Skip to content

Weekly dose of self-improvement

Sign up
how to break an addiction

How to start NoFap to gain more personal confidence

Learn how to control your impulses, strengthen your focus, and harness your sexual energy to get anything you want from life with No Fap.

Ed Latimore
Ed Latimore
Writer, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

Cutting out porn is a game-changer for men that want to master life.

Many men are learning the science behind porn addiction and deciding to quit porn and masturbation altogether.

The NoFap movement is an active resistance to the harmful effects of porn and how many are reclaiming their lives and vitality.

Fap is the sound your hand makes as you masturbate. Nothing about that image is flattering.

Going NoFap means abstaining from masturbation and/or Porn Masturbation Orgasm (PMO) for a short period of time or as a lifestyle.

It’s not hyperbole to say that generations of men may not live up to their full potential due to their porn habit. Today, 5% to 8% of the population is addicted to internet porn.1 This boils down to watching roughly 11 hours of porn each week.

Controlling these urges builds discipline and provides benefits like:

  • A sharper mind
  • Less fear and anxiety
  • Higher testosterone levels2
  • A strong sense of accomplishment

Now, I’m not going to BS you. Quitting porn and masturbating cold turkey in the age of social media and high-speed internet is not easy. But with the right mindset and tools, you can complete the challenge and gain confidence to do anything.

As Epictetus said, “progress is not achieved by luck or accident, but by working on yourself daily.”

Maybe you’re striving for physical and mental mastery en route to a goal. Or maybe you have a serious porn addiction and making this change is already a necessity for you.

Either way, these steps will help you walk the NoFap path one day at a time.

Here’s what we’re covering:

  1. How to identify your why
  2. Preparing for the challenge
  3. The value of a hard reboot
  4. Where to seek support
  5. What to do with your time
  6. How to enhance your NoFap benefits with physical activity
  7. How cold showers strengthen the mind
  8. The value of a meditation practice during your challenge

Need to use your computer but can’t stop watching porn?

Covenant Eyes is here to help.

It’s the best porn blocking software on the market and is trusted by hundreds of thousands of PAID users.

The Covenant Eyes app allows you freedom through transparency. The app sits quietly on all of your devices, monitors your screen activity, and provides protection through blocking.

  • Goes on all of your devices
  • Uses Artificial Intelligence to scan for concerning activity
  • Provides access to filtering for additional protection Bonus: Use promo code EDLATIMORE for an exclusive discount.
Learn more

​​​​​​

Know your reason for starting

You’ll know from my posts on how I gave up porn for good, that celibacy is not the goal. You should simply be able to jerk off without porn. But plenty of men watch porn out of boredom, creating the urge to masturbate when they normally wouldn’t. This conditions you for an addiction.

People call the benefits of NoFap “superpowers” because it really does feel that life-changing.

Reading a few success testimonials will hype you up enough to want to run through a wall. This is a trap.

Stoking that fire without the fuel to keep it going will have you right back where you started. Worse, you’ll lose confidence in yourself and put yourself further in the hole.

That’s because you’re comparing someone else’s success story without first exploring why NoFap must be a non-negotiable for you personally.

Start by considering how porn is hurting you the most. Are you experiencing…

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Lack of intimacy in your relationship
  • Lack of confidence and motivation in your day to day life
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Brain fog
  • Dopamine withdrawal and burnout
  • Social anxiety
  • Low sexual energy

Knowing the answer to this question is your fuel. It will refocus you when NoFap gets tough.

From there, write down the pros and cons of NoFap. This will help you focus on what you’re gaining vs. what you’re losing.

In truth, the most you have to lose is temporary comfort. But remember, the man who seeks comfort finds weakness. Tape your reasons for going NoFap to the mirror. Make it your phone’s home screen.

Let it remind you who you can be, so you can do what you have to do.

Accept the reality of the challenge

Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.

This is one of my favorite The Art of War quotes, and it’s fitting for your NoFap journey. Knowing what to expect on the battlefield will help you prepare in advance.

Days or weeks into NoFap, many men experience what’s called a flatline period. It’s a period of low sex drive that scares many into relapse.

During this period, you’ll experience a shocking absence of arousal. You may not get morning wood. Your penis might be flaccid and show no signs of life.

This may cause you some distress but it’s completely normal. After extended flatline periods, your sex drive returns stronger than ever.

Also, make peace with the fact that relapse is likely. Addiction experts recognize that for many, relapse is part of the recovery process. Between 40% and 60% of substance abusers relapse.3

If you break your fast and masturbate to porn, own it. It’s OK. Write down why it happened. Consider what emotions and thoughts triggered it. Write down what you’re going to do to prevent another relapse and continue the challenge.

Stack the deck in your favor by creating an environment that supports NoFap:

  • Install a porn blocker
  • Get rid of all tempting or porn-like material like IG models
  • Have sex with a real woman
  • Interact with women in general

Commit to a 30-Day hard reboot

Give the next 30 days of your life to NoFap. Setting measurable goals makes it real and helps you small chunk it.

While you can try it for a shorter period, doing a 30-day challenge is most common. Reddit’s NoFap community (more on this below) frequently has monthly challenges like “NoFap November” and “Focused February.” A reboot wipes your mental hard drive clean of the habit, breaks addictive patterns, and lets you experience your newfound superpowers.

Building a streak also instills pride and gives you a reason to keep going. Recovering addicts count sober days and receive sobriety chips for milestones. This helps to motivate and build a powerful sense of self-love and confidence to keep going.

Some of my darkest days were when I didn’t feel like I could count on myself. Stringing together a 30-day streak of accomplishing something that once seemed impossible rebuilds your self-respect 24 hours at a time.

After 30 days you can reflect on what you’ve gained. The positive habits you’ve built will arm you to continue the streak.

After a while, you’ll no longer feel the need to count. This is where the wins really begin to multiply.

There aren’t many guys I take seriously in the “help guys get off of porn” community, but The Freedom Specialists are one of them. They’ve got loads of experience helping guys in a direct, 1-on-1 fashion that includes a custom plan, unlimited support, and a real commitment to seeing you kick the habit. I don’t do 1-on-1 coaching, but these are the guys I recommended. Check them out—>The Freedom Specialists

Don’t be afraid to get support

NoFap is a bit of an awkward support group to join in real life, but thankfully, your brothers in arms over at the NoFap subreddit are all you need to get started.

Learn from others’ experiences and take in the helpful information. Most of all, participate and seek an accountability partner.

Isolation is a breeding ground for addiction. Joining the ranks of the Fapstronauts lets you overcome this while remaining as anonymous as you’d like. I’ve spoken about the importance of socializing and finding friends. It’s critical when you’re taking on porn addiction or starting any difficult challenge.

Do something else with your time

Repurpose your time toward your goals so that you’re positively feeding your brain’s reward system.

You can use your NoFap energy to sharpen your mind and build skills with some of the following:

  • Playing chess
  • Writing in a journal
  • Reading up on stoic philosophy
  • Learning a new language
  • Picking up a new skill like coding, handy work, or fixing cars
  • Building your investment portfolio

These are some of the hobbies I took on to meet more women. Social hobbies break the addiction and isolation porn put you into and help you feel connected to other people. Turning your newfound energy into productivity strengthens your resolve. This shifts your mental paradigm from “What else can go wrong?” to “How good can I get?”.

Build your body

Fortifying your body will also strengthen your mind.

I would advise every man to decide on a fitness activity as you set out on your NoFap journey. It replaces a draining, counterproductive activity with one that makes you unassailable mentally and physically.

While on NoFap, you’ll need to find a distraction from the desire to masturbate and watch porn. Repurpose that energy into building lean muscle, reducing your body fat percentage, and boosting your testosterone levels.

Pick one of these and just get started:

  • Intense strength training
  • Boxing, mixed martial arts (MMA), Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Crossfit and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts
  • Running and hiking
  • Rock climbing
  • Swimming and water aerobics

I’m partial to boxing. Read this article to learn more about why every man should train boxing as a lifestyle.

Take cold showers

Nothing sharpens the mind like a daily cold shower.

The shock to the system builds your mental resolve and helps you to stay the course when your fight or flight response kicks in.

Iceman Wim Hof has put out extensive information about how shocking the system with cold temperatures will deepen your breathing in order to oxygenate your blood, make your brain more alert, and boost your immune system.

I tried his system of breathing a few years back and still experience the benefits of it. Check out my review of the Wim Hof Breathing Method here.

The first few moments of a cold shower are the most painful. Try backing into the stream. After about 5 minutes you get used to the water but those first 5 minutes are critical to your mental willpower.

If you survive, this willpower translates into more emotional patience and a stronger drive to achieve.

Train your mind with meditation

Meditation activates your brain’s reticular activating system (RAS). It helps you form mental connections and activate your brain’s “brakes.” This makes you less compulsive and more resolute.

Addiction to anything, whether it’s cocaine, food, alcohol, or porn shrinks the part of your brain reserved for self-control.4 Over time you become physically unable to resist the addictive and compulsive behaviors.

However, these effects are completely reversible with time and focused effort. A meditation practice will help you cut out compulsive sexual behaviors and build the discipline to ditch other poor life habits.

Twenty minutes is an ideal goal, but you’ll start to see benefits with as little as 7 minutes per day.

Wrapping Up: How to start NoFap

The benefits of NoFap are backed by anecdotal and scientific evidence, but ultimately, the choice is yours to move forward. As you set out on your journey, take these 53 quotes about addiction recovery to keep your head in the game.

Only you truly know the severity of your porn use issues. But these tips will help you confidently start NoFap:

  • Know your “why”
  • Understand the challenge you’re facing
  • Commit to a 30-day reboot. Make it non-negotiable
  • Seek support
  • Start a new hobby
  • Build your physical body
  • Add cold showers to your daily routine
  • Fortify your mind with a meditation practice

Learn how to quit porn and break the cycle of shame, loneliness, and relapse.

Do you think you’re an addicted to porn? Here’s an quick test:

  • You’re depressed
  • Your d*ck doesn’t work
  • Your porn taste has escalated
  • You have brain fog and low energy
  • You can’t stop watching despite consequences
  • You’re spending money on porn

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Vicebreakers is the program for you

Vice Breakers is the most effective way to help you stop watching porn and create healthier habits in its place.

If you’re ready to:

  • Enjoy better sex without performance issues or anxiety
  • Be confident with women and have success in your dating life or marriage
  • Become charismatic and outgoing so you can ‘win friends and influence people’
  • Increase your energy, motivation, and focus, so you can finally make the changes you know your life needs

Check out Vicebreakers and get back control of your manhood!

Learn more about overcoming bad habits that hold you back

References

  1. Weiss, Robert PhD, LCSW PsychCentral How Much Porn Is Too Much Porn? March 14, 2012 https://psychcentral.com/blog/sex/2012/03/porn#1 (accessed Feb 24, 2022) 

  2. Exton MS, Krüger TH, Bursch N, Haake P, Knapp W, Schedlowski M, Hartmann U. Pubmed.gov Endocrine response to masturbation-induced orgasm in healthy men following a 3-week sexual abstinence. World J Urol. 2001 Nov;19(5):377-82. doi: 10.1007/s003450100222. PMID: 11760788. (accessed Feb 24, 2022) 

  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse "Treatment and Recovery." July 10, 2020. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery (accessed 3 Mar. 2022) 

  4. Hilton, Donald L, and Clark Watts. “Pornography addiction: A neuroscience perspective.” Surgical neurology international vol. 2 19. 21 Feb. 2011, doi:10.4103/2152-7806.76977 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3050060 (accessed 3 Mar. 2022) 

Ed Latimore
About the author

Ed Latimore

I’m a writer, competitive chess player, Army veteran, physicist, and former professional heavyweight boxer. My work focuses on self-development, realizing your potential, and sobriety—speaking from personal experience, having overcome both poverty and addiction.

Follow me on Twitter.