Home » Resources for NoFap » How I did 70 days of NoFap on hardmode, without breaking a sweat, after 7 years of failure

How I did 70 days of NoFap on hardmode, without breaking a sweat, after 7 years of failure

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Glossary: 

PMO – Porn, Masturbation, Orgasm. These three things usually go together. For me it was more often sexual fantasy with masturbation, although I did also PMO.

Fap – a colloquial term for ‘masturbate’.

Nofap – a subreddit where folks discuss giving up porn and masturbation. Also refers to the challenge itself, e.g. ‘Doing nofap can free up a lot of time’.

Summary: I finally overcame PMO addiction after 7 years of failure. It was really easy this time. The solution that worked for me was complete thought control, with a zero-arousal policy, and I enacted it over two stages. Everything explained in detail in the full post.

CONTENTS

Section A describes my background and the actual process I went through this time.

Section B describes in detail certain techniques and strategies that I think were crucial.

Section C explains why the two-stage process worked so well for me.

SECTION A – My Story

Introduction

Basically I wrote all this down on the off chance that someone else might be able to benefit from my experiences. I’m not sure if anyone will find it useful, because we’re all different, and we’re all at different stages on our nofap journeys, and have different starting points. But you never know, there might be something here that others can benefit from, or be encouraged by, in the same way that the nofap subreddit has encouraged me.

So, I’m a 31 year-old Christian male, and I’d been trying on and off to give up porn, sexual fantasy and masturbation for about 7 years (ever since I became a Christian), but to no avail. I could go a week or two if I tried really hard, and once I did a month, but it was an awful struggle, and that one month was the longest I ever managed. Usually I only lasted a few days. Most of the time I thought it must be impossible, and couldn’t even be bothered trying to give it up.

This time (over 70 days so far) I have had almost no struggles, and it has been really, really easy. If you’ve tried to give this stuff up and found it very hard, you’ll understand how surprised I was to find it so easy this time. I haven’t put a filter on my internet, I haven’t consciously avoided any places or people, I can sit at my computer late at night, I don’t have anyone keeping me accountable, I don’t have cold showers and I don’t exercise to burn off ‘sexual energy’. In fact, I don’t think that I have employed any of the recommended strategies at all.

I’m not going to go into detail about the benefits I’ve experienced as a result, as they’ve been well described elsewhere. Basically, I’ve got more confidence, feel better about myself, have a much clearer mind, and feel more in control of all aspects of my life (and I’d swear I have a deeper voice, but is that even possible?). The main benefit for me is that this struggle that I’ve been engaged in for the last eight years has finally been won. And it’s such a huge weight off my shoulders to not have to worry about this issue any more. Such a good feeling.

So why did this struggle become really easy all of a sudden? Well there were a few things that happened this time that were quite different to before. But before I detail the process and strategy, I’ll share my background with this issue. I don’t think I was a typical PMO user, so if my situation seems way too different to yours, I’m sorry – my solution might not work for you. But if someone is in a similar situation to mine, or able to get themselves to that place, then this process might work. Or perhaps you might just be able to take away a couple of principles or ideas that you can put to good use.

Background

I’ve been single most of my life, which I’m pretty happy with, although I am open to getting married in the next few years if I meet the right girl. I’m a virgin, too, and I think I’d like to stay that way unless and until I get married.

I’ve always had a great imagination, and as an introvert who didn’t have many friends as a kid, I spent most of my time at school day-dreaming – living in a fantasy world. Mix puberty into the equation, and the results are predictable.

Age 11 – Started regularly losing myself in sexual fantasy.

Age 19 – Started masturbating (very late, I know).

Age 23 – Started using internet porn.

Age 24 – Became a Christian.

Age 31 – Finally overcame addiction to masturbation, fantasy and porn.

So the last 8 years, between ages 23-31, have been characterised by pretty consistent, although perhaps moderate, PMO and sexual fantasy. I would masturbate once every day or two, but sometimes a couple of times a day. I was using internet porn maybe once or twice a week, although there were times when I would get into it quite heavily for a few days, and then there were months when I would go without altogether. When I wasn’t using porn, I’d normally masturbate to sexual fantasy – stuff that I thought up in my own mind. I’ve generally found that the scenarios I could think up were more interesting to me than the unimaginative stuff on the internet, but that might just be me. Nevertheless, I know that I was addicted to masturbation with fantasy or porn, because I could never give it up for long, even though I was trying on and off for about 7 years.

When I did try to quit I would usually just go cold turkey, resolving to never masturbate again. When I did this, the first few days would be fine, but then I would struggle constantly, and I would feel like it was just getting tougher and tougher – I would feel like the pressure was getting worse and worse – until sooner or later, I would give in, and crash back into a binge of the most hardcore PMO and fantasy that I could think up. I would have a solid few days of indulgence before I would become so appalled that I would resolve to never do it again. Restart cold turkey process, but with the same results every time. Sometimes I would last a week or two, sometimes a month. But the result was always the same – a seemingly inevitable plunge back into acting out on things that I’d been secretly desiring the whole time I was abstaining. In hindsight, I think a major part of the problem was that while I’d tell myself, ‘I’m not going to masturbate’, my brain would seek every other avenue of sexual stimulation, like sexual fantasy, porn, and even edging (as if that’s not masturbation). I’d try to get as much as I could without actually orgasming as a result of masturbating, but of course this would leave me completely fired up, and my brain would constantly be dwelling on sex. I would be aroused 24/7. It’s no wonder I found it really hard to not go the whole way, and would usually relapse within a few days.

Eventually I concluded that quitting masturbation might even be impossible. And here’s where I want to give credit to the NoFap subreddit, because reading it was the first time I realised that it was actually physically and mentally possible to give up masturbation for over a month. Thinking that it was impossible obviously didn’t help me in my previous attempts. Interestingly, thinking that it was impossible was what made me start on Stage 1, so let’s start there.

Stage 1: Mastering the mind, letting the body go (easy mode)

In the two months prior to my current streak, I had decided that cold turkey was too hard, and resolved on a compromise. I realised that what I really wanted to get rid of was the porn and the weird fantasy that I was so into (I’m considering marriage, and I don’t want to have these weird fantasies and desires that my wife will never be able to satisfy. I really want to be satisfied with my wife.) So I resolved to get rid of the fantasy and the porn, but to keep masturbating, because at this stage I still thought it was impossible to go without physical release, and I didn’t want the pressure to ‘build up’ and make me really horny, which then usually led to the weird fantasy that seemed to come out stronger when I was more ‘on edge’.

So I committed to masturbating whenever the heck I wanted to, at even the slightest sexual thought or inclination (assuming I was at home, and not in public, that is). But the one condition of this masturbation free-for-all was that at the instant when I felt the inclination, and had decided to masturbate, I would absolutely stay away from porn, and I would fantasise only about plain-as-vanilla, PIV, nothing else sex. I would visualise a naked female body, but nobody I knew (I don’t want to take sex, even in my mind, from someone I know without permission – I feel it’s disrespectful – but maybe that’s just me). Nor would I fantasise about a movie star or a woman I had seen on the street for the same reasons. I would think, ‘I have no idea who’s wife that woman is, or who’s daughter she is. What right do I have to take her sexually, even in my imagination?’ So I would just imagine making love to an attractive but generic female body.

[A little bit of Christian theory here, I don’t actually think that the physical act of masturbation is sinful. Rather it’s the thoughts and fantasies that are the issue (Matt 5:28). A Christian mentor of mine asked me what my conscience told me after I masturbated to this image of a ‘generic female body’, and I realised that I never felt guilty or bad about it. So I don’t think it is a sin, otherwise I wouldn’t recommend this to others. There is, however, the valid question of whether masturbation is the ideal expression of human sexuality, given that it is not relational. Actually I don’t think it’s ideal, and so I recommend going on to Stage 2 when possible, but I don’t think masturbation is necessarily sinful or wrong, and think it can sometimes be a helpful aid to mental purity if used wisely.]

So I spent about two months letting the physical thing take care of itself in the morning after showering, and just focussing on the mental situation. It was all about keeping control of my thoughts, and not letting them descend into unhealthy sexual fantasy or porn. Sure, there were a few times when I slipped up and went back to some weird fantasies, and a couple of times I watched some porn, but strangely I didn’t really enjoy those times so much.

Now I suspect that for many people who are more heavily addicted to porn than I was, masturbating to a boring mental image like this might not be possible. But I found that after 2-3 days without masturbation I was usually horny enough to find a plain fantasy like this quite adequate. So for moderate PMO users like I was, who nevertheless can’t seem to get past a week without relapsing, and who feel that it just gets harder and harder without release, this might be a plausible arrangement to get away from porn and wrong fantasy. I’ll talk more in Section 3 about why I think Stage 1 was helpful, but it’s probably not absolutely necessary. It was just the process that I went through.

Stage 2: Trying it on hard mode

While I was managing things in Stage 1, I learned a few things that made me reconsider the idea that ‘sexual pressure’ just builds up and up until you have to give in. For starters, there were guys just like you on the nofap reddit who were actually going months without ejaculation. And I read articles online that suggested that masturbation was not at all necessary. So why did I always find it harder the longer I went without masturbation? I read a few studies on abstinence that suggest that the male sex drive takes up to two weeks to recover from an ejaculation, which means that when you first stop masturbating, your sex-drive increases and you gradually become much more sensitive to arousal and being triggered by sexual thoughts, ideas or images. But it’s not an ever-increasing level of difficulty – after two weeks, the sex drive should be as high as it will go. So I saw that there are basically two levels on which you can play the mental game. The “releasing yourself every 48 hours or so” level of hormones (easy mode), and the “haven’t ejaculated for a week or two” level of hormones (hard mode). I was doing really well at controlling my thoughts on easy mode, so I thought, ‘what the heck, let’s see how I go on hard mode – with no masturbation’.

I decided to run it as an experiment – ten days to start with. I’ve read that there is a temporary boost of testosterone on the seventh day after stopping, so I was interested to see if Day 7 was noticeably harder than Days 5 and 6. Then I was interested to see how Days 8-10 were. I figured if I could handle the 8th-10th days (which I thought would be hard mode), I should be good to go 90 days, or forever. So in I went, keeping a journal every night of whether I found the day hard, where my head was at, how my mood was generally, whether there were any random sexual thoughts or visual stimulation that caused a feeling of arousal etc. And it was a great success. There were a few times in the first week when I felt quite aroused, or had a real longing to masturbate, but I just rode it out and turned my mind to other things, and the feelings subsided within an hour or so. Day 7 was the hardest, as expected. But since I was expecting it, I just rode it out and kept doing whatever other stuff I had to do. After Day 7 I found Days 8-10 pretty easy, and at the end of the ten-day experiment I was feeling confident, in control and just great, so I signed up for another ten.

There were a few days the next ten that were a bit tough, but not really. There was the odd burst of hormones when I was triggered by a sexual cue, and the occasional sense of longing, but I just rode them out for the sake of the experiment – I was mainly interested to see whether the arousal and urges subsided by themselves as I expected them to. They did. Also when I had a real desire to masturbate, I would just tell myself to wait until the ten days were up. But at Day 20 I was feeling totally baller, and so I decided to sign up for another ten days…

The third set of ten days were even easier, with hardly any temptation worth reporting, and in fact, since Day 20, things have been pretty much on cruise control and I haven’t felt much in the way of temptation at all. I still keep a journal each night, but there’s less and less to report. These days I’m so stoked that I’ve finally cracked this thing that at the end of every ten day period, when I ask myself whether I should go back to Stage 1 (easy mode), I’m like, ‘Heck NO!’

SECTION B – Things that seemed to make a difference this time

So here are eight things that I did differently this time, that I think made a real difference.

Note: I have copied and expanded on this list in this post.

1. Understanding the physiology and endocrinology of sexual arousal

One thing that really helped me was being aware that it is hormones and endorphins that make me feel aroused, horny, or ‘on edge’. I learned that these hormones are released in response to my mind dwelling on sexual cues, and I discovered that they are only temporary and don’t continue to escalate indefinitely (unless I continually dwell on sexual thoughts). I’ve come to realise that the minute I stop dwelling on sexual thoughts, the hormones start to subside, and they are usually gone within an hour, and always overnight. Knowing this makes it much easier to get through rough patches. Even if I find myself really aroused, I know that it will pass. Sometimes I’m even curious to see how long the arousal takes to subside – treating it like an experiment really helps. Interesting note: the other day a very arousing image came to mind while I was in the shower, and ‘BOOM!’, my body exploded with endorphins. I turned my mind away immediately and refused to give the image any more consideration. Twenty minutes later, the arousal was completely gone, and I was back to baseline. All it took was twenty minutes. That’s pretty sweet. Anyway, I’ve written a lot more on the physiology and endocrinology of sexual arousal, here. Have a look if you are interested.

2. Learning to recognise a sexual thought, image or cue

I believe that the single most important thing that I’ve changed this time, is that the instant I register a sexual thought or image or cue, I turn away immediately, and shut it out. That’s the key to my success, I have no doubt. But before you can shut out such a thought or image, you need to know when you’re onto one. I know when I’ve hit a sexual thought now because I feel a warm burst of endorphins flooding into the region just above my stomach, I feel my chest tighten, and sometimes my groin muscles start to loosen or contract. It’s pretty obvious to me now when that happens. The cue could be a cute girl who walks past in short shorts, a billboard of a model in lingerie, or a random thought about sex that my mind wanders into while I’m thinking about other things (trains of thought can be be pretty strange at times). Even if you don’t get a really obvious burst of endorphins, you’re probably aware of what a sexual thought is. Algebra is not sexual. Boobs are sexual. A sexual cue could even be situational, like a sense of anticipation as I get into the shower, or close my bedroom door and drop my bag after a long day. It might be the thought process that goes ‘Now that I’m done with that task, I can take a break. What would I like to do? I could have a coffee, a nap, a fap…’. Or if I’m on the computer, it could be the thought, ‘I wonder if there are any new videos at that site?’ or ‘Hey, I could just check out that site for a bit – it might be interesting.’ Sometimes a sexual cue is nothing more than a bodily sense of longing for sexual gratification, with no real object of desire. Whatever the cue is that triggers your arousal (or even just piques your interest), you need to get good at recognising such a cue. Over time you’ll be able to know when you’ve hit a cue when you get a burst of endorphins. For me the endorphin burst became much more acute after a week without ejaculation, as my sex drive increased.

3. Learning to instantly turn the mind away from the sexual thought, image or cue

It’s important to know that these sexual ‘cues’ result in the release of endorphins into your system, which makes you feel interested, aroused, and warm and fuzzy, but also shuts down your prefrontal cortex (the higher, more rational part of your brain) which is telling you that you shouldn’t fap. For this reason, you need to block out the sexual thought or mental image immediately. Don’t entertain the thought or flirt with it just a little because you enjoy the warm feeling it brings. The same goes for edging. That warm feeling is hormones putting your body into sex mode and shutting down that part of your brain that reminds you why you don’t want to fap. That feeling is warm, creeping death. The instant you feel even a tiny bit aroused or curious, you need to shut out that thought. No arguments. But here’s the good news. Make that reaction automatic and you’ll never have to struggle with this again. You will have already won.

By now you will see that what I am suggesting is complete absence of intentional sexual thought. Random thoughts come whether we like it or not, but what I’m suggesting is that you instantly reject and block them. Now I know that’s something that not everyone is prepared to do. If you’re like me, you probably want to entertain and enjoy sexual thoughts and fantasies, and would rather not sacrifice all sexual thought. We just want to not fap. Of course this is up to each of us, and if people want to keep going with the sexual thought and fantasy, that’s their choice. But the only thing that worked for me was cutting out all sexual thought and arousal, so that might be something to consider. What I love about this method is that I don’t spend hours in that ‘warzone’ middle ground between feeling on top of things, and relapsing. I used to be constantly in that place, where my body and mind are completely on fire, and I’m just trying not to touch my junk, or where I’m edging but trying not to accidentally release. Or where I’m looking at sketchy pictures but rationalising that they’re not ‘porn’ etc. In the past there was so much struggle – it was frankly exhausting at times. Many times I would give in and masturbate just to end the conflict. But the zero-arousal approach I’ve adopted this time has made it really easy. I just stop the process before the struggle even begins.

While I’ve made it sound easy, I acknowledge that perhaps not everyone will be able to control their thoughts just like that, so it might help if I explain it a little. To me it’s like a blocking out, or a redirecting of the sexual thought. When I feel the burst of endorphins above my stomach, I have an immediate reaction that’s like, ‘Woooaah, uh uh!’ And then rather than focussing on the image or the thought, or ‘investigating’ it, which I would naturally want to do, instead I sideline it, look past it, or around it. It’s like your grandpa’s just walked into the kitchen in his Y-fronts and struck up a conversation, and you’re looking everywhere in the room but at him. Or as if there’s an object suspended a couple of feet in front of your face, and you’re focussing on the wall behind it, or on the ceiling above it, or on the person next to it, but never focussing on the object itself. I don’t say, ‘Don’t think about sex. Don’t think about sex!’ That doesn’t seem to work. Rather, the image stays there in my consciousness, and I’m aware of it, but is shifted out of focus, so that it is diffused and loses its power. It’s as though it moves into your peripheral vision, as you look at things around it. A good way to do this is to grab any other thought or idea that is available to you and focus on that instead. Sometimes it’s as easy as just refocussing on the task at hand (if I’m working or studying at that time), or refocussing on the book I’m reading, or the TV show that I’m watching. It’s easy if you’re with other people, because you can just refocus on what they are saying. That sort of thing.

Sometimes when I feel a burst of arousal hormones, I turn and focus on the actual sensation of the hormones in my body, make a note of their intensity, and try to predict how long that dose will take to leave my bloodstream. While that might seem like a bad idea, I don’t usually find that the sensations themselves are mentally arousing, because once you identify them and objectify them, and predict their demise, they actually lose some of their power. Usually by the time I’m done analysing the hormones and the sensation above my stomach, I’ve forgotten about the original sexual image or cue. More on this in point 4.

I actually  believe that learning to instantly turn the mind away from the sexual thought, image or cue is the key to my success in overcoming porn, fantasy and masturbation. For this reason, I have explained this process in much more detail here. Feel free to have a look if you are finding it hard to control your thoughts, or if you are perhaps not quite sure what I am talking about.

4. Transcending your emotions

In order to control your thoughts and ride out sexual arousal, it is very helpful if you can ‘transcend’ your emotions, as it were. Take a step back from them, lift your mind up out of the fog of emotion and hormones, and look down on your feelings objectively, as though they are something to be observed from a distance, rather than something that you are immersed in and being carried along by. This is something that I have learned to do over the past three years as I’ve struggled with anxiety. Now, when I have a feeling of anxiety and dread in my gut, rather than panicking or thinking that there is actually something to be afraid of, I just say to myself, ‘Oh, there’s that old familiar feeling of anxiety just above my stomach. That feeling is actually adrenaline that’s being released into my blood stream. It’s nothing to worry about, it’s just because my endocrine system is a little messed up.’ And so I ignore it. It’s the same with feelings of sexual longing or arousal, if you can lift your mind above the feeling, and look down on it, you can say, ‘Oh, I’m very aroused right now. In fact, my blood is pumping with endorphins and adrenaline. That’s because I just had a random thought about sex, and a whole lot of chemicals got dumped into my bloodstream. They’ll be gone in 10-30 minutes though, so just ignore it and get back to work.’ Being aware of your emotions and rising above them is a sweet skill to have, if you can cultivate it. This could be a great opportunity to learn it.

5. Being realistic about the increased sex drive in Stage 2 (hard mode)

It was very important for me to realise that “sexual pressure” does not relentlessly build up, making it harder and harder to keep my mind off sex, and leading to inevitable relapse. But my experience had always been that things seemed to get harder the longer I went without masturbation. Why was that? As explained above, I learned that regular ejaculation dulls the sex drive, and that after a week or two of abstaining, the sex drive returns to full strength, making it much harder to control. This was a whole new league that I was stepping into, and something I was not used to at all. But it was important to understand why this was happening, and to expect it, and to not freak out and think that I can’t handle it. On the plus side, the enhanced sensitivity to visual and mental sexual cues can actually be advantageous, because the burst of hormones which functions as a warning system, alerting you to turn the mind away from a sexual cue, becomes much more clear and noticeable. There is far less danger of finding yourself accidentally a long way down the path to masturbation, when the initial warning sign is so distinct.

6. Committing to short periods only, and using delaying tactics

By signing up to a ten-day experiment, I was motivated to finish the ten-day experiment, just to see how it went (particularly to see how Day 7 was, and whether Days 8-10 were easier than Day 7). And when I was tempted to masturbate during those ten days I was able to just stall for time, and put it off until the end of the ten days, with the promise that I could go back to masturbating then, if I liked. It’s much easier to say to yourself ‘wait a few days, then masturbate’, than it is to say ‘don’t masturbate now or ever again.’ And ten days seems so much easier and more manageable than ‘forever’. But by the time the ten-day marker came around, I was feeling great, and I realised that the ten days hadn’t been all that hard, and I was pumped at having gotten through the ten days. So I was ready to sign up for another ten days. I’m now on my seventh lot of ten days, and I still haven’t decided to go back to masturbating, although I’m open to it if I decide that it’s a better lifestyle.

I reckon that making just a few big decisions in your right mind is better than making a whole lot of little decisions when you’re aroused. Who has the energy to repeatedly review all the reasons why they don’t want to fap every time a sexual thought pops into your head (especially in the fog of horniness)? Just trust yourself and trust that your decision/commitment to abstain for ten days is a good one, with the promise that you can fap at the end of the ten days if you still want to.

7. Keeping a journal

Keeping the journal was really helpful in reinforcing the experimental aspect of it, and also giving me some perspective in the couple of harder patches – I could look at it from a 20-day perspective, or wherever I was up to, which would show me that what I was feeling was out of the ordinary, and temporary, and had only lasted a short time in the past. I used to think that the longer you go without orgasm, the harder it becomes. And that the pressure just builds and builds until you just can’t help yourself. Keeping this journal has shown me that the pressure actually resets overnight, and that I generally feel fine the next morning, even if I was feeling really aroused or ‘on edge’ the night before. As someone, somewhere, once said, ‘You can’t improve what you can’t measure’ (or something like that).

8. Remembering past struggles, relapses and why you are doing NoFap

Although the last 70 days have been pretty easy, there have been a couple of times where I’ve thought, ‘I’m not enjoying this sense of sexual longing. I think I’d prefer to just go back to how it was, with the PMO.’ Or times when I really miss the nice feeling that masturbation used to give me. What was really helpful at those times was to look back over some journal entries I had made previously, and to see how frustrated and depressed I was that I simply could not overcome this habit, no matter how hard I tried. Having seen this, it was a no-brainer to keep going. I could clearly see that I am much happier overall now than I was back when I was masturbating regularly. Similar to this, sometimes when I’m tempted I visualise that moment right after I masturbate, when I’ve just broken a long period of successful abstinence. I remember how bad that feels, and how disappointed I am when I do that. This reality check usually puts to rest any illusions that I have that I’d be happier if I went back to the old ways, and reminds me that I’m actually feeling much better right now than I will be after I fap.

SECTION C – Why the two-stage approach worked so well for me

1. It was like training wheels

One possible benefit of Stage 1 (easy mode) was that it gave me a couple of months to learn to control my thoughts in a less intense and easier setting. With regular ejaculation, my sex drive was dulled to a level that I was used to, which made my mind easier to control. Only when I had learned to control my thoughts on easy mode was I able to control my thoughts on hard mode. Having said this, I’m sure it’s possible for someone to learn to control their thoughts on hard mode, and skip Stage 1 if they prefer.

2. It took me halfway with very little effort

My past addiction was partly to the intense mental arousal that accompanied porn and sexual fantasy, and partly to the physical pleasure of masturbation. Going through Stage 1 for a couple of months probably went a long way towards breaking the first half of that addiction – the addiction to porn and sexual fantasy. Once that was under control, I then went on to tackle the addiction to physical masturbation. I know that the general feel on the internet is that you should go cold turkey on porn and masturbation all at once, but it kind of makes sense to me to break down a really hard task into more manageable halves. Well, it worked for me anyway. Another benefit of Stage 1 was that it probably reset a lot of my brain wiring that had associated arousal and orgasm with porn and weird fantasy, and rewired it to associate arousal and orgasm with plain-as-vanilla, PIV, nothing else sex. Since Stage 1 was not really a challenge at all (hey, I can masturbate any time I want!), this meant that I could wean myself off porn and fantasy with no real effort.

3. It defused the whole issue

In the past when I was trying to give up PMO, as I have mentioned, I would find it a constant struggle, and rarely last more than a week at best. And then when I had given up trying to quit, I would feel bad about it, so either way it was an issue. But when I did Stage 1, and just masturbated whenever I wanted to without fantasy or porn, what was interesting was that I felt no shame or guilt. And I no longer had to struggle against anything, because I was satisfying myself whenever I wanted to. What was really cool was that in the absence of the struggle and the guilt, and in the routine of masturbating very morning if I felt like it, I ended up more or less forgetting about the whole thing – it just became a bit of a non-issue. During the day, I would just get on with whatever I had to do, and not bother thinking about sex or seeking mental sexual stimulation, because I knew that I would be able to masturbate when I got home if I felt like it. This obviously helped me in my attempts to free my mind from dwelling on porn and sexual fantasy. I’m not sure why, but knowing that I’m not supposed to do something just makes me think about it more, and makes it more appealing. By contrast, having permission to masturbate made it less appealing. Anyway, it became such a non-issue that before long I found myself going three or four days without even masturbating, because I was busy doing other things, or just couldn’t be bothered. Sometimes I’d think about masturbating, but then say, ‘Nah, I’m too tired. Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow’. From this starting point, giving up masturbation in Stage 2 was then not such a big deal as it might have been.

4. It gave me a fall-back position, which removed both the fear of relapse and the appeal of relapse

I was raised to be a ‘moral’ person who places a lot of value on being good and upstanding, and so I naturally feel guilty when I do something bad or wrong. Now that I’m a Christian, however, I know that guilt is no longer a part of my life, and that I am acceptable before God because of his grace, not because of what I have done or not done. Christ has taken away my guilt. But old habits die hard, and still the feelings of guilt persist. But here’s why I don’t think guilt works: guilt leads to fear, and fear leads to failure. If I’m doing well at nofap, then I’m feeling good about myself. Then when I start to struggle, I remember all the times that I’ve relapsed, and logically conclude that relapse is inevitable or at least probable. Then I start to fear relapse and the associated guilt. Now the problem with fear is that, like arousal, it shuts down the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for higher, more rational functions, like decision making, and making plans and commitments. So when the fear of guilt kicks in, there goes my decision-making capacity, along with all the carefully thought-out reasons that I have for doing nofap. Paradoxically, the fear of fapping leads to fapping.

But after I had done Stage 1 for a few months, which was relaxed, easy and guilt-free, when I decided to try Stage 2 (hard mode) for ten days, I had safety net to fall back on. I no longer feared relapse, because all that failure would mean was going back to Stage 1, which was fine anyway. I was doing Stage 2 a bit like an experiment. I just wanted to see if I could go 10 days without masturbating, and I wanted to keep a record of how I felt over the ten days. If I couldn’t last ten days, that was fine, I would just go back to Stage 1 (guilt free), and count it as a successful experiment. So that took away all of the fear and intensity, which made it a lot easier. I no longer feared relapse, so I would just laugh at the temptation – it lost it’s power over me. Stage 2 became a light-hearted, interesting and fun process, which made it so much easier than the white-knuckle, legalistic, fearful, “Must. Not. Fap.” process of the past.

Not only did the fall-back position of Stage 1 take away the fear of relapse, it also made it less appealing. When I was attempting Stage 2, whenever I felt a strong urge to masturbate, and thought to myself ‘giving up all ejaculation is just too tough, I can’t do this’, I told myself, ‘Fine, go back to Stage 1 if you like, where you can masturbate whenever you need to.’ But as described above masturbation wasn’t all that interesting in Stage 1 after a while. It dealt with my urges, and left me comfortable and happy, but it wasn’t all that interesting or appealing. So when faced with the choice of going back to Stage 1, which would deal effectively with my urges but still not be very exciting, or staying on Stage 2 where I could feel like a total baller 24/7, but suffer the occasional urge, I always chose to stay on Stage 2. I guess I was tricking my brain by offering only two alternatives, but it worked.

Epilogue

Well, that’s pretty much all I can think of that might be important to mention. Reading back over it, a lot of it looks kind of weird and idiosyncratic, so it might be stuff that only works for me. But I hope that someone might be able to get some ideas from some of the things that worked for me, and perhaps adapt them to their own circumstances and journey. If you have any questions at all, please do ask. I would be delighted to do whatever I can to help someone else get to where I am today. Like I said at the beginning, I’m still shocked that I finally overcame this thing, and that it was so easy this time. I also hope that in all this I don’t come across as smug or proud. For seven years I failed miserably to make any significant process by exercising my feeble self-control and making promises to myself and to God. I clearly have no reason to be proud.

If you have any questions at all, comment below and I will get back to you!

Soli Deo Gloria


100 Comments

  1. Rewirer says:

    good read, thank you!

  2. Paul says:

    This was a very well thought out and concise read and I sincerely hope it’s something you will continue to add to. I could learn a lot from you. Great work!

  3. Wonka says:

    Hey man,

    I’ve read through your post and the whole refocusing thing really helped me in maintaining my urges. This is day 10 for me. It feels a little harder than the previous days.

    Seriously, thank you for posting how the endocrinology works. I can notice the feelings in my body now.

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Awesome!

      Well done on getting Day 10! Just ride out the rough patches and you’ll find things get easier, so long as you don’t entertain sexy thoughts. See how the next week goes – once you get practiced at handling the higher sex-drive, you’ll be good as gold!

  4. Well done; thanks for sharing all this. It’s great to hear more and more guys having good results doing “hard mode.”

    What you’ve described is in some ways similar to mindfulness training; or mental discipline. The fact that you had cultivated enough willpower to turn your mind away from stimulation an cues is a big deal.

    It’s a big deal because it will serve you well in every other area of your life; he or she who can control their thoughts has a big advantage in almost everything.

    Cheers.

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Thanks for the comment Andrew! Like you suggested, I have found the mental control to be very useful in other areas of life. It’s great to be aware of my emotional responses and to be able to choose the way I respond to external stimuli, whether it be something arousing, something anxiety inducing, something depressing, or something annoying or aggravating.

  5. Wonka says:

    Hey man,

    I realized that I too have been giving into my wierd fantasies. I’ve been denying it all this time but even on hardmode, the fantasies still exist! I’m going to try easy mode and retrain the brain with a vanilla female body first.

    Seriously, thanks again for posting all this info. I’ll keep ya updated.

  6. planitproperly says:

    This is unbelievably good.

    I have been on a journey very similar to what you have described…. which has thus far lasted a bit over a year. I feel that i have stage 1 sitting in front of me waiting for me to put the pieces of the puzzle together but this article may well act as a time lapse to help me fast forward.

    I really do hope that i can reach the level of comprehension that you have achieved. Knowing the process and breaking things down into segments has been something which i have always intrinsically believed in…. even though it obviously takes more time than diving head first into going cold turkey.

    i thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. I really do hope that i can add to the list of people this has helped.

  7. Cmon says:

    Wow. I started masturbating at the age of 16-17. and I was a very late starter.. but this thread made me realise I’m not alone lol. I’m on day 42 of my no fap. I’m doing it for bodybuilding gains though. Also, it’s quite uncanny how similar your story is to mine. I am also a virgin, aged 23 at the moment, and learning to change who I am for the better right now ;)

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Yeah, it’s not something everyone talks about, so you might be surprised how many people are in a similar situation to yourself. All the best with your self-improvement!

  8. abasu1992 says:

    Thanks man. I am currently in the same cycle of stopping and then starting, having regrets, stopping and then back to PMO. Your 10 days method seems a very clear and concise way to this problem. Thanks for a good read, keep us updated on your progress!

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Yeah, this method has worked really well for me. At the time of writing this blog I went for 6 months without much struggle at all, which was fantastic! Then I kept relapsing every week or two, for about two months, but I snapped out of it and stayed off it for another month or more, no worries. I recently relapsed, but I’m back on the wagon again :) So I guess it’s something that needs constant attention – I need to continue to be motivated if I want to stay on nofap. But what’s great is that if I really want to, I can do it now without much stress – I just have to stay focussed :) So I feel very positive about it all these days :) All the best!

  9. Korey says:

    You sir should be very proud. Proud because you have inspired myself and countless others to put into action your methods and finally beat this addiction. Thank you so much! God bless you.

  10. W_illyW15123 says:

    Man…
    I’ve been searching for years for something like this…Have struggled with this for like 5 years…
    Everything was just… useless…Living in fear and embarrassment… not realizing that’s exactly the main problem… I’m looking forward to apply this starting today… God Bless you =)

    • nofapsolideo says:

      I hope you find it helpful! Just remember that it’s totally possible to change your habits and thought patterns, and completely rid yourself of this if you want to :) I relapsed a few times, after my initial six-month streak, but now I’m over 40 days free again, and loving it – not finding it hard at all! It’ great!

  11. Yehmate4 says:

    Great stuff. I’m really battling with trying to get my mind right. Its such a long journey (im 22 now) and I’m finally beginning to see the wood from the trees

    Did you go through any flatline? It seems to be my main issue because for reasons which seem to be quite common, I intrinsically fear flatline and immediately lose sight of what I’m trying to achieve. Did you go through anything similar?

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Yeah, I went through a flatline or two. It never bothered me though, because the absence of sex drive just made it so much easier to control my thoughts and keep out of trouble. I know some people don’t like them though. I guess if you fear the flatline, just remember that it’s not forever. It usually passes in a few weeks.

      Keep your eyes fixed on the goal. It doesn’t always happen instantly, but with perseverance, you will come out on top!

  12. Mister E. says:

    I went past 31 days and I masturbated again today. It is devastating to me because it took so long for me to build it up. Then one day you start all over again. I really want to stop and if I knew there were others out there like me it would help me a lot. Thanks for your post.

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hey Mister E!

      Well done on doing a month! That’s an excellent achievement. You don’t start all over again – the skills and strength that you’ve built up over the last month can be used to help you in your next attempt. Just learn from your failure and get right back on track.

      There are heaps of others out there like you. Go to http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/ or http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/ or http://www.nofap.org/forum/forum.php? to read their stories and be encouraged.

      • Mister E. says:

        Thank you Soli Deo. I did not know that there were many more like us. They have some funny stories too. I will comment on here every month from this day to tell you on my progress. You will be my doctor that will inspire me to not fap so that I can make you proud with my progress. Keep on fighting my friend!

  13. Mister E. says:

    Hey Soli Deo! I did not make it unfortunately, but I am on 10 days now. Everyday is a battle and I am continually learning. I hope that you are doing alright in your life. Happy Early Thanksgiving my friend.

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Thanks Mister E!

      I’m doing very well thanks :)

      10 days is a great start. Once I realised I could do ten days, I knew that it was possible to do much longer periods too. Every day that you go without, you get a bit better at it. Keep it up!

      • Mister E says:

        Hello my friend! It has been a hard road of failure for me, but I have finally persevered. I did not want to return until I have succeeded in my trial. It has been 42 days now and it was on hardmode. The jitters are gone now and I rarely if at all look at porn. I have indifference of girls most of the time. But sometimes my testosterone ignites like a solar flare when I see a girl that’s my type. Although on the exterior I am calm, I am gritting my teeth and trying not to detonate from the overwhelming energy. I feel better now and I don’t feel like a guilty man. I hope you are doing well and I will talk to you later Mr. Soli Deo.

      • nofapsolideo says:

        Hey Mister E.
        Thanks for the comment. It’s great to hear you are doing well!
        I can completely relate to your experiences. Keep up the good work!

  14. Vijay says:

    Hey Soli Deo. I find this post extremely useful and insightful. I am trying to give my PMO for the past 3 months now. I have had many small streak, 3 of them were for about 15 days each. Your post is so good that I have written down some very interesting lines on a sticky and put it on my desk. Thank you so much.

    I have a question for you which I will ask on email sometime.

  15. Finallyransub17 says:

    Hey nofapsolideo, thanks for the awesome blog! I’m planning on starting today. I’m a 19-year-old college student and I’m sick of letting my life be dominated by PMO so thanks for the tips! Just a question, do you ever have wet dreams from not masturbating? I’ve never had one but I’m just curious if they will start after extended periods of no masturbation… Thanks and congrats on finally beating this thing!

    • nofapsolideo says:

      You’re welcome! I think you’ve made a good decision. I certainly have no regrets giving up PMO! To answer your question, you will probably experience wet dreams after a while of not masturbating. My first one was 50 days after stopping, then another 50 days later, and then for a while they were almost weekly. It’s completely natural, and no big deal. Certainly don’t let it bother you! If you’re worried about making a mess, just wear briefs and pajamas to bed. You’ll have to throw your pajama pants into the wash when it happens, but it’ll keep you from having to wash the sheets. If you have questions, or run into any problems, just ask!

      • george says:

        I’m 16 and recently started, it’s been 3 days and I’ve found the hardest time is at night, just before sleeping. Does the urge to tap ever just go away? Or is it like always there in the back of your mind? Keep up the good work & how is it going for you?

      • nofapsolideo says:

        Hey :) Thanks for your comment! It’s not surprising that night time is the hardest for you – that’s a pretty common time to fap, and if you have a habit at that time then your mind will suggest fapping then. Also, when you’re tired and have nothing else to do, like at bedtime, you will be much more tempted than, say, in the morning on the train on the way to school!

        Fortunately the urge to fap does go away after a while. It’s been about 5 months since I last fapped, and over 15 months since the start of my first 6-month streak, so I’ve been not fapping for the vast majority of the last year or more. And I just don’t think about it any more. It gets easier, don’t worry! Sometimes it comes to mind, and I think about how I used to fap, but it’s just a distant idea, and it’s not at all tempting. Sometimes I even think about it and acknowledge that I would probably really enjoy fantasising and fapping. But I know that it would just take me back somewhere that I have fought long and hard to escape from, and somewhere I don’t want to be. So I ignore it, and get on with my day. That’s the sort of control that you can expect to have after a year or less. It’s awesome! :)

        So yeah, it’s going really for me. Although I have it a lot easier now that I got married a month ago! I might write another page on how things have gone since I wrote this blog. A lot has changed, I guess! Let me know if there’s anything more I can do to help! All the best :)

  16. Doofus says:

    Hi. I am fifteen years old and, after a rough Christmas Eve, I have decided to take a different path to solving this problem and salvaging the most wonderful time of the year. I have had this problem for two years. My biggest problem is that when I was about to watch pornography, I would often ask myself why I was doing it and tell myself I would regret it, but my response was almost always “I shouldn’t do it, but I’m doing it anyway!” But now I feel very bad about what I am doing and I know it needs to be stopped. So I will try to go ahead with some of the methods mentioned above and I will absolutely keep a record of my progress over ten days in the manner you mention. I want you to know that even if this method fails miserably, it is a blessing that all of us can have access to such great advice on the internet without much effort and without having to pay. I may come back detailing how well it is going in a few weeks. Thank you so much and have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hey, thanks for the comment! Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I hope your Christmas and New Year were great!

      Your experience sounds so familiar to me: “I would often ask myself why I was doing it and tell myself I would regret it, but my response was almost always “I shouldn’t do it, but I’m doing it anyway!”
      I believe that this happens because when we think about masturbating, weigh up the pros and cons, or tell ourselves we shouldn’t etc. we are dwelling on the possibility of masturbating, and this is arousing us to the point where the good reasons don’t seem good any more. That’s something I talked about on the page ‘How to Master Your Thoughts’, under ‘One example of what not to do’. For me, the solution was not to even get to the stage of thinking about it and telling myself that I shouldn’t. I would instead react immediately to the first sign of arousal or sexual thought, and think about something else. I hope it works for you too!

      Keep up the recording of your progress and setbacks – that’s so valuable. And do let me know how you’ve been going recently!

      • Doofus says:

        I feel terrible. I’ve had three nights in three weeks of staying up past midnight with pornography. What happened was this: after keeping records of my progress for the first week or so, I had a bunch of days in a row where I didn’t feel there was anything worth recording down- for example, I often don’t think about this stuff at all during stressful school days. Any record for those days would just say nothing. And so I either didn’t even think to record anything for those days or was just lazy. And then eventually, it happened. I had a thought, and then, almost as if I was challenging myself to see if I would succumb to it, I typed it into google, found the results, and there went five hours. It happened again a few days later, and it happened again tonight.

        I know some of my main tendencies. With only a few exceptions (like tonight, which was essentially a Saturday because I had no school today and will have none tomorrow due to heavy snow), Saturday nights are by far the worst for me. I’m not looking ahead to school as I am on Sundays, and on Friday nights I am usually tired and doing other things. I don’t know if I can do anything about this, though. I always do it on the iPad which I need to have with me for schoolwork, so getting rid of it isn’t really possible.

        I’m sure that many other people who have issues with porn are like me in this way, but I really don’t have a life. I only have a few hobbies and I can be really anti-social sometimes and I don’t even know why. I hate that about myself.

        I’m just done with this. Sometimes I’m at school and I’m talking to a good friend of mine or one of my favorite teachers and the thought just pops into my head that “he doesn’t know what I do when I am alone at home” or “he has no idea the bad things I do”. And I hate that.

        Thank you so much for your reply. It means a lot that you come back here and check in with the people who are using your advice. I tried for a little while, but I couldn’t get myself to do it consistently, and now I’ve fallen all the way back to the start.

      • nofapsolideo says:

        First of all, you haven’t fallen all the way back to the start. Every failure is a learning experience, and every success is something you can build upon. If you’ve done one week without relapse, then you know it’s possible to do one week. Next time, one week will be much easier.

        A few tips:

        1. Write down how you feel after these three late nights using pornography – make a record of the frustration and disappointment that you’ve expressed in this post. Next time you’re tempted to look up some porn, read how you feel after and remember that it’s just not worth it!

        2. Tighten the rules – don’t let yourself even do a google search for those things. What were you challenging yourself about? To see if you can watch porn but not masturbate? Or to see if you can search for them but not click on the search results? You have to avoid the battles, not fight them. Don’t even think about thinking about doing a google search. You will succumb to it. I know I would.

        3. Keep your journal even when there’s nothing to report. Those are some of the best days! Mine read as follows: “Day 3, nothing to report, no temptation, no struggle. WIN!!!” Celebrate those days and tick them off as success. It will motivate you to keep going, and also, reminding yourself daily of your quest will help keep you focused and lessen the chance that you will forget what you are doing and why.

        Time to get back up and keep going :)

  17. Desert Mulford says:

    I’m tired of it. I’m tired of betraying Jesus. I feel guilty about it and commit not to do it, and then I turn around and spit on him with the rest of the crowd. If all of this fails, there is one source of power that will never run out. I need a stronger will-power to end this, and my Savior can provide it. Thank you so much for the advice. It’s about time that I actually take action to stop this. Up until now I’ve been repeating the cold turkey method. 8 years. I’m ready to say goodbye to the worst 8 years of my life. I can’t go on just living this way. It’s time to change the way I do this. Thanks again :)

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hey, thanks for the comment. You’re welcome :)

      I hear your frustration with this habit – I failed for 7 years! But you’re so right when you say “It’s about time that I actually take action to stop this… It’s time to change the way I do this.”

      I really think that the key is to commit to it 100%. And not just in your heart or mind, telling yourself you’re serious this time, but to start taking concrete action each day. Record your habits, work out why it happens. What time of day, what context? Write down your reasons for quitting and read them every day, no exceptions. Learn to control your thoughts. Write down how you feel after you relapse, and read it when you are tempted. Make it your number one pursuit for a month, and celebrate the victories!

      If you have any questions at all, just ask. And remember that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross paid the price for your sin – past, present and future. Be thankful! :)

  18. Amit says:

    Thanks for advising on this topic in a very different fashion,but one thing I would certainly like to know is what happens in between to hair & skin as I have read on other sites that hair become dense & thicker.The skin also becomes shiny & glowy,has it happened with you as well?

    • nofapsolideo says:

      You’re welcome, Amit :)

      I can’t say anything for certain about the effect on hair and skin. It’s not really something I was watching out for. Interestingly, I have grown a nice beard now, and I never could before. It might be because I quit masturbating, or it might just be because I’m getting older – I’m not sure. Same with skin – I think I get less pimples now, but it might just be coincidence, or I could be imagining it. Sorry I can’t give any definite answer on that question!

  19. calcula says:

    Thanks for your wonderful insights, nofapsolideo. I would like to ask you something though…

    I am currently on hard mode as well, but one thing makes me scratch my head: Does wet dream constitute as a relapse? I am now on day 14, things went smoothly(I tried your method by avoiding the battle altogether), but on day 13, I had a fleeting sexual dream while sleeping, and before I realized it, I ejaculated. Awaken by that, I felt rather depressed over the fact that I seem to have broken my streak.

    Not only do I want to kick the habit of masturbation altogether(I never have the habit of viewing porn, so porn is not really a problem for me), but I seriously want to avoid any wet dreams if possible. Unfortunately it seems like I have zero control over this matter. Do you have any advice to share on this? My takeaway is that no matter how little you dwell on sexual thoughts in the daytime, wet dream will still occur. It seems completely random, and contrary to popular belief, giving little thoughts to sexual matter in the daytime would not reduce its chances of occurrence while sleeping.

    What do you think?

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hey! Thanks for your comment!

      I agree with you – you can’t really control wet dreams. Sorry!

      But don’t worry, your experience is totally normal :) Even when I was completely not thinking about sex, I had wet dreams every now and then. Some guys have more, others have less, and you can’t really predict them or control them.

      At one point they even came weekly for me, when I was dating. I think that spending a lot of time around a girl raised my testosterone, and this led to weekly wet dreams. But even if arousal, being around girls, thinking about sex, etc. might lead to more frequent wet dreams, the occasional one is just going to happen no matter what you do.

      I’ll just repeat here what I said in another reply:

      As far as I know, wet dreams are the body’s way of ‘clearing out the pipes’ when necessary. Wet dreams are natural and good, and they are the reason that it’s not actually necessary to masturbate at all for health reasons. Don’t worry about them at all.

      As far as abstaining from masturbation goes, wet dreams can have two effects, in my experience:

      1. They can satisfy and relax you a bit, and depress your sex drive for a bit afterwards – this can make things easier for you, which is great.

      2. But if the night-time ejaculation is accompanied by a sexual dream that you remember, they can sometimes leave you feeling a bit aroused, if the dream or the sexual image stays in your mind afterwards. This can make it harder! I would recommend staying on guard for the three days after a wet dream, because you might be more easily tempted. Also you might experience the ‘Chaser effect’, where the brain experiences something pleasurable, and so it wants more in the next few days. Just keep watching your thoughts, and refuse to dwell on any sexual images in your mind and you’ll be fine.

      All the best, and well done on getting past two weeks. I reckon the second week is the hardest, so well done!

  20. sid says:

    Posts like this give you strength especially in todaystimes when guys are exposed to so many sexualised images of women and indirect references to fantasies(movies,vids etc).The method used by you is in consonance with that of mine…Basically the lesser the mind focuses on the sense of sexuality, the better are the chances of abstinence. The more the time spent on sight/fantasy/imagination, the faster becomes the loss of life force through formation of semen. The exact point cannot be determined as the whole process is seamless and quick. The best option is to divert the mind at the very moment a sexual signal arises from within, and reinforce it with a thought of dispassion,oblivion and the temporary and repulsive nature of human body (Death and old age etc)

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Thanks for the comment!

      It’s funny how similar our approaches are! I think I prefer to divert the mind to a more positive thought than oblivion or death, but whatever works for you is great :)

  21. sean f. says:

    Thank you so much for posting this man. I have been waging war with my body for years…so…so similar to your story, having to fight off urges and going through that same cycle of success for a couple days then failure over again, feeling overwhelming guilt and just feeling like i cant withstand. I found this story right now as im being tempted and just reading it, my temptation fled. (I looked up “temptation to maturbate” in hope to find help). But anyways, I want to serve God with my body and be free from this seemingly unbreakable chain and your story inspires me to get to give everything I got to push forward and take it 10 days at a time. So thank you once again. God is definitely speaking through you. – one last thing that I thought was awesome was that, I saw the date you published this and it was December 12th (Which is my birthday).

  22. p says:

    First, thank you for writing this and sharing your experience. It is a very well-written and helpful article. I have a couple of questions, the most important (to me) of which is – do you still have trouble ejaculating when having actual sex?

    I have always had trouble with this during sex (didn’t matter with whom, or how great the sex was, or how long since I had fapped – longest I think was 3 days when I wasn’t doing nofap – I still couldn’t come during sex). And I would have to fap after sex to ejaculate. Since so many people are asking you about wet dreams and ejaculation and what those mean to the overall cycle of testosterone build-up and release, I was wondering if my goal of being able to ejaculate during regular sex could be achieved through nofap. In other words, and more simply put, do you ejaculate when having regular (not crazy or often or too spaced apart) sex with women? If your answer is yes, that you are able to ejaculate during regular sex, then I have a couple more questions – the next few questions are all actually tied around the same question, at the bottom of the next paragraph.

    Should guys be worried about ejaculation during sex throwing off or negating the benefits of nofap / noPMO? In other words, how easy is it to return to nofap after having sex, if you do ejaculate during sex – does it totally screw up your cycle, like you are beginning nofap again from day 1, and thus is difficult? Or, because it was during sex and with a regular girl and not masturbation with crazy porn, does that “regular” ejaculation not really affect the mentality towards nofap afterwards? Meaning – have you noticed a clear difference between the recovery periods (of building up testosterone and sex drive) after sexual ejaculation vs. after PMO?

    Thanks again so much for this post – it is truly brilliantly laid out and explained. It is extremely helpful to read this and prioritize actual real world solutions to the nofap difficulties in such normal (non-scientific) terms, ones that I can easily digest and remember. Thank you.

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hey :) Thanks for the comment and the questions!

      I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can, although my situation might be different to other people’s.
      I don’t know if I would have had problems ejaculating during sex back when I was masturbating, because I never tried to have sex! :) I have been single and celibate for most of my life, and never had sex until I got married three months ago. But since I’ve been married, I haven’t had much trouble ejaculating during sex. Sometimes it takes a bit longer, especially if we have already had sex in the last 24 hours or I’m wearing a condom, but I can still orgasm nearly every time. Some positions make it easier to orgasm, and some aren’t very stimulating at all.

      Because I didn’t have sex before I got married, or while I was in the midst of my masturbation habit, I don’t really know if masturbating made it harder for me to orgasm in sex.
      I do know, however, that a lot of guys on the nofap subreddit say they have problems getting erections or problems with delayed ejaculation (DE), but then these problems go away when they stop porn and masturbation.

      So I would definitely recommend trying nofap if you have problems with delayed ejaculation and you have a masturbation habit or porn habit (especially if you need harder or more unusual types of porn to get turned on, or if you masturbate with a really tight hand (deathgrip)). Try nofap for 30 days and see if that helps, or maybe 90 days – that is often recommended.

      Maybe have a look at this page at Your Brain on Porn – it has some other guys’ experiences with DE. Also do a search on the nofap subreddit for ‘DE’ or ‘death grip’ – you’ll find heaps of guys with similar stories.

      As for sex during nofap, again, I don’t have any personal experience, but most of what I have read suggests that avoiding orgasms altogether will speed up your recovery and orgasming during sex will slow it down. But the main thing is to get off porn. A lot of guys continue to have real sex with a partner during their reboot, and it’s not that big a problem. There’s a good article on it here.

      If you do orgasm in sex during your reboot, there is the risk of the ‘Chaser effect’ where people report craving masturbation or porn in the days after they have sex. It’s a bit like the sex drive is reawakened, and you have to put it to sleep again. That can be a difficult phase to endure, but it’s possible. I don’t think it’s the same as starting over again, because there’s a lot of de-wiring of the brain away from porn and masturbating that goes on when you do nofap, and it won’t be instantly rewired when you have real sex. In fact, I’ve discovered that real sex and porn/masturbation are quite different things (I want to write a post on this soon). So if you overcome your addiction to porn and masturbation, real sex won’t necessarily trigger you to relapse into that addiction.

      One other difference I have noticed between porn/masturbation/fantasy and real sex is that real sex is a lot more satisfying, and for a lot longer. I suppose if I had a masturbation/fantasy/porn addiction, the reason I would do it every day or twice a day was because I had an addiction to feed. These days I don’t feel like I need sex any more than twice a week! I don’t feel horny or aroused or find myself fantasising about sex or excited when I see girls on the street. It’s like my sex drive is satisfied all the time, because we have sex every 2-3 days, and that’s enough. Having said that, I know that people who are still trying to reboot often find that real sex makes them crave porn or masturbation in the days after (the chaser effect). This might be because they are still addicted to porn and masturbation. But in my case I was already over my masturbation/fantasy addiction when I started having sex, so I didn’t find that sex made me crave porn or masturbation – it just satisfied me.

      I hope that helps – let me know if I’ve misunderstood your questions, or if you have any more!

      All the best!

  23. Calcula says:

    Hi Nofapsolideo,

    I was the one who asked you about wet dreams under the name Calcula a few posts above- which is also the name I’m currently using as a NoFap subscriber.

    In your blog, you mentioned lots of good strategy to combat urges, but rarely, if at all, on ways to deal with the downs experienced after relapsed.

    I posted this on NoFap, but I really hope to see what views you can share with me on this, so I’d just repost it here:
    ——————–
    Can anyone tell me the exact feeling of losing a long streak? Do you feel suicidal?

    What is the feeling you have right after the sticky substance spilled onto your hand, and you came to your senses? Does the realization hit you hard that: try as you might, you are still the same old pathetic fapping zombie one month, or even years ago? Not only that you have relapsed, but you are doomed to lead such a fapping life as determined by your genes/upbringing?

    What is the feeling of washing a rocket badge/star badge down the drain with your very own hands, literally? Can you still even pick yourself up and try again? Or do you consider unsubscribe from nofap?

    Or worse, do you feel suicidal that you CANNOT CHANGE?

    I sold myself to the devil awhile ago, in exchange for that flitting instant gratification which lasted no more than 5 seconds. I feel almost suicidal right now.

    Does anyone experience this before?
    ——————

    I had just relapsed a while ago, and now I am still stuck in a rut, traumatized.

    Calcula

    • Vijay says:

      Hi Calcula. I think I can answer your question. I have been on the noFap journey for about 7 months now. I have had multiple relapses – sometimes because I was emotionally stressed about some problems in my life and I wanted something to help relieve the stress and sometime because the urge was too strong too handle.

      Now, after every relapse, I felt terrible, especially after a long streak. Then, I chanced upon an article that completely changed my approach. It said that treating every relapse as a complete failure, that is “back to zero” approach, is the worst thing about noFap. We have formed the habit of fapping over many many years and relapse is inevitable during the initial stages. The most important thing is to minimize the number of relapse over a period of time, say a month.

      I took that advice and created a spreadsheet on how many times I fapped per month since I started. The numbers were 12, 11, 10, 9, 6 from September to January. The fact that I was improving was the most important thing!! Here is my advice to you. Create a spreadsheet and log everytime you relapse. Have one column for porn+orgasm and another for orgasm without porn. Have an objective of <5 relapses per month. I have been fap-free for 47 days now. My longest streak ever.

      If you want on advice on how not to relapse, the best and most effective is to keep yourself busy such that you are only home to fall asleep. I am single.

      I may have lot of other suggestions. You can contact me if you like. My reddit ID is vj1986

      • Calcula says:

        Vijay,

        Thanks. Maybe the better approach is to, as you said, treat relapse not a total reset but one instant of setback.

        Embarking on nofap with the perfectionistic mentality that one must never fap again can sometimes backfire, since even one failure can lead everything you had done to naught. Still, I hope I can completely master my urges…

        Thanks anyway for your advice.

      • nofapsolideo says:

        Thanks for your question Calcula!
        I agree with Vijay – when we relapse, we don’t go back to the very beginning – it’s a temporary setback, but not the same as starting over, although using the counter on reddit can sometimes make it look like everything has gone down the drain!
        Regarding your feeling after relapse, it is VERY common for people to feel awful when they relapse. You’re not alone there. But it’s not the worst thing. In truth, you’re getting better every day you go through with nofap, even though you sometimes relapse. And every failure is a chance to learn. Just pick yourself up, and make sure you learn from your mistake. Write down what led to that failure. What thought patterns were going through your head? Were you dwelling on sex? Were there false ideas in your head, like ‘I will feel better after I relapse’? If there are false ideas, make sure you reply to them with truth – ‘I will NOT feel better if I relapse’.

        Keep learning and growing, and if you are a Christian, remember that God loves us even though we are all complete failures!

        All the best :)

  24. Calcula says:

    I notice that if I were frustrated, disappointed, dejected, boring or sad, I tend to give in to the urge to fap more easily, compared to when I am engaged in something meaningful or when I am generally in a state of well-being.

    Is this normal? Can it be generalize to, say, men tend to want sex/fap when they can’t handle the negative emotion inside? Could it be a form of short-term relieving habit?

    • Vijay says:

      I think I can speak to that. It is not normal. You have conditioned yourself to relieve stress by fapping/having sex. I know because I did the same for many, many years until 3 months ago. Then I decided that I am not going to use fapping as a stress reliever. I spent as much time as possible keeping myself busy. After a month, the addiction weaned off. I was to stay at home, be even stressed sometimes, but not want to fap. That’s what happens when an addiction leaves you. It has been one of the biggest achievements in my life.

      • Calcula says:

        Thanks Vijay. I think fapping has become a very unhealthy mechanism for me. Now whenever I feel overwhelmed, I would tell myself I need to take break from it all, but that doesn’t mean fapping.

      • nofapsolideo says:

        Calcula, I think your experiences are ‘normal’ in that a lot of guys experience the same thing. It’s VERY common, so don’t feel like you’re unusual!

        But Vijay is absolutely right in that it doesn’t have to be like that. You can definitely break out of the habit of turning to fapping when you’re down. In fact, this is something you have to learn, because otherwise you will just fail everytime life gets hard, which it does regularly, right? :)

        Make sure that when you’re feeling down, and your brain suggests fapping to make you feel better, you turn your mind away from fapping and don’t even consider it for a moment. Remind yourself that it won’t actually make you feel better after. Most likely you’ll just feel worse. And think of other things to help you feel better. Go out for a walk, do some exercise, listen to some music, call a friend, get some takeaway and watch a movie, or whatever :)

  25. IPCPCP says:

    Hey, i’m bout to start this, mostly as a test of willpower. Your method seems great and the way you wrote the article and answered every comment is truly an inspiration to me! I’m 17 by the way.
    I’ll try out ten days now, and i’ll check back in after. You rock.

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Thanks for the comment :) Do let me know how you go, and if you have any new insights or thoughts that we can learn from. Great email address btw :)

      • IPCPCP says:

        Hey! So i’m ten days in, and doing great! Yeah I’ve had that adress since i was ten :D
        So i didn’t mention i have a girlfriend (of nine months) and that whenever we got it on, i somehow lost my erection whenever things got serious (somehow the condom would always end up killing said erection and without is a very bad idea).
        Anyway we had an encounter on day six, and it finally worked! So that’s very nice!
        Obviously it isn’t always easy, it’s a habit i’ve had for very long and it’s been dying hard. But since that happy experience, whenever i feel that the urge is too strong to just ignore it i tell myself how sad we’d be if i got back to square one and then i resist it. At this point i already have too much to lose, i.ve just been feeling more alive, alert, confident and just happier recently and i don’t wanna forsake all that for a few seconds of pleasure. Hardest times are at night before i sleep and lazy days at home. Stay busy people!
        And right now it seems to be getting better from day to day, so i’m very happy that i started this, which i have to thank you for! Gonna try another ten now,and keep that streak going :D
        So i’ll check back in another ten days to let you know how i’m going and if i noticed any interesting things. Thanks for inspiring me !

      • nofapsolideo says:

        Hey, sorry I didn’t reply to this earlier! I’ve been a bit too busy lately :(

        It’s great to hear that some of your problems are getting better. And great that you’re still going strong after 30 days. Keep reminding yourself of the benefits, and keep reminding yourself of how crap it was before. That always motivates me :)

        And you’re welcome for the inspiration – Now you’re inspiring me :)

  26. Number-10-ox says:

    Hey. That’s a nice article you wrote there!
    I think it is a big point, just to keep in mind, that it is likely to relapse.
    So your stage 1 process is a really nice approach.
    Actually, I’m still not sure if nofap is my target at all.
    No more porn is!
    That nofap is my way to reset my mind.
    But since this was hard in the past (hard mode), i quit running head first at a concrete wall and actually give myself the comission to fail.
    That’s what you’ve mentioned too.
    We gotta be easy on that. Shackles tightened up too hard will cut our flesh.
    I hear people mention (myself included), ooooh, I relapsed after so many days.
    Nah that’s a back breaking feeling! I know. We gotta learn, each and every successful day is outweighing a failure (20 days without, then relapse one time and then get on no fap again is 20 days of victorious learning and improvement).
    We’re dealing with very strong forces here. So be easy with yourself.
    Don’t get me wrong: commit to it 100%. But when you can’t stand it, and you went back, FORGIVE yourself and keep your mind on every successful time and day you had. Then go on with nofap.
    An I-have-to-succeed-in-everything-i-do-a-hundred-percent-at-first-try is not working. It never does. Give yourself a freedom to fail. But never use this as an excuse!

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hey, thanks for the comment!

      You’ve got some good points there. As I mentioned in my story, in the beginning I gave myself permission to masturbate, so long as I didn’t use any porn or any of the fantasies I was trying to get away from, so yeah, it’s not really about masturbating – it’s more about porn.
      And you’re totally right about celebrating success rather than beating ourselves up about failure. 20 days is a great achievement, and it should give confidence that you can do it again. I’d say we should learn from failures, not get depressed by them. Sometimes when we feel depressed or upset by failure, it just leads us to repeated failure, and stops us from getting back on nofap straight away.”

  27. Waschbar says:

    Been reading your posts for awhile tonight. Quite a revelation, I’ve never seen any discussion like this before, am completely new to it! So far, I’m reading a lot about diverting one’s focus from the sexual thought on to something else, as soon as you first reflect and realize what you’re thinking about. I will keep reading of course, but I do wonder about this – isn’t there some sure-fire method, less dependent on mental discipline, but perhaps more “physical”, of stopping that thought dead in its tracks? Not the proverbial “cold shower” (who could go to that trouble?), but some other practical method? A cold washrag on the face, drinking something, ten jumping jacks, pinching oneself, whatever?

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hey! Thanks for the comment. And great question.

      I’ve definitely heard of people who have done things that you’re suggesting. I agree with you that a cold shower is a major inconvenience, but some people I have heard of put a rubber band around their wrist and slap themselves with it when they find themselves thinking about sex or porn or whatever. That could work.
      Other people I’ve heard of do push-ups, because they find exercise helps. Jumping jacks could be just as good. My personal problem with exercise as a solution is, if I’m in the library, and my mind starts to wander, I’d have to get up and go outside and find somewhere I could do pushups or jumping jacks where people wouldn’t stare at me. It sounds like almost as much trouble as a cold shower! Also I’m really lazy :)

      But I reckon you should try any or all of those things you’ve suggested, because they have worked for others. I guess for me, since I’m such an ‘in my head’ person, the mental method really works for me. But we’re all different, and for people who are more physical than I am, I think physical solutions might be much better – so go for it!

      • Waschbar says:

        Done hardmode for a week now, seems almost too easy, I’m waiting for a rough spot to happen. But the idea of instantly shutting down the thought as soon as it’s recognized is very helpful. But I’ve not really shut down every such thought, at least I haven’t stopped admiring women’s bodies etc. – just when I’ve been in a dangerous context (alone at home etc) when I might actually act on it. You know what – I think one reason I have done the PMO in the past is to prove my manhood to myself in a way. But there is no need for that – just because one doesn’t indulge such thoughts doesn’t make one any less of a man. No worries, when the proper time comes everything will still work like it should! In fact – I think life without PMO is a much more “normal” existence.

      • nofapsolideo says:

        Hey, thanks for the comment! I’m glad to hear that your doing so well. I agree that life without PMO is a more “normal” existence. But It’s interesting how people have different ideas of manhood. For some it’s sexual expression. For others, self-control is true attainment. I tend towards the latter view myself :)

  28. IPCPCP says:

    Hey! It’s been exactly a month, still going strong :D
    Haven’t felt this good in a while!

  29. Ibrahim says:

    Similiar story man. I’ve been trying to stop for 4 years. And when i stop for 7 days or so i have some dreams but without getting wet which aroused me alot and i would fail again. But then i realised its caused from constant sex fantasy thoughts through the day. Now iam immedaitely stopping sex thoughts if they come to my mind. And getting myself busy. Thanks

    • nofapsolideo says:

      You’re welcome! I sure hope this strategy helps you like it helped me. Make sure you keep a record of how you go – keep measuring and adjusting your behaviour until you succeed.

  30. mikaelson says:

    Hi, I have just seen your article.

    My intention to quit PMO was always to go cold turkey – just like you in the beginning. And just like I struggled with it more and more because it built up more and more tension.

    Starting today I am going to try your 2 – stages – mode. And we see how it goes.

    Thank you for this great inspiration.

    • nofapsolideo says:

      You’re welcome. I really hope it works for you too. For me it was a great help to learn to control my thoughts while letting my body release regularly. Then if you want you can try to control the body too – it’s a lot easier once you know how to control your thoughts! But even if you never get past stage one, you will have gotten control over porn and unwanted fantasy, which is a huge step in itself :) All the best! Let me know if you have any questions!

  31. mg23 says:

    It’s weird, because I’m on day 53, and I’m having the hardest time yet. The first couple weeks are supposed to be the toughest, and those were a breeze for me. But it seems like my heightened confidence has leveled off, and I’m having sexual thoughts all the time. I’m not going to give in, but it’s been tough. Any suggestions? Thanks

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hey, thanks for the comment, and congratulations on doing so well!

      I’m not sure why it’s getting harder for you at around 2 months, to be honest. But I had what might eb a similar experience, where a lot of the benefits, like increased confidence, etc., did wear off after a while. Things became more normal, and less exciting, and they still are today. So it might be that your motivation is flagging, since you’re now used to nofap, and it’s less of a challenge, and hence less rewarding.

      The fact that you can go 53+ days tells me that you have the ability or the technique. That’s something to be thankful for. But in my personal experience, there are two things required: technique and motivation. I used to be really motivated (or desperate), but couldn’t master the technique. Then I learned the technique detailed in this blog and things were great! Then after a while I got lazy, and a lack of motivation tripped me up – I had the ability to keep myself away from bad habits, but I just didn’t care that much.

      So I don’t know if this is you, but maybe you need to work on getting your motivation back up? Do you remember what it was like in the past when you were unable to quit the habit? How did you feel? Why did you want to give it up in the first place? Read any journal entries that you made when you were really struggling, and remind yourself how lucky you are to finally be in control! Or whatever – these are just some ideas. Ultimately it’s up to you to make your own decisions, but I can tell you, I’ve had a masturbation habit, and I’ve been without. And I’ve been back and forth between the two, and I have no doubt in my own mind that being without masturbation is heaps better. That’s all the motivation that I need these days – I’m just better off without it!
      Thanks for the comment, and I wish I could be more help! :(

  32. Calcula says:

    I am ashamed to say that, in a moment of distress, I gave in to my urges and fapped in attempt to numb my stress. But I’m still glad that I didn’t watch any porn. In fact, I have been porn free for around a year.

    I will definitely not binge, as I view it as a temporary setback, instead of a permanent failure on my part. Since no porn is involved, the damage is not as severe, and I can be back on track pretty soon.

    Lesson learnt: fapping, or any sort of immediate gratification, doesn’t make life’s troubles go away. The only way is to face them head-on.

    I’ll move on and continue to improve myself. Most importantly, I vow not to use fapping again as a means to numb myself and will be extra vigilant during times of distress or boredom.

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Yeah, don’t get too down on yourself – we all fail now and then. I relapsed at least twice in the last couple of years since figuring all this out, but the important thing is to always get back up, and to learn from it! I’m really encouraged to see that you’re looking to learn from it. Make sure you remember that it doesn’t really work as a stress reliever, or make you feel better afterwards. Then next time when you’re tempted, you’ll be able to look back and remember that it’s not worth it. You got this! :)

  33. nofappinginspace says:

    I saw this article from a link on the NoFap subreddit.

    I really enjoyed the intellectual approach you took. It’s always easier to fight “the enemy” when you understand what you are fighting against. I like how you broke everything down and sought to understand what was going on in your body so you could better employ strategies to help you succeed. Congratulations on your accomplishments!

  34. hemu says:

    dude,I have stopped watching porn,but I can’t control my arousal after looking at magazines and other pics. Can you tell my how to deal with those urges.

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hey, thanks for the comment!

      Well done on stopping watching porn. That’s a huge step!
      As for your question, the first thing I’d say is, if you’re deliberately looking at magazines or other pics, try not to. That just makes things way harder. Avoid looking at those sort of things by accident too, if you can.
      Having said that, sometimes you get triggered by seeing something accidentally, and it can be hard to get your mind off it.
      Like I wrote in the blog, what worked for me was always turning my mind to something else right away. Often I’d think about whatever interesting thing I was thinking about that day, like a movie I just saw, or a game I’m playing. Maybe think about what you need to do later in the day – make sure everything’s planned. Or think about assignments that you have to complete for school or work. I always found that I could find something interesting to think about, and so I could ignore the sexual thought.
      Also, don’t panic. Arousal is just a temporary chemical state in your body. You’re in control of it. If you keep your mind off of sex, arousal will subside really quickly, like in 20 mins. Realise that arousal is not permanent, and it’s not something to be afraid of.

      Well, that’s what worked for me. Some other suggestions for beating urges that I have heard are: Cold showers, pushups or other exercises. Actually, here’s one I just thought of, call your mum or dad or go out and talk to them if you still live with them. Or call a mate. They’ll appreciate the talk, and I reckon you won’t be aroused after that :)

  35. Shaun says:

    hey man, my friends and I have seen counsellors/psychologists for advice in breaking this masturbatory addiction in the last ten years. each time we’ve come away with the same conclusion that it’s a part of life and impossible to overcome until you start having regular sex.

    I for one can identify with almost every single detail you’ve shared (spent a whole morning scouring this wonderful blog of yours!)- I’ve for years been convinced about the unavoidability of the ‘build up’ and the associated discomfort and sexual tension that caused me to yield every 3 days for the past 11 years!

    However, with the benefit of knowledge (all kudos to you!), ive actually realised its been possible to ride the urges – and the endorphin highs out- and no! you won’t explode or go mad. the urges will come, and they’ll dissipate! it’s been 14 days (first time in 11 years!) – amen to that!

    thanks for taking the time to write this man – praise the Lord!

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hey, thanks for the comment!

      It looks like we have had very similar struggles over the last 11-12 years :) As you probably read in the blog, I also used to think that it was impossible to go any more than ten days, and used to relapse every 2-3 days.

      Anyway, I discovered that it is possible :) as have you! Well done on the 14 days – once you see that it’s possible, there’s no stopping you.

      But no kudos to me – all glory to God :)

  36. stepanlol says:

    This post resonates with me so much. I too found masturbation at the age of 19 years old. I was watching porn then it accidentally came. My life has become one of addiction since that first euphoric feeling; *thinking about it*… damn I wish I still didn’t know what ejaculation was

    I am 22 now and I have tried stopping to masturbate for 3 years now; no success. I have read tons of articles, went to forums, but nothing has helped. I even tried stopping to go on these forums to not think about masturbation (around 4 months in now), but I still can’t do it on my own. The longest I have ever reached is 18 days… in these 3 years… :(

    So I googled “yourbrainrebalanced alternative” to get some advice (since I blocked every site that makes me think about masturbation YBOP, reddit, YBR, etc.) and I found your post xD.

    This addiction is getting into my life. I hate it. I can’t even focus on my studies. If I don’t masturbate, I can’t study because my whole soul aches to the bottom of me (and this lasts several days). I don’t know what it is but my whole soul is mentally looking for sex.
    However, when I do masturbate (with whatever image I find, usually naked lady pictures since I blocked porn from my computer), then all the tension is released and I can go back to focus on my studies (exactly the same feelings that you were describing).

    Today was the day I realized I was totally hooked. Therefore, I will start at stage 1 since it has been 3 years now with now real success.

    I really think this will work, since I will be purposefully letting myself masturbate whenever I want, not restraining myself, and this will take the “high” out of masturbation.

    I will keep your blog as a bookmark and I promise I will update you when I reach 20 days. I don’t know when that will be and how much of these stage 1 masturbation urges I will be having, but I promise I will :)

    Thank you for this post by the way. It makes it 100% more easier to know that someone else, who started masturbating at 19 years old like me, made it :D , and I totally agree with the path that you took. I will try it and see what happens. Thank you again.

    • nofapsolideo says:

      You are welcome!

      Thanks heaps for the comment. I want to encourage you that it is possible. It’s been 2 years for me now since I first discovered the technique in my blog, and I’ve only relapsed maybe three times. And those times were all because I stopped caring about it, and decided that I wanted to. It was a failure of motivation, and bad decisions, rather than feeling like I couldn’t control it.

      Do please let me know how you go with stage 1, and whether it takes the angst and struggle and highs and lows out of it. Hopefully, like me, you’ll be able to eliminate porn and unhealthy fantasies, and the whole thing will become a bit of a non-issue. Let me know how it goes :)

      All the best, brother!

  37. finlib says:

    Hi nofapslideo,

    Very interesting article and i appreciate your success. I read with attention your notes about how to not even think about fapping and the techniques you used to “turn away immediately”, but in all those notes I didn’t understood how do you do it specifically, for example when you have a endorphins surge from a image or thought, that appeared in you mind, out of the blue or when you were distracted and could not avoid that surge, what do you do specifically? At that precise moment, when the surge is already there, disabling your neocortex? Do you force you mind thinking about something else? (In this moment is very difficult if not impossible to think about something else). Im telling this because at the same moment when you have the endorphins surge, in my experience, it instantly disables your thinking, neocortex if you will. I found that at this stage, invoking tough process is almost impossible, or perhaps the approach is not the correct one, so i was wondering what specifically do you do at this stage if you are “disabled”? Do you make a physical action? Do you start to talk to yourself to distract your self? Can you be more specific? Like for example the last burst of surge you had, what did you do to return to initial stage of neutrality?

    Thanks,
    FinLib

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hi, thanks for the question, I’ll try my best to answer it :)

      In my experience, if I reacted the instant that I realised that my mind was touching on sexual thoughts, and there was a rush of endorphins in my chest, then I was able to turn my mind to think about something else without too much trouble.

      It might be important that I did it the very instant that my mind went to a sexual thought, so that the arousal was limited to the very initial stages. This makes it easier. Later on in the arousal process it could be more difficult. Having said that, when I was more experienced, more practised and more confident that arousal would subside, I did manage to back down from a heightened state of arousal by thinking about something else. So it is possible regardless of the level of arousal, even though at the beginning it might be worth making sure you’re turning your mind away the very instant that you think about sex.

      I think that this might be the key to your question. At the initial stages, when the brain just starts thinking about sex, I don’t think there is enough endorphins to shut down the rational parts of the brain just yet. You should be able to switch to thinking about something else. That was my experience, anyway, though we are all different!

      So what I would do was turn my mind to something else – usually some project or interesting idea that I was thinking about, or perhaps thinking about the things I had to do that day, or what I would do next in my day. Sometimes I would just think about whatever I was thinking about before – I think I described in my blog how I would sometimes retrace my train of thought back to the last interesting thing that I was thinking about.

      I didn’t really do anything physical. It’s more like when I touch on a sexual thought, my brain just goes ‘Woahhhh!’ and I back away, mentally. A bit like when you touch the antennae of a snail and they recoil :)
      One of the difficult things about this is that we are all different, and our minds work in different ways. For some people, physical things are really helpful. One suggestion I heard from a guy was that he opens his eyes really wide, sort of as a way of widening the focus and taking in the world around him, rather than focussing on the sexual thought. You could try that. Another thing I heard was that some guys imagine a big, red ‘X’ which signals not to go there. Or any of the things that you suggested sound good too – just because I back off and distract myself mentally, doesn’t mean you can’t use physical means.

      To be as specific as I can, in my mind, when I sense a sexual thought, or my mind goes somewhere I don’t want it to, my mind just says: “Woah, don’t go there, think about something else!”. And then I fish around quickly for something else to think about. You could even say this line to yourself by moving your lips silently, or just in your mind. The key is to realise that once you start thinking about other things, the arousal will naturally subside over 15-30 minutes. Having that confidence that arousal is not permanent or in control is what really helps.

      Anyway, I’m not sure if I’ve been much help, but that’s all I can think of. Let me know if I’ve missed your question, or if there’s anything else you want to ask. And keep at it – I’m sure you’ll be able to work out what works for you.

      Thanks for the comment!

  38. finlib says:

    Thank´s for you answer nofapsolideo, in fact for me the central problem is always the endorphins spike that disables the determination you have at the moment. For example, you can even make a commitment for yourself not to repeat it ever again, and you even could be 100% certain that you will not do it, and i also experienced that on a certain day or hour that you are 100% sure you will not do it, but suddenly if that thought or idea comes and generates an arousal spike, everything you had in mind about not doing it, vanishes. But has you said, the neocortex is not disabled, if it was we could not even initiate voluntary actions under the “influence”. So i think the key to nofap, is to have the ability to recognize that spike, and at the same time, you having the spike, to be separated from it somehow, being able to think, even if the spike arousal is at the background, this is the ability that i think could save the moment.

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Yeah, I totally know what you mean about all of your determination and commitment going out the window!
      You may be onto something with your idea about recognizing the spike and yet being detached or separated from it. I do know that when I feel the burst of arousal, I often find myself ‘looking down on it from above’ as it were. It’s important to rise above it, and not let it engulf you. I think it helps to recognise the feeling, and to label it as ‘endorphins/hormones’, which means that it is something separate to you.
      Also, at the risk of repeating myself, the earlier you catch it, the better :)
      Thanks for the comment!

  39. Runz says:

    Section B, #3- Instantly Turning the Mind Away From Any Sexual Thought… Is the key to NOFAP

  40. Runz says:

    Also, this article makes the important point that immersing yourself in sexual fantasies in your head is just as damaging as immersing yourself in internet porn.

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Thanks for you comments! I appreciate it. I have to agree that in my life, mental fantasies were more damaging than internet porn. I speculate that it might be different for different people – some of us are more of the daydreaming type :)

  41. Martin Trnkocy says:

    Hi Man!
    I am 25 years old Christian male and it has been a huge blessing for me to find your blog last week. I am glad to know that you are in Christ too!
    Thanks to your tips and hints, I first time in my life know, what this verse in practice means: and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ 2 Cor. 10:5

    Even though, up until this very day I have been reading Bible every day mornings and evenings and crying to God why I am not delivered, I now can see why – because I have always allowed my thought to take take action – understanding the endocrinology of this addiction and its effects on the body, really makes difference. I used to be in the new age, so I was kind of skeptical about fighting with my mind etc.

    The point is – I am set free since I believe in God honestly – at least in the last couple of months I never felt guilty – even thought I did MOP roughly twice a week. But I always felt that I let my mind to decide what she likes – God can not set us free from something we decide to continue to like – this is my impression since I read your post.

    Moreover I understand what John Bevere meant by restraining our minds and exposure to this evil in his video – thanks your blog too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KfSz1Razks&spfreload=10 = do you know him too?

    Currently I am doing the phase A, which you recommends. I feel completely in the control – not letting any thought to do what they want – built virtual castle in my head on its walls I placed verses from the Bible so that I can not get in (not having the right, possibility to sin):)).There is still some fear of not getting free (even though we are in Christ), but I believe the hope precedes the fear.

    Btw. I plan to start similar blog in my native language for my people too, since there is no similar hope for my country people. In case you are reading this, I beg your pardon for my English mistakes which might occurred – my native language is Slovak, English only learnt.

    Looking forward to your replay

    Be blessed indeed!
    God uses you mighty :)

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hi, thanks so much for the comment! It’s really encouraging to hear from other Christians around the world :)

      I hope you’ll keep me updated – I would like to know you go.
      I totally agree that we need to do our part too, in order to get rid of this habit. We can pray, and that is essential, but we also need to co-operate and continue to turn our minds away from unhelpful thoughts.
      Anyway, don’t fear. There is no need to fear, and it just makes things harder anyway :) Have confidence in God and you will be set free!

  42. Finlib says:

    Im curious in how long did you need to be in easymode to “dissociate” from porn, also was you easy mode two days interval, or more? And when did you knew you were prepared to go to hard mode?

    Thank you,
    Finlib

    • nofapsolideo says:

      Hey, thanks for the questions!

      I’m not really sure how long it took me masturbating to plain, vanilla fantasy to dissociate from porn, or in my case, exciting/weird fantasy. I assume that it’s a continuum, and that you progressively dissociate, and become less and less wired to that stuff. So there’s probably no discrete point where you are completely dissociated, but rather it’s a case of the longer you go, the less you associate sexual pleasure and arousal with those things. I did the easy mode (just masturbating to a very plain fantasy of a female body) for two months before I switched to no masturbation at all, and that worked for me. But I don’t know if I could claim that at that point I was completely unhooked from porn or weird fantasy. One thing that might be worth mentioning is that even today, two years later, and after 11 months of marriage and good sex, if I think about porn or some of the old sexual fantasies, or if I even think about the idea of watching porn or masturbating to the old sexual fantasies, I can still feel the excitement and interest surging in my chest right away. It may be something that I never completely lose the potential to be excited by. This might sound depressing, but it doesn’t really bother me at all. I know that I am in control of what I think about, I know that I never want to go back there again, and I have trained my mind to never go there, so I don’t really care that the ‘potential’ is still there to get excited by that stuff.

      The answer to your next question is yes, I think it was about two days interval between masturbating, on average, when I was doing the easy mode. Sometimes it was more like 3 or 4 days, because I was not so interested in it – it all became a bit boring and routine. Some days I just wouldn’t bother, because I knew I could just do it tomorrow.

      I’m not sure if I really ‘knew’ that I was ready to go to hard mode after two months of easy mode, but I think at that time I just thought I would try to go 10 days, to see if I would experience the surge of testosterone that they say happens on the seventh day. Perhaps after two months I was feeling pretty relaxed about it all, and so I had some confidence, or perhaps I found myself going several days without masturbating, simply because it wasn’t so exciting, and so I thought, ‘I’m sure I can extend it to ten days’. Or perhaps that was the time when I first heard about the testosterone spike on day 7, and so I thought I would experiment to see if it happened to me. I don’t remember exactly, sorry. I’d say wait until you get into a routine and the whole easy-mode masturbating thing becomes a bit boring – at that stage you’re probably ready to try for ten days, see how it goes, and repeat :)

      Anyway, I hope that helps – let me know if you have any more questions.

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