The health of your brain shapes how you experience life.
Factors such as productivity, and how you process feelings are determined by how healthy your brain is.
Furthermore, if you’re having trouble enjoying the simpler things in life, porn may be to blame.
This is due to the consistent surge of dopamine from each porn session. You’ll need more and more novelty to experience the same pleasure as before. And if that’s not bad enough, check out the rising cases of sexual dysfunction due to porn.
With that said…
It’d make sense to protect your brain from content that would harm it, right?
If you’ve already fallen down the porn rabbit hole, don’t worry. Neuroplasticity allows your brain to reorganize itself and free you of porn addiction.
Your ED? Gone. Low energy? Forget about it.
If you want to get rid of porn addiction and its negative effects keep reading. In this article, you’ll find out if you need a reboot. It’s also important to know how to go through the process. We’ll explain that too.
The goal of a reboot is to reset your brain to lead a happier, healthier, and more productive life.
What Is a NoFap ”Reboot”?
A NoFap reboot is an abstinence from porn, masturbation, and orgasm (PMO) over a period of time. The duration has to be long enough to recover from the negative effects of porn.
The idea of a reboot is to “reset” the brain to eliminate harmful sexual habits.
Some examples of these habits include sexualizing people in inappropriate settings, compulsive masturbation, and most importantly, watching porn.
Everyone will have a different experience while rebooting. There’s also more than one way to reboot, so it can be hard to know where to start. We’ll cover the different methods so you have a clear path to follow.
Keep in mind that a reboot isn’t recovery. Choosing to stay clean after you reboot is how recovery happens. You may need multiple reboots before you’re free of porn addiction.
Signs That You Need a Reboot
A reboot is useful for people whose daily lives are disrupted by porn. Examples of this include watching porn at work (link here), skipping workouts, or depression.
If you experience any of the signs below, we strongly recommend that you try a reboot.
- Porn-induced erectile dysfunction: This is a common reason guys get into NoFap. If your erectile dysfunction is because of porn, abstaining from it is the only way to heal.
- No attraction to “real” women: If you only find women attractive when they fulfill a porn fantasy — you may need a reboot.
- Delayed ejaculation: This is a sexual dysfunction in which you’re unable to orgasm for a long time. Your delayed ejaculation may be because of another reason. Educate yourself before applying a fix.
- Depression: Depression could be the result of many things. But we can safely say that compulsive porn use won’t help. Porn creates a void, it doesn’t fill one.
- Inability to focus: Your ability to focus is a key factor that will make you successful. If you can’t focus because your mind wanders to porn, consider a reboot.
- Shocking sexual tastes: If you started out with vanilla porn and moved on to more hardcore stuff, we recommend a reboot. Your tastes will only get more extreme, and it can lead down a dark path such as pedophilia.
- Social anxiety: Porn promotes isolation. If you find yourself not wanting to attend social events, it may be because of porn.
How severe your addiction is depends on many factors. This includes the age at which you discovered porn and the viewing habits you developed.
Generally, the more extreme your preferences are the deeper your addiction.
Even if you’ve identified yourself as someone who doesn’t need a reboot — we encourage you to try one. It’s possible your life could be better without porn.
Benefits of a Porn Reset
There are many short-term and long-term benefits of NoFap.
It usually takes a few days of abstinence to notice changes. These include increased happiness, a boost in confidence, and even a testosterone spike.
However, sexually resetting your brain isn’t some 30-day challenge. We think this is a short-sighted view of recovery.
To us, a reboot is what happens after a long period of abstinence. And that gives you a taste of what recovery looks like. It’s so much more than holding eye contact with the cute barista and getting her number.
Recovery is about reframing your mind to look at the marathon. Here are a few benefits of rebooting:
- Increased productivity: If you’re doing more work over a prolonged period of time — success will chase you.
- Improved focus: This feeds into the previous point. When you can focus on a singular task at once, you can get a lot done. Now multiply that over weeks, months, and years.
- Improved/cured ED: Healing ED is a slow process. But if you fall back into old habits your ED may return.
- Better sleep: The quality of your sleep dictates how you perform in your waking life. Many guys watch porn at night, and the blue light emitted from a screen disrupts melatonin production.
- Greater range of emotions: Humans are logical creatures, but only to an extent. We primarily act on emotion. When you feel stronger emotions, you’ll act more decisively. This will allow you to move your life in any direction you wish.
Porn makes you someone you’re not. Recovery helps you be yourself again.
Look at how this Reddit user recounts his experience:
|“During those 100 days, incredible changes took place within me. Rather, it helped me return to myself, someone who obsessively read, painted, explored photography. It all came back after years of brain fog and numbness to life.”
A reboot gives you the presence of mind to explore your abilities. In doing so, you may find purpose. This purpose will help you sustain a porn-free life. This is perhaps the biggest benefit of a reboot.
What’s Allowed and What Isn’t
There are a few different methods of rebooting.
What’s allowed on a NoFap reboot depends on which method you choose. The three methods are hard-mode, soft-mode, and monk-mode.
- Hard-mode: No porn, masturbation, or orgasm is allowed. This is probably the most popular method.
- Soft-mode: Porn and masturbation aren’t allowed, but orgasm is. Intimacy with a real-life partner is encouraged and can even aid recovery. This is because the brain will associate orgasm with a real partner rather than pixels.
- Monk-mode: This mode is more about self-improvement. It achieves this by abstaining from dopamine-heavy activities. These include TV, video games, PMO, junk food, and procrastination. Monk mode is extreme, so participants set a start and finish date. Think of this as a short burst to reignite your motivation.
One rule is always the same, regardless of the method:
Porn isn’t allowed.
Here’s a guideline you can follow for all three methods:
- Porn: As mentioned, this isn’t allowed. Cam girls, images, and videos that arouse you fall into this category. As a rule of thumb, if it’s something sexual that isn’t an in-person interaction — it’s probably not allowed.
- Social media: Social media is okay on a reboot. But if you’re going to racy pages, you’ll need to quit for now (this includes dating apps). Social media isn’t allowed at all in monk mode.
- Fantasizing: Fantasizing has been termed “mental edging” by members of the NoFap community. It’s almost as harmful as watching porn. This is due to similar regions of the brain being activated when edging.
Now that we’ve established the ground rules, let’s talk about the process of rebooting.
The first step of the process is to choose a duration. You’ll also need to pick a “mode”, or set rules for what counts as a relapse.
It’s common for many users to try a 90-day reboot. However, this may be difficult if it’s your first time rebooting. We recommend committing to 30 days first.
Next, you need to develop healthy habits. Relapses are often caused by negative thoughts and feelings. Habits that progress towards meaningful goals can help combat these feelings.
Examples of healthy habits you can choose are joining a sports club, eating healthy, doing chores, or meditating.
If you fail, don’t be discouraged! Just reset your counter and try again. Going back to day zero doesn’t mean your progress is lost. Treat it like a practice run and learn from your mistakes.
How Long Will a Reboot Take?
There isn’t a standard timeline for a reboot. Your recovery depends on how long you’ve been watching porn and how extreme your preferences are. This poses the question…
How do you measure progress?
One way to measure progress is symptom-based. Progress happens by feeling the sexual benefits of NoFap. If you started NoFap because of ED and you finally had sex without artificial stimulation — that’s a win.
Another way to measure progress is the classic day counter. That said, a reboot isn’t about hitting a certain number of days. It’s about reversing the addiction-related changes in your brain. Counting days is an easy way to measure progress since it’s hard to know how your brain is changing.
Also, a reboot shouldn’t be considered permanent recovery. The tendency to watch porn lies dormant in your brain waiting for a slip-up.
Change Your Brain Chemistry
In order to create lasting change, you need to understand how your brain works.
When you PMO, your brain releases several endorphins including serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline. Your body deals with this by creating an equilibrium to balance things out.
At first, it’ll resist the chemicals. But if you keep indulging, it’ll learn to survive.
Eventually the high becomes your new normal. And when you stop watching porn, your brain says, “Hey! I want my old chemicals back!”. It’ll do anything it can to restore balance. You’ll feel withdrawals, depression, fear, or anxiety.
If you resist these emotions long enough, your brain will create a new balance. This is the stage that trips most people up. They try to change their behavior, but their brain resists it. When they run into this resistance, they backslide on their commitment.
Your brain fears change. It’d rather stay in its comfortable existence than survive in unknown territory. It wants to chase pleasure and avoid pain. You can use this to your advantage. Choose something painful like PIED, or a failed opportunity, and let that motivate you.
Beware of the Flatline
The flatline is a stage in which you feel a loss of pleasure from things you once enjoyed.
NoFap users have described the flatline as a period of depression. It’s almost like a hollowing of the self.
This happens because your brain isn’t getting its expected hit of dopamine. It creates a void, and this feeling makes you want to PMO.
Do not PMO at all costs. As mentioned earlier, PMO creates a void, it doesn’t fill one.
Our brain works by releasing dopamine for small wins. This incentivizes us to repeat the win. A PMO session makes you feel these small wins less intensely.
And this is dangerous… because you need to repeat the small wins to get big wins. Porn numbs you from feeling pleasure for life’s most beautiful moments.
To recap, if you’re addicted to porn, your brain is hooked on artificial sexual stimuli.
To return to healthy sexual responsiveness you need to change your brain chemistry.
This happens by abstaining from porn for a prolonged period of time. Pick a duration, choose your “mode”, and get started. If you fail, reset your counter and keep going.
Any addictive substance will desensitize you from feeling pleasure. This means that your current porn fix may not get you excited in a few months.
Sexually resetting your brain means staying away from reactivating addiction pathways. It also means giving your desensitized dopamine system a break.
Don’t worry about what counts as a relapse. Instead, ask yourself — does this action lead to addictive changes in my brain? Am I repeating this action?
Refrain from peeking, edging, soft-core porn, and social media. If you see it contributing to your addiction, abstain from it.
And finally, sexually resetting your brain is one piece of the puzzle. It’ll help you create a life in which you don’t need porn — a life that you love living. A life filled with productivity, health, and joy.
That’s your end goal.