Welcome, newbies! Hi there! My name is Sun Bro and I have been a member of this community for almost a year now. I have been thinking lately about how to improve nofap and I had an idea. I wanted to create a FAQ for newbies so that they may access information easier and not have to swim through all of the scepticism and rumors. I am going to take the top 10 most frequently asked questions (imo) and break them down into sub-categories. I'm going to do my best to describe in detail what we experience and what leads us to ask these questions. I am completely and utterly open to corrections if I'm off on some things. This thread is something I want to give back to the community that has taken me in when I was a newbie. It has nurtured and helped me into the productive individual I am today and I am proud of the progress I have made. I am going to try to address stuff that isn't specifically in the Nofap glossary. Okay, so, here are the top ten FAQs I have compiled from my experiences on nofap and from articles and info I researched on places such as yourbrainonporn.com Is my erectile dysfunction (ED) related to my porn use? First off, I strongly suggest you go see a medical professional to rule out everything else such as psychological issues, hormonal imbalance, etc. Just because you can get off to porn does not mean you don't have ED A great way to test if you have PIED (porn induced ED) or ED in general is to recall and compare the times you PMO'd (porn, masturbation, orgasm) to the time(s) you tried to have sex. If you were hard during the PMO, but couldn't keep it up during sex, there is a good chance you have some sort of ED. When in doubt, see a urologist! With PIED, the problem isn't with your genitals, it's with your brain. Some of the common symptoms of PIED are: - Difficulty reaching orgasm with a partner (delayed ejaculation) - Experiencing greater sexual excitement with porn than with a partner - Decreasing sensitivity of penis - Ejaculating when you are only partly erect, or getting totally erect only as you come - Needing to fantasize to maintain erection or interest with sexual partner - Earlier genres of porn are no longer "exciting" - Declining sexual arousal with a sexual partner(s) - Losing erection while attempting penetration - Can't maintain erection or ejaculate with oral sex Remember to consult a medical professional as soon as possible if you have any medical questions. You can also find more info through reading journals here or researching on YBOP (yourbrainonporn) 2. Will stopping porn solve all my problems? My first answer is going to be a big no. It is common for people to believe that porn is the root of all evil and cause of all their problems when this is simply not the case. Don't feel bad if you did, I did too at first, but I had many things I was unhappy with (and still am, but working on) that were part of my life that needed to change. Don't get me wrong, porn is evil , but it is a symptom of your problems more than the cause. The replacement for porn is....(clears throat)....life! Make your life better in some way and you will no longer need porn to fill that "void" inside yourself. We are wired to be tribal, pair-bonding primates, not self-sufficient loners. When in balance, you thrive on close, trusted companionship and warm affection (as well as exercise, accomplishment, etc.). Companionship releases healthy levels of dopamine and other “feel good” neurochemicals, such as oxytocin, which help keep you in balance. Porn use can cause many things such as depression, anxiety, or a decrease in confidence, but the best thing to do is always consult a medical professional to explore other options before "blaming porn". Change your life and you will see progress. Stick to the regiment and keep abstaining. You should always see progress if you continue to make yourself better! 3. How do I know when I have rebooted? The best thing I have learned is YMMV (your mileage may vary). Everyone has different goals (90 days, cured ED, better confidence), but not everyone can/will achieve them the same way. Find what works best for you. There is no end all be all. I'm still not where I want to be. For instance, I want to be in a place in my life where I can stare societal oversexualizations in the face and say "you do not affect me!". To escape the hold porn has on me. This is one of my goals. Everyone is different. Always remember that everyone makes progress at their own pace. You can't force someone to listen or do what you want just because you believe it to be better for them. I have made this mistake in the past many a time. Some goals I and many others have completed: - Cured PIED - Got rid of flashes (porn flashbacks) and urges (urge to PMO) - Gained better confidence - Easier to socialize (less anxiety) - More intimacy in our relationships - Increased sensitivity in the genitals (better sex) 4. How do I get through/over flashes and urges? Wanting to free your mind of these bombarding images and scenes? You're going to need to if you want to find real partners sexually arousing or want to regain your sexual health. Boredom is your worst enemy. You must constantly keep your mind occupied with more important things. When life gets you down, train your mind to respond in a different way than PMO. Exercise, do some house work, or talk to a friend. Do something other than PMO. Finding hobbies to fill the void porn left is a great way to keep yourself away. For instance, I draw, read, or help people on here to keep myself busy when I'm not at home or while I'm working. Meditation and mindfulness, while it doesn't work for everyone, works for me and many others too. Meditation is pretty much just sitting quietly and clearing your mind of all thoughts. Mindfulness is sitting quietly, but focusing on all of your senses: taste, smell, touch, hearing, and sight. I know how hard it is sometimes to get rid of the thoughts and to stop yourself from acting upon your urges, but if you set up walls between yourself and porn, it will help you rethink your actions significantly. 5. How much will a relapse set me back? The most important thing I want to stress is that no one knows for sure. We have some idea of what the worst thing is to do such as just relapsing and binging (relapsing more than once in a row), but the exact amount of progress that has been destroyed is unconfirmed. What I can tell you is, it is a running theme for people to go back to other bad behaviors such as smoking or drinking, to have flashes and urges more often, and to feel increasingly sexual in their thought processes. Imo, (and many people will argue with me) MO (mastubation to orgasm) and PMO both set your progress back. Idk if MO is like sex and just slows down your reboot or is worse in some way, but I have chosen to give it up along with porn because of its close ties with the porn industry. So have many others. It is just one of those things that people have to decide for themselves. Edging (mastubation without orgasm) to porn is said to be even worse than PMOing and getting it over with. Gary Wilson (a leading porn addiction expert) has stated this on multiple occasions. It prolongs the amount of dopamine you are shaping your brain with. Don't do it! It really depends on what you consider a relapse. Most people would say PMO, MO, fantasizing (visualizing sexual situations), looking at porn substitutes (anything that arouses you other than your SO), and edging is a relapse. Like I said YMMV. I find it best to not focus on how much you were set back and simply continue to make yourself better. If you relapse, don't dwell on how much it set you back, think about all the progress you have made and how much you will make in the future. 6. Is it harder to reboot in a relationship? I mean no disrespect to any of the wonderful people on here who are single, but imo, it is 1000 times harder (exaggeration). You are not only effecting yourself when you relapse, but your SO along with it. Every time you use porn imo, you are getting off to others when you could be having sex. It removes intimacy from the equation. Like I said though, that is just my opinion. You not only have to worry about your sexual needs, but the needs of your partner. Your mind is conditioned into finding porn more attractive than your partner which can cause severe trust issues and severe sexual frustration. Relationships can come to a hault and even end from the effect of porn addiction which can leave us in an even more vulnerable state of depression. It can also tear open your void and cause your life to feel like it is out of your control. If you want to have a trusting and loving relationship, always make sure your partner knows about your addiction so that they may make the choice of whether they want to help you or not. It is never your partner's fault you relapsed. If they don't want to have sex, you must get through it yourself. The relapser is always responsible for their actions. Something you have to worry about also is the chaser effect. The chaser effect happens when we do any sort of sexual activity with a partner and then we have a provoked urge to PMO or MO. It is a major problem for fapstronaunts in relationships or those just having sex. 7. What about fantasizing and ogling the gender I find attractive? There is a joke on YBOP I find very helpful here: what is the difference between fantasizing about porn and watching it? Answer: the mouse Fantasizing and ogling (viewing people for their body parts sexually) are products of a porn induced mindset. In order to reboot the way we see and think about people, we must start from the beginning. People are not objects for you to stare at. Sure, it's fine to look at a pretty girl or handsome guy, but staring at them for their bodies is degrading, using them for your own pleasure. Just think if people only called you by what they see when they look at you. Would you like to be called "breasts", "pecks", or "buttocks" your whole life? A great strategy for rewriting the way you look at people is called: The 3-Second Rule. - Notice—Here is where it starts. This is also the place you will need to be most vigilante and strong. You notice the beautiful/handsome woman/man at school, on TV, etc. You must convince yourself that they aren't just walking around for your eye candy. They are people too and deserve to be treated as such. - Appreciate—This is where you find something about the woman you enjoy besides her breasts, butt, etc. I would suggest hair, facial features, or any non-sexually orientated feature. -Move On—By far the easiest step. Just simply get the hell away and move on with whatever you were doing. Force yourself and soon it will become habit. It is also good to use your fingers to count 1. Notice. 2. Appreciate. 3. Move On. If the 3-Second Rule doesn't help, try talking yourself through it. Never use guilt or shame. All you need to do is teach yourself than you are better than this. Those people are people and I will see them that way damnit! A lot of people say that fantasizing and ogling are counter productive to a reboot, but you should make that decision yourself because no one knows for sure. For more detailed info on fantasizing, go to yourbrainonporn.com 8. What about wet dreams? If I had one, would it be a relapse? No, because a wet dream is involuntary. A relapse is intentional. Usually if you have a porn dream along with it, a lot of people think it is your brain trying to trick you into relapsing while awake. Your brain will try everything when it wants its fix. No one actually knows for sure why men and women have wet dreams, but a common theme is sexual frustration. Lots of people report having them when they don't have sex or masturbate for prolonged amounts of time and some even say they have them anyway. There's really no way to avoid it. Some people believe that you can fantasize before bed to cause a wet dream. If this was the case, it would make it voluntary and a relapse so please do not try this. I have nocturnal emissions, but never seem to have any dreams. I'm rather greatful for that. It is possible to have a nocturnal emission without a dream. There is an old nofap saying: Hands on your cock, reset the clock. Nocturnal emission, continue your mission. Don't dwell on a wet dream. You will never know if it set your progress back or not and always remember that Nofap isn't a race. Stay the course. 9. I've gone 90 days. Why do I still have problems? Many people believe that once they have gone 90 days, they will be cured of all problems. This is a common misconception. The 90 days goal was originally created on the Nofap subreddit as the ultimate challenge sort of thing. I have read posts and articles that say it could take anywhere from 5-18 months to fully reboot and strip your mind of porn. Nofap is not a race! It isn't a competition! If you relapse, don't get down. You can always continue and we will be here to lend you a hand. Always remember, YMMV! 10. How do I get a counter thingy like you guys'? Just simply click on my counter or another user's. It will take you to http://pmo-tracker.appspot.com/?u=5766190643281920 and this will give you directions on what to do next. This is literally the most asked question imo! I hope that this helps someone who is confused. Please post any questions here and I or someone else will be happy to help. If any of the info is incorrect please feel free to correct me. Good luck newbies! Congrats on making such a life changing choice!