The following article has been reposted from Buro Malaysia.
From blue balls and wet dreams to better self-discipline and mental resilience, sexologist Andrea Koh breaks down the pros and cons of No Nut November below.
No Nut November… has come. And, by our calculations, it will have gone in T-2 days. Both a great meme and a cultural phenomenon, No Nut November started off as satire but has become an actual full-blown movement. Essentially, the challenge calls for participants to commit to abstaining from ejaculation for the entire month of November. That means no sex, no masturbation, no porn and absolutely no nutting for the full 30 days.
We spoke to Andrea Koh, a sexologist and professional counsellor at Rekindle Centre for Systemic Therapy Malaysia, to glean her insight into the pros and cons of the internet trend. If you participated in the trend this year and you’re curious to see whether it did anything beyond keep you(r) bone dry, we’re covering all taboos ahead.
The challenge is pretty straightforward, but there are a few set rules and exceptions that have been laid out. While ejaculating is off-limits to participants, you are allowed wet dreams (how generous) and you’re allowed to get erections. Essentially, your equipment can function as it was created to, you’re just not allowed to use it.
According to Koh, not really. Specifically, she says that “there is no scientific evidence supporting the idea that abstaining from ejaculation for a month has specific health benefits.”
However, while it may not hold any proven physical or sexual benefits, it can be a good test of mental resilience. “The challenge may hold value for some individuals by promoting self-discipline. Adhering to a specific regimen over an extended period can be challenging, and having a motivating reason can help individuals stay committed,” Koh explains. “Successfully completing the challenge can foster a sense of accomplishment and willpower, potentially encouraging ongoing commitment.”
“Additionally, this period of abstention provides an opportunity for reflection on our relationship with sexuality, personal habits, and the role of sexual behaviours in our lives,” she continues. “It serves as a chance to consider improvements for a more fulfilling sexual life.”
Blue balls, more wet dreams, and the threat of erectile dysfunction—is there any truth to the concerns? According to Koh, the effects of abstaining from masturbation or sexual activity for extended periods vary from person to person, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
“It’s important to note that sexual health is a complex and individual matter influenced by various factors, including physiology, psychology, and personal preferences,” she begins. “People’s bodies and sexual responses vary, so what works for one person may not work for another. Some individuals may choose to abstain from sexual activity for personal, religious, or cultural reasons without experiencing negative effects on their sexual health.”
That said, let’s get into the physiology of it:
The term actually refers to the temporary testicular pain or discomfort that comes with prolonged sexual arousal without release. Essentially, the discomfort is caused when blood flow to the genitals increases but doesn’t fully dissipate.
Now, while blue balls certainly doesn’t feel good, Koh assures that it is generally not harmful and usually resolves on its own. “Engaging in sexual activity or masturbation can alleviate the symptoms,” she resolves. “Or, if you are planning to abstain, distracting yourself with other non-sexual arousing activities will reduce the feeling of sexual arousal and thus alleviate the symptoms too.”
If you’ve been experiencing more wet dreams this month, it might not necessarily have anything to do with No Nut November. “Wet dreams are involuntary ejaculations that typically occur during sleep, also known as nocturnal emissions,” says Koh. “They are a natural and normal part of male sexual development, and they can happen regardless of whether someone masturbates regularly or abstains.” That said, if you’re down bad and your subconscious has been making up for it with an influx of impure thoughts, it wouldn’t be totally out of the question.
Erectile dysfunction is a growing concern that has been cropping up with No Nut naysayers. So, if it’s something you’re worried about, we bear good news: “There are many factors that could cause erectile dysfunction such as age, overall health, psychological well-being, and underlying medical conditions,” Koh explains. “There is no conclusive evidence that abstaining from masturbation leads to erectile dysfunction.”
One change you may notice in yourself that may actually come from No Nut November is general irritability and low mood. Sex and masturbation have myriad benefits according to Koh, but one key benefit is the release of endorphins and oxytocin—two hormones that act as natural stress relievers. In addition, sex can foster bonding in relationships and promote a sense of well-being and improved mood. So, if you’ve found yourself in a more foul mood than usual, that might be why.
In short, it’s a very personal choice. Some choose to participate for the meme, and that’s fine. Some choose to do it to exercise some self-control, which is great. Either way, if you choose to participate, a healthy mindset is key.
If, however, you’re looking to participate out of concern for your sexual habits, Koh has some advice. “Individuals considering participating in No Nut November or similar challenges should recognise that moderation is key,” she explains. “If someone has concerns about their sexual habits such as porn addiction or feels that they may be struggling with issues related to sexuality, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified sex therapist if this challenge will be helpful in dealing with their concerns. These professionals can provide personalised guidance and advice based on your specific situation.”
The following article has been adapted from an interview conducted by Buro Malaysia (https://www.buro247.my/beauty/beauty-mens/what-happens-during-no-nut-november.html)