(Breather) Don’t let the title of this show make you think this episode is mainly for male listeners: you will learn a lot about sexual function and libido that is relevant for women as well.
I’ve really been diving deep into research as I work on writing my new book about testosterone function and delaying the aging process, and I have already discovered so many compelling insights that I’ll be sharing some of them with you today.
You will learn what it is about visceral fat that makes it so harmful to the body, and also why it becomes a slippery slope that is hard to escape once you add a little bit of this kind of fat to your body. Did you know belly fat is actually classified as an endocrine organ of its own because of the inflammatory chemicals it secretes? This also puts your system in a constant state of inflammation, which inhibits testosterone production and a whole host of other issues relating to metabolic health. And, this all leads to even more belly fat accumulation! And when you have too much belly fat, any testosterone your body is making (or receiving through supplementation) will actually be converted into estrogen.
You’ll also learn about the connection between working out too much and libido levels and the importance of napping. Training yourself to unplug and actually shut your brain down is such an important practice to commit to making daily. Remember the goal is not to fall asleep but to rest and check out. If you have trouble falling asleep or feeling really rested, use a blindfold to help your body relax, and your mind will follow.
I also share the Taoist theory that posits that (for males) orgasms deplete your essential life force and the importance of preserving them. The idea is to have sex frequently, but not ejaculate frequently. But interestingly, Taoists believe frequent orgasms have the opposite effect on females! Read The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity: A Modern Practical Guide to the Ancient Way for more info.
My shows with Dr. Wendy Walsh are also a great resource to check out on this topic.
Both women and men, let’s talk about testosterone libido and sexual health. Is there something we can do besides taking medications? [01:49]
The first and foremost symptom of trouble is the spare tire. Belly fat is inflammatory and puts you in a state of chronic or systemic inflammation. [04:15]
Surprisingly libido and testosterone do not have a direct relationship that we’ve always assumed. [08:09]
Teach yourself how to relax, and then you will optimize your sexual health. [09:36]
Taoism believes women should have as many orgasms as possible. This is the opposite for the male. [14:46]
There are three energy sources: Qi, Shen, and Jing. [15:36]
It is a much different story for females in the society of thousands of years ago. [16:32]
It takes about 72 hours for sperm and seminal fluid to regenerate. [19:24]
In modern society, the female is in a different role and can easily deplete her hormone balance. [21:41]
The Taoists want males to withhold their orgasms frequently. [22:28]
Science differs from the Taoist theory. Many studies talk about frequency of once a week as being the maximum. [27:44]
Pornography is a real problem leading people to believe they are having real sex and interfering with their hormone stabilization. [29:12]
Testosterone is not directly connected to libido. [30:59]
We must get that life stress and balance and give yourself a fighting chance at being a good lover here with your partner. Develop a sense of humor. [33:26]
Supplements: A lot of these products are actually targeting libido rather than testosterone. [38:34]
The topic of testosterone replacement therapy has produced some highly disturbing statistics. Look at lifestyle changes first. [42:09]
- Brad’s Shopping page
- The Health Fix
- Taoist theory re sexual activity
- Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity
- The Way of the Superior Man
- Frogs that changed sex
- Mark’s Daily Apple
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Brad (1m 49s): Modern day MOFOs, what is up? Let’s talk about testosterone libido and sexual health. Maybe this show sounds like it’s directed to the male listener in particular, but guess what, females, we’ve got a lot of stuff to talk about. That map is interesting to you too, especially if you want to translate and share with your partner, and I’m just going to hit these interesting insights that I’ve been picking apart, doing research for a book I’m writing tentatively titled The Testosterone MOFO Mission. And it’s all about optimizing your testosterone, delaying the aging process, being the best MOFO that you can be naturally with lifestyle related focus, rather than most of the books out there, I’ve discovered, almost all of them have to do with how to engage in hormone replacement therapy, testosterone replacement therapy the right way. Brad (2m 45s): The arguments is for and the necessary info there but it seems like we have to put a premium on comprehensive lifestyle approach to testosterone optimization before turning to medications. And of, they can be very valuable and helpful as a last resort. When you have all the lifestyle things clicking for the small percentage of the population that is clinically hypogonadal, which means that you’re really not making enough testosterone. But for the most part, there’s so many things you can do. And I guess this goes for other categories of prescription drugs as well, such as the routine dispense station of statins, sleep medication, and digestion relief that can so easily be corrected with lifestyle alterations in a short time. Brad (3m 34s): But unfortunately we seem not to be going down that road as a society. We’d rather have that quick fix that pill. And it’s certainly tempting when it comes to male hormone and testosterone optimization because the lack of male vitality can be a real bummer, a reduced quality of life. And when you kind of get stuck in that pattern of low testosterone, you’re going to have increased disease, risk factors for all kinds of stuff, especially heart disease, because the heart is especially dependent upon proper levels of the androgenic, hormones, testosterone, human growth, hormone, things like that. So it’s a bad deal and needs to be corrected. Brad (4m 15s): The first and foremost symptom of trouble is the spare tire. That’s right, the excess accumulation of visceral fat. This is the fat that’s surrounding our organs located in the mid section, and it’s distinguished from the other kind of fat, which we call subcutaneous fat, that it deposits all over the body. Underneath the skin. The visceral fat is believed to be far more health destructive and has these inflammatory properties that beget the accumulation of more visceral fat. So if you adding little bit of belly fat, a little bit of spare tire, that’s why fighting this battle is so critical. Brad (4m 56s): Once you add a little bit of belly fat, which of course happens as the decades pass sort of by, by, by default, when we’re engaged in modern lifestyle practices, where the accumulated effects start to take hold, you have your six pack, no matter what you eat or drink in college and in your twenties. And then things start to slide and slip a little bit. And when you start to add a little bit of this visceral fat, it’s actually classified as a endocrine organ of its own. It’s a separate organ in the body because it secretes these inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. So belly fat is inflammatory and puts you in a state of chronic or systemic inflammation. Brad (5m 41s): And when you are in a state of chronic inflammation, this inhibits your testosterone production and causes all kinds of other problems with metabolic health, being able to burn body fat. So when you become inflamed and you suppress the male hormones and you compromise your ability to burn body fat, it steers you over toward the consumption of carbohydrates to become carbohydrate dependent because you’re not a good fat burner. Even if you diligently try to restrict carbs in the diet and eat right, you’re going to have these, these pressures, these forces that push you over into inflammatory carbohydrate dependent, low testosterone lifestyle. Brad (6m 24s): And then it gets worse and worse and worse than the belly fat accumulation begets more belly fat accumulation until we’re so far down the road that even hormone therapy can’t help. And what happens when you have too much belly fat and you’re too inflamed is that this enzyme aromatase is produced in excess. And any testosterone that you do make or receive by outside means, exogenous testosterone gets converted into estrogen, thanks to your spare tire. So that aromatasization is a bad deal. And it’s something that might be relevant to a lot of people who are turning to hormone therapy to kind of right the ship. Brad (7m 6s): But I don’t want to make blanket statements because if you’re low on motivation, focus, and energy, and you get a little boost, which usually happens when you do hormone replacement therapy, maybe you can leverage that to get back in shape, do some more workouts, get rid of some of that belly fat and then losing the abdominal fat. Oh my gosh, there’s nothing better to right. All kinds of health aspects and disease risk factors in the blood, but especially reducing that chronic inflammation allows your hormones to come back into balance and you start making more testosterone and utilizing it more. So this is the belly fat battle, the key battle of lifetime, either accelerated aging or delaying the aging process and becoming a one of those specimens that you dream about that six pack old surfer dude at the beach, who seems like he’s as strong and healthy as the young buck’s in the lineup. Brad (7m 58s): And he can catch any wave they want and then go home and eat a burrito and do some more pushups. Okay. So, so the research is interesting and I’ll just cut into some of the things that might be of interest. One of them is the relationship between libido and testosterone strikingly. Surprisingly, they do not have a direct relationship that was always assumed. But first I want to talk about the relationship between libido and heavy exercise, heavy training, because a lot of us associate working really hard, heavy, physical output with a decline in libido. It’s the excuse of all times, but the research shows that libido is not an arousal and orgasm are all parasympathetic functions. Brad (8m 46s): Whereas athletics, heavy training, hard physical labor. These are sympathetic nervous system function. So it’s the fight or flight stimulation that you need when you’re going and throwing weights or completing a CrossFit workout or working hard to build a sauna in your backyard and working those muscles and hoisting heavy things all day long. Now, when you’re talking about libido, arousal, orgasm, parasympathetic is the rest and digest branch of the sympathetic nervous system. So it requires relaxation and theoretically, we should be able to go out there after a big busy athletic day and hit the sheets for more action later in that evening be, are they a train all day, a party, all night type of icon there? Brad (9m 28s): So the key is to transition out of that sympathetic state, into that relaxed parasympathetic state. Maybe you’ve experienced the ability to do that at certain times, such as receiving a massage or going for temperature therapy, whether it’s a sauna or jacuzzi and something that triggers you into relaxation mode. Maybe it’s an app where you’re engaged in meditation or breathing exercises, but it’s a wonderful skill to hone. And it has a direct association with your ability to perform sexually. So don’t use that excuse anymore and just put a focus on coming down off of a sympathetic dominant daily disposition into parasympathetic, teach yourself how to relax, and then you will optimize your sexual health. Brad (10m 18s): Here’s a great tip from Dr. Janine Kraus. She has a podcast, I was a guest on called The Health fFx. And she recommends when you get home or have a chance to unwind after an intense workout, lie down on the ground with your feet elevated for five to 10 minutes and engage in some deep diaphragmatic breathing, some relaxation breathing exercises, and this will help you come down off of that sympathetic dominant workout to activate parasympathetic function. Another great way to do this as foam rolling. So give yourself a nice foam rolling session at the end of a busy, hectic, stressful day. And you will get quickly into parasympathetic stimulation due to the painkilling endorphins that are released as you roll through the tight spots and actually give yourself a little bit of discomfort. Brad (11m 8s): Same with a nap. Oh my gosh. When, especially when I was an athlete, but in everyday life, I’m very fond of naps. Sometimes they last as short as 10 or 15 or 20 minutes, but you can do a lot of great benefit with a very short nap just by training yourself, to completely unplug, unwind in a deliberate approach, deliberate manner, where you’re just shutting that brain down. I like to turn on my rainfall app on my phone. And as soon as those raindrops come about and I put a blindfold over my face, I have trained over the years to just shut that brain function off and relax. And of course I can easily fall asleep at this point.A lot of people tell me I can’t fall asleep. I try to take a nap. Brad (11m 48s): It doesn’t matter. Just lay there and relax and teach your brain to go down from this constant stimulation. And hyper-connectivity, that makes it very, very difficult for us to unwind into parasympathetic function and be able to perform sexually after the busy, stressful day. All right. Interesting take on that and a new twist, right? So I don’t care how many miles you rode, how long your butt was sitting on that seat and your prostate was pushing on the front of the seat. Well, maybe that is something that could throw you off, but in terms of heavy, stressful, hard work and day, you can go to the other side nice and easy if you know how to unwind. Brad (12m 29s): Speaking of sexual frequency and optimizing your frequency, you might’ve heard of the Taoists theory. It’s been popularized in many books and nowadays with podcast hosts and people who are into that exploring sexuality and the tantric and things, and the old time, Taoists theory, thousands of years old, they believe that orgasm is a release of your essential life force and that you might want to preserve the number of orgasms you have in your life in order to regenerate energy in your body. So the Taoist idea is to have sex frequently and build up those hormones, which absolutely spike when you’re anticipating sexual activity or engage in sexual activity. Brad (13m 17s): But then it’s known this is science now. So we’re taking Taoism and we’re blending it with modern science. It’s known that the anticipation and the act of intercourse is building up your testosterone like crazy. And then as soon as you ejaculate, you experience a big decline in testosterone, as well as libido, as well as energy, as well as a cognitive focus interest in what your partner is saying. You may have seen this in movies or experienced it yourself. Just want to go off and time to start the rebuilding process. And John Gray actually says, that’s okay that the man needs to retreat to his cave, to replenish his testosterone after testosterone-depleting activities, including the culmination of sex. Brad (14m 2s): So if you’re thinking of the Taoism as being too far out there, now we have modern science and blood samples and tests and things like that that validate this. And of course you can confirm this in real life, the difference in your, your, your mindset and your energy level during before and during sex, and then after ejaculation. So the Taoists want you to have sex frequently, build up those hormones, but then preserve your ejaculation and have a sexual experience where you don’t need to ejaculate. And the super experts in the field are able to, the males are able to train themselves to experience an orgasm without ejaculating and multiple orgasmic, just like the females. Brad (14m 45s): Yes, it takes two years of practice and work and discipline. You can read more details in this very interesting book that I read like 20 years ago called the Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity , Tao spelled T A O. Thank you very much. Also Ben Greenfield’s new book, Boundless has a really nice overview of a lot of the Taoists theories and also the blending of modern science. Interestingly for females, guess what the Taoists say? They believe that frequent orgasm unlimited orgasm is excellent for nurturing your female essence, your female energy becoming healthier. So it’s the absolute opposite of the male, where they characterize an orgasm as a miniature death. Brad (15m 27s): And then you only have so many miniature deaths over your lifetime, and then you actually do die and they describe it. There’s three energy sources. They call it QI, Shen and Jing, and Qi is your daily energy level. So your Qi is down. If you’re tired, your Qi is up. If you’re excited and energized, your Shen is your radiant energy that you radiate to the outside world. And then your Jing is your male essence. That’s your stored energy, your battery power. And so the Taoists believed that you have this gene that starts with a full battery when you’re born, and then you steadily slowly and surely deplete your Jing over your lifetime. And so when you have days and days of depleting your Qi from high stress experiences, you know, dysfunctional relationship dynamics, overtraining overly stressful. Brad (16m 17s): You’re going to deplete that, that gene at a faster rate. And then you’re going to have, you know, less radiant Shen for the world because your Qi is low and your Jing is getting depleted at an accelerated rate. And there’s your quick lesson in Taoism. Females? No different story. You’re orgasming frequently. And each time you’re nurturing your female essence, building the energy more and more. And they take this concept that a long way down the road, if you, the references to the ancient works that are published in the Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity are mind blowing. Even back then thousands of years ago, they believe that a female welcoming multiple partners and experiencing a great variation of semen would make her ascend to the highest levels of health and energy and be sort of the queen bee of, of the society wild times. Brad (17m 9s): And it’s definitely wild because all we have is our cultural belief systems and values that have been cultivated carefully in modern times by the powers that be, I did a great show with Chris Kelly, where he was talking about the modern, weird society that stands for Western westernized, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic, and how our values were strongly orchestrated hundreds of years ago by the Catholic church for their own self-interests things like supporting and encouraging the nuclear family. And so the, the idea of optimized female health from thousands of years ago, the Taoists wanting the female to have multiple sexual partners has been snuffed out. Brad (17m 55s): But it’s interesting to just reflect upon that and think that, you know, perhaps they, they had a point from biochemical sense and maybe from other directions too, and we’re kind of experiencing cultural growth and progress these days. My shows with Wendy Walsh confirmed that where she talks about how a modern relationships have no rules anymore. So the female is allowed to take her thumb and swipe and swipe and swipe and look for multiple sexual partners and be picky and choosy and toss them out in the morning instead of the other way around. And so you could argue that all this represents some form of progress because we have more free choice and more open-mindedness to live the lifestyles that we desire rather than being beholden to a religious doctrine as Chris Kelly argued very persuasively, Whew, heavy stuff, okay. Brad (18m 46s): Back in some modern medical science with my favorite go-to science expert, Dr. Cate Shanahan, and she argues that this Taoist idea be taken a little bit too far, and it might be the modern version of the guy’s excuse that he has a headache. Although I don’t know too many guys who are floating that excuse around frequently. I know that’s often been a position on the female that the female has a headache. She’s not interested. The guy’s more interest than the female, but who knows, trying to preserve that male essence could be the way to extricate yourself if you’re not feeling it anyway. Okay. Explains again, getting into the, the, the science and the biology. Brad (19m 28s): It actually takes around 72 hours for sperm and seminal fluid to regenerate after an orgasm. A younger specimen who has the ability to go every single day has more prostatic fluid and is better able to empty that bag with a short recovery period, more so than folks in the older age groups, it takes longer and longer to regenerate. As we age as a little side note and a little plug commercial plug here. This is where MOFO, the male optimization formula with organs can be really valuable because, because it contains the exact proteins, peptides, enzymes co-factors, and molecular bio directors that trigger testosterone and sperm production, right. Brad (20m 14s): You’re consuming the, the same organs in the animal. And so you have the same nutrients, and again was also validated by science. Dr. Cate explains this really nicely, where she says, believe it, what you want, if you’re not believing in this like support, it’s like ancestral theory, where we’ve had thousands of years of support for the idea that nourishing someone who has a weak heart by consuming animal heart or kidneys, if they have weak, kidneys has been known to work and be a central element of that central health for thousands of years. But if, if you’re not feeling that you can acknowledge that when you consume, for example, freeze, dried testicles from a grass fed cow, you’re getting the exact nutrient profile. Brad (20m 56s): You’re getting that high load of zinc and the other specific nutrients that are essential for human testosterone production. So boy, and we also have a lot of user experience to validate that this stuff can give you a really natural boost, quite different than consuming testosterone from exogenous, from outside sources, taking an injection or rubbing on a cream. So it definitely can’t hurt. And it most certainly can help because you’re getting such an awesome boost of the exact nutrients you need for male reproductive health. Okay. So back to the show, the essential need to honor the Taoists strategy for females to have frequent orgasm. Brad (21m 41s): John Gray supports this in modern times saying that females can easily fall out of estrogen balance. They want to be estrogen dominant to be all the female that you can be just like the male wants to be testosterone optimized. So females can easily fall out of balance in hectic high stress, modern life, because they’re asked to perform this more varied role than their traditional biological drive to be the nurturer caretaker. So when they’re out there in the testosterone dominant workplace depleting estrogen, and being forced to compete and do things that are against their main biological drives of nurture caretaker, they can become estrogen depleted and that orgasm will help bring them back into hormone balance. Brad (22m 24s): Oh right. Great stuff. What a great excuse. Right. If you’re angling for that. Okay. So understanding that testosterone skyrockets with the anticipation of having sex and engaging in the act of sex, but then plummets, as soon as you orgasm and takes a while to rebuild. Here’s the thing. If you try this Taoists’ practice of withholding orgasm while you’re, and you finish the sexual act without orgasm, the libido and the testosterone will re circulate in your body and skyrocket to higher levels. You will desire your partner like never before. If you haven’t tried it, at least once in life might be a fun thing to do. You will have a prolonged desire for your partner, that you can’t stand until the next sexual experience and opportunity. Brad (23m 10s): Maybe you’ll only make it once. Oh my gosh, the Taoists are wanting you to withhold on a, on a high frequency that gets higher and higher. The older you get. So they want to have less orgasms in each age group. We’re going to talk about those numbers shortly. And the general sense here among modern males that I’ve discussed this with is that this is a pretty huge sacrifice to withhold orgasm. It’s a huge challenge. And there doesn’t seem to be a ton of interest by the average modern male. This is one reason is because it may be more difficult to arrange for a frequent, optimal sexual experiences at the drop of a hat or the snap of the fingers, right? You don’t know when that next chance will come, so you don’t want to waste it and walk away with the full bag. Brad (23m 57s): Ben Greenfield, the biohacking King, who was willing to try anything and everything. Even he describes his reluctance to go deep into this Taoists practice of withholding, because he says he wants to enjoy that time with his wife to the maximum and that release from the stresses of modern life and all the things that are going on when they do have that chance to get together. When a couple has a chance to get together a busy couple, especially a couple that has the 24/7 obligation of raising kids and having other people in the home and less frequent opportunities. So certainly okay to discount that idea, but, you know, keep it in mind and maybe try it out once in a while, especially if you know, when your next sexual opportunity is coming, for sure, such as a vacation time or something. Brad (24m 42s): I also like David Deida’s insights here. He’s the author of Way of The Superior Man. And his insights are very controversial. A lot of people just reject it outright because it’s pretty, it’s pretty spicy. But I would just want to share with you what he says. He likes this idea of the male withholding orgasm, and even contends that males should resist, should override their, their partners, encouragement for them to ejaculate and have maximum enjoyment of the sexual experience, right? That deep biological drive to reproduce, to become pregnant. The females oftentimes rooting you on. And David Deida wants you to override that, and this will show your female partner that you are in control. Brad (25m 30s): And that you’re strong and resilient. Deida contends that deep down the female really does want the man to override her encouragement. And then he’ll be seen as the one who is the master of all his urges. And that deep down gives the female this tremendous sense of comfort and security that her man is the, the strongest, most disciplined, most resilient dude around. Wow, pretty trippy and highly controversial. And he also relatedly, if you want to get into some of his controversial insights, he also contends that when the female is going off, you’re having an argument and she’s expressing all of her anger and emotions. Brad (26m 10s): What you’re supposed to do at that point is to grab her and hold her in an embrace and express your love, realizing that it’s not personal and override this initial emotional exchange and realize also that when a female is really letting you have it and really pushing your buttons and really going for your weak spot, this is all happening subconsciously because she’s probing to determine how much that you really do love her. And so when you rush up and give her a hug and tell her, you love her well, she’s given you the riot act. That is when the male female bond rises to the, the higher level. Yeah. Pretty wild told you is controversial, but you can take what you want from that very, very interesting commentary, if nothing else. Brad (26m 54s): Okay. Back to frequency. So the Taoists practice recommends the different optimal rates for different age groups. If your twenties and thirties, I think there’s an unlimited hall pass there. Once you get into the, your, your decades of your forties, the Taoists suggestion is a maximum orgasm frequency of two to three times a week. In your fifties, the once to twice a week maximum is the recommendation. And then when you’re over 60 it’s once a week maximum, they also say that it’s okay to have a little more frequency in the summer. And then possibly, especially in the older age groups drop down to zero orgasms during the winter months, because that’s when it’s easier to deplete your male essence. Brad (27m 42s): Okay. Trippy, ancient Taoists commentary. Think what you want, but check this out. We’re bringing in the science again. And there’s some very interesting modern research from Japan that a frequency of one orgasm per every seven days, once a week is the, the sweet spot to optimize testosterone production. If you engage more frequently than that, you will experience transient reductions in your testosterone. As we know, especially in immediate drop, as soon as you orgasm. Interesting also is if your ejaculation is less frequent than once a week, your testosterone will also experience in decline following the use it or lose it principle. Brad (28m 26s): So if you lose interest in one of the main functions of testosterone is to promote libido and sexual health. You’ll, down-regulate these things and, you know, turn your attention to whatever else you’re doing if you’re not having sex or ejaculating once a week. Okay. So how about the takeaways from all this commentary? I think the big one here is that you are obligated for your sexual health and testosterone optimization to ejaculate at least once every seven days, but maybe put more of your attention as a couple, more of your focus on female frequency. And if you’re really in a great groove with a passionate relationship, frequent opportunities, no, no roadblocks. Brad (29m 12s): Maybe you can experiment with ejaculation control once in a while and see what you think. And speaking of the difference between ejaculating on your own and with the partner, John Gray makes a very interesting and persuasive argument here about the concerns with the popularity of modern day, easy access internet pornography that serves to hijack the dopamine pleasure pathways and trick your brain into thinking that you’re having real sex. To the extent that one can experience difficulties getting aroused in real life with a real woman in front of them. And also the easy access to porn and ejaculation will potentially cause the male to lose interest in the chase, the actual wooing of a live person to become your partner. Brad (30m 6s): And this is known to be a huge factor in the overall boosting spiking of testosterone and overall testosterone optimization. So the mere anticipation of romance and conquest, maybe you don’t like that word, but this is not talking just about sexually, but for conquering any peak performance challenge for experiencing the, the, the ultimate payoff after the anticipation. These are the things that skyrocket testosterone, if it becomes free and easy and ever, ever easy access, you become essentially a dopamine addict. And John Gray’s particularly concerned about the combination of porn and video games, because then if you put these two things together, it meets all the male’s primary biological drives without any effort necessary. Brad (30m 59s): Whew. All right. Thank you for taking all that into consideration. We’ve so far been mixing insights about testosterone and libido, and what’s was shocking to me with the research is that testosterone is not directly correlated with libido. Healthy testosterone of course helps libido, but libido can easily be killed if your partner is bitching and nitpicking, right? Even if you have healthy testosterone, you can lose your libido in a, in a snap. And on the flip side, someone with low testosterone caused by unhealthy lifestyle practice might not be prevented from having a healthy sex life. Maybe they can get to that parasympathetic function if they’re a lazy ass and, you know, hanging around and not burning too much energy and getting fit, or even making good dietary choices, but they can perform when they’re called upon. Brad (31m 54s): Okay. Speaking of that dopamine rush that you get the easy way with consuming pornography. You also get this in a more meaningful way when you engage with an exciting new partner when you’re chasing and engaging with someone early on. Dr. John Gottman contends that the romantic spark, the wild chemistry of a new relationship can last for as long as two years, and then inevitably it is due to regulate. And you’re going to kind of have the smoke clear and then being, looking at forming a long-term healthy, loving partnership. Brad (32m 34s): However, his great research at the Gottman Institute also shows that it’s possible to maintain this romantic spark, this excitement, this dopamine rush with a long-term partner. And he has researched from couples that have been in love and excited about each other for over 20 years. And it just takes a little bit of a strategy and mindfulness about being the best you can be in relationship and maybe orchestrating some logistics to keep the excitement and the newness and the freshness. And we’ll talk more about that in a second. So the dopamine rush is out there for the taking and it can be done in a healthy way as opposed to a porn addict or perhaps a person who’s addicted to very short term relationships, and then constantly have the mindset of moving on to more excitement and more dopamine from someone new. Brad (33m 26s): So the dopamine rush is definitely easier and more automatic when you’re in a short-term relationship. Then when you transitioned into this long-term partnership, because what happens in the long-term partnership, a stable, healthy longterm partnership is you get this increased production of oxytocin. That’s the hormone that evokes bonding, stability, love, connection. And this also happens in a family setting where your testosterone is known to decline when you become a father and also in locked into a long-term relationship. Why? Because this is, again, going back to biology, you’re not obligated to conquer your environment and flash your peacock feathers when you’re immersed in a stable partnership. Brad (34m 14s): And these are the things that spike testosterone is that that competition that’s social status hormone as Ashley Merryman calls it. But again, we have the potential to keep the magic going and keep the, the excitement hormones flowing along with that oxytocin. So what do we do? Try to do things that extricate from familiarity boredom, taking your partner for granted. And of course starting point is the stability of healthy relationship dynamics and a stress balanced lifestyle of your own. So you’re coming to the relationship as a wholesome healthy person Qi and libido are not directly correlated, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have healthy testosterone, healthy, physical fitness, low body, fat absence of that visceral fat. Brad (35m 1s): And then your body is able to, to function well, should your libido become activated aroused, right? So we gotta get that life stress and balance and give yourself a fighting chance at being a good lover here with your partner. And interestingly, Mark Manson wrote a recent newsletter with the surprising insight. This came from informal polling amongst his readers of either healthy long-term couples or people that had been recently divorced. And he said among the divorcees, they mentioned communication as being the primary most important attribute of a relationship. Brad (35m 43s): In other words, probably admitting obstensively that the communication broke down, which is why they were divorced. And that, that was the reason they point to, and they, they attribute they, they tout, but among the long-term happy couples, he discovered that respect turned out to be more important than communication, noting the insight from the couples and from himself, that communication is bound to break down. At some point, you’re not always going to communicate responsibly and lovingly and sensitively, but if you have this underlying respect, you’re going to be able to work through those times where communication breaks down. Interesting insight. So right now, if you’re sitting around with a smile on your face, maybe you want to take your sex life, your relationship to the next level. Brad (36m 29s): Of course, there’s zillions of recommendations out there. I’ve heard people pay more emphasis on actually scheduling it these days, I guess. Cause we’re so over-scheduled or so locked into our schedules. That it’s a nice idea to say, Hey, Tuesday night is going to be our night. That’s kind of interesting because the anticipation starts when you actually schedule it. You know, it’s going to happen. You’re going to get lucky that night. And that’s the initial spike of testosterone that we have scientifically validated. So vacations of course, allow you to easily enter that parasympathetic state probably at the very start of the day after you slept until 10:15 AM or what have you, instead of locked into rat race mode and Hey, you know, you’re allowed to even rent a hotel room in your own hometown. Brad (37m 19s): It’s possible. Try it out. Get creative, take the car over to the lookout where you first fooled around a long time ago. You can do some fantasy role-playing with a sense of humor injected into the experience instead of feeling this pressure to perform. And I think a sense of humor. You can’t say enough about that because people bring a lot to the table. Maybe you’re not entirely aware of all the things that your partner brings to the table in a sexual setting. And it’s could be a high pressure situation or a situation where direct and open communication is difficult or stunted due to whatever baggage and issues might be underneath the surface. Brad (37m 59s): So if you can have a sense of humor and when things don’t go perfectly, when your performance is not up to your level of expectation, you can laugh about it on the spot. That really is a nice way to break the tension and strengthen the connection. Same with fantasy role-playing Mia Moore. We always pretend that she was my Spanish tutor from years ago, back in college days. And I’m working so hard in the classroom. And if I get my vocabulary words, right, maybe we can take a break later. Hey, maybe we don’t look like college students right now, but we can act like them. Huh? Okay. The next category moving quickly on supplements. We’ll talk a little bit about that. Brad (38m 41s): I’m sure you’ve been overwhelmed if you have any interest in the category of testosterone boosters. And what’s interesting is that when you break it down and look at the research and look what’s in the bottles, a lot of these products are actually targeting libido more so than testosterone. And there’s not a ton of wonder supplements that have been scientifically validated to boost testosterone there’s research that can validate the marketing of the product and the marketing message that studies show that this caused a minor boost in testosterone, which is great. And there’s all kinds of supplements and herbs that are on the market that can stand by some research showing that they did a good job with minor boost. Brad (39m 28s): But there’s more research is showing that many of these agents that you might’ve heard of can actually boost libido. Ginseng is probably one of the most familiar ones. Long Jack is another one. This has been a popular remedy for centuries as an aphrodisiac. Tribulus fenugreek. You may have heard of some of these things or seen them bottled up with other cool stuff. Now, if you kind of attack this issue from the opposite direction, there’s a lot of deficiencies that can really mess up your testosterone production. So let’s say if you’re deficient in zinc or magnesium or other important micronutrients, you can really compromise your ability to manufacture testosterone successfully. Brad (40m 15s): So the combination of zinc and magnesium has been a popular one. You might see it under the term, ZMA zinc and magnesium, asparte It stands for, and there’s a great study of college football players, where they had some big jumps in blood levels of testosterone with a protocol of eight weeks of taking this supplement. So if you’re down, if you’re deficient, if your diet’s not up to par and you go and hit some of the popular supplements that can really do a nice boost of vitamin D being another one, going out and get more sunlight can have a fantastic boost to your testosterone production, especially if you’re deficient. Brad (40m 55s): So I didn’t want to talk too much about supplements cause that’s a whole nother podcast. And I did my spiel for the organ supplements, but I kind of put this in a different category from all the testosterone or libido supplements, because this is really a food product, right? It’s freeze, dried animal organs. There’s nothing that’s an extraction made in a laboratory or agents put together that don’t exist in nature. And a lot of people who are into the, the ancestral health scene and the science of it, the synergistic function of ingredients that are found in nature. So when you’re taking the animal organs in the exact form that they existed in, in the animal without breaking them down or extracting them, they’re believed to have far more potency. Brad (41m 41s): And I think that’s not too disputed of a statement, right? If you’re taking a multivitamin, when you can otherwise have a nutritious meal, most people would choose the nutritious meal. Most science would support the idea that you’re better off getting your nutrients in that synergistic natural form. And that’s basically what the MOFO product is, is the completely unadulterated agents, proteins, peptides, enzymes co-factors and molecular bio directors. Oh, right. Finally, we could do another whole show on this, but I’ll just mention it briefly. As we close out this episode, the controversial topic of testosterone replacement therapy TRT, Oh my gosh, the stats are just mindblowing and stunning and highly disturbing. Brad (42m 26s): It is known in different places across the world. This study has been replicated that there is a steady decline in the average testosterone level of the modern male to the tune of a decline of around 1% per year. That started back in the 1980s. So dad and grandpa had more testosterone than you at the same age, right? We experienced a natural decline as we age, but this is just generally across the board age for age, there was more testosterone back in the day. And there, the belief is that this is driven strongly by the increased incidents of metabolic dysfunction, obesity, type two diabetes that we’re seeing in modern times, as well as some environmental disturbances, the estrogenic compounds in the environment that can really harm your testosterone if you’re sensitive. Brad (43m 18s): And if you’re giving yourself a lot of exposure, such as consuming food or drink, that’s encased in plastic. So the plastics give off these environmental estrogens, the Xeno estrogens, and even a little bit can go a long way to messing up your testosterone production. Maybe you can Google the story of the frogs that changed sex. They experienced a sex change from male to female because they were swimming in a water is polluted by environmental estrogen scary stuff. They want to do your really best to avoid exposure to environmental estrogens. And you want to do your best to avoid putting on that spare tire, which will just crush your potential and your, your male essence in so many ways, along with other health consequences. Brad (44m 6s): Now, because this decline is so common, many people are turning to hormone replacement therapy at younger and younger ages. Did you know that 40% of all prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction are dispensed to males under age 40? So if you are turning toward the idea of hormone replacement therapy, cause you’re not in top shape right now and experiencing symptoms of low testosterone Boy, the underlying lifestyle practices are going to be the first thing to focus on because if you are not optimized with your lifestyle, you will not benefit from the hormone replacement therapy. Brad (44m 46s): At most you’ll experience, a brief bump. And then you will regulate with all your inflammatory practices going on to aromatase that extra testosterone into estrogen, and you will grow what’s affectionately called bitch tits, right? You’ll actually can develop this condition called gynecomastia where you develop breast tissue because you’re getting so much estrogen now because you’re getting overdosed on testosterone. You don’t know what to do with it because of your spare tire. And if you can tackle those lifestyle habits that I present in the MOFO mission, you can see it at the landing page on bradkearns.com to get a quick overview. And then the free ebook becoming a modern day MOFO. Brad (45m 28s): We’ll get into more details about how to optimize these lifestyle habits. And of course the book coming soon will give you the complete plan and all 10 assignments had optimize every aspect of lifestyle for male hormone health. So if you’re suffering from these symptoms: decline in motivation, poor workout performance and recovery, brain fog, of course, low libido, but we talked about how those aren’t directly related and you’re not happy with your body composition. You’re not responding to a diet or exercise interventions. That’s when you want to turn the corner here and try to get your male hormone function back in gear and getting blood tests is an excellent idea. Brad (46m 15s): And I’ll talk all about that. The different ones in the book, there’s a lot of confusion and misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the values that are out there. So what I’m recommending is placing a strong emphasis on subjective measurements of testosterone health and using the blood tests as an adjunct to that, because there’s a lot of confusion, but when we’re talking about serum testosterone. A lot of people say free testosterone is more valuable, but there’s so many measurement errors and other concerns about free T that the experts that I follow want you to just focus on your total testosterone values in your blood and the familiar scale ranges from a 250 up to a thousand or more. Brad (46m 56s): That’s kind of the healthy range. And if you’re under 300, a lot of people will classify you as hypogonadal low T you’ll be a candidate for hormone replacement therapy. So you want to see that blood value at least up there in the middle of the, of the game. Then again, because again, the norms and the averages today, we’re talking about a pretty pathetic population of a large percentage overweight, obese type two diabetes metabolic syndrome, spare tire action. So you want to get up there in the 500 or 600 range and feel comfortable and then have all these attributes of a good physical performance concentration motivation. So we’re going to just tackle this thing from a big picture perspective, but you know, a good starting point. Brad (47m 40s): If you start taking MOFO and replenishing this depleted cellular energy that might give you the motivation that might give you the little boost that you need to get out there and adhere to an exercise program and therefore pay a little more attention to your sleep. Cause now you’re in the exercise game. Now you’re making good decisions with your diet. So give yourself a little chance, give yourself a little boost and take the first step. Whether it’s getting more sleep, getting some exercise, trying to bottle of MOFO. I think you’ll be really happy with the results and just turning the course before you go and look to testosterone replacement therapy. Now, if you’ve done everything you’re interested in fitness performance, and you want to consider all manner of optimization. Brad (48m 24s): I trust a lot of people that say this stuff can work if it’s done right under good supervision. Mark Sisson has some good articles on Mark’s daily, apple.com about his hormone replacement regimen. And now that he’s in his late sixties and it’s working for him, so I don’t want to come off as discounting it outright. But when I look at the books and the offerings and the assumptions people make without looking at the lifestyle opportunities, boy, that’s a, it seems like a big mistake and it seems validated by science to say that. So there you go. Lots of stuff on the need to know ladies. I hope you hung in there and enjoyed it too, but get going MOFO and thank you so much for listening. Love to help. Love to hear from you, send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and B.Rad.