Age 23 - Greater confidence, happiness, focus; less anxious & judgemental; sex is great.
Relevant Backstory - I am 23 years old and have been masturbating since I was about 15 or so, at least every day and with a heavy amount of pornography (multiple tabs etc, used to have about 250GB of porn on my computer). I have never viewed it as a problem as most of my friends use porn and it just seems to be a fairly 'normal' thing for our generation. Never ever crossed my mind that I might have a problem. Occasionally I would not be able to get it up for my GF and I would put this down to "nerves" (like tell myself this and believe it) and not have sex, following this I would go home and wank to porn to prove to myself "that it still worked".
Less Relevant Backstory - I have always struggled with interacting with girls. I seem to make a good boyfriend but most of my interactions with women have come from them instigating it. I have no idea where this lack of self-esteem came from, I scored extremely high grades all through uni, am 6"4" 90kgs, played state level basketball and yet never really was able to generate interactions with women. I blame it on a lack of confidence and/or self-belief. I have been suffering from some fairly strong anxiety, including panic attacks, recently. I have been getting better but I definitely think it is relevant to the NoFap story...
Reason for starting NoFap I have had sex with 3 girls in my life (2 girlfriends and 1 friend of friend). The girlfriends were for 2.5 years and 1.5 year (current relationship is the latter). My sexual experiences, including pain when having intercourse without a condom, lead me to realize that my penis wasn't normal. I did nothing about this for a lengthy time. Eventually, I went to a urologist and was diagnosed with severe phimosis, with the main treatment option being a circumcision. I was also informed that I wouldn't be able to masturbate or have sex for 6 weeks post-surgery... Challenge Accepted, or so I thought.
Originally, I thought this would just be 6 weeks of no masturbation and I would be done with it. Not so, it turns out.
Brief Log of Observations Directly Related to the NoFap Experience
Days 1 - 7 (time off work to recover, went home): For the first week my penis was swollen, painful and bloody, I didn't really want to look at it let alone touch it!
Days 8 - 14 (came back to Sydney for work, where my GF is): Extremely difficult, constant sexual thoughts and urges and feeling extremely anxious and just generally pretty weird.
Day 15: Decided "fuck it" I'm just going to be gentle around the stitching and end this madness. Started to edge in the shower and got super hard and was going ok. When I got close to orgasm I started feeling a weird tingling around the stitching. I started freaking out and worrying that the head of my cock was going to fall off or something. Needless to say I stopped quick smart and left it alone. Horrendous blueballs ensued, quite painful, but I had no option but to endure the pain. Following this experience I promised myself that I would make it to the 6 week mark no questions.
Days 16 - 28: I discovered r/NoFap in this time and commenced researching other NoFap related information, this was an immense help to me. I think just knowing other people have been going through the same things as me really helps. I have been getting into mindfulness for a while now and I found in this period it really started to take hold. Accepting sexual thoughts and viewing them as just thoughts makes a huge difference. I started learning to see the day to day and experience it in the here and now and to look at my thoughts rather than look at the world through my thoughts. I've learnt that if you are having a thought you want to get rid of pushing it away is the worst thing you can do.
Days 28 - 35: (went to Brisbane for work, away from my GF): Keeping my GF out of sight and really focusing on my work made it much easier not to think about fapping, I found that it was actually quite easy during this period to get on with my day.
Days 35 - 42: Difficult again, just knowing that I was going to be able to orgasm really soon meant that I wanted it even more! I tried to convince my GF it would be ok but really neither of us wanted to take a risk so I made it to the 42 day mark. Day 42 (sex again): I thought I would just ejaculate after like 20 seconds of sex, not the case. I had the most amazing sex of my life (probably it not hurting for once helped), I lasted for a good 30 mins, was rock solid the entire time and I'm pretty sure my gf was extremely impressed with the entire experience. It was following this that I decided I was going to make it to 90 days having already been balls deep in this NoFap thing (pardon the pun)...
Days 42 - 63: Extremely easy, was having great sex with my girlfriend and just not masturbating. Some of the most amazing sex of my life, so horny all the time. Extremely turned on my girls in the street that I usually would just be really "meh" about. Changed my perception of the other gender so much - definitely for the better. It changed the way I started to view my sexual relationship. When your gf becomes the only person you share that moment with, those experiences with, I feel like you become so much closer. It's much more intimate - as opposed to previously when I would go have a wank with 35 tabs open in my browser and not really give a shit about my super hot girlfriend. Madness hey?
Days 63 - 77: Went to Perth for work. Extremely difficult was quite horny the whole time and was worried that I wouldn't make it in this period. I toughed it out and played a lot of guitar, worked really hard again at work and made it back to Sydney again. Mindfulness got me through.
Days 77 - 84: Turned into an animal, wanted to fuck anything and everything. Was a total beast on the basketball court, lifting weights like crazy and running all the time. So much energy, so focused. Amazing.
Days 84 - now: Clarity. That is the only word for it. I've started viewing everything so much more rationally, I just don't engage in petty insignificant arguments anymore. I've changed as a person, I've been doing heaps of reading by a guy called Nathaniel Branden about raising self-esteem and I've been growing as a person. I've stopped lying to myself about who I am, I've become a better man and there are more changes still to come undoubtedly.
Outcomes of NoFap - My relationship is much stronger - sexually and non-sexually. I have taken up guitar with all the time and energy I used to spend on masturbating and I can now play songs fairly decently, I have done a ton of reading and just generally become a more interesting person - as opposed to someone who spends his precious hours on this earth whacking it to some video that has been heavily edited of messed up people doing messed up shit on the internet.
General/Less Quantifiable Outcomes - Undoubted confidence, happiness, focus, improved mental state, much less anxious generally, change of the way I view my GF (for the better). Become a much less judgmental and aggressive person - just generally more compassionate and chilled out. I also notice that I'm way less passive in a number of aspects of life. All positives.
Where to from here - I think porn is extremely damaging to the psyche and to the mental health of so many people, I think it gives people warped senses of sexuality that they're just not designed to have. Just my personal opinion, I know, but I aim to never view porn again whilst I am a healthy young man and into my marriage. Maybe when I'm 80 or something I might hit it up again just to check out what virtual reality sex is going to be like haha. Also never say never.
Having made it to 100 days I think I have really now proved to myself that I don't need masturbation. I have removed it as a "crutch" behaviour. I no longer resort to it if I am upset. I no longer rely on it. I no longer do it habitually in the shower and when I get home from work. That being said I am not going to "never Fap again" like a lot of you seem to be into. I am not going to Fap for a while probably or until I want to. But when I do I will sit down and decide it's the right thing to do and afterwards I will not beat myself up about it as this is just unhelpful too. I enjoy the changes that this challenge has brought to my life, but I don't think they will disappear if I decide to relieve myself every so often. I think masturbation can be a good tool when people are in relationships with mismatched sexual needs (this being said whilst I am in relationships I will always endeavour to NoFap from now on). I think it is a relatively normal behavior that humans have been engaging in since we evolved hands and that a healthy sexual appetite goes hand in hand with orgasms. It's just there is a massive potential to abuse it.
I am now extremely aware of the addictive tenancies that fapping has and how easy it is to use it as a "safety" or "crutch" behaviour. I think fapping definitely is additive, and it can get really bad with some people, like alcohol addiction can get really bad with some people, and these people maybe need to steer clear forever. Just because I had a bit of a problem with my "drinking" for a while there to use this analogy, doesn't mean I'm never going to have a beer again... and if it does get really bad for me again maybe I will need to give up fapping forever. But I will be aware from now on.
Thanks again NoFap, it's been real, you guys really helped me through which is why I was hoping I could give something back to the community with this post. Don't know how long my streak will last from here, but I'm honestly not that fussed.
TL;DR - NoFap is awesome and it was an amazing experience. It changed my life for the better. If you're struggling to get over a certain point, I strongly recommend you look into some mindfulness literature because the only thing really holding you back is your thoughts and that's all they are, thoughts. Peace.
LINK - 100 days - my story