A few months back, my marriage of fifteen years came to an end. At this point I feel it would be unwise for me to start a new relationship. Also, I consider masturbation to depressing to be an alternative to sex.
My question is: What effects, if any, does celibacy have on the male body? I am in my late 30s, in reasonably good health, but lately I have noticed a softening of my face combined with a slight weight gain, and a slight enlargement of my breasts. I feel that my sex drive is still relatively strong, but maybe somewhat less than it was a year ago. I am wondering if being celibate may have anything to do with these changes? Since I am not having sex at this point, is it possible that my body has shut down production of some critical hormone?
I don't believe that celibacy itself can cause hormonal changes. The body doesn't know if you're having sex with yourself or someone else. But there are a number of problems that can result in so-called "feminizing" features.
There are numerous medications that can cause hair loss and breast development. Frequent marijuana smoking can cause it. There is something called "idiopathic" testosterone loss (no known cause), and some problems within the brain can have this effect.
If these problems are bugging you, I think it's worth finding a healthcare professional with whom you feel comfortable talking.
I'm sorry that your marriage has ended, but it's good that you're asking questions and trying to move forward.
I'm not quite sure but I'd doubt you would be seeing those changes. However, this one is for someone who knows more than me about hormonal stuff. I'll say I'm sorry about your marriage. Interesting comment about the masturbation. Truly does speak to our differing views and needs...having masturbated regularly for years....I'll continue until I can't anymore.
"Mfree" has it picked on the marijuana. That will really knock you about. As will alcohol, so consider - are you drinking more than two "standard" drinks a day - on any day? And just how "slight" is your weight gain anyway?
Unlike "Mfree", I do think that celibacy (particularly to the degree of not masturbating either) can substantially affect your testosterone production (as well as the other way about). Perhaps more important is the concept of "depression", though all these things do tend to affect your sex drive too.
Mind you, even men with no testosterone (due to treatment of prostate cancer) can still have a sex drive, so all sorts of things are possible.
Overall, I suspect you are "in a rut" and your body is responding to it, and there is some degree of depression. Perhaps you want to try and treat that, perhaps you'd just like to sort it out in your own time.
Well, it's good to know that celibacy by its self does not seem to have any major side effects. I don't smoke anything. Also, now is not the time for drinking, self-pity, and so on, now is the time for a clear head. I have talked to my doctor about this, the doctor said the symptoms I was describing were not readily visible to him. Perhaps it is the change of age life and the fact that I am getting close to the big 40.