In recent years, as the line between porn and real life sex becomes blurrier, young men have been distancing themselves from the medium and even abstaining from masturbation as part of the NoFap movement to combat porn addiction.
NoFap describes itself as a “comprehensive sexual health platform,” designed to “help you quit porn, improve your relationships, and reach your sexual health goals.” But according to some of NoFap’s female followers, it’s lead to “a complete physical and mental reformation.”
“After starting NoFap I felt more motivation, more willpower and more discipline,” 26-year-old NoFap follower Kristel told The Guardian. “I decided to take part in this movement because I like challenging myself and I wanted to prove that I could accomplish this.”
Apparently, NoFap was inspired by a 2003 study that suggested male testosterone levels can rise after a week of abstinence from ejaculation, but according to followers, steering clear of masturbation can also lead to “superpowers.”
Mr Mind Blowing, a blog dedicated to NoFap, describes all the benefits of abstaining from masturbation for 90 days. It lists increased sexual enjoyment and desire, energy, self-confidence and a sharper memory as some of the perks of NoFap. It even claims refraining from “beating your meat” will give you a deeper voice and stronger hair.
For Alana, another follower of NoFap, it’s all about porn. “Porn is where people go to learn how to have sex, and most of the time the approach to sex in porn is built around a man’s pleasure,” she told The Guardian. “Even as a heterosexual woman, porn made me sexualise and objectify women…I also began to think of myself as a sex object, and that my value came from my sex appeal.
Sex addiction therapist Staci Sprout told The Guardian, NoFap is “a new grassroots movement where people are seeking to reclaim their bodies separately from pornography’s input.”
“If a woman has only learned how to self-pleasure through high-stimulation pornography and later just re-enacts this with others, she probably won’t know herself very well sexually.”
While the NoFap movement is helping men (and women) disconnect from the negative effects of porn, masturbation can offer a wide range of health benefits. According to Dr. Tanginika Cuascud, masturbation can increase self-love, help you sleep better, and is good for your heart health.
The moral of the story is: how, when and if you masturbate is a completely personal decision that should be respected either way.