Hello. I'd like to share some of the insights I gained - into myself, others, and the world - in my first month of NoFap. I began toying around with NoFap in October of the past year, but never got past 2 weeks. Sometime in late November I - mysteriously and miraculously - forgot about PMO and eased into my present streak. For a ONE WHOLE blessed week I was able to concentrate on what I was doing without the obnoxious interference of sexual thoughts or desire for pornography. Of course, once I recalled my pernicious 9 year habit, it was resurrected in full force. Yet I have not relapsed. I've had four wet dreams, insanity-inducing urges, and one soul annihilating flatline. Somewhere inside I have found and trained a newfound willpower - something cold, hard, and uncompromising - that has helped me resist - to a personally surprising degree - my draining habit. Even better, it has given me a new assurance for my future efforts. But like I wrote, I'd like to share my realizations from this 1st month. Mind you, they are interrelated and meshed together. I am conveying experience, not advice. I. Every lifestyle change, every effort at achieving a goal, any radical change in the life of a man, begins firstly with an interior reevaluation and reorientation. This point is the most difficult to explain because it deals with my mental and spiritual dimension. To which not everyone can relate. We've all heard, at one time or other in our lives, someone speak about a change of perspective, or "a new way of looking at things", or gaining a "new outlook on life". These cliched, lifeless expressions tangentially touch on what has occurred with my mind. Behind them hide fundamental realities. I now understand why ancient philosophers and theologians wrote of living with reason, or praised the virtue of self-control, or spoke of the superiority of mind over body. I understand experentially why these things are good. What I mean is that if previously I knew who Plato was, what he did, what he thought, now I know what kind of a man he was; to what realities his words pertain. II. Ruthless self-honesty is a necessary and praiseworthy virtue. I have long viewed my PMO habit as revolting and shameful, but never brought that thought out into the open. Mostly, I think, because I never wanted to confront my real, actual - what have you - self and circumstances. Admitting to myself that I have a disgusting addiction, which I really would be better off without, was the initiative that started me on NoFap. Even before my first streaks and present one. Now when I feel I am close to relapsing, it's as if a mental inhibition prohibits me from doing so. No matter how ferocious the urge, I cannot follow through with the action. Some presence in my mind says firmly, "No". This first admission has lead to others about myself. I have admitted to myself that I am liable to fantasying about life. And I mean hardcore fantasying. The strain of fantasies that transport me wholly into my imagination, and when I snap back to reality, it's as if changing a TV channel. Maybe that why imagination gets its name; images form in your mind. But now, instead of being subject to these fantasies, I feel that I am beginning to reign them in; to control them, and to shape them. I am learning to differentiate reality (Latin res - thing) from fantasy. Another admission is that I am physically unattractive. I would be in depressed swoons about this before, but now, having again brought this out to my conscious mind, I am making efforts at bettering myself. Purchasing finer clothes, caring for my hygiene, exercising thoughtfully (i.e. planning my routines, setting goals, and enjoying the process), fixing my diet, and getting better sleep (I slaved away in high school and was chronically sleep-deprived). I know I am far from being a Hercules - and probably never will be - but I am no longer depressed about my looks. By calling something what it essentially is, we change it. Just think of when you look at the moon, and when you look at it and call it by its name. Your eyes and the moon are the same, but your experience is different. There's a beautiful Latin word for this: Deuteroscopy. III. Sexual desire and pleasure are excellent servants, but horrible masters. No matter what modern doctors, medical researchers, and health experts might say about masturbation and sex, I disagree with them totally. Excessive indulgence inevitably leads to a wasting away of one's energies. And I am coming to the conclusion that anything not approaching total chastity is excessive. I think that my constant fatigue, laziness, and generally passivity - was due to my indulgence in PMO. I think my tendency was to do it at least every two days. I was enslaved by the habit; I had no say in my participation. When I began to resist I realized that I was like a dog on a leash. Whenever I tried to cross a certain limit, I was yanked back. On the upside, this has made me understand that my addiction is not I. I do not want to do it. Perhaps my passivity and apathy to everything in my life was because I was not present at all. I was being marched hither and thither by whatever momentary passions flared up. But I digress. Strangely, I do not want my urges for women, to disappear wholly. The flatline be damned! I want to control my libido for my own ends. I have yet, however, to set down these ends. All I can write is that the presence of that virile force brings a great joy to living for me. I feel reconnected with my masculinity. I want conflict and challenge in my life, and I feel up to the task - like some tiger or solitary predator. I relish strenuous exercise - not for the result, but for the process. And when a cute, slim-waisted girl, eyes me in the gym - Oh Christ I feel like I could retake Jerusalem! IV. Women and sex are not as significant as society makes them out to be. I mean that for men, I find the assumption that they are sex-crazed to be unnatural and unhealthy. I doubt that men were as sex-obsessed in say Victorian England or Ancient Greece as they are today. And even if they were "sexually repressed", as some modern people would say, so what? These epochs and places witnessed numerous geniuses and exceptional people than there are today. Perhaps ironically, I realized that women are not all that. Moreover, I have realized that I had been placing them en masse on a pedestal. Now though, the power that they wielded over me is broken. I no longer care about getting into their good graces or fearing their disapproval. In fact, I sort of like pushing their buttons - teasing them or joking about their opinions, mannerisms, and attitudes. I do not mean in a douchy way. But in a way that exposes their femininity to conflict with my masculinity. I have also realized that I am not attracted to all women indiscriminately. This is a revolutionary discovery about myself. Apparently I have a taste for certain girls (I previously believed such a thing was a myth); certain physical features and personality traits that some women possess turn me on. Even if a girl by conventional standards is hot, if she fails to meet my criteria, then I am not attracted to her. Her presence is negligible to me. She reverts to being just another face in the crowd. This is especially the case with females that possess said conventional traits - like Victoria's Secret models. Their "beauty" is insipid. Thankfully in the real world they are in the minority.