Semen retention is not a by-product of recent internet trends though the idea of restraining from ejaculating dates back thousands of years.
While in its most basic form, semen retention requires a man to avoid ejaculation at all costs, whether through abstaining from masturbation or sexual activity altogether, it's not the only way to practice seminal retention.
This article provides a broader outlook on semen retention.
Semen retention has numerous benefits (mental, physical, sexual and spiritual) that have proven its value in avoiding ejaculation.
Benefits include increased energy, focus, sexual appetite, orgasmic strength and more.
Semen retention may increase testosterone levels and helps preserve energy within the body.
Seminal retention leads to heightened pleasure, improved fertility, redirected sexual energy, improved mental and physical health, and greater self-control.
Healthy men who abstain from ejaculation are unlikely to experience any harmful side effects. Since the body can break down unused sperm, it does not build up to cause pain.
What Is Semen Retention?
Semen retention is the conscious effort to prevent ejaculation during sexual activity.
With practice, seminal retention allows you to intentionally redirect your seminal fluid to be absorbed back into the body and translate to an abundance of benefits.
Seminal retention can also lead to dry orgasms, which can feel equally (if not more) stimulating than a regular orgasm.
The origin of semen retention dates 8,000 years back to ancient China.
Although the origin of semen retention pre-dates Taoist Masters in 5000 BCE, they were the first to give rise to the sacred teachings of sexual practices that are still alive and well in the 21st century.
The Taoist Masters believed that the secret to inner peace and greater well-being resides in the sex organs.
They considered the loss of semen to contribute to chaos and exhaustion while preserving semen would lead to vitality and possibly even immortality.
How to Practice Semen Retention
The practice of seminal retention is simple and focuses on avoiding frequent ejaculation.
Before you begin to practice seminal retention, it might be beneficial to improve your muscle control by performing kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles and help control ejaculation.
During vaginal, anal, or oral sex, relax your face, neck, buttocks, legs, and pelvis muscles to minimize energy build-up.
When you sense an orgasm approaching, breathe deeply to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to relax the body and slow your movement.
Apply pressure on the perineum (the space between the anus and testicles) to trigger retrograde ejaculation to redirect seminal fluid to the bladder rather than through the penis.
Semen Retention Benefits
As much as ejaculating multiple times per week is healthy and beneficial from a biological and physiological perspective, practicing sperm retention has a myriad of other potential benefits.
Why practice semen retention?
From boosting testosterone levels and improving fertility to more intense orgasms, retaining semen contributes to various effects that men of all ages can benefit from.
One of the main reasons men choose to retain sperm is to help stimulate and maintain an erection even after orgasm.
Semen retention benefits multiple areas of well-being:
There are a variety of exceptional mental and emotional benefits of not ejaculating.
Sex therapist Dr. Laurie Mintz explains that semen positively affects the brain since the chemicals within semen offer a mood-enhancing, feel-good effect on our minds.
It leads to the following mental health benefits:
- Less depression & anxiety
- More self-confidence
- More drive
- More motivated
- Being more present
Semen retention can contribute to physical benefits, both inside and outside the body.
Abstaining from ejaculation and recirculating the semen back into the body can help improve semen volume and sperm quality and contribute to elevated testosterone levels.
As a product of increased testosterone levels from retaining semen, most healthy men are likely to experience the following physical benefits:
- improved semen quality
- higher energy levels
- thicker hair
- muscle growth
- higher bone density
- deeper voice
From a sexual point of view, semen retention can be beneficial for men to improve self-control and prolong orgasms.
It is helpful for those dealing with erectile dysfunction or symptoms of premature ejaculation.
Sperm retention benefits men sexually by:
- heightening sexual arousal and sexual stimulation
- eliciting a more intense orgasm
- contributing to longer sexual experiences
- allowing for multiple orgasms
Spiritual health is essential to creating a balance between other aspects of our health, including mental, physical, and emotional.
Interestingly, ejaculatory abstinence plays a role in spiritual growth by empowering our minds and bodies to act intentionally.
Here are some spiritual benefits of semen retention:
- an improved sense of purpose in life
- increased vitality
- increased overall happiness
- strengthened sense of harmony and internal peace
Semen Retention and Fertility
Sex is a fun, pleasurable, and sensational activity that two or more people can engage in together – consensually.
Under the right circumstances, sex can also help heterosexual partners conceive a child.
Considering that men need to provide half the genetic information to make a baby, the strength, potency and health of their sperm play a vital role in a successful conception.
Based on scientific evidence, seminal retention contributes to better sperm motility, an advantageous trait for men's fertility.
It also helps optimize semen characteristics by elevating testosterone levels, which increases healthy sperm production.
Note: A general rule for couples trying to conceive is to have sex every other day during the ovulatory period instead of daily. The sperm count tends to be higher as you prolong the time between ejaculations.
Internet Movements Celebrating Semen Retention
With growing interest in semen retention practices, the rise of internet movements has paved the way for more on-topic conversations introducing NoFap and No Nut November.
Fapping" is a slang word used to describe masturbating. NoFap began as an anti-masturbation movement created to encourage men to live a happier, healthier life without self-gratification – especially while watching porn.
Although NoFap was started to improve symptoms of physical and psychological ailments, it differs from semen retention since the goal here is to avoid ejaculation rather than masturbation.
No Nut November
The term 'No Nut November' made its first appearance on Urban Dictionary back in 2011. Like NoFap, the No Nut November movement encourages people to avoid masturbation.
However, the difference is that it includes all other forms of sexual activity that could result in orgasm throughout November, including masturbation, oral sex, and vaginal and anal penetration.
Although there is limited scientific evidence to support the benefits of No Nut November, this movement has created an opportunity to raise money to support prostate cancer.
Semen Retention 30-Day Timeline
What happens when you retain semen for 30 consecutive days? Although everyone is different, making each experience independent and unique, the commitment to 30 days of seminal retention will give all men some degree of enhanced personal wellness.
Here are some things to expect during 30 days of not ejaculating.
During the first week of ejaculatory abstinence, the body will likely experience increased energy and motivation.
It takes energy and resources to produce sperm which can now be used more efficiently.
Regular daily exercise (lifting weights, biking, or practicing yoga) is recommended to help productively release built-up energy.
By the second week, you'll achieve greater mental clarity and focus. As the body reabsorbs semen and the many vital compounds found in seminal fluid (i.e. amino acids, potassium, and zinc), it can improve brain functioning and memory.
Note: If you are practicing semen retention, it doesn't mean you can not have sex; it only means not ejaculating.
By week 3, the energy and mental clarity will help you to become more present. As levels of zinc rise in the body through semen reabsorption, you'll achieve greater hormonal balance in the brain, which translates to great attentiveness.
When you reach week 4, your mental health, energy, clarity, focus, and motivation will all work to improve your confidence. Throughout this ejaculatory abstinence period, sperm quality tends to go up and can lead to excellent fertility and sexual health.
The benefits from semen retention beyond the 30-day mark plateau since the bulk of the mental, physical, sexual and spiritual take place within the 30 days.
Many men agree that the 30-day semen retention is an excellent all-around reset for the body and mind.
Potential Cons of Semen Retention
Though seminal retention is not considered high risk by any means, it's important to consider some of the complications that may be involved.
Epididymal Hypertension ("blue balls")
Commonly referred to as "blue balls", epididymal hypertension happens when a man becomes aroused but does not ejaculate or orgasm.
Men report experiencing pain or discomfort in the genitals as blood pools inside the testicles in response to sexual arousal. It usually goes away by having a partnered or masturbation-induced orgasm.
Without a healthy ejaculation frequency, some men report having issues finishing when it comes time to get busy in the bedroom.
It may either contribute to a person being unable to ejaculate (i.e. erectile dysfunction) or ejaculate sooner than expected (i.e, premature ejaculation).ALSO READ: Premature Ejaculation: A Man's Ultimate Guide
No Benefits of Ejaculation
On the flip side, there are still several benefits of regular ejaculation.
According to research, men between the ages of 40-49 who ejaculate a minimum of 21 times per month are at the lowest risk of prostate cancer.
Other benefits of regular ejaculation include increased heart health, improved relationship quality, reduced stress, and more.
- Seminal retention has a range of potential health benefits that can help you boost your mood, confidence, energy, happiness, and overall health.
- With intentional practice during sex or masturbation, it's possible to reach a point of intense sexual pleasure and sometimes even orgasm without ever ejaculating.
- Though there are benefits to regular ejaculation, you can still experience the blissful release of orgasm with retrograde ejaculation.