I may be hard to please. It may be a trait of my character that results from some genetically programmed imbalances between neurotransmitters, or some delicate deficiency of some hormones or prostaglandins. Or rather, a trait of character is nothing but that: some genetically programmed imbalance, either of neurotransmitters, or of hormones.
Actually, I consider any state of mind that is not sheer bliss an imbalance, or a neurological deficiency, or, if you want, an outright illness. Nature and evolution have, through natural selection, tricked mankind into being unhappy because unhappy subjects strive harder to get out of their misery than happy subjects strive to preserve their happiness.
Unfortunately, for millennia, the unhappy ones have been prone to win in a direct confrontation, as they felt more of an incentive to invent the deadlier weapons. So, most of us are genetically descendants of unhappy winners.
Sooner or later, genetic engineering and neuroscience will correct nature. Our descendents in the fourth millenium will be born with a genetic guarantee for a happy life, no matter what the conditions they actually live in will be like.
Before that time, neurosurgery may do a good job to correct chronic unhappiness by cutting short the firing lines of some neurotransmitters, or whatsoever.
For now, we have at hand just a number of pharmacological solutions. How good we feel depends a great deal on the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin at nerve synapses. We can upscale serotonin levels, and that's what anti-depression medications are mostly about. The most widely used anti-depression medications today are SSRIs, so-called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. They interfere with the degradation of serotonin, thereby assuring that levels of serotonin stay higher than they otherwise would.
I could probably take some Prozac, and by-and-large, I would be happier than I am now. But I'm afraid that becoming happier would also make me less competitive.
As it is now, to feel good, I have to be good. For me, a state of being that satisfies most men, e.g. being a responsible father, or being honored for professional achievements, doesn't translate into the right neurochemistry for happiness. My brain is indifferent to those common feel-good impulses. For me, to strive for conventional rewards is a pure waste of time.
Am I clinically depressed? Sure, normally, I'm in a bad mood. But it's not that I'm always in a bad mood. I know quite well what does make me happy: great sex in the arms of a beautiful women whom I haven't laid too often yet. And, yes please, there should be a good dose of dramatic love.
When I go through such events, I feel genuinely happy. For me, It's the only thing worth living for.
I don't want to dampen my competitiveness. If I'd take some Prozac, or something else that artificially raises my serotonin levels, I'll get lazy. I don't need that. I'm aware that engineering those events for which I strive isn't all that easy. It does require concentration and effort, and yes, a good dose of unhappiness at times at which I just don't get to it.
In order to achieve the goal of great sex in the arms of a beautiful woman, a lot of preparatory work needs to be done. I have to take care of my appearance. I have to study social conditions in order to know where they are favorable. I have to set the stage by renting suitable housing. I have to offload previous relationships in order to have time for the new ones.
And last not least, I have to work on my capability to enjoy those moments for which I live. Erection problems, or the failure to have a really satisfying climax myself, are both terrible disturbances, not only to my mood but also to my whole system of values.
But like happiness itself, sexual desire, erections, and orgasms, too, are matters of biological engineering. They are almost mechanical problems of wiring (nerves) and plumbing (blood vessels). If it would have been available before my birth, I would have liked some genetic engineering performed on me, giving me that extra inch or two in length and diameter, "spontaneous" erections whenever I would like one, a good control of orgasms, and a world champion-like potency.
Alas, genetic engineering to that effect wasn't available at the time I was conceived, it is not now, and it wasn't for the births of my sons, and it won, be for decades to come.
Currently, the only effective method to interfere with the neuromolecular basis not only for happiness but also for horniness, are pharmaceuticals. I have a fair bit of experience on the topic. Here a short rundown of what I have learned:
Yohimbe (with the pharmacologically active ingredient yohimbine) is effective, though, unfortunately, it also is very side-effective. It helps somehow with the wiring. Though not a MAO inhibitor, yohimbe does feel as if it elevates dopamine levels. One typically feels agitated, even though blood pressure is actually lowered by yohimbine. Anything that raises dopamine levels is likely to have a positive effect on desire. That's why practically all medications for Parkinsonism cause increased sexual interest. (Parkinsonism is a pathological depletion of the neurotransmitter dopamine through interference with the dopamine production sites in the brain.) Obviously. I like this effect on desire. I'd like to have nothing on my mind but the next lay. However, the main effect of yohimbine is on the plumbing. Yohimbine blocks presynaptic alpha-2-adrenergic receptors, resulting in increased blood flow to the sex organs, and in reduced outflow. Thus better erections can be engineered, and because of the increased pressure in the sex organ, there is also increased pleasure, and the experience of orgasms is heightened.
Bromocriptine is a prescription Parkinson medication (Parlodel by Sandoz), which also reduces prolactin levels. It helps in sexual intercourse primarily because it raises desire. In many cases, this will lead to better erections, too, though the effect may not be as pronounced as what is achieved by pharmalogical agents acting directly on the plumbing. But bromocriptine can make for memorable orgasms.
Deprenyl is another prescription Parkinsonism medication, a selective MAOI blocker. I do find that it raises desire but it also leads to some shrinkage, similar to what people experience on amphetamines.
DHEA has been hyped for years. I think is simply has no effect on sexual parameters.
Gingko Biloba is an herbal product that increases the blood flow to the extremities, including the brain and the sex organs. I think it does have some positive effect, but by far not as pronounced as the effect of yohimbe.
Arginine is an amino acid and nitric oxide precursor. It has been much touted as an erection booster but I have never noticed even the slightest effect.
Viagra obviously works for many men.
Tongkat ali extract is what I ended up with after all my research into aphrodisiacs. Tongkat ali raises the body's own testosterone production, and this has a positive effect on several sexual parameters: it raises sexual desire, causes weight loss in overweight people, giving them a more athletic physique, and causes penile and testicular size increases. Erection happen more easily, and entirely naturally. Many men who previously used Viagra, can happily go without it after they have used tongkat ali for a few weeks.