Lately my allergies have been so bad that they trigger asthma attacks. So I started taking some asthma meds and discovered an amazing phenomenon: It doubled my IQ. That's just an estimate, but it feels about right.

The increase doesn't happen right away, and it isn't a direct thing. One of the alleged side-effects of the medicine is that it kills libido in some people. That was my experience. The sex drive that had defined me for a lifetime just went away.

The first thing you need to understand is that when your sex drive disappears you don't miss it. You can't miss what you don't want. Rather than feeling irritable about losing the core organizing principle of my life, I felt relieved. It was like crossing off half of my to-do list with no effort whatsoever. My mind was clear. I was focused. I could go deep.

Losing my sex drive felt like a superpower. I had some of the best ideas of my life that week. (That is literally true.) Now I see why Captain Kirk sometimes moved power from life-support to weapons. When you have the option of putting all of your energy into one function - in my case my brain - it makes a huge difference.

My IQ as a eunuch was sizzling. In fact, if a eunuch applied for a job with me I wouldn't even ask any other questions. I would hire him on the spot. It would be like hiring Superman to move your furniture. I would know that guy was focused.

I should pause here to explain a few things to the women reading this blog. The typical male brain is a computer that has to reboot every 30 seconds. Men can think about non-sexual topics for half-a-minute, tops. But we know we'll die if we don't sometimes think about food and shelter and whatnot, so we're continuously bouncing between sex and non-sex thoughts. It never ends.

Sometimes we game the system by merging our sexual and non-sexual thoughts. During the workday it looks like this: If I get this new job, I'll make a lot of money, and that will increase my odds of sex. On our own time, it looks like this: If I exercise hard enough, my body will look attractive and that will increase my odds of sex.
And if you're married it looks like this: The news says there will be a meteor shower tonight. I hope my wife doesn't get hit by a meteor, but if she does it will increase my odds of sex.

Some days it's like a machine gun coming at you. You have to assemble packets as they cross your brain:....sex....boring stuff....sex...boring stuff....etc. You're multiplexing because you need to. You're wired that way. And it effectively lowers your IQ.

The founders of our country understood this problem. That's why a man can't be president until he reaches an age where the risk of civil war is more compelling than his next orgasm. Personally, I hadn't yet reached that point. But after a few hits of my asthma meds I was ready to negotiate some trade policy.

Unfortunately, this superpower doesn't last. Apparently my body is getting used to the meds. I'm feeling a return to normalcy and that means I'm having trouble focusing on finishing this . . . um. . . screw it. I'm going to the gym.

Scott Adams
Co-founder of CalendarTree.com

A dozen ideas that could change your life


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Jun 25, 2014
Once again, I learned that a long time ago, from Seinfeld, when George went without and became a genius. TV is better than college.
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Jun 23, 2014
It's a pretty well known effect, also applied in sports. Delaying sex leads to much better performance, mentally, physically, you simply are much sharper, focused, able to concentrate better and longer.
Jun 22, 2014
<Wife left room. Can write blog entry now.>

So is this the origination of your system-versus-goals proposition (no pun intended)? Setting a goal of getting laid often leads to frustration, but adopting systems of doing things that may end up getting you laid means you never really fail at your goal?

Sex is one of life's greatest pleasures. I could no more imagine losing my sex drive so I could better focus on some mental task than I could imagine losing my senses of taste and smell in order to lose weight.

One of the things I found out in my bachelor days is that you pretty much have to ask someone to have sex with you to have any chance of having sex. I think too many guys are hesitant to come right out and present an interest in having sex to a woman, particularly in this new-age darkness of sexual harassment.

But the old baseball analogy holds. You have to risk striking out in order to hit home runs. When The Babe led the league in home runs, he also led in strikeouts.

Having sex with someone new is an incredible experience. It helps a lot if you both wish to give pleasure to the other person. Along those lines, I feel truly sorry for Betsy - if she'd rather pleasure herself than have sex with a man, then she must have had some truly horrible sexual experiences. I hope she's able to find someone who can show her what great sex is all about.

As far as cheating goes, speaking hypothetically of course, I think it's a combination of things. Scott is right that when your spouse is treating you like crap, your urge to spend quality time with someone who doesn't goes way up. At the same time, cheating is also about having sex with someone new and giving that person pleasure. It's easy for a man to focus on pleasing the woman, because we know we're going to get satisfaction every time.

I read a study recently that said only 13% of women who cheat have an orgasm the first time they have sex with a new man. The number goes up when the woman wants to have a relationship rather than a one-night stand, but then only to 18%. I have found (anecdotal) that it usually takes three times before the sex gets really outstanding. The first two times you're still nervous and learning about what pleases the other person. So gals, give your guy at least three tries before you write him off.

Married women cheat for a number of reasons. One is they like to feel attractive and cared-for. There's also revenge sex - if a wife discovers her husband has cheated, and doesn't leave him, the husband had better prepare himself for the revenge affair. Nine times out of ten, it's going to happen. So prepare to deal with it, careless philanderers!

One thing about married women, again hypothetically speaking, is that when they turn you down for sex it's not as severe a rejection as when a single woman turns you down. With a married woman, you can rationalize that she turned you down because she's married, not because she finds you as attractive as a pile of doggie doo.

I think women would be just as sex-obsessed as men if they had as much trouble as most men do at getting a woman into bed. Any reasonably attractive woman can have all the sex she wants. Life is not fair.

As Oscar Wilde once said, "The worst I ever had was fantastic." Maybe not, but I can attest that almost all my sexual encounters have been incredible. There is nothing like the feeling of knowing that a woman has chosen to give YOU that most precious of gifts - to trust you enough, and care for you enough, to make love to you.

I hope everyone here has, or comes to have, a great sex life. Betsy included. It's one of the best parts of living.
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Jun 22, 2014
This post of yours and comments once again confirm that sex sells.wheter you talk about having sex or not having sex.
Jun 22, 2014
Sex/nudity seems to have invaded our lives more because of mass media. Everybody knows the internet is full of sex but nowadays it is difficult to even find good wholesome family entertainment on TV or in the movies without any sexual innotations. Almost every movie has to have the mandatory nude scene. Comedy is the same partly because it has become bad manners to joke about anything/anybody except sex. There is nothing like good wholesome family entertainment left anymore. Mankind is being bombarded with cheap sexual innunendos everywhere as if it is all that everybody thinks about - and it is turning out to be like a disgusting self-fulfilling prophesy. We are not raising our children to be men anymore, we're raising them to be dicks.
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Jun 22, 2014
Mmmm. Tastes like chicken.
Jun 22, 2014

I find it quite queer that you are puzzled by male reveling in their sexuality.

Thinking about sex & having sex not only are THEMSELVES positive feedback (pleasure), but they enhance his own identity and sense of community. Its a type of sharing that men experience to resonate a feeling of 'great t its', and everyone is nodding their head yes. Its chemical pleasure with social reinforcement.

Thus their orientation is itself a source of esteem. I bet it works the exact same way for gay men, reveling in how powerful their desire is for the intended target.

If a guy wants to feel chemical pleasure all he has to do is think of sex. Imagine what your life would be like if you had heroine intravenously on tap your whole life with a little button to push. That is what its like to be a man. Ofc you and your cohorts would joke about how much you hit that button. You are certainly going to buy into the belief that pushing the button is a 'moral good'.
Jun 21, 2014
Having an IQ of 160 makes life difficult on this board sometimes. I'm less inhibited today for some reason, so enjoy!

chuck.milner, I agree that libido and ambition go hand-in-hand. It should be obvious since the same hormone causes both.

betsy31, I disagree that "Hookups are almost always unsatisfying." This is clearly a gender gap issue and probably stems from the problem that ~30% of women cannot orgasm with vaginal stimulation alone. Men on the other hand can usually find pleasure with hookups because he temporarily satisfies his sex drive. This only lasts for a few hours. Hookups by their very nature are very temporary and as such allow the man to focus on one thing--draining some of the chemical soup out of his head for a little while. Specifically the release of endorphins and prolactin. The prolactin and to some extent oxytocin causes relaxation. The emotional feeling of satisfaction after sex can come from the increased metabolic activity in the limbic system.

FransV, that is a variation on the diamond-water paradox that Adam Smith, among others, philosophized about it. One's perception of the value of something depends on it's scarcity--hence the basic microeconomic rules of markets and price elasticity, which is supply and demand.

Stui, the 2 brains, but only enough blood for 1 is almost physically true from a medical point of view, not just an old joke. Like many stereotypes, this one has a shade of truth to it. It's also one of the reasons some men have a case of "sex-interruptus" because of cramps in their extremities, particularly their calves and feet.

busstop, there is a medical reason behind it. Allergy medications block certain histamine reactions, but at first, when the body is !$%*!$%*! to it, it blocks a broader spectrum of things. One of the main way histamine agonists work is by blocking the wheal and flare response, meaning it blocks vasodilation. Once the body adjusts, it goes mostly back to normal except for the specific H1-receptor that the histamine agonist was designed to be blocked.

Jun 21, 2014
[Studies show that men typically don't cheat to get additional sex. They cheat to spend quality time with someone who doesn't treat them poorly. -- Scott]

Scott, if that were the case, men would be cheating with ugly women who may be more likely to do the quality time with less complaints and the sex as a bonus. Show me the studies. I believe that men cheat is because 1) the new woman is attractive and stirs lust up more than normal, 2) it's something different, especially if you've been together/married longer than the honeymoon phase and 3) it enhances their ego and makes them feel valued. One thing I came to grips with rather quickly as I got older was that it's ok to be a tool as long as the tool is working and being used.

As I understand it (no studies quotes here), women who cheat do it more for reasons 2 and 3, although 3 is more about the counter-ego, that is "I'm still attractive, I'm not fat, etc." Men who cheat where the woman initiated it are more likely to cut things off if she wants to talk endlessly.

I live in the US and I'm in my mid-40's. I still look around and my wife feels comfortable that my occasionally looking means that I'm not dead yet. However, when I am looking, I rarely physically react to the sight of a sexy woman, whether young or middle aged. However, when I stroll the beaches in Barcelona, I have a difficult time not physically reacting to the sometimes stunning scenery (although some scenery is enough to make one want to be a eunuch.)
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Jun 21, 2014

>> Instead it was an inborn impulse that he couldn't help.

Which can be changed through behavior modification techniques or elastration.

+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 20, 2014
I don't want to get personal and I hesitate to say it, but if you put one and one together then this can only mean that Scott doesn't get enough sex.
Jun 20, 2014
Great, you doubled your IQ.
But your motivation for doing anything dropped to zero.
How's that working out?
+7 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 20, 2014
Basic human needs - air; water; food; sex - become an obsession when you do not get enough to fulfill your body's needs.
No one obsesses about air - unless they can't breathe. Then you can't think about anything else at all.
Same with water and food.
Sex only starts filling your mind all the time when you have enough air, food and water, and if you get enough sex, it stops filling your every waking moment.
I used to feel like Scott a long time ago, before I got married.
When my wife and I are apart for a few days for some reason (business trip; etc.), it all comes back, and it's rather scary.
+13 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 20, 2014
Great post. As a woman, I wish I had understood this dynamic earlier. It would have been helpful.

I went through so much angst when I was younger thinking that my boyfriend's noticing other women meant that he was more attracted to them than me. Instead it was an inborn impulse that he couldn't help.

That said, I'm still puzzled by why men feel the need to seek out an actual encounter for satisfaction. For most women, a stray urge is most effectively handled solo rather than by seeking someone out. Hookups are almost always unsatisfying (most men are not good in bed and have no interest in learning, sadly) and can be physically dangerous. Plus, women take no ego satisfaction in the fact that a man wants to sleep with them, since they know men will have sex at any opportunity. I think promiscuity for women is usually more about exercising power than satisfying a physical craving.

I am also puzzled that men seem to take pride in their sexual urges and obsessions, and view them as a good thing. I have never known a man to be ashamed of how much time and effort he spends thinking about sex. Scott perhaps you can address this in future posts.

[Studies show that men typically don't cheat to get additional sex. They cheat to spend quality time with someone who doesn't treat them poorly. -- Scott]
Jun 20, 2014
Yes, lose your sex drive and you will be able to almost everything else better. But what use is everything else if you will never be able to make a woman squeal with pleasure at times.
-6 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 19, 2014
I wonder if any woman exists, so attractive and desirable that she could cure Scott's limp nether region. It would be a monumental challenge for even the most amazing woman to perk up Scott Jr.

We can only hope that they try.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 19, 2014
Wow... I had just the opposite effect when I started a new medication while back. It was like I had permanent blue balls. Good thing I was still early on in the marriage.
+18 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 19, 2014
So basically Scott is rehashing the old joke that God gave men two brains but only enough blood to let one work at a time.
Jun 19, 2014
This accords 100% with my experience (well not the allergy medication bit, but the sex drive bit). I am also quite clearly (but with plausible deniability) in the process of restructuring my life to maximise my sexual opportunities. This is a project with multiple streams that will take several years. And it's not that I didn't try and structure my life in this way before - it's just that my strategy was bad. Now I'm confident (in the absence of any real evidence) that I've got a better strategy.

Why, why, why is Scott the only person in the world who seems to talk about this?
Jun 19, 2014
Sophocles got there before you. He described the loss of his sex drive as - "being unchained from a lunatic."
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