It’s now been 90 days and a few hours since I made the decision to stop wasting time/effort by masturbating. I went from spending 1-3 hours daily viewing pornographic smut straight to 0, after spending 8 years of my life thinking there was nothing inherently wrong with porn (provided it’s ethically produced and you don’t take life lessons from it). 90 days later, I’m kind of mad at NoFap. Mad because it worked.
Mad because my life could have been so much more the better part of this past decade. Mad because science was, for the first time in my life, incongruent with the answer my firsthand experience led me to.
See here for my original, starting post, if you care.
Along with NoFap, I’ve made a commitment to exercise regularly (primarily cardio with some core and pushups) and eat “better,” although eating “better” is kind of confusing these days with so many different diets out there which are totally unrelated to the food pyramid I’ve been raised under. Basically, I’ve been eating high protein/fat, a few fruits/vegetables, and carbs sparingly. I’ve also been eating less as this diet naturally keeps me feeling full longer. Furthermore, I kept a diary of the past 3 months, and so I’ll recount highlights for anyone new who may be interested.
1 week: vivid emotions, sleep schedule adjusting, mind generally clearer.
2 weeks: definitely feeling more social, exercise is less draining than before. Sleep schedule solidifying to something Ben Franklin would approve of. Mind is much clearer, music is much more exciting.
4 weeks: noticed a reliance on exercise to perform at peak efficiency; otherwise, I’m grumpy and can’t focus all day.
5 weeks: first wet dream in ~7 years. Happened after a few days of no exercise. Strongly suspect excess stress/energy is a factor in causing. Day following was fairly crappy – bad sleep and lack of exercise could both be factors even if the wet dream itself isn’t causing problems.
6.5 weeks (halfway): Better integration in social situations (always been an introvert, but I’m less antisocial now), find myself laughing much more, I’m able to allocate my cares only to things worth caring about and stay more productive. Also, I make far fewer sexual comments than I used to, and my mind is generally out of the gutter.
11 weeks: experiencing a surge of urge. Even though I know there was very little rewarding about the smut I used to play, I find myself missing it, and I’m horny a whole lot. Buckling down to do some work as I can before I leave for grad school.
And that’s it. Hopefully, this will answer some questions for you all who haven’t had this experience yet. There are quite a few differences you notice in the first few weeks, but after that you really have to think back to your old life before you notice that you’re still making improvements. Now I’m at grad school, haven’t fapped in 90 days, and haven’t even had a wet dream in over a month – I generally wake up before the point of no return. I feel good about the person I am now and the way I spend my time, yet I fear I may never truly have closure over the idea of NoFap until science can get its act together and explain all the things, rather than just showing supposed benefits or telling me it’s “natural.” Nonetheless, for now I’ll sum my 90 day challenge experience with something I can say with some certainty.
TL;DR: Fapping. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat.
LINK – 90 Days. Mission: Success!
Found out about this community from “The Great Porn Experiment” TedxTalk, did some investigating because “Fapstronaut” is basically the best name that has ever been conceived, and am now embarking on a 90-day challenge, with this post serving to remind myself of what I’m doing and as a benchmark for when I finish. Technically, I started exactly 1 week ago, so this will also serve as my account of very short-term results.
The Background I’ve never particularly considered my PMO habits to be problematic or have any extreme woes to associate with them – my school grades have always been excellent (just graduated college), I believe myself generally well liked by those who know me, and I generally take good care of myself with regards to diet/exercise/hygiene. It is fair to say I have not had the best successes finding romance, but thus far I’ve attributed that to other factors, primarily a lack of initiative in making a direct approach (looking forward to seeing if this challenge has an effect on that). I began the MO part around halfway through my first year of high school, although I had a stint of just looking the year before when I had been introduced to pornography. It’s definitely fair to say, though, that my habits were rather moderated before I got a personal computer with internet access. There have been two periods of my life prior to now when I’ve abstained. The first (and longest) was the first half of my high school sophomore year: my family had just moved, I knew nobody in a new town, and despite being welcomed by the new community, I was frequently sad and depressed over losing my old life, and had no libido as a result. The second period was during a 3-month period of intense activity the following summer, the long days and limited privacy of which left me with no effort/desire for such pursuits (and coincidentally helped me turn my life around from my previous year’s depression). The commonality between these two which you may notice is that I’ve never stopped without something else quite literally taking over my life.
The Situation Now I’m currently feeling a bit of a personal crisis. Despite my ability to make it rain As at school, I didn’t fare as well as I’d expected in auditioning and subsequently gaining entry/scholarship to graduate school (I only made it into what I had considered my “safety school,” but it’s still a well-respected program. Wow, that sounded snooty. It’s complicated; I promise I’m not super-arrogant). Because of that setback, and the piles of student loans that I’m looking at adding to my preexisting piles of student loans, I’m starting to have some serious doubts about continuing along my current career path. I feel a huge urge to cut my losses and try to grab a job that will at least provide me with a steady/sufficient income to cover my current debt rather than risk piling on more and more debt before ultimately winding up with the same job, effectively making employed life that much harder to deal with. In response to this insecurity, I am instituting some lifestyle changes, largely with the purpose of proving to myself that I can still accomplish things (other than a good GPA), including: * NoFap * Regular and varied exercise * The “Scottish Shower” (start warm, end cold) * Eating less, hydrating more (I’ve been suffering from GERD, but good hydration is good) * Keeping a written plan to follow for my life/goals, along with several contingencies (free to edit, but keeping it written down nonetheless)
The Plan I’m currently living the hermit lifestyle of a broke college graduate living with his parents, but come mid-June I’ll attend a month-long camp, and in August I’ll relocate to start grad school. My 90-day challenge will expire just as grad school is beginning, but currently I’m maintaining the mindset that I’ll keep it rolling even then. I look forward to seeing what developments I can associate with my first self-willed NoFap. For science. For self.
The Week As I said, I’m writing this exactly 1 week in. I have thus far not experienced any strong urges; I believe I (inadvertently) weakened my desire for PMO through some recent experiences in which I did not “handle with care,” leading to a strong burning sensation full of negative reinforcement. I have, however, already noticed that my emotions are generally heightened from what they were a week ago. I went to see a movie, and there was this preview for some movie about an inspiring football story. I hate football. And yet, I still nearly cried from the emotional appeal of the preview. That, and my ears hurt because the theater’s volume had been turned up to 11. I have also had an easier time getting out of bed earlier in the morning, but for the time being my sleep schedule is in chaos and I’m still relatively foggy, mentally.
The Post Script For those who managed to read everything (or just skipped in hopes of finding a TL;DR), I want to finish this with a non-egocentric statement. This community is fantastic, and you are awesome. I’m normally a hardcore lurker online (I either write a novel or nothing, and I only have so much time for novels), but the general positivity and lack of self-righteousness I’ve seen here convinced me to register a username and, well, write a novel. I’m proud to be joining the ranks of Fapstronauts. Maybe my next challenge will be writing more concisely.