Semen Retention: What is it, what are the benefits, why do it, how I started, and specific techniques— My Personal Story!
I am just a regular guy. I am 71 and a retired teacher in the US, near New York City. I had never heard of tantra or semen retention or any of this stuff before discovering this amazing practice.
Six years ago, when I retired, I was frustrated by the lack of sexual activity in my marriage (which was 35 years then). I did not want to leave my wife or have an affair. I also had some erectile dysfunction issues. I was googling massage or something and came across a website of Tantra Goddesses in New York City who gave massages and taught tantra. I booked a session and went, not knowing much about it. Please understand, my wife and I were both from a generation in the US who did not talk about sex and received absolutely no sex ed, but also grew up before the internet and porn.
My initiation into Tantra
So, I went to my first tantra session, and the Goddess (female teacher, sometimes also called a Tantrika) started asking me questions about my sexual and masturbation habits (something I had never talked about). Recent visits to a urologist over some ED issues had rid me of some shyness, but this was much more. She asked how often I ejaculated, and I told her perhaps two to four times a week (I was 65—when younger the number was higher). She said that was way too much and asked me to try something called the 21-Day Challenge, to not ejaculate for 21 days (the theory was that men depleted themselves when they ejaculated too much). She also started teaching me other tantra principles, of breathing, kegel exercises and moving energy through my body (more details later). She also started me doing yoga and meditation, which I love.
The 21-day Challenge
So, I started with these 21-Day Challenge videos (one each day) and also communicated with my tantra teacher every day (the opportunity to share my sexual experiences with someone was exciting to me). Unlike NOFAP (a website and community forum for those wishing to give up porn addiction and masturbation), this is NOT about abstaining from sex. I masturbated every day and learned how to do that without ejaculating. It was a challenge, and got harder as I went longer, but I did it. Below I explain in detail the techniques I used, something I can find nowhere on the internet (and the actual how-to seems to me to be the most important thing to know!).
Benefits of semen retention
Let me first explain the benefits, and then the how-to. I am sure readers want to know—why bother? Is it worth it? Let me tell you, yes it is!! I have been practicing this now for over 6 years. I ejaculate once every 2-3 weeks (more on that later). The first benefit I found was that it changed my focus when having sex or masturbating, from a rush to ejaculate (or to delay it but do it eventually when having sex), to a focus TOTALLY on finding pleasure. This is a huge change. Second, I have found so much more pleasure than I ever experienced in my entire life. My penis (in Sanskrit, which is the language of tantra, the penis is the lingam or “wand of light”) has become so much more sensitive and pleasurable, I am still amazed every single day I touch it at how wonderful, how blissful, how amazingly pleasurable my penis is. Wow! Third, it expanded my pleasure. Not only do I involve my entire body, and not just my genitals, in pleasure, but I have learned to enter a blissful, full body orgasmic state in which my whole body feels like my penis, aroused and blissful.
This actually becomes more than sexual—it becomes spiritual, spreading a full body sense of love and gratitude and appreciation that extends to me, my partner, then all humans and living beings. I believe the feel-good chemicals released are responsible for that. Next, instead of feeling depleted, tired, uninterested in sex, unable to keep an erection and even depressed after ejaculating (no more falling asleep!) I feel energized, horny (in a wonderful way), able to enjoy sexual activity for hours or several times a day if I wish, positive, happy, optimistic, in love with life, and loving. Really. The ability to last for a long time sexually is a huge benefit. When having intercourse with my wife, or when self-pleasuring, I can last for hours if I choose (that ability to choose is also huge). While my wife rarely wants intercourse anymore (medical issues), when we have done so after learning semen retention, I was able to stay inside her for 20-30 or more minutes until she had the first vaginal orgasm she ever had. At age 70…I also have found that semen retention and everything I explain here has helped my erections—they are harder, last longer, and feel better than they have in a long time!!
Techniques for practicing non-ejaculation
So, what techniques do I use. I do not find these techniques anywhere online or from teachers, sadly. Some men complain of “blue balls” or sexual energy build-up in the genitals, or dealing with feeling horny. Most articles include the benefits (some of them), some theory, and that is it. I made a list—
1. First is breath. Practice deep breathing, in slow through the nose, filling the lungs and belly, hold then breathe out through the mouth slowly, making an “ahhh” sound. Sound is also important. A variation is slow, steady in and out breathing through an open mouth, without stopping, but full.
2. Kegels are squeezes of your PC muscles, the ones you would use to stop a stream of pee (find them by standing at the toilet. Peeing, and then stopping the flow of pee). Start slowly with these, but do them every day. I do several variations. I do 100 quick squeeze and releases every morning. I then do from 10-20 squeeze, breathe in slowly, hold, then release (the count of the squeeze is about 20-25 seconds). A more advanced method is to stimulate your penis and do the kegels while doing that. I also have done them standing up, with knees slightly bent (and usually stroking my penis while doing them). Kegels will give you control over your ejaculation, enable you to stop an impending ejaculation, improve your erections, and even increase the distance you ejaculate (when I started doing these, I had a tantra session with a tantra teacher, after semen retention for 3 weeks and many kegels, and my ejaculation was so far we both broke out laughing!!!).
3. Slow down and explore new ways to pleasure yourself. I do NOT spend most of my self-pleasure time stroking my penis as I did before tantra (when my masturbation was so typical—fast and hard to make myself cum and feel that 7 second joy). Explore touch, different kinds—soft, tapping, rubbing, fingertips, slowwww. As one teacher told me—go as slow as you can, and when you do, slow down more!! (I will include some specific, erotic penis touch methods I use at the end of this). Also touch your entire body—I usually spend the first ten minutes or so of sex or self-pleasuring touching my entire body and not my genitals. Turn yourself on! Go slow. Experiment. Try new things, new touches. This is so important and takes practice.
4. Relax. When we ejaculate, right before doing so we tense up our bodies and especially our genitals. So, by relaxing, it helps delay ejaculation. I remind myself constantly to relax. Relaxing my whole body and especially my pelvis helps delay extreme arousal and spreads the sexual energy.
5. Move around and try new positions. Do not just lay there on your back as you are used to do! Stand up (I love to start by standing, dancing, shaking, especially naked in front of a mirror!). And make noise—I love wild animal noises!! If you lay on your back, move your hips, raise your pelvis, move! Also experiment with leg positions.
6. Imagine moving your sexual energy. This is a bit more complicated, but everyone can do this. Imagine that your sexual energy is in your prostate (there are 7 chakras or energy centers in our bodies—this is the first chakra, below your testicles). Squeeze your PC and breathe in slowly. As you do so, move, or at least imagine that you are moving, your sexual energy up from your prostate area, your balls, your penis, back to your anus, then up your spine, up your neck and into your brain—pause—then on the slow out breath imagine this sexual energy is moving down your front, letting go of your PC, between your eyes, tongue on roof of mouth, throat, chest, belly, penis, balls, prostate. If it helps, picture this energy as a fiery ball, or sexual force, or energy, or your muscles moving…Practice this—it includes the breathing, kegels, and energy moving. This will eventually be useful if you feel close to ejaculating and want to hold off, or if you want to spread your sexual arousal through your entire body.
7. Set an intention before you start. At first, I always set a time for my solo sessions, and decided ahead of time if I intended to ejaculate or not. BUT, I also strongly urge you NOT to shame yourself if you do ejaculate. Sometimes it will happen—you will get too close and not be able to prevent it. Go with it. There are actually several ways to go with it—one is to simply ejaculate and orgasm as you used to, one is to relax and breathe deep—once in a while, when doing that, I had gone too far, and the semen still oozed out the tip of my penis, but without being ejaculated out or having an orgasm. The cool thing about that is I stayed hard and aroused and could continue on self-pleasuring.
But do NOT feel guilty if you go too far and ejaculate. It still feels wonderful and is one of the joys and miracles of nature! Which reminds me—now, I make a conscious choice of when I will ejaculate. I usually save it for a special occasion—maybe my wife is willing to have sex, or maybe I am having a tantra session with others (a teacher or even a group), or maybe I am having a special solo session and I want to end it with an ejaculation. I make it a celebration, a special event, because it is—this is how life is created!! Also, I know there are some extreme semen retention men, who go years or their whole lives after a point and do not ejaculate. I have studied enough experts to believe it is OK to ejaculate once in a while. No harm done. There are also some doctors, urologists and others who claim this practice is unhealthy. The studies they cite really are not valid, not based on quality scientific studies.
8. Mantras are expressions you repeat over and over. I love them. I created one with a teacher that I use many times every time I do any sexual touch. It is, “I deserve to feel pleasure, my penis gives me pleasure, I love my penis.” I thank my body and my penis often, for the pleasure they give me. I say over and over that I love my penis. I could never have said that before tantra. But it is certainly true. I also thank my penis often for the pleasure it gives me. Say it out loud. Mean it. Embrace it!
9. Exercise and eat well. Some ask how to deal with constant horniness. I use it. I go to the gym and work out. I exercise. I use it to create, to help others, to play the piano. And exercise and a healthy (I am vegan) diet will drastically improve your sexual performance, stamina and pleasure.
10. Take time out after a session. When your session is done, lay flat and still, relax and let your sexual energy decrease. Do this for 5-10 minutes. Relax.
Bonus Section – Self-Pleasure Tips
Below are some different ways to stimulate your penis besides stroking it!!
- Place 5 fingers over the top of your penis, fingertips just below the coronal ridge, and twist. Can also do it touching the coronal edge, or even the glans. Could also stroke up and twist your hand as it arrives at the glans. Another way is to place both hands straight out on each side or front and back of your penis and make fire, rubbing them fast together with your penis between them.
- Hold the base and shake it. Hold it mid-shaft and shake it. Place 5 fingers over top and shake it. Pull on your foreskin if you have it and shake it.
- New directions. Try holding your penis in different directions (like around a clock)—I love holding it down, more between my legs, and stroking it (it just feels better!) or placing it straight up on my belly and stroking it…
- Make a V with one hand, first two fingers. Hold penis with the other hand, and move penis forward and back, side to side, so that the finger V rubs just under the corona, the edge of the glans. MMMM.
- Hold one hand out flat, fingers extended. Grip penis with the other hand and slap it against the open palm. Can also slap penis against thighs.
- Ball play. Slowly massage your balls. Hold one in each hand and squeeze and massage and move them. Pull down on ball sack. Rub firmly the area between balls.
- Try different strokes. Use the other hand. Reverse the grip, thumb down instead of up. I am right-handed. I love left-handed upside-down strokes—this really moves my foreskin in a very pleasurable way.
- Retract foreskin if you have one. Hold one hand with fingers out, firmly grip erect penis with other hand, rub palm of the first hand over and all around glans—use lots of lube and go slooooow.
- Two fingers. Love this when I am very aroused. Use just thumb and index finger or thumb and middle finger. Grip penis firmly at base, pulling down on the skin tight, then run the two fingers up and down entire shaft and over glans very slowly and lightly, full length up and down. Use lots of lube.
- Pinch penis at base, one hand over the other, working way up shaft and then down, slowly, pulsing and squeezing/pinching. Can linger at very base of shaft.
- Grip penis at mid-shaft or tip, and move it around in big circles slowly, as big as possible, first one direction, then the other
- More foreskin play. If you still have yours, there are lots of ways to incorporate it into your arousal. One is to pull foreskin all the way over head and grip it, then shake penis. Another is to hold foreskin covering head with one hand and slowly run one finger around tip, stimulating both the end of the foreskin and the little bit of glans that may be exposed. Another is to use lots of lube, pull the foreskin over the glans with one hand, and insert a finger underneath the foreskin and rub alone the glans and corona.
Contact Tatiana below for help with learning semen retention/ non-ejaculation techniques, in person or online. These techniques can help with premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and enhancing the amount of pleasure that can be felt in the body. These can also be learn and practiced during the lingam massage part of sessions.