Today I finally reached that coveted 90 day milestone. This is literally how it feels. This will be a long post, but I am going to include lots of tips and advice, as well as my story and my “superpowers.” I started watching porn when I was about 13 years old. I always knew it was destructive. But it didn’t take long until I was hooked.
At the height of my addiction, I was masturbating at least once (sometimes more) every day. Sometimes I escalated to deviant genres, and I’m not proud of that.
About 4 years ago, I made a decision to quit watching pornography. But I could never last more than a few days or a week before relapsing. Sometimes I would be so frustrated that I would give up, just to try again a few months later with the same result.
About 11 months ago I discovered NoFap. The community here gave me the inspiration and motivation I needed to find lasting recovery from my addiction. Within the last year, I began having longer streaks. Click here to see a detailed graph of my last 16 months of progress. For the first time, I managed to achieve some decent streaks. But there were literally dozens and dozens of relapses in between. It was only my most recent streak (started at the end of November) that I got to 90. It took me almost four years to break my addiction with pornography. If I can reach 90 days, literally anyone can.
Over this last year of slowly weaning myself off porn and masturbation, I’ve experienced numerous benefits:
1. Increased Attention from Women.
I don’t know what it is, but it works. My theory is, when we’re not jerking off, we have more interest in fostering real relationships, we have more energy and we’re more outgoing. Women notice that. I definitely had more success with women than I had in the past. I had a thing with a really sweet, gorgeous woman this past summer. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, but only because of differences in our faith backgrounds (I won’t bore you with the details). Nevertheless, before NoFap, she would have been way out of my league. Also, I had my first kiss on NoFap.
2. More Time, Energy, Confidence, Focus.
I used to have a problem of going to porn when I was stressed about certain homework problems or an upcoming test. Now, I focus on my work much better and I don’t medicate my stress with artificial stimulation. I’m much more confident than before NoFap. I used to have lots of shame and secrets. I used to be afraid to give my phone to friends, in the fear that they’ll find porn in the search history or search suggestions. Now I genuinely have no secrets. I can be completely open with the people in my life. Instead of erasing history, I’m going to start making history.
3. Generally Becoming the Man I’m Meant to Be.
In general, I’m more of a man than I’ve ever been. That’s a combination of the self-control that NoFap teaches us, the time I’ve been spending at the gym, my goals, and my self reflection. I just had foot surgery, but in about a month I’ll be learning how to box and practicing with my friends on a weekly basis. I continue to workout regularly. And I’m starting to pay more attention to my diet. For me, and other Fapstronauts, NoFap has been a catalyst to improve every other aspect of our lives.
Tips for Success
1. Learn From Each and Every Relapse.
This is my biggest piece of advice. In order to be successful, you must know why you’re failing. What happened that led up to your relapse? What steps can you take to avoid it next time? This is a war. Sun Tzu said “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”
2. Have a Concrete Plan to Deal With Urges.
Don’t be passive. You need to know how you’ll respond when you have temptations and urges. I employ a simple technique that works every time: cold shower (120 seconds), punch a pillow repeatedly for about 1 minute, and push ups until fail.
3. Remember Why You Started: Goals and Journals.
I begin every day by reciting my goals. These goals include, but are not limited to, maintaining my streak. I also read a list of reasons why porn and masturbation are harmful. This keeps me focused on the importance of my journey and it fortifies me in times of weakness. Also, I have been documenting my recovery in a journal (just about 1 paragraph every day). It’s a great habit and it gives your perspective on the big picture.
4. Have an Accountability Partner.
NoFap is a wonderful community. But you should have at least one (real) person to confide in. By its nature, porn addiction is isolating. Confiding in someone is very difficult, but it feels great to get that monkey off your back. On top of that, accountability is a huge deterrent to relapses. In times of weakness, it’s much harder to give in when you remember that you’ll have to confess to your friend.
5. Create Consequences For Yourself.
What happens when you relapse? You probably reset your counter, brush it off and move on. I suggest creating consequences to deter you from relapsing. Back in the fall, I made a consequence that if I relapse, I will have to give away $500. Believe it or not, I relapsed. But as you can imagine, I didn’t relapse very many times after that. It was one of my last relapses. Make relapses hurt and you won’t have so many. Your consequence can be whatever you want, and it doesn’t have to be that severe.
6. Consider an Internet Filter/ Block
Internet filters are never perfect. And if you really want to look at porn, there will always be a way. The filter will never be enough. But, it can be a helpful defense in times of weakness. I tried several filters on my phone and ultimately decided to disable Safari (as well as the App Store, and other apps) from my iPhone. Now there’s literally no way to watch porn on my phone. The only way for me to watch porn is my family’s PC, and I would never risk that. So yes, access is there. But filters can be a big help.
Conclusion / TLDR
I hope some of this helped / inspired you in your journey. It’s really unbelievable to think that after all this time, I’ve finally made it to three months. The battle is never over. I never want to watch porn or masturbate again. And I know that if I were to overtly fantasize or peak or edge, my addiction would welcome me back with open arms. But it feels so good to have some control over my life again.
Good luck my brothers. Feel free to ask me anything.