Help Manual for RebootersYogiBlues, 2019 Let’s begin by addressing some basic aspects of NoFap. 1) Who is this help manual intended for? Anyone who embarks on this NoFap journey must be counted among the wise. Regardless of age and past actions, the motivation to quit PMO is a sure sign of wisdom. It doesn't matter how many times you've tried and relapsed, nor how long you have been trying to quit. Just trying qualifies one as wise. 2) What is the subject of this manual? This manual is about quitting PMO. It lists some of the techniques that served me well on this journey. To begin, I want to first define what PMO is (because things are not always what they seem!) and what needs to be done to stop it? Almost all rebooters think that PMO is a sexual dysfunction or disorder, and so conclude that PMO is a sex-related problem. PMO is not really about sex, although superficially it seems to be so. My experience has been that PMO is not about sex but really it is a dangerous coping mechanism, an escape hatch, that prevents us from confronting life head on. PMO is a mental disease that manifests in physical form as an addiction through the sex organs. PMO is a set of coping strategies that have been developed by the mind to not deal straightforwardly with life’s challenges and stresses. It encourages the person to retreat from life, builds social anxiety, increases loneliness, slothful behaviors, procrastination, inability to engage fully with life, people and work, reduces ability to handle stress, reduces ability to take on responsibility, reduces connection with people, increases impulsive satisfaction of desire, reduces decision making ability, reduces work effectiveness and essentially saps a human being of their abilities to thrive and live life to the fullest. It often manifests with other addictions such as smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, using drugs etc (because it promotes impulsive satisfaction of desire and reduces decision making ability). So what needs to be done. The physical actions of watching P, engaging in M and O need to stop. This requires a certain amount of effort. In the beginning stage the mind is not convinced that all three of them P, M and O need to be stopped all together at once. Note that just P and M need to be stopped at once for those with a stable sex partner, such as those who are married or in a long-term relationship, in which case O can continue with that partner. Abstinence for a certain period can be achieved, be it 30, 60 or 90 days. This abstinence enables rewiring the brain so that the old ruts in the reward circuit are attenuated and new ones are formed. Dopamine levels adjust. The brain no longer craves for the hit that only PMO can deliver, but it starts to enjoy other things in life more meaningfully. As someone wrote, it spreads that spike of pleasure out over a long period of time. But abstinence for a fixed period of time is alone not enough. What NoFap requires at the next level is lifestyle change. What abstinence forces us to confront is the other demons that lurk in our minds and that have prevented us from achieving our full potential and knowing our true self. This allows us to engage more socially, reduce slothful behaviors, stop procrastination, and engage fully with life, people and work. It helps us understand why we get angry and frustrated and allows us to confront those issues head-on rather than deal with them through PMO. Beyond this life growth stage lies the final revelation of one's true purpose and calling in life. NoFap can really take us there if we choose to keep at it. It can lead to spiritual growth. 3) When, Where and How does one quit PMO? The first order of business is to identify when you are PMOing. Is it at night, in the afternoon, in the morning, in the evening? Then try to mark off some sacred times when you absolutely commit to never PMO. It is difficult to conquer 24 hours at one go immediately for 90 days or whatever your rebooting target is, but it is much easier to commit to that and learn from past experiences and slowly block off increasingly larger chunks of time when you ABSOLUTELY will not allow PMO. The trick then is to replace those chunks with wholesome activities which will both deter you from PMO but will also trigger negative responses to PMO thoughts. Guilt, shame and fear CAN be your friends if you know how to deploy them intelligently with your mind. Most humans are not free of these emotions and while I strongly recommend you to not wallow in them (that defeats the purpose), some amount of guilt, shame and fear are good. You should feel guilty if you PMO during your prayer or meditation hour, or when you are supposed to be doing something for your child who depends on you. Guilt will not take you all the way there, but when your mind is very sick, you need a real whacking to straighten yourself out. I was lucky that I have a daily prayer, yoga and meditation routine both in the morning and the evening. Even through all my three years of PMO relapsing here, I never once PMO'ed during the time of my morning routine. It was sacred. Slowly you need to expand this sacred time to the entire day. My most difficult times were during the afternoon nap and at night when I was in bed. Two golden rules helped me. HANDS OFF and HANDS UP. Under no circumstances should you ever let your hands descend below your waist other than when you are bathing, and that too only to clean your genitalia. KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF your genitals. This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Sleep on your side or your back. Do not sleep on your stomach. This encourages dry humping and edging because slight movements can stimulate your genitals. An extremely effective technique to subside sexual thoughts when they arise is to tuck your heels in so they are touching your perineum even while sleeping. This is kind of sleeping in a 'criss-cross applesauce' position. It is actually a yogAsana that has been slightly modified. Very effective in keeping you clean while you sleep. The next thing is to make locations free of PMO. My worst places used to be occasionally at work or in public bathrooms. It is disgusting and unsafe. If caught at work it is not just embarrassing but there is the potential of disciplinary action and chance of even losing your job. Here you must use fear to motivate you. If your mind is stupid enough to contemplate doing such things (and yes, one can be that stupid, I have been, so I know), then you must fill yourself with fear for the consequences and declare workspace off limits. Similarly declare all public restrooms and any place outside the home also off limits. Slowly start associating each part of the home with only the activities that those places are intended for, and eliminate PMO from those locations. Someone once famously said on one of these forums that 'The bedroom is for sleeping.' Indeed, it is, and we forget that simple fact and use it for PMO. In the early stages it is good to cultivate disgust for the habit. Later your mind can recalibrate to a more even assessment, but don't let the addictive mind rationalize your behavior for you, which it will. A lot. If you are religious, and you are ok with keeping religious symbols and images, try to place those in the locations where you PMO and try to convince the mind that you should not PMO in places associated with those symbols. The mind works by association, so you have to dissociate PMO from time and place. As to how exactly one accomplishes freedom from PMO, it is not just by abstinence but by SUBSTITUTION. You have to replace PMO with other healthy activities in those times and places where you used to PMO. PMO is usually a lonely activity. No one jerks off in company with their friends- well, I take that back- most people don't (but I heard the Beatles did!). (If you jerk off with your friends then you need to dump them and get a new set to suit your new PMO-free NoFap lifestyle!). Quitting PMO will open a lot of free time. Fill that time with solid wholesome activities, ideally with others, with friends, and outside. 1) Exercise is very good. 2) Being in nature is fantastically healing. 3) Cold water is pure Consciousness and will purify the mind instantly. Even laving your feet, face and hands in cold water after you enter your home curbs urges. Some take cold showers. I find that too jangling for my system but I compromise by taking Scottish showers- start warm and end cold. 4) Music is a great way to replace PMO especially if you play an instrument or sing. 5) Start taking care of yourself. 6) Begin by regularizing your mealtimes and what you eat. Eating healthy freshly cooked vegetarian food without onions or garlic helped me greatly. This derives from the ancient science of Ayurveda which teaches that this is the best way to curb the passions and lust. 7) Regularize your sleep times. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep reduces willpower. 8) Needless to say, I feel that in order to quit PMO you need to quit other addictions. I think it is very hard to quit PMO while being addicted to other substances. For me what worked was quitting those other addictions first and then focusing all my willpower on quitting PMO. 4) Why should one quit PMO? Motivation is key. We’re doing this because we realize we’re ill. PMO is a disease. As the word dis-ease implies, something about pmo does not make the person ‘at ease’. There are many stages before we wholeheartedly accept that PMO is an illness and a disease. Much time in early rebooting is spent in just accepting this wholeheartedly. First there is a lot of denial. Of course, the very fact that you are here means that there is at least a little motivation to acknowledge this and to make efforts to quit. Just like the stages of grief there is denial, anger, bargaining and finally acceptance- but this acceptance should not be a dispirited resignation to pmo but rather a steel-willed determination to cure oneself of the disease. At every stage ask yourself how you can bring yourself to a calm steely determination to cure yourself permanently. Denial happens in the early stages. It is no good. It is the addictive mind talking. Recognize it and reject it. But some cycling through that stage is inevitable. Be patient. Recognize you are not there yet. Persevere. Anger at pmo is another stage. I see a lot of it in journals. It sounds impressive but is still not real preparation for the cure. Highly emotional swings between anger and depression at one’s failure to quit Pom characterize another early stage of motivation. Recognize and persevere. Bargaining is another stage of the addict mind still not letting go. But you are getting stronger. You’ve reduced the addict mind to begging! You’re getting closer. These are the ‘deals’ the addict mind cuts with you. These can appear as: “I just need a fortnightly dose of PMO”. “My addiction is not deep, I’m just a quick one-time semi-regular user.” “I have a strong sex drive and it is not fully satisfied because I’m not in a satisfying relationship.” Beware of these rationalizations of the addict mind! They must be seen through to finally accept pmo, in any nonzero quantity, as an illness and a disease. Build the steely determination and titanium will. Remember, pmo IS NOT ABOUT SEX! Tell yourself repeatedly until it dawns on you for real: It’s not about the SEX, STUPID! Contrary to what modern pseudo science tells us: 1. Masturbation is not ok or healthy IN ANY MEASURE OR AT ANY FREQUENCY, for some people who have this obsessive-compulsive addictive personality for the above reasons. I honestly think it isn’t good for anyone, period. The medieval and ancient proscriptions in all traditional and religious cultures are right. M is bad for you. 2. Same for pornography. I repeat. Pornography is not ok or healthy IN ANY MEASURE OR AT ANY FREQUENCY, for anyone. Period. PM particularly affect those who have a strong tendency to develop obsessive-compulsive behaviors and monomaniacal addictive behaviors. These characteristics can also help you be tremendously successful in life IF the mind is directed in the right way towards positive pursuits. Causes of PMO addictions: What I am going to list here is very personal and not based on scientific studies, but take what you like and find useful. Also this is quite specific to heterosexual males. Heterosexual females may gain something by substituting Masculine for Feminine here, and father for mother, etc. My theory, borne out by practical experience, is that PMO addiction stems from a fundamental misperception of the other gender, in the case of heterosexual males, the Feminine. Now what I mean by the Feminine encompasses many things. It does include women, but also all of Nature as well. In Eastern philosophy there is the idea of all physical manifestation as arising from the coupling of Masculine and Feminine energies. But without getting too philosophical, many male PMO addicts can trace the root of their problems to their unhealthy experiences with the Feminine. The most important representative of the Feminine is one's mother. So if the relationship with the mother has not been perceived as nurturing, supportive, guiding, protecting, and enlightening, then this is a cause of PMO addiction. Note that I mention perception. Now in many cases the relationship may not have been positive in all the ways mentioned above (and these are acknowledged as important in many parenting psychology studies). Or, they may have been fine, but the child may not have perceived them in these ways. Sometimes the mother figure is nurturing in a physical sense, but clueless in the emotional and spiritual aspects. Or may be nurturing intellectually, but not in the physical sense. So this is a complex matter. But I feel that the root of PMO lies in our fundamental relationship to the Feminine. Now all our life experience is an association of names and forms (in Hindu philosophy this is called nAmarUpa). So what associations we make in our mind is key. If the primary association is not healthy and fully resolved then it leads to problems later in life. There is also an important transition in a man's life from his perception of the Feminine as a motherly figure to the Feminine as a romantic and sexual partner. If this transition is not made smoothly, then again PMO can be a recourse to cope with internal problems. The classic Madonna/whore complex is well known. Many men categorize women into two categories: holy and maternal, or objects of sexual pleasure. In time this picture becomes more nuanced and filled out. Early sexual experiences, if traumatic or perceived as taboo in that social milieu, can create deep scars that take years to heal. The problem with PMO is that it results in the creation of negative associations with the form of the Feminine. Whether it is triggered by secretly taking pleasure in the feminine form because sex is taboo in traditional societies, or the failure to establish healthy relationships with real women, or being deeply betrayed after investing heavily in an important relationship to a woman/women, the net result is there is a lot of negative emotion towards the Feminine. Now the male becomes un-receptive to the wonderful love, nurture, flirtation, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual stimulation that interaction with a real woman can bring. Instead of associating positive emotions with the Feminine, now the male tries to extract pleasure from the female form without any genuine connection. Often tied in with PMO are feelings of dominance or submission. Man loses the concept of equality with the Feminine. Surely the Feminine is powerful in her domain, but the male also has equal power to offer. Man need not seek to dominate and subjugate woman, nor does he have to be an abject doormat. The key to setting up an equal footing is self-restraint of the sex drive. Once sex is optional for the male due to self-control, the relationship starts to become equalized. This is what being a 'real man' really means. So the reboot or reprogramming of the mind that is needed by NoFap is the replacement of negative associations with the form of the Feminine with accurate positive associations with high quality women. I don't think the traditional religious injunctions to see every woman as one's mother or sister is actually healthy. It may work for some saints but for the vast majority of us, a mother is a mother and a romantic and sexual interest is different and she doesn't need to be thought of as a whore. Yes, there are many women who lack discrimination in how to negotiate their relationships with men, and nofap gives the wisdom and discrimination as to how to avoid them. This is why I feel substituting PMO with massage parlor visits and escorts is the wrong direction because it reinforces negative associations with the Feminine. The solution is to build meaningful (perhaps non-sexual) relationships in the beginning with real women. For me the female relationship that continues to save me is that with my daughter. Through that I have learned to cultivate better attitudes towards women. NoFap has helped me curb my initial physical and visual attraction for a sexy female form with a pause to think: is this person really attractive to me? Are they kind, warm and loving, and well-grounded? It is amazing how quickly one realizes that those whom one considers 'hotties' at first sight are very often not kind to others, cold, uncaring and are not very grounded people (exceptions do exist, but are rare). So learning to see the Feminine not visually, but with an emotional lens (through the heart) greatly helps men overcome the negative associations. This is what I think @Mr. Tumnus refers to as the Platonic ideal of love, what I think of as agape (as opposed to eros). This reprogramming takes a long time but it is well worth it. It helps curb desire and associated frustration, reduces anger and builds positive associations with the Feminine. For some it means overcoming feelings of domination and anger. For others it may mean overcoming feelings of submission and anxiety or fear of loss. But in the end, a man who is supported by the Feminine through his positive associations with Her is incredibly fortunate, successful and difficult to match in any sense of the word. I think many of these things apply to heterosexual women with the Masculine substituted in place of the Feminine. In conclusion, I wish anyone who reads this manual all the very best! You are about to embark on the most phenomenal journey of your life by quitting PMO and you are going to grow into a person who is unimaginably superior to your former PMO self. Peace, and may you have every strength in your endeavor!