“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”
The true enemies of anyone seeking to better himself are not external foes, but the banalities of distraction that infest the modern world. Offhand, I can count three: social media, smartphones, and Internet pornography. Nothing is as damning to productivity as a visit from Rosie Palms and her five lovely sisters.
This is not a new revelation. Most religions have precepts and teachings against masturbation, and the dangers associated with it. There is incredible value in this traditional, religious knowledge. It is especially important in this era we find ourselves, completely unmoored, adrift without folk knowledge and custom to guide us.
Given this, it came as a pleasant surprise to learn that there is a group of men (and smidgen of women) who have devoted themselves to an ascetic life free from both porn and “self care.” They call themselves Fapstronaughts, and are part of a growing NoFap community. For the uninitiated, fapping is an onomatopoeia for the sound of male mastubation. Hence, Fapstronaughts are people who do not fap.
The group was founded by Alexander Rhodes on June 20th, 2011, on Reddit. However, Rhodes has run with the idea and created a website (motto: “Get a New Grip on Life) dedicated to helping people overcome their addiction to porn.
Their reasons for giving up on this very private habit vary, but they almost all share a quite interesting view—that Internet porn is to our generation what tobacco was in the 1940s.
Sex is a tremendous event, and releases massive amounts of dopamine (the chemical that makes us feel pleasure) into the brain. When dopamine is chronically released via mastubation, it creates an insensitivity to the chemical, creating the need for larger and larger amounts of dopamine in order to achieve the same result. This creates a numbness that affects life’s other pleasures (such as eating or music) that also release dopamine, but on a much smaller scale.
In other words, ordinary activities become less enjoyable, and we become docile, mildly-depressed slugs.
Fapstraonaughts also argue that porn addiction is an epidemic. Because it is such a private activity, few of us realize how much time is spent in front of a computer, beholden to pixelated cleavage. Making matters worse, we are encouraged to be “sex positive” by the existing, feminist establishment. That fact alone should be enough to give one pause.
However, there are other compelling reasons to give up Internet pornography. Successful fapstronaughts report tremendous benefits after quitting, including increased confidence and productivity.
Given the success of NoFap, and the fact that is has helped so many men, it should come as no surprise that the establishment has come out against it.
Psychology Today caught news of the NoFap movement, and wrote an article on it. The author, Doctor David Ley, cited a scientific study and made several other rational appeals against the very possibility that porn is addictive. If you decide to read the article, keep in mind some important background information: The author, Dr. Ley, has written two books, The Myth of Sex Addiction, and, perhaps more damningly, Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them. The latter investigates the relationships and lives of gelded husbands and their hypergamous wives as a form of “evolving marriage.”
Here’s a review from Contemporary Sexuality,
Insatiable Wives is an intimate, erudite exploration of the "hotwives" or "cuckold" phenomenon.... The book is well-written and well-researched.... "
Another from Carole Lieberman, M.D., M.P.H,
What is most compelling is not the sexual titillation, found aplenty in this book, but being taken along on Dr. Ley's clinical journey, exploring controversial aspects of sexuality.
In other words, the book reads as a defense of cuckoldry. This, in addition to Dr. Ley’s rather echoing endorsements and suspicious facial physiognomy, should be enough to discredit anything he says and bolster the validity of NoFap as an important aspect of self improvement.