What is NoFap?
Urban Dictionary defines NoFap as “an online community with thousands of members who practice avoiding all forms of artificial sexual stimulation (e.g., watching porn and masturbating).”
The NoFap community is active on Reddit as well as in the forums on the website by the same name run by Alexander Rhodes, who registered a trademark for NoFap.
If you’re considering giving NoFap a go, there’s a few things you need to know in order to make the best decision for you.
There’s Nothing New Under the Sun
NoFap is not a new concept. For millennia, there have been various manifestations of the practice of abstaining from masturbation. Various spiritual traditions have encouraged adherents to abstain from masturbation as a part of spiritual practice.
More recently, the Victorians believed masturbation caused disease and was dangerous. This had, and continues to have, a tremendous impact on how masturbation is viewed in the English speaking world.
To ward off the disease and death they believed derived from masturbation, the Victorians used measure of violent repression with the aim of keeping people healthy. Routine circumcision and clitoridectomies came out of this era.
Victorians also believed spicy foods made people extra horny, and encouraged a bland diet to fight off the desire. This is why Corn Flakes and Graham Crackers exist. No joke.
Masturbation has also been repressed by far-right and fascist regimes throughout history. Nazi soldiers were especially discouraged from masturbation. Today, in 2020, the Proud Boys make NoFapping a requirement of membership.
So, why has there been so much focus on repressing self-pleasure throughout history?
In most cases, it’s about control.
If you have control over someone’s sexuality, you have a great deal of control over that individual person in their life at large.
People choose to NoFap for a variety of reasons. Some do so because of a long-committed spiritual practice or religious mandate. Others might do so as a personal challenge, to be a part of a community, or to feel a sense of self-control.
When life feels uncontrollable, self-pleasure one thing you can control.
Some people opt for NoFap to help with porn addiction recovery, though skepticism is warranted here. Much of the research on porn addiction involves the Mormon church. Again – no joke – several of the founders of the anti-porn action group Fight the New Drug (FTND) are Mormon, and Brigham Young University in Utah has produced a lot of the research FTND relies on.
Some people are motivated to NoFap by common myths about the benefits of the practice. Abstaining from masturbation doesn’t increase your testosterone or make you more appealing to women. Women can’t simply look at you and know if you enjoy masturbation or not.
Another common myth is that NoFapping makes you more productive. Unless you’re masturbating so much that you don’t have time to get work done, this most likely won’t be your experience. What’s more, when you experience orgasm, your body releases oxytocin, which can cause sleepiness.
Instead, if you want to be more productive, try a Fap Nap! Drink a cup of coffee, masturbate, then enjoy a short nap. Bring a little rest and post-nut clarity to your day.
Is NoFap for You?
If you’re considering going NoFap, the most important thing is that you make your choice based on your own desires.
When making the decision to fap or not to fap, reflect on what you want. Making your decision out of sexual shame or a desire to belong to a group is not the way to go here.
What’s more, make your decision to choose NoFap from the position that masturbation is a valid form of sexual expression, a wonderful option for welcoming pleasure into your life.
There is a lot of evidence of all the ways masturbation is good for you. Weekly orgasms, at a minimum, help with prostate health. Masturbation is free, you can do it alone, and it’s a form of sexual expression that is accessible throughout your life.
Cultivating a sexual relationship with yourself allows you to explore how pleasure works for you before you share it with someone else. Masturbation can be your learning lab.
When you’re able to recognize the benefits of masturbation and avoid demonizing it, and you still desire to go for NoFap? Have at it! You won’t experience harm by taking a masturbation hiatus.
Embrace the positives of masturbation before you decide to abstain from it. If you’re feeling sexually compulsive or sexual shame, you have options other than either giving in completely to feeling out of control or abstaining entirely. You can experience your sexuality in a way that feels good for you, free from sexual shame.