It all started back in 2011 when a mysterious thread titled “When men don’t masturbate for seven days, their testosterone levels increase by 45.7%” emerged on Reddit.
The post was published by a group called NoFap, which challenges people to abstain from watching porn, having sex, or masturbating in an effort to “seize control of your sexuality and turn it into superpowers.” The thread then challenged readers to see how long they could go without pleasuring themselves, with participants being called “NoFappers” or “Fapstranourts.”
According to NoFap’s website, by abstaining from carnal behavior, a person can recover from “porn-induced sexual dysfunction” as well as enjoy heightened self-control, more hard-drive space, more free time, and an improved attitude.
The whole thing is supposed to be a joke. (Or at least we think so.) But more and more men seem to be taking it seriously, according to the blog Neon Nettle.
“First I thought ‘well this is a great way to get laid, because I’m like a girl magnet now,’ but then it just became ‘whatever… that’s not why I do this,’” Reddit user T_nyDubs writes. “Don’t get me wrong, I love getting laid, but primary motivation is me and fixing myself in my relationship with the world, not just some part of it.”
Reddit user killajoy714 claims that refraining from pleasuring himself has given him “insane confidence,” writing: “don’t give a f**k about what others think about you, easy to maintain eye contact, more respect from guys, more attention from girls, more strength and endurance in the gym, feel extremely happy and positive, brain is more efficient, less retrieval failure, clearer/brighter face and skin (cold showers and getting some sun), more productive, more energy, increased desire to study and learn, willpower increases significantly, easy to get rid of negative influences, and a deeper voice.”
One guy went so far as to post a six-minute video on YouTube gushing about how amazing the experience of not masturbating has been for him.
But according to Neon Nettle, the practice of “nofapping” is nothing new. In fact, records show the practice dating all the way back to antiquity, when athletes in ancient Greece abstained from sex before a big game, believing that sperm provided an added boost of strength necessary to win.
Napoleon Hill’s internationally bestselling self-help book Think and Grow Rich labels the practice of “nofapping” as “sex transmutation.” The theory behind it is that by not releasing one’s sexual energies through regular means (i.e. masturbation, sex, etc.), those same energies find alternative, more productive routes of escaping the body (i.e. projects at work, artistic endeavors, relationships, etc.).
Neon Nettle also cites the website Yourbrainonporn.com, an online resource that explores the relationship between x-rated videos and the human brain. The website suggests that watching too much hanky panky on your computer can lead to a slew of long-term health problems, including your brain being “rewired.”
What do you think? Could you go seven days without masturbating? And do you think your sexual energies would find other ways of escaping your body? Sound off in the comments section below.