In a recent article I wrote discussing semen retention, I presented my perspective, grounded in my understanding of contemporary scientific research, on why I believe regular ejaculation is healthy. However, Devi Ward Erickson a friend and reader and person much smarter on the topic has challenged some of the points with an insightful comment that brings forward the richness of Eastern science and the practice's historical roots. I value her knowledge and the depth of her response. I've included her entire unedited comment below for us to explore together.
"Let's discuss the 'lie' vs. 'the truth'.
#1. You say - 'But these claims have no scientific basis whatsoever. Literally pulled out of their ass and sadly not out of their sack.' - This is incorrect. The physiological benefits of semen retention are based on data that has been collated for over 5000 years. It is based in EASTERN science. Eastern science predates Western science by several thousand years.
#2. This is also incorrect - 'Semen retention can lead to a buildup of anxious energy that can’t be released through any other means except ejaculation.' - Orgasm is a release of energy. Orgasm and ejaculation are different functions of the nervous system. This has been documented by both Eastern and Western 'science'.
#3. you say- 'The concept of orgasm without ejaculation, also known as edging.' - This is incorrect. 'Edging' is a practice that may LEAD to non-ejaculatory orgasms. Orgasming without ejaculation is not 'edging'. My husband is not 'edging' when he has multiple non-ejaculatory orgasms while buried balls deep in my vagina. That's not edging. That's called an ORGASM.
#4. 'On a physical level, One study found that men who ejaculated at least 21 times per month were less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who ejaculated less frequently'. This study has been debunked by multiple sources, including the researchers themselves who stated very clearly that the results they were seeing could be attributed to the frequency of sex and healthy relationships, NOT necessarily the ejaculation. And that's only ONE of the caveats the researchers included in the journal.
#5. 90% of folks teaching about SR are uneducated and incorrect. Unfortunately, this article falls in that category. Full of incorrect info coming from uninformed sources. The reason many men believe in and practice SR is because of the benefits they see in their own bodies! Having multiple, non-ejaculatory orgasms while buried balls deep in the orifice of your choice, having total and complete CHOICE about when, how, much, and IF you WANT to ejaculate...THAT is sexual maturity. And that can be achieved through the PRACTICE of semen retention.
The belief that Western science is the only valid form of 'science' and dismissing African, Eastern, and South American wisdom as 'pseudoscience' is deeply racist and rooted in white supremacist ideology which prioritizes the Western European lens as the only valid authority on any given topic. The view that SR is pseudoscience is deeply uninformed, profoundly racist, and dismissive of the embodied wisdom of non-European cultures."
This comment is a powerful reminder that wisdom and practices from non-Western cultures have been shaping human understanding for millennia, often in ways that modern science is only beginning to grasp. The critique of my article suggests that there are long-standing traditions and scientific frameworks from Eastern perspectives that support the practice of semen retention and its benefits.
In respect to this viewpoint, I embarked on a quest to explore and verify the claims made. Indeed, Eastern medicine and philosophies such as Taoism and Ayurveda have long espoused various health practices, including those related to sexual energy and semen retention. These are often part of holistic approaches to wellness that consider the balance of physical, mental, and spiritual health. Devi’s expertise is literally in the area of Tantra – hence why I’m sharing.
The notion that orgasm and ejaculation are separate functions is also supported by both ancient texts and some modern sexual health researchers. The practice of achieving orgasm without ejaculation is a part of this understanding, and it's a nuanced distinction from what is commonly referred to as 'edging' in Western discussions of sexual health. Orgasm without ejaculation is something that I’ve talked about in the past and actively practice at times. It’s totally my fault for not including that information to round out the article.
Regarding the claim about semen retention and prostate cancer risk, I did deeper research and found that the study in question does indeed include caveats about its findings, highlighting the complexity of this issue and the need for further research. Adding this to my list common sex health myths to actually solve before I’m dead.
The conversation isn’t over:
In sharing Devi’s comment, my goal is to open a dialogue that respects and includes diverse perspectives on sexual health. While my original stance was skeptical of semen retention benefits, I acknowledge there is a wealth of knowledge in Eastern science that deserves consideration and a place at the table in these discussions.
You deserve the best information available. I have always sought to find the western equivalent/translation for spiritual/traditional health science because I know there’s value there. Hence why The Butters products are designed in this particular way. It’s also why we’re going back over this topic more richly.
It's essential to approach such debates not as a matter of 'Western' vs. 'Eastern' science, but as an opportunity to integrate diverse insights for a more comprehensive understanding of human health and sexuality. My friend's expertise and experiences offer valuable wisdom, and I am grateful for her contribution to this conversation. As we continue to learn from each other, we can strive for a more inclusive and holistic approach to sexual wellness.