It’s been a year since I masturbated.
Reflecting on the past year has put much into perspective. Thanks to occasional journal entries and posts to this forum, I can see both my growth and my shortcomings, my aspirations and my letdowns. Most importantly, this type of perspective gives me intuition into what type of goals I should set for the future and how to conduct myself to achieve them.
I’m writing here today to share with you what I’ve gotten out of it so far, what I have not gotten out of it, and what my experience-adjusted goals for the future are.
One Year Ago
To give you an idea of my progress, I’ll summarize where I started.
I cut out masturbation a year ago at age 22. I was a college dropout living at my parents’ house, I was getting paid poorly for some part-time remote web consulting jobs, I was in a draining relationship with a needy girl, and I felt a general sense of boredom and lacking. I’d get off to Internet porn 4 to 7 times a week, and have sex about half as often. In bed, I’d sometimes go limp during and have to stop. I didn’t really think it was an issue because it didn’t happen all the time.
I joined NoFap not because I thought my porn habits were a problem, but because I felt directionless, stagnant, and as if I were becoming complacent with my mediocre situation. I knew NoFap wouldn’t be a magic bullet when I started, but it felt like a “first step.” I just needed some direction to move in, to see where I could go from there. Anything was better than wasting my early twenties in my parents’ house with an unstable job and an unstable girl.
What I’ve Done
Briefly and chronologically:
*I left the consulting gigs and got a real internship. *I moved out of my parents’ to the city. *I dumped the needy girl and started playing the field. *I re-applied to college and was accepted. *I met a smart hottie and started dating her. *My internship offered me a full-time job. *I turned down the job offer to go back to college, where I am now to finish my undergrad.
I don’t attribute these events to abstaining from masturbation. NoFap helped catalyze them though — especially the women-related ones. Here’s a deeper look.
General Physiological Changes
The best way I can describe what I’ve given myself by not fapping is a mild discomfort in my stomach and chest (like “butterflies”). It grows when I’m not accomplishing things, expressing myself, exerting my body and mind, being social, or leading. Sorry if this sounds a little eastern.
I’d previously get this feeling only rarely, and usually when I felt threatened or embarrassed. I thought it was a bad feeling. I’d suppress it, thinking I was taking the “high road.” I’m convinced that my numbness from a year ago was largely due to my automatic suppression of this feeling.
Not jacking it made that feeling so strong I couldn’t possibly suppress it all with my mind. So I followed advice I read on this subreddit: I (clumsily) ran, did push-ups, and focused on hobbies. I started making music again, writing, and throwing myself out there at parties more.
Somewhere along the line I realized all that is the point. Suppressing that light stomach-chest feeling feels like fear. Channeling that feeling into whatever I choose is exciting, empowering, and gives me focus.
There are a lot of excitable guys in this subreddit claiming miracles. But the change in voice is real.
Not only is my voice a little deeper, I wield it with more articulation and precision. Listening to and practicing some of the material in Roger Love’s Vocal Power helped. I have less stress and tension in my body, so my vocal chords are more relaxed and able to speak with ease.
I’ve been putting my voice to use recently. I was asked to announce a large annual regatta, with 3000+ attendees. I did, and it led to plenty of compliments and an offer to announce an even larger one. I’d like to develop my voice and public speaking more. I’m thinking about joining my local chapter of Toastmasters International to do so. This is something I probably wouldn’t be pursuing if NoFap hadn’t let me see this skill I have.
*Creativity and Spontaneity *
I picked my music back up, and have been working on an album due out whenever I feel like it. I started writing a blog about my university that’s gaining popularity (and authors) on campus.
I second-guess myself less. I’ve found my first thought is usually right. And when it’s wrong, I can correct myself with grace. One trick I’ve been actively practicing is just saying a thought out loud as soon as I have it. No thinking about saying it, deciding if I’m going to say it, or waiting for the moment to say it. This might be contrary to the popular advice “think before you speak”, but when I do it, I often find people agreeing with me. Maybe that advice is just for those prone to poor wording.
In my Six Month Report, I mentioned that my problem of occasionally going to half-mast had decreased from once a week to once a month or so. Now, I can say that I never have this problem.
I have sex only with my girlfriend, and it’s still exciting. I’ve pushed her for a threesome, which she’s tentatively agreed to. She understandably has reservations, which I hope to assuage. I probably never would have even asked if I were still watching porn.
And just to cover all the bases, what I mentioned 6 months ago holds true: my stamina, passion, ability, and virility in bed have increased tenfold since starting this journey.
My buddy and I were drinking some beers and cooking some t-bones. At a silence, I told him “I’m jealous of you, man.”
“Why’s that?” he asked.
“Because you’re single. You can have sex with any girl you can charm and seduce. We’re at college, and all the benefits of bachelorhood are yours.”
“Yeah, but I’m jealous of you” he responded. “You have a smoking hot girl with an amazing personality who you can bang any time you want, without working for it.”
After a moment’s contemplation, we clinked our bottles and moved on to something else.
That conversation has probably played out millions of times, but it’s a perfect anecdote for my dilemma. Sure, my girlfriend has an amazing personality. She’s in love with me. She’s got my back and is always there when I’m down (or otherwise). Plus, my buddy wasn’t lying about her looks. I got her with energy and drive that NoFap helped provide me.
Maybe it’s a grass-is-always-greener situation. But I miss the titillation of meeting new girls and seducing them that I was having closer to the beginning of NoFap. So much that I flirt with other girls as much as I can without hurting my girlfriend or making her jealous. It’s still not the same though. Believe it or not, I actually miss the surge of having no sexual release for four or more days.
I feel like I’ll have to make a decision before too long: I’ll either end things with this amazing girl because I’m young and desperately want to feel the intensity of being a completely free man; Or I’ll make a bigger commitment to her, have a stable loving grounding in my life, and always wonder if I settled.
NoFap has helped keep my relationship vibrant, but it has also kept me looking at other options.
I’ve noticed for the first time other guys looking up to me and watching what I do for guidance. It’s led me to a leadership role on my sports team at college. It’s extra pressure, but instigating camaraderie in others in worth it. I’m more outwardly focused, which projects confidence. I find it easier to relate to other guys and build friendships. It’s just a matter of willingness to do so, which I have more of now.
NoFap is here to stay. Porn and masturbation are out. I like who I am now a lot better than who I was a year ago. I want to continue to improve myself in all aspect of my life.
I didn’t meet all the goals I laid out for myself after starting NoFap.
I didn’t “become a force” in my company during my internship, but I left a good impression and accomplished several large projects.
I didn’t “make the most of city living,” but I moved to the city, explored some nightlife, and made some friends.
I didn’t build the huge entourage I had envisioned, but I expanded my social circle and made connections.
I didn’t achieve a zen-like clear mind, but I’m generally more purposeful and decisive.
In another year, I hope look back on my personal growth and again see obvious improvements. NoFap is clearly part of a balanced and accomplished life.
I may not have become the impregnable force I had hoped for, but I’ve improved myself gradually and distinctly in so many ways.
Here’s to always doing.
LINK – One Year Report