NoFap Recovery Timeline: How Long Till I Get Superpowers?

This post was updated on 02/07/2020.

If you’ve ever done the NoFap challenge for whatever reason, you would have wondered what NoFap recovery timeline is.

“How long before I become Kal-El?”

“How long before I become an Alpha male oozing of testosterone?”

When do I start walking down the street and girls would start giving me the looks and throwing their panties at my feet?

The answer, NEVER EVER EVER.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but NoFap won’t make you superman.

What NoFap is and isn’t

Nofap recovery timeline with problem and solution

The benefits of NoFap are what an Eskimo would call the warm and sunny weather of Africa.

Because most PMO addicts have been hooked to this habit for a very long time, when they stop doing it, for a short time, they start noticing “serious” changes.

While these changes are profound, they are things that a “normal” person who isn’t a PMO addict would describe as natural and normal.

And just like the tale of the olds, it is either over-estimated or under-estimated.

In the case of NoFap, there has been a huge over-estimation on what it is, and what it isn’t.

This has led to high expectations on the part of those that take up the challenge.

They are one or two weeks into the challenge and they start asking when they get to touch the sky.

Although the benefits of the NoFap challenge can be profound and life-changing, just like any other addiction, it’ll take time to re-calibrate your body, and senses back to “normal”.

“Normal” is good.

As a matter of fact, “Normal” is great.

“Normal” is nothing much. It’s just the way you are supposed to be as a baseline.

“Normal” is not wasting hours fapping to porn and not wasting energy and feeling tired all the time. “Normal is when your penis starts working normally.

Once you get to “Normal”, you can get to “more”.

But NoFap alone can’t take you to “more”. Putting your NoFap on steroids can get you there.

You can’t jump to “more” from “addict”. You have to get to “Normal” first.

A viable question to ask at this point is this; how long will it take me to get to normal?

Similarities of PMO addiction with other addictions

cigarettes on a graph

Dopamine and Dopamine Receptors

In the brain’s limbic system, basal ganglia, and striatum, there are neurons called D2 Dopamine receptors.

These receptors are neurons that allow dopamine messages to be passed around in the brain. In other words, when dopamine is secreted, it’s these neurons that pick up these neurotransmitters.

This allows you to feel the effects of Dopamine. This allows you to feel pleasure.

Any pleasure-giving activity you can think of; eating, having sex, taking a walk, having an engaging conversation, completing a project, getting an A in school, are all meant to reward you when you do them.

Chemically, when one of these activities is done, the brain secretes dopamine, which is picked up by the dopamine receptors in the brain.

Dopamine is what keeps you motivated. It’s there to give you that “gotta get it” feeling. Dopamine is also referred to as the “feel-good” hormone. When it’s secreted, it gives you a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and of course, pleasure.

With every new sexual mate that you are exposed to, or in this case, new porn video you watch, there’s an accompanying surge of the feel-good neurotransmitter called dopamine.

This surge is immediately followed by the secretion of delta FosB in the reward circuitry.

But because the brain can’t tell the difference between “porn sex” and real sex with a mate, it tends to binge on the ‘porn sex’.

Similar to drugs like cocaine, heroin, crack, this flood of dopamine rush gives you a form of high.

Delta FosB

Because of Delta FosB, which is a chemical that’s secreted with overuse of a compulsive habit—which also binds itself with the gene and carves out a neural pathway in the brain, no porn and masturbation addict can be truly and completely cured.

The pathways carved out by FosB has been found to still be in the brain of an addict until the time of their death. Long after the trace of FosB has completely left the brain.

The pathways will still be there, but it would have become redundant (due to lack of use).

A porn and/or masturbation addict can do the NoFap challenge and have the pathways rebooted, but the day he thinks he is cured and tries to take a peep, it can be a slippery slope from there.

Just like Winston told John Wick, “you dip as much as a pinky back in this pond, you might find that something reaches out and grabs you”.

Although it sounds a bit dramatic, these words are true when it comes to recovery and addiction.

The Legit NoFap recovery timeline to expect

hourglass on sand counting timedown

Honestly, to get back to “normal”—to reverse the negative effects that porn and masturbation addiction have had on your body, it’ll take some months.
Why?

Because the damage wasn’t done in just a few weeks.

Having this in mind, no one can pinpoint with certainty how long it will take for the effects of the addiction to reverse.

The standard gauge is the three months hard mode. Some will need more than that, while some people might need less.

But if you’ve made it to the 90-day mark, that’s the time to do some serious evaluations.

It’s the time to check maybe the symptoms you noticed before you started the NoFap challenge are still there, gone, or at the very least, subsided.

The factors that come into play

NoFap recovery timeline is influenced by five different factors that make it different for everybody.

These main factors will influence how long it takes for both physiological and psychological changes to occur.

The main aims of NoFap are to;

  • Get your dopamine pathways back to “normal”,
  • Re-build your pre-frontal cortex, and,
  • To stop wasting your sperm.

All other benefits will spill from these three. So, I would talk about the recovery timeline in terms of these keystone benefits.

  1. The Level of addiction

This is based on the fact that some people are more addicted to porn and masturbation than others. Some aren’t even addicted to porn, just masturbation. While some are addicted to porn and not masturbation.

A handful of people watch porn just two or three times a week. Some watch it two to three times daily. Some have started on the addiction path for more than a decade while some are just starting.

The symptoms that are already manifesting in the addict’s lives are also different from that of the other addict. Some have already developed Porn-induced ED while some haven’t yet.

Anatomical differences also play a key role in the level of addiction of people.

Some brains are wired in a way that it makes some pre-disposed to the addiction.

We are affected by this habit differently based on physiological differences and lifestyle choices.

All these factors stem from the premise that “all addictions are not the same”

Based on these, I would categorize the level of addiction as;

  • Hardcore addiction, and
  • Mild addiction.

The Hardcore addict is the guy that watched porn and jerked off at least once a day. He has been doing this non-stop for more than two years. He had already developed a form of Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction and he invests nothing less than 2 hours per porn and masturbation session.

The Mild addict is the guy that watched porn and jerked off three times a week at most. He has been doing this for less than two years. He’s border-line on developing PIED. He invests nothing more than 2 hours per porn session.

  1. The Addiction starter

This factor is based on the whole “playboy magazine vs high-speed internet porn debacle”.

It’s been found through surveys that it was easier for people who started watching porn on magazines to reboot than those of us that started watching porn on high-speed internet.

I would go out on a limb and assume that most of us started watching porn on high-speed internet. Those people that started porn on magazine pages are becoming unicorns.

Most of the people that started porn on magazine pages do not develop Porn-Induced ED and even if they do, abstaining for about three months does the trick.

This is not the case for those that started watching porn on high-speed internet.

  1. Reboot mode

The mode of NoFap that you’re doing will also have a huge effect on your NoFap recovery timeline.

The mode of NoFap that’s most popular is the Hard Mode (No porn No masturbation No orgasm mode).

Other modes include Easy mode (No porn mode), Normal mode (No porn No masturbation mode), and Monk mode (advanced hard mode).

Recovery time is fastest for Monk mode then followed by the hard mode.

  1. Activities you are doing to aid recovery on NoFap

This is another factor that’s often overlooked by a lot of people when it comes to healing from PMO wounds.

If you choose to put your NoFap on steroids by meditating, learning and playing musical instruments regularly, reading regularly, exercising regularly, eating healthy on NoFap, you’ll recover faster than the person that’s doing none of these things.

All these activities are dopamine receptor builders. Doing these things together with your NoFap is like taking a jet to your destination instead of a car.

  1. Reasons for NoFap; and the expectations of the Fapstronaut

Let’s not forget about the person himself.

You’re also a factor that you need to consider when thinking about the NoFap time of recovery.

Why did you get into NoFap in the first place?

Have those symptoms reversed?

What are your expectations?

What are your needs?

Are you in it for the long haul or just to see what it feels like?

Someone wanting to correct an ED might have to be in it longer than someone wanting to build up testosterone for an athletic pursuit the following week.

What to expect to occur based on a 90-day NoFap timeline

nofap timeline pen counting down calendar

Since most people do the hard mode and are hardcore addicts, I would talk about the NoFap recovery timeline based on these assumptions.

If you fall into the mild addict category, just know to expect this type of timeline in a faster manner.

If for one reason or the other, you are on the kind of NoFap mode that’s different from hard mode or monk mode, then, multiply this timeline by 3. That’s how long it’ll take you to see these changes.

Use the timeline below as a template. You alone can draw an inference on the type of person you are, your expectations for NoFap, the mode of NoFap you are on, and what other activities you’re doing on NoFap.

This is a down to earth and realistic timeline based on my personal experience and what I’ve gathered from other people’s experiences on the NoFap forums.

And believe it when I tell you that I did it ALL. I did the hard mode, relapsed, did the normal mode, easy mode, cold turkey, warm turkey, relapsed again, meditation, hypnotism, and relapsed again.

Until I finally found a way to break the addiction, I really struggled with it. Check out how I was finally able to break free of my porn and masturbation addiction by clicking here.

Hard Mode and Hardcore addict

Day 1-7: Filled with excitement and energy.
Energy is peaked on day 7.
Sleep pattern is good.

Day 8-14: Mild Depression and anger at everything.
Craving for porn is highest at this time
Restlessness and insomnia
Flatline starts (for most people)

Day 15-30: Prolactin starts dropping
Dopamine and androgen receptors start building back up
Cravings are getting more controllable
Energy level is increased considerably
Flatline still present (for most people)

Day 30-60: Flatline gets worse (for most people)
Receptors are almost balanced
Memory improvement and ability to recall is noticeable here
Energy level stabilizes
Sleep pattern is back to good and filled with vivid dreams

Day 60-90: Flatline begins to subside (in most cases)
Erection starting to become rock hard (when they happen)
PIED is starting to subside
Receptors in the brain are fully rejuvenated and balanced.

Beyond Day 90: PIED is cured (at a time that’s different for everybody)
You are a new person who clearly knows what he wants with his life

Hard Mode and Hardcore addict and NoFap on steroids (monk mode or doing things mentioned earlier)

Day 1-7: Filled with excitement and energy
Energy is peaked on day 7-8.
Sleep pattern is good.

Day 8-14: Craving for porn is controllable at this time
Insomnia
Flatline starts (for most people)

Day 15-30: Prolactin starts dropping
Dopamine and androgen receptors start building back up
Cravings are reduced drastically and are better handled
Energy level is increased considerably
Flatline still present (for most people)
Sleep pattern back to good

Day 30-60: Receptors are balanced
Memory improvement and ability to recall is noticeable here
Energy level continues to increase
More clarity on individuality
Sleep pattern is good and filled with vivid dreams
Receptors in the brain are fully rejuvenated and balanced.
Flatline begins to subside (in most cases)

Day 60-90: Erection starting to become rock hard (when they happen)
PIED is cured (in 95% of cases)
Benefits of Day 30-60 still lingers and continues to increase

Beyond Day 90: PIED is cured (for the remaining 5%)
You are a new person who clearly knows what he wants with his life

Closing thoughts on NoFap recovery timeline

People ask this question of what NoFap recovery timeline looks like a lot. Mainly because they have a misguided notion on what the impact NoFap would be on their lives.

All those YouTube videos on “NoFap and attraction” have made people mystify the NoFap challenge.

Just like the coming of Deadpool 2 (I’m obviously obsessed with the movie. And this is what my brain could bring as a reference right now), expectations are just too damn high.

Manage your expectations

Why don’t you stop asking when?

If you are on NoFap or looking to start, one advice I could give you right here and now is to manage your expectations.

One of the tricks that your mind will play on you is the trick of expectation.

When you expect too much of something, you’ll FAIL to recognize the progress you’ve made.

Thoughts like “this isn’t working”, “this is a waste of time”, “this is not as advertised” will start popping into your head.

These thoughts are the beginning of a relapse.

If you do NoFap for the wrong reasons, you end up feeling disappointed. And you eventually relapse.

I started having success with NoFap when I knew two things:

  1. The first thing was that the reason why I wanted to do NoFap was much more profound

I couldn’t afford to continue to waste two hours DAILY watching porn. And I couldn’t AFFORD to be feeling tired every day again.

The real world had come calling. I wasn’t getting any younger. I NEEDED those TWO HOURS and that ENERGY I’ve been wasting.

Wasn’t doing NoFap for the increase in testosterone, or the attraction from the female, or the colorfulness of this life.

To cut the long story short, I wasn’t EXPECTING NoFap to fix everything.

The second thing that I knew was……

  1. That NoFap isn’t a challenge, it’s a way of life

Counting days on the calendar, checking if so so and so has happened to you, scouring forums for superpowers, these are all highways to a relapse.

This is supposed to be something you aim to do forever (Staying off porn at least).

Being addicted to porn is like an infected limb that’ll never get better. A limb you should aim to cut off permanently for a new and healthier one to grow. (This metaphor didn’t make sense to me but I hope it somehow does for you).

I wish you success in your NoFap journey.

STAY FAP-FREE, STAY BLESSED.

PS: You can learn more about willpower, concentration and focus, and the prefrontal cortex in this manual

14 thoughts on “NoFap Recovery Timeline: How Long Till I Get Superpowers?”

  1. this article gave me full commitment and knowledge on how to handle my current situation thanks for your well organized information.

    Reply
  2. Great article . Glad to see that the expectations are set correct and not focussed on the hype of super powers . After reading through many No fap articles and forums , I have come to a point I feel I belong to a seriously lost category . I have been fapping for the last 23+ years ! Hardcore , thanks to a profession where i am lonly for long long periods . I used to treat porn as good and “safe” . I never realized how deep I had dug myself , have a pretty decent IQ, for most people in my society I am a succesful person profeasionaly and personally but all the feelings I go through have been echoed in the forums . 2 hours a day or 3 times is a low for me . I dont want to fall into the guilt because I am trying to let go of that , but the time I have wasted is monumental ,ashamed to say it even in a place like this , 1/3 nearly might have been lost to this ,sleep was sacrificed for porn , So much money on cam sites , internet data gosh . Like you I realised i have no time left nor energy and then came across this amazing community of No fap . I just want my normal back . I dnt remember what normal is . Always have had brain fog and never realized . I dont want to forget the turns when I drive , I want to see dreams again . Like you rightly say , no point looking at datez . I dont want this , i want rid of this addiction . I had left smoking from 20-30 a day to zero and last 5 years have been completely smoke free . I hope i feel the same about No fap . So much so much lost because of the things fapping had brought about .. Thank god atleast I know now . Thanks for this write up I am finding it very helpful .

    Reply
    • Hello Manu,
      I’m glad you are finding the post helpful. I just want you to know that it is possible to break free from this addiction once you have made the decision to do so.
      And in no time, normal will be back.
      Wish you the very best

      Reply
      • happy to see this article, im on 18 day hardmode. though still having weak erection i hope one day i will be okay

        Reply
  3. I used to be what this article considers a hardcore fapper (17 years almost every day). I don’t agree that you can’t reverse the addiction, since I obviously have no more daily urges (not counting wet dreams). Sometimes I peek at sexy pictures (maybe once or twice a week) but I have no desire to start masturbating, and the thoughts I used to have about porn videos I wanted to watch have subsided. Like, 99.9%.

    Just letting everyone know in case they thought it was hopeless.

    Reply
    • Hello John,

      I’m happy you were able to reverse the addiction.

      I want to clarify that I’m not saying that urges to watch porn can’t be gone 99.9% of the time. It’s just a caution to be careful with that 0.01% and not be too confident and watch porn.

      It’s been proven scientifically that the path carved out by delta fosB still remains in the brain. I was just trying to caution against what usually results in the relapse of long-term nofappers.

      Just as you said, you take a peep at sexy pictures. Which is quite different from outrightly watching porn. And I would still stand by my advice that no matter how long you’ve been on nofap, you shouldn’t go near porn. Don’t push the envelope!!

      Reply
  4. Excellent article and very eye opening. Have been searching for this kind of mature subject handling and finally found it. Thanks for sharing your experiencing and word of wisdom. Very enlightening to say the least…

    Reply
  5. Really glad to have read such a down to earth and seemingly maturer summary of what to expect from NoFap. Thanks for sharing and giving me the motivation I needed to continue.

    Reply

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