Ask a Sexpert: Can Semen Clog a Shower Drain?

Can semen really clog a shower drain, or is it finally time for us to put this urban myth to bed once and for all? This month in Ask a Sexpert, we’re looking at the science of spunk and whether it has the staying power to choke your pipes.

You’ve probably seen (or even been tagged in *wink*) them online: the official-looking notices posted in communal bathrooms, lamenting the fact that an abundance of in-shower worm-burping has created a build-up of semen so drastic it is clogging the drains.

Photos of these kinds of notices have been circulating the web for years, with variations of the same memo slapped with letterhead from prestigious universities and boarding schools all over the world – including New Zealand.

This particular notice – seemingly from Taieri College in Mosgiel – asserts that masturbation on school property is illegal and against school district policy, and that excessive amounts of semen had caused a blockage in the pipes.

“Multiple pipes have become close to bursting due to the amount of excessive semen build up. This will cost thousands of dollars coming from our funds to repair the damage caused by this. Please masturbate in your own homes and at your own disposal. If any discharge is discovered in the bathroom, it will be collected and analysed to determine who it belongs to.”

The notice went on to suggest any student identified as having blocked drains with semen would be fined $1000 and reported to the proper authorities. Cue thousands of teenage boys around the country loosening their school neck ties with collective concern.

The notice – like so many others – was, of course, fake. But while it went viral on social media in NZ, it led a lot of people to question in the comments… Is this something shower masturbators should worry about? Could frequent fapping in the bathroom actually clog a drain?

Afterall, any bloke who’s tried to wash away a fistful of jizz after beating the bishop knows semen – for some ungodly reason – somehow feels stickier when mixed with water.

In short: No. You WILL NOT clog the drain, no matter how frequently you make the bald man cry in the shower.

Here’s the science.

According to Harvard Medical School associate professor of urology Abraham Morgentaler, this is impossible for two reasons. One, semen is never thick enough to clog a drain. Two, no matter how sticky it seems at the time of ejaculation, it will become a runny liquid and slide away within 20 to 30 minutes.

When a person with a penis ejaculates, the baby gravy first comes out like a gel. The biological purpose for this consistency and thickness is to help semen stay inside the vagina and, thus, make procreation more likely. Semen loses its viscosity and becomes watery after around half an hour.

Also, the average ‘volume’ per ejaculation varies from 0.25 to one teaspoon of semen. The average shower pumps around 13 litres of water down your pipes every minute. So, if you relax under the shower for a couple of minutes after blowing your massive (again, probably less than a teaspoon) wad down the drain, there will be at least 20 – 40 litres of water flushing it through your pipes, depending on the water-efficiency of your showerhead.

Shower chicken chokers, it looks like you’re officially in the clear.