Cerebro-spinal fluid in semen? (Was Re: breakfast ...)

Crystal crystal at glia.biostr.washington.edu
Thu Oct 15 13:03:20 EST 1992

In <1992Oct15.052050.10038 at cssc-syd.tansu.com.au> pete at cssc-syd.tansu.com.au (Peter Alexander Merel) writes:

>rs69 at cunixb.cc.columbia.edu (Rong Shen) writes:
>>	This is the story. A reporter for a newspaper wrote that a
>>doctor in Japan did some clinical research on the corelation between
>>productivity and breakfast; he found that all the students in medical
>>school who did not do well academically and all the graduates who had
>>not received licenses for medical practice did not have the habit of
>>eating breakfast. Since neurons are unable to metabolize proteins or
>>other cell constituents, once the glucose concentration in the blood
>>falls, the brain can not function to its full capacity.

>I don't know if this is so, but I have a related question. I've begun 
>practicing the Taoist semen retention techniques mentioned in the alt.sex
>FAQ, and just as described there I have noticed a fantastic increase in
>mental alertness and physical stamina. 

It's not the physical techniques that are doing it to you.  It's the fact
that you BELIEVE that you will get that result, and the brain is a marvelous
tool in that if you believe in something strong enough, it will come true.
If you think you are going to be ill, you will be, and vice versa.  Also
known as a "self-fulfilling prophecy".

(Read: _The Healing Brain_ by Ornstein and Sobol.  Absolutely FANTASTIC in
getting across how what we THINK affects how we FEEL, both physically and

>There are two rationales proposed in the Taoist literature to explain the
>phenomenon, and I'm not sure that I buy either of them. The first is that
>semen is 20% cerebro-spinal fluid, so if you ejaculate it your brain and
>spine kind of sag, and that's why males want to go to sleep after ejaculation.

I'm not a biologist, but this has *got* to be the strangest crock I have 
*ever* heard!  

Males (and females, who do *not* produce semen, BTW ;>) want to fall asleep
afterwards simply from the sheer exhaustion that happens from the typical
bedroom romp.  Sex is a workout, if you're doing it right. :>  Haven't
you ever wanted to fall asleep after OTHER physical exertion?  The fact that
you don't *usually* fall asleep after jogging or whatever has less to do
with the exhaustion factor than it does being in a nice comfortable bed with
a loved one in your arms.  It's more psychological than physiological.  

>The second is that your various organs and vessels spend 30% of their time
>just replacing lost semen, so if you don't lose any then they've got plenty
>of extra time to make you healthy. The argument goes that this doesn't apply
>to celibates on account of their bodies adapt over time to not manufacturing 

I don't know what the semen producing organs are, (prostate comes to mind),
but rest assured that they are organs *specifically designed* for producing
semen, and not much else.  The rationale that semen is an unhealthy
byproduct is just not true.  Without it, YOU wouldn't be here to post... :>

This argument is likewise fully strange and devised from a time in history
when people didn't understand how the body worked, but made wild guesses that
to THEM seemed plausible at the time.

As for the celibates argument.  They don't stop producing semen.  Semen is
CONSTANTLY being produced whether it is being ejaculated or not.  It has a
very SHORT cellular lifespan and if it's not used, it dies and the proteins
get reabsorbed by the body and reused.  Semen is ALWAYS being replaced. 
(weird analogy example here: does your body stop manufacturing BLOOD simply
because you haven't had any bleeding incidents for a decade or more? Same

>An obvious alternative explanation is that the effect is purely psychosomatic, 
>that it is a placebo effect. I'd subscribe to this if it weren't for the fact 
>that I have empirical evidence of the phenomenon. 

I.e., yourself?  Was this a study of one person, using yourself as both the
control AND the guinea pig?  These sorts of studies are *extremely* difficult
to perform *because* of the psychological aspect of them.  I'd like to see
actual data from blood tests, semen samples, electical impulse tests, etc,
before I would believe in anything OTHER than the psychological effect.  Give
me PHYSICAL evidence proven by proper and thorough scientific method and 
experimentation and maybe THEN I'll believe in the technique.  (Sorry, but I'm
a *heck* of a skeptic...)

>See, I am a regular 'rave' participant - a rave is a prolonged intense 
>dance party. Before beginning to retain I was unable to last for more than 
>four hours at a rave before physical fatigue did me in, and for a day or 
>more afterwards I would be good for nothing but sleep. The only way I could
>better this was with the popular varieties of artificial stimulants, which
>I'd rather avoid on account of their illegality and assorted risks.

>I've been to three raves since beginning to retain, and on each occasion I
>was able to last in excess of seven hours, most recently for a complete ten
>hour party. I took no drugs of any kind, slept for only six to eight hours 
>after, and felt and was fit and able after sleeping, bar the odd fatigued 
>muscle and ringing eardrum. I'm thirty years old and not fantastically fit, 
>I haven't regularly exercised in six months, and so I think the improved 
>stamina and alertness can only be attributed to the semen retention. Friends 
>of mine have experienced similar effects from the practice.

Have your friends likewise used a "control" in their self-study?           

Two things here.  

1)  You've built up stamina from the exercise.  It is proven that cardiovascular
fitness can give one a lot more endurance.  You claim to have not exercised
regularly, but you fail to consider the rave dancing as exercise.  Or the
walking to class or whatever you do in a physical sense. (Sex included, although
that is not known to have much impact on the heart in terms of fitness) It is
entirely possible to exercise without realizing you are doing it.  (That's
the *best* kind, I might add - because it becomes a part of one's lifestyle)

2) You *MAY* have started getting better nutrition.  If you are no longer 
taking the drugs than you are no longer impairing the functioning of various
organs of your body that have been specifically designed to keep you healthy.
When your body is allowed to function normally, it will be better able to
utilize/assimilate the nutritional aspects of your food, even if the food
itself is not ideal (pizza, beer, twinkies).  When I started eating right, I
noticed a very *definite* change in my alertness and stamina - and I never
have taken drugs - but the change was noticeable *in the extreme* because my
body is now able complete all the protein chains it creates in the intestine
when it snatches the nutrients out of my food.  When meals are not balanced,
a lot of important body repair/maintence work just does NOT get done.

3) Your alertness can easily be attributed to reason number 2, as well as the
non-drug lifestyle change..

(Okay, so there are 3 things here, not 2, but I'm not a mathematician either)

>So, what say, doctors and neuroscientists? Are the two rationales above
>at all sensible? Is there an acceptable physical explanation? What's the story?

Well, I'm neither of the above, but then I started to answer this before
reading it completely.  Forgive me for being the "wrong" source of info.
I'm sure there will be others better qualified than I to answer, but I
just could NOT let this go (since quite often, these sorts of questions go
unanswered in public, and I *hate* seeing myths perpetuated...)

>Internet: pete at cssc-syd.tansu.com.au   UUCP: {uunet,mcvax}!munnari!cssc-syd!pete
>Snail: 1/18-20 Orion Road, Lane Cove NSW 2066 Australia    Phone: +61 2 911 3130
>I am a big pond in a small fish.


(If you think this sounds confusing, you should see it through MY eyes!)

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