Nofap Benefits Timeline & What To Expect
Nofap is quite possibly the single most challenging thing you’ll ever set out to try. The neurochemistry involved in PMO addiction is brutal and will require extreme discipline and willpower to overcome. Not only that, but a full reboot can take anywhere from 90 to 150 days. But, the good news is that you do not need to make it to 90 days before you start seeing some fantastic results. We’ve gone ahead and done the research, analyzing and combining over 100 self-reports from Reddit, YouTube, and our own experiences. And what we’ve found should motivate you to say the least!
Making it to just 30 days has been shown to have profound effects on energy, confidence, sleep, social interaction, and (observed) attention from women.
So, read on to find out what each stage will feel like, as well as some of the benefits you can expect to start seeing.
Days 1-3: The Depths of Hell
What You’ll Feel
These are hands down some of the toughest days to get through. Fapping is all you know, as its always been there for you when you needed it. It is the ultimate form of escape and gratification that will stop at nothing to destroy you. So, naturally, your brain will be begging you to relapse in exchange for the brief surge of dopamine and relief you get. You MUST remain resolute and do whatever it takes to get through these initial days.
If it helps, write out your end goal on a piece of paper or your phone and keep it tucked away for when you start to question yourself. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from environments where you might be tempted to break your streak, such as the room where your computer is located.
- Feelings of guilt reduced
- Feelings of shame reduced
- Eye contact increases (though you may still not find this comfortable — don’t worry)
- If you are dealing with debilitating depression: getting out of bed might seem more appealing
- If you were having trouble leaving your house: the idea may pop into your head
Days 3-7: Partly cloudy, with a chance of Fapping’
What you’ll feel
If you have made it through the first three days, congratulations! That initial period of adjustment is treacherous and can leave you in a constant cycle of breaking your nofap streak, if you let it. Pat yourself on the back for making it out of there.
At this point, many people report that they see a decrease in the tendency to try and rationalize a relapse; questions like “What the heck is the point of nofap”, “Why do I need to do this if other people are fine”, “Maybe this is a waste of time…” become much less common. You will feel like you’re on a mission — having done something for three days is a start, and you will want to see where this endeavor takes you in the days to come. In the long run, what you’re actually doing is removing your habit of PMO… and that takes time.
Although things may seem easier now, you must still be on alert — don’t let yourself get even close to a situation in which you can relapse. The moment you notice your mind entertaining the idea of fapping, get up and do something else. Go get a glass of water, go for a short walk, do some cooking — whatever it takes.
- Feelings of guilt reduced
- Feelings of shame reduced
- Confidence levels start to increase
- Energy levels start to increase
- Eye contact increases
- If you are dealing with depression: getting out of bed might seem more appealing, decrease in rumination and negative thoughts can occur
- If you are dealing with anxiety: you may start to notice a decline in anxiety
Days 7-14: Well damn
What you’ll feel
If you felt fairly good in the previous phase, you’re going to start feeling pretty damn good now. This ‘bliss’ period is where nofap really starts to shine, and the benefits become more pronounced than before. Our analysis shows that nofappers experience a wide variety of benefits — from concrete changes like an increase in focus to reports of things suddenly ‘aligning’ and going their way in all aspects of life. Many people also report that they find themselves making healthier choices; impulses are more easily recognized and handled. We like to call this the ‘ spillover ‘ effect; your mind and body are healing, and you find it natural to start implementing other positive lifestyle changes, such as a healthier diet and exercise. This is great, and ultimately may be even more important than the actual reboot itself.
Note: While you may feel like you’re on top of the world and suddenly have the urge to run a marathon, we strongly recommend pacing yourself and introducing changes gradually. You only have so much willpower, and piling everything on at once will likely overload you, increasing the chance of a relapse.
- Prolactin levels begin to drop
- Energy & Confidence continue to increase
- ED (erectile dysfunction) begins to reverse
- Your skin may appear to be more ‘healthy’
- Any acne caused by hormonal fluctuations will start to disappear
If you find that you aren’t feeling effects as pronounced as this, don’t be discouraged; people will feel benefits to different degrees at different stages of this journey.
Days 14-21: NoFap Episode 3 – The Desire To Fap Strikes Back
Oh boy — if you’re at this stage, we’re rooting for you. While sexual urges may not have been present in previous days, there will be periods of time where you can barely prevent yourself from relapsing. Your erections will likely have been unreal, matching those you would experience going through puberty. This is completely normal, and a good sign: you are actively killing off your old habits, and so your brain is vigorously protesting. You may also experience some withdrawal symptoms that are cyclical; emotions will likely be all over the place, resulting in things like mood swings and headaches — we’ve heard of all kinds of side effects.
Know that the next phase will offer relief from this madness; just do what you need to do in order to prevent relapse.
- Dopamine sensitivity increases (everyday tasks will become more valuable, appreciation for the little things goes up)
- Emotional repression begins to reverse
- Energy levels continue to go up
- Social interaction will come more easily
- Brain fog will continue to disappear
Days 21-30: The Flatline.
In contrast to days 14-21, you will likely enter a period called ‘the flatline’ where you find that your sex drive is nonexistent. Beware: while the physical urges to rub one out may have gone, your brain will begin to play tricks on you. You may notice that your sex drive is gone and that your benefits have slowed down, or receded in some way. This is the part of the reboot where many people relapse because they think that nofap has robbed them of their sex drive.
What’s really going on here is that your brain is playing tricks on you; it realizes that you have the discipline and tools to resist the relapse. All this time, your brain has been feeding you sexual desire that you are familiar with — this strategy no longer works to get it the dopamine it so desperately wants. So, it tries out a trojan-horse approach instead; it will temporarily deprive you of benefits you have noticed thus far, in hopes that you develop fear and cave into a relapse to once again get a dopamine surge. It’s actually pretty diabolical.
DON’T GIVE IN – the flatline is temporary , and a necessary part of the process. If you can make it to the other side, your long-term benefits start to appear, and that’s where the magic happens. From personal experience, it tends to last around a week or two at most (for many people). The length of time may vary, but rest assured — it will pass.
- At least you’re not thinking about porn or sex all the time!
- Your brain is doing some serious rewiring
- … Not much in terms of benefits for this stage, just hang in there
Days 30-60: ~The Golden Days~
The flatline is over. You were probably borderline insane at one point, wondering what the hell you’ve gotten yourself into — which is completely understandable. Now, you get to reap the benefits of your perseverance.
You will start to notice your original benefits return, quite possibly with more intensity than before. Along with this, so will your urges to PMO… though you will find they are much more moderate and manageable than those you experienced during days 14-21 . You should notice a definite increase in mental clarity, energy, mood, anxiety, and motivation. You will start to see women in a completely different way; social anxiety is a thing of the past, your lifestyle continues to improve. You might find that you gave up some of your hobbies or habits that were weighing you down, and replaced them with others.
In addition to psychological effects, your brain will also start to completely rewire the porn-engaged neural pathways. This has to do with ΔFosB levels dropping, which were previously responsible for keeping those pathways in place. Simply put, ΔFosB is a protein that is closely linked to addictive behaviors of all kinds — it is part of a complex set of chemical reactions that take place when engaging in behavior. With lower levels, it becomes easier to maintain your streak; although the desires will come and go, they will not be nearly as difficult to deal with.
Note: At this point, your benefits are going to start to approach their maximum. They will come more slowly than before, because you’re basically almost there. But that’s the beauty of it; you have now unlocked unlimited potential to start introducing all kinds of changes in your life outside of nofap.
- You will start to perceive women differently
- You may find that you have a deeper voice
- You may find you get more attention from women
- Your confidence will increase
- Your willpower will increase
- All kinds of gains
Days 60-150: Reboot
Though the amount of time will vary, at some point your brain will have successfully rebooted. When you look in the mirror, you probably won’t be able to recognize your past self. Your willpower and persistence have allowed you to reach the unreachable, and where you choose to go from here is up to you.
At this point, you may wish to look into other areas of life that you can improve; if your diet or exercise regimens are lacking (or nonexistent) you should start there. Take what you have learned here, and apply it to all avenues of life. This is the true meaning and purpose behind nofap; to supply your body and mind with the means to heal and prosper.