Curated from: Learn - shy
November — dubbed the “Thursday of the Year”, the last month of the year where we push a little bit harder before letting loose and embracing the party season that is December. And to some, this can also be applicable to their experiences with sexual pleasure.
As you probably know, No Nut November (NNN) is a month-long internet challenge where males try to abstain from masturbating and orgasming, that aims to promote men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer, and to preserve or build up their virility.
The NNN movement has come a long way since its origins as an anti-porn movement in 2011, and supporters claimed that they were able to occupy the time they usually spent masturbating with more “beneficial” and “wholesome” activities outside of the bedroom, be it on their own or with their partners. And don’t get us wrong, masturbation is a bad thing when it becomes an addiction, and ends up distracting you from your daily activities and personal relationships. However, is it beneficial for the body to completely abstain from masturbation?
The science behind No Nut November
As it turns out — in a twist of irony, No Nut November actually has more drawbacks than benefits for you and your balls.
The causes that NNN aims to support can actually be better achieved if you refrain from taking part at all. A study by Harvard University showed that men who ejaculated on the regular actually reduced their risks of contracting testicular and prostate cancer.
Scientists have also concluded that there aren’t really any proven health benefits of not ejaculating for extended periods of time. In a study done on the relationship between ejaculatory abstinence period and semen characteristics, evidence suggested that substantial improvements to sperm motility can be achieved from short abstinence periods, which can elapse less than a day! (No Nut for One Day of November, anyone?) This is contrasted with one of the founding principles of NNN: that abstaining can build up virility.
On the other hand, the research linked to the health benefits of orgasms and self-pleasuring are limitless, such as stress reduction, better quality of sleep, and boosted heart and erectile health.
On top of all this, sexual health experts also agree that frequent ejaculation can even lead to a longer life, and for the best prostate health, clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist Dr. David J. Ley states that it is recommended that men should orgasm about 21 times a month.
Is NNN being used to promote the social and political agenda of certain groups?
On reddit group r/NoFap (which is where a lot of discourse on NNN takes place), far-right and religious groups have infiltrated the community to push their ideas of traditional gender roles and misogyny, due to the idea that the men who do not succeed at NNN are not manly enough, while simultaneously taking the chance to demean sexually active females.
This can also contribute to the belief that self-control, morality, and masculinity are best displayed through abstinence. As quoted from Dr. Ley, “People who don’t have sex are not better at self-control than other people, and resisting masturbation doesn’t make you a better person or a stronger man.”
However, that’s not to say that NNN is 100% bad.
For males with performance anxiety or erectile dysfunction, NNN can be a good time for a psychological break, and the extra down-time can allow them to delve deeper into the underlying causes that might be affecting their sexual health and performance.
It can also be a good time for couples to strengthen their emotional bonds by focusing on other aspects of the relationship other than sex, especially for those who see sex as a solution to their problems, or if it contributes to a toxic dynamic in the relationship.
So, if abstinence is not that effective, how can males best take care of their sexual health?
Testicular cancer is the #1 cancer among younger guys, and patients are often in the range of 20s to 40s. In Singapore, the incidence rate has risen steadily over the past few decades.
Here’s how you can perform a simple self-check to spot for any discrepancies in your balls:
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer can manifest themselves as:
A lump in either testicle, an enlarged (swollen) testicle, a dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin, a sudden gathering of fluid in the scrotum, feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, and/or lower back pain
Testicular Cancer is mainly caused by:
Family history, undescended testicles (the condition where one or both testicles do not move down into the scrotum before birth), and infertility (the abnormal cells that cause infertility are believed to also cause testicular cancer).
Thankfully, Testicular Cancer is very curable.
It is treated successfully in 95% of cases, and if treated early, the cure rate rises to 98%. Although a man’s risk of getting it is 1 in 263, his chance of dying from the disease is only about 1 in 5000. This is why doing regular self-checks is so important!
Prostate Cancer occurs when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. Similarly, the risk of prostate cancer is higher if you have family history, but in terms of age ranges, it mostly affects older men aged 50 and above.
Here’s how you can get tested: Prostate-specific Antigen Test