What is NoFap?
NoFap® is a comprehensive community-based porn recovery website. We give our users all the tools they need to quit porn, gain control over compulsive sexual behaviors, and live a higher expression of their sexuality. NoFap helps people overcome their sexual addictions so they can heal from porn-induced sexual dysfunctions, improve their relationships, and ultimately live more fulfilling lives.
We refer to the process of recovering from porn addiction as “rebooting.” Research has shown that heavy porn use can change the neural pathways of the brain causing addiction, hormonal changes, and sexual dysfunction. The rebooting process is intended to restore these neural pathways to factory settings, so to speak.
Rebooting is a personal process with no single correct approach. We challenge our users to abstain from pornography, masturbation, or even sex altogether for a period of time. Rebooting the brain by abstaining from these behaviors has freed many users from porn addiction and porn-induced sexual dysfunction.
We provide our members tools they can use to give themselves the best possible chance at rebooting. Our community forum is an active medium of peer-to-peer support, while reboot challenges, competitions, and events motivate our members by gamifying the rebooting process. New videos, podcasts, and blog posts are regularly added to a growing catalog of content created to inspire and inform.
NoFap’s forum provides several opportunities for our users to engage with the community. Our users can journal their progress, ask questions of NoFap’s experts, and even pair up with accountability partners who’ll be valuable teammates when participating in NoFap’s challenges.
Beyond the website, NoFap provides tools to help ensure our users succeed. These include a web app providing instant motivation on demand as well as smartphone apps for counting successful days, providing emergency motivation, and engaging with the forum. We have developers working on other solutions, including chat rooms and an expanding library of smartphone apps.
Additionally, NoFap has introduced the NoFap Academy which sends a weekly newsletter with tips from our reboot experts Alexander Rhodes and Mark Queppet. The NoFap Academy also hosts Reboot Camp, a solution for users who want to take a more in-depth approach to their reboot.
Beyond the scope of providing tools and support to our members, NoFap raises awareness among the general community regarding the harmful effects porn can have on sexual health, relationships and society by conducting polls, posting new scientific findings, and engaging with the media.
What NoFap Is Not
Over the years, we’ve noticed several common misconceptions about NoFap continue to circulate. We’d like to take the opportunity to address them here.
“NoFap” is neither a verb nor a principle. It’s the name of an organization and its associated website, tools, and services. NoFap was originally founded by Alexander Rhodes on June 20, 2011 as a forum on the social media platform reddit and has since grown to become much more! Alexander coined our name “NoFap” from the term “fap,” which originated in manga comics as an onomatopoeia representing the sound of masturbation. Now, “NoFap” is simply a proper noun—a label for a website and organization that helps people quit porn use through education and support. Our users have the freedom to choose how they reboot. Many stop masturbating for a period of time, while others do not. To claim that all of NoFap’s users no longer masturbate is an inaccurate characterization of our website. NoFap is a name that evokes our origins, but does not truly encapsulate our mission.
NoFap is not a movement. It’s just a website. Some have mistaken NoFap as a “movement,” but participants in a movement rally behind a common political, social, or moral ideal. The fact is NoFap’s users come here to improve themselves, not to improve the whole world. Far from being a single-minded movement, our users are a diverse group who find common ground in only one thing—they believe abstaining from individually-elected sexual behaviors for a period of time will improve their lives. Get any more specific than that, and you’ll find there aren’t many things our users can agree on! Users set their own reboot goals. NoFap is here to help them succeed.
NoFap is not a religious website. NoFap approaches the matter of porn addiction from a secular, science-based viewpoint. We do not take a stance on the morality of pornography use or masturbation. We think there is a growing body of both scientific and anecdotal evidence that pornography can be addictive and harm many users. We rely on that evidence to form our opinions rather than on religious scripture or doctrine. Alexander Rhodes, NoFap’s founder, is openly non-religious. Others associated with the organization come from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs, and we encourage our users to practice spirituality to quit porn if they find it helpful. We recognize that we will help the most people by turning no one away based on their religious faith or lack thereof.
NoFap is not an anti-masturbation website. A clear majority of NoFap’s users and administrators alike agree that there’s nothing inherently wrong with masturbation. A small number of users may believe otherwise, perhaps due to their moral principles, but find NoFap’s broad-minded approach works better for them than the moralistic focus of “chastity” websites that dot the Internet. NoFap does not encourage lifelong abstinence from masturbation or sexual behavior. Rather, we encourage our users to abstain for a period of time for the duration of their reboots—typically around ninety days. While some abstain for longer periods of time—even for life—most of our users then return to masturbation having freed themselves of the need to use pornography. Our users choose what is healthiest for them and best serves their goals.
NoFap does not support legislation to restrict the creation or consumption of pornography. In an interview with Maclean’s Magazine, NoFap’s founder Alexander Rhodes described himself as “‘an Internet-freedom zealot’ who thinks the dangerous effects of porn are best dealt with in sex-ed class and not through government regulation.” NoFap believes that the solution to porn addiction comes from education rather than legislation. We believe in an individual’s right to make his or her own decisions. We empower those individuals who choose to quit porn with the resources they need to follow through on that choice.
NoFap is not a sex-negative website. In fact, we believe that quitting porn is one of the most sex-positive choices a person can make. NoFap doesn’t argue that individuals should abstain from sex or masturbation altogether for the rest of their lives, nor do we argue that individuals should “save themselves for marriage.” We might recommend that our users abstain from sex for the limited duration of their reboot. However, we ultimately want people to enjoy sex! We argue that heavy porn use makes real sex less enjoyable by desensitizing the brain’s reward system, which has consequences on sexual performance and intimacy. Most users return to sex soon after their reboots only to report vastly improved sex lives.
NoFap’s community is not homogenous. There are members of NoFap of all genders, races, backgrounds, and beliefs. Several media outlets have typecasted our users as being American males in their 20s. While this might be a large portion of NoFap’s user base, we’re happy that our forums include voices from all over the world, from many different age groups, and include the perspectives of various sexual orientations and genders. With more voices, our community only becomes stronger and more supportive, and that means a better chance at success for all our users.