I’m all for experimenting with diet, exercise, and different ways of thought or living. Recently, I have been looking into the effects that sexual activity can have on behavior and mood, both of which are directly linked to our brain’s chemical makeup. During, my broad research into this area I started reading more and more about the No-Fap movement, in which guys cease masturbating. The more I read, the more the benefits of following such a program became interesting to me. A no-fap challenge, lasts for a certain amount of time (usually 30-90 days), and is designed to help break men’s addiction to pornography and help to experience positive changes in mood and energy levels.
Now, some of the claims that guys who have gone through the no-fap challenge are pretty impressive. I think that the most interesting things I have read involve how these guys report that other people have started to treat them differently since they have gone no-fap. They report being treated more respectfully by other men and say that women are more apt to notice them and even go out of their way to introduce themselves to these guys. Guys also report that they feel much more confident and calm in their daily lives as well as being more driven to accomplish things (see: How to Get Ripped Abs) and focused.
While the claims are interesting, it is difficult to hone in on what is the exact cause in these hundreds of testimonials attesting to the benefits of no-fap. There certainly seems to be a placebo effect, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if guys think that no-fap is going to work wonders then they are more likely to take action and interesting outcomes sort of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Also, the extent that no-fap would work would also seem to depend on whether the man undertaking it was more heavily a porn addict or it was just a guy who didn’t really ever watch and just decided to give up fapping. That seems to be something that people conflate, guys who overcome a severe pornography addiction and are obviously more likely to see greater changes to their moods and lifestyles versus guys who are non-addicts.
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The Problem with Porn
Watching high-speed internet pornography, has been pinpointed as a cause for many issues that men can face including lack of motivation, addictive behaviors, sexual dysfunctions such as ED, and a general malaise or depressed state of mind. The science on its effects on the brain don’t appear to be all in at this point in time, but it does appear to be the case at least anecdotally that giving up pornography is very beneficial for many guys. There is some research that points to porn damaging dopamine receptors in the brain and thus effecting mood and behavior, which if true would explain why men who refrain from watching can report such dramatic results in their quality of life.
What if you’re aren’t addicted to porn or are only using your imagination? Would no-fap even benefit you then? If dopamine receptors do indeed become damaged and the repairing of the receptors will be where the true benefits lie, should you follow such a program? Another question that arises is what kind of pornography has negative side effects or does it really matter at all? It’s difficult to gauge the right answer to these questions, here is a TED Talk video that goes further into the role of pornography and its effects on the brain:
I find that the argument against porn to be fairly convincing, maybe the science isn’t totally 100% on it yet, but there does seem to be plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that there is indeed something to it. However, there still is the question of whether it is not fapping that is producing the major results or if it is the breaking of an addiction?
For instance, one could use something like the Fleshlight Launch on it’s own without video, to simulate real sex and stop watching porn in the process. If the actual goal is to quit porn, wouldn’t it be easier, to get a release that way instead of trying to go ‘x’ number or days without busting a nut?
The Benefits of No-Fap
Refraining from fapping has been a technique that has been around for centuries for cultural or religious reasons. Many times, there is the prevalent idea that your seed is your life force and fapping drains you of it. It is an interesting concept but again it’s a question of scientific validity of such an idea. While there isn’t a measurement of ‘life force loss’, there are studies that suggest increases in testosterone levels by refraining from ‘spilling the seed’. It has been reported that refraining increases testosterone levels to a peak of 147% on the 7th day and still slightly increased levels for a few days afterward.
This is what I wanted to try out for myself. Using a once every 7-9 days schedule for the past month or so has seen pretty great results for me in terms of energy levels. My testosterone definitely appears to be spiking just like it has been reported to do so. I feel crazy energetic and motivated to work out and accomplish other goals that I have set for myself, more so than usual. The sixth and seventh days are always the toughest and it takes some work to focus your excess energy into something non-sexual, but I notice that I can get past such temptations fairly easily now. I also feel stronger on the days later in the week and have noticeably more endurance. This schedule feels pretty optimal for me personally and I’m not sure that going on a longer no-fap challenge would yield any meaningful results. My mental health is already positive and I don’t have a problem with anxiety, in my own experience meditation and reading things by Stoic philosophers or someone like Eckhart Tolle, produces great mental clarity. Also, check out: Lucid Dreaming for mental clarity.
Okay, then what are some positive benefits from giving up fapping?
-Testosterone increase, at least for a short amount of time. It does seem to work, that you can basically reset every 7-9 days and ride the testosterone increase again for the following week.
-Incentive to go out and meet women. If you’re not fapping then the only way you get to release is through regular sex and uncontrollable nocturnal emissions. A 30-90 program would definitely be incentive to go out and talk to women because it’s going to be a rough go without them.
Just as an aside a few posts that might help you out with the ladies 🙂
– Free time. Think about it, three times per week for an hour long session is the equivalent to taking a college course. How much free time are you wasting by fapping your life away? 12 hours a month? More? It adds up quick.
-Some guys report their voices getting deeper and stabilizing. Maybe this is a function of the testosterone?
-Enhanced mood, desire, etc.
-Better sex. Guys who give up porn and/or fapping report increased sensitivity down below and curing ED and not being able to finish during intercourse.
-Re-humanizing women and the experience of reality. This only really applies to guys who are porn addicts but that stuff definitely does seem to mess with your head and have less empathy towards women at least on some level. Getting back to reality and working on yourself will yield actual results while staying in that fantasy land will only serve to hinder you.
The idea of no-fap is definitely interesting and can be beneficial but the results are going to completely depend on the individual. I think guys who have pornography addictions are the ones who should definitely consider doing a 90 day challenge, just because of the sheer number of positive
stories of men who have had similar problems helped by doing such a challenge. If you don’t have a porn addiction, should you try a challenge? Maybe. It might be interesting to see what kind of effects it can have on you physically and psychologically but then again the results might be tepid. Doing a 30 day challenged followed by a once a week schedule could see benefits. I like the every 7-10 days schedule I’ve been using for the past month-plus, as I get plenty of noticeable results and I definitely want to be around women a lot more which only serves to increase opportunity with them. Before I started that, I tested by fapping 4-5 days in a row with porn to see if there would be a difference and I definitely felt like complete shit during those days. Energy was way down and I had zero motivation, I don’t know how some guys live like that, that short time frame was too much for me. Porn is increasingly just becoming completely lame to me, much like strip clubs. Both feel pointless when you know you can get real women and don’t need to settle for teasing fantasies. My own experiences tell me all I need to know about what kind of effects this kind of stuff has on the brain, going without for longer periods of time frees up the mind from the realm of fantasy and puts your focus square on reality, which is leveraged in the right way may be all the benefit you need in your life.