How Long Can a Man Go Without Having Sex?

In popular culture, sex is portrayed as an essential bodily need of men. Men are often stereotyped as being obsessed with sex, and needing it to function. The reality, however, is much more complex. It is impossible to give a universal answer as to how long men can go without sex. Timelines vary depending on a variety of factors.

The Individual Determines the Answer

Each man has a different sexual appetite, and a different tolerance for intercourse or release. Some men are very libido-driven and can’t abstain for longer than a couple of days or weeks. Some men have lower sexual drives naturally and can tolerate months of celibacy with no major problems.

The following factors can influence sexual desire or abstinence:

  • Age – The testosterone levels of a man peak between late teens and early 20s. They then gradually decrease with time. The highest levels of sexual stamina are usually found in young men.
  • Low testosterone, obesity and low testosterone can all suppress libido.
  • Mental Health – Depression, stress, anxiety and trauma can interfere with sexual performance.
  • Relationship Status – Men who are single may be less sexually active than those in new relationships.
  • Natural hormones: Men’s testosterone levels vary, and this can affect sex desire.

Summary: Men’s circumstances can have a large impact on how long they are able to comfortably abstain.

The Benefits of Periodic Abstinence

It is not ideal for men to abstain from sexual activity, but taking breaks can be beneficial.

  • Rest and recharge the body for a time
  • Increases testosterone levels and libido upon resuming sex
  • Sperm quality is improved and fertility increases
  • This allows you to spend more time on other aspects of your life, such as work, hobbies and platonic relationships.
  • Returning to sexual activity can intensify the pleasure

According to research, it is healthier to have a moderate sexual activity than to try and maintain a high level of sexuality at all times. Men can channel their energy in other areas of life by taking short breaks.

Deprivation for a Long Time Can Be Harmful

Experts agree that men should not abstain from sexual activity for too long. Although opinions may vary, depriving men of sex for long periods can be detrimental.

  • Stress, frustration, anxiety and depression
  • Reduced sperm quality and count
  • Over time, testosterone levels decrease
  • Risk of prostate cancer increased
  • Cardiovascular health: Negative effects

Men may feel depressed, anxious, or even unstable after a long period of not having sexual pleasure. Denying innate sexual needs can be harmful for those who have naturally high libidos.

The length of a life span is often dependent on the stage of life

The length of time a man is able to go without sex depends on his age. The libido, stamina and virility of young men is at its peak in their teens and early 20s. Forcing them to abstain from sex can be difficult. When testosterone levels are at their highest, even brief dry spells may be painful.

Men may find that sex becomes less urgent and more routine as they enter into long-term relationships. When partners lose interest, married men can experience a long period of senselessness. However, non-sexual affection remains important.

Men in their middle years may be single for many years, especially if they are shy or focused on their work. Celibacy for a long time can be difficult, but forming bonds with others is helpful.

Men may have to adjust to longer periods abstinence when they lose partners, or divorced, due to dating difficulties, erectile problems, and a lower libido. Retirement and health issues can also decrease sexual needs.

Coping Strategies Can Help Endure Abstinence

Men who are experiencing involuntary sexlessness, whether it is short-term or longer-term, need to develop coping mechanisms.

  • Close non-sexual relationships to foster connection and intimacy.
  • Keep yourself busy with hobbies, sports and passion projects.
  • Maintaining physical fitness through diet, sleep, and exercise.
  • Masturbation is acceptable in moderation, to satisfy minimum sexual needs.
  • Communication with a partner who is supportive about your changing needs.
  • If deprivation is causing severe depression or distress, seek professional counseling.

The Verdict

Men can’t go a long time without having sex. While brief abstinence can be healthy, prolonged deprivation, especially in those with high libidos, can cause problems. Essential coping mechanisms include staying occupied, avoiding loneliness, managing stress and maintaining good health. Men can survive dry spells with time, persistence, and self care. The primal sexual urge is difficult to suppress.


The duration of time a man can be without sex represents a complex and individualistic aspect of the human experience. Celibacy is influenced by biological, emotional and social factors. Understanding and respecting celibacy’s diversity allows us to have a better understanding of masculinity. The duration of celibacy is ultimately a subjective journey that’s shaped by the man’s personal choices, his circumstances and the ever-changing landscape of human relations.


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