The first time I tried the nofap challenge, the health benefits of nofap that I experienced firsthand were beyond what I could put on paper.
It felt like the ghost of me had been living all those years. Starting the nofap challenge had a lot of profound benefits on my overall quality of life.
Myths and Reality
A lot of the debates that spring up when it comes to the reward you earn from doing nofap is that people asks if you indeed get superpowers from doing nofap or not.
This post aims to separate the myths from the reality by giving a realistic and honest benefits you stand to gain if you undergo the challenge.
If you are new to nofap, nofap is abstaining from porn, masturbation, and/or orgasm for a set period of time. Depending on the individual’s needs or level of addiction, this time and mode of abstinence can be varied.
For a more detailed look at what nofap is, click here
Its time to take a look at the benefits that one stand to gain when doing the nofap challenge
Dopamine re-balancing in the brain, leading to general increase in life’s enjoyment
Dopamine is the feel good neurotransmitter that is secreted in the brain whenever a pleasurable activity is completed. It is meant to serve as a reward and that is why we feel motivated to go after such activities.
There are two natural rewards we are programmed to ultimately seek in order to ensure our continuity as a species. Those two natural rewards are food and sex.
With the advent of high speed internet, the average guy watch more naked girls in a night than the entire clan of cavemen in their lifetime. There is literally porn everywhere and there is a porn version of everything.
When interviewed by playboy magazine, the musician John Mayer said he sees about 300 vaginas from a thumbnail before leaving bed some days. What internet porn gives according to the porn circuit is Availability, Anonymity and affordability.
Because the brain can’t tell the difference between physical sex and porn, the reward circuitry is hijacked and the brain is flooded with dopamine when we watch porn. That’s why when we started watching porn, it felt so good.
Unfortunately, the brain wasn’t programmed to handle that much dopamine at once, so the brain protects itself by reducing the number of D2 Receptors in the basal ganglia and striatum.
D2 receptors are neurons which allow dopamine messages to be passed in the brain. In other words, when dopamine is secreted, it is these neurons that pick up these neurotransmitters allowing us to feel the effects of Dopamine.
That’s why when the porn watching habit starts, the contents that are being watched are enjoyed. But with increase in porn use, more contents and hardcore types of porn is needed to get to that state of enjoyment that was being attained initially.
As porn use increase gradually, it gets to a stage that porn is not even enjoyed by the individual again. A lot of hours is invested in the hope of getting that material that would get him off because he is numb to evrything else.
In some extreme case, some people result to watching more hardcore and porn content that are diffrent from their sexual orientation. Straight people might start watching gay porn or shemale porn and vice versa.
Some people even report having a general depressed and pessimistic view towards life.
At this stage, much of other activities that are supposed to bring pleasure and enjoyment which are not porn related are not felt because of the reduced D2 receptors in the brain.
Activities like having conversation with people, taking a walk in a beautiful garden, regular sex, getting an A in school, reading a novel, listening to music and so on.
But because the brain is plastic in nature, doing nofap for a period of time will rewire the brain by reducing the dopamine rush and eventually, the D2 receptors are rebuilt.
The consequence of this is that all those little things that are meant to be pleasurable and rewarding in life starts to feel that way.
A lot of people report that they get happier when on nofap and have a more optimistic view towards life. They start enjoying the little things of life like engaging in conversation with people, listening to music and so on.
They also report that they see colors brighter and that life is more enjoyable and beautiful.
A rejuvenated pre-frontal cortex
The pre-frontal cortex is the part of the brain that is responsible for willpower, logical reasoning, executive cognitive functioning, working memory and imagination.
Over time, most addicts suffer from a condition known as hypofrontality. This is a condition where the grey matter in the frontal cortex region is reduced.
This happens because of the constant activation of the limbic system which leads to the reduction in size of the frontal region.
According to this study, where researchers at the Max Planck’s institute in Berlin, Germany took 64 male participants between the age 21-45 and test for the correlation of porn watching to grey matter in some region of the brain.
The study found a negative correlation between porn use and grey matter volume in the right caudate stratium in the frontal region of the brain.
Although the brain is plastic in nature, the older we get, the harder it becomes to remap already established patterns.
But it can be done.
It takes some will and some time, but it can be done.
That’s why when people go on nofap for a long time, if they stick with it and do it right, the grey matter of the frontal cortex starts increasing.
Over the course of the challenge, temptations will come in form of cravings, and the more the individual resist these temptations with the exertion of their willpower, the more the pre-frontal cortex is being activated.
The more this region is being activated, the more the region gets reinforced and re-established.
People that go on nofap for a long time often report experiencing the functions of this region of the brain like improved memory, more vivid dreams, ability to easily quit other compulsive and addictive behaviors and so on.
Might be the cure to your Erectile Dysfunction
Have you noticed the ability to get hard when watching porn but struggle to get and maintain an erection when you are with a real woman?
This was what got the attention of most guys and eventually the world to the issue of porn addiction.
According to medical news today, “men who have erectile dysfunction are unable to get or keep an erection long enough to engage in sexual intercourse”.
In the past, it was unusual to see cases of erectile dysfunction in guys under the age of forty. But nowadays, because of the advent of high speed internet porn, ED problems are now very rampant among PERFECTLY HEALTHY guys in their twenties which is supposed to be the age of their sexual prime.
How does a man get an erection?
The breakdown version is that the dopamine pathways regulate a person’s response to natural rewards like having sex. Dopamine signaling to the penis is very crucial to arousal and erection when a man sees a mating partner.
What this translates into is the healthier the dopamine pathway of a guy is, the more likely it is for him to get it up and keep it up in front of his partner.
The brain of a porn addict is already flooded with dopamine and has a low number of dopamine receptors.
This is why guys are finding it difficult to get an erection when required to because there aren’t enough receptors to pick up the dopamine signaling which will trigger arousal and eventually, an erection.
ALSO, because of the PERFECTION that the porn world project, that is, the female performers are always categorized based on their body parts and you have the freedom to search for which category takes your fancy, you have some expectation bar that is far from reality.
So, reality quickly disappoints you and this eventually cost you your erection and arousal when faced with a real life woman.
Another thing that happens is that after a long time masturbating with their hands, especially without lubrication which is commonly referred to as the ‘death grip’, the penis would have become desensitized by that repeated act that they won’t be able to ‘finish’ properly that is, ejaculate naturally until they stroke their penis by themselves or ejaculate WAY too fast.
So, what commonly happen to the guy addicted to internet porn and masturbation, is either (a) you can’t get it up or maintain it when having sex with an actual girl or (b) ejaculate way too fast (PIPE – Porn Induced Premature Ejaculation) or (c) won’t be able to ejaculate at all without masturbating to porn thoughts with your hands after sex (PIDE –Porn Induced Delayed Ejaculation).
Although, not all Erectile dysfunction is caused by porn, but if yours is porn-induced, then , by simply doing the nofap challenge, you have a high chance of getting your mojo back.
Increased energy levels + A vacant time slot in your day
This is where fire meets fuel in nofap.
Perhaps you haven’t put it together yet, but nofap in itself will not make you superman. Sure, it has its own benefits but ultimately, it presents you with the tools to change your life for the better.
Honestly, this is the benefit that I look forward to the most when I’m on nofap.
Increased energy levels.
We don’t need a scientist telling us for us to know that ejaculation is an energy drainer. If you masturbate often, you would have noticed the dip in energy you experience.
This loss of energy is caused by physical, hormonal and in some cases, mental reasons.
The physical part is because when we ejaculate, we lose ZNC. The sperm contains a lot of ZINC. That’s ZINC we are never getting back. Although, ZINC cannot be stored in the body, but imagine jerking off once or twice everyday.
If you are losing the ZINC faster than your body is synthesizing it, then you eventually lack some. In case you are wondering, Zinc is responsible for synthesizing those enzymes and hormones responsible for anything energy and fertility related.
Also, when we masturbate, we actually do a lot of work and burn energy in the process.
While masturbating, we call to action different adrenaline systems and also our Flight or fight system is being utilized in full gear.
All of theses systems’usage expends energy and that leaves us more tired after the act.
The hormonal part is because when we masturbate and ejaculate, a host of brain chemicals are secreted. One of the hormone that is secreted is prolactin which is associated with tiredness and sleepiness.
The mental cause of tiredness is because immediately we ejaculate after jerking off to porn, we get a dopamine high that makes us feel good and gives us a kind of clarity. But it doesn’t last for more than two minutes.
The “come down” of the dopamine high, that is, two minutes after the act, is a cloud of depression, guilt and shame that wears us down mentally. You kind of feel like sleeping afterwards or you might feel nauseated or generally depressed for no reason.
It’s just like getting high on drugs or alcohol where you get the high and feel on top of the world for several hours depending on the potency of the drug and you eventually get the “come down” or “hangover” afterwards where you totally feel like shit.
Porn’s high is much worse because it doesn’t last for more than two minutes and the “come down” could linger for several hours or even days in some cases.
These mental exhaustion can stem from different places. In some people, it might be caused because the individual has promised himself not to fap again only to find himself in the act. Or it might be a realization that you are alone when indeed you want to be in a relationship.
If you are doing nofap, you are taking all these mental fatigue, tiredness and sleepiness out of your daily routine. What you notice is that you have this extra energy in everything you are doing.
When you are doing some house chores, you feel like you can go a little longer. You generally will require less sleep time in your day to feel rested.
Your day will feel elongated energy-wise as their is always that little extra that you are not wasting jerking off. If you are doing exercise, you feel you can go a little more on those reps.
Also, when you are on nofap, you find that you have extra time on your hands. As an avid porn watcher, if you watch porn every day, in order to get off, that is, find the right porn that would set off those dopamine alarms, you would need at least two hours of porn activity.
About one hour for searching for the right porn, about one hour for the actual watching.
These two hours might not be in one sitting, it might be spread across the day as you get the opportunity. You might start searching for the porn off and on at work, then you would have to wait until your spouse or peeps go to sleep and finally end the day with an orgasm.
Just by reading the last paragraph, can you hear how sad and ridiculous that sounded?
Sadly, that’s the reality of most men nowadays. It might not be in that format but I can bet that it’s something similar.
Now let’s do some basic mathematics, two hours daily means 14 hours weekly. That’s around 6 hours daytime and 8 hours nighttime which are time that if used for something productive, can have a positive impact on your life and overall well-being.
To put nofap on steroids, with the increased energy levels that is now enjoyed, coupled with the spare time that is now available, new and empowering habits like exercising more, reading more, learning more, interacting with others more, getting out of the house more can be incorporated into daily lives.
All this would have cumulative effects at the end of the day and it will be as if a new individual is born.
Increased testosterone levels
I’ve seen guys almost take each other’s heads off over this point at the nofap subreddit.
“nofap increases testosterone levels”
Is it accurate to make that assumption?
Before I answer the question on the accuracy of that statement, it is necessary to ask a question which is;
Does fapping reduce testosterone levels?
There is no study that supports the notion that ejaculation reduces the T-levels in the body. If anything, some studies actually claim that masturbation does increase T-levels in the body.
But alas, let’s consider those things that have been scientifically proven to lead to decrease in testosterone levels in the body.
- According to a study, that was conducted on over 1700 male participants, it was found that less sexual activities is associated with reduction in the testosterone levels of those men by less than 10%.
Fapping to internet porn is entirely different from having sex. When you are fapping to porn, what you are doing to your brain is that you are remapping some circuits in the brain.
Porn hijacks your dopamine circuitry and this will ultimately rewire your brain to start objectifying your partner and you will no longer be turned on by regular sex.
And fapping to internet porn constantly will actually reduce the chance of you having physical sex regularly. I say this authoritatively and this is due to a lot of other factors like erectile dysfunction, decrease in libido and decrease in sexual interest in partner, social anxiety, and so on which I wouldn’t go into in great length here.
- According to this study, this study, it was found that high stress levels causes testosterone levels to take a dive. Science has shown that less sleep time is associated with decrease in testosterone levels.
An average man today gets 45 minutes less sleep time than he did 30 years ago. Do you know that the average man in today’s world has 22% less testosterone than their counterparts in the 1980s? Not getting adequate sleep raises the cortisol level in the body which raises the stress level.
What does fapping have to do with sleep and stress level in the body?
According to the statistics released by pornhub in 2016, the most popular time that most people watch porn is 11 pm and midnight. If you are an avid porn watcher, chances are that your average porn watching session would last for about two hours because you would have to search longer for that material that would get you off.
Chances are that the porn watching session would extend to the following morning. Porn is not the only thing reducing our sleep time, we’ve got social media, candy crush and all those other things combined to thank for that.
But a regular porn addict knows that this porn habit keeps them awake while they are supposed to be getting a good night’s sleep.
- According to this study, and this study, ZINC supplementing can lead to an increase in testosterone levels.
Zinc is an essential nutrient that helps synthesize enzymes and hormones. One of those hormones is testosterone. The male sperm is packed with zinc and when you jerk off, you lose a considerable amount of Zinc.
Someone that jerks off constantly will be losing Zinc more than the body is synthesizing. And this can lead to low T-levels.
Now, to answer the question that was posed earlier on the accuracy of the statement; “nofap increases testosterone levels”, what I have been able gather is that by doing nofap, regardless of how you might get there, all roads lead to increased T-levels.
Road #1: Maybe you are the kind that fapped so much, that your T-levels are now ridiculously low. You discovered nofap and tried it and found a spike in your testosterone levels after the seventh day. This spike is mainly because your previous testosterone levels were ridiculously low before.
Road #2: Maybe you are the kind that fapped moderately before, that your T-levels have been a little bit below baseline, you started nofap and you are not doing much high T-level-impact like exercising and watching what you eat, then T-levels regulates because you are not wasting its ingredients anymore.
Road #3: Maybe you are the kind that fapped moderately or severely before, but, along with doing nofap, you put it on steroids. Because you’ve got more time, more energy due to nofap, you start doing exercises, getting enough sleep, watching the type of food you eat, then, plus not losing the testosterone you have, you are rapidly building more.
What I want to point out is that all the roads have a common denominator. And that denominator is nofap.
If you still believe that nofap doesn’t lead to testosterone increase, or that constant ejaculation doesn’t lead to decrease in your T-levels, then you should ask professional boxers like Mike Tyson, David Haye, and Manny Pacquaio… They know better.
Who is Nofap meant for?
In case you are wondering at this stage, the type of people that nofap is meant for, then let me answer that question.
If you feel like you watch porn or masturbate too much (like thrice in a week), then you should definitely do the nofap challenge.
Also, I personally feel that everyone should do this at one point in their lives and see what that “other version of themselves” looks like.
The other version I’m talking about is that version that is free of the confines and burden that sex. impose on us physically, emotionally and most importantly, mentally. Be it the physical kind of sex or the virtual kind.
It is necessary to point out at this juncture that I’m not advocating for celibacy. And nofap in all its definitions is quite different from cellibacy. It is simply a way to re-calibrate or rewire the brain that has built huge neural pathways to porn, sex, masturbation and orgasm.
If after reading all this, thoughts like; “this is bulls**t” or “this is a waste of time” or “this is just some hyper-sexual boys looking for their next obsessive pet project” , and the likes keeps coming to your head, then, I ABSOLUTELY and DEFINITELY recommend that you try the nofap challenge.
Because all those dialogues are just your brain trying to keep you stuck in that compulsive and addiction cycle.
Are you a porn, masturbation addict, or BOTH
Don’t watch any type of porn for a week. Any type of porn includes hardcore or softcore porn, sexy images, gifs, romance novels or stories (mostly for girls) or just thinking porn thoughts and fantasizing in a porn-related way. If you are able to do this easily without much discomfort, then you are not addicted YET.
Masturbation; the birth child of porn watching
Masturbation in “moderation” for men is an healthy act. I have still not come across a study that says otherwise.
The definition of “moderation” is dependent on the individual and it’s not something that can be easily defined due to anatomical or belief differences.
In his book No More Mr Nice Guy by Dr Glover, he talked about healthy masturbation without any external stimulant only with the touch and sensation of the hand and this is a very good technique for people recovering from porn addiction and want to reset after a long term abstinence from PMO (Porn Masturbation and Orgasm).
But stroking your stuff without the stimulation of porn is quite hard and less enjoyable compared to using porn or fantasizing with porn.
The notable benefit that most people hang on to health-wise when it comes to masturbation is that it prevents prostate cancer in men.
Are you fighting prostate cancer EVERYDAY?
Maybe you are in a corner of your room holding your john john and saying to yourself “oh man, I gotta fight this prostate cancer”, “gotta clean out this tube”.
I know prostate cancer is a serious disease that is not to be taken lightly but let me ask you this;
“do you have to fight prostate cancer EVERYDAY?”
At this rate, you will probably go blind as our fathers used to say and you’ll probably fight prostate cancer till you die.
I have found that when you watch porn, the next thing that results from it is masturbation and eventually orgasm. The three go hand in hand. No pun intended.
This is the most devastating and addictive form of masturbation (PMO). What most people do not know is that masturbation in itself is an addictive act.
It can lead to the desensitization of the penis, especially with the death grip (masturbating without any lubrication) which can enhance erectile dysfunction in men.
Closing remarks on the health benefits of nofap
Funny how many people still call Nofap “bro science”.
“Those people” in my opinion are people that are too afraid to try it, or too afraid that they might not be able to live without porn.
But let me ask you this;
What would you do with a slight increase in your motivation towards your goals?
What would that extra Edge, Energy and Time mean to you?
Why I would like you to rethink considering nofap is that if you can picture a world without porn, or at least without porn addiction, a world without masturbation addiction, everybody would be the best version of themselves.
Everybody would be as we were intended to be without the porn and masturbation that we use to imprison ourselves which is literally zapping our energy, time and manliness.
Please, if you have any question, a contribution to make or you would just like to share your experience with nofap, drop it in the comment section below.