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Semen Retention Reddit: Is It a Toxic Community?

Dr R. Y. Langham

Aug 01, 2022

Some males join Reddit’s semen retention community because they are looking for a way to quit porn or masturbate to porn. Others join it to boost their sexual desire for their partner or get a grip on their sexual dysfunction. Still, some males join this community to enhance their sexual experience or for its mental and physical health benefits. There are a million different reasons why a male may join Reddit’s semen retention community. 

However, the most common reason is to recover from porn addiction, primarily because porn addiction can affect one’s life in profound ways, such as with their self-confidence, relationships, and health. Some males practice it alone, while others use it with other self-help tools, such as mindfulness meditation, hypnosis, books and apps, and/or online porn addiction recovery programs, like Stop Together. 

However, before jumping head-first into this community, it is important to determine if it is helpful or toxic. This article can help you determine if entering this community will help or hurt your journey toward porn addiction recovery.

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What is Semen Retention?

Semen retention, also referred to as coitus reservatus, seminal conservation, or sexual continence, is the practice of withholding ejaculation. In other words, a male, who practices semen retention deliberately prevents ejaculation during sexual intercourse or sexual activities. When a male does not ejaculate his body not only breaks down his semen but also reabsorbs it. Although semen retention appears to be an edgy new alternative treatment for a variety of conditions, such as sexual dysfunction and porn addiction, it has actually been around for a long time.

Semen retention supporters tout its health benefits, such as increased motivation, improved energy, focus, and concentration, higher self-confidence, a lower risk of depression or anxiety, better memory, clearer skin, increased testosterone, reduced risk of sexual dysfunction, like erectile dysfunction (ED), weight loss, increased fertility, edging, more intense orgasms, stronger muscles, a deeper voice, rejuvenation, a sense of purpose, deeper emotional bonds with others, and/or a stronger sense of peace and harmony.

While semen retention has been linked to numerous mental, physical, and spiritual benefits, it has also been associated with side effects or negative consequences, such as epididymal hypertension or “blue balls,” retrograde ejaculation (when semen travels backward toward the bladder) or sometimes even premature ejaculation (PE). The good news is that these risks or negative consequences rarely occur.

What is Reddit’s Semen Retention Forum?

Reddit’s semen retention forum or subreddit is a platform or place designed to address the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of sexual dysfunctions, porn addiction, sex addiction, chronic masturbation, and celibacy. It is supposed to be a safe space where people can ask questions, seek advice, discuss semen retention, attain information, and gain support from others, who are experiencing something similar. The belief is that a male, who deliberately refrains from ejaculating during sexual intercourse or sexual activities, may become stronger and more self-aware.

Can Porn Addicts Join the Semen Retention Community?

Yes, they can!

Many porn addicts resort to semen retention to boost their sexual satisfaction. More specifically, a porn addict may join a semen retention community to get a handle on sexual dysfunction, like porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED), or to help combat porn addiction and spark their desire for their real-life partners. Semen retention may be especially beneficial for porn addicts, who have trouble “performing” in the bedroom due to their fascination or obsession with porn.

In other words, some males are unable to ejaculate or enjoy sex because their brains have formed neural pathways or “habits” around porn – “habits” that are almost impossible to break. Thus, the brain is “rewired.” More specifically, their brains view the “high” they get from using porn as a “reward.” Because this “high” is linked to porn and considered a “reward,” porn addicts keep returning to it. Semen retention or withholding ejaculation helps “retrain” the brain to get pleasure from experiencing real-life sexual encounters, instead of watching these encounters on a screen.

Withholding ejaculation can also improve a male’s sexual health, sexual arousal, and sexual satisfaction with a partner. Ultimately, semen retention can help porn addicts have exciting and enticing sexual real-world experiences that are a million times more sexually fulfilling than porn.

Is Reddit’s Semen Retention Community Toxic?

Reddit communities have grown tremendously in the last 15 years. And, because it has been around for a long time, it has gained a reputation for “standing the test of time” and providing support and “fellowship” with others, who are experiencing the same types of issues. While some people have gained incredible insight into their sexual issues, such as erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation (ED), low libido or sex drive, impotence, etc., and invaluable support from a community of people, who understand what they are going through, others have found that Reddit, as a whole, breeds animosity, judgment, and inaccurate information, suggestions, and advice and that certain Reddit communities, like the semen retention community, is toxic. 

Keep in mind however that Reddit is divided into various subreddits, such as porn addiction subreddit. So, one subreddit may be toxic while another one may not be toxic. Still, there is some evidence that Reddit’s semen retention community may be more poisonous than one may suspect at first glance. When you read the comments and/or dig a little deeper, it dawns on you that this community may not be as supportive and accepting as you had hoped. In the past, many Reddit communities fed off of hate, bullying, and toxicity, giving Reddit, as a whole, a bad reputation. Although Reddit initially had many communities that were toxic, many of them have now been banned and removed from the site.

Why Do Some People Think Reddit’s Semen Retention Community is Toxic?

There are several reasons why some people view Reddit’s semen retention community as toxic, such as:

  • Anonymity – Truth be told, internet anonymity can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how it is used. And, this seems to be what is happening in many Reddit communities, including its semen retention community. Anonymity is empowering in that it allows people to say and do whatever they want without suffering repercussions from it. Thus, ultimately anonymity or being anonymous is a major contributor to the toxicity found in Reddit’s semen retention community.

    Reddit is known for supporting the privacy rights of Redditors, which in some ways is a benefit and in other ways, a hindrance. While being anonymous can help shy or reluctant men ask questions, use their “voices,” gain support, and get the help they need to conquer their porn addiction, sexual addiction, sexual issues, chronic masturbation, sexual dysfunction, etc., it can also lead to online bullying and harassment – without consequences.

  • Overbearing Moderators & Administrations – Overbearing moderators are another reason some people may view Reddit’s semen retention community as toxic. It is common for controlling semen retention moderators to callously delete legitimate semen retention questions, posts, and comments that they do not like or want on their forums. So, even when the questions, posts, and comments are valid and important, overbearing moderators will still take them down because they refuse to see that what they are doing is wrong and unhelpful.

    This behavior (deleting important questions, posts, and comments) partly stems from the fact that this position is voluntary, which means that moderators, including the semen retention ones, do not get paid for the tiresome and painstaking work they do for Reddit. Still, it can make it harder for people to get the information they need to recover from their addiction or issue(s). This fosters negativity within the community and creates a “groupthink mentality” that shuts down original thoughts and productive discussions.

    Semen retention moderators are quick to ban Redditors, who offer a different, but valid perspective. Another issue that is causing toxicity in Reddit’s semen retention community is the abuse of power commonly found with administrators (“Admins”). Semen retention admins resemble moderators, except that they tend to be full-time paid employees, who are responsible for making sure that the content on the semen retention subreddits is accurate and respectful.

    Admins are also responsible for ensuring that the content (posts, questions, comments, and advice) follows the rules and guidelines set by Reddit. Fortunately, Reddit has begun to crack down on semen retention moderators and admins, who are infecting the community with toxicity, especially after controversial or highly-charged posts or comments.

  • “Echo Chamber” Behavior – It is important to be aware of the information you are receiving, your beliefs, and what group you attach to. The semen retention community is known for “echo chamber” behavior. What does that mean? It means that views, beliefs, ideas, thoughts, feelings, biases, etc., go unchallenged, and when those things are challenged, they bully, criticize, judge, ban, attack, and accuse people, who offer different perspectives on the pros and cons of semen retention, semen retention exercises, and validity of semen retention. 
  • Rampant Rudeness, Discrimination, Racism & Sexism – Some Reddit communities, including the semen retention community, are known for their rampant rudeness, discrimination, racism, and sexism. No one in this community is obligated to be respectful or kind to the other members. Moreover, there is a tendency to oppose, ridicule, bully, discriminate against, and force conformity on marginalized groups, who use their “voices,” like women, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, etc.
  • No Rules or Consequences – There are no site-wide guidelines or rules, which means that for most Reddit communities, including the semen retention community, members can get in trouble in one Reddit semen retention community and go to another one without consequences. The result? Spreading toxicity. Thus, people, who would normally be suspended or banned from a site only have to hop over to another semen retention community.

    These members could care less about getting suspended or banned from one semen retention community because there are no rules or guidelines that prevent them from joining another one. Even communities that do not dismiss or ignore the breaking of rules often allow in toxic people. So being toxic in any Reddit community is easy and does not come from real consequences. 

  • Trolling – Some people view Reddit’s semen retention community as toxic because of the non-stop trolling. Most Reddit communities have a running competition on who can troll each other the most. If you belong to a Reddit community, like the semen retention community, but do not want to engage in this behavior, you become one of the trolled members. If you can refrain from getting mixed up in trolling behaviors.
  • The Voting System – Another reason for the toxicity in the semen retention community is the voting system. Truth be told, the voting system inspires people to post irrelevant, silly, stupid, or hurtful questions, thoughts, beliefs, comments, gifs, and memes designed to bully, make fun of, ostracize, and lower the self-esteem and self-confidence of people, who have a different point-of-view on semen retention topics. To make matters worse, the questions and comments of semen retention members have been “downvoted” just because other members do not like them. 
  • Out-of-Control Supporters or Detractors – Avid supporters or detractors of semen retention assume that they are experts on the matter and tend to attack those, who do not support their point of view. These supporters or detractors believe that they are “right” and speak for everyone in the community – when in reality, that is not true. Unfortunately, these out-of-control supporters or detractors are “hidden” or anonymous so they get away with saying whatever they want, regardless of whether it is accurate or not.

    Members can also get away with bullying other members who do not conform. It is common for semen retention community members to ask questions, but not like the answers, and attack the person commenting. If you “voice” your opinion, you are bullied and “downvoted” just because you do not agree. Moreover, many of the semen retention topics repeat several times, and are commented upon by almost the same members.

My Review

After reviewing several semen retention subreddit forums, I found that while there were some supportive comments and advice on the site, however, most were negative and sarcastic. Many members made light of semen retention or refused to believe it was beneficial. People who disagreed were dismissed, judged, or criticized. 

There were also lots of profane memes and gifs on the site. Also, many times, commenters went off-topic, and other times, the forum was bombarded with profanity, name-calling, and curse words. Thus, overall, the semen retention communities that I viewed were overwhelmingly negative, offering little-to-no support or advice. When advice was offered, however, it was typically inaccurate or demeaning.

Listed below are examples of the comments found in semen retention communities: 

“If semen retention helps people with an addiction to pornography, then it’s a ‘good thing.’ What is not a good thing is their reliance on pseudoscience. Abstaining from masturbation is not going to clear up your skin, give you superpowers, make you smarter, healthier, or whatever they claim. Your body does not reabsorb the protein from sperm, and transfer it to your brain. I call people who support semen retention a ‘cargo cult’ because they somehow turned dopamine into a religion. In other words, these individuals simply cannot help, but see ‘everything’ through the lens of dopamine addiction.”

“If people find that semen retention adds value to their lives, good for them. Personally, I have noticed that whenever I do not masturbate to porn for a few days, it has a direct negative effect on my life (specifically on my mood and ability to focus), so I cannot recommend it.”

“Semen retention can be good if you are a porn addict, who is looking to ‘reset’ their brain, but any real testosterone or hormonal benefits are pretty much lost after the first week. Masturbation is completely normal, and healthy in moderation. But, the problem is so many ‘dudes’ are addicted to porn. There is a big difference between the two.”

“I have been on NoFap for a couple of months, and honestly, I think it is great. I have more energy, and I am more motivated to get things done. I also have a better attention span, and more confidence when talking to other people because of semen retention. Not sure why this practice gets such a bad rep.”

I am currently doing semen retention, and I can say it has cleared up my skin. My face always had dark spots. When I started semen retention, I did not believe it would help me in any way. But once I started releasing again, my skin started to act up again. The acne and dark spots came back. Then, I started practicing semen retention again, and my skin started to clear up again. Because of semen retention, I have become more self-disciplined. I was addicted to porn-induced masturbation, but now porn no longer entices me. I still masturbate without porn from time to time, but that is okay because masturbation is normal – as long as it is not in excess. At least porn is no longer in my life and that is the most important takeaway from this.”

“It would be gross to hear from someone about how they are masturbating unless there was some sort of context that would make that conversation okay. If a colleague is gonna spring NoFap or semen retention on me during an unrelated conversation, it would be no different than them telling me about the types of porn they like to ‘jack off’ to.”

Note: I did not include the posts and comments that were explicit, bullying, or demeaning in any way.

Is Reddit Doing Anything About the Toxicity in the Semen Retention Community?

Yes, it is.

While the Reddit semen retention community may have gained somewhat of a “bad reputation” due to its toxicity, Reddit executives have begun to take notice of the harm it is causing people, who are simply looking for support, information, and advice. And, although Reddit originated as an independent “self-help” website a little over 15 years ago, it no longer upholds, for the most part, its original purpose, intention, goal, mission, value, ethics, and morals. 

Over the years, moderators and administrators have amassed tremendous power, and as a result, Reddit, as an organization, no longer hesitates when it comes to suspending or banning semen retention community members, especially if they do not uphold the values of the community. It is also common for detractors to fight against “free speech.” However, what they fail to realize (and accept) is that Reddit is a private organization that can do whatever it wants (for the most part) to promote a certain image.

What Should I Do If I Notice Toxicity in Reddit’s Semen Retention Community?

If you notice someone posting content in Reddit’s semen retention community, especially if it feels toxic and does not appear to be relevant to the topic of semen retention, there are some things you can do to make the community safer, and more beneficial for its members, such as report it. The most effective way to remove toxicity from the semen retention community is to report questions, memes, gifs, posts, and comments that are offensive.

However, refrain from reporting members simply because you do not like them or what they said. If it does not go against the forum’s rules and guidelines, it will not be taken down. And, just like the boy that cried wolf, if you continue to make false reports, when you do experience abuse or someone posts something offensive, the moderators and administrators will not listen to you. You may even be suspended or banned for making false reports. However, if you have legitimate concerns it is imperative that you tell someone. Telling someone can help make these communities safe and helpful for all of their members.

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