Semen retention and its benefits are one of those things you wouldn’t believe will make an enormous difference to your quality of life until you try it.
Maybe you’ve heard of semen retention and you’ve been thinking about doing it. You’re not alone. And you’re in good company.
A handful of great men from the past to present, from thinkers to athletes, have all publicly claimed that retaining their sperm has been beneficial to their lives.
It has improved their strength, their creativity, and the way they interact with those they’re in relationships (professional or otherwise) with.
In this post, I explain to you the benefits that you stand to gain if you try it. But first, let me put some things into perspective.
Semen Retention: Its meaning and a short history on it
Semen retention is a very old practice that several cultures have been practicing from the beginning of civilization.
It’s the act of not ejaculating for a set period. To practice semen retention, you can go the route of totally abstaining from sex, porn, and masturbation—because these could all result in ejaculating.
While you’re practicing semen retention, you can have partnered sex.
But when you’re about to ejaculate, you hold it and send it right back to where it’s coming from (this takes a ton of practice to perfect by the way). This act has different names depending on your culture and the circle you’re in;
- Sexual transmutation (the mainstream name given to it by Napoleon Hill)
- Seminal conservation (if you’re writing a term paper)
- Coitus reservatus in the Latin culture
- Maithuna in Hindu tantric practices
- Sahaja in Yoga practices, and so on.
Semen Retention and NoFap
So, is semen retention the same as NoFap?
No and Yes! Depending on which side of the fence you’re standing on.
NO because with semen retention, you’re not letting your sperm out no matter what you’re doing. Even when you have sex, you aren’t ejaculating. Some modes of NoFap still allow ejaculating—the easy mode and normal mode of NoFap allow ejaculation. And these NoFap modes come with their own benefits.
And YES because there are some junctures where NoFap and Semen Retention intercepts. For instance, if you’re doing the hard mode or the Monk mode of NoFap, you’re actively doing semen retention.
9 Semen Retention Benefits every man should experience before he dies
You have more energy and more strength when you practice semen retention
In a study to determine the energy expenditure of having sex and ejaculating, the men volunteers in the study can spend as high as 306.1kcal per sexual session. That’s an energy that’s more than the equivalent of running on the treadmill for thirty minutes straight.1
Maybe you’re thinking that your masturbation sessions (to internet porn) won’t be costing you as much energy. I’m here to tell you that you can’t be more wrong.
If you’re observant, you would have noticed that the fatigue you feel after ejaculation (when you masturbate) feels worse than when you have partnered sex.
With masturbation sessions, you’re using more physical and (most especially) mental resources than you can imagine.
There’s a cocktail of hormones that are secreted in your brain when you masturbate to porn. The dopamine high you experience is instantly followed by the secretion of lots of cortisol (the stress hormone) and prolactin (the sleepy hormone).
Also, the process of masturbation to porn over-stimulates your limbic system and this puts a mental strain on this region of the brain.
You’ve just utilized a lot of glucose this is the main brain food. The brain autocorrects by releasing the fatigue hormones so you won’t stimulate yourself into a comma.
Now, imagine taking a break from mindlessly ejaculating every day. Imagine diverting this energy—and strength—you use to ejaculate every single day, into something else in your life. Something more productive!
The Zinc wastage when you ejaculate
Another thing you should be aware of is that every time you ejaculate, you lose a shit ton of zinc.
The semen contains a ridiculously high amount of zinc. A teaspoon of semen contains up to 9% of your body’s daily total zinc allowance.2
Now, picture the individual masturbating/having sex and ejaculating like two, three, or even four times a day.
Although your body can’t store zinc, if you’re in the habit of masturbating/having sex and ejaculating compulsively, at this rate, you’re losing more zinc than your body is synthesizing.
Zinc is the nutrient that’s responsible for the synthesization of anything related to energy and fertility.
You don’t need any scientific study to tell you that whenever you ejaculate, you get tired. Your legs temporarily become jelly till several hours later, when you start recovering.
So, it’s common sense to know that if you practice semen retention for a while, you will have increased energy and increased strength.
It increases your testosterone levels
In 2003, a study conducted in China found that after seven days of semen retention, the serum testosterone of male volunteers increased by a whopping 145.7% of the baseline.3
Afterward, as abstinence was maintained, the testosterone levels started dropping. But it didn’t drop as low as the baseline again.
The fastest way I’ve found to increase your testosterone levels is through semen retention. If you’re in doubt, give it a go and have your T-levels count checked.
A lot of people that have been on the hard mode of NoFap for a long time have had their T-levels checked and they’ve reported a clear increase in their T-levels—compared to when they were ejaculating frequently.
Another reason why you might experience an increase in your testosterone levels semen retention benefit is if you’re making use of the extra energy and extra strength to take up habits like weight lifting.
But at the end of the day, no matter what, you have increased testosterone levels when you’re practicing retention.
Semen retention increases androgen receptors density in the brain
Building up testosterone in your body isn’t enough in itself. If your body can’t make effective use of the testosterone, it’s as good as having low T-levels as a man.
Androgen receptors (AR) are hormone nuclear receptors that regulate the testosterone hormone.
The more androgen receptors you have, the more effective your body uses testosterone. Conversely, the lesser the density of androgen receptors in your brain, the less effective your body can use testosterone.
All the cool benefits of having high testosterone levels as a man—being an attractive sexual god, building muscles like you’re making pie, getting that deep masculine voice you’ve always craved—that always make your mouth water, none of them will happen without good androgen receptor levels.
But what does semen retention have to do with androgen receptor levels?
Glad you asked!
When you’re addicted to porn or you ejaculate too frequently, your androgen receptor levels reduce.
This was seen firsthand in a study conducted on male rats. Forty-eight hours after ejaculation/sexual satiety, the male rats exhibited a reduction in their androgen receptor density.4
It wasn’t until seventy-two hours after sexual satiety that the androgen receptor density of the male rat started normalizing.
If you relate this to compulsive ejaculation via porn and masturbation or frequent sex, you’ll see that you’re carrying low levels of androgen receptors throughout your existence.
It goes to reason that if you practice semen retention for an extended time, the androgen receptor density increases and you’re better able to make effective use of testosterone.
This is why it isn’t uncommon for people practicing semen retention, or doing NoFap to say that they’re gaining more muscles with the same amount of effort they were previously putting into their workout.
Semen retention stops laziness and procrastination in their tracks
You are evolutionarily built to have high levels of dopamine when you perceive a receptive sexual mate.
This is to encourage/motivate you to go through with the sexual act.
Dopamine builds up the desire for sex.
This in-built mechanism is to prevent the extinction of our species. To make sure we copulate and procreate.
When a sexual activity—irrespective of the act; a pixel on the screen, your imagination, or a real-life naked girl in front of you—gives you a blast of dopamine, at that very moment, nothing else matters.
Your body has diverted all resources to getting the reward attached to the sexual activity—the ejaculation.
Eventually, when you ejaculate or have reached sexual satiety, your body shuts down the sexual desire by secreting the prolactin hormone (the sleepy hormone). As dopamine levels go to zero, prolactin levels peak.
Prolactin is the hormone responsible for the fatigued-feeling and sleepy-feeling you get post ejaculation.
Here is where it gets dark; prolactin continues to be released in surges for up to two weeks after a single ejaculation.5
Now, imagine if you’re ejaculating every week? Every day? Two times a day?
Too tired to move
What you should have noticed if you ejaculate constantly is the feeling of constant fatigue and sleepiness.
You would get a good night’s sleep, and in the day, you would still feel like you need more rest. You would still feel sleepy.
The result of all these is that you feel too drowsy to be active in life.
You feel like watching movies all the time, playing video games all the time, and the couch becomes your favorite spot in your house.
You procrastinate on important tasks and you’ll have been tagged as a lazy person by those close to you.
With semen retention, you flip the procrastination and laziness script. You become more awake to life. Because your prolactin levels have been greatly reduced.
When I started retaining, I sleep for just six hours at night and I feel well-rested throughout the day. I’m more active and I no longer procrastinate. And I gradually began shedding the lazy tag people have attached to me.
If you start semen retention, this is one of the benefits you’ll start noticing immediately.
Semen retention helps to check compulsive masturbation and compulsive orgasm
Compulsive behavior is performing an act persistently and repetitively without it leading to an actual reward or pleasure.
When an act becomes compulsive, it’s become mindless—meaning you’re no longer aware of doing it.
Any act can become compulsive—something as simple as biting your nail, or checking the time, or checking your email.
Compulsions all start out harmless. But in the long run, they all become an inconvenience. Some—like masturbation and orgasm compulsion—are even more inconvenient and harmful than others.
When masturbation and orgasm become compulsive and mindless, you become a slave to them. They take over your life and they become all you can think of.
They become things you have to do irrespective of what time of day it is or what price you have to pay to do them.
The price you pay for these compulsions (masturbation and orgasm) can come in the form of a mental price, a physical price, a time price, a monetary price (for porn subscriptions, paying prostitutes, buying gifts for people you want to have sex with), an emotional/relationship price, a price of integrity (like missing important deadlines/meetings because you’re busy jerking off), and other prices you pay in different shapes and form.
To stop paying these prices that you probably don’t know you’re paying, practicing semen retention can bail you out. Semen retention helps you check these compulsions.
If you can go for some days without ejaculating, then you can take masturbating and orgasm off of the list of things that are controlling your life.
Semen retention boosts your willpower and helps you cultivate mental discipline
Anytime you stop doing a compulsive habit, you get a boost in your prefrontal cortex—the region of your brain responsible for willpower.
Semen retention is one of the ultimate willpower exercises you could do in the course of your lifetime. It’s the ultimate journey of self-control.
Because sex (or anything sexually related) is one of the primary things our biological make-up has programmed us to seek. Sex is a natural reinforcer for us.
An entire brain section is dedicated to pushing us to have sex (and ejaculate). Practicing semen retention is a BIG defiance to this region of the brain.
And the bigger the defiance to this part of the brain, the bigger your prefrontal cortex becomes (literally). The bigger your prefrontal cortex becomes, the more willpower you have.
As you have more willpower at your beck and call, the more disciplined you become.
Think of it like this; semen retention is the Olympics, and reading 20 pages of a book every day is a state championship. With semen retention you’ve already trained your brain to win the Olympics of better habits. So, the State Championship seems like child’s play.
What you’ll discover is that as you add days to your NoFap or semen retention calendar, you start staying with daunting tasks longer, form better habits easily, and you can also easily drop other habitual vices you have.
It leads to less anxiety and more confidence
On a much deeper level, we feel anxious in a social setting because of cognitive dissonance.
What it means is a discord that arises when the image of yourself on the subconscious level is different from what you’re projecting on the outside.
This discord makes you feel like you don’t belong. Like you have something to hide and you’re afraid of being found out.
Cognitive dissonance explains much of the anxiety you feel when you’re about to speak publicly, or you’re about to approach a girl walking down the street.
You keep saying to yourself;
“Would they find out that I’m scared of public speaking? Would they find out that I don’t know squat about what I’m about to discuss? Oh my God I’m gonna suck!! I’m not good enough for her. She’s gonna know that I’m a porn addict.”
All these questions and mental chatter are mostly subconscious and you aren’t even aware of them most of the time—but they ramp up your anxiety anyway.
We all feel dissonance in one area of our lives or the other. But when you’re a porn/masturbation/orgasm addict, you feel the dissonance/discomfort/anxiety more when you’re interacting with a (potential) sexual mate.
Deep down, you know ejaculating like a crazy person (to porn or any other thing) isn’t beneficial for your body and your relationships. Maybe you subconsciously have a moral issue with it. And you still do it anyway.6
But when you start practicing semen retention and you stop ejaculating frequently, you relieve the dissonance/discord causing your anxiety in social gatherings. And less anxiety means more confidence.
Also, practicing retention means an increase in testosterone levels and androgen receptors. And one of the qualities that get accentuated when your T-levels is high is masculine confidence.
Increase in sexual energy which increases your natural attraction levels
Your semen contains energy to create life. This energy is the sexual energy that attracts females towards you to mate with you—to create life.
One thing about this energy you should know is that it always seeks expression.
So let’s assume you’ve been expressing it through sex or masturbation, nature assumes you’re procreating and doing the needful.
But once you block that outlet (semen retention), and this energy builds up, nature will want you to express it.
The more sexual energy you have, the more masculine you become—to attract mating partners.
As this energy is tuned up, these masculine features and cues that attract mates become accentuated. Features like pheromones, testosterone, and so on.
All these cues are subconscious and females start picking them up more.
That’s why you might start noticing that when you’re practicing semen retention, females start making more eye contact with you.
You can check out this post on the science behind nofap attraction to get a proper insight into how this works.
Semen retention increases your libido and sexual drive
If you’re the type that has a low libido, or you’re getting more and more uninterested in sex (low sex drive), and you ejaculate frequently, it might be time to try semen retention.
The argument here is that just as we don’t eat to feed hunger anymore, we don’t have sex and ejaculate because we’re horny anymore.
Instead, much of the eating and sexing we do nowadays is feeding a compulsive behavior.
So, if you want to increase your sexual drive (or horniness), practice semen retention for a while. Wait for the drive to have sex build up.
After a while retaining, you’ll get to know how it really feels to be horny. And you can say hello to those rock-hard erections.
Sources and Footnotes
- An astonishing fact that researchers in this study came to realize. Energy Expenditure during Sexual Activity in Young Healthy Couples.
- A Review of the Physical and Chemical Properties of Human Semen and the Formulation of a Semen Simulant.
- This increase is a clear cut peak according to the researchers. A Research on the Relationship Between Ejaculation and Serum Testosterone Level in Men.
- Relationship between Sexual Satiety and Brain Androgen Receptors.
- I first read about this in an article by Marnia Robinson: Pulling Away (After Sex). She’s the author of Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow: From habit to harmony in sexual relationships.
- Some researchers believe that self-reported porn addiction problem that induces anxiety around sex is due to a deep-seated moral issue with porn.