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NoFap Company Logo, July 2015.png
Type of site
LaunchedJune 20, 2011; 7 years ago (2011-06-20) (subreddit)[1]
Current statusActive

NoFap is a website and community forum that serves as a support group for those who wish to avoid pornography and masturbation.[2][3] Its name comes from the slang term fap, referring to male masturbation.


NoFap was founded in June 2011 by Alexander Rhodes after a thread on Reddit about a 2003 Chinese study[note 1] that found that men who refrain from masturbation for seven days experience a 145.7% spike in testosterone levels on the seventh day. This hit the front page of a popular forum on Reddit.[1][4] Alexander Rhodes appears in the documentary written and directed by Nicholas Tana called Sticky: A (Self) Love Story, in which he discusses his findings and his opinions about masturbation.[5]

After this, Rhodes created NoFap as a "subreddit" forum community on Reddit.[1] At first, NoFap ran weekly and monthly challenges for a small group of people on the forum, and then the NoFap administrators created a day counter system. Now forum members set their own challenges based upon their own personal goals.[1] The endeavour is sometimes referred to as fapstinence.[6][7][8][edit]

Users on NoFap's subreddit more than tripled in number in two years, leading Rhodes to build an off-Reddit forum at and begin other plans to better serve the website's fast-growing factions in Brazil, Germany, and China.[9] is a forum-style website where individuals who have committed to abstain from pornography and masturbation for a period of time can talk about their experiences and engage in challenges to help them recover. is the sister website of the Reddit-hosted NoFap community.[10]



The membership of NoFap ranges from atheists, like founder Rhodes, to fundamentalist Christians.[1][11][12] Women are also a part of NoFap,[11] although the community is sometimes viewed to be a part of the androsphere.[13] The users of the website call themselves "Fapstronauts."[14][15][4] Some correspondents have nicknamed NoFap's community members as NoFappers[16][17][18] or no-fappers.[19] Some self-described porn addicts seek out NoFap for help,[4] while others join the website for the challenge or to improve their lives and interpersonal relationships.[4]


After abstaining from porn and masturbation for a period of time, some of NoFap's users claim to experience "dramatic increases in social confidence, energy, concentration, mental acuity, motivation, self-esteem, emotional stability, happiness, sexual prowess, and attractiveness to the opposite sex".[20][1] Some NoFap users say their brains were warped by porn, at the expense of real relationships.[21][22]

NoFap hosts a wide variety of different opinions on sexual health, and supports users with various goals as long they are trying to improve their sexual health.[23] NoFap techniques are sometimes cited as a self-improvement method by members of the manosphere.[24]


Behavioral scientists have used statistics gathered from NoFap to study addiction.[25] Robert Weiss of The Huffington Post sees NoFap as part of a tech backlash.[26] The endeavor has also been criticized as generating embarrassing side effects such as prolonged or unwanted erections in men or an excessive libido.[27]

The medical consensus is that there is no harm from normal masturbation practices.[28][29] According to the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, "It is considered abnormal only when it inhibits partner-oriented behavior, is done in public, or is sufficiently compulsive to cause distress."[30] In the US, masturbation was a diagnosable psychological condition until DSM II (1968).[31] The American Medical Association declared masturbation as normal by consensus in 1972.[32] Masturbation does not deplete one's body of energy[33] or produce premature ejaculation.[34]

Introductory psychology textbook authors Coon, Mitterer and Martini passingly mentioning NoFap, speak of pornography as a "supernormal stimulus" but use the model of compulsion rather than addiction.[35]


Several journalists have criticized NoFap after having participated in its programs.[36][37][38] According to Elizabeth Brown, neuroscientists have questioned some of the claims made by people on NoFap.[39] One psychologist, David J. Ley, wrote: "I'm not in opposition to them, but I do think their ideas are simplistic, naive and promote a sad, reductionistic and distorted view of male sexuality and masculinity".[40] Social Psychologists Taylor and Jackson, who analyzed the content of NoFap forums, concluded in their study that some NoFap participants not only rejected pornography, but also radical feminist critiques of pornography, as well as suggesting that members of NoFap frequently utilized and redeployed familiar hegemonic masculine discourses (e.g. men as dominant seekers of pleasure and women as the ‘natural’ suppliers of this pleasure), in turn reproducing common sense sexual expectations of gendered dominance and submission.[41]


The Reddit-based /r/PornFree group is similar to NoFap, but focuses on giving up porn rather than masturbation and mainly on overcoming addiction.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The thread ("TIL when men don't masturbate for 7 days their testosterone levels increase by 145.7%. • /r/todayilearned". reddit.) discussed Jiang M, Xin J, Zou Q, Shen JW (2003). "A research on the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men". J. Zhejiang Univ. Sci. 4 (2): 236–240. doi:10.1631/jzus.2003.0236. PMID 12659241.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Jalsevac, John. "130,000+ Reddit users flock to forum founded by atheist to quit pornography, masturbation". Life Site. Retrieved 10 June 2015. Rhodes took the initiative and did so, 'in the 23rd hour of June 20, 2011'
  2. ^ Cowell, Tom (17 September 2013). "No fapping, please, it's making us ill". The Telegraph. London, England: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  3. ^ McMahon, Tamsin (20 January 2014). "Will quitting porn improve your life?: A growing 'NoFap' movement of young men are saying no to porn and masturbation". Maclean's. Toronto, Canada: Rogers Media. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d Love, Dylan (2013-11-29). "Inside NoFap, The Reddit Community For People Who Want To Be 'Masters Of Their Domain'". Business Insider: Australia. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Sticky: A (Self) Love Story: Trailer 1".
  6. ^ "In Defense of Masturbation".
  7. ^ "A man who gave up masturbation for 700 days says it gave him superpowers". 2016-10-05.
  8. ^ "The Grumpy Ghey: The Fap Flap". 2017-05-24.
  9. ^ Eck, Ian. "The Men Who Would Not Wank". SanFrancisco Magazine. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  10. ^ Israelsen-Hartley, Sara. "Adolescent addiction: When pornography strikes early". Deseret News. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  11. ^ a b Blair, Leonardo. "Christians Find Help for Porn, Masturbation Addiction Through 'NoFap' Community Started on Reddit by 24-Y-O Web Developer". HuffPost. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  12. ^ McMurry, Evan (2014-03-13). "9 hilarious ways the religious right tried to eradicate masturbation". Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Hall, Lex (26 December 2016). "Internet porn abounds but 'no fappers' rise to the occasion". The Australian.
  15. ^ McMahon, Tamsin (20 January 2014). "Will quitting porn improve your life?". Maclean's.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Subscribe to the Australian | Newspaper home delivery, website, iPad, iPhone & Android apps".
  19. ^
  20. ^ "NoFap - Singapore Master Guide to Stop/Quit Fapping Once and For All!". 2018-08-25. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  21. ^ Taylor, K.; Jackson, S. (2018). "'I want that power back': Discourses of masculinity within an online pornography abstinence forum". Sexualities. 21 (4): 621–639. doi:10.1177/1363460717740248.
  22. ^ Weisman, Carrie (2015-02-26). "Has Porn Overwhelmed Our Brains? The "NoFap" Movement Thinks So". AlterNet. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  23. ^ Subedar, Anisa (June 24, 2017). "The online groups of men who avoid masturbation". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved September 23, 2017. NoFap' is an organisation that supports its users regardless of what their goals might be as long as they're trying to improve their sexual health and live their sexual habits in a way that they want to," he says, pointing out that abstinence is not the ultimate aim of all participants. "We don't have a unified goal. Some people want to masturbate some people don't want to masturbate - it hosts a wide variety of people with different viewpoints.
  24. ^ Hilton Jr, Donald L. "Clinical Associate Professor Department of Neurosurgery University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio."
  25. ^ Anderson, Kirsten. "GQ Magazine tells men: Quit watching porn before it ruins your sex life". Life Site. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  26. ^ Weiss, Robert (2013-05-19). "Is 'No Fap' Movement Start of Tech Backlash?". Huff Post. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  27. ^ Harrison, Alexandra (2014). "Nudge, Don't Thrust: The Application of Behavioral Law and Economics to America's Porn Addiction". Texas Review of Law and Politics. 19: 337.
  28. ^ Coon, Dennis; Mitterer, John O. (2014). "11. Gender and Sexuality". Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior (14 ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 363. ISBN 978-1-305-54500-7. Is there any way that masturbation can cause harm? Seventy years ago, a child might have been told that masturbation would cause insanity, acne, sterility, or other such nonsense. "Self-abuse," as it was then called, has enjoyed a long and unfortunate history of religious and medical disapproval (Caroll, 2013). The modern view is that masturbation is a normal sexual behavior (Hogarth & Ingham, 2009). Enlightened parents are well aware of this fact. Still, many children are punished or made to feel guilty for touching their genitals. This is unfortunate because masturbation itself is harmless. Typically, its only negative effects are feelings of fear, guilt, or anxiety that arise from learning to think of masturbation as "bad" or "wrong." In an age when people are urged to practice "safer sex," masturbation remains the safest sex of all.
  29. ^ Sigel, Lisa Z. (Summer 2004). "Masturbation: The History of the Great Terror by Jean Stengers; Ann Van Neck; Kathryn Hoffmann". Journal of Social History. 37 (4): 1065–1066. doi:10.1353/jsh.2004.0065. ISSN 0022-4529. JSTOR 3790078. Stengers and Van Neck follow the illness to its fairly abrupt demise; they liken the shift to finally seeing the emperor without clothes as doctors began to doubt masturbation as a cause of illness at the turn of the twentieth century. Once doubt set in, scientists began to accumulate statistics about the practice, finding that a large minority and then a large majority of people masturbated. The implications were clear: if most people masturbated and did not experience insanity, debility, and early death, then masturbation could not be held accountable to the etiology that had been assigned it. Masturbation quickly lost its hold over the medical community, and parents followed in making masturbation an ordinary part of first childhood and then human sexuality.
  30. ^ George R. Brown, MD (June 2015). "Overview of Sexuality". Merck Manuals Professional Version. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  31. ^ David J. Ley (10 July 2014). The Myth of Sex Addiction. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-4422-1305-0.
  32. ^ Planned Parenthood Federation of America (March 2003). "Masturbation: From myth to sexual health". Contemporary Sexuality. 37 (3): v. ISSN 1094-5725. OCLC 37229308. Finally, the American medical community pronounced masturbation as normal in 1972 American Medical Association publication, Human Sexuality (Rowan, 2000).
  33. ^ "Masturbation: Questions and Answers" (PDF). McKinley Health Center University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2 April 2008. Archived from the original on 28 December 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  34. ^ Strassberg, Donald S.; Mackaronis, Julia E.; Perelman, Michael A. (2015). "Sexual dysfunctions". In Blaney, Paul H.; Krueger, Robert F.; Millon, Theodore (eds.). Oxford textbook of psychopathology (Third ed.). NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 441–442. ISBN 978-0-19-981177-9. OCLC 879552995.
  35. ^ Coon, Dennis; Mitterer, John O.; Martini, Tanya S. (5 December 2016). Psychology: Modules for Active Learning. Cengage Learning. pp. 413–414. ISBN 978-1-337-51708-9.
  36. ^ Singal, Jesse (2014-08-04). "Why We're Scared of Masturbation". NY Mag. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  37. ^ Barker, John. "The failure of a 'noFap' reboot for porn addicts and why abstaining from PMO is not enough to recover". Sexual Reboot. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  38. ^ Brink, Rebecca. "True Story: I Tried No-Fap And It Sucked (For Me)". The Frisky. Archived from the original on 6 August 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  39. ^ Brown, Elizabeth (2015-03-18). "Neuroscientists Challenge Myths About Men and Porn". Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  40. ^ Ley, David. "The NoFap Phenomenon". Psychology Today. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  41. ^ Taylor, Kris (2018). "'I want that power back': Discourses of masculinity within an online pornography abstinence forum". Sexualities. 21 (4): 621–639. doi:10.1177/1363460717740248.
  42. ^ Hosie, Rachel (2017-05-03). "Inside the community of men who have given up porn". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-02-20.

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