Steve Jobs and Muhammad Ali have reputations that speak for themselves. Jobs co-founded and presided over Apple for decades before his passing, a company that is now worth $1 trillion dollars, over 5% of the GDP of the United States. Ali was a world champion heavyweight boxer when the sport was in its heydey. Nikola, for his part, pioneered breakthroughs in the production, transmission, and application of electric power. Tesla, the famous electric car brand named in his honor, is valuated at more than $2 billion dollars.
What do these titans share in common besides the extreme wealth and celebrity they amassed during their lifetime? A peculiar habit known as semen retention. For those unfamiliar with the term, retention refers to the conscious decision of a man not to climax. It is based on the belief that climax releases powerful energy that can otherwise be rechanneled in other areas of life. Steve Jobs’ ex-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan had this to say about his peculiar habit.
“Our birth control method up to that point was Steve’s coitus interruptus, also called the pull-out method, which for him was about his conserving his energy for work.” She added he didn’t want to climax to build “power and wealth by conserving [his] vital energies.”
In Muhammad Ali’s autobiography The Greatest: My Own Story, he narrates a quote from Olympic boxing coach Harry Wiley.
There’s a kid just come down here named Cassius Clay. If you bet on him every time he fights, you’ll be a rich man, ‘cause he won’t lose a single fight. I believe his thing is sexual control. And he’s got it. . . Any kid who can control [it] can with the title. I believe it.
Ali would reportedly go up to 2 months without climaxing in preparation for a fight. Retention prior to a fight, in fact, has been standard operating procedure among many boxers. David Haye, former British Heavyweight Champion, articulated the logic of the practice as follows.
I don’t [climax] for six weeks before the fight. . . It releases too much tension. It releases a lot of minerals and nutrients that your body needs, and it releases them cheaply. Releasing weakens the knees and your legs. Find a lion that hasn’t had some food for a while, and you’ve got a dangerous cat. So there won’t bet a drip from me. Even in my sleep — if there are girls all over me in my dream, I say to them, “I’ve got a fight next week, I can’t do anything. I can’t do it.” That’s control. I’ve been doing that since I was fifteen and its part and parcel of my preparation now. That’s why I am who I am today — it’s down to all those little sacrifices. Find me another boxer who makes that sacrifice, and you’ll find another champion
Nikola Tesla was an inventor and had his own reasons for practicing the habit. He had this to say in the article “Tesla Opposed to Marriage,” published in the Electrical Journal in 1896.
I do not believe that an inventor should marry, because he has so intense a nature and so much in it of wild passionate qualities that in giving himself to a women he might love, he would give everything, and so take everything from his chosen field. I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.
The late Napoleon Hill was one of the most successful self-help authors of the 20th century. His famous book Think and Grow Rich is among the top 10 best-selling self-help books of all time. In it, he has a chapter entitled “The Mystery of Sex: Transmutation.” Transmutation is about redirecting the energy innate in powerful sexual urges into other creative pursuits. Napoleon Hill said it best himself.
Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times. So strong and impelling is the desire for sexual contact that men freely run the risk of life and reputation to indulge it. When harnessed, and redirected along other lines, this motivating force maintains all of its attributes of keenness of imagination, courage, etc., which may be used as powerful creative forces in literature, art, or in any other profession or calling, including, of course, the accumulation of riches.
Other celebrities have commented on this same power. Music mogul and fashion designer Kanye West had this to say.
I have, like, nuclear power, like a superhero, like Cyclops when he puts his glasses on. . . People ask me a lot about my drive. I think it comes from, like, having a sexual addiction at a really young age. Look at the drive that people have to get sex—to dress like this and get a haircut and be in the club in the freezing cold at 3 a.m., the places they go to pick up a girl. If you can focus the energy into something valuable, put that into work ethic. . .
Stephen T. Chang, Master of Taoist Philosophy, illustrated his belief that climaxing has a draining effect on a man’s mind and body.
When the average male [climaxes], he loses about one tablespoon of semen. According to scientific research, the nutritional value of this amount of semen is equal to that of two pieces of New York steak, ten eggs, six oranges, and two lemons combined. That includes proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, everything… [Climax] is often called ‘coming’. The precise word for it should be ‘going,’ because everything – the erection, vital energy, millions of live sperm, hormones, nutrients, even a little of the man’s personality goes away. It is a great sacrifice for the man, spirituality, mentally, and physically.
Going even further back in time, Proverbs 31 of the Bible recounts the advice that the mother of King Lemuel (possibly King Solomon himself) gave him. She had this to say in verse 3, an injunction potentially relevant to the topic.
Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings.Proverbs 31:3
Retention has an ancient pedigree and there are many people today who swear by its benefits. I have read countless testimonials online of users who claim to have experienced a myriad of benefits with this discipline. Reported benefits include clarity of mind, increased female attraction, decreased anxiety, higher energy levels, greater resilience, a stronger immune system, more charisma, sharper creativity, and better masculinity.
I’d be interested to know your thoughts/experience in the comment section. For further reading, see a scientific explanation for the benefits of semen retention.