It is my intention to provide you with information and key points from my journey, highlighting valuable aspects that you can take with you. I hope, then, that it will be of benefit and motivation in your endeavours. Before I want to start, I wish to put a few qualifiers down. Some or all may be relevant or irrelevant, but that decision is for you. Whatever you do think, do not let it discourage you in any way in your journey.
On the contrary, it is to encourage those who have chosen or want to choose a similar path but are struggling to do so:
I am a virgin and have never had a girlfriend. When I was younger (12-18), this was because I too socially withdrawn to even try and talk to girls at length. As I grew older (18+), I saw the long-term wisdom of focusing on myself and my studies, as well as envisioning my future. It became something that I did purely out of personal choice, not because I couldn’t. If anything, it has been a challenge to stay that way up until now, particularly through university years.
- I’ve been clean since August 2013…off Facebook, that is. I found that it was another distraction that was inhibiting my growth as a person, particularly socially, so I disposed of it.
- I have never taken drugs, including some legal ones such alcohol and tobacco. Again, for personal reasons and from my own observation of others.
With that in mind, let’s begin:
I’ve been avoiding masturbation since September 2013. At that moment of time I had not discovered NoFap (or reddit for that matter), but for personal and religious reasons I wanted to stop. I could clearly see that it wasn’t good for me, so I started my journey there. I also decided I was going to keep – and I kid you not – a “Fap Diary”, which included a record of my feelings, energy levels, problems I felt, etc. This proved to be quite advantageous later.
My initial month consisted of streaks that lasted a week or so. During this, I found the main source of why I would end up masturbating, as well as noticing that I almost always felt down and low on energy the day or day after I did so.
The main problems were as follows:
- Certain triggers (images, attractive girls) placed sexual thoughts into my mind, and that I would then continue and play on those thoughts more vividly there.
- The touching of myself down there when thinking these thoughts.
- Carrying these thoughts with me into my warm showers, where the inevitable happened. They have their good points (relaxes muscles, reduces swellings, etc), but if relapsing or near-relapsing during shower time is a problem, stick to cold showers. No more than tepid showers if you live in cold places.
Using my observations above, in the following this month I hit a bunch of successes with ~30 day streaks that continued for nearly half a year. Relapses were for the same reasons, only I managed to make them far more infrequent, which I was happy with then.
It should be noted that during this time I was in my final year of university and attending interviews for jobs. While I didn’t apply to many, I got accepted into every one that I applied for, including a postgraduate course at UCL, a leadership development programme and a government-sponsored job abroad. I cannot say that it was all down to NoFap, since I was focused and hard-working before I started university, but the extra confidence, motivation and energy I felt from NoFap certainly played its part. Don’t underestimate that.
Introduction to NoFap
I visited a friend’s house in March 2014, and we were discussing masturbation and porn. He introduced me to reddit for the first time, or more specifically, NoFap. I was intrigued, made an account and joined the NoFap bandwagon. Since then, things changed a lot. I was no longer on this journey by myself. You guys came into the picture, and it got easier.
My first streak after joining NoFap was 62 days, followed by 147 days, and then 329 days. Consecutive streaks more than doubling the previous once. It felt great. There was certainly a sting of disappointment with the last one, though, especially since there were only 35 days remaining for a rocket.
Nonetheless, they played their part in helping me to graduate with a First-Class Honours Degree (4.0+ GPA), and win an award at my graduation ceremony for having the highest grade in my faculty (50+ students). As mentioned above, this isn’t solely down to NoFap, or even mainly due to it, but the energy and focus it provided me served its function here by giving me what I needed to attain such level of achievement. I would not have done as well without it.
These long streaks were where I really began to feel the long term differences of not having masturbation in my life. Here are the main changes that I noted:
1) More energy and motivation.
Hands down, the single most noticeable change is the plethora of extra energy and motivation I have in comparison to my previous self. Lack of “O” gives you more “E” (energy). The energy and motivation enabled me to not procrastinate and just want to do something, but actually follow through and do it, rather than being the dejected layabout I became every time I came. I remember reading that channelling your sexual energy into productivity instead is how a lot of people get ahead. I’m going to be truthful here though; there are two things to bear in mind: Firstly, that it takes time to manage this. The extra energy you now have has to go somewhere, and if you don’t start changing things, you may find yourself dispensing this energy unnecessarily or with previous negative habits that you engaged in. Use this to further yourself, not the continuation of your failures. Secondly, that just because you are getting things done, it does not necessitate that you are any good at doing it. That only comes with time through practice, consistency and discipline. Nonetheless, I would easily say that this is the most beneficial aspect of my NoFap journey by far, and it has helped lead me to many successes which I will continue below.
2) Gained new hobbies, created new habits.
There are different types of hobbies. Some that stimulate the body, some that stimulate the mind and soul, and others that stimulate the penis. Unless the latter is shared with your partner, don’t do it. Don’t. Replace it with something else. If you add up all the time you spent PMO’ing, you could’ve easily read countless books, gotten good at some sport, or taken up meditation. Find a variety of hobbies so you can keep yourself busy but also grow overall as a character. That’s what I did. For my health, I cycle every day to and from work (5.5km one way), exercise (I recommend the intensive 7 minute workout every morning for those of you that claim to not have enough time) and do weight training. For my intellectual pursuits I started studying a third language and reading more often. In terms of spiritually, if you’re religious, improve your relationship with God. If not, at least meditate. I do both. You’d be surprised how much even basic meditation can calm you. Try it.
3) Increased social confidence.
I’m more talkative with my peers, especially with girls. I’m also a lot calmer. I don’t give into negative thoughts and follow that downward spiral like I used to, and have become a happier person. While positive thinking is great, it’s only good when followed up with positive actions. So stick to this thought-action-impact process, as it served me really well. It also helped in my understanding in the dynamics of friendship, love and how it all works. Still discovering, of course, but I’ve made progression. I’ve also had comments from people telling how I’ve changed and that I’m just different, in a good way. It’s always nice to hear that. If you’re interested in this then I suggest reading up on Positive Psychology.
4) Increased aggressiveness.
This is an interesting one and a bit of a doubled-edged sword if not used correctly. In the beginning, my body longed for another shot of that dopamine and O. Know that it’s a chemical addiction, so if you suddenly stop…it has its affects. But after I had reached a point where I felt my body realised it wasn’t going to get its quick-and-easy fix, something strange began to happen. I became a lot more aggressive. Considerably more. It was as if my body had conceded to not getting what it wanted through my own stimulation, so it wanted it from a real woman. Inherently, this was absolutely amazing. I no longer felt that I was dependant on pixels or self-stimulation, because my body finally wanted the real thing, and only that.
Being an extension of the increase in social confidence, I felt a lot more, dare I use the term…’alpha-male’. I want to move beyond the teenage boy examples of “I told the bully to back off” or ego-inflated rants of how many girls I could’ve slept with, and just note my pure observation: I became a much bigger presence and had more attention on focus on me, especially when going out or when with my friends. It was different, but I liked it. I liked it a lot. My mind also shifted from thinking and believing that a woman was too good/attractive for me, to knowing that I’m good for a woman. Do you see the difference in perception here?
If, though, you let that new found feeling get to your head too quickly, the immature interpretation of this may lead you into situations that you wouldn’t usually be in. While I didn’t do anything too senseless myself, I did notice that my inability to manage this sudden shift in myself well led to some unneeded quarrels, disagreements and sometimes jerk-like behaviour with people whose words I would usually not even care to value. Be aware of this. Enjoy it, but control it.
5) Increased consciousness for physical appearance.
All this extra energy and aggressiveness had to go somewhere. I keep myself busy by exercising and weight-lifting often. I’m also a lot more food-conscious. This has led to a change in my physique. I have bigger chest, bigger muscles, a lot less fat, and I’m fitter than I was before. I’d like to clarify that I’m by no means massive or ‘hench’ (as it was referred to in my schooldays), but my body looks good and I feel much better because of it.
Here, I’m referring more to the face, hair style, skin, etc. It’s not something I’ve always known a lot about. But I’ve learnt how to make myself look much neater. A little effort goes a long way. Don’t forget some (that’s right, some, not half a bottle of) cologne. Smell is an fundamental part of attraction, even if it cannot be seen.
Again, I’m not someone who is naturally gifted with fashion. Always being that scruffy tall kid when I was at school, for the longest time I had a lack of concern about such a (what I believed it to be then) trivial facet of my appearance. But after doing a little research and a getting a little help from my more fashion-conscious friends, I now look much, much more presentable. I’m not talking about looking like a twat, but clean and tidy.
These things, in turn, have made me feel a lot more confident in myself when with others, or outdoors. Heads do turn (particularly in Japan, where I currently reside), but that’s just a side-note. I’m a far more pleasing-to-the-eye, presentable and healthy-looking person than before, and that’s what matters.
Now for my failures:
While I have managed to cut masturbation out of my life significantly, I could never quite manage without porn, sadly. People would ask me how this works, but I’m not so sure myself. I would just stare at the images, barely stimulating myself. In terms of content, it was nothing bad. In fact I even preferred pictures by the end. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I had justified it to myself; that as long as I wasn’t masturbating, I deserved to see this kind of material. I deserved to see these women. It was my right.
Of course, this is entirely delusional, and I knew it. Yet I kept at it for almost the whole period I was on NoFap. I took me a while to understand that without getting rid of the porn problem too, I’ll never be completely free of this problem. So as of the end of December last year I haven’t seen anything. I made it a New Year’s resolution to cut it out completely. Not just O, but the PM too.
During this short time, I noticed that an increase in the viewing of such material conversely leads to a decrease in sensitivity. Even though it’s only been a month, the other day I (by chance) got a glimpse quite deep into a woman’s cleavage. What followed was a rush that hit my body which I will not be forgetting any time soon. It was so powerful. So, so powerful. Ironically, I felt more than when I used to watch porn. I realised that that rush, that desire…women want it, need it…so save it. Save it for someone that matters, and use it as a means for constructive intimacy, bonding and growing emotionally close to someone, not pixels or your right hand. The only time you should ever get a reward like that is once you’ve taken the time to connect with someone on that level. Not virtual reward without any effort; but real, tangible, loving reward for real time, patience and determination. That is what separates the boys from the men. Not in age, but in true maturity, which is far beyond an arbitrary digit.
So we come to now. Why am I still single? Well, relationships are time, money and emotional investments. If I am to commit those three important things, then I want to know I’m satisfying my role to the best of my ability, and that the person who I share this with and I deserve each other. Being a former perfectionist has certainly caused a delay in me reaching the point I feel comfortable to embark there. But here I am now, finally. I’m in my mid-20s, I have a fantastic academic record and a job I love which pays well, savings for the future, great vision, and I’m a presentable, healthy, social and good-looking guy. Most essential of all, I’m stable and happy with whom I am as a person, without the need others’ approval. Only now that I’ve reached that landmark, am I ready to begin sharing my life with a significant other.
I’m not in need of masturbation. I’m not in need of porn. I’m in search of a soul mate. So here is to a fap-free, porn-free but hopefully intimate and emotionally fulfilling 2016.
Abstinence from masturbation will help breathe new life into you in the form increased energy and will power. The key goal here is not just to avoid masturbation; this is merely a (albeit very useful) catalyst in our aid for a better self. The increased energy and motivation can lead to that, be sure of it. But you still need to decide and work on how you’re going to use it and what you’re going to do with it. It needs guiding and only you know the direction. There are hurdles on the way, but overcoming them is what aids in your strengthening. Once you grasp that, a more fruitful and social and work life will follow. And with that, you can begin to see a better you. So set the flag and sail.
Thank you for reading and bless you all.