Premature ejaculation (PE), one of the most common sexual dysfunction conditions experienced by men can be defined as a lack of control over ejaculation time during sexual activity. How early does the ejaculation ought to happen to qualify as premature? Well, that’s the tricky part! There is no such set time- any time you or your partner think is too short can be called premature. However, generally, if one ejaculates during the foreplay or within the first 2 minutes of intercourse, it can be called premature ejaculation. It is a well-known fact that one out of every 3 men experiences PE at some point in their life and that it’s usually a temporary condition that gets better in some time.
What causes PE?
A myriad of factors might be the culprit- reduced serotonin levels in the brain, low testosterone levels, relationship problems, anxiety or guilt, negative body image, etc., are a few biological and psychological factors. Medical conditions like erectile dysfunction, spine-related issues, and inflammation of the urethra/ prostate gland may also lead to PE. Some have even suggested that watching too much porn or masturbating too often can also cause this condition, though no scientific study has proven this.
Treatments for PE
Talking about the treatments for premature ejaculation, there are quite a few. Pharmacotherapy, behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and their combinations are prevalent. Though drugs like Dapoxetine and Tadapox are helpful, one can also benefit a lot from non-medical and behavioral therapies like the squeeze technique, the stop-start technique, and pelvic floor exercises. Another potential technique that many people root for is one that the NoFap movement endorses: anti-masturbation. People say that it can help quit masturbation urges, reduce porn addiction and thus help have a better sex life. Supporters of the semen retention technique claim similar benefits. So, what are these techniques, and do they work?
What is NoFap?
It is a community-based anti-masturbation movement that aims at reducing porn addiction. The people involved in it say that avoiding masturbation for prolonged times has improved their sexual health and life. It looks at pornography and masturbation as unhealthy and harmful. It, therefore, claims that avoiding the two acts can result in improved mental health, increase your focus, and eventually improve the quality of life. However, it is important to note here that this isn’t based on any scientific evidence. The question then is- how can NoFap cure premature ejaculation?
Benefits of NoFap
First of all, there is no direct relation between masturbation and PE. Secondly, it even seems counterintuitive that people who practice NoFap last longer in bed because not ejaculating for a long time actually makes it harder to stay long in bed! One of the cures for PE is to masturbate before having sex.
But there may be an indirect connection as excessive indulgence in porn or masturbation may be problematic because of religious or societal beliefs. Such beliefs can then cause one to feel guilty or associate negative feelings with sex in general, hence making it a potential reason for PE. Here are some benefits of NoFap that can help with PE and in general-
- Improved fertility (because of increased testosterone levels on not ejaculating for 7 or more days)
- Increased sexual satisfaction
- Better concentration
- Lowered stress and anxiety levels
- Increased confidence
- General physical health is improved
This is not all, you even get a deeper voice quality and can have rare profound moments of insights! So, people facing problems with any of the above areas can benefit from NoFap. The online community tested it for themselves and shared anecdotes on various social media platforms like Reddit. They even coined a name for it – “fapstinence”.
How to practice NoFap?
There are no strict rules to practice NoFap as such, people just decide to not ‘fap’ (or have sex) for a specific time. The community encourages its members to adhere to their goal. It may sometimes even involve discouraging ‘edging’, a practice where you stop masturbating right before you will climax. The definition of ‘pornography’ for the community members is anything that might seduce you, so it includes a wide range of stimuli. However, the rules are not very stringent and individuals make their own goals and rules. Generally, the rebooting of the brain (the primary aim of NoFap) happens after 90 days of practicing NoFap. But this too is open for the members to follow or ignore.
Is NoFap healthy?
Even though the benefits that its supporters claim to get are not backed by scientific studies, there is no dearth of anecdotal evidence for it. Maybe it’s just a placebo effect and people are reaping the benefits just because they trust NoFap. But there is no reason to discourage people to try it out because the point is to cure PE, even if it is by a placebo effect. So, even if masturbation is generally considered to be a healthy and even good practice, there is no harm in not doing it. The only downside to NoFap is that you’ll miss out on the fun which may make you a bit frustrated.
What is semen retention and how is it different from NoFap?
Although NoFap sounds similar to semen retention, it isn’t. The former is avoiding masturbation altogether while the latter needs you to only avoid ejaculation. Therefore, semen retention is also known as seminal conservation or coitus reservatus. If you’ve heard of tantric sex, you might know about semen retention. So, what it essentially means is that you can indulge in masturbation (or sex) and derive pleasure from it without ejaculating.
Though the semen retention technique also gives you the same benefits as NoFap, it requires a much greater deal of practice. This is because you need a lot of control over your pelvic muscles. However, semen retention is good for people who don’t want to give up masturbation or sex altogether and also derive the benefits offered by NoFap.
Again, there is no concrete scientific data to support the above claims but since it is widely used in traditional techniques like tantric sex, Taoism, karezza, etc., one may want to try it for themselves. After all, there are no harmful effects related to semen retention, just talk to your partner about it beforehand.
When should you stop?
There is no time limit to practicing either NoFap or semen retention, you can stop whenever you feel like you’ve got the benefit. However, if you think you are suffering from more serious issues like sex addiction (compulsive behavior), severe anxiety or depression, any other health condition, etc., it is essential that you see a doctor. If you have relationship problems, talking to your partner and getting help from a sex therapist will help immensely. Also, neither of the 2 techniques is a replacement for medicines you might be taking for PE.
If you are suffering from premature ejaculation, either temporarily or for a long time, you may want to try NoFap or semen retention. While NoFap requires you to completely stop masturbating, semen retention asks you to only prevent ejaculation. Users of both techniques say that they’re helpful in increasing vitality, reducing stress, improving focus, and have several other health benefits. Lack of scientific evidence shouldn’t deter you from using them because they’re not known to harm you in any way. So, maybe it’s time for you to take a NoFap challenge instead of a fap challenge and see how it goes! However, keep in mind that they are no substitute for other therapies like drug therapy or psychotherapy.