When mentioning this challenge to friends of mine over a coffee I immediately got one of the following two questions:
- Why would I do that?
- You have a problem with porn?
Often these questions were asked with a quizzical look on their face.
I have no doubt that you’re reading this thinking the same and with the same look on your face 😉
To very quickly explain, I don’t have a problem with either masturbation or porn (well I believe I don’t). So why abstain and why write about it?
Well I remember reading a few years ago about this challenge and the benefits of abstinence and decided to give it a go.
Hopefully you know by now, this blog is all about experimenting with my routine and making what I hope to be lifelong productive worthwhile changes. I’ve never tried abstaining before, so I thought what the heck let’s give it a try!
Good mates of mine of course won’t be surprised and my female friends I would imagine don’t ever think of it (and I mean EVER!).
There is still a taboo around porn and masturbation, even today, even though many people enjoy both.
Before starting this challenge, I was really curious about the daily and weekly as well as the physical and mental affects. There was a little niggling thought that it was possible I was addicted to masturbation and didn’t even realise it! Did I need to do it to relieve stress? or was it healthy for me? Was it mostly a time filler? Or just a habit?
If you don’t want to read all the article (maybe you’re checking this out between porn?), you can check out the results at the end or click here.
NobNOM, NoFap, NOBNOMGOM – what?
As with everything that gets a little attention these days, a number of variations appear fairly quickly all with their unique approach to a problem. This is no different!
The abstinence challenge has been linked to a number of levels, with each taking a somewhat bizarre acronym.
Tim Ferriss first coined the phrase NOBNOM, which means simply “No Booze, No Masturbation”. These go hand in hand (pun intended) as having a few drinks makes it a lot easier to have a little fumble. Of course, there is a limit, drink too much and you’re struggle to even find it!
It was from reading Tim’s blog that I first came across this challenge. When I first thought of giving it a try I wondered if it would help with my drive on improving focus.
It’s worth letting you know that one of the reasons Tim started this challenge is most likely to help promote a company he was working with at the time, “Lift” a motivational self-help app. His challenge recommended using the Lift app to monitor your progress – I won’t say anymore other than Tim is a marketing genius 😉
The NOBNOMGOM community takes this to another level in that as well as abstaining from alcohol and masturbation you’re to add “going out” and “meditating”. The thinking is instead of just wallowing at home sober and being frustrated you get out and be sociable.
For me I enjoy going out and spending time on my own, so this isn’t really important for me. Just ask the wife, no one needs to persuade me to go out!
The NoFAP community is a little different in that they provide services and help with porn addiction. The community is massive, with over 360,000 members in their subreddit. Clearly this is an issue that resonates with many people.
If you’re struggling with porn or any sexual addiction then this is a service that is well worth checking out.
What is my 30-day challenge?
Very simple really, I am to abstain from looking at any porn in any form and any masturbation for 30-days. Now I say simple, but as it’s been a habit for many years now this is certainly going to be a challenge.
I should make clear that the challenge doesn’t mean I can’t have sex – this would be too harsh on the wife I suspect.
Only kidding, but seriously sex is allowed and as a consequence of this challenge should be even better according to reports by previous participants.
I often go for a few weeks without drinking alcohol, so I wasn’t too concerned about this one. Instead I focused on the NOM part of the NOMBOM for my challenge.
I started the challenge on the 1st October 2018 and therefore the end date the 30th so abstinence stops on Halloween good timing.
Benefits of Abstaining from Porn and Masturbation
I’ve briefly mentioned the benefits but haven’t discussed these in any real depth. So, what are the benefits of stopping porn and masturbation?
The main benefits of having a masturbation-free month is better energy, focus, and productivity.
Include some medical research here there must be something out there maybe even include benefits of knocking one out as well.
On a final note, I have noticed that over the years my will power has decreased significantly. Following through with this challenge has helped me regain not only some discipline, but strangely a better sense of perspective, which is a big win in my book.
If I can manage to refrain from masturbating for 30-days, then what else can I achieve?
The first week!
The first few days were very easy as I was travelled back from the UK to Malaysia with my mum. So not only was there little opportunity (I just didn’t feel the urge at 30,000 feet –) but I was incredibly tired from the jet lag.
After the 3-4 days though it got a little tougher. Why then? Well I got more and more time to myself, and more importantly solitary laptop time.
I found that there was a real temptation to open up private browsing – a side note does any guy every use this for buying presents for their wives? There is an incredibly funny sketch from Dara o’ Briain on the use of Private Browser.
“My favourite member of the army core, Private Browsing” – Dara o’ Briain
Nevertheless, I successfully refrained from visiting bigbouncyboobygirls dot com (not a real website!) in the first week.
After the first week, what was immediately obvious to me was just how much more productive my screen time was. Which thinking about it really demonstrates middle class problems, if I had to work in an office like most people, then I’m pretty sure things would be different!
Towards the end of the week I did notice my mood changed and I became more frustrated and I felt more stressed. Now this coincided will feeling tired, very mild cold and overall a little run down – the kids were particularly troublesome over the weekend which certainly didn’t help.
Week two experience
I found that being busier than usual really helped to distract me. What with my mum visiting, a poorly son for a few days and writing up this blog, I had less time than I would normally.
A real interesting and somewhat unexpected, consequence of no porn and no spanking the monkey has been a very noticeably reduction in night and morning boners.
A real bonus has been sex has been even better – a definite noticeable change, so much so, the wife commented on this too.
There were a couple of days when I nearly broke the challenge, but I did resist and got on with work some of which is documented on other pages.
Week three experience
Week three was really interesting, it was going so well, but the wife went away on holiday and I was left alone, and I wasn’t able to resist the temptations of knocking one out.. I can’t blame the wife but Rome wasn’t built in a day and breaking a 25 year habit is tough. Of course, I’m not blaming the wife here..
There was one little gain I didn’t fail completely because on the plus side, there was no porn involved at all, just good old imagination. Nevertheless, was I was disappointed with myself afterwards as I’d broken the 30-day challenge after 16 days. But I am back on track again and will look to be stronger for the remaining 14 days.
After a few days reflecting why I had broken my challenge, I do wonder if it was more boredom than stress or simply the urge?
Week four experience
On the final stretch now of the challenge. It’s not been easy that’s for sure but really trying to hold out for the next 7 days.
Was left to my own devices this week after mum going home, it does seem that much more difficulty if the opportunity arises. That said, I managed to refrain from choking the chicken.
What was the Outcome?
Was 30 days without porn and masturbation worth it?
Having a masturbation free month was certainly challenging for me. One that I managed much easier for the first 3 weeks than I initially expected albeit one slip up. This was mainly because I was having much less time alone and was busy sight-seeing with family.
Interestingly I found that reading about other guys experience in this challenge didn’t really help me to fully prepare myself. For a start, I never read anyone else having regular morning wood issues for a start!
Remember those questions in my head before starting this challenge?
I didn’t expect to get boundless energy from not taming the one-eyed snake for 30-days, maybe I even lost some forearm resistance strength (damn maybe I should have measured that one?) 😉
There have been two biggest pluses for me; better sex and more time during the week!
I have never counted the number of hours each month spent devoted to porn or masturbation, but it must add up. The last 30-days this has been time spent in pursuit of other tasks, that I would like to think most or at least some was productively spent. For one, writing this article!
On the negative side, I believe that my mood was affected initially as I most likely use masturbation as a stress reliever. As the month went on though this was replaced by having more, and better sex.
Here are my observations from this little experiment:
- Clearly alone laptop time were the hardest (sorry) times
- Having a goal i.e. the Challenge helped big time
- I have more discipline then I first thought
- Stopping masturbation initially may have affected my mood
- Better sex
- More time
Will I be continuing the “no porn, no masturbation” challenge?
Yes and no!
This challenge may not be tough for some guys (many I am sure will be less than honest about their habit in the first place), but me being possibly more transparent than some enjoyed being open about this on here.
Now the question is do I share this on social media 😉
Have you ever tried stopping masturbation for 30-days or maybe longer? Let me know your experiences in the comments below.