When Jamie Wheal comes on Bulletproof Radio we always dig into mind-bending topics. This time, our conversation spans a special four-part mini-series to discuss his new book: “Recapture the Rapture: Rethinking God, Sex and Death in a World That’s Lost its Mind.”
In this Part 1 episode, we talk about the neuroscience of sex and how it can change our minds over time and truly better our lives.
Jamie studies neuroanthropology, which brings together culture, biology, and psychology. He’s the founder of the international Flow Genome Project, an organization that helps people reach their peak human performance.
He’s currently focusing on Hedonic Engineering, a combination of neuroscience and optimal psychology. His book looks at the world’s collapse of meaning, the embracing of nihilism, and how you can shift your stories to tackle the world by connecting to others and revitalizing yourself.
“We need to reclaim the story of what’s happening and where do we all go now together. Because one percent solutions, no matter how you slice that,, one percent are fundamentally sociopathic, right?” Jamie says. “It’s the elect, and it could be the elect that’s moral and ethical or spiritual, the true believers. It could be the marriage of the best, and the brightest. It could be the ones with financial resources, but however you cut it, the rest of us need a story for us to live into. And that seemed really important [to include in his book].”
The results of a sex survey Jamie conducted with couples for the book showed the profound impacts sex can have on holistic well-being. If you talk about sex like you do other activities with long-term benefits (like flossing or going to the gym) you may be able to understand the ways it can and has changed the human brain over time.
“Prolonged partnership coupling and extended sexuality – that results in brain change,” Jamie says. “The results in the cascade of neurochemistry, including prolactin, vasopressin, serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine, and anandamide (all the big swingers for peak state experiences) all arise during sex, coitus, and orgasm. So you’re like, “Holy moly”, that seems like a very strong candidate for persistent and shifted brain state and cognitive change over time.”
Be sure to follow the conversation in Part 2 when Jamie and I talk more about the ways you can create the best sex environment with your partner. And, of course, a lot more.
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Follow Along with the Transcript
Book: “Recapture the Rapture: Rethinking God, Sex, and Death in a World That’s Lost Its Mind”
- What were you thinking, Jamie, naming your book, Recapture the Rapture? – 2:05
- You’ve been studying hedonic engineering eight years now. But no one knows what hedonic engineering is, but it’s basically neuroscience plus optimal psychology, – 4:19
- Like the research on Delta wave states, the research on gas blended static apnea, and breathing protocols, all these things came from finding ourselves into an experience that was actually teaching us. – 12:19
- You realize, holy smokes, that ergo, that must mean a metric shit ton of neurochemical and hormonal and behavioral incentives to figure this out. – 17:24
- And you realize that prolonged partnership coupling, extended sexuality, that results in brain change, the results in the cascade of neurochemistry, including prolactin, vasopressin, serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine, and anandamide kind of like all the big swingers for peak state experiences all arise during sex, coitus, and orgasm. – 20:17
- So how did you get enough data to put this out in a book? – 22:01
- We also use the Johns Hopkins, MEQ 30, the mystical experience questionnaire, which is what Roland Griffith first developed to retest the Good Friday experiment. – 25:13
- Can you take all of that imperative that has created tons of impulsive trauma and suffering, and can we jump the tracks and use those very same impulses for our own unfolding, for our access to awe and inspiration, for our ability to defrag our nervous systems, and metabolize our grief, and four ways to bond in profound and meaningful ways with each other?” – 29:56
- How much time each day did the participants have to do all the things you were telling them to do around sexual yoga? – 32:47
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