Do you sense that you’re not realising your potential? Perhaps you have promising creative ideas and clear intentions but they hit exhausting snags. Maybe your inertia is so great that you’re not even billing clients. Or you’re putting off filing your taxes. Perhaps you desire a relationship but aren’t manifesting a social life. Maybe you’ve needed to renovate for years but can’t get started.

What if you had a way to boost your energy and get unstuck – and this approach cost you nothing? Would you try it for 3 weeks to see if it helped? Even if it were unfamiliar or challenged your existing assumptions? If so, read on.

Across thousands of years, various traditions held that humans could harness the “urge to merge” (sexual energy) for constructive ends. Different cultures proposed different prescriptions. Yet the core concept is quite simple: climax is energetically draining.

Indeed, almost a century ago, anthropologist A. Ernest Crawley recorded that this quaint (as he judged it) advice popped up often in various tribal cultures. In fact, he characterised its role in those cultures as an “infallible nostrum for all important undertakings and critical junctures”.

You can test this for yourself

If you have a partner, try a few weeks of bonding behaviours, Synergy [PDF of book chapter], or sexual meditation. If you approach climax, stop what you’re doing. Take some slow, deep breaths together. Wait until you both feel calm. You may find 3 weeks of this practice furnishes space for light-hearted, non-goal focused frolics.

If you don’t have a partner, forego erotic stimulation and self-pleasuring for 3 weeks. If sexual tension builds or you’re having trouble sleeping consider experimenting with energy circulation exercises. Also, some people report that gentle, non-goal driven “cupping” or touching of their genitals soothes. So can warm or cold-water immersion of your genitals. However, both touch with the goal of arousing yourself and hovering at the edge of climax typically prove counterproductive. See what works for you. You may find that after a period of experimentation your overall tension actually decreases. And don’t be surprised if you begin to attract a social life.

Whichever approach you use for your experiment, record your observations. After 3 weeks, return to your former habits for 3 weeks and continue to journal your observations. Voilà. Going forward, you can chart your course based on your actual experience.

What have others noticed?

Results may astonish you. A sceptical single friend, who was doggedly wading through the online dating swamp, received a surprise email from a former girlfriend during his second sexual-energy cultivation experiment. They revived their relationship. During his first experiment some thorny litigation unexpectedly settled. That freed up his time and improved his financial situation. He’s now convinced that his sexual energy is more powerful than he thought. Yet he still finds it challenging to be totally consistent during his alone time.

Another friend is cultivating her sexual energy in a new relationship. She had known her new partner for years in an online group. After they met up in person he determined to move to her city. (He had been looking to relocate anyway.) She reports that the relationship is sensual and fulfilling. They’re enjoying their connection and the potential for finding their life’s work together. They plan to begin by investing in a home together.

Yet another friend in his early 30’s complained regularly that his life was not advancing. He was stuck working alone from home in a job for 7 years where he was underappreciated and not stretched. He always made excuses too about why he never met anyone to date, despite good looks, a fine education and a clever wit. Truth was, he wasn’t really trying too hard in either arena.

His deep reading of spiritual texts about the Buddha however, eventually made him realise that the problem lay not with external events but within himself. His attachment to internet entertainment left him dissatisfied with life and generally lacking energy and enthusiasm.

Within two weeks of focusing his energy elsewhere, he was headhunted by a top company in his field. His mood had improved significantly as well.

How can sexual energy affect external events?

Not surprisingly, different traditions explain the power of careful cultivation of sexual energy in different ways. The ancient Chinese Taoists spoke of conserving unseen yet powerful life force energy, or ching, and cultivating it for higher ends. Other traditions emphasised the benefits of recycling the components of semen itself to nourish the brain. (This popular superficial explanation sheds no light on why women find the practice beneficial too.)

Some modern observers propose quite a different explanation. They suggest that the benefits of cultivating sexual energy arise from maintaining neuroendocrine balance in the brain’s delicate limbic circuitry. In some little understood way, a balanced inner state created by the careful cultivation of sexual energy relieves stress. This seems to generate improved outcomes – perhaps in the form of unforeseen solutions.

Do any of the above explanations hold water or does the true explanation remain undiscovered? Who cares as long as you succeed in harnessing your sexual energy, getting unstuck, and moving your life forward? Like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” simply make the most of the fact that you’ve been trotting around in the ruby slippers all along.

A final tip: Don’t let setbacks lull you into inertia. You already know what complacency yields. Develop new energy and inspiration as you learn to make the most of your sexual energy, refresh your spirit and step out of your rut into a more uplifting future.