Hidden away on the self-claimed front page of the internet is the social media website Reddit. It’s here you’ll find an online community called NoFap, that’s focused on changing the lives of people, predominantly young men, who are sick and tired of their porn use. The challenge for the community members or Fapstronauts as they like to be called, is to give up internet porn and masturbation for 90 days. Fondly known as no PMO (porn, masturbation, orgasm).
According to the founder Alexander Rhodes by being part of the community “You’re devoting yourself completely to your significant other instead of random pixilated girls on the internet who you’ve never met. It’s about enhancing your meaningful relationship, instead of establishing five-minute relationships with virtual girls online.” How awesome is that!
Before you can become a fully-fledged Fapstronaut you have to pick your “Reboot” challenge, the golden standard being 3 months. Then you select your mode. “Porn-Free Mode” or “P-Mode”, “PM-Mode” with no porn or masturbation, or “Hard Mode” totally abstaining from PMO including no orgasms with partners. Once all of that is set, upcoming rebooters are encouraged to develop habits and hobbies that promote self-growth. This is all about reducing negative thoughts and feelings that can trigger porn use and commonly includes doing something like taking on a new exercise or dietary program.
With all of the pieces in place, members can launch into orbit and begin their rebooting process. If they engage in one of their restricted behaviors before the end date of their challenge they have to “reset” and try again, starting at day one, which can be very depressing. But this is where being part of the online community works so well. Rebooters can chat to each other and encourage each other on the web. They earn badges for their progress and there’s heaps of fellow rebooters online ready to drop words of encouragement and tips. Doing so, helps all members actively fighting to stand against the isolationism and self-rejection that is so often at the root of porn addiction.
And the process works. “I’ve come to DAY 43 and I never want to go back to fapping, I never want to go back to feeling inadequate in front of women because I’m feeling the shame of watching hardcore videos or lacking the energy to even care,” one recent Fapstronaut reported. “Now after 43 days I’m feeling more energy and a drive to succeed whereas before life was just day-to-day.”
For another it’s a harsh reality of erectile dysfunction that’s gotten him on board. “I couldn’t get it up. For the life of me I tried. Over and over again I tried, but nothing. I felt like the biggest let down in the world. It hurt that it took something this drastic for me to address my problems, but better late than never. I want to change things, and I just want control back in my life.”
If you take your time to read through some of the Reddit forum, you’ll see it’s scattered with messages like these. “My relationship with women has improved drastically as well! It’s a lot easier to talk to women when you aren’t trying to **** them. I actually have female friends now, and I love it.” “Need to fix myself, wish me luck!” one said. “NoFap = new or more of healthy habits. It just comes by itself. It’s wonderfull, I hope everyone will get joy out if it like I do. You just get some much energy with it. Less is more!” said another.
So it seems that NoFap is doing a great job of recognizing porn addiction and giving those who are brave enough to be part of the online Reddit page some real hope and encouragement for the future. But it’s not all roses and there’s a scattering of depressing accounts and broken lives, but on the up there’s a dominant message of positivity. People who’ve had their lives changed; where quitting porn and being a Fapstronaut has allowed them to find a new lease in life and not be ruled by the porn that’s lurking everywhere online.
And if you’re wondering why it’s called “NoFap,” let’s just say, think of the sound that might be made during the M part of PMO. Ewww. Oh yes, that’s right, you probably didn’t really want to know.
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