Resistance to Porn from an Unlikely Place

You may be called to join the Fapstronauts. They are an online community gathered at a place called NoFap around a pledge of non-fapping. What’s fapping? I had never heard of it either. Fapping is masturbation.

Fapping has always been a problem for men but never more so since the explosion of pornography, and most especially Internet porn. It is probably at epidemic proportions right now.

WebMD says there are 420 million webpages of porn. One porn site I will not name, the second largest porn site on the web, receives 100 million pages views every single day with 4,000 videos watched every minute during its peak hours.

Internet porn plays almost perfectly upon something called the Coolidge Effect that describes how a male will enthusiastically have sex with a new partner but his ardor will cool over time only will be revved up by a new partner.

 

Internet porn is fast and free. You don’t need to buy a magazine or a video and you don’t have to go anywhere. With this endless supply of women, a guy can click through them like a cocaine rat. The Internet is the Coolidge Effect gone wild. They call it “super-stimulus” and that is the thing that also leads porn aficionados to seek grosser and grosser images. After all, a guy can grow bored with the plain vanilla gang-rape day in and day out.

Enter an increasingly large number of guys, and some women, who grew weary of the tedious fap-treadmill. In the summer of 2011 someone posted a note on the wildly popular Reddit website that said, “When men don’t masturbate for 7 days their testosterone levels increase by 45.7 percent” This little remark began a conversation and by the end of the day a movement was born. By the end of the month a guy named Alexander Rhodes founded NoFap.

NoFap has 70,000 members and hosts what it calls “challenges” to abstain from pornography and masturbation for a period of time. They say, “Join the movement. Gain control of your sexuality and turn it into superpowers. Quit porn and live a more awesome life.”

Who are these guys? Project Know, a program that helps addictions of all kinds, did a survey of the NoFap community last year and found a startling 31 percent are between the ages of 13-19, 75 percent are single, 90 percent are heterosexual, 16 percent started porn use before the age of 12, 53 percent started between 12 and 14, prior to NoFap 59 percent had used porn 4 and 15 hours per week, 64 percent noted their tastes in porn has grown more deviant over time, and nearly 50 percent had never had real sex.

Only 11 percent of the NoFap community is over 30 and the report claims that, “Internet porn addiction is largely a problem of youth.” Their numbers are obviously skewed since older men are not generally Reddit users. Any divorce lawyer or religious counselor can attest that porn addiction affects all age groups.

The study showed reasons why these young people are seeking help. Respondents reported negative psychological effects from masturbation including “depression and social anxiety.” They believe chronic masturbation sabotages “their chances of finding a partner” and “compromises the quality of sex in their current relationship” not to mention that it shows an “undesirable lack of self-control.”

They also reported that among 27-31 year old NoFappers that 19 percent suffered from premature ejaculation, 25 percent are not interested in sex with their partner, 31 percent have trouble reaching orgasm, 34 percent experience erectile dysfunction, and 37 percent have decreased sexual sensitivity.

NoFappers seek to break what they call the “PMO cycle” of pornography, masturbation, and orgasm. They do this through fellowship and, like guys everywhere, a bit of healthy competition. The idea is to go as along as you can without looking at porn and all that follows. The Forum at NoFap.org is where they come to talk and the talk is inspirational. Young men trapped in a terrible addiction crying out for help in a world not much interested in helping them.

Bamac16 says, “I’ve smoked weed since I was 14 and pretty much started watching porn around the same age, they went hand in hand. Get high, then spend the entire night watching porn. Sometimes I would go from 11pm to 3am! Insane, Now I’m 23 and while I’ve been making some progress over the year (I’ve definitely slowed down on both.) I know I need to quit them both altogether, I want to get back in the dating game. I haven’t had a relationship in 5 years….”

He was answered almost immediately by BJ02019 who offered Bamac16 aid and comfort telling him he found porn more addicting than pot and that he was on day 11 of his 90-day goal. Attached to his post is a counter that shows exactly where he is in his 90-day quest. Anyone on the forum can get such a counter.

BJ02019 says he felt actual physical withdrawals when he quit and that he was irritable because of it. And then he says this. “If you are very serious this is going to be a huge lifestyle change and maybe one of the hardest things in your life, mentally anyway. Idk this is my take on it all, hope this helps and GOOD LUCK! “

Here’s a guy only a few days into trying to kick the habit and he’s encouraging another NoFapper who hasn’t even begun yet. Instant understanding. Instant help.

And relief is there for them, if they can hold on. Fapstronauts report “a burst of energy about 1-2 weeks after beginning” abstinence. Though they experience something they call “flatlining” which is a reduced libido “occurring 2-6 weeks into abstinence,” 56 percent reported they “were more willing to talk to women,” and 60 percent said they “gained a better knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses.” And then there is the unimaginable relief from a great burden lifted.

Masturbation used to be shameful, so was pornography. Now they are jokes and everybody does them. Yet each are traps that have ensnared hundreds of millions of men and boys around the world, and a sizable portion of women, too.

It is a shameful testament to our societal institutions, even the Church, that pornography has run so rampant over our culture. Though porn was discussed at the just concluded bishops’ meeting, to date only two US bishops have issued letters warning about its dangers. And when was the last time that this issue was mentioned even tangentially in a sermon? And how much more effective would be there already successful mission if these young men were taught about their own human dignity? NoFap does not allow religious appeals on their site, which is too bad.

Even so they are doing amazing work and it is a moving testament to the human spirit that young men and women would band together to help themselves and help others overcome the scourge.

If you want to join a real resistance to the sexual revolution, go to www.nofap.org right way.

Austin Ruse

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Austin Ruse is a Crisis contributing editor and president of the Center for Family & Human Rights (C-FAM). He is the author of Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data, published by Regnery; and Little Suffering Souls: Children Whose Short Lives Point Us to Christ, published by Tan Books. The views expressed here are solely his own.

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