A group of Reddit users on the discussion site’s NoFap sub-reddit have committed to “New Life” November 2017 (aka. “No Nut November”), a 30-day no masturbation challenge meant to help people “reboot” from a life of “excessive masturbation,” porn and sex addiction. Some NoFappers — or Fapstronauts, as some call themselves — claim that abstaining from porn, masturbation and orgasms helps them feel more focused, energetic and confident.
According to nofap.com, the sub-reddit’s official website, the group embraces not masturbating as a way “to help you quit porn, improve your relationships and reach your sexual health goals.” They’re open to people of any gender and couples and call their approach, “science-based, secular and sex-positive.”
The group isn’t anti-masturbation or anti-porn per se. In fact, it began in June 2011 after a man named Alexander Rhodes decided to quit masturbating for a week as a way to curb his porn use.
Rhodes shared his experience on Reddit and eventually found a small community of people who reported other personal improvements when they quit masturbating.
Here’s a video on the effects of web porn (linked to by the NoFap sub-reddit):
Since then, No Fap has encouraged its members to “reboot” from porn, masturbation and orgasms (PMO) using one of four modes. “Lite Mode” involves no porn; the “Standard Reboot” involves no porn or masturbating (with or without orgasming); “Hard Mode” involves no porn, masturbating, orgasming at all, even if done with a sexual partner; “Monk Mode” combines Hard Mode with another personally-created challenge like fasting, working out or avoiding all video media altogether.
Although No Fap encourages a 90-day reboot, they suggest that new Fapstronauts abstain for any length of time that feels like a accomplishment. The Reddit forum functions as a place for support and encouragement, but they also have a weekly newsletter, a YouTube channel (with no videos on it), a paid NoFap premium account with a 24/7 peer chatroom and weekly online support group and an “emergency app” for those who need help abstaining or remaining positive when urges occur.
While some NoFappers say that they’ve discovered newfound confidence, free-time, energy, emotional maturity and intimacy as a result of their non-masturbation, the group’s main goal is to help its members “obtain a healthy sexuality where they prefer sexual interactions with people rather than a computer screen” or to recover from porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED), something that can happen when a person becomes over-dependent on pornography for sexual arousal.
Featured image by yanyong via iStock