What is NoFap? Are there benefits to quitting masturbation? In this article, we'll take a closer look at the evidence.
If you masturbate, you're certainly not alone. Surveys show that a majority of men masturbate regularly, with 61% of men in the U.S. reporting that they’ve masturbated within the past year, and 66% of British men reporting that they’ve masturbated within four weeks of being surveyed. Masturbation is certainly not anything to be ashamed of. But some communities believe that there are health benefits to quitting masturbation.
Recently, some millennial men have reported online that when they go long periods without masturbating, they gain health benefits. They refrain from pornography and masturbation in a practice known as NoFap.
What Is NoFap?
NoFap originated ten years ago in a Reddit thread. Its name is derived from the term “fap”, which refers to the stereotypical sound of masturbation. People practicing NoFap principles didn’t consume pornography or masturbate, and shared the health benefits they felt as a result.
NoFap slowly grew—partly by word of mouth, partly by meme sharing—into something that attracted hundreds of thousands of followers. The "No Nut November" trend was a direct result of the NoFap movement, working to bring the trend to the mainstream.
They maintain that the principles of NoFap go beyond the meme status. It's about introducing a level of discipline into your life and sacrificing temporary pleasure for long-term satisfaction.
Many of the health benefits of NoFap are anecdotal. People have reported feeling happier, more confident, more in control of their lives, more control in their relationships with partners, and lower levels of stress and anxiety.
There may be some scientific benefits to decreasing masturbation. During periods of abstinence, testosterone levels may increase. Increased testosterone may mean more energy, stronger bones, improved mood, and better libido. However, increasing your testosterone level usually doesn’t boost your health if your testosterone level is already in the normal range.
Tips for Quitting
If you think quitting masturbation is the right choice for you, it may be easier to decrease masturbation down by fractions. First, masturbate around three-quarters of the amount you're masturbating now, then keep reducing. If you do it every day, try cutting it down to five days a week, then lower it over time.
Engage in the NoFap Movement
The NoFap movement promotes giving up a sense of short-term pleasure for long-term gratification. If you feel that masturbation is reducing your quality of life, you may be interested in NoFap or even just reducing masturbation. Experiment with it to see what benefits it has for you, and see if it's right to incorporate it into your life.