Do You Need a Chaser After Sex? (2010)

Printer-friendly version

Desire sometimes ratchets upward soon after hot sex

Porn addiction creates restlessness

 Does "the more you scratch, the more you itch" sometimes apply to sexual jollies? Is the reverse true? Intriguingly, the Chinese noticed a "ratcheting up of sexual desire after orgasm" thousands of years ago. Men today do too:

 I sometimes feel hornier in the days following orgasm. At such times, I also have strong feelings of attraction for other women (even though I'd never want to have sex with anyone other than my partner).—Tom

 My new girlfriend and I got each other off, and now, a day or two later, I'm definitely noticing powerful urges to masturbate and look at porn again (after three months porn-free). It seems so contradictory that our heavy petting would trigger this, but it's happening. I'm masturbating more and I even looked at homemade porn yesterday. Incidentally, I tried masturbating without porn. To my surprise and anger, my withdrawal symptoms *didn't* go away completely. Only the super-stimulation of porn gave me temporary relief from these cravings and that, my friend, is a very sobering and scary thought. Geeze, it really is like crack, ya know? —Dick

After the first orgasm in this recent set, I felt very close to my wife, and I initially felt satiated. After two more orgasms, I began to think about when I could get the next one—perhaps three times per hour. Then I had one orgasm alone, and the frequency of the thoughts approximately doubled. Now that I know what to look for, it is almost humorous to watch the process. It is quite clear that high frequency of orgasm is a disruptive influence that, from a utilitarian perspective, is not desirable. In the last six months, each instance that I returned to porn or masturbated without it occurred the day after I had an orgasm during sex.—Harry

I noticed that after binging on porn, you really need to push yourself to get back on track because orgasm makes you hornier. The first three days are difficult.—Max

Up until last week, I had gone four weeks without ejaculating and felt really good about it. One ejaculation and I'm excessively horny and feeling tempted by porn. I didn't experience either during the four weeks. Now I feel selfish. I love giving to my wife, but it would sure help to get some more coming back my way.—Alan

After lots of effort, I managed to get to 90 days of no porn. My life improved a lot... I broke up with my girlfriend, had sex with 4 girls, found a new girlfriend. I was sociable, confident, etc. For some months I was having LOTS of awesome sex, but she had to go back to her country in January. After she left...well, the porn/fapping cravings came back HARD. I was fapping 2/3 times per day and watching porn (something I hadn't done it in 6 months). It was all downhill from there: Loss of motivation, didn't go out on the weekends, gained a bit of weight, etc. Then I got to have sex with another girl and...let's say it was a bit disappointing. I didn't "work" as well as I used to do without fapping. So now, more determined than ever, I'm back at 5 days of nofap and feeling much better. For me the biggest danger is the 3 days after having sex or fapping. If you can get over that, it's a piece of cake. But the cravings after sex...f*ck that sh*t. I do lots of drugs too, and fapping is definitely harder to stop. So just be careful. Don't relapse. If you feel like fapping just go out and do anything you can to find real sex. Fapping isn't worth it.—Ralf

According to scholar Douglas Wile (Art of the Bedchamber), the ancient Chinese Daoists recorded that orgasm can inflame sexual desire (after that immediate post-coital relief)—even as it depletes the body and brain. At the same time, they insisted that pleasurable intercourse is vital to good physical and psychological health.

Their solution to this conundrum followed the discovery that frequent sex with occasional ejaculation was less depleting than occasional sex with habitual ejaculation. In their view, lots of sex with little orgasm actually nourished lovers sustainably with whole-body ching (vitality), and relieved men of "lustful thoughts."

In contrast, the attempt to meet one's sexual needs through "expenditure without restraint" depleted the brain, accounting for symptoms like premature ejaculation, uneasiness after orgasm, nocturnal emission and relationship disharmony.

Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.—Friedrich Nietzsche

Were these observers right? Might fewer highs lead to fewer lows and more satisfaction overall? Quite possibly, although learning balance after years of "expending without restraint" requires an open mind, patience and a sense of humor. Here are some lovers' reports:

First guy—

We have been experimenting with this concept for about a month. My scorecard:

• No porn

• No solitary masturbation

• No ejaculation in three weeks

• Three "plateau" orgasms, without ejaculating

• My wife and I are reacquainted

The porn has been surprising easy to give up (well, I did "peek" once in the first week). I've noticed no withdrawal symptoms and I don't feel strongly tempted. This is quite surprising to me, because I have been viewing porn regularly for decades. During the first week, I did ejaculate three times. Since then I have come to realize the benefits of not "going for it." If I feel the urge to cum, I just relax and let it pass. Then we are ready for more. I am really enjoying the long, slow lovemaking that seems like it never really ends. I have experienced one incredible orgasm and two mellow ones (all with no ejaculation.) But having frequent orgasms is no longer one of my top reasons for living. The best part is that our marriage has come out of a long stale period and is rejuvenated. My wife and I are closer than we have been for years, in bed and throughout the day.

Second guy—

First, I was able to go almost six weeks without an orgasm and during that time I felt very stable emotionally. During that period I had gentle intercourse with my partner. However, in the last month or so I've fallen back into a "typical" orgasmic frequency during sex (1-2x/week) and my moods have become less stable. I'm engaging in more thrusting and friction than before. It feels really good at the time and even feels OK not to orgasm, but the build-up in stimulation makes it nearly impossible for me not to seek release at some point.

Third guy—

I have reduced my frequency of orgasm to approximately one quarter the mean of the previous six months (which was 0.76/day). The compulsion to orgasm, which I had been unable to quell for many years, has diminished perceptibly. My wife has said she understands my motive for trying to reduce orgasm frequency, but when we make love, she sometimes actively tries to make me orgasm. I believe that synchronizing my sexual behavior with my wife's will ultimately bring us closer. If frequent orgasm were the best emotional glue for relationships, we would have been irrevocably, harmoniously bound to each other long ago. Orgasm does not bring lovers closer. What is particularly frustrating for me is that she infrequently has an orgasm during/associated with sex (and has fewer orgasms overall), and has always been experiencing the relationship-enhancing results of fewer orgasms. Unlike me, she has never complained about sexual dissatisfaction, rarely starts fights, and is considerably more content with life and with our marriage.

Fourth guy—

My sex life is better than it has ever been. I'm getting more, and better sex than I ever have. I'm enjoying it more, and am much more bonded to my wife. I believe some of us simply have more sexual energy running than others, and this can get us "horn dogs" in trouble. Karezza [affectionate sex without the goal of orgasm] to the rescue! Karezza is like natural ritalin for the ADHD personality. It has been a lifesaver for me.

Fifth guy

(Who had completely rebooted already) After masturbation, I noticed the chaser effect was still very real. Then when I went through a period without orgasm, the first two weeks especially days 4 and 7, and 10 - 12 were hardest. After that there is a shift in the mind. That's my experience. Currently, I'm on day 20 from last M/O and I feel great. I still occasionally feel the tug, if I have a wet dream I'm more likely to want sex or MO.


It took my husband months to bounce back after heavy porn use. We now both limit our orgasms to about once a month, and we both notice a big difference. Our new arrangement is fully satisfying and we are not at all frustrated. It does require frequent affection and mutual arousal (short of orgasm) to stay centered though.

Can modern science shed any light on these experiences? Possibly. In fact, the Daoists were likely right that the brain is the key. Intense stimulation (not only today's superstimulating sex-aids, but even sufficiently arousing sex with orgasm) can be a signal to the brain to look around for other intense stimulation.

This is completely consistent with the "binge trigger" concept: the idea that when the brain registers intense excitement (in the form of a neurochemical signal that something really valuable is about), it numbs itself temporarily in order to urge us to pursue more of it. The Daoists said too much climax "depletes the brain," which is consistent with this concept, as the numbing is likely to be, in part, a product of reduced D2 (dopamine) receptors in the brain's striatum.

Whatever the precise mechanism(s), the result can be that, instead of feeling satisfied after intense sexual arousal, we soon hungrily look around for further stimulation. In fact, the hotter the hook-up, the stronger the chaser. So be ready for it. This guy experienced this for himself:

The hookup was AMAZING! It was with this Brazilian chick. BEAUTIFUL! We hooked up at a house party in the bathroom. I wanted more after the first round, but she already got hers. Besides, we were in the bathroom for a long time and people started knocking on the door and getting suspicious. It was an awesome hookup, probably on the top of my list, but when I got home I kept replaying it in my head and I wanted more. really bad. I had to release again or i was gonna jump off a cliff! I did have very small urges to watch porn again but I couldn't bring myself to it. Whew! At least I know I am over that addiction! But now frequent masturbation is back and I am starting to notice my social anxiety is peaking again. I miss my super manliness!

Especially intense orgasm can throw us onto a speeding treadmill of dissatisfaction, and discouragement. Worse yet, it can cause lovers to blame each other for not meeting their sexual needs, when, in fact, their dissatisfaction is the product of subtle brain chemical changes, which cannot be successfully overcome with more stimulation.

In contrast, lovers who make love calmly and often, without the neurochemical blast of intense arousal and orgasm, often tiptoe right past this binge trigger, reap the many benefits of intercourse and intimacy, retain their rosy perception of each other, and avoid annoying cravings for more intense stimulation. Just as the Daoists recorded.

Finally, as guys reboot, the intensity of the chaser effect after a climax often abates significantly. So even if you feel a strong chaser when you relapse now, it may not always be that way as your brain rebalances.


I was approaching two weeks (would have been this Monday) feeling pretty good. While I was having some negative side effects, like irritability, odd dreams, and trouble sleeping deeply, I was also starting to notice some benefits of abstaining. My confidence was on the rise, I was more comfortable in social situations, most days I felt more energized and alive, my face and skin looked so much more bright and alive, and I was starting to have morning erections again after not having them for a long time. The fantasies and urges people reported having I seemed to be free of, for the most part.

I guess the fact that I was starting to see a turn around lulled me into a false sense of security - like I didn't have to keep putting in a mental effort to stay away from pmo. After having a frustrating night out in which I didn't really talk to the girls I would have wanted, I got home and had such strong urges that I gave in. It wasn't to the hardcore stuff I usually do on the computer, but softcore Skinemax stuff. To be completely honest, I was kind of drunk and also took a hit of marijuana, so I'm sure my reasoning faculties were lowered. I knew when I turned the channel on that there was no turning back and I didn't really care at that moment.

I woke up feeling kind of bad but wasn't too down on myself. I knew I could start again, and that one time to somewhat healthy porn (compared to the stuff I watched when I was fully addicted, but is there any healthy porn?) wasn't the end of the world. But for some reason, I also woke up wanting more. I had the strongest urges I've had since I started. I literally felt powerless, like it was inevitable I would use pmo even though my logic was screaming no. I then binged to the more extreme stuff on my computer that got me into this situation in the first place - the stuff that I'm ashamed of and that I find logically repulsive, but my addicted brain can't stay away from. I had a blocker going, but of course my porn-starved brain found a way around it.

I had a problem with compulsive masturbation a while back. I'd found myself doing it all the time and found it really hard to stop. I just broke my third stint at abstinence. (Each one has been about three weeks). I think that this time is the first that I haven't really struggled with any kind of chaser effect. I think that maybe you have to abstain for a while until your brain has sorted itself out, and then you can masturbate healthily after that. I think that for me that maybe two weeks is a good minimum spacing. But when I first started trying to give up I needed longer in order not to be pulled back to compulsive masturbating.

the kind of neurochemical cycle that is at work behind the chaser effect. You can see how the "down" days (which some people just experience as intense cravings) would drive someone back to porn to try to get another short period of good feelings. Trouble is, for many users, over time the lows get worse and the highs more fleeting.

I found a personal mood pattern: The day I masturbate and the day after are great, lots of energy and very optimistic. Then the 2-3 days afterward are terrible: headaches, tiredness, laziness, mild depression at times.
If I get through these (which, in the past, I always failed to), I sort of balance in a "normal" mood, not too upbeat, but not depressed either, and at times willing to engage in difficult tasks. The only big difference is in having more energy for physical activities. That is a definite improvement.

I have been abstinent from PM for two weeks. My wife and I made love about a week and a half-ago. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law have been visiting for a while and this has made it easy to not act out with them around.

So I have noticed now that I haven't been masturbating my desire for my wife is coming from a very different place. It seems more related to physical desire for her, which I think is the point. She's also very happy to not have to compete with my right hand. But with people in the house it has been impossible to "couple".

I think that will change this weekend after everyone leaves...I hope. :) But I am actually starting to enjoy the abstinence from masturbation. As some have noted, my voice is back to sounding more resonant and deep. I feel better. I'm better able to focus on my work and I don't feel ashamed of myself all the time.

All good benefits of abstinence.

"After the relapse, the next two days were very difficult. I had extreme difficulty focusing, especially at around the afternoon. I could really feel the dopamine withdrawal in my head as my brain felt really slow and numb. My words were slurred and I had difficulty communicating with others. After that, the urge to masturbate and have sex were a lot stronger than before. This week was the toughest partly because of the relapse. While I was on porn/masturbation addiction, my mood swings were severe and I'd have severe anger and resentment. I noticed as time went by, these periods decreased in frequency. The last week, I experienced stronger mood swings because of the relapse I think. However, it was different because once I felt the anger and depression, it was gone for good instead of repeating in a cycle in my mind. Also, the periods were shorter but more intense, as if I was really feeling through the emotions. I am thankful that I finally found a cause for why I felt so angry and depressed all the time."

cause "chasers" for some (but not others). Here' one guy's report:

So yesterday I had my second wet dream since quitting porn. How fitting, considering I was fantasizing about (girl) before falling asleep. I guess it's progress from before when I could only have wet dreams about porn flashbacks. As a result, I felt increasingly horny all day. I felt completely drained and bored all day. Must be the chaser effect.

This guy reported:

 So I had a relapse Wednesday, after over a month porn free... I didn't think it would affect my life all that much, but holy crap it did and I'm pissed. Here it is in black and white:

I have been dating this girl for about 2 weeks now: 1st Date - had fun, talked all night and danced at the bar. 2nd Date - went bowling, then out for drinks, talked all night and had fun again. 3rd Date - Dinner and a movie, had a great time, went back to my house cuddled up together, and it felt amazing. One of the best dates I've had in a while.... THEN RELAPSE AND 3 HOUR PORN BINGE WEDNESDAY.... 4th Date yesterday - went to lunch and a museum, the whole date I was mentally criticizing her. "Her teeth are not white enough, she is a little overweight, her conversation is boring, etc." Holding hands with her felt forced, I didn't really want to be around her, my mind went blank eventually, and she asked me why was I so quiet. I was able to put on a show, so I think she had a decent time, but for me it was a terrible time. I just wanted to get away from her.

All last night I was questioning myself... What's wrong with me? Why don't I like this girl? Will I ever keep a girlfriend? Why am I not attracted to her anymore? Will I ever like anyone? I didn't think one relapse could have that much of an affect... But then it dawned on me, look at the facts. When did the porn binge occur, and which date went bad? The next one after the PMO session... It's no coincidence.

So I feel like I may have ruined it, but I got another date anyway. We're getting together Monday. My brain should be a little more balanced by then, and we'll give it another chance. Regardless, this is one hell of an incentive to never touch the stuff again.

is an extreme form of a normal neurochemical cycle after orgasm. It's good to know what yours is. Otherwise you may be tempted to have orgasm too frequently...and find your partner unappealing a lot of the time. Here's a forum member's anecdote about this phenomenon:

Thursday, leaving work, I noticed that there were like 5 amazing girls in front of us, and my friend and I talked about it. He calls it the "Thursday Effect." His gf lives in Gothenburg, so they meet during the weekend (they alternate in traveling).

He says on Monday morning he doesn't notice any attractive girl on the metro, few on Tuesday, some more on Wednesday, and on Thursday it is full of gorgeous girls - based on the internal meter he uses to gauge how horny he is. OK, he has a weekly cycle. What is mine?:-)

After 6 days of rebooting, I've relapsed. It was kind of stupid.

Now, 1 day later, I feel a strong urge to PMO, even if my penis is totally dead. Now I really understand what the addiction feels like. It is NOT the penis needing the PMO... no way. It is the brain. It wants the damn dopamine...

I feel really bad. Today slept a lot.


1. very bad flu-like symptoms. My throat aches like crazy.

2. Very tired.

3. depressive. I see everything in black. It's almost like the worst day of my life.

4. Anxious, afraid.

5. My voice is fvcked up

6. Sleepy

7. had couple of Deja Vu experiences. Really strange

8. Thinking a lot about a few pornstars. Can't get them out of my head.

9. Can't work, I'm restless.

10. Disorganised.

I am 24 years old and have been rebooting now for the past 52 days. I have been hanging in really good, till a couple of weeks back, after having sex with my girl, I would get HUGE impulses to PMO (never had that before). 1st time was about 2 1/2 weeks back, watched a few images and unconciously started rubbing myself over my pants. As if it were magic, I orgasmed about 10 seconds into it! This took place during the afternoon, after having sex with my girl in the morning. 2nd time took place about a week later, only that this time, I only watched a few images and restrained myself from touching myself and closed the windows before I got any stronger urges to MO. Now, this morning had sex with my girl and just a few minutes ago I had the strong urge to PMO. I had enough will not to watch any videos, so again, started watching some images and thought to myself, "might as well get it over with", so I MO'ed seconds into the picture viewing.

I feel that I'm wasting away the Reboot that I've been going following with these little hickups, since my sex and social life have been improving. I hate myself for giving in to these desires when sex with my girl is wonderful! If there is any positive side to these hickups I've been having, is that fact that I never watched any videos (to which I would spend hours watching and MO'ing to), the diference being is that after watching a few images, for no more that 5 minutes, I orgasm very quickly and close everything away. The fact of the matter is that, I want to COMPLETELY get rid of this porn and masturbation habit, but my addictive brain is just too strong sometimes.

I have read over the reviews users stated in this article, and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one going through this chaser effect. I will try my best this time from no one tio fulfill my desire in ending this bag habit.

Thanks for hearing me out.

Yeah, in my experience my weakest time is the 18 hours after I have sex with my wife. After I recover from orgasm I have the strongest urge to look at porn. It's like something was unleashed. I have to be really careful LINK -

I successfully stopped fapping between 07/03 and 07/13, and during these 10 days I felt like I was becoming a man (testosterone boost, isn't it?), but on 07/14 I felt the chaser effect after sex with my girlfriend, which forthwith stopped my nofap adventure. I will still continue having sex with my gf, as it is the main purpose of my time out, but I'll be careful of the chaser effect.


The chaser effect seems to be a thing of the past. I had a wet dream and was able to easily control the urge to start masturbating again. I Oed with a girl, and I didn't feel the need to look at porn. 

When I think about sex and fantasize it's about real sexual encounters and real women. And when I go out in public I take much greater notice of women's beauty. And the arousal I get is not the same as the engulfing porn-buzz that was really not the urge for sex, but the urge to get behind a computer screen with my pants around my ankles.

Having Sex Is Like Going Through Week 1-2 All Over Again

Background: mid30s, married 7 years. Wife lives in a different city bc of a job so we only see each other on weekends. Had great sex on Sat. Sun. and I'm just miserably horny today. I feel like I'm back at day 4-5, trying to overcome the urges all over again. It seems like if I go 1-2 weeks w/o orgasim then it gets easier. But having sex sets me back in terms of urges. I know I shouldn't be complaining. There's a lot of nofappers w/o SOs and really empathize with you b/c there's no way I could've made it this far w/o my wife. But this is still awful and I don't see it ever getting easier.

This guy uses a porn blocker because...

I realized that after any orgasm the chaser is so strong that I will crash and burn very quickly if the computer is not locked down.

I wish my will power were enough but it is not. The extra hassle to go out and get the code usually allows me to get back in my right mind.

I did some time (about 2 months each) on nofap both with and without sex, and I found after a few weeks of NoFap, maintaining it after release is WAAAYYY harder than just maintining without a release. This is why a lot of folks that break a long streak, even if it's just fapping, don't usually start a long streak up the very next day. Try it sometime, sure you tend to be horny all the time with nofap, but go and have sex, and then tell me how horny you are (trust me it will be worse).

Nofap was way eaiser for me without sex. Try it.

It would be a mistake, however, to assume that NoFap is easier if you're havin regular sex. My own experience suggests that the reverse is true. Perhaps it's the much talked about chaser effect; that definitely accords with my experience. Your brain thinks "wow, orgasms are fun! Let's have more!"

Last summer I went almost 3 months without fapping, whilst not having sex at all. Since then I've had various relationships and fuck buddies (well 4 in total). I've found it much more difficult to refrain from fapping whilst actually getting laid on a regular basis. I'm now recommitting to NoFap, because I sometimes struggle to come, or to maintain a hardon, and I know that PMO is a primary cause. (I'm not a heavy porn user by any stretch, but I know it has a significant effect if I do. Fapping in general does, especially when it is more than once daily).

I'm in a relationship for more than 2 years now and when we began to have relations I was at more than 90 days. In my opinion having a "healthy" sexual life while trying to stop PMO is the hardest thing... it's way easier to stop PMO when you can completely avoid sex. It's of course a personnal experience but for me it's like [trying to be] able to appreciate wine for dinner while you're an ex binge drinking addict

I'd be scared to tell myself 'Just to it once a week/month' because I know I'd be tempted to do it more often. It's like an avalanche when you start up again!