You Must Space Out The Things That Make You Happy

There is a finite list of things that can give you a feeling of happiness. I’m not referring to everlasting happiness, but a jolt of happiness. For example, sex is a pleasurable experience for most men, but the frequency at which you engage in sex can affect the happiness you get from it. The first time you have good sex establishes a baseline of 100% happiness from a sex orgasm. As you have more sexual episodes of increasing frequency, that number will fall below 100%, possibly to a level where it no longer gives you even half the contentment.

If you’ve ever gone on vacation with a girlfriend, you were at first excited about being able to have sex on demand. The first day of sex is quite good. The second day becomes a little tiring. On the third day, sex with your girlfriend becomes more of a trial, and your penis no longer wants or needs additional vaginal contact. In this case, your happiness has dipped below 50% and you would welcome a break from sex. If you are unable to take this break because your girlfriend has somehow enslaved you, sex can actually become torturous. It now becomes a source of unhappiness. This tells us that once you are able to obtain or experience that which makes you happy, either through good fortune or effort, you must deliberately restrict your exposure to it. Otherwise you will pass the point of diminishing return and a once happy act will make you unhappy or indifferent.

This analogy can apply to anything which makes you temporarily happy: eating fast food, checking Facebook, drinking with friends, masturbating, and so on. If you don’t space out how frequently you indulge in these things, your brain will no longer gain joy from them and becomes stingy with its release of dopamine. Thankfully there’s hope—you can trick your brain into thinking its novel by spacing the events out.

I experienced dopamine fatigue with coffee when I was having three cups a day. I used to get great pleasure from coffee, but I turned it into a habit that brought me no pleasure, not even an energy boost. I hit the reset button, went without coffee for a month, and then re-introduced it at a rate of once a week, twice a week, and then three times a week. After experimenting for a few months, I discovered that I will get at least an 80% happiness feeling from coffee if I drink it only on Sunday and Wednesday. On these two days, there is extra spring in my step when I head to the coffee shop for my special treat. The caffeine gives me a quick physiological boost that I greatly enjoy, but which I would not experience if I drank it every day.

Sex is another activity I examined. For me to be at least 80% happy with sex, I determined I should have it only once a week. I want to have it more than that (at least two or three times), but at those levels, I start to see sex as a predictable biological function. One of the reasons I have avoided relationships is not necessary because I don’t want a connection with one girl, but because the sex becomes boring. By only having it once a week, I greatly look forward to spending time with the girl I’m seeing. Like when walking into a cafe on coffee day, I approach our date with the highest energy level.

I’ve looked into spacing out other things, such as drinking, masturbating, and surfing the internet. I found that to remain happy about the things which are not scarce, I must exhibit self-control. Without self-control, unhappiness is sure to result from the things that are capable of giving me a pleasure boost. How many people do you know exhibit self-control when it comes to their moments of pleasure? Possible zero. Unable to space out their enjoyments, they simply stop enjoying them, and when you no longer become happy from the little things in life, you start to sacrifice your emotional well-being in the search for drama, problems, or entertainment, or you simply enter a depression. Therefore when supply of something pleasant is unlimited for you, a lack of self-control will destabilize your emotional well-being.

Having to consciously space pleasures wasn’t a problem for humans in the past. Ancient people didn’t have an unlimited supply of the things we take for granted today, so they could fill their bellies with the latest catch without having to regulate their intake, since it may be a while until they make another good catch again. We, on the other hand, have an easy life. A middle-class American man can purchase any food (full of delicious fat and sugar), have 24-hour internet access on their phone, and—if he’s a player—have booty call access for sex most nights of the week. It would sound like he’s living a dream life, but if he doesn’t restrict those things to the point where he’s left wanting, they will all cease bringing him pleasure. The only solution is for him to experiment with spacing and then use his self-control to say no to those things that he can easily have.

Read Next: The Relationship Between Blindness And Happiness


  1. Mike Hubbard April 9, 2014 at 9:51 am

    “The real pleasure-seeking is the combination of luxury and austerity in
    such a way that the luxury can really be felt.” –G. K. Chesterton

  2. Z. April 9, 2014 at 9:55 am

    There is another price paid besides the loss of the pleasure taken from these activities: time. When indulging in something several times a week it is easy to see huge swaths of time disappear to our vices.

  3. americanbk April 9, 2014 at 10:43 am

    But once a week??

    1. jbird669 April 9, 2014 at 11:01 am

      Yeah I’m having a hard time reconciling that, but given he past successes, maybe it makes sense, for Roosh.

    2. Cedric April 9, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      Blowing a big load from all the build up is hot. I should’ve tried that at 18 but could never keep in my pants long enough to wait a week.

      1. Jones April 11, 2014 at 5:33 am

        Just eat lots of oats or take concentrated green oat capsules.

        Thank me later.

    3. Roosh_V April 9, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      Yes but during that episode, I would want to go 3 times or so.

    4. Xavier April 10, 2014 at 5:58 am

      There will be at least 3 women involved in each once-per-week session.

  4. Jay April 9, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I want to have sex everyday. I’ll just fantasy about other girls while I’m having it with my girlfriend. Keeps it fresh

  5. Dick De Tool April 9, 2014 at 11:48 am


    Have you ever noticed you start that morbid introspection every time you go to DC (maybe America?)?

    I actually felt a twinge of sadness reading your tweet your be in the District of Corruption for a month. Go to a sausage fest with $12 drinks and 6s who act like they are Penthouse Pets on a yacht in the Riviera and you’ll be kissing your boarding pass to Kiev.

    Ps-You should check out Antalya Turkey (EE girls to their to party at all inclusive beach resorts and if theirs a better set of exotic faces, juicy full bootys, and nice racks than Turkish women I’d be surprised. Beirut Lebanon is another place that could use a bang guide. In Asia the big booties are in Jakarta and Hanoi- go to Asia- my gut tells me you’re like me and dig variety and hate the same crap all the time.

    1. splooge April 9, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      why lebanon when u can babg israel. european n middle eastern jew mix are a good lookin bunch.

      1. Cedric April 9, 2014 at 7:47 pm

        I never said Tel Av iv sucked-you’re absolutely right Jewosh girls are totally gorgeous but you can’t tell me in good faith a big Turkish rack and booty isn’t hot as well?

        The party states of Middle East are underrated-where can you find more exotic women than that? Vanilla brunettes are a dime a dozen-go to Michigan for that.

        Think of the title-
        Bang Israel (that would have the ADL pissing out hot lava-thank me with an infield tour for that idea if you $$$ on it Roosh)
        Bang Turkey
        Bang Iran
        Bang Lebanon
        Bang Egypt

    2. Roosh_V April 9, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      I’m not in DC for the girls, and won’t labor to get laid. But if I see a girl I like, I will try.

    3. Womens Rights Activist April 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      Are you a pedophile? Why are you posting such degrading and sexually explicit comments about women?

      Too many women in Canada are victims of male aggression, and many school boards will find out who are behind these misogynist posts.

      The TDSB internet code of conduct will not tolerate any hate speech, libel, misogyny or sexually explicit comments about women. Should it be found out that you are a student or male teacher from Toronto, the police will have the warrant to seize your computer and lay charges under the Criminal Code of Canada.

      We as women cannot take any more of your misogyny and sexist comments anymore. A poor female teacher from Edmonton was cyberbullied for over 2 years!!!! You men need psychological counselling.

      1. Cedric April 10, 2014 at 9:24 pm

        I wasn’t aware we had Communist troll day-welcome!

        Honey read Dr. Henry Makows stuff on feminism-hes a fellow Canuck. The ROckefellers own you and use your anger and misdirection to play you like a pawn. How does it feel to be owned by bankers?

      2. iHateFeminists April 21, 2014 at 6:15 pm

        Cyberbullied? Now what the fuck have you feminists come up with? You suck!

      3. woman who doesn't care May 30, 2014 at 6:30 pm

        wow, I as a woman think you are full of shit, both sides are really we’re just as bad as each other. we both objectify the other sex on physical appearance, I mean lets face it you probably want a guy with muscles I do to but I’m not going to. Men want a women with nice boobs and a great arse. I think we should just all try to get along.

      4. Shizuppy December 6, 2015 at 3:31 pm

        LOL nice troll attempt.

  6. Emahray Trolle April 9, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I have a cup of coffee when I wake up. I try to quietly enjoy that cup and not recount in excruciating detail all my life screwups, or otherwise embark on scheming about the coming day’s activities.

    Recently am putting effort into actual meditation; emptying my mind and trying to ignore the inner monologue. Making an inch of progress. Reading Ekhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” and Vikto Davich “8 Minute Meditation”. Another one that worked for me was Guy Finley’s “Letting Go”. There are countless others.

    I considered submitting a ROK essay : “Have Women Ruined Yoga?”.

    1. Jones April 11, 2014 at 5:30 am

      Time to bring back the calisthenics in British Calisthenics (aka Yoga) …

      Let’s follow the Sergeant Major, marching up and down the square!

      (or let’s not … off you go, then.)

    2. fluffybiskuts April 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      Meditation…do it. Lots of scientific evidence about the positive physiologic changes that occur during meditation eg lower blood pressure etc. The brain was thought to be unchangeable after age 25 or so but science now thinks believes the brain has “neuroplasticity”. Meditation may help the brain rewire itself….

    3. truth April 18, 2014 at 8:43 am

      Elmer, I’m with you on about 85% of the stuff you’re doing and have written in past comments. May I suggest the Oprah/Deepak program of a 21 day meditation challenge? Google it, it’s getting me pretty good results after 4 days.

  7. Giovonny April 9, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    “Dopamine Fatigue”

    “Self Control”

    I love Roosh’s thorough examination of “happiness”. It is often a trcky balance to stay fulfilled and “happy”.

    Young guys think the pussy and partying will keep them happy forever..

    I wish life was that simple!

    Cultivate your mental/psychological tranquility. You will need it!

  8. Sam Spade April 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Americans equate comfort with happiness.

  9. turkishcandy April 9, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Sorry Roosh. I almost NEVER disagree with you, I even unconsciously let my ‘filter’ down when I’m reading your posts, but this time I fail to see the self improvement in your way of thinking. You sound more like a buddhist monk than the self-improvement coach that I think of you, which is not surprising since you advocate some aspects of buddhism in your game.

    But unsatisfaction and the pursuit of new highs are what drive men to self improvement, exploration and new discoveries. I think it’s good that you get bored from regular sex, this way you will push yourself to find more and more beautiful and feminine women all the time. True, this will make you less happy and more tired for the same amount of pleasure you used to get from less beautiful women, but are happiness and satisfaction really the end goal? Self improvement (Growth) is more important than happiness (comfort) as you once said

    Don’t let fatigue get the better of you. Instead of limiting yourself to keep your experience novel and satisfying, DO get bored from that experience and strive to reach higher and further, even if that means your happiness won’t increase as the amount of effort it takes to satisfy you increases.

    As for coffee, it can’t be compared to sex since it literally is an addiction and the more caffeine you take the less satisfied you will be from the same amount of caffein.

    1. Nick April 10, 2014 at 1:49 am

      I think an important part of personal growth is recognizing the limits of what earthly pleasures provide. If someone is at a point where they are working harder and putting in more effort just to maintain the same level, that sounds like regression to me. Once you’ve squeezed 95% of the juice out of a pleasurable experience, those extra 1% increments aren’t really worth the effort. Better to relearn to appreciate the experience by abstaining from it and to seek out new pursuits.

    2. Scesci April 10, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      I remember Roosh once stating that he’s more of a Stoic than a Buddhist

  10. anon April 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    This is where old sayings like “variety is the spice of life” came from.

  11. Monroe Ficus April 9, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I was just thinking about the past 6 months. After reading on Danger and Play about “dominating yourself” (that is, before you can be dominant you must have the dominance to control yourself), I’ve been pondering about reducing the levels of hedonistic pleasure so I recieve marginal utility. At first I did it with food (lost 30 lbs), now I’m doing it with coffee, alcohol, masturbation, getting laid.

    1. Smart Alex April 9, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      It’s finally standard to have a shaved beave and they want stop shaving their armpits? Good lord no!!!

      The only redeeming quality about that series of pics is they (models) all look like they have a nice eating disorder to work with so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get them back in line.

    2. Womens Rights Activist April 10, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      I’m a woman and I find your post to be highly misogynist.

      1. Cedric April 11, 2014 at 1:44 am

        Roosh-she needs a ROK style ban-if we want to immerse ourselves in collectivst/candy ass/bleeding heart/pinko/post modern commie sewage we’ll go hang out with candy ass hipsters or retard bureaucrats at our local U or COmmunist party meeting.

      2. Jones April 11, 2014 at 5:32 am

        Adjust your understanding: we don’t give a shit what you find.

        I’m a man and I find your post to be highly irrelevant.

  12. Cedric April 9, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Game Brethren-
    Has anyone ever heard of how Eastern European girls react to being “cool” or socially viable like American girls.
    In other words, in Eastern Europe do girls care what kind of music you listen to, your opinion on fashion, style, culture, your clothes, car, and all the other superficial things girls in major American cities in the club and on the street are all wrapped up in???

  13. Tom Dane April 10, 2014 at 7:00 am

    I have found out that the only things that give you true happiness are always hard won. You have to work and with great risk of failing. When you achieve something great because you put a tremendous effort into it. That’s why former athletes sometimes have a hard time adjusting to their new life.
    Sex, foot, drugs, alcohol, facebook gives you in reality, nothing. So I agree 100% with this post.

  14. Matt April 10, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Maybe it’s because I am a fee years younger than you but I could not live with sex just once a week. Once a day minimum or i am jerking it

  15. Indiana John April 10, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Kind of like the old saying “everything in moderation”

    1. gordax May 25, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      as well as moderation

  16. Zelcorpion April 10, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Roosh – you are an amazing guy looking into the motivations and specifics of the most minute human activities. Your mind is a funny son of a bitch. 🙂

    Good post – btw.

  17. Kingsley April 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    It’s a thin line between spacing and procrastinating in my realm ofcourse.

  18. Scesci April 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Lifting weights is one thing that never gets old, it may get dull to some people after a couple of years, but the neurochemical reaction seems to get only better with time

    1. Someone June 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      A sport you like applies, as well. …
      That isn’t like eating, though. You expect focused exercise to not be all “pleasure”- it is almost always partly or mostly “work”. But, the PARTIAL pleasure, particularly after fighting through with the work, IS consistent.

  19. Aaron Sollesse April 10, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Well said, and this perspective even has scientific studies to prove it.

    When we starve the brain of pleasure, we become more sensitive to it biochemically. For example, food restriction increases the number of dopamine receptors

    It seems our brain has an in-built “pleasure budget” it needs to fill and it’ll modulate dopamine sensitivity to meet this need.

    But if that’s the case and this is based on the reward system of dopamine, then this means that increasing dopamine sensitivity by restricting sex for example should therefore increase pleasure for all other pleasurable activities like learning, socialising, your hobbies, etc.

    Though there is clearly a limit to the amount of bodily pleasure we can/should restrict to sensitise ourselves. Anecdotally, we can look to Buddhist monks who restrict themselves from the many temptations of the mind yet have high rates of diabetes, which implies that there is a minimum of bodily pleasure that must be obtained from some source.

    Still I guess this is even more evidence for the virtues of exercising self-control as a way to achieve everything you want both in the material world, and for your own happiness. And it gives an explanation for why feminists are never happy no matter how many of their fleeting desires are fulfilled.

    Brilliant writing Roosh, I love this direction you’re going in.

  20. Balboa April 10, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Real talk here. As far as sex goes, I personally maximise my happiness by having it 2-3 times per week, and with any single woman no more than a few times in total. Variety is good, but not constant ONS. Everyone is different, and it’s important to realise the limitations of hedonism.

  21. Scientific Method April 11, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    As usual, the takeaway from this post is rather vague. It’s not even clear what the central claim is and the supporting reasons for it. It sounds like Roosh simply has addictions (like checking facebook) and can’t control himself, yet if other people have a wide variety of enjoyable hobbies and interests, he’ll tell them “you’re doing it wrong.” It doesn’t make much sense to me to jump to such extremes and be so dogmatic about it, but most of the posts here suffer from the same myopic attitude. Perhaps a better title would have been “Some men should try to appreciate things more” which would have avoided making bold, unprovable claims about what makes a person happy and how frequently they should get their happiness.

  22. Chris April 12, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Fucking brilliant, mate. Just pure gold. Could not up vote highly enough.

  23. Gregorio April 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    “To keep pleasures, pleasurable, keep them brief”

  24. Smell the BS April 17, 2014 at 6:45 am

    I train muay thai. It makes me happy. There is nothing like smashing some pads then having a good spar with the others in my gym. You are not seriously telling me that I should space this out? I try to train 6 times a week, but usually manage about 3-4. If I could, I would adopt the regime of a pro fighter, unfortunately other duties prevent me

  25. roman43 April 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Learn not to seek for happiness from things. Seek happiness in yourself, intrinsically. It’s a mindset. Pleasure and happiness are two different things.

  26. melmoth September 27, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Wow what a great article. Like a lot of manosphere/ROK topics, it’s something that I was gravitating towards myself, though without nearly the clarity of thought. It’s been amazing how many times I’ve had an inkling of an idea then I find that so many others were edging towards the same conclusions. I recently quit sugar, cut down on coffee and decided to stop looking at women on the internet as much as possible. I mean the click-bait links even on daily news sites and of course porn. I want to cut out visual pleasure and images. Not just women, but following hobbies too, like collecting things, sports nostalgia, clothing that I want etc. The constant visual pleasure of the internet is to be avoided. I want to kill off my image reception~pleasure paradigms. The internet in particular is a brain killer, I’ve started to conclude (while on the internet, oops).. All I can add to such a cleanly thought out article is that you can shift your army of pleasure cells in your brain into slower, more challenging pleasure sources. Reading full, long novels as opposed to clicking around for articles that fire your brain off immediately. Then take it even further and start reading less immediately pleasurable novels. Long hikes. Writing. These things are more difficult and the pleasure is deeper and more rationed. Have days where eating is simply not a pleasure source, outside of fruit (because that shouldn’t be withheld for health reasons). A bowl of beans and a banana for dinner, for example. A practical, cheap lunch. Dull muesli for breakfast without coffee. This saves a ton of money for one thing and it also starts re-training your brain. Pleasure is something to be enjoyed, not expected. Forget the daily pleasure of the night cap. Your brain goes into alcohol anticipation mode by 3 pm, even if you are a one drink guy like me. I’m certainly not talking about inebriation. Start depriving your brain as if it were a young child. Treat it like one. Don’t give it every toy or piece of candy that it asks for. Then you get to where weight lifting provides far more happiness than an evening of jiggling tits on the internet. With the internet, it is possible to simply ALWAYS give your brain what it wants and this could be chemically devastating and I’m almost positive that it is. Great article.

  27. Jason Lovett January 18, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Roosh – would you consider having sex with a lot of girls a recipe for happiness? Just curious, I have no opinion here.