Try Our Porn Recovery Program

NoFap Benefits: Does NoFap Really Work

Written by
Dr. R. Y. Langham

September 4, 2023

Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Dianne Steven

Truth be told, most people are unfamiliar with NoFap. People, who have heard of this organization/website/forum, tend to wonder what it is, how it works, and what to expect from it once they start refraining from masturbating to porn for a predetermined amount of time. Struggling with porn/masturbation addiction can be challenging, especially when left untreated. While some addicts seek formal treatment for their heavy porn use or porn-influenced masturbation issues, others opt for a more natural or alternative approach to treating this issue.

This holistic approach may include mindfulness meditation, hypnotherapy/hypnosis, online porn addiction recovery programs, like Stop Together, and/or a NoFap Challenge. The best thing about natural/holistic treatments is that they can be used with or without a formal treatment plan. If you are thinking about joining the NoFap Challenge, you are in luck because this article will help you better understand what NoFap is and is not, and what benefits you can expect to receive from a NoFap Challenge.

Our self-help course has
helped 1000s of people
break their porn addiction

Is Porn Addiction Linked to Masturbation?

Yes, it is.

In fact, experts suggest that most porn addicts are addicted to masturbating to porn. Porn addiction involves non-stop urges to view porn, despite any consequences. Porn addiction can and often does include masturbation. In other words, porn users tend to become sexually aroused while watching it on a porn site, and once they become aroused, it makes sense they would want to “release the sexual tension” caused by watching porn.

The problem is it becomes a part of their sexual practices. More specifically, neural pathways form in the brain – equating sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction with masturbating to porn. When this occurs, real-life sexual triggers lose their luster and are replaced by the sensations produced in the body from porn.

These neural pathways turn into full-blown habits. In the case of porn addiction, the mind tricks the body into believing that masturbating to porn is the only way to become aroused and satisfied. In other words, the mind views orgasming to porn as a “reward.” As a result, the porn user continues to masturbate to porn because of the “high” or “reward” associated with it.

What is NoFap?

In 2012, Alexander Rhodes, a Pittsburgh web designer, developed NoFap after reading a Reddit forum thread about a 2003 study that claimed that males, who refrain from masturbating for at least seven days, may experience a 146% increase in their testosterone levels at the end of this time. This Reddit thread skyrocketed in popularity, leading to a strong NoFap following, often referred to as “NoFappers.” To date, there are more than 81,000 NoFappers around the world. 

NoFap wasn’t even a “thing” until it was added to the Urban Dictionary in 2007. The term. “NoFap,” is defined as an alternative term for the words, “no” and “masturbation.” It refers to abstaining or foregoing sex, sexual activities, and masturbation for a period of time. Many times this includes withholding ejaculation. Thus, NoFap is a sexual abstinence tool that is linked to Reddit.

What is the NoFap Challenge?

The NoFap Challenge involves forgoing watching porn, masturbating, or masturbating to porn for a specified time – usually 30-90 days. However, some males opt for a shorter or longer time. The belief is that abstaining from those behaviors for a temporary period can improve a man’s life in many different ways. There are between 5 and 7 NoFap Challenge stages designed to help chronic porn users and/or masturbators “reboot” or “reset” their brains. 

“Rebooting the brain” can remove “bad habits,” like excessively watching porn, masturbating, or masturbating to porn. NoFappers, who have taken the challenge have reported tremendous benefits from joining it. Researchers have also found that men, who join NoFap Challenge experience higher self-esteem and self-confidence, stronger muscles, more dates, healthier romantic relationships, more sound sleep, and better sex. The NoFap Challenge is conducted on a rolling basis so that men who “fall off of the wagon” can restart again.

Is NoFap Beneficial?

Yes, NoFap is beneficial for many people, who struggle with porn addiction, chronic masturbation or masturbation addiction, or porn-influenced masturbation. But truthfully, people decide to join the NoFap community for a variety of reasons. Some people enter this community due to moral or religious reasons, while others join it because of its health benefits or support. 

Still, the main reason for becoming a NoFapper is to join with others who are struggling with or recovering from sexual compulsions, like porn addiction. Regardless of the reason for joining NoFap, there is no disputing that using porn can, and often does cause chaos and pain in the lives of people, who become addicted to it. Porn changes people and makes them do things they would have never done – before porn took over their lives.

Approximately, 90% of young adult males were exposed to porn at an early age, which contributes to their inaccurate and unrealistic views about sex today. More so, approximately 73% of males, between the ages of 14 and 17 tend to regularly masturbate. Regularly masturbating combined with easy access to porn has caused many porn users and masturbators to develop an addiction to PMO (porn, orgasm, and masturbation).

The truth is most porn users and masturbators do not even realize that their “use” is a problem because they have become so used to engaging in these behaviors that it feels “natural” and “normal.” Once these individuals realize that they have a problem, some seek treatment immediately, while others, who are hesitant, look for natural remedies and self-help tools, like the NoFap Challenge, to help them get control over their porn use and masturbation issues.

One of the main benefits of the NoFap Challenge is it not only addresses underlying addictions, such as porn addiction and/or masturbation addiction but also helps “reboot” or “reset” your brain, so porn no longer has control over you.

Other benefits of NoFap include:

  • Higher Testosterone Levels

Joining NoFap can lead to higher testosterone levels. According to researchers, men, who refrained from ejaculating for 7 days experienced a 45% boost in testosterone. Testosterone, a primarily male hormone, is responsible for a male’s libido or sex drive, bone mass, fat distribution, muscle function, etc. Aging can affect a male’s hormones and testosterone level, leading to low libido or sex drive, sexual dissatisfaction, low energy, weight gain, mood swings, etc.

NoFappers cite higher testosterone levels as the most impressive benefit associated with the NoFap. Keep in mind, however, that although many males report having more energy and focus, and a better mood, most have not officially had their testosterone levels checked. Thus, there is little-to-no evidence, at this time, to show that NoFap boosts testosterone in men.

However, researchers have analyzed thousands of NoFap reviews and have found that most NoFappers believe that NoFap has helped increase the amount of testosterone in their bodies.

  • Self-Control

Feeling out of control or lost is one of the most common reasons why people, especially porn addicts, join NoFap. These individuals tend to feel ashamed of their behavior – i.e., watching porn, and wanting a way out. By this time, porn is ruining their lives and they are tired of the chaos and destruction. Porn addicts and chronic masturbators have to fight urges to view porn, so after a while, it takes a toll on their minds and bodies. That is when they start to seek porn addiction help.

While staying strong in your NoFap may be challenging at first, over time, as you get used to it and form healthier habits, it becomes easier. The key to success is consciously resisting urges to watch porn, masturbate, or masturbate to porn. You will gradually see an improvement in your self-control, endurance, tolerance, and grit in all areas of your life. Porn will become a “has been” in your life, and you will be less likely to experience a porn addiction relapse. Thus, NoFap can be the positive change in your life to become the person you were meant to be.

  • Improved Cognitive Function

Let’s be honest, porn messes with your brain. In fact, researchers have discovered a link between a person’s mental health and the amount of time they spend watching porn. More specifically, they found that the more time a person spends viewing porn, the more likely they are to experience mental health issues, like anxiety, depression, etc. These individuals also tend to experience a lower quality of life and a lack of motivation, as compared to people, who do not use porn and/or masturbate.

Studies have also found that men, who spend long hours viewing sexually explicit material, like porn, have less gray matter in their brains. A loss of gray matter in the brain can lead to a decline in cognitive function over time. It can also increase one’s risk of becoming depressed – and addicted to porn.

Fortunately, by refraining from porn for a period of time, such as with the NoFap Challenge, cognitive decline can be reversed. Thus, the NoFap Challenge warns against using porn, so your brain can “reset” or “reboot.” “Rebooting the brain” can remove porn’s power over you, so you can think more clearly and make better decisions.

  • Healthy Romantic Relationship

Porn can also destroy relationships. Many males who masturbate to porn regularly eventually start to lose interest in their partners. In other words, their partners no longer “excite them sexually” like they did before porn entered their lives – or at the very least before it took over their lives. For these men, porn has replaced flesh-and-blood sexual attraction, desire, and arousal.

NoFap, on the other hand, is like a “reset” or “start over” button. NoFap is designed to increase the amount of dopamine in your body. Dopamine is responsible for your energy, mood, sleep, thought processes, and even behavior.

If you have a healthy dopamine level, you are more likely to think more rationally, be in a better mood, and experience sexual desire for your partner.

Rather than finding happiness, excitement, and sexual satisfaction from sexually explicit images or videos on a screen, you get to experience it all in real-life – i.e., the sensations, natural “high,” an emotional and physical connection with your significant other, etc. Because you are now connected to each other on a deeper level, your relationship will likely be better than ever.

  • Motivation

Truth be told, excessively masturbating to porn can be tiring – so tiring that the porn user or masturbator does not want to do anything else. As a result, these individuals are less likely to seek porn addiction help. The thing about porn is that it tricks users into thinking that the “high” that comes from viewing it will be sustained when it will not. Porn use tends to be used to “escape” or “self-medicate,” however, this is only a temporary fix.

When porn is used in this manner it becomes dangerous for the user and others.

Excessively masturbating to porn causes dopamine to decline. Dopamine causes us to feel motivated or inspired to do things and make positive changes in our lives. Researchers have found a link between low dopamine levels and chronic stress, social anxiety, self-doubt, or low confidence and motivation.

Joining the NoFap Challenge can help your dopamine levels “reset” or “rebound” in just a few weeks. When you no longer feel shame and guilt from excessively masturbating to porn, you will see a massive improvement in your self-esteem, confidence, motivation, productivity, happiness, relationship, and sex life.

  • Higher Libido or Sex Drive

NoFap can lead to a higher libido or sex drive. More specifically, it will make you want to connect with your partner on a much deeper level. Sex will just be the icing on the cake. Sex will become a way to bond with your partner in an emotional, mental, physical, sexual, and spiritual way. The natural “high” that comes with having sex and orgasming will be more intense after you finish the NoFap Challenge. NoFap can help you get your sexual mojo back, which can take your sex life to another level.

  • Attractiveness

Unbeknownst to many porn addicts and chronic masturbators, NoFap can make a person more attractive. While NoFap does not claim to possess magical powers that will make people “fall for you,” it can boost your self-confidence, thereby, boosting your attractiveness to others. Understand that confident males tend to attract others. Although there is little-to-no scientific evidence to support this claim, it makes sense that people are more attracted to people, who are self-assured and confident (not cocky).

However, when you excessively watch porn, masturbate, or masturbate to porn, it can cause you to act out of character. More specifically, it can cause you to experience shame and guilt, which can manifest on the person’s face and show in their gestures and body movements (i.e., a lowered head, shyness, avoidance, a negative attitude, frowns, etc.).

This is how others perceive you, and as a result, their attraction to you. Abstaining from porn and/or masturbation can help you release the shame and guilt you have been carrying due to your porn use and/or masturbation, and increase your confidence when speaking to a potential mate. The end result? You become more sexually desirable to others.

  • Lower Risk of Sexual Dysfunction

Chronically watching porn, masturbating, or masturbating to porn can lead to sexual dysfunction, such as sexual performance anxiety, premature ejaculation (PE), impotence, low libido or sexual desire, or erectile dysfunction (ED). Being intimate with a flesh-and-blood individual can be the best sexual experience you will ever have. However, for some, having sex with someone can be a nightmare in the bedroom.

For these individuals, not being able to sexually satisfy their partners is devastating, so they avoid it. In other words, it becomes a porn/masturbation/satisfaction cycle. Once the “high” from the porn and/or masturbation wears off, the urges to view porn and/or masturbate come back. However, not being able to “perform” in the bedroom, due to sexual dysfunction, can cause problems in the relationship.

The porn user may experience performance anxiety because they are unable to “complete the act,” while the partner may start to blame themself because their partner is unable to “complete the act.” This is especially true if the partner is unaware of their partner’s porn and/or masturbation activities. NoFap’s “rebooting process,” on the other hand, can help with sexual dysfunctions in some cases.

With NoFap, you will gain better blow flow to your genital region, and experience stronger and more fulfilling orgasms from sex because it is all real – not virtual and physically inaccessible.

At the height of your porn/masturbation addiction, you were likely living in a fantasy world where the only way you could become aroused is by masturbating to porn, once you finish a NoFap Challenge, this arousal will come from real-life touches and a real-life emotional connection with the person you love. Because you will no longer be thinking about porn, it will no longer be able to distract you from your significant other.


Take back control and boost
personal performance by
quitting porn