No-Nut November has become a Global phenomenon that peaked within the Internet community. The end of the year is marked with continuous festivities with each passing month. October has Halloween and Christmas takes over December. While for Americans, Thanksgiving dominates November, as per tradition. However, nowadays, it is common to relate November with both Thanksgiving and No-Nut November.

What exactly is “No-Nut November” and why is it so heavily celebrated?

Essentially, No-Nut November is an annual event that encourages its willing participants to abstain from masturbation and/or any form of sexual intercourse. Although, some variations or rules extend to prohibiting a participants from even watching pornography, and having only one wet dream. Exceptions have been created by certain online communities, with certain versions allowing participants to use “One Free Nut” coupons or exemptions to allow someone to partake in sexual activity during the duration of the challenge. However, these are non-official rules. The important and necessary feature would be that the individual has to start their no-nut journey when the clock strikes midnight on November 1st to the subsequent strike on December 1st.

Initially, No-Nut November was advertised as a satirical internet challenge that went viral in 2017. The term was first created in 2011 and grew off of the “No Shave November” trend in which (cis) men were to not shave and let their beards grow out for the entire month of November. At first, the challenge had only considered abstinence from masturbation and sexual intercourse was added later on. The challenge has since grown, with its strongly bonded reddit community of about 90k members and even has its own Hashtag: #NoNutNovember, for individuals to share their abstinence experiences, frustrations, failures, memes and more.

To read more about the official rules and/or to join the No-Nut November reddit community: r/nonutnovember

Health Benefits? Maybe not.

Besides being a (fun) challenge, No-Nut November has since been labelled to have health benefits; taking a month off from masturbation or sexual activity will improve the physical and mental health of the practitioner. However, there is no scientific data or evidence to support the long term effects that No-Nut November abstinence actually has physical benefits nor are there studies being conducted to test proposed effects, such as improving focus, boosting testosterone, or reducing compulsive behaviors, that are mentioned in support of this practice. Those who would benefit from No-Nut November would be those that are often of the beliefs that “Sex Addiction” and “Porn Addiction” are real. (The Center is firmly against these labels/framings. Read our position paper here.)

In contrast, there are a few studies that disprove No-Nut November, which say that regular ejaculation and sexual activity lower the risk for prostate cancer, improved memory, deeper sleep, improved immune cell function, boosting one’s immunity, reduced risk of heart disease, and decreased inflammation.

Introspection and Productivity

With that being said, some individuals have addressed their experiences with No-Nut November and the spiritual benefits of abstaining from sexual activity. The spiritual benefits come from the beliefs of NoFap, which is a lifestyle that practices moderation and complete abstinence year-round and teaches the benefits of sexual transmutation. Sexual transmutation is the process of converting sexual energy into energy to “better” other areas of one’s life. It is about taking the sexual energy used to ejaculate and turning that energy into being productive and/or to focus on one’s mental health by introspecting or taking one’s self out of a socially-driven mentality. The NoFap community preaches channelling that energy into meditation, journaling, and exercising both the brain and the body.

For individuals that are interested in learning more about NoFap and tips or tricks: Self-Developed discusses his experience with NoFap and how it has helped him with having a positive sense of self and increased his productivity. Captain Sinbad talks about trying out NoFap and how it is okay to relapse and give in to the need to masturbate, and reiterates that the individual should focus on how it makes them feel as well as the importance of having a reason for participating in NoFap.

The Dark Side of NoFap

Caution is advised, as there are communities and organizations on the internet that negatively twist the meanings behind NoFap and negatively benefit from the trend and infamy of No-Nut November. “Concerned” individuals and communities have labelled masturbation as being unhealthy and to abstain from masturbation entirely, based on information that they have gathered from “researchers” and “scientifically-proven” data, which have been disproven and often conducted by those who are anti-porn/masturbation, making the evidence entirely biased.

NoFap has also been tainted by far-right groups, to push toxic traditional gender roles, sexism, and misogyny. Religious communities may even use it to preach anti-homosexual and anti-women values. Since No-Nut November has predominantly been advertised towards cis men, some communities suggest that men who do not “pass” No-Nut November, are not “man enough,” or hypocritically bash and demean sexually active women.

Keep it positive!

Individuals that keep true to the positive messages and teachings of growing as a person, while drowning out the negative connotations, may gain spiritual and mental health benefits and even find a community of people to belong to should they positively partake in No-Nut November. 

And to combat No-Nut November, the internet has cleverly come up with a method to relieve the tension people may have faced during their abstinence period and compensate for the abstinence in November: “Destroy Dick December.”


Written by our intern Ariela Hadiwidjojo.