the prequels, which was kind of a betrayal to his whole character. But whatever. The prequels are stupid.)
Aside from Yoda (and including Yoda if we have to count the prequels), a Jedi controls their lightsaber with the utmost awareness and precision. A sex Jedi does the same with their tools for the job. (Yes, the lightsaber represents genitals here; I know, could I be more trite?)
I am not Yoda, and as I go through the process of learning The Force (communication), I’ll also engage in the equivalence of lightsaber training. However, for most Jedi (and sex Jedi) lightsaber training is not about how effectively you twirl your blade. There are multiple ends to satisfactory means that will vary from situation to situation. But all Jedi, regardless of their specific technique, know how to control it.
My second guiding text for this journey is The Multi-Orgasmic Man by Mantak Chia and Douglas Abrams. As the title implies, the book is a physical exploration of the male body to reach a point where you can have multiple orgasms without ejaculating. These are also called “internal” orgasms. By having an orgasm without ejaculating, a man can have multiple orgasms within a session (that sounds awesome).
Without rehashing the practices in that book, the basic premise is that if you can learn how to strengthen and control your pelvic muscles, you’ll have the muscular ability to prevent ejaculation. This requires regular breathing exercises, self-love practices, and, during sex, the ability to manage your excitement and not ejaculate. It’s a technical, physical mastery, that is not too dissimilar from learning how to form a mind-muscle connection in the gym.
To motivate myself to actually learn this, I’m making the blanket policy that I will not ejaculate until I can regularly achieve non-ejaculatory orgasms (which will take many months).
This is for a few reasons. One, the skills to withhold ejaculation as sexual excitement grows is a precursor to internal orgasm. Internal orgasm can’t occur unless you control your energy by breathing deeply and relaxing your body, thus aligning with my goals of bringing relaxation and exploration into my sexual practices. Secondly, by making the blanket policy that I’m just not going to have a conventional ejaculatory orgasm, I’m going to try a lot harder to learn the whole internal orgasm thing within months.
Yes, this even applies to during sex, especially during sex. I will explain my practice to my partner (see above on the importance of conversation), and withhold ejaculation.
Hardly anything good comes in life without first delaying your gratification for it. We can go all the way back to the Standard Marshmallow Experiment, where children who could wait 20 minutes for an extra marshmallow went on to be more successful in other areas of life.
Delayed gratification is why we work out hard: because we know the results outweigh the temporary discomfort. All writers know that the act of writing can be grueling and difficult, but the payoff is always worth it.
By delaying my ejaculatory orgasms until I have reached my goal, the whole experiment will become a practice in saying no to small rewards in order to achieve a larger goal.
I could have easily taken on this challenge without announcing it to 50,000 people. But, I felt it was necessary for a few reasons. I know other people struggle with this too, and if this can give even one person the confidence to reframe how they think about sex, and thus improve their life, it’s worth it.
Secondly, I want to be a part of the shift in the world where sex is no longer taboo. Not only should we admit that it’s part of our lives, but it’s absolutely fundamental to how we make decisions. If you’re insecure about it, it’s like a dark cloud hanging over us, and until we can have open, honest conversations about it, we’ll always be harboring insecurities that will play out in other areas of our life.
While we’ve embraced a growth mindset for subjects like math and weightlifting, many view “good” (whatever that means) sexual performance as innate. That’s stupid. The learning process applies to sex just as much as anything else, and the best way to improve is to make it a conscious self-development practice.
Finally, there’s public accountability. Needless to say, if I wrote this whole damn article and then don’t achieve what I say I’m going to, it will be pretty embarrassing. Sure, I could lie and say I achieved it but that would make me a huge scumbag so don’t worry I won’t do that. If I fail, you’ll be hearing about it.
This is my call to adventure towards the path of becoming a sex Jedi. My hope is not that all of you commit to the same process that I am, but only that collectively we admit our imperfections surrounding sex, have conversations around these imperfections, and bring a growth mindset to sex similar to the way we approach anything else.
Stay tuned later this year for details of the test, trials, and tribulations, throughout my journey to becoming a sex Jedi.
As mentioned, I’ll be using the protocol in a few popular books on sex. Specifically, The Multi-Orgasmic Man, which outlines an entire program for having non-ejaculatory orgasms over the course of many months. That is my guiding textbook. I’ve also read The Heart of Tantric Sex, which provided a great overview and key reminders for a successful session. It’s a short, more philosophical book on sex but many ideas have stuck with me. Finally, I also read Urban Tantra, a 21st century take on Tantric sex teachings. This book goes deep on more specific strategies for many different sexual practices.
Away from books, I’ve been listening to Whitney Miller and Wednesday Martin’s podcast True Sex and Wild Love for several years now. What I love about this podcast is in each episode I learn how to have conversations surrounding sex and hear common struggles and different points of view. John and Amanda have even been guests on it. Even just hearing conversations around sex regularly prepares me to have similar discussions in my life. If you think you don’t have time for podcasts, read on why you should listen to podcasts while training.
There is some evidence, albeit modest, that suggests that not ejaculating improves your health. In a study on male nematodes (yes, like the ones who ate Spongebob’s house), those who were allowed to mate whenever they please lived only 8.1 days, compared to 11.8 days for those who didn’t mate. Nematodes aren’t humans, obviously. But, ejaculating is exhausting, as any man (and his partners) can attest to based on how quickly men fall asleep after sex.
That’s enough for me to reason that if I can learn how to control ejaculation, maybe I’ll live longer.