NoFap is a new trend among men but is it truly beneficial and what are it's benefits and who is it really for? And how to support men who are struggling? Find out about NoFap in this article.
Men's health is equally important to me as women's health; neither one is above the other - nope - hence, today's topic. This topic has become a trend - the problem that worries me is that no one knows what is truly beneficial and yet, many men are practicing it.
Because I worked in prostate cancer and because my role included looking at all the clinical data, statistical analysis and talking to all the new incoming prostate cancer patients - it always gets me where men and prostate issues are concerned (and I mean, always!).
The topic I am talking about is the NoFap movement - what is it and is it truly beneficial?
We are going to talk about this today so that 1. women who are married or in relationships can take this article and discuss it with their partners - even if having a healthy sex life, one should know and 2. men can learn a thing or two from this article and evaluate it themselves and if in relationships, share this information with their spouse or partners.
What is a NoFap movement? -
Though the word "fap" actually means masturbation in internet slang, this is actually not really about abstaining from masturbation for men but rather staying away from porn. Because porn goes hand in hand with masturbation, it can lead to unhealthy addictions and this is why the NoFap movement encourages its community to stay away from porn completely.
Note that this is not the same as semen retention for men. In semen retention, men are still masturbating but just choosing to not ejaculate - hence, 'retaining' the 'semen'.
We all know the detrimental side-effects of watching porn and we also know that there are organizations and documentaries now that are busy raising awareness about this - from helping to educate parents, caretakers and guardians about keeping children away from going down this wrong path and also to help those adults who are addicted to porn to help get rid of this unhealthy habit.
One of the ways the NoFap community does this is by suggesting to porn addicts to completely stay away from masturbation so to help encourage them to quit cold turkey and thus the rumor became that NoFap is about men quitting masturbation.
The NoFap community encourages its participants to stay away from porn, masturbation and sex (orgasm) called PMO. The NoFap community is a subreddit, internet based community as well as a website helping men quit the habit of PMO and find their life back.
What Benefits are Touted? -
Men who stick to abstaining from PMO will say that it has made them more motivated, more enlightened, they have better energy, more self-control and discipline, higher self-esteem and confidence and better feelings of well-being as well as better mental and emotional health.
Another benefit is better semen volume though this does not necessarily equal better semen quality. Last but not least, men may experience higher testosterone levels which translates to better focus, better muscles, bones, hair and higher libido, more motivation and more energy.
The Other Side -
When I was researching on this topic and reading and reading as well as watching informatory videos on YouTube on this topic, what really concerns me is that there are men who are reporting enlarged prostate (upon doctor checkup) and then reporting that when they went back to masturbation, the prostate returned back to its normal size.
What has been since centuries and has never created cancer or any other health issues like enlarged prostates, then why mess with it just because of a trend and misinformation? With NoFap and semen retention, if there is a risk for enlarged prostate and hence, the risk for prostate cancer goes up, why take a chance? And moreover, who is it for - is it for normal, healthy well-balanced men or those who are addicts to PMO?
Find out...keep reading.
Another point is whereas women have had a lot of sexual taboo throughout history against masturbation or any sexual pleasure, this is not the case with men. Men have always masturbated or had release through sex from the beginning of time and it has worked - no prostate issues since centuries from generations to generations - just a point to keep in mind and consider.
Who Is NoFap for? -
NoFap is actually for those who are addicted to porn, excessive masturbation or have sex addiction. We know that when people are addicted to something, they will spend a HUGE part of their life feeding their addiction - from the actual 'activity' to planning, executing and then again restarting the harmful, self-destructive cycle all over again until they hopefully heal and the addiction goes away one fine day.
Be it porn, solo or sex addiction or all of these, either way it takes away a lot of time from the addict to enjoy life, to learn to bond in healthy ways with partners, to maintain stable, healthy romantic relationships, to have good communication skills, to integrate themselves in normal parts of life and to be a healthy member of the community and society at large.
When the NoFap community talks about 'enlightenment', 'feeling lighter' and all - yes, these will be there because they finally feel they have some self-control over themselves and their life whereas previously their time was going either sitting in a dark room and watching porn and engaging in masturbation or they were busy arranging sexual hook-ups - looking for one sex partner after another and then another and so on...the toxic, self-detrimental cycle continues.
Now, with some self-control, their time frees up and they are able to enjoy the normal parts of life even more like going out, walking, enjoying Nature, forming close friendships and so on so their mental and emotional state gets better hence the reason why the NoFap community will report 'feeling lighter' or 'feeling more motivated', 'feeling more social' and less depression, less anxiety and no more fear of loneliness and so on.
They also report 'better sleep' because now the time that was going towards watching porn or masturbation or for arranging sexual encounters or for sex is now freed up so it is going towards sleep.
So I hope you understand this very well and why the NoFap group reports such benefits - it is because they never had them before and now with joining the community with some self-help, they are able to rise out of their addictions.
What Is Happening Neurologically? -
Be it sex addiction or PM, it is all the same neurologically - the person fighting this addiction has a brain that has become hardwired for a dopamine hit.
Dopamine dependency is what drives this cycle and it is so strong in addicts that they will do anything to get that dopamine high - compromising their partners, cheating, lying, jumping from one relationship to another, failed marriages to failed relationships, inability to form intimate bonds, hurting others on the way, engaging in dangerous behaviors, getting into risky situations and even subjecting themselves to high risk of STDs, AIDS and HIV.
Nothing matters to addicts except getting a release and hitting that dopamine high again and again. This is why you will see people who have these addictions have an inability to maintain any single healthy, stable romantic relationship in their life - they are a victim to this dopamine high and they keep feeding this until they have nothing to show for it and they are willing to risk anything for it be it an authentic relationship or their health.
This is where the NoFap movement started on Reddit and so it is mainly for those who are suffering from addiction and wanting to heal themselves.
At the end, it is for those who are controlled by their sex drive, unhealed traumas and neurological imbalances.
Giving Space to a Man Who is Struggling -
As I write a lot on men's health, I just wanted to add another point which concerns me. I have met men who have struggled and talked to them on this issue - men who (thankfully) trusted me and felt safe to open up about their struggles with me. When a man is struggling with any addictions or unhealthy, toxic patterns, how do you give him that space and especially, as a woman, how do you react or show-up for him during these struggles in his life?
Here is what I suggest on how you think about this and how you should respond to it -
It is tough being a man - you got to wear many masks because you ought to be 'strong' and 'better not cry' or 'better toughen up' and 'better not tell anyone' so men learn to stuff their emotions, trauma, pain, sadness, sexual abuse and all other heavy emotions all inside without ever having a single person to open up to and talk to and be able to openly share their struggles.
We can all learn to just give each other space to open up and learn to listen and if possible, guide the other person gently on to better paths.
If a man is struggling - be it addictions or some other issues, you do not need to ridicule him, mock him or laugh at him or insult him; you can just learn to listen and give him that safe space that he needs so badly to feel loved and accepted.
You can still carry the conversations with respect, generosity and you can still hold him in high regards - all because you choose to see him as a 'whole-person' that he is.
Talking about his hobbies, talents, work accomplishments, etc. will make him realize that you see him as a 'whole-being' - somebody who is more than his addictions or struggles or past mistakes or failed marriages.
This is more about YOU being a wise, kind, open-hearted being that you are and how you can provide that safe, open space for others to be vulnerable in your company and if you are a woman reading this, then this is about you being what's called as a high-value woman that you are (versus the low-value women) and how you choose to respond (and not react) to these heavy yet meaningful and often necessary conversations.
End Note -
Though NoFap may have benefits including community support for men who are fighting addictions but in general it is not for normal, well-balanced healthy men who are in healthy, stable relationships or even single but well-balanced.
IF any man wants to still try the NoFap, please make sure to get regular prostate check-ups done and blood tests to evaluate your psa levels (just to always be sure); psa stands for prostate specific antigen and these values are a good marker on how healthy your prostate is. But overall, in general you should still be getting your prostate checked yearly no matter what.
*This is just an educational post - men reading this should do more research and use their own discretion before jumping on to any new trends that may or may not inflict harm on their health and overall well-being.
Check out the NoFap website - Click HERE