Skip To Main Content

Every product is carefully selected by our editors and experts. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. Learn more. For more information on how we test products, click here.

Creation alexandra daddario 1180x90
Creation alexandra daddario 778x150
Statue of a man with his hands behind his back bound by a rope

The Science Behind No Nut November


Every year, men from across the globe test their resilience by abstaining from masturbation for thirty long, excruciating days in an act known as ‘No Nut November. Emerging from the shadows of the internet’s strangest corners, the annual internet challenge has become a globally recognised phenomenon, with those undertaking the act citing major sexual health and psychological benefits. The medical industry, however, isn’t quite so convinced about the practice of semen retention. So, with the calendar ticking over the eleventh month of the year, the question begs to be asked – is No Nut November healthy or just another social sensation dreamed up by internet boredom?

Dr. Lawrence Levine, MD
Dr. Lawrence Levine, MD | Image: RUSH University

Is No Nut November Healthy?

For many, No Nut November has been associated with a string of potential health benefits, ranging from improved sexual stamina through to enhanced cognitive function and mood stabilisation. The official No Nut November Sub-Reddit boasts a whopping 156,000 members with thousands of posts outlining the positive impacts of engaging in the 30-day practice.

Psychological Impacts

While the stories could well be true, Laurence Levine, MD, board-certified urologist and chief medical officer of sexual wellness brand Promescent, explains that there is little evidence to support the mental and physical health claims of male sexual abstinence.

“While the physiological benefits of short-term abstinence are minimal, some men do report psychological benefits, such as increased self-discipline or a heightened sense of focus,” Dr Levine tells us. “It’s a highly individual experience with limited clinical data one way or the other.”

Impact on Testosterone

In recent years, Australian research studies have suggested a strong correlation between ejaculation and fertility, with Dr David Handelsman of the University of Sydney revealing that reduced sexual function was strongly associated with a reduction in serum testosterone. Furthermore, a Harvard study affirmed, “there are zero random-assignment clinical trials supporting abstinence as a part of treatment for compulsive sexual behaviours”.

The studies oppose the commonly-held theory amongst No Nut November participants that semen retention will lead to enhanced physical health, however, the impact on testosterone production is harder to determine. Dr Levine revealed that abstinence, in the initial stages, may lead to increased testosterone production, however, it is unlikely to last.

“Many believe that abstinence leads to a significant testosterone surge, but studies indicate only a minor temporary spike,” Dr Levine explains. “In the short term, there might be a minor rise in testosterone levels. The body will continue to produce sperm and excess sperm gets naturally reabsorbed. Over time, some men might experience nocturnal emissions, commonly referred to as ‘wet dreams’. Another misconception is that ‘saving up’ sperm improves its quality, but in actuality, the freshest sperm is often the healthiest.”

Frustrated man with his hands on top of his head
No Nut November | Image: Ahmad Gunnaivi

Effect on Sexual Stamina

Additionally, many No Nut November participants have claimed that engaging in the 30-day self-imposed abstinence program has led to enhanced sexual performance. Again, Dr Levine explains that the impact of making lifestyle changes related to sexual health will differ from person to person, and it’s important to consider all options.

“Abstinence might provide a psychological boost for some, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution,” Dr Levine says. “For men concerned about lasting longer in bed, there are evidence-based solutions like Promescent Delay Spray – a clinically proven lidocaine desensitising spray that I regularly recommend to my patients – that can be more directly effective. It’s always important to approach such claims with a balanced perspective.”

No Nut November Health Risks

Much like some other notable internet challenges, No Nut November is being used as an opportunity to raise money for prostate cancer. Ironically though, there is growing evidence linking ejaculation with lower chances of prostate cancer. The most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men, stimates suggest nearly 20,000 Australian men will be diagnosed with the deadly condition this year.

“For most men, extended periods without ejaculation won’t lead to significant health issues,” Dr Levine says. “However, some studies suggest that regular ejaculation might be associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, though the correlation isn’t definitively established.”

What is No Nut November?

No Nut November is an annual internet challenge that encourages men of all ages to abstain from masturbation for the full month of November. Often viewed as a shame-ridden act, masturbation is a rarely discussed topic amongst young males, around 51 per cent of men show themselves a good time at least once every month, with only 1.7 per cent of men saying they never played the skin fiddle before.

The figures paint an interesting picture of the nation’s sexual habits, with researchers suggesting the practice of masturbation is considered second best to the real thing. With all of that in mind, it makes you wonder how exactly the practice of No Nut November came about.

History of No Nut November

First coined in 2011, when its definition was published on Urban Dictionary, in 2017, the movement gained considerable traction on social media, with over 156,000 No Nut Comrades doing their darndest not to make the bald man cry on r/NoNutNovember. Hell, even Burger King joined in on the fun.

Often associated with NoFap, the for-profit community-based recovery platform for porn addiction, porn overuse, and compulsive sexual behaviour, it serves as a support group for those who wish to give up pornography and masturbation.

No Nut November Rules:

  • No sex; no busting a nut; no nothing.
  • Wet dreams are allowed.
  • Porn is also allowed, but not finishing.
  • Victors will qualify for Destroy Dick December (Google it at your own risk).

No Nut November FAQs

Does No Nut November increase testosterone?

According to Laurence Levine, MD, board-certified urologist and Chief Medical Officer of Promescent, undertaking the practice of No Nut November will not improve testosterone. The medical expert explained that while many believe that abstinence leads to a significant testosterone surge, “studies indicate only a minor temporary spike”.

When did No Nut November start?

The first appearance of No Nut November can be traced back to an Urban Dictionary entry published in 2011. In 2017, the movement started to gain popularity on social media. It is associated with the NoFap community on Reddit, which encourages its members not to masturbate.

Is No Nut November good for you?

There are certain misconceptions about No Nut November, including that the act of semen retention will improve health. According to Laurence Levine, MD, board-certified urologist and Chief Medical Officer of Promescent, while extended periods without ejaculation won’t lead to significant health issues, some studies suggest that regular ejaculation might be associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, though the correlation isn’t definitively established.