Is the No Fap Movement Something to Try? An Objective Analysis

By now, you’ve probably heard of the “No Fap” movement, which started on Reddit and has become a challenge for young men everywhere to abstain from masturbation.

The movement has a big mix of pros and cons. There are some definite advantages to “No Fap” that I’ll outline. But, there’s also some problems with the idea that I need to point out, which could even cause insecurity issues for young men.

Masturbation is Very Normal

Every guy in the world masturbates, except for maybe some devout monks. The most “poetic’ explanation for this is by fitness guru Elliot from Strength Camp, who describes the entire universe as operating on masculine / feminine polarity. This energy gets built up inside us, and at some point we have to release it.

If you don’t release it, you may start to feel tense or anxious. However, some philosophies, like those related to Taoism or Tantra, encourage men to harness their sexual power instead of releasing it. I think this is an interesting philosophy.

I recently performed a “No Fap” challenge of around 30 days. I can absolutely see how that energy can be re-directed, which is awesome. Among many things I felt, aside from anxiousness, I often felt like I was bursting with energy. However, by near day 30 I was hallucinating naked girls.

Nonetheless, I believe masturbation itself is not a bad thing, unless you do it excessively (2-3+ times a day I think is pretty excessive, or if watching porn is destroying time you should spend doing other things.)

Masturbation Does Have Negatives

There are some issues with masturbation, and reasons to give it a break for a while.

For me, the biggest issue is how it affects real sex. It can lower your energy for sex, but even worse; it can accustom your penis to receiving pleasure from a hand, and not a vagina. Your palm may have unrealistic amounts of pressure compared to what you feel in a real woman—especially if you have a condom on.

I’ve experienced serious problems as a result of this. However, I’ve been able to overcome this by abstaining from masturbation for a while, and then masturbating again using condoms and only light pressure. Without retraining myself like this, it becomes very hard to orgasm with a woman (unless my condom is off).

The next big problem does involve masturbation / sex addiction. But let’s be fair: EVERY younger man is addicted to sex to some extent. And I don’t even think that’s a bad thing. It’s just normal. However, have you found yourself masturbating in your office when nobody’s around? Do you get the shakes without a daily porn infusion? If so, you might have a big problem.

These are some good reasons to give up masturbation for a while. But in addition, you may want to find other ways to regulate anxiety in your life, because the masturbation is just a way to escape from something else going on in your life. This is why psychotherapy exists, to figure out these issues.

No Fap May Encourage Shame

Now for what I see is the big problem with No Fap and the No Fap sub-reddit, which is that masturbation starts to get viewed by some of these people as some evil thing. Maybe not explicitly, but it’s implied this way.

This is kind of like a new form of puritanism. They start blaming masturbation for all of their problems. For instance, not being able to find a real girl. Well, if you can’t date anyone, it’s not because you’re jerking off like every other guy does. It’s maybe because you’re not socializing enough, or you’re reading some of the poorer advice on the web about picking up girls, which is only making things worse.

Next there are all the No Fap update videos, where a guy will say “It’s been 3 months now. It’s AMAZING. I feel I can do anything. I feel so focused on the moment. Life is amazing now.”

These videos make me chuckle. As if learning to enter the moment and having increased energy is impossible if you jerk off every now and then. I understand this maybe if they’re practicing some intense Tantric rituals to refocus their energy or something; but simply not masturbating isn’t really going to magically solve all of your problems.

In the end what I see is a tendency for masturbation itself to become this shameful thing. Which is ridiculous and may hurt a man’s self-esteem.

How Bad is Porn Really?

The No Fap movement likes to ridicule porn a lot. “It’s not a real thing,” they say. “It’s like watching other people eat.”

Sexual images cause male arousal. Sexual energy boils up inside of us. While we may not be participating, we receive that jolt of energy, and it usually precipitates a release (orgasm). So, it’s obviously more powerful than just watching other people eat.

Some porn I admit is pretty awful. But a lot of porn is awesome.

Here’s a secret: if you don’t feel motivated to go out and meet women on a Saturday night, look at some porn (I prefer softcore sites like Met Art), obtain all of that sexual energy, but don’t release it by masturbating. Take it with you and it will actually help you.

In Summary

My experience not masturbating for 30 days was largely positive. People also report that sex becomes MUCH better after large periods of no masturbation. Going “no fap” could also help with sexual problems, especially if your penis has become too accustomed to the feeling of your palm.

But please be careful of communities that may shame masturbation. There’s NO reason to feel ashamed for masturbating.

There’s some guys out there who are impotent and cannot even feel sexual energy from porn, and they don’t masturbate because they simply can’t. You could be like that. Sometimes we don’t recognize how good something is until it’s taken away from us. In this way, I’m rather grateful for this “naughty” habit so many men share.

Read Next: Is Game and Pickup Artistry Hurting Men Everywhere?

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