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Hello. I have a rather strange question. I have a 22 year old male friend who wants to reduce his sex drive because he feels that it is too intense, bothersome, interfering with his daily life etc. Other than various narcotics and such, I couldn't really think of anything. Any suggestions for something that is safe and natural and mild enough to be taken on a daily basis for long term effects? Thank you!


( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 15th, 2009 06:04 am (UTC)
Not the answer you're looking for, but I hear self-discipline is quite natural, as is self-love.
Jan. 15th, 2009 07:08 am (UTC)
self-discipline is kind of vague. what exactly do you mean by that? i don't think self-love is an issue here.
Jan. 15th, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)
Learning how to control his thoughts and actions better.

Jan. 16th, 2009 09:56 am (UTC)
I would say (speaking from experience) that discipline in cultivating non-reaction and non-attachment to desire in oneself as prescribed by Hindu and Buddhist practice (yoga) helps a person deal with sexual desire, not by supressing it, but by allowing control over how a person percieves and behaves towards it. Kind of like re-wiring a part of the brain from an automatic to a controlled mechanism. This works on a lot of other aspects of behavior too, of course.

This isn't always an easy or practical thing to develop though.
Jan. 15th, 2009 06:09 am (UTC)
Monk's pepper, also called chaste tree (vitex agnus) reduces sex drive. It seems to do so by acting on FSH and influencing prolactin and testosterone levels. I would be wary of substances that mess with hormones, though.

Check PubMed for safety data, I guess.
Jan. 15th, 2009 06:24 am (UTC)
Eh, that's what the medievals claim. It DOES NOT reduce sex drives in women, and is usually taken to help with female fertility or menopause.
Jan. 15th, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)
She's asking about a guy.

But yeah maybe he can do some yoga to get the energy to flow differently. At least he's trying to do something about it rather than use it as a poor excuse to harm anyone else.
Jan. 15th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
Dammit. Of course it doesn't work for women. Just my luck. Damn.
Jan. 16th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
Thanks. I had only known about vitex being used for female issues such as dysmenorrhea, hormone balancing etc. But I'll look into it. I love to research herbology for my own personal interests even if it doesn't prove to be applicable for his issue.
Jan. 16th, 2009 10:11 am (UTC)
You're welcome!

It has a wierd taste, I'll add.

I added you to my friends list, as you seem to write about interesting stuff :)
Jan. 16th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'll add you back. :)
Jan. 17th, 2009 08:47 am (UTC)
p.s. i love your broccoflower icon.
Jan. 15th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
Counseling? Not trying to be snarky, I'm serious. Most 22 year old males have pretty intense sex drives, but if his is "interfering with his daily life" to the point that he feels like he needs to take substances (natural or non) to reduce it, then it could be a sexual addiction issue.

The only other natural things I can think of are removing himself from sexually stimulating situations, distracting himself (and burning excess energy) with exercise, and making sure he gets regular... erm... tension release.

Honestly, it sounds like a complicated issue that he should take up with a doctor. Sexuality is a tricky thing, and it's all subjective... it could be that he thinks his sex drive is out of control when it's actually normal. (Think: prepubescent boys freaking out the first time they get a boner.) To make matters more complicated, it could be that he only thinks his sex drive is out of control by comparison, because he's with a partner with a lower sex drive, and he feels guilty/pervy about wanting sex more than they do.

I'm not an expert by any means, it just sounds like a more complicated situation than popping a pill, herbal or narcotic. I would suggest he check in with a doctor, or at the very least head over to the Savage Love archives and do some reading: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?archives=all
Jan. 15th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
Yup, counseling is a very natural alternative, and involves ingesting nothing :-)
Jan. 16th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
I think it is normal, and I think he does realize that. I don't think he actually has a sex or porn addiction, but I really don't know. I think it's just generally distracting and irritating to him and he'd rather have more mind space freed up to focus on other things in life. Thank you.
Jan. 15th, 2009 06:21 am (UTC)
running, weightlifting, yoga, martial arts, whatever calls to him.

movement can be a very balancing tactic since it can help raise low energy levels (sexual and otherwise) and help expend excess energy in those with too much.


acceptance that everyone has different sex drives and that sex drives aren't inherently bad. if he feels he has a sexual addiction or a porn addiction those would be two different things.
Jan. 15th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
They did a study about men who worked out instead of getting off when they had the urge and it apparently lead to some kind of dysfunction. I think is was something along the lines of having issues actually having sex when they wanted.
Jan. 16th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
That is very interesting. Do you happen to have a link to this resource or any other details? I'd be interested in reading up on it.
Jan. 16th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
Sorry, no. I heard it on some morning radio program a year or two ago and I only took note because one of our male friends at the time was doing exactly that, working out whenever he felt the urge to have sex.
Jan. 15th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC)
Chinese medicine has treatments for this. He should see a good acupuncturist who is also schooled in Chinese herbalism.

Qi gong meditation can also be helpful. He can learn to channel it differently or store that energy.
Jan. 15th, 2009 06:32 am (UTC)
My post wasn't worded as well as yours.

The only suggestion that worked was finding a partner who appreciated my sex drive. After having dated for so long, I'd given up finding someone who would mesh with ALL of me so well.

I'm not a cheater or a sex addict, and St. John's wort wasn't an option for me because of birth control (and my bipolar). It's nice to be able to accept myself for who I am. I'm not saying that's the solution your friend needs... just giving a follow up on my post, since you might be interested.

I also hope you get a lot of helpful replies, and not so many snark judgmental ones :c) And thanks for posting... it's good to know I'm not alone.
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Jan. 16th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
I do remember your post, and I am glad everything worked out for you. I agree that there is/was nothing wrong with you and thought it was very presumptuous for people to assume that you have some kind of emotional/sexual disconnect or anything along those lines. I personally generally have a rather low sex drive, but when I do want it, most of the time masturbation just doesn't cut it, nor does sex with random people, so I understand where you're coming from. And I don't mean to pry, but I hope you're doing well with the bi-polar as well, my sister, boyfriend, and one of my best friends all deal with bi-polar so I know how difficult that can be.
Jan. 15th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC)
It seems that folks want quick fix solutions to issues they may need to examine more. It is an epidemic in our world.

I have a friend who has a pretty strong libido too... and he has struggled with it. To be obsessed with sex is more of a reflection of the mind rather than a biological issue. We never want to take responsibility for something that is an issue.

Sure.. maybe his biological need to procreate is running in overdrive.. and so perhaps that is something he should see a doctor about. HOWEVER.....pills can't fix everything. Sometimes we have to do the work. IF your friend doesn't uncover the underlying reason of his sex obsession.. hiding the symptoms by taking something for it won't help.

As for confusion over the issue of self love. WHat is usually meant is that we humans usually feel we are not getting something in our lives. We substitute drinking, drugs, sex in order to fill holes in our lives. We may not be aware of it. We may think we love ourselves.. but rather that is just the ego.

I think meditation and yes.. self discipline could be helpful. Have your friend sit in stillness for at least 20 minutes a day. Gently pushing away thoughts. If it comes up he keeps thinking about sex.. he should gently push those thoughts away. That is just the basics.

A lot of times.. we discover the underlying reason to our addictions.

pills and quick fix remedies only mask the issue and we never evolve out of that mindset.

HOwever, if he has a perpetual hard on.. maybe he should go to a doctor..
Jan. 16th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
As I mentioned to another poster, I really think this is nothing more than him having the average libido for a male his age. And because he is not in a long term relationship, I think he would rather just not have to deal with thinking about who he's going to sleep with next and how, and would rather focus on everything else in life. Thank you for the thoughtful response though.
Jan. 15th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
Raise the energy...avoid direct stimulation
Another vote for yoga...there are poses in Kundalini Yoga that specializing in raising and transforming sexual energy...an excess of sexual interest isn't necessarily a bad thing, it means that there's more energy available to use for spiritual progress also. Also according to Taoism and Tantra, self-release isn't going to be a long-term solution either, since you're just putting a drain on your life-energy.

Try "hip drops" like where you lay on the floor with your knees in the air and your feet next to your buttocks, then keeping your shoulders on the floor, raise pelvis into the air, and let it fall back onto the floor, repeatedly, beating the hell out of your sacral area for a while, hopefully forcing the energy upwards towards the heart, and away from the genitals (rather than down and out).

Or check out this site:
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Jan. 16th, 2009 01:44 am (UTC)
Awww.. but you're too far. I'll let him know to hit you up next time he's in NY though. ;)
Jan. 15th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
Transmutation. Sex drive is essentially the same energy as creativity and ambition, so he can experiment with transforming it by channelling it into other things he wants to accomplish. I first read about this in the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill which is a how-to guide to success, but there are probably entire books out there about sexual transmutation with various techniques and tips on what specifically can be done, mental or physical practices or exercises, etc. Will power will probably be a big help! But it really sounds like he's headed in the right direction already just by realizing that thinking of sex all the time isn't really getting him anywhere.
Jan. 16th, 2009 01:44 am (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion. He is already a very creative and ambitious person, he's very involved in poetry slam teams in several cities, is making honors in his field of study at university, working as a T.A. etc. But I'll mention this.
Jan. 15th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
Maybe he needs a girlfriend with the same problem. I mean it. My sex drive could rival that of a sixteen-year-old boy's. And I'm NOT exaggerating. I'm definitely interested in the comments on this one. I have the same problem as a thirty-year-old woman, and it's making me crazy.
Jan. 15th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
What is special about 30 year old women?
Jan. 16th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
I don't know how true it is, or how the info has been twisted, but I have always heard that women reach their sexual peak in their thirties while men reach theirs in their late teens/early twenties.
Jan. 16th, 2009 03:31 am (UTC)
Here's an interesting article on that, from The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_go1966/is_/ai_n6811366
Jan. 16th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion, I really think it is nothing more than him having the average libido of a man of his age, but I also don't think that he's necessarily actively looking for a long-term relationship right now.
Jan. 15th, 2009 08:52 pm (UTC)
watching a birthing video helps me :P
otherwise, im outta ideas...
Jan. 16th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
lol, thank you. :)
Jan. 15th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
Some sects of monks have traditionally used soy to reduce libido, has to do with its synthetic plant estrogens.
Jan. 16th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
hmmmmmmm....interesting! Maybe he could eat more tofu and drink more soymilk and such.
Jan. 16th, 2009 10:06 am (UTC)
I tend to think that phytoestrogens from flavinoids don't have as profound an effect on hormones as some people are led to believe, and I think that if monks are eating lots of daals and soybeans, it's because they aren't eating meat.

Most of the studies I've seen say that the effect of estrogens from plants on male hormone balance is minor, and there have been no real measured effect on male libido as far as I know.
Jan. 16th, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
I'll try to find the study. A friend told me that there was an experiment done in which they fed a bunch of soy to male cheetahs and it caused them to grow breasts. But obviously human males ingesting a lot of soy don't seem to be growing breasts so I dunno. :)
Jan. 17th, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC)
Okay so I didn't read all the comments, but I would suggest getting him to have his hormone levels checked. There could be something out of whack. Most guys know about self control and have learned how to blow off steam in some way by 22, and if excess horniness is still bothersome at that age I would think there could be something going on physically, not something wrong with his head or his self-restraint.
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