With so many questions around it, here is the mystery behind NoFap, debunked!

In this article, we will look at why one shouldn’t fall for the hype and pseudoscience the NoFap movement has created in the last few years.

Started by Alexander Rhodes in 2011, the NoFap movement supports men in quitting porn and ceasing masturbation. However, the lack of NoFap research leaves many skeptical about it.

The alleged benefits of NoFap draw in people claiming to be addicted to porn and/or masturbation. To be blunt, it attracts mostly sexually inexperienced men who rely on the anonymity of the internet to seek the help they wouldn’t otherwise.

But the question still remains: is NoFap scientifically proven? Does it actually work? We are here to tell you why it doesn’t.

A Brief Look at NoFap

According to its own website, NoFap is a community-based porn recovery website. It’s a platform where people come to “reboot” their system and improve their compulsive masturbatory addiction.

From an app to forums and blogs, it teaches people the alleged benefits of not masturbating and recovering from the habit. Along with that, it teaches the implications masturbation and porn addiction can have.

Members participate in a 90-day challenge where they abstain from watching porn and orgasms/masturbating for 3 months. They claim that doing so offers a wide range of benefits.

These alleged benefits of NoFap range from improved productivity, a better sex life, increased libido, more energy, and various others.

These might sound like all good things but a lack of supportive evidence and the anecdotal nature of NoFap contradict it. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t fall for the hype.

1. Taking Things Too Far

There is no doubt that too much of anything isn’t a good thing. Whether it’s porn or masturbation, overdoing it will probably impact some areas of your lives. However, the NoFap movement takes it too far.

Furthermore, the benefits of NoFap range from increased energy to radical changes like having sexual partners left and right. Anyone with a clear mind can see that this is utter nonsense.

Neuroscientists say that there are only a few vague parallels between substance and masturbation addiction. What limited research they have, says that abstaining from masturbation has any significant effect on the brain.

It is not unthinkable that most people, who do experience some benefits, are mostly falling for a placebo. If someone has a true addiction to porn or masturbation that interferes in their personal lives, they need professional help.

2. Lack of NoFap Scientific Evidence

If you look at the history of how the NoFap movement started, you will come across a Chinese study that was based on the science behind abstinence. Rhodes found the study on Reddit and gave it an experimental go.

However, this study is not the end-all proof that abstaining from masturbation and porn has any long-term medical benefits. Besides that, the study is sparse, a small sample size, and inconclusive.

Also, the sample was limited to a population where masturbation as a whole is considered a taboo. Guilt and shame around masturbation is a common theme amongst them due to religious and cultural beliefs.

It would be quite arrogant to say that NoFap is one hundred backed by scientific evidence. The lack of research around the subject prevents us from making this assumption.

Again, we are not saying that too much masturbation isn’t a problem people face. But the overall abstinence and the benefits the NoFap movement alleges are not so promising.

In fact, some of the problems NoFap claims to help with are not even triggered by masturbation. For instance, there are researchers that have proven that masturbation doesn’t deplete energy or lead to premature ejaculation.

3. The Movement is Purely Anecdotal

NoFap, which started out with just 50 people, now boasts thousands of members. Consequently, there are many who claim that the 90-day program worked for them. However, there are equally as many people claiming that it’s utter nonsense.

Moreover, there are various factors one needs to consider whether these personal accounts have any scientific truth to them or not. Reaching an empirical conclusion just from these anecdotes is difficult.

From a list of many factors, here are a few that make it hard to reach a conclusion:

  • It can be a placebo,
  • The challenge masks some of the guilt and shame associated with masturbation,
  • Some participants might spend less or more time on the challenge to see results.

Besides these, there are accounts of people both with and without an impulse control disorder that tried the NoFap challenge to no avail. Also, there are people with underlying mental health conditions that found no results.

All of these are telling of the fact that there is no consistency in anecdotes, which makes the premise of the movement unreliable, to begin with.

4. Masturbation is Healthy

Masturbation, even when done often, does not cause any physical or mental harm. In fact, there are studies that conclude that masturbation is actually healthy for your body. Regardless of your gender identity, masturbation is healthy and normal.

Many men look to NoFap believing in the myth that masturbation leads to infertility. While excessive masturbation can lower your sperm count, it is only temporary. It takes men 12 to 24 hours to regenerate a good sperm count.

In short, unless you physically damage your testicles or penis while masturbating, you won’t become infertile. You just need to take a break before bouncing back.

There was a research done in the U.S. by researchers from Boston University School of Public Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Harvard Medical School, studying the association of ejaculation and prostate cancer.

The results of the study suggested that regular ejaculation can possibly lower the risk of prostate cancer. To be more specific, it found that men who ejaculated 21 times in a month were less likely to report prostate cancer.

The hypothesis forwarded in the peer-reviewed paper offer reasons why this may happen. However, these are merely speculations.

Plus, masturbation helps the body relieve tension and stress. Orgasms are linked to triggering a chemical reaction that releases endorphins and oxytocin into the bloodstream. Both of these are known to improve your mood and make you feel happier.

Not relieving sexual tension, on the other hand, can actually cause frustration and spoil the mood. NoFap participants, that didn’t see results, report being irritated and angry during the challenge.

5. Neuroscientific Critique of NoFap Practices

NoFap is mainly a support group for people who want to stop masturbating for a number of reasons. A significant number of these people take it on the challenge to treat their self-diagnosis of porn addiction.

Seeing that many young men were seeking help from NoFap, various neuroscientists and journalists took it on as a challenge. During this time, they were critiqued and questioned for the claims they were making.

For instance, David Ley, a prominent psychologist with a focus on sex addiction, said that instead of helping people, NoFap was promoting a reductionistic of overall masculinity and male sexuality.

Other social psychologists also concluded in their study of NoFap forums that NoFap frequented a masculine hegemonic view. Many men following the NoFap movement assume their sexuality to be dominant and women responsible for catering it.

They assume that men are seekers of sexual pleasure and women to be the natural suppliers of their pleasure. NoFap claims that by taking on the challenge, participants will appear more sexually attractive and improve their sexual prowess.

This, in one way, plays into the promotion of reproduction of gendered dominance and submission when it comes to sexual activity.

Furthermore, NoFap has also been criticized for creating a challenge that has side effects, most of them quite embarrassing. For instance, increased libido has often led to prolonged and/or unwanted erections and blue balls.

Seek Proper Help

Masturbation aside, porn addiction can be a serious problem for many. It can impact people’s sexual lives and inadvertently, also impact their romantic or sexual relationships. Furthermore, it can hinder productivity and interfere in their daily life.

There are proper support groups that use the AA program as a base for recovery. They combine expert opinion to create individualized solutions that promote gradual change and healthy habit-building.

Instead of trusting unreliable sourced like NoFap and falling for their hype, trust a trustworthy professional who knows what they are doing. Or use strategies that actually work and are backed by science.

As for masturbation, you can do it whenever you want, provided it doesn’t have negative impacts on your personal lives. There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to pleasing yourself.

A sex therapist, Ian Kerner, Ph.D. says that masturbation for the vast majority of men is healthy. He says that it is more worrying when a man has stopped doing it regularly as it can be a sign of anxiety.

It can help improve your sexual life. You can discover what you like and don’t like and then guide your partner(s) so you make the most of your experience. This is especially true for women.