Re: Controlling the male sex drive

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Sat, 26 Jun 1999 22:33:00 -0500

Dave Sill wrote:
> I'm tired of being dominated by my hormones. I waste vast amounts of
> time and energy thinking about and having sex, and I'm constantly
> being distracted by sexual thoughts. Sometimes I think it would be
> better--now that I've sired all the children I plan to--to just get
> out of the sex game altogether. (I'm 39, married, three children.)
> Castration would be a little extreme (permanent) and I don't know
> exactly what the effects would be. I'm sure there are drugs that can
> help, but I don't know how effective they are, how safe they are for
> long-term use, or even what they're called or how to get them.
> Is there any practical relief for this problem available today?

I also find that I'm spending too much time thinking about it - but for me anything above zero would be "too much", considering my old statement that "When I want to reproduce I'll clone myself or build an AI." I've heard that the average male thinks about sex every 34 seconds, according to the only statistic I've heard on the subject, from some forgotten source. Well, I'm way, way below that; presently down to something on the order of every 3.4 hours. And I'm presently 19, and had 34-minute discipline from around the beginning of puberty, which probably makes it more impressive.

I find that the two best strategies, are, first, to be able to view yourself in terms of evolutionary psychology and neurophysiology, translating emotions into evolutionary strategies, testosterone, and "small explosions of endogenous opiates", as I believe someone on the list said. And, second, to bear in mind the cosmic moral insignificance of both abstinence and indulgence - from what I've heard, not that I'd know, feeling guilty doesn't help at all.

Drugs... I wouldn't know. I think I'll have to second the recommendation Not To Tamper With It; it's too central. Even a software solution is playing it close.

See also "The Celibate FAQ":

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way