Houston, we have a (sperm count) problem: The quality of the average man’s spunk has plummeted faster in a generation than Louis C.K.’s popularity. Experts have theories as to why. Recently, the discovery of a “testicular microbiome” (no, that’s not a Pauly Shore movie) and the idea that men have bacterial DNA in their balls might provide some insight.
This could mean — that’s a big could, as the study was very small and the findings preliminary — the difference between a fertile man and an infertile one comes down to the right microorganisms, and not, as men’s rights groups and alt-right weirdos like to think, because feminists have turned you all into girly beta-cuck men with bad jizz.
That’s not even the weirdest semen theory floating around the manosphere. There seems to be a tendency to glean ridiculous takeaways from tiny studies that tell them exactly what they want to hear. Let’s dive in, separating sperm fact from sperm fiction with the best research available.
Myth #1: Emasculation causes low sperm count
Last month, the New York Times reported on the response to a meta-analysis of 185 studies that found sperm count has dropped by 59 percent since 1973 in a handful of Western countries. Urologists and anthropologists are worried and curious, respectively, and many experts argue it’s likely attributable to chemical exposure in utero.
But pickup artists and alt-right bros have another hunch: “Feminism is creating low sperm counts.”
Hang on, what? The theory is that feminism also gained popularity in the 1970s, demanding equal rights and divorce rights — about the same time sperm count began to drop. Popular pick-up artist, men’s rights activist and “superhuman fornicator” Roosh V. has said men are becoming more feminine due to cultural programming, leading to low sperm count.
He’s not alone in that belief. “Western civilization has gone so beta that we have doomed ourselves,” redditor Billee Boyee wrote on men’s rights forum r/TheRedPill in 2017, talking about how betas were forced to create better sperm when they became landowners, but now that women have more agency and independence, they’re ditching weaker men. “Evolution only wants Alpha reproduction. Weak genetic traits will end a species. Strong genetic traits will evolve a species into something stronger.”
For what it’s worth, the commenters on the Red Pill forum sounded skeptical, blaming things like obesity and masturbation instead.
Myth #2: Smarter dudes have better jizz
A small study in 2008 found a “small, positive” relationship between greater intelligence and sperm motility. In studying semen samples of 425 Vietnam-era U.S. soldiers who had also undergone intelligence tests, researchers at King’s College London found that “brighter men had better sperm.”
The researchers said it does not mean the following things: that smarter dudes have more children (they don’t), or that dumber men have worse sperm (they don’t). “This does not mean that men who prefer Play-Doh to Plato always have poor sperm: The relationship we found was marginal,” lead author Rosalind Arden told the Telegraph.
Still, it’s unclear how any man could suddenly boost his IQ to get laid more, but if that’s what makes men legitimately pursue education and intelligence-enhancing activities, go for it.
Myth #3: Semen cures her depression
Another theory alt-right bros love is that semen cures a woman’s depression, which in turns makes her hooked on your juice. Take it from prominent alt-right activist, Pizzagate conspiracy theorist and former pick-up artist blogger Mike Cernovich.
Unfortunately, the science on this is unclear, and while there are links between lower depression in women who have regular sex and mood-boosting qualities of sex, scientists aren’t clear which comes first: happy women having unprotected regular sex, or having unprotected sex leading to happiness. More simply, it’s possible she’s banging you because she’s happy, not because your dick is a magical mood-booster.
What’s more, given the emotional and physical burden of STIs and unplanned pregnancy, it’s hard to imagine a world where women would risk ditching the Zoloft to fuck you.
Myth #4: Eating clean and exercising means better sperm
But alt-right chuds have turned this into proof that with alpha moves, you can turn a woman into a junkie for your juice. And… as we explain next, that’s just now how jizz works.
Myth #5: Your juice makes her a cum junkie
The most batshit alt-right theory on semen is this whopper: that the testosterone in seminal fluid is “addictive” to women if absorbed vaginally. No swallowing; she’s gotta take it straight up the tunnel. When men have unprotected sex and orgasm, she releases oxytocin and becomes “hooked.” Then, if she doesn’t get her jizz fix, she goes through “sperm withdrawal” and will want to fuck ’round the clock “as if she was addicted to cocaine.” What’s more, they say, you can cheat by just lacing your penis with testosterone to the same effect.
There are a few big problems with this theory. Not only does jizz not have testosterone in it, there are no addictive properties in it, either.
“Sperm is kind of neutral,” urologist Dudley Danoff, the doctor who confirmed summer penis for us, says. “And this goes back to the use of the term addiction. By the medical definition, you have to have withdrawal symptoms when you don’t get what you’re addicted to. So you can be habituated to sex, but addiction is a bit of a stretch.”
That doesn’t mean nothing pleasurable is happening when a woman has sex with a guy she’s attracted to and the sex is good. “There are endorphins released when you have satisfactory intercourse and climax,” Danoff explains, “but it has nothing to do with any intrinsic quality of sperm from a medical point of view. There’s nothing in sperm that would create that.”
There’s also no testosterone in sperm, either. “Testosterone is what generates the testicles and is involved in sperm creation,” he says. “But if you chopped it up, there would be no testosterone.”
Danoff even concedes there might be a desirable tastes of certain men’s semen that a woman might enjoy, possibly due to diet, but even that wouldn’t constitute anything like addiction, only preference.
But the idea that there is something your juice can do to hook a woman on your semen and make her your loyal sex partner forever?
Sorry, no. “I would like to think it could be done,” Danoff laughs. “And if it could, I’d be doing it. Unfortunately semen has no special quality. Well, it has a special quality, just not in the way these theories suggest.”
He says if men want to focus on what keeps a woman coming back for more action, it’s very non-semen specific. “It’s charm, it’s beauty,” he says. “It’s the firmness of the erection.”