I´m a 24 year old man, I´m 1 month away from completing my clinical psychology specialization. I have given many hours of psychotherapy during this whole year, and have studied this subject for about 5 years now.
I reached 90 days in this journey today. It has been extremely hard, probably the hardest and most uncomfortable thing I have forced myself to do. I have learned a lot and I want to share it with this community, since it has been the biggest help throughout this whole time and I thank you all deeply for that, and i want to help others in that way too. As a side note, being a clinical psychologist I may have some insights that may be different and might help you if you are reading. Also, I will gladly answer any questions regarding that subject related to nofap. Please keep in mind that English is my second language, so please excuse any grammar or syntax errors you may find. The post is a bit long but I promise you will find valuable information and insights within. Here it goes:
First, I want to share some background on my addiction. I discovered porn at a very difficult point in my life. I was 12 years old, just entering adolescence and I had just moved from one city in my country to another, even changing regions. I was forced to leave all my friends behind. I experienced a lot of rejection and even bullying at school and at home, since my older brother was going through the same process he took it out on me. So I was very lonely for a long period of time, and that is when I discovered porn. For some reason, my parents had hired a tv channel package that included porn channels, they had it under restriction but for some reason I knew the pass-code. So on my lonely, depressed evenings as a 12 year old I would watch porn and masturbate until my parents came home. Some years later I discovered how to download porn via limewire (who remembers limewire), how to play online sex games (I was a hardcore gamer as well), and then pornhub. My tastes in porn were extremely radical for a teenager, I was into aggressive and violent types of porn, Machines, simulated rapes, gangbangs, even bestiality. The only reason that I did not get into pedophilia was because I was afraid to enter the deep web. This went on practically for all of my life. It was my way to escape, but I didn´t know any better, everybody did it, I just didn´t know that I took it to an extreme.
Even though school and high school was rough for me, I eventually got into a group of friends, got hobbies and I even got into relationships. I had some interesting things going on for myself after some years; I was my school´s best soccer player in my position, I was the school´s best guitarist and musician, I had good friends, but no matter if i was going through a good time or a bad one, PMO was always there. Even when I started having sex with my girlfriend, I would go back home and masturbate, sometimes thinking about what I just lived or even watching porn and masturbating to something else. It was something I did daily for more than ten years. But my porn use escalated once my long term girlfriend, who I knew for close to 10 years went to study abroad. Suddenly I was on a long distance relationship with a girl I really loved and addicted to porn.
This is when my porn use escalated and went out of control. I loved this girl, so I didn´t want to cheat on her, so I relied on porn to avoid my urges and keep myself from cheating until I saw her again, months later. This went on for two years. During this period I would PMO 3-5 times a day, sometimes even more. It got really bad. After this girl and I broke up, that was my turning point. I knew I had to stop and change something, so I started on nofap on May the 1st. On my first streak I went for 68 days fap free, but relapsed. The second attempt I made it to 22 days, and then binged for about 5 days. After this, on August the 1st, I started the streak I am now on, 90 days ago, so basically I have been on nofap for about 6 months now, with different streaks.
And now for my insights, this is where I will try to be as detailed as possible and include as much knowledge about psychology as I can, which I think has helped me a lot to achieve this and can help many others in the process. My whole life during these two years in which my use of PMO escalated I had a cycle of going to University, getting home, masturbating, smoking weed and playing video games. Once i stopped fapping, my life changed completely, and I want to detail the ways in which it did.
I would consider energy the biggest benefit I have gained while on nofap. I need less sleep to do more, even if I only sleep 4 or 5 hours I can go throughout the day, sometimes I will still feel tired and fatigued but compared to before I can do much more. I wake up at around 8 AM and can go through the day until around 10 PM with no problem. If you transmute the sexual energy you don´t spend while fapping into other, more proactive things you will be busy a lot. This is the most important aspect and my #1 tip: ALWAYS BE BUSY, ALWAYS BE ON THE MOVE, ALWAYS BE LOOKING FOR NEW THINGS TO DO. If you keep yourself busy and spend all the energy nofap gives you it will be very hard for you to relapse, and in the process you will discover many new things. Try to spend as little time as posible in the place you used to fap, that being my room. It will be uncomfortable at first, but it is necessary.
For people that are dealing with depression like I used to, nofap can be quite an incredible cure. If you Fap constantly and compulsively this will alter your brain´s reward system. It will start to lose sensitivity to the neurotransmitters that you release when you fap, especially Dopamine, which is the neurotransmitter in charge of motivation, craving, desire and go-get-it attitude. Dopamine practically governs everything we are motivated to do and everything that is made to keep you alive. It has already been proven that PMO produces a dopamine and endorphine high comparable to that of morphine. Think of it this way, if you masturbate compulsively the amount of stimuli you will need to interpret something as rewarding will be extremely high, since you will lose sensitivity to the transmitters that are in charge of making you feel that way. If you stop, you will start to enjoy things more, trust me, this has been beautiful to experience. I am now capable of enjoying simple moments much more, music sounds better, conversations with friends are more rewarding, experiences in general become much more pleasurable, sometimes I feel jolts of joy that I can´t explain. This increases motivation, since you are constantly rewarded by your environment in ways to which you were desensitized before. Because of this you look to do more things, this will depend from person to person but I have been getting more gigs as a musician, I have been working out more, socializing more, Reading more, etc. Everything becomes more rewarding so you look to do more things, you do things you always planned to do but never got around to do them.
To be honest, I have dealt with some mental health issues throughout my life, it´s part of the reason why I studied psychology. I am by nature a very depressive and socially awkward person. I have dealt with depression, and have considered suicide many times. I can honestly say that the two things that have helped me the most to fight this condition are exercise and nofap. When you start nofap you will experience cravings and urges that seem uncontrollable. I would literally squirm and shake in my bed like an addict on withdrawal wanting to fap but I resisted those urges. What I discovered is that roughly 8 out of 10 times you get urges to masturbate it will be because of wanting to escape either from a thought or an emotion. Very few of those times it will be because you are actually horny or aroused. Through masturbating, you conditioned your brain to crave a certain neurochemical reaction as a relief for a particular emotion or thought process. If you resist those urges, you will be more resistant to that specific thought or emotion, and in turn you will become more stable in your mood. The next time you want to fap and you feel you won´t be able to control the urge ask yourself: “what am I running from? What am I actually feeling and thinking right now?” Most of the time you will link it to something, I promise. It might be loneliness, anxiety, sadness, anger, frustration or a memory. The best advice I can give you is to be strong, fight it with your head high and try to win the battle, I promise it will pass. It will be hard at first, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. Also, once you identify the underlying reason of why you are fapping, it will be easier to work towards fixing it. In my case, my # 1 trigger was loneliness, so I started to go out and talk to more people, and in turn my urges became weaker and less frequent.
Confidence was always an issue for me. As I mentioned before, I dealt with bullying and rejection a lot, so my self esteem and my social abilities were off. Even though I did make good friends throughout my life and had girlfriends, I was always very shy, introverted, reserved and socially anxious around people. I was intimidated by new people, especially girls. Since i started nofap, this started to change drastically. It was as if suddenly I had nothing to hide, and that helped me be much more confident. You are more comfortable in your own skin while on nofap, its almost as if you start to gain your personality back. When you fap, it feels as if you are shut down, disconnected, and whether you like to admit it or not, you feel ashamed, it´s something you want to hide from the world. Think of it as if you were controlling and putting out your inner flame. Nofap makes this flame burn with passion, and it shows in everything you do. You start to gain that “IDGAF” attitude, you start to care less about what other people say about you. Since I started nofap I started talking to more people, I started going out to plans and events on my own and had a great time, I started uploading videos of myslef playing guitar and singing to social media and got a lot of positive feedback, etc. Everything I do now I do with confidence, knowing that it is the right decision, and if I screw up I will deal with the consequences like a man. Simply put, dealing with the discomfort of putting yourself through constant sexual arousal makes your frustration tolerance extremely high, so you start to tolerate much more things. This improves your confidence greatly.
Yes its real. Everybody asks this, and trust me it is. I have always been good looking, which is why I got girlfriends and got laid during high school even though i was pathologically shy, reserved and introverted. People always found me attractive since I´m good looking, do sports and play music, but I was always too shy to act on it. With nofap this drastically changed. After I broke up, I started dating almost immediately with a really hot girl after I started nofap. I got dates with three different girls in a matter of months, compared to zero girls over the past two years. Simply put, when you stop fapping your testosterone levels start increasing drastically. The more you fapped, the more they will increase once you stop. Your skin will be clearer, your voice will be deeper, your hair and beard will grow fuller and better, your posture will improve, and you will gain muscle much faster from working out. I would say my favorite physical change by now would be the changes in my eyes. They are brighter and clearer, when you are fapping your eyes reflect a kind of fog, tiredness, and low drive. Girls by nature are very intuitive, so they will pick up on all of this. This is a conjecture, but I feel my scent and my pheromones have also spiced up, I get much more looks than before. It is almost as if your body understands that you are no longer getting laid, so it puts in extra effort to attract potential mates (Yes your body is very smart). Overall, I feel more attractive on the past 6 months than ever in my life. When i go out to raves (yes I love raves) or events in general girls start dancing next to me and try to get my attention. This attraction combined with the confidence surge will be noticeable, I promise. I don´t guarantee that it will get you laid or get you a girlfriend, nor do I think you should be on nofap for this specific reason, but I feel as if my chances have improved x1000 since I started this journey. Also, attraction applies not only for girls but people in general. Kids, Older folks, men, etc, people seem to want to be near me and talk to me. You exude a positive, happy vibe, and that in turn makes people want to be closer to you.
This was a very serious issue in my life before. I was always a very lonely person, and over the past two years this got worse. Once I started nofap, I realized how lonely i really was. PMO gives you a false sense of company and reward, that is the truth and it was hard to come to this understanding. But once you start nofap, you will inherently seek people to spend time with. Not only girls, but people in general. Talking to people becomes more satisfying since you no longer have that false sense of company and interaction you get from porn. I have made more friends during this whole process than many previous years combined, I have reconnected with people I used to talk to before, I have connected with people I knew but I didn´t get myself to talk to before. My frienships got more authentic because I became more authentic. And most of all, I BECAME ABLE TO HAVE GIRL-FRIENDS. Before, I would make friends with girls just to see if I could develop a relationship. Now I understand that having girl friends is valuable, they offer different kinds of support and are fun to talk and goof around with. Overall, my social life has improved drastically since I started nofap. I went from not going out ever, just playing games, smoking weed and fapping all weekend long to going out Thursday thru Saturday to many different plans, events and parties with different people. This has been extremely satisfying. Before Nofap, I used to get depressed because my life was very monotonous, and no one ever texted me to hang out or invite me to plans, parties or events, now people actually seek me out, this has been one of the most noticeable changes.
Views on women
Overall, your standards for women become much more realistic when you are on nofap. Porn really distorts what you expect of women, you become highly demanding while not being worth much yourself. You see girls as sex objects. On my lowest points I would literally follow girls around creepily just to check them out, I would take pictures of girls at the gym, I would photograph my girl friends, etc. Overall, you become very sexually driven. Once you are in nofap, this calms down. Its not that you dont view women sensually, but it becomes more normal. You focus on what makes them beautiful besides their physical attributes, you appreciate them more. This is part of the reason why I can make girl friends now, you stop seeing them as potential mates all the time. Also, they notice that you see their inner beauty as well as their outer beauty, and in turn they become more authentic towards you.
Final thoughts and tips.
I want to conclude this post by saying that nofap completely changed my life. It has been the most life changing experience I have lived in my entire life, but also the hardest. Understanding that i had an addiction was very rough for me, because it explained why I felt so bad for so long. Knowing and accepting that you could have changed this so long ago to have a different and better life is not easy.
I also want to say that nofap is not for everybody. You will experience these benefits and changes ONLY if PMO really is a problem for you. I used to masturbate at least once a day over the course of more than 10 years, and 3-5 times a day during the following 2 years. This is why it has changed my life so much. And probably the most important thing of all: Nofap on its own will not improve your life in every way. It is not enough to get rid of a bad habit, but to replace it with many good habits. In my case I have been working out weekly (I´m into Calisthenics now), going out for walks, hiking, exploring, socializing, Reading books, journaling, playing guitar, playing less video games, smoking less weed, meditating, working, studying, etc. If you want to be successfull in nofap, you have to start adopting many other habits, if not it will be imposible. You cannot expect to stay locked in the same room you used to fap in and expect to reach 90 days and feel changes.
Some final tips: Listen to nofap youtube videos constantly and visit the nofap subreddit constantly. 90 days is a long time, and you might actually start to forget why you are doing this at times. Getting feedback from other people is quite motivating, and they might actually help you see that you are experiencing changes that you are not fully aware of. Be mindfull, the brain is very pessimistic by nature and will try to focus on the negative feelings like sexual arousal, blue balls, frustration instead of realizing how many positive changes there have been in your life. Journaling can help to gain more perspective
EXCERCISE. Men are designed to release testosterone. If you don´t work out it will be very hard to resist urges. High intensity training, whether it be cardio or strength will help you reduce urges. During my strongest urges I would drop down and do 15 pushups everytime until I calmed down. You may want to try many of the habits and hobbies that I have mentioned, since they have worked out for me. But keep in mind that everybody is different and some may not work for you, it is about finding what really does. Just explore!
That´s it. I really really hope this post helped. If you have any questions, I will be glad to answer them, I want to help people discover the wonder of nofap and experience the improvement I have lived during the last 6 months, it is something I would definitely recommend my patients. Good luck my friends! If i can do this you can too!
A piece of art. Everybody should read this.
Very interesting insights! I see many parallels with my story of recovery so far, but also some fields I still have to work on.
Thanks for sharing your journey with us.