Age 27 - Married: better relationship & sex. Many benefits, but religion was a stumbling block
First attempt of nofap on easy mode (allow sex w/spouse), 90 days done! It feels great to have accomplished this goal. I am shooting for 120 days next and will just keep trying to add further months onto the streak as they come.
One day at a time has been an effective motto for me. Often times I'll just wake up and say, "I'm not going to relapse today. Just make it through today, that's all that matters right now."
Benefits - Self Esteem
I didn't realize it before nofap, but I think PMO was significantly affecting my self-esteem. I feel so much better about myself after these 90 days. I hated the fact that I was married and yet I masturbated or PMO'd still; it felt unfaithful, wrong, and I felt out of control because prior attempts to stop on my own never were successful. For once I feel like my addiction to PMO is beatable, and it is because of the nofap support system, my motivation to never PMO again, and my will power to make each day a success. I feel more like a man than I ever have and it's definitely affected other areas of my life.
Benefits - Production
Without wasting time PMOing, recovering and feeling bad about it, and feeling anxious about it happening again, I have so much more time and energy. Realizing how different my life could be without PMO through this increased time and energy has opened my eyes to the potential I have in my life. Around day 70 or so, I read a post on here detailing this one guy's transformation through nofap. He essentially went from feeling like a loser to being "The Man" in many areas of his life. To make a long story short, with the time and energy I now feel, I decided that day that I can be this kind of person and that I am already this kind of person in ways. I just needed to follow through on what I wanted in life. Since then, I've been very intentional with how I use my time to do productive and life-giving things for myself. I've started CrossFit again, run several times a week, I am paying more and better attention to my wife (getting her nice small gifts she'd like without her asking, looking up a new recipe she'd like and surprising her with a home cooked meal, more present during conversation, etc.), getting my guitar and musical skills back up, studying/thinking more and better about my field that I am currently in grad school for (occupational therapy), saw a therapist, quality personal reflection time, keeping up with friends and family, etc. I am discovering the person who I can be, and in many ways it felt like getting help and ditching PMO has enabled that for me.
Benefits - Social
As a result of the above changes, I do feel more confident around others. I notice myself being willing to lead conversations, bring people in groups together, have better eye contact, communicate more clearly, and just in general appreciate the people with whom I am talking. I am introverted and proud of it, so I don't really want to become a social butterfly; nevertheless it does feel good to feel more comfortable in my own skin around groups of people. Also, I notice that I have better boundaries with people. I am able to say no to people when I want to say no and I am also able to avoid certain folks that maybe I may be tempted to get sucked in to their lives but it probably wouldn't be the best idea.
Benefits - Sex life
While I never experienced PIED, I did notice before my streak that when I M'd sometimes I would not be able to get off without P. That had never happened before and I think I was starting down the slippery slope of desensitization. Now, I don't know if that's still the case because I haven't M'd, but I do know that my wife and I are having more and better sex. I am more sensitive down there, have more libido, and I don't find myself not in the mood anymore. This feels great, as it contributes further to feeling empowered as a man. I'm not saying one has to have sex to be a man, but it does help to be reaching your potential in all areas of life, including sex.
Benefits - About will power and religion
This last point may not sit well with religious folk, but please just hear me out. I used to be super religious. I was a full time Christian college minister. Long story short, I developed a disdain for Christianity after working in full-time ministry and have since left the faith for now. This impacted my journey with abstaining from PMO and my will power significantly. When I was religious, I would try to stop PMO because I knew it was wrong, but more importantly, because God thought it was wrong. I and any communities of Christians trying to stop PMOing that I was a part of at some point would always fail, and I'd/we'd rely on praying to God for strength to become stronger. In some ways I think this affected our will power because we were not fully taking responsibility for our actions. We were hoping God would do some of the work for us. Also, because we were doing this to try to please God in some ways, we never really developed strong personal ownership in wanting to leave PMO - it was always shared with our need to do what someone else (God) says. Once I 100% owned the fact that I wanted to stop doing PMO for myself and that I would only have my will power to rely on in order to quit in conjunction with the encouragement from the nofap community, I finally feel strong enough to take on the urges. I have been successful, and I know it can all go away in a moment, so I am hoping to be diligent every day in continuing this success in the future without religion, as it seemed to hold me back in this instance.
To wrap all of this up, I really want to thank everyone on here that have contributed to the content of our sub and for anyone who has dialogued with me as we are trying to grow. I know I could not find it in myself to change without the boost of this community at the start here. I want to eventually become less dependent on this sub, but I never want to fully leave it because it has helped and I want to help others who were in the same spot as I. Here's to another day, another month, and eventually a year of success of nofap!
TL;DR: 90 days completed. Nofap community has helped me change my life one day at a time. Next goal - 120 days.
UPDATE - what i've learned 4 months in
Hi everyone, 27 y/o married male here, easy mode nofap for the first time. Just hit 4 months this past weekend. The only issues PMO-wise these 4 months is that when I go to sleep I have a tendency to lightly touch myself out of habit. I don't actually do anything close to masturbation, but this is a lingering habit I'm trying to break. I'd like to just go straight to sleep without touching myself at all; many nights this happens but some nights it does not. Either way, i don't consider these things anything close to relapsing, but I do think I'd be better off if i can stop doing it for good.
Anyway, a lot of positive change has occurred in the past 4 months!
I spent the first two months fighting a lot of urges and visiting this sub pretty much every day for support and encouragement, and I needed it for sure. Somewhere in between days 60-90, I realized that I was probably going to make it to 90 days. I just needed to stick it out a bit longer to reach my goal, and the feeling that I was going to put my mind to something I had never been able to do before and accomplish it (with the help of you all of course) was wonderful. During this time, I read some nofap vet's story of his transformation (sorry I don't remember his user name), but he essentially became the person he always wanted to be after nofap inspired him to just improve every area of his life. After reading this, I felt a voice inside of me that said, "I want my life to be better too. Why shouldn't it be? And why shouldn't I do everything in my power to make it so?" Ever since then, I have chosen of my own will (not through some magic superpowers of being on nofap, although not fapping does help me with the ability to do this) to pursue improvement in many areas of my life and I've experienced results that I have been happy with including but not limited to the following:
1) Better marriage (better relationship, better sex life)
2) Better ability to stand up for myself go after what I want
3) Conversely, less insecure about not always asserting myself (the chip on my shoulder is getting smaller)
4) Moved from simple treadmill running to doing crossfit 5x a week and seeing physical changes (fat loss, muscle/speed/endurance increase)
5) More focus during the time allotted for grad school work during my day and therefore more productive
6) Better relationships with friends, and starting new relationships with classmates that I hadn't talked to as much previously
7) better self-esteem
8) better sleep
9) less generalized anxiety
10) Better discipline/will power
11) better communication skills (presenting to a group, speaking while thinking on my feet, etc.)
12) More time to do all these good things
13) Over time, spending less time on this website because my schedule has become more full of meaningful things that I am interested in and I tend to forget to check back in here. for me, I think that is good because I don't want to be too dependent on this website (although I still acknowledge my need for this sub, as last night I did have a pretty strong urge to resist and so I'm definitely not out of the woods yet and still need everyone's encouragement)
14) And no offense to any religious individuals here, but for me, I've experienced more peace at moving on from my religious worldview and taking full responsibility for my life without depending on religion for now. (Please don't try to get in a religious debate with me, i'm not interested. I'm just posting something that has been meaningful for me, not trying to attack anyone else's beliefs).
Now, I will say that being married and doing this on easy mode makes this so much easier, I imagine. So I have a lot of respect for you individuals soldiering on in hard mode. I think it will be completely worth it though, as any future relationships you find yourself in will most likely be much better as a result of your endeavors now.
Last thing I'll say is that after 4 months, I'm in a much better place, and it really is because of the culture I have immersed myself in through this sub. That is, the culture is all about bettering yourself in every way, and the more my thoughts go that direction, the more I am willing to make my actions follow suit. Nofap, to me, is really a perspective shift. I'm not just someone now who doesn't fap (and struggles with maintaining this practice); I'm just in general someone who wants to be better at going for what I want in life.
TL,DR; 4 months through nofap and experiencing lots of positive change through hard work and general perspective shifts. thanks for the support!