How Avoiding Sex and Masturbation Will Make You a Superhero This November

Lots of men do No Shave November, and all they get out of it is a beard (or at least parts of a beard). The men who do No Nut November might end up getting superpowers.

No Nut November challenges participants (just men, it looks like) to go the whole month without masturbating. They do so in the hope that they'll be rewarded with a surplus of energy that, no longer wasted on sex, can be redirected into such benefits as physical well-being, mental clarity, and confidence around people they’re attracted to. It’s in the same line of reasoning as why athletes avoid having an orgasm before a big game. Don't worry if you succumb once or twice though; there's a three-strike forgiveness policy.

No Nut November isn't affiliated with the popular group NoFap, but the latter does host a similar "New Life" November challenge. On their subreddit group /NoFap, they include an option for their version called “hard mode," which means cutting out all sexual activity—partnered sex, masturbation, porn, basically anything intended to result in an orgasm. One month is the minimum, but a month and a half is better if you can swing it. 

"Some users of NoFap®...have been discussing 'No Nut November' and finding it to be a fun event that motivates them to reach their goals," a NoFap spokesperson explained to Newsweek over email. "The ‘No Nut November’ phenomenon is pragmatically great for organizations in the porn recovery field, as it increases people’s awareness about how their sexual lifestyles might impact their daily lives. NoFap isn't looking to ban or legislate pornography, but are looking to help raise awareness so that people can make an educated decision about their porn use."

827392762 A man stands in one of the few remaining adult DVD stores in Times Square on August 7 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The 200,000 members of NoFap believe (or are at least willing to consider) that men benefit from abstaining from masturbation entirely, not just during a given month. A lot of NoFappers are responding to broader cultural concerns, like what they perceive as an oversaturation of porn or an addiction to dating apps like Grindr.

“Ever since I stopped going on dating apps, I feel a lot happier. I decided whenever I wanted to jerk off I would study Spanish,” a NoFapper named Alex, who has gone more than 95 days without masturbating, told Gay Star News. “Now I’m nearly fluent.’”

Many use the term “rebooting” to refer specifically to abstinence from masturbation and porn. NoFappers (or Fapstronauts, as is the preferred nickname) have been organizing their own rebooting challenges for several years, so there's some overlap between participants in those challenges and in No Nut November.

Another NoFapper told Gay Star News he's gone three years without both sex and masturbation, and now feels as if he’s been able to reach a “higher plane.” Not everyone interprets the rules with the same level of asceticism. Some still have sex with their partners but avoid masturbating alone, and members of NoFap often testify that doing so enhances their sex life. Those members might be generally more hard-core than the casual No Nut November-er, since they're about abstaining as a lifestyle and not just a cleanse, but participants across the board seem to be using the month to get themselves on track, so to speak.

“I actually got inspired to give up jerking off after not drinking for a month," Brian, a self-described "moderate no-fapper" whose personal record is 40 days, told Gay Star News. “I thought if I had the will-power to not drink, I could look at other areas of my life which had gotten out of control … It definitely helps to give me more focus and energy, and I reckon it makes me more attractive to guys.”

The subreddit r/incel (short for involuntarily celibate) was banned last week, which means some of its members are turning to /NoFap in its stead. And since there are no rules against starting No Nut November after the first of the month if you happened to miss it, the ranks of men currently not fapping should just continue to swell.

"We hope that the ‘No Nut November’ phenomenon further raises awareness about porn addiction," the NoFap representative said. "We encourage people to sign up for apps and support communities such as NoFap, but also to consider speaking to a porn-literate mental healthcare professional."

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