Does NoFap Affect Libido?
If you're wondering whether doing NoFap will affect your libido or not, you've come to the right article.
I'll give you the answer right from the start….
Does NoFap affect Libido?
Answer: Yes, NoFap will affect your libido. Not only is it possible for NoFap to affect your libido, but it is in fact highly likely that it will do so. And there are mainly 5 ways your libido could be affected by doing NoFap. Let's take a look…
This is how NoFap might affect your libido…
First we have to make clear that by using the term ‘NoFap' we're now talking about quitting, or taking a break from, fapping to online porn. So we are not talking about semen retention or anything like that…
…although we will take a look at how retention in and of itself affects libido as well, further down in the article.
But taking a break from fapping to porn is what's going to have the biggest impact, for sure.
There are mainly 4 possible scenarios that may happen to your libido when you start doing NoFap…
- You start noticing an increase in attraction towards real life people as well as an increase in your libido from the very first week…
(This is the most common scenario for those who has not developed a porn addiction)
- You do not notice any difference in your libido at all after going on a NoFap journey…
(This scenario only happens for some, who already have a pretty high libido, and if they've been using porn very sparingly throughout thier life)
- Your libido drops to almost zero somewhere around day 5-21 only to return stronger and healthier than ever after about 2-4 months in…
(This drop in libido is a temporary phase, referred to as the “flatline” in the NoFap community. It is the most common scenario for those who have developed addiction related brain changes. I.e they were addicted to porn when starting NoFap)
- Your libido drops after quitting and remain stuck in “sleeping mode” even if you never go back to porn…
(Guys experiencing this may have to try to ‘kickstart' their libido by taking some actions we're going to talk about further down)
- Your libido comes and goes without seemingly any rime and reason for a very long time after you've quit your porn use…
(This can keep going for a very long time. Sometimes months on end and even up to a year or two)
What scenario will happen to me – when I start doing NoFap?
If you're NOT addicted to porn…
If you're not addicted to porn then you can expect NoFap to increase your libido pretty much from the start.
You'll start looking at real life women more and feel a much stronger ‘pull' to start interacting with them.
This is your natural drive at work. It's mother natures way of making sure you'll eventually find someone to help you with its biggest goal of all…
…to carry your dna to the next generation.
It's not strange at all, if you think about it. Food never tastes as good as after you've been fasting for a while. Well, don't you think the same goes for your other natural ‘urges'?
In addiction, according to a study, there is a spike in testosterone levels about one week of abstinence from ejaculation, often making guys extra horny around the 6-7 day mark.
The study examined 28 volunteers and took a look at what happened to their testosterone levels during 10 days of abstinence from ejaculation.
As you can see, it's not a small spike either. On day 7 of abstinence there is a testosterone spike of a whopping 145.7% over baseline.
Now, here we need to point out that the testosterone levels do not stay this high, even if you continue your NoFap streak. The biggest changes are around days 6-8, as clearly shown in the picture above.
Your libido may continue to rise even past day 7…
Since testosterone is not the only thing that's affecting your libido, but the neurotransmitter dopamine is an equal, if not even more powerful player behind your sex drive, some people can continue to see an increase in libido. They can continue seeing a nice libido increase even after that 7 day spike, as the move on to week two and three in their NoFap journey.
The libido doesn't continue to increase forever….
If you're not addicted to porn, this libido increase may sometimes feel like it has no end to it and that it'll keep growing until you literally explode, figuratively or literally…
…if you get my point 🙂
However, even if you were to continue refraining from ejaculating, the horniness do level out at some point, with milder and stronger days randomly mixed together.
If you ARE addicted to porn…
Now, if you are addicted to porn, however, and you start doing nofap, there is an about 60% chance that you will have to go through the so called ‘flatline' period, where you libido take a temporary hit. This is according to what I have seen from being 10 years in the porn rebooting community.
I have also done several polls on my YouTube channel, Project Stronger Self, to collect as much data as I can, from guys doing NoFap. It's a great source for doing polls, since all of my followers have tried or are currently trying to live a NoFap lifestyle.
As you can see from this poll, 59% of guys who are doing NoFap voted that they have indeed experienced the flatline. And since 27% were not entirely sure, I suspect the numbers could be a bit higher than 59%
The flatline typically lasts anywhere from 10-70 days…
When learning this the natural following question then becomes, how long will this ‘flatline' phase last?
Well, the truth is that it varies greatly and that it's different for everyone. However, the most common range seem to be between 10-70 days.
Some guys do take longer though, which we will be talking a bit more about further down.
And some guys libido even seem to get stuck in a so called ‘sleeping mode' even after they've passed the point where they should normally emerge from the flatline.
What exactly does the flatline feel like?
The flatline is characterized by the following symptoms…
- A significant drop in libido (sometimes it's 100% gone)
- Genitals feel cold and ‘lifelesss' (the penis can actually even shrivel up and temporary shrink a bit)
- When noticing an attractive person, you objectively find her/him attractive, but there is no physical response in the body
- Feels almost like the penis is detached from you and / or whatever libido once was there
- You may have lower mood
- You may have lower energy and drive
- Anxiety and worry may be worse than ususal
The points related to libido are the most common symptoms during the flatline, but symptoms like low mood, anxiety and lack of motivation and drive can also happen.
Why does the flatline happen?
No one really knows.
Some think it's just a matter of withdrawal symptoms that are unique to porn addiction. Other think that it's your brain's way of shutting everything down, simply because it needs a break from all the super potent stimuli.
Personally I believe that it might be a combination of those. I also think the flatline is “the b-process” in something called “Richard Solomon's opponent process theory of emotions”
I'm not going to go into that theory right here, because that would make this article way too long, but if you want to talk to me about it, you can reach out to me through my contact page right here.
It is possible to have several flatlines…
It's also possible to have several flatlines. However, if this happens, you should find comfort in the fact that the first flatline is most often the longest ones, while the later ones can often be as short as just a couple of weeks down to even just a couple of days.
When you start to get out of the flatline, this happens…
When you start to get out of the flatline you will probably first notice it by…
- A gradual return of morning and night time wood
- Penis feels ‘fuller' during the daytime
- Some days you start noticing a glimpse of libido…
- …only to have it disappear again the following day
- But the glimpse of libido comes back again a few days later (this becomes more and more frequent)
- Until you finally feel a full body desire for people your attracted to again (the flatline is finally over)
What if my libido get stuck in ‘sleeping mode' ?
Some unlucky guys also get stuck in a seemingly never-ending flatline.
It's like their libido somehow remain stuck in sleeping mode, even way past the point where they thought they'd be fully recovered.
Needless to say, this can be very disheartening and often cause even more depression and worry.
How to get your sleeping libido back after quitting porn..
The following suggestions (in the red text below) are going to feel a bit pointless at first and they might even take a bit of effort. But if you want your sleeping libido to wake up, you should really consider them carefully.
Don't put your life on hold…
If the' sleeping libido thing' happens to you, the number one most important thing is to not put your life on hold.
So, what do I mean by that?
Well, so many guys literally lock themselves inside their house, thinking something like “I will not go out and date (or even socialize) until I'm fully healed”.
This is a mistake, because what I have noticed over and over again, after being 10 years in the porn addiction community, is that more often than not, the libido starts waking up after you put yourself out there.
For some guys the libido works like the fire in the fireplace – you can't warm yourself in front of the fire before you go out and gather firewood if you don't have any. You have to go out first (even if you're cold), gather some firewood, and then after doing that, you can make your fire.
Anxiety, depression or just a lot of worrying in general can actually prolong the recovery time, which makes it all the more important that you put yourself out there and keep living your life…
…even if you don't feel like doing so, right now.
Socialize / date / interact with people – even if you don't feel like it…
A part of the rebooting process is called ‘rewiring'.
This is the part where you show your brain where the libido is supposed to be working.
That might sound strange, but you have to keep in mind that for most people porn has hijacked their libido, making it respond to pixels on a screen much more strongly than to real life people.
Rewiring is all about getting your brain to understand that, when dancing with that nice person on that warm Friday night, well, that's the situation you're libido is supposed to be responding to.
Here are some examples of good social interactions that can help your sleeping libido…
The following are especially good for your rewiring phase…
- Taking dance classes
- Getting a massage
- Yoga classes
- Long conversations with the opposite sex (or the same sex if you're homosexual)
- Flirting and smiling
- Hugging and kissing
- Eye contact (always try to seek eye contact with girls during your rewiring process – even if it's just the cashier at the grocery store)
Take the dance classes there as an example; during a 90 minute class you are spending time around, not just one, but many different girls. You get to hold them, interact with them and on top of that, all of your senses are involved.
The more senses involved the bigger impact on your brain…
And since all of your senses are involved, naturally this is going to leave a big impact on your brain. You may not notice it right away, but rest assured that your brain is going to start processing things when you get home.
Things like this really speed up the rewiring process and before long your brain starts going “hey…looks like a bit of libido would be in place here, let's ramp it up”.
What about sex? or fooling around?
If you can get get hard enough for penetration without having to force the erection by hand stimulation, then you're good to go. And sex, or even just kissing and cuddling, is probably the fastest way to rewire. But just know that (if you don't have a partner) you can rewire just fine by going on dates or just interacting with the opposite sex in general.
The more interactions and the more time you can spend outside of your house, the better.
Intimacy is, however, going to be the fastest way to wake get yourself out of the flatline…
…with one caveat:
Limit ejaculations in the beginning…
If your libido is still sleeping, and you barely get hard enough for penetration, you might want to try orgasm-free sex in the beginning. This way of making love is called karezza, and it has been shown to be the fastest way of rewiring your brain away from those porn pixels on the screen.
In addiction, a lot of guys find that if they start busting too many nuts, just when their libido is starting to show signs of life, it can for some reason throw them back into a flatline again. If this happens, don't worry about it, your libido will wake up again, but it can be good for you to know that slow, orgasm-free, sex is the fastest way out of this.
Do I have to avoid ejaculations forever?
It's not like you have to avoid busting forever.
When your libido is solid again, and it's been strong and healthy for a month or so, you're probably good to go with busting as often as you like again, without it sending you back into a flatline.
You might perhaps that you'll do fine with limited ejaculations, instead of zero ejaculations during your rewiring phase. But at least try to limit them, because again, having sex, kissing and cuddling is is the best way to wake your sleeping libido – but if you you go too hard with orgasms during the first period, it could significantly hold you back.
What if my erection go soft?
If you you are unsure about your erection quality during this rewiring phase, then take a look at my article Supplements for PIED as over there I share what libido supplements worked for me during my own reboot (PIED stands for porn induced erectile dysfunctiom).
And if you were to go limp during sex, just remind yourself of the fact that it's not the end of the world. Yes, it's embarrassing, I know, but even if it happens, you're still rewiring so it's not like the ‘session' was for nothing. And if your partner is understanding, there's no reason to make a big deal out of it.
Did NoFap Affect Your Libido?
A Study made on my subscribers
Perhaps you're hoping that NoFap will affect your libido in a way that it makes it less weaker?
Or the more common; perhaps you are hoping that NoFap will affect your libido in a positive way, i.e. make it stronger for real life people? If you feel a bit worried, anxious and perhaps even a bit sceptical that it will actually will do so, then let me share another poll I made on my YouTube channel Project Stronger Self.
I asked my subscribers the following question…
…“did you find that giving up porn increased your libido for real life people?”
Out of more than 2600 voters, here are the results from the poll…
- 69% of guys who did NoFap was absolutely certain it increased their libido for real life people…
- 19% of all the guys who have tried it are not entirely sure, but think that it did…
- 8% do not think so…
- 4% are convinced that it did nothing for their libido…
So to sum it up…
89% of guys doing NoFap found that it affected their libido in a positive way. Only 12% voted that they, either didn't know, or that NoFap didn't do anything for their libido. The percentage doesn't add upp to exactly 100% there because the different answers were rounded off.
NoFap and libido
In conclusion it is very fair to say that, for most guys, NoFap does really affect the libido. For some it does so from the very first week, while for others, it takes a few weeks before they start seeing it.
If you belong to the latter, just remember that if you can just stay strong, and push through the NoFap flatline period, both you and your brain and your libido will be working on a much higher level than before.
Thanks for reading.
Some other posts you might be interested in…
- NoFap supplements (that may help your journey)
- How to stop relapsing forever (10 helpful tips)
- NoFap and dating (are dating apps good or bad?)
P.S. Need help with your reboot or do you have something to ask about the whole process? Feel free to reach out to me here.
P.P.S. Why not also check out my YouTube channel right here, for more helpful content about NoFap and similar topics.