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About masturbation and porn

“There has never been, and cannot be, a good life without self-control.”
~ Leo Tolstoy

Masturbation and porn addiction are the topics not many people are willing to talk about seeing them as sensitive and shameful. Contrariwise, it is shameful not to talk about the problem when it exists especially taking into consideration the fact that this type of addiction might be the major force that hinders one’s progress on the path of self-development.

Kudos to Mikkois whose work has inspired me to write this section. His YouTube channel is a great place to start your research on the benefits of abstinence. Find his e-book “Project Transcendence”.

Why “no fap”.

Although masturbation can be considered a normal sexual behavior and there is nothing physiologically wrong with people who masturbate, the right question to ask yourself is:

“But is it good for me?”

The short answer is “no”. The long answer includes the research done on the matter and multiple reports of the members of the “no fap” community — the movement of people who abstain from watching porn and masturbation or simply “fapping”.

So, why is fapping bad? This is my list of negative effects of masturbation and porn.

#1. It messes up your hormone levels.

Dopamine is the hormone that plays a major role in the rewarding mechanism. Simply put, it makes you feel good when you reach your goals.

For example, you walk on the street and you see a tree with a tasty-looking apple. You have a small spike of dopamine, you get motivated to go and get the apple. With every step, you get additional micro-doses of dopamine until you finally stretch out your hand and rip the apple off. You eat the delicious fruit and get rewarded with the final release of dopamine. The system is good. You also get rewarded with dopamine for having sex. Making sex pleasurable and rewarding is the way nature secured procreation.

Now, here is what is peculiar about the brain on porn — the brain the way it has evolved can’t tell the difference between the orgasm caused by masturbation to porn and the real sex. It cannot even tell the difference between the real deal and masturbation to a fantasy. As a result, the brain releases dopamine every time it “thinks” that sexual intercourse took place. It releases even more dopamine when it thinks that sex has happened with a new partner.

The danger of porn and especially the recent development of the high-speed internet is obvious. In 5 minutes, you are able to see more naked people than all your grandparents in a lifetime. What the brain experiences is completely unnatural.

Watching porn and masturbation makes you a dopamine junkie, an addict basically. Under constant dopamine bombardment, dopamine receptors burn out. The response to dopamine flatlines leaving a viewer craving for more unable to reach satisfaction. The amount of dopamine released from normal activities is recognized as insufficient, as a result, a person constantly feels discontent and frustration.

#2. You stop being “hungry.”

Reaching goals is a hard, time- and energy-consuming process yet overcoming adversity feels good. It is the act of achievement that leads to the desired dopamine release and subsequent satisfaction. Everything changes when we indulge in self-pleasuring. Dopamine from hard work is hard to get. Why bother, when masturbation is easy and porn is always accessible? Fast, free and effortless dopamine is always within the reach of your hands (pun intended).

By taking a shortcut to dopamine you kill the motivation to accomplish things that truly matter. Challenges that would normally give you a feeling of excitement spark you no more. A few orgasms and you feel sated. You no longer aspire to achieve even the things you sincerely believe are important — getting in shape, becoming financially independent, building a meaningful relationship, creating value for others.

Masturbation is the castration of your goals.
It is self-sabotage.

#3. You waste your creative potential.

Sexual energy and creative energy are the same one energy and sadly it is finite. By masturbation, you drain and devitalize yourself. Self-love is in fact self-abuse. It makes your mind dull and your creativity impotent decreasing your capacity to produce valuable work and hence diminishing your overall value on the job market.

#4. Porn severely damages your ability to concentrate.

The mind on porn is agitated. Sexual thoughts are extremely “sticky” and possess a colossal power to seamlessly drag your attention away. It’s incredibly hard to detect the moment when your mind slips into the world of sexual fantasies. You lose your mindfulness, you lose your precious presence in “here and now” — the only moment of time in which you are capable to change your life for the better.

#5. Porn leads to the perversion of taste.

Years of watching and masturbating to porn make a brain of an addict irresponsive to habitual visuals. His mind gets desensitized and normal stimulants such as sexual intercourse and even the idea of it don’t excite him anymore. A person indulging in pornography without limits starts to look for new kinky forms of sexual fantasies. His taste starts to taint.

Perverted fantasies as any other thoughts may eventually materialize upon accumulation. A perversion becomes a reality when it starts to be seen as normal.

Take responsibility for the ideas that penetrate your mind. Individual perverted taste sets life on a dangerous path. What’s even more alarming is that people don’t realize how our cumulative taste creates the collective reality on Earth. By being irresponsible about our thoughts we may be building an ugly world, a world which our children will inherit.

#6. You waste your time.

Masturbation is a way to waste your most valuable resource — your time. Your life gets sucked into an endless myriad of sexual scenes stored on the vast plains of the Internet. You get entrapped in a porn loop that distorts the sense of time making hours feel like minutes. You binge for days, days become months, months become years. When you are fapping, you are not just losing your energy, you are jerking away the life itself.

#7. You damage your soul.

The price for the seconds of genital convulsions is high. The feelings of unwashable shame, resentment, and loss of self-respect scar your psyche. A chase for physical pleasure hinders your spiritual growth by making you earthbound. It becomes a neck chain that holds you back from everything you ever wanted to achieve. It cuts the wings of your dreams.

Masturbation stops you from stepping up into the light of both virtual and real worlds because you know that there is a shady part of you that you will always have to hide. With time this fear becomes chronic and may develop into full-grown social anxiety.

Masturbation seeds desire. Unfulfilled desire germinates into anger. Anger sets you on a path of self-destruction. It ruins your relationships, it undermines your mental health, it disfigures your soul.

But none of these has to happen. You are not as much defined by your past as you are defined by the choices you make in the present. Do not let doubts fret your mind. Own your decision to transform. People who love you will understand because our most loving ones are also the most forgiving. Forgive yourself as they forgive you. It is time you step up and conquer your own freedom. It is time to finally say: “No more”.

How to “no-fap”.

Lust. This craving for sexual pleasure is a basic animal instinct. It’s easy to get possessed by it and extremely hard to clean your mind off it. Hard, but not impossible if our commitment to the right mindset is strong enough.

So how do you abstain from porn and masturbation? The universal principle finds its application yet again.

Energy flows where attention goes.

You have to refocus your attention, you have to learn how to direct it at will. Drag your attention away from the sexual thoughts. By depriving sexual fantasies of the fuel of your attention, you weaken their control over you.

#1. Remember your Why.

Relapses suck. Regardless of the nature of the addictive behavior, when we relapse, we feel bad about ourselves, we lose self-respect.

It’s ok. Relapses happen. Don’t waste time scolding yourself. Reset the clock and look ahead. Channel your energy into physical and creative activities — work out, draw, play music. If the urge to get off is unbearable take a cold shower.

Escape from yourself. Get out of your home. Run away from the comfort and privacy of your bedroom. Place yourself in public. Remember why you started, remember how empty you feel after a relapse. Believe in what you set to achieve.

#2. Join the “no-fap” community.

Contact like-minded people. Follow “no-fap” influencers on social media, watch their videos. Knowledge shared by people who have the same goals will help you to stay on track. These people learned how to tame their desires yet they are normal people. If they could do it, you can do it too.

#3. Don’t count the days.

Counting days on “no-fap” is a mind-trap. By doing this you create a narrative that you are actively doing “no-fap” and that is not the point. The point of “no-fap” is not to make your world revolve around it but to immerse yourself in daily activities so deeply that it will make you forget that you are on a mission. Mark the day you started your journey, set up a monthly notification, feel good when you pass another month-checkpoint. That’s it.

#4. Create new rhythms.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
~ Socrates.

Find three things that you love:

  • One to make money
  • One to develop the body
  • One to be creative

Focus all your attention on these 3 things so that the thoughts about them left no place in your mind for anything sexual.

Activities become habits. Habits become a daily rhythm. Rhythm is what keeps you away from the self-destructive behavior. Keep yourself busy.

#5. Be present.

The #1 mistake of people who want to quit watching porn is indulging in sexual fantasies. If the impulse to masturbate is like a spark, then fantasizing about sex and porn is like pouring gasoline on it. The impulse will burst into a blaze and conquer your mind incinerating the last traces of your willpower.

Dirty talk online, fantasizing about people you see, watching half-nude models on banners you pass by on the street — everything is a potential trigger. Let sexual thoughts arise, don’t resist, yet let them pass away without clinging to them. Stay mindful.

Don’t give up the present moment. Every moment of abstinence empowers you. There is a version of the future where you give in to the temptation and feel nothing but the bitter taste of defeat. But there is also a version of the future in which you are victorious standing proudly looking down on your beaten weakness. The choice between these two futures lies in the moment of now — your choice.

Cut the strings. Set yourself free.
And remember:

“Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.”
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Thank you for reading my book “Meditations of the Millennial”.

If you want to support me on my mission, please, share this book with someone you love. Maybe they will find what they seek on its pages.

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