This is What Happens When You Don't Have Sex For 40 Days/40 Nights

This is What Happens When You Don't Have Sex For 40 Days/40 Nights

When was the last time you went 40 days without sex off any kind? (masturbation included) Before 40 days ago, my answer to that question was absolutely never.

My relationship with sex has always been chaotic. The night I lost my virginity I found myself jumping out of a third-floor window and having to explain to the cops what the hell was going on (it’s a long story for another time). To add to the disaster that is my relationship with sex, I grew up Catholic so every sexual thought I have is drowned out by a tide of overwhelming guilt. To this day, I find myself praying for forgiveness right after sex.  

Despite my catastrophic inauguration to the “non-virgin” club and the weight of Jesus’s judgment weighing on my shoulders at every thought of sexual contact, sex took over my life. It felt like every second of every day was spent either thinking about sex or having it. In one hand I felt like an addict; on the other, I felt like a normal twenty-something-year-old man.

I was laying in bed mindlessly scrolling through the U-verse channel guide and to my great pleasure (ha) one of my favorite movies was on TV - 40 Days and 40 Nights. No matter how many times I watch this movie, my first thought is - this man is completely out of his fucking mind. How can anyone who has gotten their “feet wet” (or any other part of their body wet for that matter) go 40 days without sex of ANY KIND?! Not even masturbation. Is that even safe? There’s absolutely no way that’s healthy, right?

I like to do this thing where I set goals that require excruciating commitment (reasons why I CrossFit) so I decided to give it a shot. Right there laying in bed at 9:42 PM, I decided that I would go 40 days and 40 nights without any type of sexual activity -- including masturbation. This is what happened:

Week 1

Week 1 was a fucking breeze. If every week was like week 1 I would never have sex again.

What I noticed first was how much more comfortable I got being naked. I’ve never been “uncomfortable being naked” (for any of my friends reading this please don’t bring up the time I got naked in the suite at The W or the time I ran naked down the street during a game of truth or dare -- both isolated incidents) but unless I was taking shower or having sex, I’ve never spent more than 30 min completely nude. I usually associate being naked with sex, but since sex was off the table, being naked meant something completely different. I slept naked for the first time.

Week 2

Week 2 was a little more challenging. It took a little more effort to keep sex off my mind. I also drank a lot of alcohol, so maybe that had something to do with it.

By the second week my energy levels were through the roof. My workouts at CrossFit felt better and I was less groggy in the mornings -- I ALMOST became a morning person.

Week 3

Week 3 was miserable. Keeping sex off my mind was nearly impossible, but falling asleep became a lot easier. It seemed like the moment my head hit the pillow, I passed out - so hell yea for that.

Week 4

On week 4 it happened. It’s embarrassing and somewhat emasculating to admit this, but….I had a wet dream. Any man who went through puberty has probably had a wet dream, but for a grown ass man to have one is a little humiliating.

Week 5

Week 5 was awful, terrible, nearly impossible. It didn’t help that I noticed my friends talk about sex a lot. As in all the time. As in they don’t shut the fuck up about sex.

The only thing keeping me on track at this point was knowing how close I was to the finish line. My energy was through the roof and my thoughts almost always ended at sex: Wow it’s rainy and wet today. Everything is better wet. Hot, sweaty, wet.  

Half the people who knew I was going 40 days without an orgasm thought I was out of my mind; the other half was very interested in wanting to “be there” for me when day 40 rolled around.  

Going into this I expected to lose my mind, be in a terrible mood, and have to consciously keep myself busy; none of those things happened. My energy level did increase and I felt more productive. It really left me wondering if those myths about athletes refraining from sex before big events is true -- based on my experience they would probably benefit from it.

Going 40 days and 40 nights without sex was extremely difficult and mentally excruciating. Would I do it again? That’s gonna be a hard no. But it’s really rewarding to know that I can resist temptation and accomplish something when no one is holding me accountable.

If you’re wondering what happened on day 41, I’ll just say that it was more fun than I’ve had in 40 days (ha).

-Nelson G.


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