Semen Retention or Coitus Reservatus, sometimes synonymized with Male Sexual Continence or Male Continence, is the practice of intentionally not ejaculating during sexual intercourse or masturbation. It can also simply mean not to engage in any sexual activity at all.
In fact, Semen Retention is a form of ejaculation control of which the motivations to do so vary wildly, but typically include achieving physical, emotional, and/or spiritual benefits.
Mind that it’s not about avoiding an orgasm. By contrast, it’s thought that having an orgasm without ejaculating is of higher quality, more intense and more pleasurable, and felt through the entire body — labeled as full body orgasms — and moreover, invigorating and vitalizing.
Additionally, not ejaculating during an orgasm would give one the possibility to have multiple orgasms during lovemaking, which would pleasurably benefit oneself and one’s sexual partner.
Aims and Benefits of Semen Retention
The practice of Semen Retention goes way back, and is known to have been of considerable importance in Tantric techniques and Taoist lifestyles, dating already 1,500 to 2,000 years ago.
In these ancient systems, it was primarily thought that Semen Retention would retain Vital Life Essence (considered to be highly concentrated in sperm), which could be cultivated and used for attaining longevity and spiritual progress. Additionally, it was believed that it would also benefit overall physical and emotional health, besides bringing more pleasure in more down-to-earth lovemaking.
By contrast, expelling semen too often would diminish Life Force Energy (depending on its manifestation this can be Qi, Prana, Kundalini Energy, Jing Essence, and so on) leading to a shorter life, more illnesses, and less chances to attain spiritual enlightenment.
Today, the reasons for men to engage in Semen Retention techniques are roughly the same as they have been in ancient times. Think of improving fertility, enhancing sexual pleasure, increasing physical health, boosting testosterone levels, building more muscle mass, improving skin and hair quality, curing sexual dysfunctions — such as Premature Ejaculation (PE) — improving one’s sex life and relationship, promoting virility and vitality, improving self-confidence, perseverance and self-control, increasing mental and cognitive health, and attaining spiritual growth and self-realization.
Limited research done on the topic of Semen Retention shows that the longer one doesn’t ejaculate, the more positive some of the proclaimed benefits. For instance, sperm motility and sperm volume seem to increase as well as testosterone levels.
Health Risks of Semen Retention
One of the questions that arises is if it’s unhealthy to deliberately not ejaculate when aroused and/or feeling the urge to do so.
As for the state of current scientific knowledge around this topic there seems to be no negative side, that is, there are no known health risks. In fact, sperm that is not ejaculated is absorbed i.e. broken down in the body.
Nevertheless, for some men stopping the flow or need of ejaculation may lead to swelling and tension in the testicles (Epididymal Hypertension), which can give a painful or uncomfortable feeling.
By contrast (and please mind that this is not a risk of Semen Retention), current research seems to suggest that regularly ejaculating may prevent prostate cancer.