Men's Health

Is No Nut November Bad for Men’s Health?

Fact Checked

Thinking about participating in No Nut November and wondering if it’s a good idea? Here’s what you need to know about this yearly challenge.

Last Updated: 12/13/2022

Written by

Kimberly Wilkes

Most guys have heard about the No Nut November challenge. Maybe you’ve even tried it because you’ve heard it has health benefits. But is that really true? Could No Nut November actually harm your sexual and overall health instead of helping? The answer to those questions might surprise you.

What Is No Nut November?

For men who missed all the buzz surrounding this yearly Internet challenge, No Nut November asks guys to abstain from any activity that results in ejaculation–whether it’s masturbation or sexual intercourse–for the entire month of November. No nut refers to busting a nut, a slang term for male orgasms. 

The slang term has been around since at least the 1970s, but the challenge originated around 2011. At first, No Nut November urged men to abstain from masturbation, but it evolved to include sexual intercourse, too. Some men consider the challenge to be more of a joke while, others take it very seriously. 

What Proponents Claim about No Nut November

Men who participate in No Nut November insist that staying away from masturbation and/or sex improves their mental and sexual health and self-control. As one benefit, they point to the increased time they have in November learning a new skill or a new hobby or exercising rather than having sex.    

No Nut November aficionados claim that it enhances focus, reduces compulsive behaviors like sex addiction or porn addiction, and raises testosterone levels. However, we can't point to a scientific basis for the theory that abstaining from sex for a month has any of those benefits. 

Some evidence exists that sexual abstinence for a few days may enhance aspects of male fertility. Not having sex or masturbating for up to 10 days may boost sperm count and semen volume. Other research indicates that additional aspects of male fertility are only improved after 1 – 3 days of abstinence, and the improvements fade over time.  

Depriving Yourself of the Health Benefits of Sex

There’s plenty of research that shows regular sexual intercourse over a long period of time offers multiple physical and mental health benefits. By avoiding masturbation and sex, guys may actually be denying themselves some important health benefits. 

Scientists have found that regular ejaculation may:

• Lower the risk of prostate cancer

• Reduce stress and anxiety due to sex’s ability to release endorphins, and in cases of penetrative sex, lower blood pressure during stressful events

• Lead to deeper sleep

Suppress headache pain

• Provide a good source of cardiovascular exercise when you involve your partner

Enhance levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody involved in immune cell function, which reduces inflammation

Increase testosterone levels during intercourse with a partner

Ultimately, It’s Up To You—And Possibly Your Partner 

There aren’t a lot of scientific reasons to participate in No Nut November. However, you may decide to participate for your own personal or spiritual reasons by abstaining from sex this November. 

Keep in mind that many of the health benefits associated with orgasms occur over time. Therefore, putting your penis in time out for a month probably won’t cause irreparable harm, but it’s best to consult with your doctor to find out if abstinence is a good choice for you.  

Bringing your partner into the conversation is also a good idea. Women have reported becoming frustrated due to their partner's refusal to engage in sex, which sometimes extends to non-sexual intimacy during the month of November. Consider talking with your partner about why you’ve decided to participate in No Nuts November. Explain to them that what they may interpret as a lack of affection is actually your attempt to avoid actions that could tempt you to have sex. 

Men who make it through No Nut November can make up for lost time during (equally classy) Destroy Dick December. If you're unfamiliar, your local frat can fill probably get you up to speed, but we'll save you the hassle. During the month of December, guys participating in the challenge try to have sex enough times each day to equal the day of the month: once on December 1, twice on December 2nd, etc.. 

You'll probably want to stock up on Gatorade that month, and follow these tips to increase your libido.      

Frequently Asked Questions About No Nut November

Here are the answers to some common questions men have about No Nut November. Always talk with your doctor to determine if participating in this challenge is the right choice for you. 

Who started No Nut November?

Urban Dictionary user bicboi6969696969 first started the No Nut November challenge in 2011. Thanks to social media, No Nut November really took off in 2017. It’s become more popular over the years thanks in part to the growing NoFap community, an anti-porn movement that encourages people to stop masturbating and watching pornography. Fap is Internet slang for masturbation. 

What are the rules for No Nut November?

These can vary. The main rule is usually that you can’t masturbate or have sex for the month of November. Any form of orgasm is off-limits. As far as involuntary wet dreams, most of the rules you’ll see online say you’re only allowed one. According to some men you’re forgiven a couple of slip-ups, but on the third strike, you’re disqualified - on the honor system, of course. 

Is it harmful to abstain from sex? 

Sex has a number of health benefits, so giving it up for months or years won’t be kind to your heart, brain, or emotional state. Giving up sex and masturbation could:

• Increase your stress levels

• Raise your risk of prostate cancer

• Interfere with a restful night’s sleep

• Harm your heart health

• Reduce immunity

The science is clear. Sex with your partner or by yourself on a regular basis contributes to your overall health, so think carefully before giving it up for #nonutnovember.