How to Stop Masturbating

  • Author: Sumit
  • Published: September 9, 2022

The art of abstaining from masturbation is on the rise. Movements like NoFap are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the past ten years: in 2013, users searched on Google for ‘NoFap’ around half as often as in 2020, and this looks set to rise even further. But why?

If you have come to this page, you likely have your own reasons for wanting to stop masturbating. There are countless known benefits, both anecdotal and objective. NoFappers claim that even a short reboot of 40 days can result in improved concentration, a brighter mood, increased confidence and happiness, and more satisfying relationships and social connections. If you choose to do a full 90-day reboot or more, you will likely also experience a reduction in brain fog and a return of both physical and mental resilience and stamina.

But arguably the most important benefit of quitting masturbation is that it develops your willpower. This can then be used to make many other habit changes in every area of your life.

With so many benefits available, the only question is: how can you successfully stop masturbating? Here is your definitive guide to giving up masturbation – whether you’re aiming for a temporary reboot or a permanent behavior change.

Stop Watching Porn

It wasn’t always like this, but today most people equate masturbation with watching pornography, to the extent that they can’t imagine doing one without the other. The vast majority of men who are keen to give up masturbation will find it is much easier if they also stop watching porn at the same time. In fact, giving up porn might be your main motive, in which case a break from masturbation can help to cement this new way of living. Even if it’s not your primary reason, you should be sure to avoid watching porn when you are trying to quit masturbation.

Why Porn is so Addictive

To help you understand why this is so important, it might be helpful to briefly investigate why porn has such an addictive potential. Internet porn is so ubiquitous that, as a culture, we largely ignore its effects, but there is mounting evidence to suggest that watching it is actually damaging to the brain.

Specifically, because of the Coolidge Effect, your brain is hardwired to seek out novel sexual experiences. Internet porn provides you with this in spades, and as a reward your brain releases huge floods of dopamine. The problem is that your brain doesn’t know the difference between pixels on the screen and real sexual partners. So the further down the rabbit hole you go, the more addicted you become to watching pornography. This also explains the well-noted phenomenon whereby a user’s porn tastes become increasingly extreme: your brain needs more and more novelty to receive the same dopamine hit.

As you can see, porn truly is a drug. As long as you make a habit of watching porn, you’re going to experience a much greater urge to masturbate, and more often. If you give up porn, your urge to masturbate will greatly decrease.

How to Stop Watching Porn

Here is a step-by-step outline for avoiding pornography, based on the trial and error of thousands of ex-users.

  • Acknowledge the problem. Accept that your porn use is causing you issues, and build your motivation to stop consuming it.
  • Watch for your triggers. Do you tend to watch porn when you are bored? Or when you’re lonely? Or when you have had an argument with your partner? Identify your triggers, and decide on an alternative action you will take next time it crops up.
  • Find an accountability partner. The NoFap subreddit is great for this.
  • Be gentle. If you don’t succeed right away, don’t beat yourself up – that will only lead you back to the porn. Instead, forgive yourself and carry on.
  • Install blockers. Don’t forget there are simple technical tools you can use to avoid porn. Many people swear by Pluckeye.

Identify Your Triggers

As well as avoiding pornography, you will find your road to being masturbation-free is so much simpler if you can identify your triggers. We already looked into this above, when we discussed overcoming porn use. But it’s just as important to do the same for your generic masturbation triggers.

It’s important to remember that no two people are alike. Your triggers will vary from the next person’s. As such, you have to take a deep dive into your own behaviors to see what triggers you to masturbate.

That being said, there are some common triggers to watch out for:

  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Stress
  • Relationship troubles
  • Feeling depressed or anxious
  • Seeing porn/an attractive woman/Instagram/etc

The trick to overcoming compulsive masturbation, or indeed any habit, is to write down your own triggers, and then write down one alternative action you can take instead of that. So next time you are bored, maybe you read a book instead, or do twenty push-ups. Just having written that down gives you a solid plan, and makes you much more likely to succeed.

Over time, these new behaviors will replace the existing ones, and your masturbation habit will quite naturally cease.

Exercise

You will note that one of the suggested alternative habits was to workout. There is a reason this is a particularly useful behavior to engage in, and it has to do with physical energy. One of the first changes you will notice when you stop masturbating is that you have a huge amount of energy that you didn’t have before.

There are numerous competing theories on why this might be. Some believe it is a result of building up semen in the body, leading to an increase in testosterone. This might also help explain why quitting masturbation can seem to make you more attractive and confident, and clear away your brain fog. Whatever the answer turns out to be, everyone finds that stopping masturbation leads to this increase in energy.

The question then is just what to do with it. Arguably the best way to manage that excess energy is to exercise. You can do whatever exercise you like, so long as it is something you enjoy. Now could be a perfect time to start training for a marathon – as well as using up that pent-up energy, you will find that you get fitter and healthier, which aids the feeling of choosing better habits for yourself.

Many people also like to use that extra testosterone to start weight training. You might find that you see a noticeable increase in your muscle mass if you do this while avoiding masturbation. Give it a go and see.

Seek Help Online

With any major lifestyle change like this, it’s important that you don’t go it alone. The good news is that there is now more support than ever for this. Not only do you have the NoFap subreddit, which is almost at a million subscribers at the time of writing, but there are numerous other communities too.

The important point is this: when you have an accountability partner, or at the very least a community that you can be a part of, you remember that you are not alone. And because overcoming any addictive behavior can feel quite lonely (and because loneliness is itself a trigger), it’s hugely important to make use of those resources. You will find that you succeed much more easily.

Mindset is Everything

One of the things you will soon notice when you stop masturbating is just how powerful your own mind is. In fact, your success or failure with this will depend largely upon your mindset, and it is therefore vital that you adopt the best possible mindset you can from the start. Typically, the mindset of the successful NoFapper has the following characteristics:

  • Not beating yourself up when you fail.
  • Not trying to do too much in one go.
  • Not thinking all is lost after one slip-up.
  • Generally trying to keep positive.
  • Seeing yourself as a work-in-progress.

If you can maintain those kinds of ways of thinking, you’ll find that your route to being masturbation-free is a lot smoother and easier. And one final tip: if you take up a regular meditation practice, you will find that the urges are a lot easier to manage and that this kind of mindset comes to you much more naturally.

BONUS: Urge-Surfing

That’s all well and good, but what should you do when you are suffering from an acute urge? Try these steps:

  1. Take a few deep breaths. Again, having a regular meditation practice will help make this a natural and automatic response.
  2. Come back to the room. Note five things you can see, five things you can touch, and five things you can hear.
  3. Do something else. It can be anything, but ideally, it should be active – getting out of the house is a good idea.
  4. Repeat as necessary.

The urge will go, probably quicker than you think, and next time – because you did not give into it – it will come back much weaker. Eventually, it won’t return at all.

There you have it. As long as you persist with these tips, you will be able to overcome your masturbation habit sooner or later. Remember to persist, keep on building good habits and relationships, and above all, to be gentle with yourself. The many benefits await you.

Sumit is a chemical engineer and a motivational speaker. He is a regular contributor to MrMindBlowing.com.

Sumit


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