You may have heard of a community called NoFap which started on reddit before branching out with a separate site and a registered trademark. They encourage people to “get a new grip on life” and to “seize control of your sexuality and turn it into superpowers”.
The gist of it:
- No Masturbating
- No Edging
- No Porn
- Generally for 90 days, although many continue indefinitely counting the days
- You can have sex
- Post regular updates on the message board
It sounds simple enough and I commend them for the great work they’ve done. However, I’ve always had my opinion and criticisms of their approach and I was prompted today to post this after a “Fapstronaut” contacted me expressing his frustration:
I’ve gone off the noFap community, with their “superpower” stuff and counters. It’s difficult to get useful advice from someone that actually recovered from porn-induced ED
I think if you’re turning to noFap because you feel your porn use is out of control then by approaching your porn and masturbation habits as something you need to quit you are creating a sense of sacrifice.
You’re quitting something. You’re giving something up.
Something that you have been turning to as a pain reliever, as a way to alleviate boredom, stress and loneliness. You have been using porn as a way to escape from reality as well as a way to achieve sexual gratification. This seems like a huge sacrifice to make.
On top of that, it means that you may not ask yourself why you feel the need to escape in the first place since you’re so wrapped up in the symptoms of your problems rather than the cause.
Compulsively watching porn or masturbating are symptoms of a bigger problem that you have. Abstinence is not enough. You must first uncover your insecurities and then deal with them directly, or else they will continue to manifest in different ways, always holding you back in life.
NoFap Counter-Productive Counters
With noFap: badges, counting the days and spending time on the forum (to give or receive support) is part of the “challenge”, and I think they’re all totally counter-productive (how can you provide useful support before you’ve recovered yourself?). At the very least, it’s the hard way and it’s only a stepping stone towards complete rehabilitation.
According to the NoFap 2012 Survey, we can ascertain that the vast majority of participants are single, white, males, between the ages of 16-30, with no sexual experience whatsoever…
When asked what triggered their relapse it was because they were “bored” or “horny”, wasting time by randomly browsing the internet on their computers, and probably posting in the noFap subreddit.
There doesn’t seem to be a lot going on at NoFap about reintroducing, or for the majority: introducing real sexual experiences. Dealing with sexual anxiety and improving ones’ sexual ability. It seems that most are hoping that by abstaining for long enough they will just acquire enough confidence, knowledge and skill to do it.
Oh and by the way: Give the computer a break will ya? If you really need to be working online then at least get this sort of advanced porn filter set up. Something that can detect skin tones and censor the image, so if some random porn flashed on your screen you won’t feel tempted to masturbate.
If you spend your time focusing on not watching porn or masturbating, you are still frequently thinking about porn and masturbating. The most successful and pain-free mindset to adopt is that porn is no longer an option in your life and as far as you’re concerned, it no longer exists.
A big part of the problem that served as a catalyst for the position you’re in now is that you were seeking refuge in porn, masturbation and orgasms (PMO) instead of dealing with your problems.
Sure, seeking refuge in a community like noFap is much more positive than indulging in porn but the advantages of relying on yourself as your source of motivation and strength is so much more empowering and plays a huge part in ensuring your long-term success with being porn-free.
A survey conducted a couple years ago and hosted on (the now defunct) relapse-survey.info revealed that a staggering 98.62% of noFap participants relapse.
When they relapse they reset their counters and start from the beginning. Extremely demoralizing and completely unnecessary.
Counting the days is not helpful. Counting the days is the hard way. Leave that to the people climbing up the walls using the Willpower Method.
The whole point of your recovery isn’t to go a certain amount of consecutive days without porn, masturbation or orgasm. The point is to rewire your brain and regain complete function of your penis so that you can have sex with real people. Don’t lose sight of that!
If you slip up and masturbate, big deal. Carry on with your recovery.
If you slip up and watch porn. Learn from it. Why did you do it? Check your Porn Trigger Replacement worksheet. Is something missing? What needs changing? Figure out what alternative activity would better serve you when you’re in the frame-of-mind that led you to watch porn. Is there something you don’t understand? Re-read the Sexual Reboot guide. Contact me. Don’t just mope around like a failure and whack off all day because of it.
That’s why I don’t advocate counting the days. If you count the days you are reminding yourself every day that you’re not watching porn. This means that every day you’re thinking about porn. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Give yourself the chance to move on from it.
Make a note of the date that you start your sexual reboot and then forget about it.
Every now and then you might wonder how much time has passed, and when that happens, you can check, but don’t count every single day of being PMO-free as if a winning streak is all it takes to recover, because it isn’t.
Pay attention to your body and the changes you go through as you recover.
Pay no mind to the amount of days that pass.