Benefits & Science Behind Semen Retention - Karma Tantric
Karma Tantric Online Magazine - READ NOW
We're Hiring! - Apply Now

Semen retention benefits: should you be avoiding ejaculation?

Karma Tantric author Erica Suarez-Hillingdon shares her knowledge about Semen retention and its scientific benefits.

Semen retention, an ancient practice with roots in various cultures, has gained popularity in recent times for its alleged physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits.

But what is semen retention and what are the health benefits of not ejaculating? In this article we explore the concept of semen retention and its potential advantages, to give you a better understanding of this practice.

Semen retention, an ancient practice with roots in various cultures, has gained popularity in recent times for its alleged physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits.

But what is semen retention and what are the health benefits of not ejaculating? In this article we explore the concept of semen retention and its potential advantages, to give you a better understanding of this practice.

What is semen retention?

Semen retention, also known as “Brahmacharya”, is a practice that involves refraining from ejaculation during sexual activity, or preserving semen through a self imposed ejaculatory abstinence period.

It revolves around the idea that the vital fluid released during ejaculation carries significant energy and life force. By abstaining from ejaculation, many men believe they can retain and redirect this energy for various physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits.

The historical practice of semen retention

The practice of semen retention has a rich history dating back to ancient times. It can be traced to ancient Chinese Taoism, where it was considered a key element in achieving balance and longevity. In Indian Ayurveda and yoga, the term “Brahmacharya” is often used to describe this practice, which is believed to cultivate inner strength and spiritual evolution.

The modern perspective on semen retention

In more recent times, semen retention has gained traction in self-improvement and personal development circles. Advocates of the practice claim that it can lead to enhanced focus, improved well-being, improved sperm quality, and even greater success in various aspects of life.

Debunking misconceptions

Semen retention is often misunderstood, and misconceptions about its purpose and implications abound:

  • False – it’s not about suppression

Critics of semen retention often argue that it promotes the suppression of natural sexual desires, leading to potential harm. However, proponents of the practice emphasise that it’s about redirecting sexual energy, not suppressing it. By cultivating self-control and channeling the energy creatively, practitioners can experience heightened awareness, personal growth, and improved sex life.

  • False – it’s not a religious obligation

While semen retention has historical associations with spiritual traditions, it is not inherently tied to any specific religion or belief system. People from diverse backgrounds choose to explore semen retention for various reasons including self-discipline, personal growth, and curiosity.

The science behind semen retention benefits

  • True – the composition of semen benefits the body

Semen is a complex fluid containing various compounds, including proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fructose. It also houses neurotransmitters and hormones that can influence the body and mind.

  • True – semen contains essential neurotransmitters and hormones

During ejaculation, the body releases various neurotransmitters and hormones like serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and testosterone. Semen retention is thought to allow the body to reabsorb these essential substances, leading to various benefits.

What are the purported benefits of semen retention?

Like many traditions handed down through generations over thousands of years, the numerous health benefits of sperm retention, not to mention the potential health benefits, still inspire men to practice semen retention today.

From physical benefits like weight loss, to building stronger emotional bonds with a partner through tantric sex, the benefits of semen retention go beyond a boost in male physical and spiritual energy:

Spiritual benefits

Measuring the spiritual benefits of something can be a bit more difficult to quantify than, say, testosterone levels. Still, the purported benefits of semen retention are extremely telling of its effect on the soul.

  • Those who’ve mastered orgasm without ejaculating report back a sense of overall calm and wellbeing. When arousal occurs, your brain’s neurotransmitters release a combination of acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine, histamine, and serotonin that keep you alert and energetic. Blocking the release of prolactin keeps you from going into the refractory period, allowing you to feel the full effects of dopamine and serotonin.
  • Dry orgasms promote a sense of balance and harmony with the outside world by allowing practitioners to get a better understanding of what their body, mind, and spirit are capable of when mindfulness comes into play.
  • Both semen retention and tantric sex as a whole can lead to stronger, and more intense emotional connections to one’s partner(s). For most, the fun ends when ejaculation occurs; the body goes into relaxation mode, effectively ending the sexual encounter for both parties. Semen retention encourages the fun to continue, allowing both parties to explore the extent of a pleasurable sexual activity without the worry of premature ejaculation cutting it short.
  • Taoists believe sperm contains the most “Jing” or “life force” than any other substance in the body, which — when kept within the body — causes the jing to influence the mind and strengthen relationships

Mental health benefits

For years, the many mental benefits of semen retention have inspired men to investigate this ancient practice and invest their time in mastering this element of tantric sex. Many believe that semen restoration harnesses the sexual energy that may otherwise have been lost through ejaculation and redirects it to other areas of the body.

  • Semen retention promotes an overall boost in cognitive function as well as clarity of thought.
  • Along with reducing the symptoms of depression, dry orgasms have been said to increase confidence and self-esteem by way of raising testosterone and serotonin levels. Heightened testosterone levels can boost sex drive, mood, and cognitive ability.
  • Other benefits include improved concentration and focus, a sharper memory, and an overall drop in anxiety.

Physical health benefits

Numerous studies report the testosterone-specific benefits of semen retention like semen quality and mobility, but they’re not the only physical benefits men report.

  • Improved energy levels – One of the primary claims of semen retention is the boost in energy levels. By conserving semen, individuals may experience increased vigour and vitality.
  • Increased vitality and strength – Semen contains vital nutrients that the body can reabsorb during retention. This is believed to enhance physical strength and overall vitality.
  • Enhanced immune system – The nutrients present in semen can support the immune system, contributing to better overall health and a reduced likelihood of falling sick.
  • Clearer skin and brighter eyes – Some proponents suggest that semen retention can lead to healthier skin and brighter eyes, attributing these benefits to hormonal balance and improved nutrient absorption. Some men have even reported thicker hair growth in response to semen retention.
  • Increased testosterone – which can help increase sperm mobility, increase muscle mass, aid in the production of red blood cells, play a role in bone mineral density, and naturally raise your libido as well as overall energy.
  • One Reddit user writes how semen retention relieved him of “gastrointestinal issues, bloating, light sensitivity, inability to be productive, intense fatigue, lack of ambition, depression, anger outbursts” as well as about a dozen more symptoms.
  • After ejaculation occurs, we go into the final stage of a four-part sexual response cycle called “the refractory period.” Post-ejaculation is the perfect time for the body to relax and regain its energy in preparation for the next sexual endeavor. This means your blood pressure and heart rate back go down, while a hormone called prolactin is released to curb sexual desire in men. By circumventing ejaculation with semen retention, we essentially skip past the refractory period and keep the energy from fading away.


Did You Know?: “A study conducted in 2003 surveyed 28 volunteers actively pursuing sexual abstinence and found a noticeable rise in testosterone levels by the seventh day of the experiment, Pub Med, 2003.”

Are there any risks with semen retention?

While semen retention has been associated with numerous sexual health benefits, if you want to practice it, do be aware of the potential risks and challenges it may pose. While the experience of semen retention can vary among individuals, some risks can include:

  • Physical discomfort: Prolonged retention of semen may lead to physical discomfort in some individuals. It can cause a sensation of heaviness or pressure in the testicles and pelvic region. This discomfort is often temporary and subsides with time.
  • Blue balls: The term “blue balls” refers to a condition where the testicles ache due to sexual arousal without ejaculation. It can occur when sexual stimulation is present but not followed by release.
  • Prostate health concerns: Some health experts suggest that prolonged abstinence and retention of semen may contribute to an increased risk of prostate issues, such as prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) or benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate). However, more research is needed to establish a direct link.
  • Potential psychological impact: For some individuals, the practice of semen retention may lead to psychological challenges. Feelings of frustration, anxiety, or guilt may arise if they struggle to maintain the practice.
  • Disruption of sexual function: Semen retention could potentially disrupt normal sexual function in some individuals. Extended periods of abstinence may lead to difficulty in achieving and maintaining erections or experiencing sexual desire.

Getting started with semen retention

Semen retention can be practiced by alone during masturbation, or during sexual activities with a partner.

With the benefits of semen retention far outweighing the risks, virtually anyone can practice the act simply by abstaining from sex. The far more interesting way involves a lot of preparation, dedication, and communication with yourself and your partner.

To begin, simply engage in sexual activity to the “point of no return” – when ejaculation is imminent – before actively backing off orgasm. This is one of the first steps in mastering semen retention.

When you feel sexual peak approaching, concentrate on deep breathing techniques while flexing your kegel muscles — the muscles you use to stop yourself from peeing. By relaxing the muscles needed to ejaculate and actively concentrating on diverting your sperm elsewhere, you can bypass ejaculation while still experiencing physical pleasure.

How to do it: semen retention tantric techniques

Set the mood

Set the mood by making yourself as comfortable as possible. Dim the lights, turn on some sexy music, light a few candles, and relax. Make sure you give yourself the time and space to thoroughly sink into the mood and experiment without the fear of a roommate barging in and ruining the fun.

It’s all in the breath

Getting a handle on your breathing is the first step in mastering semen retention. Taking deep, mindful breaths in through your nose and out your mouth is an excellent way to relax your body and mind, while curbing the urge to ejaculate.

Discover the point of no return

Aside from abstinence, the easiest way to dive into semen retention is by very strongly flexing your pelvic muscles just before the “point of no return” directly before orgasm. According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM), this act (known as “edging” can actually lead to stronger, more intense orgasms.

The stop/start method

There’s an ancient Tantric practice called Karezza in which two or more partners have prolonged intercourse without it ending ejaculation. Karezza incorporates “breathing control, meditation, work with postures, and finger pressure” to effectively delay orgasm by putting the power of the mind to use. This is also known as the “stop-start method” where a man approaches the “point of no return” but stops himself from ejaculating through concentration.

Squeeze the head

Squeezing the head of the penis is another method to delay ejaculation. Have yourself or your partner apply pressure to the head of the penis until the urge to ejaculate passes. This may take several seconds, but provided it’s combined with deep breathing techniques and pelvic floor exercises, ejaculation can be easily avoided.

Strengthen the pelvic floor

Strengthening the pelvic floor (or kegel) muscles can not only help men retain semen but actually help prevent urinary or fecal incontinence. The kegel muscles are what you squeeze when cutting off the flow of urine; tightening these muscles can delay ejaculation through concentration and relaxation. Practicing kegel exercises three times can be done anywhere — sitting, standing, in the car, at work — and is a quick and easy way to regain control of these muscles.

Manage sexual urges

One of the primary challenges in semen retention is managing sexual urges. The decision to retain semen involves redirecting sexual energy rather than suppressing it. Acknowledging and accepting these natural desires without acting on them impulsively is a vital aspect of the practice.

Techniques to Manage Sexual Urges:
  • Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness can help you observe your sexual desires without judgment, allowing you to respond thoughtfully rather than reactively.
  • Physical activity: Engaging in regular physical exercise can help channel sexual energy into productive activities, reducing the intensity of urges.
  • Meditation: Meditation fosters self-control and self-awareness, enabling you to observe and manage your urges more effectively.

Develop patience

Patience is a key virtue in the practice of semen retention. The process of redirecting sexual energy and experiencing the potential benefits may not occur immediately. It is crucial to understand that progress varies from person to person and that results may require time and consistent effort.

Techniques to cultivate patience:
  • Set realistic expectations: Establishing realistic expectations about the practice can prevent frustration and disappointment. Embrace the journey as a process of growth and self-discovery.
  • Celebrate progress: Acknowledge and celebrate even small achievements along the way. Recognising progress, no matter how incremental, can boost motivation and perseverance.
  • Mindful self-compassion: Practice self-compassion and avoid being overly critical of oneself. Treat any setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow.

Explore tantric sex practices with Karma Tantric

At Karma Tantric, we’re experts in providing sensual, tantric massage experiences for all. Our professionally-trained masseuses are fully versed in the spiritual art of tantra. If you’re keen to discover the scintillating sensations of a tantric massage, get in touch with our friendly team to book yours today.


Erica Suarez-Hillingdon

Tantra Massage & Couples Therapy Expert

Erica is the Editor of Karma Tantric Magazine and expert in all things Tantra & Tantric Massage. She specialises in helping men, women and couples unleash their sexual potential through her tantra teachings. | Read More