I went 273 days without porn and fapping.

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I first started nofap and noporn cold turkey after reading an article entitled "was the cowardly lion just masturbating too much?" (http://www.reuniting.info/cowardly_lion_masturbating_too_much) - the title itself completely spoke to me. Before porn I was a 'courageous lion', and once I began looking at it in grade 8, I definitely changed into a cowardly one. I lost a lot of self confidence, especially with regards to woman but also regarding all social interactions. I had never made the connection before. Right then and there I stopped, and these are some of my thoughts on my nearly year long period without porn or fapping:

relationship with woman: I was in a long term relationship before beginning nofap. I definitely became more a more passionate lover when she was my only source of sexual satisfaction. I think she would agree our sex life improved. I never had issues with ED, quite the opposite actually in that I would come pretty quick (that being said, I think most men do without a condom - I usually last 2 minutes). I did not see any improvement in this regard. Still a 2 minute man (without a condom). Some of the downsides I noticed were that I sometimes tried to place my sexual fantasies learned from porn on my girlfriend, since I could no longer be fulfilled by porn - this meant putting pressure on her dress up and do some kinky things, which she wasn't always so thrilled about. If I had never developed a porn addiction, I never would have developed these kinky tastes in the first place (by kinky, I mean wanting anal sex). Moving forward, I have realized this and will not be putting any pressure on her to behave like a pornstar. Aside from sex, I think our emotional connnection improved. I actually cried when we got into an argument at one point when we were talking about breaking up, and she loved that. In the past I never would have shown that much vulnerability to her. With regards to my relationship with woman who were not my girlfriend, it's hard to say if it actually changed. I tried to be more confident, and I was, but I'm really not sure if that was a placebo effect, or true change. I did feel more confident by telling myself that I was now not engaging in the degrading, objectifying world of porn.

relationship with friends: I intentionally sought out more social interaction - I think mainly as a way to distract myself, and because I learned it was healthy. I definitely did develop better relationships with friends, likely because I spent more time with them. there was nothing 'magical' about this though. I didn't all of a sudden become the life of the party and become cool. I took advantage of the opportunities available to me. Overall, this was a positive

school: my grades in school didn't improve, which I was a bit surprised about. I think I expected them to, because I expected to be in a better state of mind overall. That being said, I was in a professional program when I started my streak that did not reward anything above what I was already achieving (pass/fail system). I did hope I would become sharper though, which did not happen. I did not feel there was any cognitive ability improvement. It's funny, if anything I cared less about school, I felt like I became a bit of a rebel with regards to my attitude towards it, in that I felt the traditional system has a lot of flaws. Maybe this is related to the increased testosterone. Overall though, no change

health: I was pretty slim before, and still am, but incidentally put on about 13 lbs, which was definitely a good thing for my appearance - I look muscular now as opposed to flimsy. I definitely did not expect this to happen going in, so I believe this was certainly not a placebo effect. I guess since I couldn't achieve pleasure from porn, I took more pleasure in food. I didn't change my diet, as I was already eating a very healthy diet before. Maybe this is also related to increased testosterone.

sports: no change. I play a bunch of sports, and didn't notice any change in my performance what so ever. I actually started to care a bit less about sports. I saw them as fun games instead of important competitions. Maybe this is appropriate considering I just play recreationally. I had played a varsity sport before starting no-fap, but the season had ended before I even started my streak, so I don't know if my performance would improve in a competitive environment.

mood: I would consider myself someone who has a constantly low mood. I had really hoped nofap would change this, and that as a result everything else in my life would also fall into place. Sadly I didn't notice any change with regards to my mood. I was still low mood, and this was the biggest disappointment. I think nofap gives you extra resources with regards to testosterone, dopamine, whatever, and you have to use this to improve your mood - nofap itself will not cut it (at least, not for me). As a result I researched some evidence based ways to improve mood, and have been using these techniques, including finding 3 things a day I'm thankful for/happy about, and making efforts to have closer social relationships, which have been helpful.

anxiety: again, I hoped I would become less anxious. I'm not sure if nofap helped with anxiety. For example, I definitely felt less social anxiety, but also started to nearly get panic attacks at times. This makes me think it was a placebo effect.

It's too bad I had all these expectations going in, as I think this made me put pressure on myself, possibly increasing my anxiety and reducing the gains. When I did eventually slip, I felt a huge sense of relief, even happiness - was this because I no longer felt the pressure to be this person I expected nofap to make me? Going forward, I am not going to set any expectations and do my best to see it as an experiment, hopefully removing this pressure that I got relief from when I slipped. Just be yourself, without porn or fapping.

I would love to hear your insights into my journey.

LINK - I went 273 days without porn and fapping. I want to share my insights and hear yours

by stonecoldstoic