• The Crazy World of No-Nut November

    man about to masturbate

    Content Warning: This article will discuss antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, white supremacy, and misogyny.  

    As November ends and Mariah is on full blast in every store, many are excited for the coming winter holidays. One group is looking forward to December first more than anyone else. 

    The dudes who partook in No-Nut November. 

    In a time of the year when self-indulgence is encouraged, these guys are abstaining from sex and masturbation, at least to the point of ejaculation. The meme that became a reality is nothing new ; it has a dark and fascinating history. 

    What is No-Nut November?

    Originally a play on No-Shave November, the FaceBook campaign that raises awareness of certain cancers, No-Nut November is a month where those in the (ugh) Manosphere abstain from ejaculating for a month. This is also meant to include steering clear of porn and other such temptations.  

    Yes, kind of like that Seinfeld episode.

    that seinfeld episode
    Columbia Pictures, NBC

    Why would young men do this? That is a little complicated, as we’ll get into, but mostly as a form of self-improvement. Some might be battling an addiction, others want the supposed benefits of withholding their nut, and more than a few see it as their duty for cishet white men everywhere. 

    Seriously, things are going to get dark in a bit. 

    While NNN began as a satirical meme in 2010, the idea picked up steam in 2017 when far-right luminaries began promoting it.

    However, the idea behind quelling masturbation is nothing new.

    Historical Nut Allergy – How Did This All Begin?

    The perception of masturbation as an unhealthy and shameful act has been around for centuries. 

    While many claim the condemnation of rubbing one out has biblical origins, this is actually a myth. A euphemism for masturbation is “Onanism”, which comes from the Christian lore of Onan’s strong pull-out game. 

    The saying “it is better for your seed to land in the belly of a whore than upon the ground” does not actually appear in the bible. 

    That fact has not slowed puritans from trying to stop the inevitable throughout history. 

    In 1760, Swiss physician Samuel-Auguste Tissot wrote that regular spank sessions would cause blindness. His reasoning was based on the loss of zinc (an essential mineral) with each load that would deteriorate eyesight over time. 

    This is obviously not true. There is more risk to vision via poor aim than losing nutrients. 

    The pseudoscience continued in late-19th century America with John Harvey Kellogg. A strangely fierce opponent of masturbation, Kellogg did indeed invent the cereal Corn Flakes as a way of subduing sexual urges. 

    johm harvey kellogg

    His contemporary, Sylvester Graham, shared Kellogg’s theories on diet and arousal and inspired the Graham cracker. We can all thank Graham’s religious zealotry for giving us the s’more. 

    Kellogg did not stop at a big bowl of cardboard-flavored flakes. He advocated for male and female circumcision (for which he recommended ladies put carbolic acid on their clits) nationwide. He even went as far as to circumcise himself at age 37. 

    He may have been a lunatic way too obsessed with jerking off, but you have got to respect the commitment. 

    Another common myth that took forever to die is the athletic benefits of holding back the tides. Combat athletes, like boxers, believed that not cumming for at least two weeks before a fight increased aggression, strength, and reflexes. 

    Speaking personally as someone who boxed in college and tried this, it does not make a difference. I was crankier, but that’s about it.

    Sorry, Mick, but “women weaken legs” is nonsense. 

    There are numerous myths and old wives’ tales about the harm of stroking the salami, but the more recent adherents to not nutting believe things that are even crazier than hairy palms.

    Superpowers, The Quantum Realm, and Jizz

    Who needs a radioactive spider when you can just not nut?

    More modern proponents of self-celibacy make claims that go beyond improved athletic performance. In fact, some claim semen retention can help you go beyond our dimension. 

    Yes, really.

    While there is no scientific data that confirms any actual benefits to keeping your hands off your lil’ buddy, there is a popular movement online that claims semen is some kind of super serum. “Sigma males” like YouTuber KaijuKong believe semen retention is a gateway to becoming more than human.

    KaijuKong, along with over 130,000 redditors on r/semenretention, claims that the body absorbs the nutrient and hormone-dense nectar when kept inside and increases strength, recovery, cognition, better sleep, hair growth, and mental well-being. 

    the semen retention subreddit

    This supposedly occurs not only because of the chemical makeup of semen, but due to evolutionary biology. They claim the body assumes that because your sack is filled to the brim, females are not attracted to you, so it goes into overdrive to help find a breeding partner. 

    If you think that sounds stupid, that’s because it is. Semen is packed with nutrients and hormones, but what they describe sounds a lot more like taking exogenous testosterone like steroids. 

    Again, there is absolutely no evidence to back this up.     

    As for the idea of your body acting as a wingman, this is where the Semen Retention clan tips their hand a bit. The idea that women, consistently referred to as females, will only sleep with you if you’re a jacked and hair-covered macho man screams of incel misogyny. The trope relies on the belief that women only want a provider and are hard-wired to drop their panties at the mere sight of a Chad. 

    Fans of Semen Retention typically fall into the “Sigma/Alpha/High-value man” mindset. This patriarchal belief system is dripping with misogyny, insecurity, and harmful social constructs. 

    On a more fun and zany note, some SR practitioners sincerely believe that refraining from ladling out some dude-gravy can turn you into an interdimensional being with the ability to access the Quantum Realm. 

    If that scifi Narnia name rings a bell, that could be due to Marvel’s Ant-Man, where Paul Rudd can shrink to a sub-atomic level and travel through a quantum universe. Admittedly, a Marvel movie where Paul Rudd runs around with an erection snapping at people while saving reality sounds fun. 

    YouTuber Stellar Thoughts says that “semen energy” charges your third eye and can allow you to access the Quantum Realm and alter the fabric of reality in your favor. According to Stellar Thoughts and those like him, semen retention increases activity in the pineal gland, and that allows you to see beyond the veil. 

    Horror fans will recognize the pineal gland idea from Stuart Gordon’s 1986 film From Beyond, which is ironically one of the horniest movies ever made.

    SR fans claim their perspective is backed up by thousands of years of ancient traditions and eastern spirituality. Strangely enough, it also shares practices and philosophies of Chaos magic and magicians like Anton Levay. 

    Semen and sexual energy are some of the core tools that also claim to let a practitioner transcend our world, although it is more about releasing and not retaining semen. 

    For those who credit mental and physical benefits from practicing SR, it is more likely they are actually benefiting from mindfulness of their masturbation habits and not because blue balls can open portals. 

    r/NoFap and The Road to Hell that is NNN

    A sad reality of No-Nut November and communities who engage in abstinence to become superhuman is that the modern version of it started from a community with the best of intentions.

    The Reddit board r/NoFap is an online community of people struggling with an addiction to porn and masturbating. With around 1 million subscribers, the webpage offers support for those who struggle with or are recovering from compulsive sexual behaviors that have caused harm in their lives. 

    These are real problems that many people struggle with, and it sucks that porn and sex addictions are not taken more seriously. 

    That being said, it is not hard to see the connective tissue between the well-meaning subreddit and NNN’s right-wing propaganda. 

    It may be the only tissues they ever see, am I right? (Posts for an unreciprocated high five) 

    Jordan Peterson, king of the incels and best-selling self-help guru, is all over the boards on r/NoFap. Granted, as Peterson has gone more “mask off” in the past year, getting banned from Twitter for being an asshole to Elliot Page and joining far-right media outlet The Daily Wire, many fans have lost interest. 

    Unfortunately, Peterson’s advice on treating porn and sex addiction is one of the most common discussions among No-Fappers. For a clinical psychiatrist and a human who battles their addictions, it is shocking that the advice is mainly to stop. If addiction was that simple, it wouldn’t be an addiction.

    Studies and common knowledge show that going cold turkey from any addiction is not the most effective treatment and can cause more harm than good. 

    Combining the Peterson worship along with post after post of “Sigma male grindset” memes paints a troubling picture of young men who need help but end up going down the white nationalist pipeline to groups like the Proud Boys. 

    The Proud Boys see masturbation as a sign of weakness, and the practice is forbidden as a member. 

    It makes logical sense that this could happen, as the core audience for Peterson and the Proud Boys are frustrated young men, the same group at high risk for porn and masturbation addictions. There are women, queer folks, and people of color on r/NoFap, but they aren’t given much attention or respect. 

    What they do get is all the blame.

    A Bunch of Jerk Offs Against Jerking Off

    The Proud Boys are not anti-wank because they think they can join the Justice League by not spilling their doom sauce, but it would be better if that was the reason.

    The Proud Boys and other white supremacists, including former KKK leader David Duke, shun having a ménage a moi because they see any kind of sex that is not between a white man and a white woman as a threat to their world. 

    Besides the Christian ideology of non-procreative sex as sinful, these pathetic losers are worried masturbation will lead to men watching interracial and trans porn, wasting their precious Caucasian DNA and male power while the white race is bred out of existence.

    This, of course, is all part of a Jewish conspiracy (so they say).

    The Quantum Realm is looking pretty damn sweet right about now. 

    This obsession over man batter came to a head in 2018 when adult entertainment site XHamster sent out a playful anti-NNN tweet and was met with a flood of anti-semetism. Not wanting to stop at one flavor of gross, NNN-stans even tweeted that pornographers should be killed. 

    tweet saying "death to pornographers"

    Xhamster spokesperson Alex Hawkins told Vice Magazine “What struck us most [about the ‘Pornographers Must Die’ meme] was not necessarily the call to violence, which we discounted because it was social media, after all, but the production quality of the meme,” 

    “This wasn’t something that was casually produced.” they said.

    The internet users who sent the above well-produced infographics eventually took the predictable and cowardly position of engaging in “dark humor”. 

    Sorry, but with the sharp rise in fascism, white supremacy groups and incel violence, I don’t see where the joke is. 

    Enjoy Yourself This Holiday Season

    No-Nut November may seem like a silly bit of internet fun, but the forces behind it are deadly serious. 

    History is teeming with those in power using sexual repression to keep themselves on top, and there is no sign of that slowing down. A significant portion of what was once a support group for people struggling with addiction has become a delusional cult that promises supernatural abilities and racial dominance.

    What a bunch of dorks. 

    If you’re struggling with your porn consumption or masturbation habits, there are much better resources available and ways to find support. 

    If you’re not someone battling a sexual addiction, then stick it to the Petersons and Dukes of the world by enjoying your body.

      • Justin Perlman (he/him) is a comedian and writer based in Atlanta. He has two cats named Dr. Whoopsy-Daisy & Superintendent Chalmers and cries at the ending of Robocop.

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