Porn, Masturbation and Mojo: A Neuroscience Perspective

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Update, 7-12-14: The first peer-reviewed study to ask the question finds porn-induced ED. About 60% of compulsive porn users reported erectile dysfunction in this brain scan study - Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours (2014). From the study (CSB are compulsive porn users):

CSB subjects reported that as a result of excessive use of sexually explicit materials.....experienced diminished libido or erectile function specifically in physical relationships with women (although not in relationship to thesexually explicit material) (N = 11)...

The subjects stated that porn use caused their ED. The average age was 25, yet 11 out of the 19 subjects experienced erectile dysfunction and diminished libido with partners, but not with porn.

 


 

Ex-porn users usually get their mojo back. Why?

Not long ago, a guy explained to his fellow forum members:

Around 2008/2009, people started surfacing on the Internet who were freaked out that they had erectile dysfunction during sex, but at the same time could get a solid erection to varying degrees of extreme porn with the help of some good old death-grip masturbation. The weird thing was that thousands of people sometimes responded to these forum posts, saying they had the same exact symptoms. Stopping masturbation to Internet porn helped reverse their porn-induced ED.

Besides normal libido, they reported other positive changes: Depression and social anxiety going away, increased confidence, improved concentration, the feeling of fulfillment and being on top of the world.

I'm one of those guys. The amazing part is that a year before I tried giving up porn, I even went to see psychiatrists and psychologists who diagnosed me with severe social anxiety disorder and depression, and wanted to put me on antidepressants, which I never agreed to.

When I went on my first no-porn/masturbation streak (~80 days) I started noticing the benefits reported by others. Today, on my 109th day of a streak, I feel happy, confident, social, smart, capable of meeting any challenge, etc., etc.

For guys like him, giving up porn has had remarkable benefits. Such guys often wonder if it's all placebo effect, or if physiological changes might be behind the improvements. They also wonder why some users have different experiences. In this post, we'll look at research that may help to explain why improvements vary and for whom.

Dopamine: a common thread

Although symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, social anxiety, lack of motivation, concentration problems and depression are quite different, they share a common finding in the scientific literature. All have been associated with altered dopamine signaling in the brain's reward circuitry. Dopamine is the "go get it" neurochemical essential for libido, risk-taking, motivation, focus, and anticipation and cheerfulness.

In other words, a decline in dopamine signaling is associated with all of these:

Or to state it all more positively: When dopamine and related neurochemicals are properly regulated, sexual attraction, socializing, concentration and feelings of wellbeing are more effortless.  We suspect that a return to normal dopamine signaling helps explain why many guys report the same improvements as they unhook from excessive consumption of Internet porn. The reports are often striking.

Why do some guys see rapid improvements, while others need months to feel "normal" again?

The answer is probably that some users are just recovering from a bit of excessive ejaculation (via frequent masturbation, which appears to be harder on humans than frequent intercourse). In contrast, others need to reverse the more lasting brain-changes associated with addiction. Let's examine these possibilities in more detail.

Excessive ejaculation - Animal models reveal that there is such a thing as too much ejaculation.  When the number of ejaculations reaches a set threshold, the brain's delicate reward circuitry applies the brakes. Scientists note three obvious effects: sexual inhibition, loss of the anti-anxiety benefits of sex, and "drug hypersensitivity," which is also observed after repeated doses of drugs of abuse. The researchers surmise that this "hangover" of neuroplastic changes may be a protective measure against overstimulation of the brain's reward circuitry:

It could be thought that the long lasting sexual inhibition resulting from copulation to satiation constitutes a protective mechanism against over stimulation of the brain circuits involved in its processing.

The changes observed suggest that too much ejaculation temporarily modifies dopamine signaling in the brain. Scientists report that most of the changes in the affected animals reverse themselves within 4 days. To restore their mojo fully the animals need up to 15 days.

Were guys who recover quickly from porn use previously overriding their normal sexual satiation mechanisms and unwittingly causing a decline in dopamine signaling?

Of course, dopamine is not the only neurochemical affected by ejaculation. Scientists have already measured other changes in the brains of sexually exhausted rats as well: 

  • reduced androgen receptors,
  • higher estrogen receptors, and
  • increases in opioids.

All have the potential to dampen libido because they also inhibit dopamine.

Of these, the most interesting is the reduction in brain androgen (testosterone) receptors. With the first ejaculation, androgen receptors begin a progressive decline, which encompasses additional brain regions as male rats sexually exhaust themselves. With fewer androgen receptors in the reward circuit and hypothalamus, males are less responsive to the effects of testosterone—even if they are churning out plenty of it.

Bottom line: Some guys who give up frequent masturbation to Internet porn probably experience increased motivation, social confidence, improved concentration and normal libido simply because the neurochemical changes discussed in this section are reversing themselves fairly quickly.

This guy, for example, was only at day 24 of no porn/masturbation when he wrote:

1) My confidence was at an all time low for most of my life. NOW, I am more confident than EVER! Confident in my appearance, charisma and personality.

2) I don't stumble like a blubbering moron like I did: 'Uhh, uhhhmmm.... mmmm.. well...ah ...so what's...uh..your name....(pulls out phone and stares at a black screen, avoiding eye contact).' Now I look hot girls right in the eyes and give them a confident, outgoing and seduction-like smile.

3) Girls are noticing me. A LOT MORE! The hot, fit girls at the gym who I thought were way out of my league are now giving me smiles, stares, and flirt with me.

4) Before, I would never have ever guessed that they were flirting. Now I notice the blushing, twisting of hair, seductive pose, the eye-f-ing, all of it!!

5) Social anxiety is pretty much gone. I walk into a room like a f-ing boss with a smile on my face, and project confidence like crazy. No longer afraid of group work at university, not afraid of job interviews. MY ACNE IS GONE! I could not believe it!

6) I hear this too much, "Oh god, it's like you're a different person. I never thought you were so good at ___ etc, etc, etc."

Addiction-related changes - In contrast with the ejaculation-related changes just discussed, addiction-related changes are more extensive and longer lasting. Worse yet, a nasty withdrawal often lies between quitting any addiction and returning to balance. For a look at these changes in more detail see Porn, Pseudoscience and ΔFosB  and Recent Internet Addiction Studies Include Porn.

So where does dopamine fit in? As explained in Recent Internet Addiction Studies Include Porn, a standard change in addicts' brains is desensitization. This term refers to a general dialing down of the addict's responsiveness to all pleasure...a baseline drop in dopamine and fewer dopamine (D2) receptors. It leaves the addict less sensitive to everyday pleasures, and "hungry" for dopamine-raising activities/substances of all kinds.

In the case of porn addiction low dopamine and dopamine receptors could potentially account for lots of symptoms heavy users report. For example, low dopamine D2 receptors play a role in conditioned fear and anxiety, social anxiety, ADHD, and motivation

In fact, when a medical student courageously allowed doctors to deplete his dopamine briefly, look what happened:

During increasing dopamine depletion in this case, a range of subjective experiences appeared and disappeared consecutively. These experiences resembled negative symptoms [loss of motivation, dulled senses, decreased fluency, lower mood, fatigue, brain fog, restlessness, feelings of shame, fear], obsessive-compulsive symptoms, thought disorders, and anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Addiction researchers have measured a decline in dopamine and dopamine D2 receptors in the brains of addicts of all kinds, including Internet addicts. This decline in D2 receptors can happen very quickly with "natural rewards," such as junk food, and may precede other addiction-related changes. Users who are lucky enough to recover their mojo quickly may do so because they restore their D2 receptor levels before addiction sets in.

In most people, the brain naturally heals this desensitization—if the user can quit long enough to give it a chance. This is precisely what thousands of former porn users are doing with the support of their peers or therapists.

Incidentally, porn use has to alter more than just the fundamental addiction pathways (in some brains). It's striking how frequently porn addicts report chronic sexual dysfunction, which reverses itself as they recover. This doesn't happen with other addictions. These broader effects may help explain loss of mojo. Could porn addiction, because it hijacks sexuality, have the power to interfere with the brain circuits that govern normal male mating/courting behavior?

As with the guys described earlier who bounce back quickly, former addicts who return to normal dopamine signaling naturally experience increased motivation, social confidence, improved concentration and normal libido. Getting there just takes a lot more determination and time. Many of their stories can be found among the accounts at the bottom of this page. Here are two short reports:

I feel like an animal now - ha! I lost my fire in life because of porn but now it's back and it's INCREDIBLE! I ended up with a girl on day 104 and ED wasn't an issue at all. I just did my job like all the men on the earth who have lived before me!

And here's a guy reporting at 230 days:

I'd been watching porn for so long that it had completely taken over my sexuality. Without it I was essentially asexual. ... I wanted to build up a new sense of sexuality, one centered around real women and completely detached from porn. It worked! My attraction to real women has magnified to levels it never had reached before.

To sum up this section:

1) Excess ejaculation can lead to significant brain changes that may possibly take as long as 15 days to fully reverse. This could help explain short-term benefits.

2) Recovery from porn addiction-related brain changes (i.e., increased D2 receptors and dopamine as well as a higher functioning frontal cortex) could help explain both short and long-term benefits.

Sadly, there are also a few guys who don't see the improvements they hope to when they give up porn—even after months of being fairly consistent. It's likely they're struggling with pre-existing conditions that had little to do with their porn habits. Interestingly, some conditions may be congenital or related to earlier trauma, and yet also be related to dopamine and dopamine signaling.

Monkey business

Primate studies show that dominant primates have higher D2 levels than submissive primates and that these levels are fluid. Addictions, for example, lower primates to submissive D2 levels. Consider the following:

Dominant primates have higher dopamine (D2) receptors than submissive primates, but not until hierarchy is established. That is, one cannot predict in advance which primates will become dominant based on D2 receptor levels. This permits new males to rise to the occasion when a troop leader disappears. A newbie's receptor levels rise when he assumes the throne. D2 receptor density is not innate, but rather responsive to circumstances. 

When hierarchy is established, it's not the submissive monkeys that have lower D2s, but the dominant primates that see a jump in dopamine receptors. In effect, they grow more sensitive to dopamine and are thus rewarded for being the dominant male. In humans, too, researchers observed that,

increased social status and increased social support correlated with the density of dopamine D2/D3 receptors.

Could it be that, as ex-porn users tear themselves away from their screens and socialize, their actions help support and increase their D2 receptor count and give them a welcome dopamine buzz? Or does the willingness to take social risk just naturally increase as dopamine receptors rise?

And what about those pesky "beta" feelings? Given that addictions cause a decline in dopamine D2 receptors, might porn addiction be keeping some heavy users feeling less "manly" than normal? In monkeys, long-term cocaine use brought all test subjects to similar D2 levels and wiped out status differences. Indeed, D2 receptors after cocaine administration do not correlate with levels of D2 receptors prior to cocaine administration. That is, overconsumption crashed all the monkeys equally—even the dominant ones.

D2 receptors are protective against addiction. Dominant male monkeys in a social group have higher D2s and are less likely to imbibe cocaine. The protective effects of higher D2s have been duplicated in human studies. Can we rule out the possibility that heavy porn use at a young age leads to a cycle of lower D2s, followed by increased use and further D2 declines?

Not all monkeys recover from the effects of addiction in the same timeframe. After 3 months, 60 percent of the addicted monkeys had recovered their normal D2 levels. However, 40 percent had not. This may help explain the variable rate of recovery and reported benefits

At any event, mojo appears to be somewhat dependent upon normal dopamine signaling.

What about testosterone?

Most guys logically assume that blood testosterone levels must somehow be involved with the benefits they experience. It is not. Blood testosterone levels are not significantly affected by ejaculation or abstinence. In fact, except for a one day spike, abstinence has no effect on blood testosterone levels. We think the most important clues lie in the brain.

Sexual desire, erections and many of the mojo-feelings associated with testosterone are actually dopamine-dependent. Testosterone is relevant, because it binds to strategically located androgen receptors in the brain, which in turn raise dopamine or indirectly activate dopamine receptors. But if androgen or dopamine receptors have declined...mojo can be low. As explained earlier, in male rats, androgen receptors decline temporarily with each ejaculation, and take days to recover. Something similar may well be happening in humans.

In other words, it may be that testosterone's effects will be muted until receptors return to baseline. The links in the chain of mojo begin with androgen receptors and end with dopamine receptors. Of course, it’s also possible that unidentified circulating hormones are also altered by excessive masturbation or porn addiction. Certainly, the brain's dopamine system is intertwined with structures (hypothalamus, amygdala) that control the endocrine and autonomic nervous systems.

In short, the picture is complex, but if dopamine receptors and dopamine are low (addiction), or if brain androgen receptors have declined (ejaculation), all the testosterone in the world may not get you going.

What about the placebo effect?

The placebo effect doesn't explain the kinds of benefits recovering porn users see, because most benefits take a while to kick in, and even longer to stabilize (especially in addicts). The receptor-level hypothesis, however, aligns neatly with both anecdotal evidence and existing research on ejaculation and addiction. Whatever the precise mechanics, the effects are real, and that's good news for those recovering:

I have experienced some awesome benefits. First off, I finally have energy again! I haven't felt this good since high school. It's not like I'm Hulk or anything, but I finally have extra energy to DO stuff. I spent most of my early 20's in a state of low energy and mild depression. Now that I've stopped [masturbating to porn] twice a day, I've been exercising, being more social, and generally enjoying life.

Secondly, I'm really digging on all the women. There are women everywhere! Many are gorgeous. When I was [masturbating to porn] constantly, I'd criticize women in my head. Like, how they weren't attractive. Now my body just tells me who I find attractive, and some of it surprises me! Again, I'm not magically a massive player. But the part of me that is good with women is easier to access. And I have a LOT more courage. I think it comes down to fear vs desire—which is stronger? The fear hasn't changed much yet. But the desire is finally tipping the balance... towards taking action. And that's an awesome feeling.

T-Rex cartoon

Thirdly, and most importantly, I finally have gotten my life together. My job is challenging and rewarding, and I am able to meet my challenges. Fueled by my energy, things just seem much more... possible. I'm thinking bigger and bigger!

 


Comments

 

So, after starting and relapsing on and off for months.. I had a few small streaks where the benefits weren't as immense, and my relapses didn't leave me feeling completely terrible anymore.. So I thought it might be placebo effect.. Today, I had a new realization.. This isn't placebo at all.. 

So, as the title says.. Initially when I started I felt superhuman.. Then I relapsed.. And then began a long chain of starting and relapsing on and off, on and off. Eventually when I would get 4-5 days in, I didn't notice superhuman benefits anymore, and I would end up relapsing.. and I no longer had the crippling social anxiety the day after a relapse.. So I began to think this stuff was placebo, and that masturbation/porn wasn't so bad as I thought.. and that the reason I got such a huge benefit at first was because I simply believed in it..

I WAS WRONG. This is NOT placebo. I'm on day 5 now, and I noticed that my alpha characteristics are popping out like CRAZY lately. My posture is awesome, my eye contact is great, I'm talking more, more chicks are checking me out, etc. This shit is NOT placebo. It definitely makes you more dominant/masculine. I guess I just wasn't paying enough attention to my personality/actions the last couple of times that I go on board with nofap again.

DO THIS, and STICK TO IT. If you keep starting and relapsing, your brain kinda adjusts to that pattern, and so you'll stop noticing really big benefits in the first week or so like most people did when they first started. Stop relapsing, go out there, grow dopamine receptors, be fucking awesome.

REPLY:

I noticed that after some small streaks or a relapse my addicted brain would start to tell me how this whole recovery business was stupid and I should just go back to PMO. I do my very best not to listen to my brain right now.

Months back when first starting this recovery I began to notice the drastic changes in my behavior with socializing, eye contact, posture, speaking to girls (not trying to flirt since I am in a committed relationship, but just being able to talk), etc. I had more confidence and felt better about myself.

After a recent relapse I went through the typical depression and self-hatred, then pulled myself out of it. I remember going out for some errands and to my surprise I still kept up the eye contact, said hello to strangers, engaged in conversations and was an overall friendly and social person. When I got home, my addicted brain told me that clearly even using PMO I could still have all these benefits, but I didn't listen to that crap. I realized that even after a relapse, the benefits of this recovery do not simply wash away. I have learned the person I want to be and can be. It's getting easier to move forward even after the occasional slip. Recovery isn't linear for me, it's a spiral that slowly moves upward.

 

30 Days Report - Life goes on.

I have officially reached 1 month! (I have no badge) I must say this is truly the 'remedy' I've been looking for my Social Anxiety, low self esteem and endless 'what ifs' in my head. That's right, nofap helped me become a normal person again,

I used to be so so awkward that people will just avoid me like a plague. I don't think so much prior into putting in action and i become more bold and relaxed. 'NOT THINKING TOO MUCH' to me is the one thing that nofap has successfully instill in me. It was once seriously a liability to everything I do.

I'm sure some of you guys understand the feeling of thinking too much and eventually screwing things up , it's horible. ONWARD TO 90 DAYS!

I've told my therapist about it for a few weeks in a row. Dude I am 34 and went on adderall for the first time a few months ago. After 2 months of nofap, I really don't even need it anymore. :-)

Told My Doctor About Nofap/TEDx Talk, You Should Too!

On contrast the good things are on no fapping after 14 days are

- Feel heat in my penis, it looks alive. Morning solid erections after long time, 100% erection.

-Great tone of skin and hair.

- I feel younger, girls say hello to me, blink their eyes.

-Lifting heavy at the gym, I lift so heavy that big guys are now ashamed.

- Mental focus in certain academic tasks.

- I can see to the eyes of people when they are talking to me.

- Feel a Halo effect

- Wake up earlier, around 4am with great sleep, no more waking up tired.

from MedHelp

YEAR OF UPS AND DOWNS PART 2

The funny thing is that even though I haven't made a straight month or even 90 days or year without the old behaviour, the benefits I’ve felt have been possibly the most transformative change that I’ve made in my life.

  • focus - after about 2 days after each relapse, my focus becomes clearer and it's so much easier not to wander off into a daydream. In conversation I can concentrate on what people are saying and now I can actually read more than a sentence without getting distracted. This helps with my work, study, relationships, socializing and anything with a purpose.
  • Confidence - this is truly the most important benefit for me as my interactions with women had been poor. I can now make witty conversation with random women in the street. Let’s put this into perspective. At November 2011, it would take me a very long time to ask a good looking girl for directions in the "mall" as a way to desensitize myself to approaching women. Now, it's a laughable interaction that wouldn't change my heartbeat one bit. Even 10 days into the first attempt I was starting conversations with women (not to pick-up, but just for fun). I remember so vividly how proud of myself I was. This is one of my favourite changes.
  • Inferiority – no guy likes to feel inferior to other guys and I noticed this benefit more by my feelings of inferiority returning after a relapse. This doesn’t need much explanation and it’s also harder to explain. After a lapse, I feel more needy, emotional, sensitive etc. and after a week of abstinence start to feel the reverse….like a man. The term may be subjective and the effects less quantifiable but you notice it in a change of the automatic ways that the mind perceives things. For example, when you’re sitting opposite a cute girl on the train and an alpha male type of guy comes on a sits next to you. Inferiority feelings are dramatically less and I’d feel less fearful.
  • Increased desire to socialize - probably because I’m not getting my oxytocin from ejaculating to porn, I start to desire to socialize and guess what...when you want to talk to people, they actually like it (yeh, go figure). The number of times I get a phone call or txt could definitely correlate with my fapping if I recorded it. Whenever I had a binge, I’d not care about anyone in the world for a few days. What’s funny is that during PMO and after relapse, I felt incredibly lonely yet at the same time I didn’t want to know or care about anyone. I would sit at work or family dinners and just see people as so irrelevant yet cry in my room for feeling so lonely. During abstinence the reverse happens; even though I want to connect more, I don’t feel as lonely. This is VERY strange, so beautiful and very noticeable from the inside out.

To be honest I can fap easily with or without porn but when I don't fap at all I gain so much confidence, like becoming a whole another person.

Effects on exercise? 

 by qaqa1

I'm an avid runner, usually run 5 times a week. For the past week and a half, I've been doing great. I've constantly been beating my best times. I was improving alot. At the time I didn't realise it, but it was because I wasn't fapping. 10 days I went until I relapsed yesterday. I did it 4 times :/ (I just felt like I had this big void to fill). Whilst I wasn't fapping, I felt like a machine. It was great. I could really push myself.

However today was a different story.

First 100m: Wow I'm running really slow. After 200m: Holy shit I'm tired already.

I just felt so lethargic and had no motivation. I was thinking to myself, did I eat enough? Am I tired? After a few minutes whilst running, it hit me. The reason was because I fapped yesterday. So yeah, fapping hugely affected my performance. I just wanted to share this.

Anyone know why it affected me like that?

Energy gained from nofap clarification (my perspective)

After not fapping for around a week I'm noticing changes in how i conduct my life. Its not that I have more energy as in like I just drank a shit ton of caffeine and reached the level of 2 lines of coke, its mental energy. It helps with being able to notice when sloth takes over and actually going against it, willingly.
 
I noticed during the times of fap I would be able to notice my lack of energy, but would end up just getting depressed and saying "fuck it I don't know what to do anymore". There are less "fuck it I don't know what to do anymore" moments, and more "fuck I not only need to get my shit together, but actually have a genuine desire to" moments.

Superpower Gained: Execution Power 

by fapboogie61 days

(NoFap Day 62, pornfree Day 98) I’m doing chores and I noticed how easy it is for me to do them this past week. I’m actually motivated to do this stuff. It feels automated in a good way as if my brain is actually helping me out. The ability to get things done is definitely way, way up.

On some level for chronic masturbation abusers like me, there is a biological determinant in the brain and I feel that I have held out long enough for the neurotransmitters to rebalance. The contrast is extremely noticeable. Before I didn’t even want to get out of the house. I found it near impossible to drag myself out of bed. I had to fight my brain at every turn and it was stronger. Now I can do it without a second thought.

There is of course no superpowers. But if you were this guy who hasn’t drunk potable water in ages, clean water might was well taste like champagne to you.

Things might swing or stagnate badly now, but a few more days, a few more weeks and things will to start to look up again. Keep holding on brothers.

no fap got me super energy 

 by el_constant

I have been off and on on stopping masturbation for the past year, and it wasn't till I read a post by a guy here last week, who by doing nofap, became more confident and attractive to women.

I immediately thought, sign me up for that! I had gone to two weeks before, and didn't really notice any dramatic changes, (except just wanting to splurge everywhere), so I don't know why this time would be different. So that night I began this test of what this guy had claimed.

I wanted to quit no fap by the fourth day, but I decided to try and find someone on craigslist to take the tension away. I ended up just finding bots, but the thrill I guess that I would be able to find someone made me satisfied. The hunt.

Now by the fifth and sixth day is when I actually started to notice things. I run everyday anyway, (not when I had gone two weeks before) but I noticed with not masturbating, (while also eating better food and drinking more water), I just have tons of energy. I get shit down now. I don't have that procrastinating feel, and enjoy getting done what I need to.

I also noticed that I had gotten a pretty good nights sleep. I usually feel drained when I wake up, but now I feel refreshed.

I don't know how long these changes will last, its only been three days, and I kind of don't want them to go away. I just wanted to send encouragement for those doing this, and also if this has happened to anyone else?

Placebo effect? Feels like I'm benefiting regardless. 

by amalehuman12 days

Inspired by NoFap, I've been doing MO for the past 12 days. No PMO because NWS material is difficult to avoid with the sites I go to, and I checked out a few pics and vids on my HD for non-fap reasons. Whenever I have urges, I just come back here to get my motivation back! Distracting myself with other things is less helpful than coming back here, looking at the counter, and reminding myself of my long-term goal.

I've found that porn does not arouse me anymore, although I think it's because I tell myself I shouldn't be looking at porn. However, about 9 days in when I saw my girlfriend, merely seeing her change into different clothes turned me on so much I couldn't believe it. I was bulging out my sweatpants and leaking precum like a faucet unlike ever before. In fact, I'm here today because I felt an urge to have my way with her (except the first possible day for that is Wednesday...).

In outside life, I am feeling less shy, wanting to be more social. Here is where I'm not sure if it's actual physiological results from abstinence, or if it's just part of my mind telling myself that if I can abstain, I can do other things, too. But in any case, I feel an overall increased motivation to self-improve. My voice can still be nervous around girls, but now I'm more willing to talk to them--new classmates and old friends alike! My mood hasn't changed too much. Still feeling like a quiet, calm person.

I used to think fapping was a good way for me to calm down and not be nervous when talking to girls, but in retrospect, that just made me tired and boring (more so than usual anyway). This is my first post here and not that helpful for all the vets here, but I hope to have more success stories going forward!

My first month without fapping ever. 

by EPIC_BAGELS900031 days

I have more energy, have a better memory and I get stronger faster. Definitely worth it. I still expect more though, I still feel like i'm a socially awkward penguin.

Anybody else find that fapping affects your anxiety levels? 

I've been on a massive, disgusting relapse the past few days. No matter - I'll deal with that and move on.

My question here relates to anxiety levels. Not directly related to approaching women, or anything directly related to fapping or sex. Just anxiety in general.

I have other worries and concerns in life besides fapping as we all do, and just recently these have got me down far worse than in my weeks of nofap. Not sure if it's just a coincidence (as all these things are generally phasic) or whether the fapping is a factor in it all.

Your thoughts?

GUY 1)

Fapping is what creates my anxiety! for me anyhow. I now feel a whole lot more balanced and clear minded. Although this sheds lights on other things about your life which you might not like and sometimes these realisations can bring you down. Although all you can do is just get on with things. I feel like myself again. For the last two years I've been pondering on really stupid things, going over and over them in my head. Now I don't really have to think about anything it's just plain and clear. One thing I feel fapping takes away from you is you! I really wish I could explain it better but just generally I think it makes you feel better.

Try a month and come back to me then and tell me whether you feel anxious.

One thing I find that is really important to me is how I cope in social situations. Do you know those inexplainable moments when your with someone and you share movements and expressions that speak volumes that seem to only last seconds maybe even mili seconds but have such an impact on the rest of the social situation? call them first impressions as you may but now I don't even have to worry about those moments which I used to dread. Where everyone in the group is finding there footing with each other. Now the attitude I want to convey and how I feel comes directly across as it should. I have no thoughts that consume me and stop me from talking. Everything's more natural and how things used to be when I was a kid.

Seriously, give it a month and I bet you'll be feeling less anxious and rather than this have a more realistic approach to the way you think

I'm 47 I feel 27 

by Gus36024 days

Feeling 25 at 47 man I feel I've discovered the fountain of youth with Nofap!! Ive been a fit high energy man all my life but after just a few short weeks I feel awsome!! Man I'm working out harder and running futher and faster and got swagger like John Wayne !! I wish I was doing this 20 years ago I would have been magnifasent!! If this is testestorne going up great if not I dont care I only no that Nofap is good and works!! I need to stay strong does anybody feel like me out there? And if so how long does it last? It feel to good to last forever, like it's to good to be true. You young guys are lucky to start this now, I'm just thankful I found it when I did. Now maybe I can actually be that Bad Ass my Grandfather was!! Good luck gentleman !!!

Two weeks in. My result. 

2 hoursago by Kibnel

Gonna make this short. For the last 15 months I had no luck with women. Two weeks as an amateur fapstronaut and I have had two women with less than 3 days in between. The old me would have considered both of them way out of my league, but, thanks to all these changes my brain has been making to make up for the lack of faps, like my confidence, charm and probably testosterone level, I feel so much happier.  I haven't felt better in my life, ever. Thanks guys :)

Holy shit, this stuff actually works. If you're about to relapse, STOP THE FUCK NOW. 

 postmodernsatori6 days

I just hit 6 days - it was fucking hard but somehow I did it. I'm feeling this renewed life force seep into my body and mind with every passing day. Its amazing how stopping something so silly has such a profound impact. I feel more charismatic, confident, articulate, focused, clear and ready to take on the world. And this is after 6 fucking days. Keep going fellow fapstronaut, this journey is totally worth it.

I'm a social dynamo.

by Terr1fyer

At least I think I am. I've been a lurker who's silently undertaken the NoFap challenge, and while I haven't set up a counter I just hit 21 days.

The change in my social life is noticeable, not just in my personal life but also my professional life. The change isn't just of the sexual variety. Co-workers of both sexes respond to me warmly and in a positive manner, whereas before NoFap I felt like I was swimming against the current, so to speak.

My personal life has blossomed, as well. I was basically a guy who was living alone recovering from a bad relationship who didn't leave the house except to go to work. Since NoFap I've reconnected with old friends and gone out more and there's no social anxiety. Everything feels relaxed and everything flows. I basically hold court. It's awesome.

I just wanted to share a little piece of my personal journey for those guys out there who may be in my position to give encouragement. I used to be so depressed, down and out that I felt so alone, but I'm certain my trial with NoFap so far has convinced me there has to be a million guys out there like me. We're all in this together, brothers. :)

NoFap will clear the fog, but you'll still have to take the first step

so_witty_username13 days

NoFap did great things for me. It only now becomes clear how set in the "mental fog" was, so much so that suddenly my lack of will to get out of the bed, constant sleepiness, avoiding classes, and so on. Now, getting out of the house doesn't seem like such a hurdle, and sometimes I'll even look forward to it. Conversation flows better, I strive for self-improvement, my make a point to correct my posture, I take things easier, and so on. But despite all this, it did not change the fact that I am simply too scared to talk to most girls. I feel my heart skip a beat every time I see a girl walking towards me, I don't feel too comfortable talking to strangers (much better than before, though). I think this is simply something I will have to work on.

But that's the point. NoFap will not solve these issues. But it will encourage you to go out and solve them, while before you'd probably think they were unsolvable, or that it was someone else's fault, or that it would be too difficult to try. I had never before NoFap looked around for a date, but suddenly I found myself looking online. I found myself asking my friends out, instead of being asked out. I found myself getting back in touch with old friends and flames. I created routines for me and punish myself for skipping them.

REPLY

Great Post! I can really relate:

During periods when I heavily use PMO, I just don't care about anything. That feeling of pleasure and contentedness right after use morphs into an apathy that leaves me with little desire to do anything but lie around and watch tv or play video games.

Lately I've had a few short periods with no PMO, and while there hasn't been a huge reversal, the effects are noticeable. I just naturally feel better throughout the day. I can think more clearly and I have more motivation to do active things like workout, talk to people, go out, etc.
I hope I can continue seeing positive benefits like this and stay on the path for as long as you have and more.

REPLY

I feel exactly the same as you described, and I bet many of us feel the exact same. It's like being sedated all the time. I'm sure you'll keep seeing the benefits, in the first tries sometimes I would think it stopped, or that I felt the same way as before and eventually talked myself into relapsing, and after relapsing only then did I realize that I felt pretty good before and felt like shit (definitely not the same) the couple of days after relapse, so even with failure comes something.

Keep up the good work!

 

New fapstronaut here and surprised by immediate results. 

I stopped fapping on 2/01/2013 (yes I know my badge is wrong) and I have to say it is already causing changes in my life. I am normally a pretty outgoing/funny guy and never had problems talking to women but I have always had the problem with what I like to call "Nice Guy Syndrome". Ya'll know what I am talking about, this is what typically puts guys into the dreaded "friendzone". Well since being "fap free" for a few days I seem to already have developed a IDGAF attitude when it comes to women. Let me explain, I have always been confident but I always agree with women to try to make them like me. In the past few days I have basically just spoke my mind about everything that comes up in conversation regardless. Even if it is completely opposite of what the women would want to hear. This has given me a cocky, charismatic, way around these conversations. And let me tell you this works! I've had numerous girls I know pay me compliments (which I usually rarely receive) and invite me to go to lunch, a party, or whatever. I've also found out that with this new attitude I'm having more meaningful, longer conversations with girls I have just met. This whole nofap idea is great, I have been fapping since I was 15 years old and I can't remember a time I have gone more than a day or two max without it. I hope things continue to get better as I continue this journey. I know I should have waited to post until I have a couple of weeks under my belt, but I'm just super pumped because I have a date tomorrow with a girl that has been in a couple my lectures this year at college. She has basically ignored me for a complete year but today I sealed the deal walking with her after chem lab. I can't help but think that this is the reason. Nofap in combination with r/Howtonotgiveafuck has practically caused me to change my life for the better. Thank ya'll guys.

TL;DR Haven't fapped in a week, potentially escaped friendzone imprisonment of 1 year.

EDIT: fixed badge

NoFAP is amazing stuff

 by Markus23341 day

All right whats up guys/gals?

The bad news : I just relapsed after completing my longest streak thus far - 13 days fap free and 20 days porn free. The past 4 days I have been incredibly horny but feeling great however last night my groin area was on fire and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to read some erotic lit. I made it through the night and this morning but PMO'd when I got home from the gym, very vanilla porn and only once. It was incredible but not worth it :(. After I did it I told myself time to start a new streak

The good news : These past 13 days have been great, emotions running amock, energy beyond belief, random convos with strangers, and focus was great. Summary of the 13 days

--My training for swimming has been good but the high I get after the swim intensified 10x after about 4 days PMO free.

--I renewed my love for drawing and drew a great picture.

--I did my best work so far at school and in the clinic (massage).

Felt very in tune with my clients.

--Got some professional photographs taken to enhance my resume/business after graduating.

--Way more social and desire to be sociable.

--Cried about 3x during the streak, felt great.

-- I felt alive and human

--My anxiety was intense but strangely energizing? Did have irritability but not too bad

So next stop 20 days!

Life Feels Real 

 by CharlesBubba38 days

During my fapping days nothing seemed real. I had fried my dopamine receptors, and nothing in life brought me any enjoyement. Everything was a haze, a bad dream, I was merely passing by in life. Each night I'd go to bed, praying to god asking him to make me die in my sleep. Now my mind is reconstructing itself. Since I have more dopamine circling around my brain I find enjoyment in everyday activities. Swimming brings me pleasure, the smile of a cute girl brings me pleasure, food is tastier, coffee wakes me up. I've lifted a veil and now reality is not foggy anymore, it's not a haze. I'm actually awake, alive. Keep going my NoFappers breathen, keep going. The road is hard, but the results are worth it. My life was paused for a year, a year which I spent fapping three times a day to increasingly weirder porn. And even before my worse I could have had a much better life, if I only I hadn't fapped once a day for 9 years.

Still, regret now should not be my main emotion. But emotions are growing stronger now that life is returning back to me. I'm no longer a souless robot, I'm becoming a human being again.

Cheers!

Does NoFap help with anxiety, OCD etc?

Does anyone here suffer from anxiety-related disorders/problems and experienced any improvements after a certain amount of abstinence from sexual activity?

aff86

From my own experience? Yes. Absolutely.

Actually I started to get social about ten years ago, when my computer broke down. Before that I would spend my days on computer, watching porn and playing video games. I didn't make connection between my new increasing social life and reduced masturbation orgasms combined with the end of watchin porn back then, I just thought it was the obvious that I needed something to do when I didn't have computer. I don't think the biggest thing was getting a girl, but still I lost my virginity after a year my computer broke, when before that I had already accepted the fact I would live and die as a virgin.

Now that I look back my life there has ALWAYS been connection between porn consumption, masturbation and my social anxiety. Those couple of years back then were maybe the best of my life. I got a lot of friends, couple of girlfriends, and I felt like I was on the top of the world. There was nothing in the world that could bring me down, I felt like I had my own way to react to everything that could happen. Then I got a new computer...And started to PMO again. After a year or two I found myself in REALLY deep social anxiety combined with too much pot and nothing interesting to do with my life.

But long story (relatively) short... I feel like a total idiot now that, it took me so long to realize it (I'm 27) but at the same time I'm glad I will not spend the rest of my life battling with anxiety. Life is worth living again and every day I'm finding it easier and easier to be a person I want to be for the rest of my life.

Good luck and sorry for my poor english, it's not my first language.

zxczxc19

I think I have OCD too , or something very similar because when I was fapping I would check literally 10 times if I disposed of all the toilet paper,if I flushed ,etc.This was the main symptom of my "OCD"(self-diagnosed),and because I don't fap anymore , my OCD is 90% gone now.Only thing that bothers me now is that I have to check whether the house door are closed before I go to sleep

I developed severe anxiety (crippling panic attacks, developed an abnormal distaste for social settings) in the last two years and the search for what to do actually lead me to Nofap! I haven't made it past ten days yet (been a card carrying member for over 6 months across two accounts) but near the end of those ten days I felt pretty damn good. I talked a lot more freely with my coworkers whom I used to shy away from. My intrustive thoughts, picking ocd and self esteem were all better. They are getting better as I get more serious about not fapping.

I believe not fapping is the beginning, not the end. When I stopped fapping it gave me time to think about all the areas of my life that needed improvement. And with all that free time I began to take better care of myself. I started exercising, eating healthier whole foods at a better frequency, cut back on my sugar addiction, stopped caffeine*, made sure to get a solid nights rest and have been done with cigarettes for over 103 days.

I had these problems because of porn. Giving up porn made them all worse at first, but that's just part of the withdrawal, but they've started going away. It depends if you think porn has caused you to have this problems, but it might help anyway, just try.

Hi, when you say "this thing" I'm going to assume you mean fapping. If that is the case then you and I might have similar situations. I actually experienced a very large increase in anxiety and panic attacks pretty quickly after I gave up fapping. It has gradually subsided, but I am still not feeling 100% (or what 100% is for me anyway). I wanted to share this with you because, if you start having difficulty, you may want to talk with someone about what you can do. Best of luck.

I suffered with hocd for basically ten years of my life. It started when I was 17 (that was in 2001 before Google handed you everything on a silver platter). Having no idea what it was I quickly spiraled out of control and reached an extremely disparate time in my life. After 8 years of painful soul-searching I finally learned that I wasn't gay, but that I was in an obsessive cycle of questioning and trying in vain to determine my orientation.

Once I discovered what hocd was it took me a few months to accept the idea that it might be a description of my own behaviour. I sought cbt treatment and through lots of self talk and support from my family I emerged. Now looking back it is crystal clear that I my story was 100% hocd. Even though I did experiment with porn in my teenage years, which led to some gay porn, I wouldn't call it porn-induced hocd, but porn was undoubtedly one factor of my initial questioning.

Flash forward to last year and I was noticing that while my hocd tendencies had faded I was still experiencing the familiar social anxiety (it was actually worsening, which was surprising because I was able to say/do whatever I wanted in social settings without analyzing it for signs of homosexuality) and I had a general anxiety and rumination that was taking a negative toll on my day to day life.

That's when I realized that while hocd was the predominant force, a bunch of other ocd and generalized anxiety issues had set in over time which I never noticed. I tried to isolate most of the symptoms through self talk and mindfulness/cbt, but they were hard to define and therefore difficult to fight against.

Now, here's where this long winded story gets interesting: for those entire 10 years, without fail, I was fapping 1-3 times a day. I never saw it being a problem, especially after my hocd epiphany when I stopped forcing my self to think of dudes because it "matched" my "true" orientation. Instead I went wild fantasizing about girls and looking at "straight" porn because I finally could without a voice in my head telling me I was incorrect. I thought this was harmless because I was now mentally healthy. I fapped and fapped, continuing to think I had moved beyond all my past issues.

Yet the general anxiety was still there.

The entire time I knew there was a quiet voice telling me "this fapping is wrong, it's not even pleasurable, it's self abuse, you dot have control" etc etc. But as I'm sure you all know, your conscience can be dangerously easy to block out in the throes of addiction. So finally, after some heavily disappointing DE with a girl, I reached a breaking point and decided to join NoFap.

That's when the superpowers kicked in.

I know everyone reports their own results differently, but in addition to the immediate boost in self confidence, the positive outlook and the magnetism toward women, I experienced a ton of qualities that indicated my general anxiety had diminished SIGNIFICANTLY. I have become 100x more social and outgoing, have less fear of failure, I ruminate less (past/present thinking), I have focus and clarity, brain fog decreased by 70%, I am physically motivated, I eat better, I eat MORE, I crave social interaction instead of hiding from it, and I take control of situations that aren't working for me as a person.

Essentially, I'm every bit the man I was at 17, only a lot wiser, more self-assured, and more capable to handle ANYTHING life throws at me.

I know I just uploaded half my life story on your post, but when it comes out it comes out :) Honestly I don't expect anyone will read this, except for those with ocd as we tend to like to read and compare other stories to our own experience. For the OP I will post a TL;DR, and thank you for sharing your reddit real estate with me.

TL;DR: I didn't think PMO was contributing to my anxiety until I joined NoFap. Now, based on the improvements I've experienced, I know with certainty it was the single biggest contributer.

Bossrun's 100 Day report 

by bossrun100 days

Without a doubt this is the most comfortable I've ever been in my own skin.

TLDR- This shit is for real.

How I am beating my 4 year addiction with the simplest trick. And how I am going from super beta, to superman. 

by AnonymousNo 12 days

Yes I know, the title sounds like those cheap commercials "GET A 6 PACK IN 2 DAYS, BUY IT NOW, AND WELL DOUBLE THIS BOGUS OFFER!" But I'm gonna share a semi-success story, and how you can stop your addiction if you can't find your own path. Bare with me though as my writing skills suck.

Ok, so I've been wanking for about 4-5 years now, and never thought much of it. At first it's a lot of fun, exploring your own body you know. So, I just always took it as that, even up until now. But, it never really affected me so I thought. I started doing it before, and during puberty. I was just always the awkward kinda shelled guy. I had friends and I could talk to girls, but inside I always felt a little awkward. So this persists up until now. I usually see NoFap on other forums, and I actually used to laugh. I used to think that these people were pathetic and it's just a joke (my apologies now, thank god for NoFap seriously). So I always shrubbed it off with a lol. Then I would go wank one. Well, I found it on a forum again, but someone embedded the Ted talks interview. I had never seen it before. I opened it out of boredom, and it really struck me. I tried brushing it off, but it was like a little tick that would piss me off. I wanked that night, but it just felt like "what the hell is wrong with me". It didn't feel right. So, I revisited the post, and found the this reddit linked inside the other forum. I decided to read about some of this. It really hit me, and I was astonished. So, I decided to give myself a little 7 day challenge. I said, if after 7 days of NoFap I am not impressed with the results, ill just go back to fapping, and not care. Also having never stopped or tried stopping my addiction before, I didn't know the ride I was in for. Within about 2 days in, I felt great. Stronger, confident, and had more energy. After 3 days I relapsed. I did this for about 1 month. Every 3 days I would relapse. After the the second relapse I really started beating myself up. I would feel horrible, and just like I was a failure. So this persisted quite a few times. I finally got the courage to step back up and say to myself, I am doing this for my own good. No one knows I am doing it, but even if I stop for 1 day, it's only self improvement. It's for me, no one else but ME.

Well fast forward through some of this BS here it comes. I have never made it past 3 days, EVER! So, I read something on how tracking your success can hurt you. I used to use my number of days to motivate me. So, I relapsed, and the next day some switch clicked my head. I left my reddit counter on, and just stopped caring about the number. I don't really know what day I am at at the moment. I think I am in the first week since my testosterone is blowing through the roof, and my acne is flaring up a bit, but damn has it worked. Not knowing what day I am at helps. I don't care, I am not doing some 90 days challenge. Because the fap light will be at the end of the tunnel in 90 days for me. I just want to be stuck in this never ending tunnel and, catch up with fellow Fapstronauts in the same tunnel. The tunnel is happy, not a sorrowful tunnel men.

So the way I broke my addiction mainly is, I noticed porn took up a big portion of my day. At least 1-3 hours of start and stop for me to be able to have a pleasurable orgasm. And I couldn't seem to stop cold turkey. So I had to find a way to somewhat feed my addiction without changing my habits. What I did was choose a TV series I enjoyed. I really enjoy the show Prison Break. The episodes are 40 mins each on Hulu or Netflix. Now with me begin up at night and alone, the addiction cycle was hard to break. So anytime I felt the slightest need to watch some porn, I popped on prison break. I dropped what I was doing, shut my computer OFF, and popped on my Xbox. Started Prison Break right up. If at the end of my 40 minute show I wasn't feeling satisfied I would watch another. I would watch as many as it took for my mind to tell my body NO! This has been working fantastic. I couldn't find my own method to head in the right direction. I recommend you guys try it, or just find something your passionate about. I have also resulted in growing crops inside my house. When I feel the urge to fap in the day, or when I'm working online, I will just go water my plants, check their health, look up some tips, and then get back to my work. I'm not much of a loving, or nurturing person, but NoFap has helped me find some real feelings. As simple as caring for my plants has helped me stop caring for my addiction. Find something beneficial and addictive. Prison Break is addictive for me, the ending aways leaves me wanting more. So I only stop once my porn hunger dies. Then when I feel that urge, I tell him to fuck off, and feed a different type of addiction (I generally hate TV, so this isn't really another "addiction", it just keeps my mind off porn).

So now to the success and fun times. Well 4th of July hits, (it had to have been day 4, my body felt like a firework, it was so happy, and I felt so kickass that I made it past 3 days I'm assuming). So, my sister invites her super sexy friend over to go swimming. I would usually deny even getting near that, because I would be way to beta to even look at her and her look back at me. I said fuck that! Went to the pool with them. Damn, I chatted it up with the chick, and made %100 eye contact the whole time. (Eye contact is really hard for me, and the situation of why is kinda messed up, but I didn't give two shits). Making deep eye contact with her blue eyes was like a big fuck yeah! I usually can't hold a conversation on the phone with someone I know, let alone a super sexy chick in a bikini in front of me. I got her laughing, and she really enjoyed chatting it up she said. When she left she have me a hug, and said thanks for everything. She mentioned she had a a boyfriend while we were at the pool, so you know (but I didn't give a shit, I powerhoused through my betaness and her having a BF). But damn, the 4th of July was like a milestone for me. I was so into talking to her, I didn't even have sexual thoughts, or pop any form of a boner around her. I mean, when she bent over to pick something up, the snake started to pop out, but I reminded him what we are here for, and he quickly retracted. At the end of the night when she left, I felt on top of the world. Lit off some fireworks, and was completely exhausted. (Never tired at night, usually go to bed 7am, wake up mid day). I fell asleep at like 1-2am, and woke up at a decent time the next day. It begin daytime when I was awake helped me focus on not fapping, edging, or thinking about porn. After the 4th I just muted all sexual thoughts, and I don't get random boners. I just think about the 4th and feel like a badass, so that's how I mute it. Well today, I was in a restaurant and it felt pretty awesome. I am really happy now, and it makes other happy too (my town is generally full of assholes). Girls were smiling at me just when I got up to go to the bathroom, and when we were leaving. They see my confidence I assume, and I smile right back at them. I feel great! But today must have been boob day in the restaurant. Every girl was wearing a tight shirt, and there boobs looked like they were gonna pop out and say hello. So, I edged a little tonight, just had to take a look at some online to remove the thoughts from my head (surprisingly worked). So sorry for the long story and thanks for the read.

I just had to tell someone, and with no friends IRL, I thought you guys might want to hear, or maybe I just want to hear my own story. If any typos sorry, in mobile.

TL;DR: me old = super beta, even on the phone with people I know. Found a method for NoFap. Me Now = talked to and made super badass eye contact with super sexy blue eyed bikini chick. At the end if the day she hugged me and told me she had a lot of fun with me.

Self esteem - I used to avoid social situations and even going out with
friends as my anxiety worsened. This social anxiety was rooted in
feelings of unworthiness. I did not feel I had anything useful to
contribute to conversations and my presence was a burden to others. Not
anymore. I speak from my heart and am bold in my actions - I have
re-discovered the man I was years ago.

Age 33 - I have re-discovered the man I was years ago.

No PMO is a lifesaver for depression/anxiety

    I'm convinced that excess PMO is indeed related to unnecessary anxiety and depression symptoms in people today. I honestly feel the happiness of my childhood self coming back and allowing more true enjoyment of things like sunshine and laughter and people in general. Remember that joy you felt during your culture's holiday seasons? Well, no PMO allows you to feel that more throughout the year and actually feel the true sense of that around those times again too. It's very zen and builds greater appreciation for even the simpler things.

    Probably some of the worst symptoms I've had from PMO were anxiety, depression, and feeling chronic fatigue - ALWAYS tired... The fatigue and depression alone were so bad I honestly didn't care too much to live back in the mid 2000s. I mean, I wasn't suicidal, but I honestly didn't mind the idea of maybe just dying early one day. Being that low is pretty dangerous, even if your not actively suicidal - your will to survive won't protect you as much. This had to stop, I had a small part of me that held on... in times of incredible darkness and loss of self. In times of depersonalization so bad I didn't even recognize the sound of my own voice anymore. Perhaps PMO wasn't directly responsible, but it held me back healing tremendously. Held back my energy from being who I truly was. To live requires energy - more time awake and revitalized, less time sleeping your life away.

    Alas... I eventually found my solutions and that was purpose and understanding of true self. The days I expanded my mind with philosophy and took a serious reassessment of life were the same days I started truly living. Being a truth seeker, living under the code of true empirical ethics started shaping shit up and resolving the painful depressions of doubt. I learned a massive deal of truth in almost everything from who I was to where I was. From there, it's been pretty solid the past 5 years now. Anxiety is kind of there sometimes, but often almost not at all really. Depression is practically gone now, there's just the normal moments of real sadness that come and go and make you appreciate life. Depression isn't sadness, depression is a massive void in knowing who you truly are and how you truly should be living and developing. Once you lose touch with you're purpose, goals, and dreams... your mentally dying... You cannot ever let those fall away from you in life.

    If your facing depression now, I can assure you - it's damn true there is a cure and a relief. You are not stuck. Your gradual experiences can gradually change you back. Literally change the physical and chemical structure of your brain responsible for the thoughtless depression. no PMO is a fantastic contribution to this, but you also must learn much much more about who you truly are and what goals and dreams you truly have to achieve. You have to be like flowing fresh spring water engaging your true mentally stimulating (not porn) constructive interests (art, music, building, whichever it may be), not stagnant toxic water sitting around. Simply we are composed of mostly water and THUS, the fresh water gives life ~ the stagnant water gives death. Cleanse your water with consistent exercise, purposeful mental stimulation, and no PMO holding back your energy to do so.

I feel like I'm finally growing up; I used to hide from the world, just like a small child hiding behind her mothers skirts. Now I don't hide anymore, not behind PMO or anything else. I don't hide from myself, my desires or other people.

I am at the same time more relaxed and have tons more energy. I think this is natural, since I'm now a car driving along the highway on a full tank of gas, instead of sputtering on the last few drops. I understand myself better now, social anxiety is gone, because I feel whole and I don't need anyone's approval anymore. I don't feel afraid or apprehensive anymore to go out there and do things; I formed a band, I asked a girl out, I felt emotions, I created stuff. My life stopped disintegrating, and now I am finally starting to build my future. I am finally back at the wheel, after nine years of absence.

90 Day Report - Finally Growing Up

Edging, Fantasizing and their Effects on Confidence - Trust my gauge!!! Staggering discoveries!!! PLEASE READ!!!

by ChangingChemistry29 days

Okay, so I have developed, or rather discovered, the most precise gauge of confidence and I have made some quite staggering discoveries experimenting with my behavior and observing the immediate results.

The gauge, believe it or not is my stutter. To give you some background - I had a very serious stuttering problem that I'd tried everything to get rid of, I'd gone to speech therapy, tried medication, all kinds of things, it never went away. It was bad when I wasn't nervous and when I was anxious I basically could not speak. It would take me 20 seconds to say "nice to meet you", it was horrible. I'd been fapping every day since I was 9. So when I started nofap, within a few days IT WENT AWAY - I posted a thread on here about that actually that got a lot of responses and I really appreciated your support - you can look up the thread for more info on that.

That's just to give you some background. Now, my stutter completely disappeared as my confidence soared and anxiety vanished during the initial confidence boost that lasted maybe days 4-10. I felt like Superman during that time (this was my very first time quitting fapping). Then things leveled off and I entered a week-long flatline which brought back the stutter a little, but it wasn't too bad. I recovered from the flatline (hopefully that was the full extent of it) and the stutter went away again. Mind you, I'm not talking about it simply coming and going, it's a very precise gauge with a lot of degrees and it manifests itself EXACTLY in relation to how high my confidence is, I learned that that is the ONLY thing controlling it - I don't have a speech impediment otherwise.

So far so good. What I did next was something you should never do. I've had the most ridiculous crush on a girl that has been made that much worse by nofap - I posted a whole thread on that too that you can read, so I won't go into detail here, but I am just absolutely crazy about her. So the past 10 days or so I have not been able to stop thinking about her and I have been fantasizing and occasionally edging at night. Yes, I know this is the worst and I have vowed to not do it again, but I am kind of grateful I did because I discovered a lot.

So on a few nights I just sat there fantasizing without really edging but just thinking about her a lot and my brain creating these alternate realities (I have quite an imagination), thinking about what I would say to her, how we'd lie in bed and talk and kiss, holding her hand, strategies on flirting with her, mostly non-sexual things, but significant time spent on this. Right after doing that, did not feel anything, things just seemed normal. The next day at work, my stutter came back a little. I thought it was a coincidence - I didn't fantasize about her the next day - stutter was almost gone. I did it again the next day, and it came back a little again. On several occasions I noticed this and it seemed like causation.

THEN, I did something worse - I edged a few times. One night I edged a little, the next day my stutter was back to a more significant degree than when I was just fantasizing. Then I didn't do it for 2 days - stutter recovered. The next day I edged hardcore several times - stutter was really bad the next day, did it again the next day - got even worse. Just a clear cause and effect. Then the weekend came and on Sunday I just COULD NOT get her out of my head, I was home the whole day and on multiple occasions edged, fantasized, all of that absolutely pathetic stuff. On Monday the stutter was really bad. Not as bad as when i was fapping - I mean it was unbearable then - but the worst it's been since.

This last occurrence really confirmed my theory and I stopped edging - it took a couple of days to recover from that last one but I am back feeling like Superman. It's incredible how quickly my confidence recovered, but this is only because I never Oed, I'm sure if I had I would have been back to square 1 and not being able to talk.

So I think this is just fascinating from a scientific perspective. Apparently there is something that's happening in the brain that controls my confidence. It really is that simple, I mean I've tried insanely hard to have high confidence before I stopped fapping but nothing did it. I stopped and it happened purely by itself. It's not a voluntary thing. And it's really not the shame or another psychological thing. I'd completely forgotten I'd edged and was wondering at first why my stutter was back all of a sudden until I figured it out. It's purely chemical.

I think what's at play here is different levels of dopamine release. Obviously fapping to porn is the worst - you get a dopamine shot derived from a completely unnatural source that involves an insane level of stimulation. Fapping not to porn is probably a step down, but still really bad and u get that rush again. Edging is next down - you don't O, so you are spared the worst effects on the brain and u also hold on to testosterone and other things that are in semen - not sure if this is scientifically accurate, but just what I'm thinking. But you still stimulate your brain a lot. Your fantasies, especially if you're like me with a vivid imagination and you are infatuated with a girl and have not fapped in a month, those fantasies can be quite surreal and intense. So all of that is stimulation and pleasure - again dopamine. Then there are different degrees and amount of edging and how far you go. And finally there is no edging but just fantasy - here you're not experiencing physical pleasure, but psychologically you are getting that intense feeling of affection and you are indulging in your addiction to your crush, so again you get some reward in your brain.

All of these are degrees that all correspond to different levels of dopamine release which at least in my case literally single-handedly control my confidence precisely to the degree I indulged. My stutter has been a remarkably precise gauge. I just wanted to share this discovery with you and hopefully you see that edging is not as bad as Oing, and fantasizing is not as bad as edging, but all of them mess with your brain and erode your confidence. The lesser the offense the less the recovery time, but they definitely all have an impact and there is no reason you should do any of them. I've found that I feel the most confident when I have not indulged in any of these addictions. Just don't do it and you'll feel great. Sorry for the length of this, hopefully it helped you and it confirmed some theories. It's remarkable how primal our brains are, we have very little control over these basic emotions and basic behaviors, like confidence, with the rational parts of our brains.

 

NoPorn confidence explained

Part 1 -

  • We look at the porn star in the videos and avidly bestow an incredibly low level of respect on them, if any. In fact many of us get of, knowingly or unknowingly, on how much disrespect is shown to these stars.
  • Meanwhile we watch the videos and feel more and more like we could never get a 'hot girl like that' in real life.
  • This paradox leaves us subconsciously putting our self-respect lower than the respect we give to those stars.

Part 2

  • The men we watch in these videos have been selected because of their stamina, looks and most importantly (to the industry) their penis size.
  • Most of us have ordinary penises, probably between 4"-6" maybe more maybe less, perfectly normal and sufficient, but certainly not as huge or persistent as those in the industry.
  • By watching porn we have temporarily debilitated our penises.
  • Naturally we start to compare ourselves, feel insecure and shy away from sexual intercourse.

Conclusion - How could we possibly remain happy and confident members of society whilst watching porn?

Solution - Stop watching porn and all this thinking goes away! You will feel confident again, you will be able to talk to women, you will be able to perform.

 

Im Fap free since 10 days now , and its just absolutely unbelieveble how am changed as a person. I look people in the eyes when talking, I crave for social contacts, I am talking to girls, I get horny all day long, I FEEL ALIVE.

I started fapping when i was 10 years old , thats also when my problems started... I got diagnosed with asperger syndrom on the age of 17 and it only went downhill from there. Couldnt get out of bed, slept 20 hours in a row easily, Awake at night etc.

Now without fapping i feel better than ever and i never felt like this before, So clear, No brainfog, is this how most people felt all these years??? omg, this is so easy ... life was such a struggle for me, Now i can just go outside whenever i want too , go to a friend , meet people. Did porn addiction and fapping really Ruined my life? I cant believe i thought about suicide for years when life can be this beautiful. Im smiling all day long.

WTF MAN!!! im never going to fap anymore. THIS IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. i never agreed anyway that i had asperger syndrom , i always said there was something physically wrong with me... i always felt so insanely tired. But nobody wanted to believe me. Pff , i have no words for this guys. I assume fapping was messing with my cortisol and dopamine levels, release lots of dopamine to the brain for a short period of time. Low cortisol explains why i couldnt get up in the mornings and was awake at night. And the past few months it was so severe that i could barely move sometimes. I guess low dopamine, sometimes i was sitting on the couch but could literally not move my body.

WOW MAN JUST WOW, i still cant believe this. Even my hair is thicker, im not pale anymore, I dont have bags under my eyes. Why do doctors not know about this? or do they know but dont care about it? Its pretty logical that masturbation can lead to hormone changes if you think about it.

I just realised as well that my ocd is just almost gone, omg. Normally i would write a fancy topic and read it 10 times to see if i made any mistakes. i dont care anymore , my appartment is a mess atm , i dont care.. im looking at it , i dont even get a headache from it. WOWOWOOWOWOWWOWOW love you all. NO FAP 4 LIFE.

http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/2k6c1u/nofap_cured_my_asperger_sy...

Effects i've noticed while on nofap

  • Better vision and hearing. This is a tough one to explain, all I can say is that music sounds better; I can hear lyrics more clearly than ever before. I can also hear tone of voice better (the highs and the lows of general speech). I can see things better, and even my peripheral vision has become very sharp. I can also hear tone of voice much more clearly.
  • Refined Palette. I can taste food better, everything seems to have an extra "kick" to it. Even the simplest meals like a fried egg sandwich with BBQ sauce tastes absolutely delicious. Fruits taste sweeter, and veggies have an extra crisp to them.
  • Expression with body language. I speak with my body a lot more than I used to before nofap, without even thinking. People seem to be receptive to it, and they enjoy it. I find it a lot easier to understand body language now; at times I can guess generally what people are thinking just by looking at how they physically express themselves.
  • Looks. I'm getting a lot of "looks" from a lot of people. Nothing threatening or weird in nature, just curious looks from guys and girls/women alike. Almost like a "Who the heck is he?" kind of look. I'm 6'0 tall, 150 lbs.
  • Better conversations. I find it very easy to carry a conversation with people; could be a 10/10 girl, a guy who is more intimidating than me, an old dude, a kid, my sisters, parents, anyone.
  • Deeper voice. This may be due to a boost in testosterone, but I notice myself speaking everything with confidence, I don't mumble things anymore, I speak chest out.
  • I smile and laugh with confidence a lot more around people; the kind of genuine, un-forced smiles and laughs. I smile because I find he/she amusing, and I give out a hearty laugh if I think something is truly funny.
  • Motivation to pursue public interaction. If it's daytime and I have nothing of value to do at home, I will go out in public because I now find it comfortable to be out and about; before I loathed going out in public and sometimes was incredibly anxious over it.
  • Better focus. I find it very easy to pay attention to what's in front of me and my priorities, be it a lecture, note-taking, work duties, whatever. I feel completely tuned in. Sex or masturbation does not enter my mind in these situations, whereas before nofap, it did, sometimes frequently.

http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/age-21-high-functioning-autism-its-easy-c...

Age 20 - Depression, OCD, ADHD going away. Stopped meds. Erections came back.

I honestly had one of the hardest 2 month in my whole life but it was extremely worth it. Believe it or not. The sense of depression and guilt was going away. For the first time after two month I got my erections back. I became a social person. For the first time in my life I feel what does it mean by willpower. I started going to church and I got a lot of good friends. Most importantly the OCD and the ADHD were going away and I stopped going to the psychologists and taking medications for these disorders.