The term “good energy” has been recruited to serve a number of purposes and connotations in this world. It substitutes for “clean energy” in the growing field of alternative fuels, and “good energy” means moral power in the realm of human emotion.
As we age, energy becomes a concern as we sometimes feel less of it coursing through our bodies. As young people, we tend to be driven by an alternating fuel of hormones and raging metabolism. Some of that comes through as sexual energy, which can turn out to be relatively good thing or something not so good, depending on how we use it.
Too good to function
I well recall being so horny at times it was nearly impossible to function. My daily morning ritual of jerking off in the basement shower before high school classes began barely stemmed the tide of young lust. Athletic coaches, especially boxing trainers it seems, moralized that channeling sexual energy was better than releasing it during preparation for competition. The thought was that putting all that “good energy” to use would keep a man from getting weak. And if it made the athlete a little angry inside, all the better.
That was not my experience as the world of actual sex opened up to me. I ran personal best times within hours of getting laid. The feeling of being loved and wanted was far more powerful than any energy sap it supposedly caused.
And when it came to creative output and work production, the other realm of competition in this world, it helped to wick off sexual energy in order to concentrate on the task at hand, no pun intended.
Over the last twenty years, formerly repressive ideas about sex and especially masturbation have changed plenty. The fact that both women and men pleasure themselves for self-love, sexual release and emotional gratification is now well-documented and out in the open. There is good energy in no longer blaming people for their sexual urges. The old biblical maxims about masturbation being a sin against God have been debunked. We now know that so-called “Onanism” was a repressive attempt to selectively use a passage from scripture to rail against “spilling seed.”
And what about lust? We all know the Bible says some things about that. Specifically Jesus is often quoted that even looking at a person with lust is equivalent to adultery. Never mind that Jesus often spoke in strong hyperbole and even outright symbolism to get a point across. He once stated that He could tear down the temple and rebuild it in three days. The religious authorities laughed at Him because they took him literally.
But literalism is not always how truth works. The same is true with the good energies of lust. The major reason Jesus warns against lust is that it leads to covetous behavior, wanting something that is not by rights all at ours to possess. That is one of the 10 Commandments, “Thou shall not covet thy neighbors wife…”
And so on. But here’s the funny thing about releasing lust from our bodies. It often lowers the sense of taboo and desire for something about which we fantasize, and that’s actually a good use of energy. Not when it’s obsessive or addictive, of course. Because sexual addiction and chronic masturbation really don’t lead to good things. But a good healthy orgasm whether in company with another or on your own is a damned good bit of energy and in some cases, a matter of good health.
That’s what my doctor once told me during a time in my early thirties when I was experiencing some enlargement of the prostate. He fortunately identified the cause, which was caffeine consumption. Once I cut that out of my diet, my prostate no longer seized up. But for good health, he suggested, it was always good for the prostate to have frequent sex. “Can I get a prescription for that?” I joked at the time. He laughed and actually wrote it out on a piece of paper. “You’ll have to negotiate that with your wife,” he wryly replied.
It actually is good sexual health for a man to ejaculate even when copulation or other options aren’t readily available. Letting seminal fluid sit around in the prostate increases the risk of an enlarged prostate. And perhaps the stuff even gets stale.
It can be tricky to discern what’s actually going on with certain types of health issues. And when the subject is masturbation, ancient taboos tend to color the instincts of judgment. WebMD carried findings from an interesting study on the subject of masturbation in men. The study produced some convoluted findings, as shared here:
“For men in their 20s, “frequent masturbation” was two to seven times per week. Compared to same-age men who reported masturbating less than once per month, 20-something frequent masturbators had a 79% higher risk of prostate cancer by age 60.
For men in their 50s, “frequent masturbation” was one or more times per week. Compared to same-age men who reported never masturbating, 50-something frequent masturbators had a 70% lower risk of prostate cancer.
What’s going on? The study wasn’t designed to answer that question. But Dimitropoulou and colleagues have some theories.
They suggest that young men genetically predisposed to have hormone-sensitive prostate cancer will be at higher risk if their bodies naturally produce high levels of male hormones — the same hormones that give them an intense sex drive.
So it’s not masturbation itself that’s increasing prostate cancer risk in young men. More masturbation may just mean more sex drive — and more androgens bathing prostate tissues.”
For women, masturbation touches on issues of emotional health as well as physical well-being. “Masturbating increases blood flow throughout your body and releases feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins. “That may explain why there’s a clear mood benefit, even if you don’t orgasm,” says Prause, a sexuality researcher at UCLA. And while men are more likely to talk about blowing off steam by masturbating, research suggests it’s a stress-reliever for both sexes. “It takes your mind [off your worries] while activating areas of the brain associated with pleasure,” Prause says.”
That’s all good energy. And my doctor also once told me that quitting caffeine can be good for women too. He said that much like my prostate years ago, the lining of a woman’s vagina has soft tissue that can be greatly affected by ingestion of stimulants. That can lead to yeast infections and other internal problems.
That said, we’re all prone to go a little insane with something that feels so good. That’s when good energy tends to slip into the realm of bad instincts. Just like activities such as running and riding and swimming, there is a possibility of partaking in too much of a good thing.
I recall a Sunday afternoon out in Paoli, Pennsylvania when I was living alone after a job transfer and had little else to do with my free time but run. During the morning I covered twenty miles in a club team workout and felt great. That afternoon I obsessively drove to Valley Forge to go for a six-mile run. Before heading out I noticed a small dog and walked over to pet it. The owner was a lovely woman named Karen. We hit it off right away. When I told her that I was about to go out for a run, she looked me in the eye and asked, “Do you have to?”
I should have ditched that run in the moment and sat down to talk with that woman. As it was, I did get her number and go out on a couple dates. But my God, why was running so blasted important that I had to do twenty-six miles of it in one damned day?
As the wrestling coach character in the John Irving book Hotel New Hampshire once said, “You’ve got to get obsessed and stay obsessed.” That I was at the time. With running. That is one of the tarsnakes of existence. It takes experience to learn what’s good and bad for you.
And I’ll confess that I once yanked it five times in a single day. Which brought to mind the phrase our college cross country coach used to holler out the car window at the young men covering miles under his watch. “Ah boys!” he’d chortle. “You can’t beat fun!”
To which we’d mutter under our breath. “Yeah, like a sore dick.”
And that, my friends, is the moral of good energy and bad. That which makes you too sore to function is probably more than enough for the day, the week, or your entire life. So I hope you find that good energy now and in the future. But not too much.