Background: I’m a 26-year old IT professional that’s lived a relatively normal life. At the age of 9 or 10, I discovered “fapping”, the act of engaging in self-pleasure. I recall not even being able to ejaculate, at first, but I would soon become addicted to the dopamine rush of orgasm. I masturbated once per day and would sometimes go on binges of doing it 3-4 times per day. It was at the age of 12 that I became interested in computers, and subsequently, pornography. Nothing too crazy porn-wise, but the deadly spiral of PMO took root in my life. It was just something I did, everyday, without fail. When my grades were not up to par on a test, or when I was going through something personal, masturbation served as a cathartic outlet that I looked forward to when I went home. I’ve seen others say that even during social outings, they would have urges to leave and masturbate. In my case, I believed my sexual urges were overpowering and constantly had sexual thoughts at the forefront of my everyday mental state.
Another primary theme of this vicious cycle was anxiety. Anxious thoughts talking to people, anxious thoughts at initiating conversation with women and a markedly anxious state of mind when it came to most other things in life. I have no history of depression or anxiety. Oddly, I had no idea I was even experiencing an altered state of things until I learned about what anxiety was in my early 20s. Increased heart-rate, sweating and negative thoughts punctuate my memories of ages 17-25; waking up in the morning, speaking with people, taking on new challenges and everyday life experience. At the age of 22, I began to suffer from migraine headaches almost every day. I upped my water intake, began exercising and eating better but still suffered from these “pulsating” headaches. Like clockwork, I would feel the effects of the migraines around 12 – 3 PM and felt powerless as it began to effect my academics. All the while, around 21, I began to suffer from acne breakouts, bad skin and dry/brittle hair. Keep in mind that I’m PMO’ing once or twice a day, a fact that epitomizes my stupidity and inability to “connect the dots”, but more on that later. I’m a 6”2, good-looking guy, so all of the above was definitely a blow to my self-esteem. I was used to girls checking me out but felt at my lowest during this time.
I was always OK with women. Throughout high school to college, there were always girls that checked me out, wanted to hang out and wanted to hookup. Looking back, this had nothing to do with PMO but rather my inability to pick up on subtle, and sometimes explicit, social cues. Notably, I had no idea how to talk to girls, much less feel comfortable around them. This shortcoming would function as a servo-mechanism, thereby enforcing my anxiety and making me feel anxious at the mere thought of TALKING to someone over the phone. Definitely something wrong there. I was lethargic about mostly everything and frequently got tired easily. Around the age of 21, I noticed that I could not do without 8-10 hours of sleep, and even then, the sleep was subpar and I always felt groggy, often feeling the “mind fog’ that fapstronauts here mention. No health regiment or lifestyle change would effect me as much as NoFap did.
As of May 20th, 2013, I will have not masturbated, or had an organism, for 50 days. As monks, musicians and ascetics can attest, the effects of sexual abstinence can prove powerful. For those whose ability to experience pleasure has been dulled by pornography and masturbation, the effects of depriving yourself of organism are fucking PROFOUND. You know what pisses me off the most? That I only figured out what going on at the age of 25. I set out to regain my mind, body and sexuality by doing NoFap. Thankfully, NoFap was relatively easy for me as my NoFap experience has been about 85% flatline. I have/had no sexual urges, whatsoever. In fact, during days 30-40, I had to double-check to see if everything was “OK” down there. Below is a snapshot of myself before and after NoFap; No “superpowers” here, just an honest account of my day-to-day life after 50 days of NoFap:
- Loss of interest in most things; e.g. I was the biggest hiphop fan but lost interest in music and most other things
- Things bothering me to the point of craziness, almost. I would take the words and action of others very personal
- Difficulty concentrating and reading. I felt like I could not retain information due to feeling “anxious”
- Even though having it relatively good (making over 62K per year), I felt very unhappy and shitty on a daily basis
- Undue anxiety, e.g. someone handing me the phone to speak with someone. When I used to wake up in the early morning, I would have EXTREMELY negative thoughts, sometimes suicidal even. This would subside through the day but return the next morning
- Dull, pulsating migraine almost every single day
- Increased base heart rate, most likely a symptom of anxiety
- Low self-esteem; many “low points”, very bad image of self, putting myself down constantly
- Low-quality sleep, especially from the ages of 20-25, where I presume PMO began to affect me even more
- Skin breakouts and dull/oily skin, increased dandruff and dry/brittle hair
- Always having sex on my mind
- I can’t remember my sleep ever being this good and I go to sleep almost instantly. Also, I feel wonderful when I wake up in the morning, I haven’t had any negative thoughts. Even when I get 3-5 hours of sleep, I can function and feel great! I work 60 hours per week at two jobs and feel great even when I have to work from 7 AM to Midnight
- No/very little anxiety AT ALL. I do not feel anxious having to meet new people, engaging in conversation or speaking in front of people. In fact, nothing makes me anything close to as anxious I used to get
- I feel SO MOTIVATED. I’ve never been more productive at work and diligent in my work. I’ve never felt so motivated to get another degree, begin working out and generally changing my life. This is not an exaggeration in that motivation is not just a “feeling”, it’s a state of mind that permeates everything you do. I strive for excellence and bettering myself in everyway. This could also be an effect of my newfound discipline
- I feel HAPPY, relaxed and content most of the day. Just a nice feeling of wellbeing and comfort. Things don’t bother me as much and I just feel GOOD. It’s literally night and day when I think of how much anxiety affected my life before NoFap
- The ability to find pleasure and enjoyment in nearly everything I do. I understand this has to do with my brain being in the process of returning to normal dopamine levels and “re-wiring” itself
- My concentration is MUCH better. I can read and retain/recall information and my memory seems sharper.
- Much better skin tone, almost “glowing”, I can’t remember the last time I broke out and my skin looking as healthy as it does now
- Better hair texture
- I can exert myself longer in physical activities and don’t get nearly as tired easily
Life is definitely better now with NoFap. After 90 days, I plan to abstain from masturbation completely for the rest of my life. My girlfriend of 2 years and I will be getting married next year and I look forward to having a healthy sexual outlook with her in marriage. I can safely attribute NoFap to the incredible effects I’ve experienced. It saddens me that I didn’t link the negative effects of masturbation with the problems I had as a young man.
I plead with everyone here to strengthen their resolve and go through NoFap with the knowledge that there really is a brighter side to this addiction and that overcoming it is possible. Thanks for reading and good luck!