No Nut November is an internet challenge that came into existence in 2011 and garnered widespread attention since 2017. The challenge essentially required anyone participating to refrain from masturbating for the entire month of November. The rules of the challenge have been getting updated ever since with the inclusion of no intercourse as well and the exception of wet dreams.
However, the original idea of the challenge is to reduce the negative impact of excessive masturbation and porn consumption in men so they can direct those saved hours and energy into something productive like picking up a new skill. Even though the challenge started as an internet joke, a large number of netizens take it very seriously and vow to not break their month-long abstinence.
Many sarcastically tweet about the superhuman abilities they acquire from not ejaculating. As a popular internet meme, these exaggerated benefits posted are what keep the challenge alive and relevant. Popular porn website PornHub also took part in this fad in 2019 by tweeting about how many people already failed the very first day – 100 mil!
Though it’s another internet fad the advantages of abstinence should not be overlooked. Benefits of No Nut November, or simply refraining from ‘busting a nut’ often, includes better motivation, higher energy levels, reduced stress/anxiety and increased testosterone levels in the body. This helps in boosting one’s confidence and general well-being.
We have to acknowledge the fact that the challenge started (satirically) because of the widely accepted belief that most men are addicted to masturbating, which itself is a problem. YouTuber Jordan Green who tried the challenge talks about how excessive masturbation is directly linked to discipline; being addicted to anything means you’ve less or no control over your usage of the said thing which is a lack of discipline on your part. A sudden sense of discipline increases morale and boosts confidence.
It is common for men to feel guilty and shameful after ejaculating, a phenomenon popularly referred to as ‘Post Nut Clarity’. This happens due to a drop in serotonin levels after ejaculation which leads to reduced energy and motivation. Indulging in practices of abstinence, at least for the sake of the internet trend, will have a positive effect on the individual not only physically, but spiritually, mentally and even sexually; excessive masturbation can lead to weaker erection and possible erectile dysfunction.
“I failed No Nut November”
Most people who participate in the challenge admit they failed, sometimes on the very first day (even before they get out of bed). Referred to as ‘Fallen Soldiers’, these participants though disqualified from the challenge, are not bashed on the internet. Instead, the existing participants try to do better for the ones gone but not forgotten.
Media company Mashable reported that porn traffic in the month of November isn’t actually any less, which suggests that most people claiming to be ‘going strong’ are lying.
On the other hand, most failures recorded (confessions made on the internet) are in the first week; like any addiction, once the initial urges are resisted, it becomes easier to abstain from then on. This is also a result of not being engaged with thoughts of self-pleasuring as often as before.
Failing the challenge should not be a reason to go back to excessive masturbation. Instead, one must dwell on the feelings of regret and embarrassment usually felt after ejaculation and channel that to indulge in masturbation as little as possible.
Women and the challenge
Though originally intended for men, women also participate in this challenge. However, the challenge was made popular by a subreddit group called r/NoFap which largely comprises of men encouraging each other to quit masturbation. Studies show that men are six times more likely to watch porn than women, making them more prone to masturbate every chance they get.
Most women who claim to participate in the challenge do it to stay relevant with the meme culture rather than to fight addiction. However, recent studies show that women are as susceptible to falling into the rabbit hole of addiction as much as men.
A large number of women who are cognizant about their addiction refuse to seek help as watching porn has largely been associated with men and they feel embarrassed to speak up. In such a situation, it is imperative to understand and accept that women show patterns of addiction as well and therefore should be encouraged to overcome the problem instead of being shamed for it.
On the other hand, No Nut November challenge has been getting criticisms from women for being misogynistic as the men in the NoFap community is in some sense reducing women to sexual objects to be attained or abstained from. While this is a feminist perspective on an internet meme that is garnering more traffic every year, it is important to understand how women connect with it.
Some women also complain about their partners’ lack of sexual interest throughout the month which can potentially destroy meaningful relationships. This only proves that a seemingly harmless internet fad can have major effects (positive and negative) on the way people live.
How to win NNN and what to do after November
As a response to the challenge in November, Destroy Dick December emerged. The idea is to make up for the long month of abstinence but the challenge doesn’t get as much traction as most participants participate as a result of masturbation being a part of their general way of living.
Destroy Dick December, however, raises the question of whether one should go back to it after the month of November. The answer is always subjective and it’s definitely not harmful to give yourself a treat after successfully completing a challenge that has a higher rate of failure.
But the idea behind it, essentially, is using the time and energy saved on productive activities. So it is definitely more rewarding to focus on and develop what you picked up instead of going back to your previous habit.
It could be anything that requires you to learn and invokes interest. You can pick up an instrument, learn how to cook or even pick up a book. As masturbation gives you a short time of escape from reality, there’s a natural tendency to find alternatives that destress your mind and body. Here is a list of things you can do instead to win No Nut November:
Prioritise your time/think before you wank: Calculate the average amount of time you usually spend masturbating and think of what you imbibed from it because the answer almost always is nothing.
Read a book: Books, especially fiction, are a great tool not only to escape reality but learn new things. If you’ve been meaning to read a book but never found the time or motivation to, this November is a good time to get to it. Every time you get an urge to masturbate, pick up the book.
Play a sport: Playing any sport is a great way to rejuvenate your body and be motivated. Stop beating your meat and start beating your opponent.
Take a walk: You feel the urge because you are at home. Taking a walk, though not exhausting, will exhaust the urge to masturbate once you get back.
Pick up a new skill: Learn to play an instrument or learn a new language. It’s always important to keep yourself engaged with something and the best thing about learning is no one can take it away from you. So go sign up for a course!
Focus on what’s important to you: What is important to someone can be subjective and change from person to person. But if excessive masturbation is what’s important to you, it’s time to find or go back to what you want to make out of your life and work towards that.
Journal your thoughts: A sudden break from any habit will cause a lot of distress initially and it’s a good practice to channel all the negative feelings into writing. This will help you keep track of your improvement and let you cherish the memories you have of the challenge later.