Altered States, Sexual Energy & Our Life Force
While February might be the month dedicated to love and romance, here at Little Saints we celebrate all forms of love, connection, desire and pleasure all year round. In fact, we believe that it’s a vital part of who we are as humans and finding ways to cultivate this magical energy keeps us vibrant.
We caught up with our friend Dr Molly Maloof, a leading healthspan physician, the O.G. biohacker, Stanford lecturer and now author of the book, The Spark Factor: The Secret to Supercharging Energy, Becoming Resilient, and Feeling Better Than Ever, to learn more about altered states and how they affect the quality of sex.
As an advocate of psychedelic medicine through her company Adamo Bioscience, she has been studying how love, sex and connection contributes to longevity. There are certain drugs such as alcohol, birth control and SSRIs that hinder our abilities to be in our bodies and achieve sexual pleasure. And other “love drugs,” such as CBD, mushrooms and psychedelics that potentially can support intimacy, connection and even orgasm.
Here are the highlights from our conversation…
Little Saints: Many people use alcohol as a means to get out of their head and “in the mood,” but does it make us more connected to ourselves or the other person.
Dr Molly: I believe alcohol in small doses (less than a drink) may help people lower inhibitions and feel like they can connect more easily to others. It’s a huge part of global culture, our celebrations and rituals of connection with loved ones. But, it becomes a depressant after a few drinks — frankly, it’s pretty dangerous for human connection. It actually creates more problems than it solves because it is used in such excess. It impairs reaction time, reasoning and contributes to bad decision making (including putting ourselves in risky situations). It impairs sleep and metabolism. Alcohol as a legacy drug: it’s time for new social lubricants.
LS: In what ways does alcohol keep us from experiencing great sex?
Dr Molly: Two of the biggest problems are arousal and lubrication. Alcohol dehydrates us which can make it harder to stay lubricated during sex.
LS: Is there any way that alcohol makes sex better?
Dr Molly: In that it lowers inhibitions — it can be hard for a lot of people to fully let go. But it also creates the conditions for sexual assault and is responsible for a lot of trauma. I avoid it personally.
LS: In your book you discuss “the most common impact of low desire on relationships is feeling ‘less connectedness’ with one’s partner.” What are some ways to improve “connectedness?”
Dr Molly: Before sex, try to meditate with your partner. Just be present. You can sit on top of them and just breathe for a few minutes together. A minute of eye gazing is also a really powerful way to have a direct connection with someone. Major emotions may come up. It’s incredibly intimate. I also love CBD because it increases oxytocin and relaxation. Oxytocin is the hormone for safety, trust and love which women especially need to feel before we have sex to allow ourselves to go into the experience.
LS: CBD has been used to lower stress, reduce pain and improve blood flow — all things that improve sex. How would you advise patients to incorporate adaptogens and other entactogens in their lives to improve connectedness and sexual pleasure?
Dr Molly: There are ingestible and topical forms of CBD. Adaptogens are important for reducing stress and helping us cope with life more effectively. The combination of the two can help create the conditions for a calmer nervous system, which supports a healthy sex life.
LS: How does having a healthy libido and ability to experience pleasure contribute to our healthspan?
Dr Molly: Our sexual energy is our life force. So if you have no libido it’s a good barometer of how alive you feel. There is a lot of literature linking love to longevity. And, we know sex is a way of expressing our love for our partner.
For more on how to “Biohack Your Sexual Spark”, check out Dr Molly Maloof’s book, The Spark Factor: The Secret to Supercharging Energy, Becoming Resilient, and Feeling Better Than Ever, available now.