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pleasurehacKing: biohacking for the new Era

Updated: Feb 27



From the history, to deep personal stories and revelations, let me give you a thorough intro on biohacking and where I think this movement is heading. 


I’ve spent almost a decade researching health hacks as a UX designer, as an early adopter of the body/biohacking community, as a qualitative research subject matter expert in healthcare, as a yoga practitioner, and finally as a patient surviving an NDE (near death experience).


Biohacking is a movement that has roots in the underground experimental tech scene. From Steve Mann, the father of wearable technology, to Stelarc’s artistic questions around our relationship to technology via the body, we started seeing a spectrum of futurists questioning how technology might ultimately save us from suffering. More recently the focus on longevity is spearheaded by Dave Asprey and many other high net income individuals, who are willing to spend large amounts of money in hopes of increasing not only their lifespan, but what is called healthspan – increasing the quality of life further along this path we call life. 


Taking a few steps back, the 80’s grunge vibe lead to the grinder communities gaining more momentum, as I talk about on the stage of the IxD conference during my frog design days here. That angle on biohacking sees more practical yet extreme hacks like chips being used for payment and to open doors, and artists like myself experimenting with magnets in their fingers. Because a passion of mine has always been our experienced relationship to consciousness and resonance/electromagnetism, I wanted to investigate how qualia manifests in the body, and better understand how sensory perception might work with this experiment. 


So while we’re here, let me share with you my personal, vulnerable story around this. In 2018 after the bodyhacking conference in Austin, I decided to get a magnet in my finger as I was really interested in how electromagnetism affects our bodies. Having worked with resonant frequencies for chakra balancing, this seemed like a fun low risk experiment. It allowed me to feel microwaves, connect with everything metal like Magneta, and troubleshoot any Arduino wiring issues. 


Little did I understand how this might affect my nadis and how sensitive I was, always having been someone who is very attuned to my body. You see, I’m also a burner and in 2018 the last day on playa a jump of joy (really high mind you, being the acrobatic dancer I am), lead to a walk through the underworld. I broke my ACL and meniscus, which would have been fine, but the “corrective” surgery lead to a bone infection that in turn was neglected. I got to be the victim of having my pain downplayed like so many other women in the healthcare industry. It being an opioid epidemic didn’t help - I got benzos instead of pain killers that only distracted and numbed me. “It feels like I have a bone infection”, I told them early on. “Naaah, you don’t have that. You would be crawling on the floor out of pain if you had that”. 


After the last surgery I was so weak, my experience lead me to an indescribable void where all my chakras turned the most silent black … I caught myself with a visceral feeling of “this must be death”, waking up to beeps, nurses circling me, and a heartbeat that was scary low. After I caught myself with the scary thought, within a few microseconds that felt like a lifetime, I saw a blue light many other people with NDE’s describe. My own experience contained a fractal blue image of what felt like my soul in its current version, doing what I do. I woke up with a stark feeling of what needed to change in my life, and a crystal clear vision.

I haven’t let go of that vision. Moments later, a PICC line nurse came in, dressed in what I call a space suit to put a tube into my heart with a direct line of antibiotics, that would over-saturate my blood for 12 weeks to get to the root of the bone infection. I’ve been through a lot of trauma in my life, but this one might top it all. I celebrate everyone needing to go through that experience, completely sober and awake, to survive. After years of wiggling my big toe (or rather entire left side) back from atrophy (remember that Pulp Fiction scene?), a supplement regime of ~15 different vitamins/nootropics daily, vigorous physical therapy, 80k in related costs, and a need to be more embodied and in tune with my nervous system than I have ever been in my life, I’m so grateful for it all. If I wasn’t trained as a tantrika, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be here today. If it wasn’t for the 600h certification I took with Layla Martin, I certainly wouldn’t be thriving at the relative level I am today. 


People usually have all kinds of feelings listening to this story. So let me give you a breather before I add the final twist. 


My mother has been bedridden for the past 16 years, and when people ask me “why do you think this happened to you”, the answer to this difficult question always comes in two parts. For one, I was out of my touch with the nurturing, feminine side of myself. The one my mother never did a great job of showing me the way of. This leads to the second part - the magnet. If I had operated from my more nurturing center, I don’t think I would have gotten that magnet, or would have fallen in such a ridiculously mis-balanced position to hurt myself so badly in the first place. I truly feel the truth of that in my soul, no matter how irrational it might seem. Of course there are a lot of finer details I’m leaving out of this article for the sake of not turning this into a book. 


My story might be extreme, and I’m glad it stress tested many of my theories and tools. In sharing my story, I realize I speak the story of so many other women in particular, but also a lot of men. The consequences of living in a patriarchal society I personally find only become more omnipresent, the deeper you look. Most of us haven’t even scratched the surface of this rabbit hole, until we work with an intimacy coach of our own. 


With the help of the coaching program and sisterhood, I realized I needed a completely different approach to healing, given how much work I needed to do. My stomach was destroyed after all the antibiotics, so I needed to give up all alcohol and coffee, just to scratch the surface of the lifestyle changes I ended up needing to make. Many of the supplements, although they truly did help me get my feet back on the ground (thank you Matt for your support and expertise here), were only one part of the puzzle. I can now say that what single handedly helped me the most was pleasure practice. 


Yes, you heard me right – intentional, regular self-pleasure practices. 


You see, my nervous system was so out of the green from the months of severe pain, abandonment and backstabbing of the healthcare system that it was the only thing that got me out of the chronic pain and victim cycle. Practices like pendulation, and using pleasure to fuel my energy centers, allowed me to have the energy to pull through. 


As my teacher Layla Martin likes to say, “who has the energy to do all the deep healing work when we take it so seriously all the time, when we never play? The west has taught us that presence is needed for spiritual enlightenment. But you can be present and fucking miserable. Ecstacy is the missing piece of the puzzle that Eastern philosophy understands”. As opposed to most western philosophies, tantra offers a path to enlightenment in this lifetime, because using one of the most powerful energies we have gives us the drive required for the deeper healing work and accelerates the process. It wasn’t until a few months ago it all clicked for me, pondering my journey, the way I had to fight to get here, and the culmination of where we are as a society. It lead me to an epiphany and a new word to describe it; what I’ve been doing is pleasurehacking. 


So what is pleasurehacking?


Biohacking and it’s longevity market today is an estimated 26 billion dollar industry, and it mainly focuses on the male body (as most science, diets and health tips have for decades), applying often harsh methods to “hack” our bodies. Sure, much of it is about finding the right supplements, and there are a few lovely female biohackers out there that I adore, and the work that Alicia Vitti has done with the FLO living project is truly life changing. But I haven’t found anyone that blends biohacking with deep expertise in the space of intimacy, love and creativity. If you know of anyone, please connect me to them!


Biohacking has a focus on the external that we are so addicted to - think diets, excessive supplements, coffee etc., all of which drain your shakti energy, natural hormonal cycle and connection with nature. 


Pleasurehacking is about using your endogenous powers rather than supplements or external means to enhance your health. 


As opposed to biohacking, pleasurehacking is about harnessing your relationship with your internal, generative system. It’s about finding daily hacks to feel embodied liberation and self-love via science and ancient yogic techniques like tantra, to expand your creative life force. 


It’s about reclaiming your power, with less focus on hacking the body, and more on hacking society in service of the body and your pleasure. It hacks societal traps that block our access to feeling your body which is where pleasure lives,, to maximize your potential, performance, health - and pleasurespan!


Society has at large done a poor job at giving us the right frameworks to stay embodied and hence harness this power. No wonder, as the church as an organization had all the interest and money to keep us away from discovering our path to the divine within. And I think every person can resonate with this, at least at some level. Simply imagine a world where God was replaced by Goddess? Where all the world’s leading CEO’s, scientists, and government where 70% women?I’m not here to say I think the matriarch should take over. I’m here for you to ponder what it would look and feel like. 


I imagine a world where we get to be proud of our feelings and use them to make informed decisions from our yin, taking action from our yang and are productive in harmony with nature’s cyclical make-up. Where large language models are complemented by large molecular models and we talk about survival of the most symbiotic as opposed to survival of the fittest.


This is the future I want us to build together. I’m not the type of feminist looking for revenge. I’m just wanting greater empathy and a balancing of the scales. 

Just like biohacking, pleasurehacking is about reclaiming sovereignty over your body by applying research findings, science, biology and calculated, tracked self-experimentation to optimize your desired reality. In other words, pleasurehacking builds on, evolves and applies this mindset to maximize your pleasure in life. Which in turn gives you incredible life force energy and embodied experiences on the regular you never thought were possible.


Because the way I see it, holistic individualized health is the way to go, but if we are forced to pick that one thing, that panacea that lies at the foundation of your health, it’s got to be pleasure. Pleasure is certainly the one thing that we always have, that no one can rob from us. 


I hope this intrigued you and that we get to evolve this concept, applied art and science together. If you liked this, find more on how you can apply pleasurehacking on my YouTube channel, or join my weekly free lives that aim to make Monday’s a day to nurture from within. 


With love, grace & power, 

Fabiola

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