Age 33 - Several benefits, but most importantly I discovered the root problem
Quick bio: Dude. early 30s, married (separated), two kids, fapping almost daily since 18, in recent years it's been 2-3 times a day, pervy little kid since forever. So a week into this round of NoFap (my third attempt in about 18 months) I suddenly became incredibly aware of my real problem.
I'd been married for 10 years and while blow-drying my hair in the morning, I was thinking of how the cute barely-20-something girl I usually see first thing in the morning would react to my carefully groomed mane. Which set me thinking... I dress nicely, I work out, I practice my facial expressions in the mirror, I choose sensitive hipster songs so I can be prepared to bust them out on the piano or guitar at a moment's notice. Why? >> I do it in the hopes that I can capture the attention of cute girls // so they'll want me.
I want to be wanted so badly. And it seemed nobody wanted me. My childhood, my teenagehood, as a loner, an insecure little boy with old and uninvolved parents, I cultivated this disconnection with reality. And because of it, I simply couldn't connect with anyone, especially girls. So I turned inside myself and found security there, in a place where I didn't have to take risks and be vulnerable. So of course as a 14-year-old with everything I could ever want to see just a click away, I dived in. The rest is my effed up history. It progressed from R-rated movies, to porn, to voyeurism, to catfishing.
And my day-to-day life was a constant string of anticipating and curating interactions with the girls around me. Coworkers, baristas, waitresses, cashiers, random groups of young ladies just going on about their lives >> I wanted them all. I wanted them all to want me. So when I was finally alone, this intensity I'd nurtured throughout the day found its satisfaction with some pixels, some memories, my right hand, and a wad of toilet paper.
Getting to the root of the problem, understanding what let me to fap has made PMO a non-issue, but it's opened my eyes to a battle that goes far deeper. So I urge you fapstronauts. Don't objectify and use girls, even in your mind. Don't put sex on a pedestal; that's just feeding your lust. Pay attention to your heart. And reach out. I joined a 12-step addiction recovery program. There are three that I'm aware of. SA, SAA and SLAA. Google them. Forge relationships with people who won't judge you. NoFap is great but it's no substitute for individual human interaction and accountability.
Keep it in the real world.
EDIT: I almost forgot. The superpowers.
1) Better work habits
2) My anxiety is gone
3) I'm actually reading books again for the first time in a decade
4) I've actually become a patient person
5) The most tangible (and unexpected) benefit is that my hair started filling back in. Three months ago I had developed a very noticeable bald spot on the back of my head and my hairline was thinning out and moving fast. Plus, I'd have 10-20 strands of hair come out every time I ran my fingers through my hair. Now the bald spot isn't even visible and I can clearly see little blonde hairs coming back in my hairline peaks. And no more falling-out hair. Wow.
ONE MORE EDIT: PMO addiction will destroy your life. It's only a question of when. Take care of it the right way, the first time. Don't screw around; you can't control it with weightlifting and cold showers.