Stop. Hear me out.
As a sceptic, I take everything with a pinch of salt, especially when it comes to claims that refraining from bangin’ one out will grant you superpowers in the form of increased confidence, focus, drive, improved baseline of mood and several other benefits.
After coming across several self help ‘gurus’ on YouTube that essentially make a living by providing real, practical advice to improve your life, I couldn’t ignore the constant mention of No fap. Perhaps there was something to it.
Turns out there’s a whole community dedicated to this movement; the Nofap community.
There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence within this community. Many members share their experience and the rewards they’ve reaped from giving up masturbation or porn.
There may be a placebo effect at play, meaning that people join the community expecting a certain outcome and make it happen. However, that in itself is still something.
The Argument For No Fap.
Your brain does not know the difference between knocking one out and actually having real sex. So every time you do knock one out, there’s a huge surge of dopamine, you’re filled with euphoria and your brain thinks you’ve fulfilled your biological purpose. This being the case, what’s the point in doing anything else? This is where it’s argued that No Fap increases drive and motivation.
The idea is this – When you consistently ignore your urge to masturbate, you’re 1) Not tapping in to your dopamine receptors and 2) Building mental resilience as you’re not giving in to temptation. This carries over in to other aspects in your life – Finishing a project, or me even finishing this article.
Furthermore, the reports of increased confidence, social anxiety and ability to hold eye contact are all frequent reported benefits from No Fap advocates.
Lastly, reports of increased female attraction are common. Whether this is pheromones at play or perhaps the ‘glow’ of skin that some report, is not clear. But from an evolutionary perspective it is plausible logic: You’re retaining your semen which contains nutrients and minerals. If you’re frequently ejaculating, then the body has to obviously replenish your sperm – this takes energy and nutrients from elsewhere in the body, thus your skin isn’t as subtle and plump aka ‘The glow’.
This may sound all woo-woo or pseudoscience, but there’s no denying the extensive research on dopamine and your overall state of general well being. Given that masturbation acts on this dopamine pathway, there’s something to it. Take in to consideration that masturbating and porn typically go hand in hand, then that’s a compounding negative effect to your dopamine receptors.
A study conducted by PhD scientist, found there’s a significant negativity association between reported pornography hours per week and grey matter volume, especially in the frontal cortex. Meaning jacking off makes your frontal cortex smaller. The frontal cortex is responsible for cognitive control when it comes to urges and impulses, motivation, abstract thinking, problem solving and as whole, your higher-thinking.
The Come Down: Dopamine Deficiency
Sexual stimuli is the most dopamine inducing activity that you can naturally experience. While enjoying pornography, your dopamine levels rise to around 200% of what is normal.
These abnormal levels of dopamine fuck with your mood.
The surge in dopamine causes some dopamine receptors to get shut down and causes nerve cells to eventually decline because they cannot keep up with the abnormal levels of that chemical. So they lose sensitivity to it and eventually die out. That decline in nerve cells has been labelled by different studies as hypo frontality or desensitization.
Watching porn for extended periods of time, keeping your dopamine level so artificially high tricks our brains into thinking this is the new ‘normal’.
Since our bodies are constantly trying to achieve homeostasis, these consistently high levels of dopamine create plastic changes to the brain, desensitizing neurons so that they are less affected by it and decreasing the number of receptors available.
How Does This Impact Your Life?
Looking at an extreme case of weak dopamine receptors, In 1954, James Olds and Peter Milner of McGill University published a study where they artificially stimulated the dopamine receptors of rats so much that they couldn’t enjoy anything except the stimulation given by the scientists. They didn’t even want to eat anymore — leading to death by starvation. Obviously we’re not the same as rats and it’s an extreme given the parameters of the experiment, but dopamine is dopamine.
It should be no surprise then, that in humans dopamine deficiency leads to:
· Attention deficit
· Lack of motivation
· Low libido
· Social anxiety
you can enjoy ecstasy right now with porn, why would you spend months and years going to the gym, practicing new skills and in general getting your life on track and reap the pleasure then?
Achieving an orgasm through masturbation is effortless. You open up your laptop and in a few mouse clicks you can easily get your dopamine fix via pixels on a screen.
Porn does not require emotional intelligence. Porn does not require communication with another human being. Porn is easy.
There is difference between masturbating with and without the use of porn, but the principle of minimising activities that act on dopamine is always a good way to ensure a good, consistent base line level of mood.
No Fap And Social Anxiety
On the extreme, since fapping every day acts on dopamine and overstimulates them, you don’t feel the need to socially interact;You don’t develop anxiety, you just don’t want to interact with others because your body knows fapping gives you high dopamine shot for low effort. But the more you fap, the more those receptors numb down and you start to need more and more often to feel the same high you are used to. And that’s the Addiction that can become harmful.
The problem is that while your receptors numbed down, any other action that releases Dopamine for your body like social interaction or doing sports or eating great food etc. doesn’t feel that good anymore.
It was November when I decided to give it a go. Coincidentally, there’s actually a challenge called ‘No Nut November’, so I figured why not try it myself and keep a note of how I felt for the next 30 days. Spoiler alert: You get horny as fuck.
Day 1- 4 The first few days were relatively easy. No super powers so far. Just temptation of old habits.
DAY 5 – 10 This is where I began to notice things – Naturally waking up earlier, Felt awake much quicker, didn’t feel the need for coffee as energy throughout the day was stable; Not high, but stable.
This may be coincidental with the improved energy, but noticed I walked with a bit more ‘purpose’. I always make sure to walk keep shoulders back, head high but it was even more pronounced. Again probably coincidental.
DAY 11 – 21 This was the hardest part. Just as I thought I was ‘flatlining’, I was waking up super early with morning wood of the gods. The urges at this point were high, but you learn to deal with it and learn that it’ll pass, just like a wave.
Definitely felt the ‘benefits’ here:
· Found myself flirting even more with girls, even if I didn’t find them that physically attractive.
· Music sounded even better. Probably due to higher serotonin as result of not masturbating (acts on the dopamine receptors).
· Attention span increased. I was less distracted and found more joy out of previous ‘tedious tasks’. Reading books for example, was more interesting.
· General mood was better. Even though I was mad busy, never felt too overwhelmed.
The sense of accomplishment of not giving in to the urges was almost stoic-like – not being dependent on a behaviour/habit to chase false pleasure.
Day 22 – 30 Flatlined. Although, I couldn’t pin point exactly what felt had gone, I just didn’t feel as ‘good’ as the previous weeks. But perhaps I’d just gotten used to it and it was the new base line.
For me NoFap = Self Discipline; Self Discipline = Self Respect; Self Respect = Self Love. It’s all about that self love man.
Again, no science behind this but is also logical – Blowing your load won’t set you back to square one. Rather think of it as one bad day of screwing up your diet, or even several – you won’t get fat overnight. The same principle is argued with No fap. The benefits you may potentially reap won’t be wiped out should you give in to temptation or just fancy a cheeky wank. So it’s more sustainable to practice no fap for weeks at a time, especially if you feel as though you’re frying dopamine levels with all of the social media, video games, drugs etc nowadays.
There’s definitely something to this. There’s a reason this has become a movement. It’s not just incels collectively coming together, or pseudoscience. Eastern cultures for thousands of years practiced this before it was coined No fap, believing that semen was the life force of life, and by retaining you would improve your vitality and vigour. Again, probably exaggerated… but not completely, especially after my own personal experience.
Ultimately, extremes in anything never yield good results. So it comes down to moderation. If you’re jacking off every day or most days of the week, then you’ll likely benefit. There’s no harm in trying… Apart from potentially being charged with rape because you wanna fuck every girl you see.
Should You Try It?
Absolutely. Fuck what your friends may say about you, do it for yourself. There’s no real reason not to. At least try it for a few weeks and see how you go.
Here’s some guidelines:
– No porn at all. Not even glancing at it. You’re only teasing yourself and will be still tapping in to your dopamine receptors by doing so.
– Speaking to girls makes it much easier. You’d think it would be quite the opposite, but having that human interaction with a girl is almost as if you’re keeping the sexual frustration at bay.
– You can still pull, If you’re in to one night stands. Since you’re going through the effort to get them back to yours rather than instead relying on low effort, high reward behavior.
– The temptation will be ridiculous after a week or so, use this energy/frustration towards something useful – go for a run, clean the house, errands etc.
– The argument of ‘you can’t focus’ known as ‘blue balls’. Is exactly why you SHOULD be doing it. Don’t see it as a distraction, see it as an opportunity to bear with your urge; to control, not let it control you. It’ll pass and you’ll feel good about not giving in to quick, easy pleasure.
If you want to learn more about, then check the forums. I’ll be posting some useful links. I know this was a pretty taboo subject but just try it before you knock it.