What does a wet dream mean to you?

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I’ve spoken with men who are doing NoFap or practicing semen retention and believe that a wet dream is bad because it ends their streak of consecutive days without ejaculating. This has always intrigued me.

Wet dreams, also called nocturnal emissions (NE), are spontaneous ejaculations that occur during sleep. While hardly researched, they’re considered a normal part of male sexual function and 83% of men will experience NE at some time in their life (Kinsey et al., 1948).
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Anecdotally, men report that wet dreams occur more often when they aren’t masturbating/ejaculating as much. It’s commonly believed that in order to prevent wet dreams, you should masturbate. However, no statistical association between masturbation and NE frequencies has been found (Burg, 1988; Widaman & Helm, 2012; Gul et al., 2018).
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Because dreams involving no erotic scenes are capable of eliciting NE (Yu & Fu, 2011), some men share that their wet dreams are just ejaculations without an accompanying orgasm. This is one indication that your body is able to separate orgasm and ejaculation.

While NE are considered to simply be an involuntary sympathetic nervous system reflex (Sugar, 1974), there has been a lot of debate about the spiritual/energetic significance of wet dreams.

Christian monks from the Middle Ages believed that wet dreams were a temptation and, according to European folklore, were caused by a succubus, a female demon, having sex with the man at night.

Saint Augustine held that NE, unlike masturbation, did not pollute the conscience of a man, because they were not voluntary carnal acts, and were therefore not to be considered a sin. This view is confirmed by the Protestant theologian Philip Schaff.

Sri Swami Sivananda, commenting on the practice of Brahmacharya, said that there is not much draining of energy and that essence does not come out during wet dreams.

It has also been suggested that NE are the body’s way of maintaining sperm quality (Levin, 1975). But, I know some teachers believe that with a strong sexual transmutation and sublimation practice, you can stop NE altogether.

So, if you’re practicing or teaching semen retention, what does a wet dream mean to you?

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