Charlie is 26 days into No Nut November — an annual internet challenge to not ejaculate during the 11th month of the year — and reportedly “still going strong!” It’s the third year in a row he’s participated. This year, however, is different. Because this year, he’s got himself a wife.
“She’s been testing me around once a week,” the 26-year-old tells me. “Whether it’s ‘inappropriate’ touching, or sending me dirty pics unannounced, she seems to find a great sexual thrill in turning me on and knowing there’s nothing I’ll do about it,” he laughs. “But I’ve managed to resist her advances so far.”
After thwarting one particularly strong attempt, Charlie felt compelled to post a meme on Reddit, alerting his fellow No Nut November participants about his accomplishment:
“It felt great knowing I had that kind of self-control, so I posted right after turning her down for sex. We’re all in it together, so coming back to the subreddit genuinely felt like coming back to hang out with the boys, who’d be thrilled to know I was still in and going strong.”
Charlie isn’t the only guy to post about the trials and tribulations of participating in No Nut November when they’re married. Whether to make it widely known that they fuck (when it’s not November, of course), or to blame their wife for not being able to play along, No Nut November Wife Guys are out in full force:
What, though, of these wives? What happens in a marriage when one partner refuses to participate in the bedroom for the sake of a meme — and their army of no-nutting internet bros?
“It’s not his first time participating in this silly shit,” Charlie’s 29-year-old wife Olivia tells me. “I thought — and still think — it’s stupid. It’s totally normal for him to masturbate. He works hard and needs that release, and I love being the one to give it to him.”
Ever the supportive wife, though, she’s sure to add, “I love how involved he gets. There were a couple of times I tempted him and tried to get him to break his streak, but he’s a man of principle and never gave in.”
All the while, Olivia has somehow made it through the month without feeling like her husband is choosing a meme over physical intimacy. “The whole thing is that guys love to have sex, so it’s funny to see them ‘complaining’ to their internet friends about their wives and girlfriends having sex with them,” she laughs. “But Charlie still uses our toys and other stuff like that even if he can’t actually have sex, so I haven’t felt left out at all.”
Meanwhile, in Michigan, Jeremy, 42, avoided telling his 40-year-old wife, Sarah, why he’d been abstaining from sex for two weeks. (Both Jeremy and Sarah are pseudonyms.) “I guess I didn’t tell her because it’s embarrassing for a man in his 40s to play a game about not masturbating,” he explains. When he finally mentioned his “streak,” Sarah just gave him “that head-down, eyes-up, ‘you’re-an-idiot’ look.”
“It was a relief, I guess, to not have him bugging me for sex,” Sarah tells me. “His sex drive is really high, and sometimes I don’t want it. The whole time he was asking for sexy pictures and stuff. But frankly, I was too busy to tease and send him slutty texts. Nearing week three, though, I was horny, and we were both in bed. Since I don’t care about No Nut November, I went for it.”
That said, Sarah is glad Jeremy stopped watching porn for nearly three weeks. “He’s like a 13-year-old boy when it comes to porn,” she says. “Sometimes it feels a little insulting, like I’m not enough for him. So it was nice to recognize that he prefers me, and it made me feel like it was for my happiness.”
Josh, a 28-year-old in California, is a No Nut November regular. The problem is, Josh and his wife, Kristen — also pseudonyms — are currently maintaining a long-distance relationship. “Because of my work, we’ve been away from each other for about four months,” Josh says. “It sucks. She has one of my hoodies and sleeps with it every night.”
Like many long-distance couples, Josh and Kristen tried to maintain a sexual relationship over FaceTime — until, of course, November rolled around. “I didn’t tell her I was doing No Nut November at first,” Josh says. “So she’d kinda tease me over FaceTime.”
Eventually, he came clean and told her the truth: There would be no nutting for him at any point over the 30 long (pun unavoidable), cold(ish) days of November. Kristen was confused but supportive. Though she’d never heard of No Nut November, she agreed not to send any more pictures or engage in phone sex.
“I want to support him in whatever he does, even if it’s an online challenge,” she laughs. “But I was happy he included me, and I wanted to help him reach his goal. I didn’t feel like he was neglecting my personal needs or anything. In fact I thought it’d only be fair if I also I refrained from any sexual things, too.”
Soon thereafter, according to Kristen, it became an exercise in bolstering the couple’s support system. “It really felt like we did the challenge together,” she explains. “At times when Josh got urges, he asked to just talk with me so he didn’t masturbate and risk failing. And at times when I felt tempted, I’d call him.”
Finally, after more than a month of abstinence, Kristen and Josh were back together. “It ended the first day I saw her,” Josh recalls. “We were in my hotel room, we hadn’t seen each other in over a month, and we just went at it.”
“I was kind of sad to end his streak, because he made it longer than he had in past years,” Kristen adds. “But it was a big relief sexually and emotionally for both of us. We had so much pent-up sexual tension it made us desire each other more and made the sex more passionate. So overall, we agree: It was worth it.”