This post was updated on 17/09/2021
A relapse on the NoFap challenge is inevitable.
Whether it’s a short streak—like 1 to 2 weeks of no PMO—or a long streak, hardly can you put those streaks together without relapsing.
At least when you first start doing the NoFap challenge, relapse is inevitable.
I often tell my friends that if you don’t relapse on your first or second try of the NoFap challenge, you weren’t a PMO addict in the first place.
There’s no long-term fap-free person out there (that would give you NoFap challenge tips and tricks) that doesn’t have one or two relapses under his belt.
Those guys you see on Reddit that have gone for two years of NoPMO would have had several relapses in the past.
But that’s life right?
No success without failure. No positive without negative. No light without darkness. The yin and yang of everything.
But with every seed of failure comes an equal opportunity to grow, and be better.
And if it’s any consolation, a relapse whenever you’re on a NoFap streak is a wake-up call for you.
It’s a way of knowing that you have a compulsive addiction problem that needs your attention.
That said, the next time you relapse on the NoFap challenge, don’t take it as the end of the world.
Take it as an opportunity for you to become better at doing the NoFap challenge.
What counts as a NoFap challenge relapse though?
A NoFap relapse means different things to different people.
As a result, there are still open debates on what counts as a NoFap relapse.
Without bogging you down with the details, I’ll give you my opinion on what counts as a NoFap relapse in my book.
For a second, think of PMO addiction as a cycle; if the start of that cycle is a trigger to masturbate to porn—the trigger might be seeing a hot girl walking down your street; then there’s the middle of the cycle where you pick up your device, stream the porn, and struff your stuff to it. The end of the cycle is when you orgasm.
Orgasm is the reward your brain promises you—which had you streaming porn for 2 hours.
To me, a relapse is when you fully complete the addiction cycle.
You relapse when you Orgasm to Porn.
For instance, if you’re on NoFap hard mode, and you’re edging yourself to porn (or without porn), or you’re watching porn without masturbating, and you’re able to stop without ejaculating, you’ve not relapsed.
But hold your phone….
Don’t be thinking it’s alright to be edging while you’re on NoFap.
If you’re on a NoFap streak, I don’t care how long your NoFap tracker says that your streak’s been—if your reboot is not yet completed—once you reach the middle of the cycle described above, 99 times out of 100, you’ll reach the end.
In other words, if you’re on NoFap challenge and you’re taking a peek at porn, you’re edging, stroking yourself in the bathroom, thinking it’s all harmless fun, I can promise you that in a short time, you’ll FULLY relapse.
If you want to learn more about what really counts as a NoFap relapse, you can watch the video below:
A relapse is not all bad….. if;
As much as I want to label ‘relapse’ a villain on your NoFap challenge journey, I can’t bring myself to do that.
Because I’m a firm believer that with every failure, comes an opportunity to become more enlightened.
It’s when you fail to take any valuable lesson from your relapse that it’s all bad.
A relapse provides you with some opportunities. And those opportunities are listed below;
A NoFap relapse gives you a conviction of your addiction
Let’s assume you just read about the NoFap challenge on a forum. And most of the things you read sounded like horseshit to you.
Let’s say you’re not convinced you’re a PMO addict—because you can’t bring yourself to believe that porn (which feels that good) can have devastating effects on your well-being.
But you tried the NoFap challenge anyway. Because you thought it will be a piece of cake.
And after just one week, when you literally couldn’t go a day longer, and you’ve come across the NoFap hardest days, you relapsed.
If you paid close attention to the porn urges you were getting on the NoFap streak, no one would have to tell you that you have an addiction problem.
If you do not relapse on your first NoFap challenge, that meant you aren’t a PMO addict in the first place.
To me, a relapse is the real test of addiction to any compulsive behavior.
This is the first positive you can take from your relapse. It helps you to know that you’re addicted to porn and masturbation.
Moving forward, you’ll take the NoFap challenge more seriously next time you do it.
A NoFap relapse provides you with a learning opportunity
Let me repeat this to you again;
Before there can be success, there has to be failure.
Before there can be a successful Reboot and a Recovery, there has to be a Relapse.
And when these relapses occur, it’s a window for you to see what you need to start doing, what you need to change, and what you need to stop doing.
Examples of lessons you learn when you relapse are; the cues that set off your addiction cycle, your physical triggers, your emotional triggers, and so on.
But this learning process is only possible if you pay attention.
Immediately after the relapse, instead of feeling sorry for yourself, retrace your steps and figure out what led you to that relapse.
Was it an emotional state you were in? Was it boredom? Were you triggered by a particular time of the day when you were by yourself in your room? Was it depression or loneliness? Was it happiness?
You’ll be really surprised at your triggers if you give your relapse a deep thought.
A NoFap relapse doesn’t mean your progress is lost
A lot of people get disheartened after a relapse because they think that all the rewiring and rebooting going on in their brain is now lost.
I’m here to emphatically tell you that your progress is not lost.
The relapse itself is not your problem.
It’s what comes after the relapse. It’s how you deal with what comes after and the steps you take after the relapse that counts.
The relapse itself is not your failure. It’s how you pick yourself up after the relapse that determines if you’ve really failed at the NoFap challenge or not.
If you relapse and go on a PMO binge, then, your progress is now lost.
If you relapse and start feeling depressed and feeling sorry for yourself, then, your progress is now lost.
After your relapse, If you start thinking that the NoFap challenge isn’t worth it—you didn’t notice any difference in your life while you were on it, then, your progress is now really gone.
Because chances are that you’re going to binge and you’ll come out worse than you were before the challenge.
Believe me, these patterns of thinking after your relapse are all nothing more than your brain’s way of staying addicted to PMO.
But instead of falling for your brain’s gimmicks, you can choose to focus on the positive side of a relapse.
If you’re not careful, you might enter the chaser effect realm and find it hard to get back on the NoFap challenge wagon.
If you’ve been paying attention, so far in this article, I’ve been trying to get you in a “relapse is not the end of the world” mentality.
It’s easier to move forward and start a new chapter of NoFap challenge from this frame of mind.
You can learn more about the benefits of relapsing on NoFap by watching the video below:
But how do you move forward though?
What are those exact things you can do to make sure you don’t go back into that porn and masturbation ditch you worked so hard to get yourself out of in the first place?
Here is a list of things to do to deal with NoFap relapse after any NoFap streak;
13 things you can do to deal with NoFap relapse after a NoFap streak
Shift your mindset from that of failing to that of learning
At the risk of beating a dead horse, this is the first thing you have to do after a NoFap relapse.
As I’ve been saying, don’t think that your relapse is the end of your NoFap challenge journey.
All the progress you’ve made on NoFap challenge is still intact.
Your NoFap relapse only means it’s time for you to learn more about yourself and your PMO addiction cycle.
So, take a pen, a paper, and take note of the next point on the list;
Make a note of what led to your relapse
After the relapse, sit down, quiet your mind, and retrace your steps.
Think of the moments leading up to the relapse.
Your goal is to determine what your PMO triggers are.
These triggers might be an emotional state or a physical state.
Examples of physical triggers are things like watching a movie that has nudity, watching the music channel, seeing a hot model on Instagram, or just fantasizing porn thoughts.
Examples of emotional triggers are things like boredom, depression, feeling inadequate about something, failing at something, and on and on.
Some cues have been subconsciously programmed to trigger porn use after an event occurs in your life.
These cues now work so well because you usually PMO when any of these events occur. As a result, your brain has built strong neural pathways from those events to PMOing.
Examples of these events are things like;
- being alone at home,
- sitting down in front of your computer,
- taking a bath in the morning,
- when you can’t fall asleep at night, and so on.
So, after your relapse, write down those things triggering your porn use.
Eliminate the triggers that you can, and prepare for those that you can’t eliminate—so you don’t relapse to those triggers next time.
For instance, if;
- the hot model on Instagram,
- the music channel, and
- being home alone at home
are the triggers you identified, moving forward, you can do the following;
- unfollow that hot model on Instagram,
- stay off the music channel,
- don’t be alone at home by yourself. And if you are, do something to keep your mind busy.
Prepare yourself for the chaser effect
In case you don’t know what this is, the NoFap chaser effect is that PMO binge you go on after a NoFap relapse.
The chaser effect happens after you orgasm on a NoFap streak. Irrespective of whether that orgasm is through porn or partnered sex.
You’ve starved your body of orgasm, so, your body wants more. That’s what it is.
After your NoFap relapse, what you need to do is be aware of the likelihood of going on a PMO binge.
Being aware will help you catch it on its heels rather than the chaser effect catching you by surprise.
After your relapse, you might be thinking “what the hell, I’ve already relapsed, might as well binge on it”.
The harm in binging after the relapse is that it’ll be hard to get back on NoFap and you’ll be much worse than you were before you started the streak. You’ll be drained physically, mentally, and emotionally after the binge.
Learn more about the NoFap chaser effect and what to do to beat it here.
Revisit your NoFap goals to get motivated to continue your NoFap challenge
There’s no better time to revisit why you’re doing the NoFap challenge than after a NoFap relapse.
Rethink the goals you want to achieve with the NoFap challenge.
If the reason why you’re doing NoFap is that you suffer a form of erectile dysfunction, is it cured?
What did you want to gain from the NoFap challenge? Have you achieved that goal?
If you’re doing NoFap to rewire your brain, to detox from porn, do you think the process is completed?
If you’re doing NoFap to get a girlfriend, have you achieved that goal?
It’s crucial to revisit these goals and remind yourself of the need to get back on the NoFap challenge wagon then and there.
At this juncture, you must renew your NoFap challenge motivation. Doing this will help to renew your resolve.
For motivation, you can go to the NoFap community on Reddit or you can go on YouTube and watch videos of people that the NoFap challenge has changed their lives.
You can get some NoFap challenege help, tools, and resources here.
On these platforms, you see people that have done what you’re trying to do and have come out on the other side and are enjoying life more than they did when they were addicted to PMO.
Take a social media break
Speaking of using social media positively for your NoFap challenge, a social media break might be what you need after your NoFap relapse.
A lot of relapses are triggered by content on social media.
Apart from social media triggering porn use, it’s also a source of insatiable dopamine that leaves your brain wanting more.
If this does not lead to a relapse, it will affect the benefits you’re supposed to get on the NoFap challenge.
If you’re the type of person that browse social media all the time, one of the things you can do to ease yourself back onto the NoFap challenge wagon is to take a social media break.
Doing this will help you increase dopamine fasting—so that you get the NoFap benefits coming in fast.
Also, you reduce the likelihood of relapsing because of social media in the future.
Eat healthy diets and stay hydrated
Your diet is directly linked with your willpower system.
The healthier you eat, the easier it is to resist the urge to binge on porn.
Apart from resisting the urge to binge, you want your body to quickly recuperate what you’ve lost in terms of semen nutrients when you relapsed.
After your relapse, you might be tempted to eat junks (because of your active limbic system at the moment).
But if you drink lots of water and eat healthily, you’ll notice that you’ll quickly be able to recover from your relapse and start feeling better as soon as possible.
Vegetables and fruits are foods that are packed with a lot of nutrients that can quickly rejuvenate your body after a NoFap relapse.
Do a dopamine boosting workout
After a NoFap relapse, it’s important to feel good.
One of the best, fastest, and healthiest ways to feel good is to do rounds of High-Intensity Interval Training exercises (HIIT).1
These workouts have been scientifically proven to release endorphins and dopamine. And these hormones will have you feeling better in no time.
The good part about these exercises is that most of them don’t require equipment to do.
You can do them immediately after your relapse from the comfort of your home.
This is one thing you’re better off not doing when you’re on NoFap challenge.
When you relapse on NoFap, if you’ve been edging yourself—either to porn or without porn, you should resolve to stop doing it when you get back on the NoFap challenge wagon.
As I said at the beginning of this post, if you edge when you’re on NoFap, 99 times out of 100, you’ll end up relapsing.
Apart from the inevitable relapse, when you edge, you’re chipping away at the benefits you’re supposed to be getting on the NoFap challenge.
This is because the dopamine you get from edging will keep hindering the dopamine rebalancing going on in your brain.
You can learn everything you need to know about NoFap edging here.
Get out of the house/interact with other people
Loneliness, depression, and boredom all play major roles in the relapse of most people on the NoFap challenge.
If your relapse was because of either of these reasons, there’s a high chance that a pattern—of binging on porn, Netflix, video games, junk food—is formed because of the continued loneliness, depression, and boredom.
After the relapse, you’ll need to interrupt this pattern.
How do you do this?
You interrupt the pattern by getting out of your room or getting out of your house altogether.
And apart from helping you to prevent the binging effect, getting outside and interacting with other human beings will start making you feel better.
So, depending on the time of the day, or the situation you’re currently in, you can go for a walk, you can go hang out with friends or have them come over.
This is why having a gym membership or having activities to do outside of your house is good on the NoFap challenge.
It allows you to expand your life’s horizon a little bit more.
Boost your testosterone by doing testosterone-boosting workout
Testosterone is a vital hormone for a man and when you have enough of this hormone in your body, you’re healthier, happier, and feeling more manly.
The kicker is that when we relapse on PMO, we instantly lose a considerable amount of this hormone.
So, after a NoFap relapse, the best thing to do is to replenish this hormone.
To release more of this hormone, one of the best ways to do that is to do weight training exercises (find a link to the workouts here) or play a physical sport like soccer, basketball, and so on.
Take a cold shower
After a game or a demanding training session, it’s now a common tradition for top athletes—like David Beckham—to dip themselves in an ice bath.
They claim it helps them to recover faster, boost their testosterone levels, and improve their mood.
Researchers have confirmed these benefits of exposing your body to these lower temperature baths.
After your relapse, you don’t have to dip your balls in ice, you can however have a cold shower.
A cold shower has been shown by several studies to have several benefits.
According to this Medical Hypotheses journal article.2
This study showed that cold showers activate the sympathetic nervous system and release both endorphins and norepinephrine.
Both neurotransmitters elevate the mood when they’re secreted), one of those benefits is that it boosts your mood.
In the context of a NoFap challenge relapse, a lot of people fall into the emotional trap of shame and depression.
To save yourself from these, and get yourself in a good mood, taking a cold shower is one of the quickest ways to do so.
Apart from boosting your mood, cold showers have been shown by this study3 to increase your level of serum testosterone.
This will help you to compensate for the testosterone you lost after your PMO session.
If you’re already a person that meditates, then stick with it.
But if you don’t meditate, and you’re doing the NoFap challenge, I highly recommend you start meditating.
The impact of meditating on NoPMO can’t be ignored.
It helps a lot of people to deal with a relapse on NoFap. And apart from dealing with a NoFap relapse, meditation helps to avoid a relapse in the first place.
Find a place to sit and calm your mind. It’ll work wonders for your state of mind.
Get AWWP!! Cause you need it
It takes some people a lot of relapse on their NoFap challenge to figure out that it isn’t an easy thing to do.
If you keep relapsing, that means you need help and you need to take it seriously.
You need to prepare for your next NoFap challenge or semen retention challenge, and start these challenges in the right way. If you don’t do these, you may keep relapsing.
When it comes to getting help on how to beat your porn and masturbation addiction, there are limited resources out there.
The thing I can recommend is the AWWP course. Which is a comprehensive guide that has everything you’ll need on how to beat this addiction, and never go back to it.
From blocking porn on all your devices free of charge, to how to boost your willpower tremendously, the course has everything you need.
It even teaches you how to get an accountability partner free of charge.
The course contains meditation and hypnotic mp3s that helps to subconsciously rewire your brain to be successful in breaking your porn and masturbation addiction.
And since your aim is not only to quit porn, there are other resources in the course that helps you succeed in all the other areas of life.
After getting the course, you’ll notice that it becomes super-easy for you to resist the urge to relapse to porn and masturbation.
Summary: You can get back on the NoFap challenge wagon
If I were to summarize this post, so far, all I’ve been saying so far is this;
After your relapse, whatever you do, don’t binge!!
Eat healthy, exercise, meditate, get outside, interact with others….
In other words, after your relapse, don’t beat yourself up. Take care of yourself.
After that, get back on the NoFap challenge wagon.
If you can put together the number of days you did, you can do it again. And as hard as it might be for you to accept, the NoFap challenge does get easier the more you do it.
If you have any question you’ll like to ask me, thoughts you’d like to add to the post, use the comment section below.
And please, please, and please, share this post. You never know who it might help.
Till we speak again, STAY HEALTHY, STAY WEALTHY.
No Porn Challenge
Sources and Footnotes
- An example of a HIIT is this scientifically proven to work 7-minute workout.
- Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression.
- Trends of male factor infertility, an important cause of infertility: A review of literature. This interesting study reviewed 6,455 sperm from healthy men and found that over three years, the testosterone levels of these men increased radically in colder months