People had always wondered (with me included) on How to Succeed in NoFap.
Because chances are that if you are like any other guy that has tried the NoFap challenge at a point, you would have realized like most of us that it is harder than it is advertised.
What you will learn
First things first; What is NoFap
If you are new to the subject of Nofap, then let’s take a quick detour and explain what the term means.
NoFap is a term that is used to denote staying off porn and masturbation for a given period of time.
The term Nofap comes from the internet slang word fap which is an internet word for male masturbation to pornography.
The Nofap community was started by Alexander Rhodes who challenged a group of friends to stay off porn and masturbation for an extended period of time.
The life-changing difference and increase in the quality of life they noticed prompted some of them to continue the practice and this led to the birth of the subreddit forum known as NoFap on the 20th of June 2011 which now has up to 1,000,000 members as of the time of writing this.
Also, there is a website that is dedicated to the knowledge of everything Nofap which also comprises a forum where members (aside from the subreddit) share their experiences on their Nofap challenges.
This subject of NoFap accrued much popularity when Gary Wilson of yourbrainonporn gave a TED talk titled “the great porn experiment” on the issue of porn addiction.
His presentation was backed by scientific research and surveys of real-life people. All were substantiating the fact that internet pornography can actually become a viable clinical addiction.
This website is filled with scientific studies proofing that internet pornography can indeed lead to a form of addiction. And just like any other addiction, it has a negative effect on the well-being of the individual that has become addicted to it.
When the period of time of abstinence from internet porn and or masturbation is completed, the brain is rewired to the way it was in the pre-porn days, and doing this is known as rebooting. Think of it as formatting your hard drive and rebooting it again.
The benefits of Nofap that have been reported all around the world, by those that have tried it have been phenomenal. Ranging from curing Erectile Dysfunction, increased sexual libido, increased happiness, more focus, more motivation to “go get it” and the list goes on and on. If you want comprehensive reports on the health benefits of doing Nofap, please go here.
The Modes of Nofap
If one were to be interested in undergoing the Nofap challenge, there are different modes that can be tried. Modes are determined by the choice of the individual, the level of addiction and the reason for doing nofap.
According to the nofap website, different modes of rebooting is listed as follows;
This is also referred to as the P-Mode. This is when someone abstains from watching pornography for a period of time only. The rebooter is allowed to masturbate and have an orgasm.
Porn and Masturbation Free Mode (PM-Mode)
This is when the rebooter abstains from both masturbation and pornography. The rebooter can have orgasms through sexual intercourse.
Hard Mode [Porn, Masturbation and Orgasm Free Mode (No PMO)]
This is the most popular mode of Nofap. This is also the mode that allows the body and brain to reboot the fastest. Hard mode is when the rebooter abstains from porn, masturbation, and orgasms altogether.
Monk Mode [Hard Mode + fasting, high-intensity workout regime, meditation, No sexual thoughts]
This is a mode for more experienced rebooters. This mode does not allow any form of sexual thoughts or sexual fantasy. Some rebooters doing this mode of reboot also add things like meditation, fasting, regularly doing high intense work-out in their schedule while undergoing this type of reboot.
It has been the practice that the individuals find the mode that is most convenient for them because an addiction cannot be broken overnight. Also, the duration of the challenge depends on the rebooter’s need and will. But, as a general rule of thumb, it takes about 90 days give or take in the hard mode or monk mode for the brain to reboot. The other modes do take longer than that.
Now that you are to some extent caught up on the concept of nofap, it’s time to go back to why we are here. Many people realize a very significant thing after trying the challenge once or twice.
And that important thing is that;
It’s harder than you think
If you are like the rest of us, you might think to just dive in and get three months of nofap under your belt. What most people find out after two or three relapses is that the nofap challenge is harder to achieve than it seems.
Most folks have difficulties pulling off the hard mode three months challenge. But don’t get me wrong, some people are blessed with sheer willpower that they just decide to go for it and come out after three months feeling like a million bucks.
For others, it usually becomes a never-ending vicous cycle of starting nofap, relapsing after 4 days, going on a porn and masturbation binge for about 4 weeks, start feeling guilt and shame, deciding to get back on the wagon, relapsing, binging, guilt, shame, usually in that order.
When this nofap conversation come up between me and my friends, I often tell them that if you start doing nofap and you are able to complete the challenge easily in one go, that means you were not really addicted to porn and masturbation in the first place.
Your brain fighting for survival
Why is this something that is hard to do you might be wondering?
The word “addiction” comes from the Latin word “addico” which means “to devote”.
When your brain has become devoted to doing something, that act has become a part of your brain’s identity. And to stop means requiring the brain to change in a BIG way.
One thing to know about the human brain is that it DOESN’T LIKE CHANGE. When you want to change a pattern that had been reinforced to become a habit, the brain starts fighting back and the fear circuit of the brain SWITCHES ON while the motivation circuit SWITCHES OFF.
And by throwing some withdrawal symptoms your way, the brain gets you to revert back to the old pattern.
The Willpower Paradox
Everyone knows that in order to break a cycle of addiction, what is needed is a little something called willpower. The part of the brain that’s responsible for willpower is the prefrontal region of the brain.
But over the years of addiction, from a neurological standpoint, the addict has been giving in to compulsiveness and this act has been strengthening the limbic part of his/her brain. As a result of this, the pre-frontal cortex has been weakening/shrinking.
Herego, the ability of the addict to exercise willpower when it comes to the addiction has been impaired.
The paradox in this case, if you are not seeing it yet, is that what is required for the addict to break the addiction is not available or at the very least, not in abundant quantity.
This is the major reason why most addiction cycles cannot be easily broken.
This condition is referred to as Hypofrontality. It is a condition that is often observed among different addicts. The substance of abuse might be food, drugs, alcohol, TV, Pornography, or any other form of compulsive behavior.
How do you use something that you do not have?
Well, stick with me and you will get answers to those…
The foundation for success
Now that we’ve gotten those out of the way and we’ve established that it might be difficult to achieve the nofap challenge for some than others, it’s time to look to build a very strong foundation that other principles, strategies, and methodology we hope to apply to our Nofap journey will stand on.
It’s like building a skyscraper whereby it is crucial to focus on the foundation. Each effort in doing nofap is cumulative and they stack upon each other.
Try and cross as many things that will be listed here off your list and what you will discover at the end of the day is that nofap will become easier to do day after day even if you do not succeed at the first try.
Succeeding in the NoFap challenge is much more methodical than you think! There are processes that you can follow that make you succeed in NoFap in a fun and easy way!! Click here to learn those hidden processes!!
A scene from War Dogs
In the movie War Dogs, there was a scene where the character played by Jonah Hill was trying to buy weeds from some guys on the street. They took his money and when he asked them where the weeds were, they showed him a pistol and told him to get out of their sight.
On getting back to his car, he pulled out an automatic rifle from the trunk of his car. Realizing that they were seriously under-gunned, the gang ran for their lives.
There is a slang that we often hear which is “take a missile to a knife-fight”.
When it comes to succeeding at nofap, then you need to find a way to get a missile and bring it to the knife-fight (I hope you know that the missile and knife are metaphorically speaking right?).
No form of addiction can be easily broken. So, it is better to be prepared so that nothing is left to chance.
Knowing the mechanics of the addiction, the emotional triggers, the cravings, the different highways to relapsing and so on are ways to be prepared and ready for the challenge.
The knowledge and the preparation that results from it will take you a long way during the pitfalls, the emotional roller coaster and the withdrawal symptoms that would be experienced.
The things that MUST be done in order to guarantee success if you are struggling with doing nofap are listed below
What is your BIG WHY?
This is the first thing to check off your list. This is the most important thing to figure out first before hoping to complete your nofap challenge.
Everybody has their reasons for trying nofap but the question I would ask you right now is that are those reasons BIG enough?
If you don’t have a strong reason motivating you, you would easily give in to cravings. Most guys get this wrong right off the bat by doing nofap in order to get laid more.
This is a good reason in itself, but the problem with this reason is that it is not sustainable. From my experience, it doesn’t last past the first two weeks or until you get into a relationship or get back together with your ex.
You need something deeper than that. A reason that keeps you awake at night and makes you never want to go near porn again. If you are the observing kind, you would have noticed that those that were able to go long term with this are people that ABSOLUTELY MUST change because their lives depended on it.
For instance, guys that have developed some form of erectile dysfunction are really motivated and they go long term. I think not being able to get it up when needed to by your partner would be a big enough reason. Don’t you?
Why do you want to quit watching porn and masturbating?
This is what will take the effort and struggle out of quitting. This is what is going to make quitting porn and masturbation a breeze and a walk in the park. This is what will change watching porn from a pleasurable activity to poison.
Yes, I said it. POISON.
It will make NoFap from being something that you kind of want to try out because other people were doing it into something that you absolutely must do because your life depended on it.
To illustrate what I meant by this, I would use my Dad as an example because his situation is a perfect case scenario.
My Dad loves drinking alcohol so much. In his youth, when he married my mom, he tried to quit several times but he never really did. When we were born, he told me he also tried to quit drinking but he always found a way to go back to drinking.
Coupled with the fact that my Grandfather was diabetic and he always warned my dad that since diabetes is hereditary, he was running a high risk of getting diabetes with his alcohol drinking and guess what, that also didn’t stop him from drinking.
Fast forward to the day that my Dad was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, that day was the day he dropped his bottle. That faithful day till date, my Dad hasn’t had a drop of alcohol.
What Diabetes did for my Dad’s drinking was it turned a pleasurable activity into poison. But I don’t want you to go blind before stopping masturbation to internet pornography. What you just need to do is find a big enough WHY through some soul searching and you are good to go.
So, what is going to do it for you? What reason will be BIG enough for you to quit PMOing? Chances are if you are a heavy porn user, you absolutely have a form of penile dysfunction or a form of desensitization towards real-life sex and girls. Would that motivate you enough?
Is it having to go out there and approach girls more because that would be your only chance of getting off?
Or is it realizing that you are a 25-year-old jobless man-child with a University degree still living with your parents while life was passing you by and your mates are forging ahead in life while you are busy jerking off to porn and playing video games and being too brain-dead to follow through on your plans and goals and the activities that will make real change in your life? Well, that did it for me.
Or is it visualizing where your life will be in the next 10 years while you are still enslaved to this vile habit, where you are just too shy and afraid to face the real world and the picture you see scares the hell out of you?
Or is it knowing that all the dreams you had and still have at a point in your life might never come to fruition and your life might account to nothing because you just literally don’t have the energy to take action?
Do you like having more money? Do you want to live a life of financial freedom so that you and your family would never have to worry about money ever again? Because if you do, you are probably in your prime and this is the time to work on those things and you are busy draining your life-force into the tissue.
Do you want to be happier? How happy would you be if you can raise your mood by 10% in this world we live in? Do you want your days to get brighter and have a deep-seated joy and knowingness that comes from the SELF that no matter what happens, YOU will be okay?
Do you want more confidence? A kind of confidence that drug can’t buy? A God intended health, well-being, and sense of purpose that has been drained; Do you want it back?
Do you want to go back to your God intended and natural State where you feel connected to the world and the people around you on a much deeper level? Do you want to live and feel again?
Is your relationship or marriage on the rocks because of this bad habit? Do you want your family back again?
Are you tired of always locking yourself in your room? Are you tired of always feeling a sense of shame after your porn session?
Would you like to stop other addictions you have? Do your siblings and your loved ones seem like strangers to you because you have turned into a walking zombie?
Those should make you think for a moment and that is what will get you through the cravings and withdrawal symptoms you will experience along the way.
By now, you are informed on some of the negative effects that porn and masturbation are having on your life, and if that’s not enough, research the topic more.
What I want you to do now is sit down and take a deep look at your life and look for the ways you think that porn watching is affecting you and changing you in relation to the type of person that you really want to be in life.
Remember, you’ve only got this one life to live and the clock is ticking. After you have done this, I want you to list the reasons why you must change.
Find the most compelling ones that when you think of them, it makes you want to curse the day you watched porn for the first time in your life.
Create an environment for success
I think this step is obvious and it is also crucial when attempting NoFap. Kind of like an alcoholic that gets rid of all the alcohol in the house when he’s trying to stay sober.
A lot of people overlook this step and in a moment, I would explain why it is a non-negotiable thing to be done.
Our environment influences our day to day decision making processes more than we know. Recent scientific researches are shedding more light on the effects nuances we interact with externally in our daily lives are having on our sub-conscious mind.
These nuances are referred to as cues which can lead to complex overt behavior (JA Bargh). This phenomenon is known as the priming effect.
In the popular experiment by Bargh et al., 1996, people were primed to think of old people and it was found that people primed to think of old people actually did walk slower.
As more work is being done on this, Payne et al did a series of experiments on behavioral priming. In the first experiments, researchers found that exposing volunteers to the word “gamble” for 300 milliseconds encouraged them to bet more.
Although, it was found that it only worked when the best option was to bet and this makes the researchers conclude that priming works best if in line with the individual’s stereotypes, traits or predispositions.
What this means for the individual trying to stay off porn and masturbation for a while is that if exposed to cues related to porn, because he or she is already predisposed to it, then, a slippery slope of relapse is ahead.
In our societies today, you listen to most music, the theme is sex. You watch a music video or movie, and there is always that hero who wins at the end of the day by “getting the girl”.
Plus there is social media that seems, in my opinion, to be used by people to hawk sex at every available chance they get.
The message ingrained by the media and environment we live in today is that the epitome of achievement is sex – sex in this context is the virtual and unnatural kind that is being peddled through porn – and that is what we youths of nowadays gravitate towards and regards as the most fulfilling and rewarding thing we can do in life.
So, if you want to help yourself and make nofap super easy, create an environment that is anti-porn addiction while you are doing nofap.
This can start from getting rid of your porn stashes on the system, staying off stimulating content on social media, or staying off social media completely while on nofap.
You can’t be staying off porn while still having a porn stash on your devices. It is IMPOSSIBLE to succeed while they are still there. So, ruthlessly hit the delete key and get rid of all the porn videos, erotic images or gifs on your devices. Don’t think about it!! Just do it!!!! NOW!!!
Now that you have taken out the thrash, literally speaking, it’s time to go to the next step. But, before you go, do a search on your devices and make sure you got it all. If you just remembered a location where you’ve hidden porn on your system, go there with the machete. After all that, go to the recycle bin and empty it in a click. NOW!!!
After that, what you want to do is go to social media accounts and ruthlessly delete/unfriend/unfollow/unhashtag those people or accounts you follow that upload pictures or videos that can trigger you.
Alternatively, you can make the decision to not log into your social media accounts till you complete your reboot. I know it seems like a lot and an impossibility, but BELEIVE ME, the world won’t stop spinning on its axis if you do it.
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Notice underlying emotions triggering you
You have to pay attention to your thoughts and emotions. This is a very useful thing to do generally in life even out of the context of NoFap.
When you start noticing the thoughts coming to your mind, you get to realize at a point that you are not your thoughts. They just come and go after you have acknowledged their presence and you don’t react to them.
And at the same time, you cannot stop them from coming because, the more you resist a thought, the more reinforced it becomes.
That’s your limbic brain (A.K.A your Chimp) at its finest and you can’t fight it, it’s a battle that you cannot win according to Dr. Steve, the author of “the chimp paradox”. All you can do is “pet” it by being logical and having a reasonable conversation with it if you are able to hear its voice.
Addiction is often a coping mechanism for an emotion or feeling we are not ready to confront or solve. Anytime you crave porn and masturbation, there is always a feeling or thought triggering it.
This feeling might be invoked by a picture you see on the internet, something someone said to you, a particular time of the day or a particular place in your room.
This happens because, over the years, your brain has made some associations with those things leading to you jerking off at your computer screen.
These emotions might be depression, boredom, feeling pressured on a particular issue, feeling like a failure, rejection or even happiness at times.
What you can do when you are on NoFap is to pay attention whenever you get the urge to watch porn and notice what is going on in your head, what you are doing at that time, what you are supposed to be doing and not doing, where you are and what time of the day it is.
With time, you get to identify your emotional triggers and instead of watching porn to suppress them, you can interrupt the pattern by acknowledging it, dealing with it or finding something constructive to do.
Mindfulness to one’s thoughts and emotions is a skill that is improved with constant practice. One of the ways that it can be quickly enhanced is through deep breathing.
Take a deep breath
Deep breathing is one of the tools that enhance mindfulness towards the underlying thoughts and emotions that are triggering you to watch porn.
When the inevitable cravings come knocking on the door, a very good thing to do is to take three deep breaths.
Taking deep breaths throughout the day will get oxygen into your brain and it will make you more relaxed and it kind of give you a shift and distraction from the cravings you are currently experiencing.
What you ultimately want to do after taking the deep breath is to maybe leave the scene or find something to do that would take your mind off the porn thoughts.
What deep breath gives you is a window of opportunity to alter your predominant cycle and patterns that make you watch porn. If you still engage in the thoughts causing your cravings after taking the deep breaths, there is a very high chance that you would take a bite of the forbidden fruit.
Deep breathing is an act that you should try to make effort to do throughout the day even outside the realm of NoFap. It is a very good relaxation technique that helps you be more stress-free and eventually more productive in your day to day activities.
One thing you could do is to set an hourly or two hourly reminders on your mobile phone to take three deep breaths. I currently have a reminder on my phone that goes off every 50 minutes and reminds me to take 3 deep breaths immediately. Try to incorporate this, and you will notice you are more relaxed, focused and creative in executing your daily activities.
What I want you to do right now as you are reading this post is to take a deep breath.
Breathe in deeply through your nose and fill your stomach, chest, and lungs with air until you feel you can’t fill it anymore. Hold it in for 2 seconds and let it out at your own pace. Notice how your stomach and chest deflates as you let out the air and notice the yawning that mostly follows the first exhale. Notice how your body is slipping into a state of relaxation. Take in another breath, exhale, take another breath in and exhale again as you feel more, more and more relaxed.
Labels, Labels, Labels (it’s not a challenge, it’s a way of life)
Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself.
In an ideal world where the laws that govern the universe we live in are honored and taken into consideration, you shouldn’t be addicted to porn.
Nofap shouldn’t be a challenge or competition; it should be a way of life. Try not to make it a competition.
Psychologically, all you do when you make it a challenge is signal your brain that it is hard to achieve and your brain will make it hard. If it is something that you have accepted as a way of life, you would have done the above steps and cravings will reduce.
Know that this is your life and you owe it to yourself to be the best version of yourself that you can be.
Stay off counters and try to stay off Reddit and forums as much as possible and kind of just move on with your life.
By any means, if you are looking for motivation sometimes, go there for those and when you want to post your own success story after a long time of abstinence in order to encourage people just starting out on this path, then do that.
Don’t allow the addiction to take over your life. The addiction is the anomaly in your life, not the abstinence or streak you have managed to achieve. Make this mental shift and you are putting your hand on the steering wheel instead of your chimp.
Have a plan for the hard days
I wouldn’t lie and say that nofap is easy. If it were easy, there wouldn’t be a need for this lengthy post.
There will be hard days along the line. Days when your mood would be all over the place, your libido would be off the chart or its existence would be close to none.
Days you would be bored or angry for no particular reason.
It’s a good and wise thing to plan and prepare for this type of days in advance.
Two things are to be done here
The first thing is to spread your life’s horizon a little bit more. Make a list of positive and empowering activities you can use to fill your time while doing nofap.
These activities could be something like joining the gym, going out of the house more, go for a walk more, going for a run more, buying a musical instrument and learning to play it, taking a scheduled nap in the middle of the day, watching your favorite comedy tapes, reaching out more to new and old friends and making plans with them, or taking a cooking class.
The aim of this first step is to get you engaged and get you out of the house more.
The second thing to be done is to make sure that you plan your tomorrow today. What I mean by this is that you should always plan your days the previous day.
Might be in the night before you go to bed, make sure you plan the next day down to the last hour.
Fill in your days with the engaging activities you just decided to do in the first step.
WARNING: Don’t overwhelm yourself!! Only bite what you can chew!!
This is what can be done wrong in this step. Trying to take on a lot of new activities at once might get you overwhelmed and therefore making you unable to do anything at the end of the day.
Take on new activities one at a time and don’t just pile it all on yourself at once.
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Track emotions, success and most importantly, failures by Journaling
What I don’t see often on the nofap forums is a comprehensive account of how someone failed at doing nofap. I wonder why that is. Wouldn’t it be helpful to others to know how to avoid that pitfall? [Just thinking out loud]
Journaling helps to think out loud as thoughts and moments have a habit of always fleeting. Journaling will help you know if you’ve made progress even when you think that you haven’t.
Write down the emotions that are triggering you. Also, and of paramount importance is to write down those things that caused and led to your relapses if there is one.
Write down what you think you could have done differently to avoid the pitfalls in the future. Write down the ways you think you have made progress and also learn from those.
Now, let’s discuss something that you’ve probably never heard somewhere else before.
In the event that you are still struggling if you are trying to quit PMO (porn masturbation and orgasm) at the same time, then it’s probably time to try the warm turkey.
Doing the hard mode type of reboot is like trying to quit cold turkey. The problem with this type of method sometimes is that it often isn’t easy to pull off, especially if the level of addiction is very high.
The brain has mapped out a HUGE neural pathway to the addiction and these associations are not easily broken all at once in some cases.
How do you do this warm turkey you ask?
It is very easy to pull off. First thing is to start the nofap with the Porn-free mode. Don’t watch any type of porn but you are allowed to masturbate every other day without porn. When masturbating, do not have porn fantasies in your head. Think of real sex or past sexual experiences where there is any.
If this isn’t possible, then indulge in some porn thoughts but don’t get lost in it and don’t think hardcore or extreme.Do this for up to a minimum of two months.
The first two weeks are the hardest and once you stick it through and get past that threshold, then it gets easier to do. Also, you might start getting HUGE cravings for porn, but make sure you release the pressure by masturbating but NEVER watch porn.
The aim of this step is that you are trying to break the association that your brain has made to masturbating to porn.
After the two months, your brain has probably dropped the porn pathways and it is now time to kick the masturbation habit out.
Stop masturbation!! And just like the first stage, the first two weeks is also the hardest and once you can get past the threshold again, it will get easier.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that warm turkey method will be easy. It also comes packed with its own challenges and pitfalls. While doing the warm turkey, incorporate the steps we have discussed above as this will make it easier.
But the effect of the above steps will triple on easing your nofap journey just because your cravings have been divided into stages and it will be easier to manage.
Closing thoughts on how to succeed in nofap
After it is all said and done, one thing to come to grasp with is that fapping is having a negative effect one way or the other on our well-being.
This makes quitting an absolute must. We’ve only got this one life and it should be lived to the fullest.
If for one reason or the other you are struggling with nofap, know that you are not alone and keep faith with it. Keep doing it!! Don’t give up on your well-being and happiness.
The benefits of nofap far outweighs the trials and challenges you will encounter while doing it. So, no matter how hard it may seem to be right now to pull off, it will definitely get easier.
Also, accountability and removing accessibility to porn will make succeeding in the nofap challenge super EASY.
Stay Blessed!! Stay WEALTHY!!!!
PS: I’m not just making this stuff up. I have struggled with porn addiction and masturbation for more than 12 years while 6 of those had been about trying to quit.
So, rest assured, I know what it is like to be held captive by an addiction. Doing the things I recommended in this post finally helped me get a breakthrough.
So, from a fapstronaut to another, I know how difficult it could be if you are struggling with nofap. And believe me when I say again that there is nothing wrong with you.
You are only human and you are making progress more than you know. It might not be noticeable right now, but your brain has started rewiring and the hold porn has on you is gradually reducing.
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If you would like to share your own experience of nofap and porn addiction, or would like to add something that might be of help, please, feel free to use the comment section below.