No Nut November: A Socratic Dialogue


A dialogue between Epicurus and Socrates.

Historically inaccurate.

I am partaking in No Nut November this year. Are you, Socrates?

No. I did not think you a self-pleasurer? Surely, Epicurus, you do not also engage in pornographics?

Why of course I do, as any man would. Do you not?

No, for it is lowly. It is of the flesh.

Is eating not also of the flesh? Is love-making also not of the flesh? You, surely would not reject these things for being lowly or of the flesh?

I concur these things are of the flesh, yet they are not in the same way lowly.
Is eating the activity of a man unfit to hunt? Is love-making the activity of a man unfit for love?


However, is self-pleasure not the act of a man unfit for love?

No. For I certainly can and have enjoyed the company of many a woman.

Would you not say that those whom regularly enjoy the company of women would self-pleasure less?

I would say so. Would you not agree, however, that women whom have shared their heart with many, have less heart to share with one? This being the case, even if each individual interaction was loving and fair?


Therefore, would it not be better to fracture no more hearts before I vow away my own?

Yes, but why not, then, halt this and select one to marry soon as day?

Because, do you not agree by my Thumos and trajectory that myself of tomorrow will be worthy of a greater woman than myself of today?

Doubts have surfaced, as this surely saps of your Thumos?

In the past I have had periods of time, each longer than a season, with exclusively women, exclusively myself, and neither. I say with confidence that no difference in Thumos was felt. If anything my time with exclusively women sapped more.

Why cease for two seasons, and why partake in the current cessation, if you do not consider self-pleasure an Evil? Surely, this is hypocrisy?

Although I do not agree with him in all things, by the words of your student Aristippus, I must know that “I possess, I am not possessed”. If I found myself possessed, only then would I consider it an Evil.

Have you not seen the devil of pornographics sink many a man?

I have seen her eat lesser men.

And do you not think these men thought themselves immune to her influence?

Surely, these men were aware of their downfall?

How else, then, do you think they allowed themselves to fall?

By giving up. They knew not the danger of possession, or even reveled in their possession. I do not.

And therefore you think yourself capable of dancing with this devil, without being seduced?


Do you not see how this hubris is the exact way of the devil? Maybe not by possession in this field, but in corruption in another? How do you think, for instance, this molds your preference in women?

This surely will only hone my aesthetic preference, not my preference in character.

Would you not agree a woman’s outer beauty is naught but the fruit of her inner garden? Certainly, some women may be cursed by deformities, but you, as a wise man, can see the signs of inner beauty past these things?


Can you not, as a wise man, see the beauty of pornographic women is mere imitation, a caricature of the fruit of beautiful character? Or sheer over-optimization? Their noses minuscule, their hips wide, skin of porcelain, bosoms ample, none of which born of nature, but by science?

I am and remain repulsed by this description. The only beauty I accept is that which one could reasonably discover instanced among the streets.

Among the streets certainly, but in your future home? As the mother of your children?


So you have certain restrictions. Why not restrict entirely? Find you not even greater peace of mind in periods entirely without?

I certainly do for the first week or three. Beyond this, my mind gradually fills with distractions, and thoughts of women. The highest challenge in my time without either was avoiding their close company, and remaining unaffected by their presence. Would you not agree this hunger, left unaddressed can make men unwise? Do you not think a lion less hungry a greater judge of meat?

I do.

Is it not the case, then, that it is best for man, to relieve himself of this hunger?

I could agree to this, but then, why the introduction of pornographics at all? Why not do so without?

Would you not agree that it is better to practice with the impression of a woman, than by the impression of the toilet?

I would. Your mind, however, is capable of conjuring any impression, given closed eyes. Would you not rather exercise the imagination?

Not in all things, of this being one. I would rather not practice conjuring of this imagery. My preference is to keep the generative mind unpracticed in the creation of potential distractions.

Is this activity not creating more of these thoughts, more distraction?

I believe not. As I saw no less distraction of these kinds late in my seasons without. Knowing there is a regular interval to which I can delay the thoughts assists in quenching them.

How regular? Is your time not better spent on anything else?

No more than once in a week, and never on a workday. Workdays are for work. This separation is part of the method by which the thoughts are displaced.

While this regiment seems acceptable, would you not agree to be practicing cuckery by watching another man love that which you would rather love yourself?

I would agree if I would ever consume such a thing. I explicitly avoid, however, any pornographics which might place me in such a perspective. It is all only of women.

These women, would you not agree their conditions are unworthy? Ought you not avoid supporting industries built upon broken morals?

If we ought to avoid products based on their conditions of manufacture, ought we not avoid confined farming? Ought we not avoid products of Chinese manufacture?

Farming keeps animals, as people we are above them. We are not in China, their people are not of our concern. Would you not agree that these actresses are our daughters and sisters? Whom you would not want partaking in such an industry?

As with farming, there are good farmers. Equally, there are kind manufactures to find in any industry.

If the manufacturer was kind, would you want your daughters partaking in the industry?


Is it not the case that by enjoying the product of the industry, you provide economic incentive for our daughters to join?

No. I have never paid for access to any such content. Neither do I allow any advertisements to be shown.

Is this not fraud? Is this not theft?

I have the right to disallow advertisements, and the right to enjoy what is given away for free, do I not?

You do. Is it not the case that you are contributing to their economic success by bolstering their numbers?

Can an industry remain afloat by bolstered numbers alone?

Certainly not, however, do you not agree to be assisting in their business by bolstering their numbers?

No, as I do not provide any more money to the industry. I am merely shifting the proportion of each slice of pie, not increasing the size of its whole. Furthermore, the slices which I favor, are ones with no higher management. Would you not agree that the field would be significantly cleaner if it was all volunteered?

The field would be cleaner if it didn’t exist at all.

Will the field ever cease to exist?


Would you not agree then, that the better alternative is if it was all volunteered?

Most assuredly.

Would a daughter of sound mind choose to volunteer herself in such a way?

Of course not.

Then my daughter will not, as I shall raise her with sound mind.

I trust, then, that you only select from volunteered pornographics?

Of course.

These are not simply free samples, acting as the beginning of a funnel?

I do not fall into funnels. I possess, I am not possessed. Do you not think there is difference in alcohol usage as a possession, and as an activity of enjoyment on occasion?

Would you consider drinking every weekend “on occasion”?

If a round of drinking took less than the hour, and was not deleterious to health, yes.

Is it not possession if you cannot go more than 3 weeks without before it effects you?

It is. However, this is possession by the condition of manhood, not by pornographics specifically.

The visions accompanying this possession, is it not that of pornography previously seen?

It is.

Is it not the case that such visions would not be, if not for this previous exposure?

That may be. Is it not, however, essentially impossible to engage with modern society without an onslaught of suggestive imagery?

Certainly. No trip to the markets can be made now without seeing near-equivalents of pornographics.

Does this not affect you? Do these things not hammer upon your mind?

They do, but I try my best to avoid them, and reject the thoughts. However, are you not here expressing a certain animus toward this imagery?

To a certain extent, yes.

Is it not unreasonable, then, to further supplement this onslaught yourself?


So you would agree that your indulgence demonstrates lack of virtue?

Virtue is a difficult consideration. Why would this demonstrate its lack?

Sexual discipline, modesty and restraint are all virtues are they not? In women as in men?

Of course.

Ought you not act in virtue, even if not convenient? Is difficulty adequate excuse for lapse in virtue?

It certainly is not.

Your words profess so, yet your actions contradict. Is your reasoning not simply that of finding chastity challenging? That wisdom is difficult in the face of fleshly urges?

I suppose.

Do you not agree then, that this path of virtue, which we now agree about the location of, ought be walked possibly because of, not merely in spite of its difficulty?

I do.

And so I ask: Are you not master of your own mind and body?

Only within the range allowed by my condition as a mortal man. Are you able to will yourself out of hunger?

Of course not, but no matter my hunger, it is not justification to break with virtue.

I cannot say I disagree.

Then do you not think it time to live up to this ideal?

I suppose.

You suppose? Or you do?

I do.