While publicly promoting the physical and mental benefits of periodic refraining from ejaculation during solo and paired sexual activity, I occasionally get rebuked by naysayers who adamantly cite the 2004 US study that found that men who ejaculated 21 times a month showed a 33% reduced incidence of prostate cancer over those that ejaculated a mere 4-7 times per month.
I suppose that statistic should delve the mortal blow to practitioners of Tantra and other enclaves of semen retainers who base their unique sexual manifesto on six millennia of Eastern sexual doctrine and relevant medical knowledge. Or maybe not.
The US study, headed by Michael Leitzmann at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, surveyed 30,000 predominantly white males aged 46 to 81 about their histories of sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation. The men submitted a self-administered questionnaire in 1992 to report the average number of ejaculations they had per month during the ages of 20 to 29 years, 40 to 49 years, and during the previous year (1991). Then they responded to follow-up questionnaires every 2 years until 2000.
The good doctors affirmed that, based on the data, the cancer-fighting benefits kick in best when ejaculation is every other day and this may be related to flushing out carcinogens from the prostate gland. Nevertheless, the only tenable conclusion of the study was that our results suggest that ejaculation frequency is not related to increased risk of prostate cancer.
Cheer up Tantric men and Tantrikas, there are some major flaws in this study.
1) No data was collected about the men’s sexual histories from puberty to the hormone-raging teenage years. An omission(not nocturnal!) of a crucial factor according to the researchers. Also omitted were drug/alcohol use, weight, exercise, genetics and diet. The latter two, among other factors such as environmental pollution, are implicated in the development of prostate cancer.
2) The men were asked to recall their monthly frequency of ejaculation 20 to 60 years prior to taking part in the 8 year study. This anecdotal evidence ‘hardly stands up’ to even the flimsiest of scientific criteria for verifiable, crunchable data.
3) Out of the 30,000 participants, 1450 contracted prostate cancer, 150 the metastasizing form. Men of different ages varied in how often they ejaculated, so the team used a lifetime average for comparisons. Averages conceal variability. Averages may reveal correlations but they just can’t do diddly squat about causality, especially with all the unaccounted factors and incognita about prostate cancer.
4) The data collecting and analysis is heavily skewed against the older generation. OK, so older men probably don’t ‘whip it’ as frequently as the younger set. But older men(60+) get prostate cancer significantly more regardless of their sexual histories.
5) The researchers theorize increased ejaculation may allow the prostate gland to clear itself of carcinogens or of materials that form a substrate for the development of carcinogens. A list of the ingredients in male semen shows vitamins, minerals, hormones, trace elements, amino acids, proteins, enzymes, sperm, and 2 cancer-fighting agents.
The only message I’m getting from the study is that cumming won’t kill you. That’s all. However, if I were a conspiracy theorist, I would have to say that Dr. Leitzmann, in cahoots with the AMA and pharmaceutical companies, is cunningly reinforcing the notion that semen is a natural Drano or Liquid Plumber whose intended use is to regularly flush out impurities from the ‘pipes’. Add to this semen’s reproductive and gratification functions, consequently there is little value in periodically edging orgasms and absorbing any of its ‘alleged’ beneficial and healthy components.
And while we men are following this snake oil antidote for prostate cancer, curiously we are experiencing sexual dysfunction and ravenously consuming ED and PE drugs in unprecedented numbers. Go figure.