Warning: This article contains explicit sexual references intended for an adult audience.
Thankfully, No Nut November is almost over.
From the Tide Pod challenge to the sunburn tattoo challenge to the MOMO challenge, the internet is rife with silly competitions – most of which are dangerous and should never happen. Men across the world have also been partaking in No Nut November, which requires them to stop masturbating for a month. That's right, poorly-grown moustaches (the ones here for laughs, not charity) aren't the only thing we have to put up with all November. Thankfully, the month is almost over.
I understand these challenges are supposed to be difficult, but I'd say not masturbating for an entire month is bad for you. This challenge that's been happening for the past few weeks is plain stupid.
The rationale for No Nut November, apparently, is that men believe they can store up their semen and this makes them infinitely more attractive to women, more powerful at work, and better at focusing. Refraining from masturbation is also a way they believe they can reduce their reliance on stimulation from pornography.
I see all of this as an unhealthy and sex-negative attitude for men to hold onto. First of all, masturbating has a positive effect on men's mental health. It assists in relaxation and gets you a better night's sleep. For your general wellbeing, it's a form of release and it connects you to your body. This can result in a more positive body image and higher confidence.
Secondly, and more dangerously, No Nut November posits masturbation as something to be ashamed of. If you look at some of the online commentary about this challenge, guys crassly seem to think the activity of touching yourself is only for weaker men. They follow the same kind of rhetoric that has resulted in men bullying each other as "beta" males (as opposed to dominant "alphas"). It divides guys into two groups: those of strong body and mind, and "losers". I honestly reckon No Nut November is the kind of challenge Donald Trump would proudly tweet about completing.
However, I've written about the pros and cons of porn before and there's research to suggest that pornography does change your sexual appetite. For those where masturbation interferes with their sex life and ability to be intimate or orgasm with a partner, I can advocate for cutting back on masturbation. Porn is addictive and it can be damaging to young men's erectile function too, because you can effectively teach yourself only to respond to autostimulation and not be satisfied with a real life partner. Swearing yourself off masturbation for a whole month, though, is excessive. A cold-turkey approach also probably isn't the wisest if you think you have a problem.
What's more, No Nut November doesn't actually require you to stop watching porn. According to the rules stated on Urban Dictionary, you're still allowed to consume it; you're allowed to get an erection. You just can't do anything about it. We shouldn't gloss over the fact that No Nut November also requires you to abstain from sex altogether. This means if you have a regular partner, you're forcing them into your ridiculous challenge too.
I think we've all heard stories of athletes and sportsmen who won't have sex or ejaculate prior to competition, because they believe holding it in gives them a competitive edge. I don't get paid to play football or sprint around a track so I can't comment on the effectiveness of this theory, but I can say the idea of "saving up" your semen to be perceived as a more virile example of man is total hooey. It's nonsense. While frequent ejaculation (i.e. multiple times a day) may decrease the volume of semen you have, it only takes a matter of hours to build back up. You're not going to be more powerful at your job, and no woman is going to look at your any differently. If she does, it will probably be in a negative light because you going four weeks without masturbating is a guaranteed way to end up agitated.
My final problem with No Nut November is that there's a reward at the end of it. It's called (excuse the vulgarity, I didn't name it) Destroy Your Dick December, which is basically like a 25-day advent calendar which allows you to masturbate once on December 1st, twice on the second, and so on... until Christmas Day when you're supposed to masturbate a shocking 25 times. How contradictory is that? Not masturbating isn't good for you, and neither is rubbing yourself raw. Like most other internet challenges, this proves that No Nut November best resides with dead trends like top-knots and uncomfortably tight low-rise jeans. Let's put them all in the past and keep them there.