To be perfectly honest, I believe that the majority women would benefit more from Nofap than they could really imagine. But I propose, or perhaps only muse upon, a more tailored program for the self-therapy of a PMO-induced dysfunctional female body image and sexuality.
Many women look at porn, though porn is not made with us in mind. Porn is an affirmation that there is always something better: when a woman watches it, it seems that everyone has more voluptuous curves, smoother skin, and a more obedient body than she does. As one of the only connections most women have to the naked female body, she is conditioned to believe that this is a representative sample of the macrocosm. Yet while spending so much time with her new internet acquaintances, she notices something: all their titles are disposable and, for the most part, their names are reduced to “busty blonde” or “skinny coed”. She might ask herself, “If the sexuality of these incredibly confident and sensual girls is so disposable, how could my self-conscious, freshly developing sexuality have any importance at all?”
That concludes my ability to ponder on a generalization: I refuse to speak for all women based on my limited experience, but that’s not to say that I don’t believe that my story is representative of many girls. I had seen porn from a young age, not a lot, but I had experienced it by the age of fifteen. More than porn though, I had seen endless expressions of the hypersexuality of women in advertising. Much like porn, these women are paradigms of female sexuality and simultaneously completely disposable. In that sense, I had already begun to see female sexuality as disposable and meaningless before I had ever engaged in any sexual contact at all.
As I matured I began to see my virginity as a burden. Virginity is a confusing concept for teenage girl: it’s so highly valued by a number of different groups for starkly different reasons. There’s the adult pressure to remain a virgin, remaining “pure” and “innocent” and whatever the opposite of “slut” is. Then there’s the patriarchal pressure to remain a virgin, to use as a gift for the one you’ll marry. That too, is a strange and strong pressure: it’s the first consenting act between two people I’d ever come across with such forceful opinions. There’s also the male peer pressure. Observing the world around me, I realized that engaging in sex regularly is the ticket to unlimited male attention. I wonder what men would do if they found one action that would grant them access to an endless supply of female attention. But even if you manage to unravel yourself from the thorns of adult and patriarchal pressure without leaving any serious psychological scarring, there’s one more barrier before entering the world of male attention: “popping the cherry”. The act of losing my virginity became a burden in my eyes. I felt that if I was to reject the pressures that valued my virginity for their varying purposes, I had to reject it’s intrinsic value as well. It was a shame to introduce myself to this new lifestyle and be so so far behind these confident examples of sexuality and beauty I had seen through porn. So I got rid of it, as quickly and secretly as I could before I turned 18, with a stranger I had met at a party.
But with that dismissal of my virginity, little did I know, I dismissed the importance of my sexuality all together. I didn’t understand that the loss of your virginity is not the most important nor the most embarrassing time you have sex, but just the first of many sexual encounters that have the potential of being spectacular and deeply personal. How many young women really understand that concept? My intuition says “too few”.
I’ve carried this malformed perspective into adulthood. It’s found its’ many manifestations in a history of eating disorders, spectatorism during sex (when one focuses on being the porn experience for their partner rather than actually enjoying the shared intimacy), female deathgrip, depression, and shame during and after sexual acts, among other things. It’s obvious that I need re-education, a complete revitalization of my sexual perspective. Without realizing how it might tie-in to all of this, I began nofap and despite my struggles, I can already see how it’s healing me. I can recognize my issues now, and I’m determined to resolve them.
In this sense, I believe that nofap could be used as a chance for many women to reset their perspective on their own sexuality. Perhaps the best sister tool that could be used with this reset is Sensate Focusing, a sex therapy technique that focuses one’s sense experience rather than just orgasm. It guides the practitioners through a series of levels of touch, starting with complete avoidance of genitals, and culminating in intercourse without ever emphasizing orgasm. I think one of the most important steps for a woman during nofap is to revalue and rediscover her own body starting with complete abstinence from her (probably) boring masturbation routine and slowly introducing self-massage, pampering and self-care as ways to increase touch sensitivity and self-esteem. I think this also has to include admiration and acceptance of your own unclothed body, although many women don’t even enjoy looking in the mirror. Ultimately, I have a lot of faith in nofap as a healing tool for the damaged psyche of the contemporary woman battling a hypersexualized culture, but I also believe that it’s destined to fail in this intent if it’s not paired with determination and focus on re-discovery once that “reset” has been achieved. The end game here isn’t winning an imaginary prize for the longest time abstaining, but learning how to value your sense experiences with and without a partner, without the need for pornography or intense clitoral stimulation used only as a means to achieve a quick and underwhelming orgasm.