Why Are The Proud Boys So Obsessed With Not Masturbating?
Masturbation bans are popular among organizations that seek to enhance group loyalty
Over the past fews days, the Proud Boys — a far-right men’s club that celebrates “Western chauvinism” — have been all over the news. After several members were involved in a violent altercation outside New York’s Metropolitan Republican Club, various articles have dissected the organization’s numerous beliefs, including their enthusiastic support of violence, closed borders, and the patriarchy. Less discussed, however, is something the Proud Boys are emphatically against: If you want to be a true member of their club, you’re required to give up masturbation (or, as the group likes to say, adopt their policy of #NoWanks).
How did the Proud Boys become so invested in eschewing masturbation? The story of #NoWanks is a surprising one, beginning with a black liberal comedian and self-help guru named Dante Nero, who turned Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes on to the idea. For Nero, giving up masturbation was a way to kick-start one’s dating life: Rather than devoting sexual energies toward porn and solo sex, a practitioner of #NoWanks could refocus his energies toward making a connection with another person.
And indeed, a kernel of that sentiment still remains: The Proud Boys’ website explains that #NoWanks “gets young men off the couch and talking to women and it gets married men away from their computers and back into bed with their significant other.” (When reached for comment for the piece through their Facebook page, a representative of Proud Boys responded, “We don’t talk to ‘journalists,’” and threatened legal action should this piece “call us anything more villainous than a mens club [sic].”) But there seems to be something more to #NoWanks than merely a desire to encourage Proud Boys to have healthier relationships — and it’s something that connects the Proud Boys to a long tradition of organizations that seek to ensure their members’ loyalty by policing their sexual behavior.
“If someone with a PB tattoo starts talking about their fucking wet dreams I’m gonna kick their ass.”