I started this whole NoFap thing about 6 months ago, and I can honestly say that I have noticed real changes in my life outside of the obvious that I do not masturbate or watch porn any longer. But there are some things that I have come to terms with throughout this experience that I thought I should share in the event that these experiences are common ones. For the first few months of NoFap, things were smooth sailing.
I decided one day that porn had and was continually fucking up how I viewed sex and women, and that I needed to put a stop to watching it. This step was easy because I was so sure that PMO was bad for me. As a college student, I felt like this was the perfect time for me to make substancial changes in my life that would carry through to my career and beyond. And I did see immediate results. Even after a few weeks I found myself more confident around girls, resulting in a few hookups that were good fun, but still lacked any real substance or meaning for me. During these weeks I became more talkative, relatable, and generally more fun to be around. My musicianship improved and felt more energetic during exercise.
All great things, yes, but there was still an issue that kept resurfacing in my brain: porn imagery. I’m not sure if this is an official NoFap term, but as I define it, porn imagery are images, sounds, feelings, impulses etc. that were learned and therefore reinforced through watching porn. Let me describe a hypothetical example for you:
Imagine you are walking with your friends on the street returning from a very nice sit-down lunch in the city. Out of the corner of your eye, you see a woman on the other side of the street. You turn your head fully to see a woman with long brown hair, large breasts and a favorable posterior striding down the block in a red sundress. Bam. Bring in the hormones. You immediately start thinking what it would be like to have sex with this woman, subconsciously relying on images you’ve learned from pornography to formulate a scene in your head of what it would be like to do so. Your pleasant afternoon with your friends just turned into a highly erotic fantasy as you try to inconspicuously spin your head around to not miss a single moment of this woman’s presence in your life. Let’s talk about this.
Can we all say we’ve had an experience like this one? I started watching porn when I was maybe 12 or 13 years old, and admittedly, this was probably one of the worst decisions I have ever made in my life. Even after 6 months of NoFap, porn imagery still wreaks havoc on my conscious experience. The most upsetting part about this for me is that it strongly cheapens women. My male brain is incapable of seeing a woman as a human being first, and a potential mate second.
That is one of the saddest things I have ever acknowledged, and makes me wonder if the reciprocal is true for women (I’ve heard many conflicting views on this matter). As someone who has two sisters who he is very close with, I find this warped view of women very troubling because I know that men and women can be true companions, even if they aren’t sexually involved. Even after months of meditation, frequent exercise, NoFap, and adopting the whole “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, this problem subsists for me. I want to be someone that isn’t controlled by the impulses that once urged me to go on porn websites and masturbate, but I suppose that is asking too much of the human brain.
The last thing I wanted to talk about is nocturnal emissions. Over the course of NoFap, I have orgasmed in my sleep at least once a week. In this way, I’ve felt like I’ve been cheating the system. No watching porn during the day, but at night my dreams provide a porn experience so good that it feels real. For a long time, I would wake up from these wet dreams and feel complete and utter shame. Thoughts like, “I am hopeless” and “I’ll never escape porn” would pass through my head as I get out of bed to start my day. What horrible thoughts to begin the day with! But after a while, the shame started to recede and I sort of accepted the fact that this was how NoFap would be for me, no matter how upsetting it was. On a more positive note, I should mention that in the past few weeks I have not had one wet dream, and my day to day experience has certainly changed. It feels like the first few days of NoFap again, where you constantly think about sex and you have to tape your hand into a fist to prevent from masturbating.
So that’s where I’m at. Overall, NoFap has been a positive experience, in that it has enabled me to think differently about how I look at women, and how I want to change this view in hopes of becoming the best friend, lover, or husband that I can possibly be. Picking up the pieces after porn addiction can be a long and arduous endeavor, but NoFap is an essential first step and a highly rewarding one at that.
TL;DR: Porn imagery fucks with how I see women, and wet dreams suck.