How Bad is Relapsing On NoFap? (This Might Surprise You!)

How Bad is Relapsing On NoFap?

Today we are going to take a look at just exactly how bad relapsing is on NoFap.

It will be in video format, but just should also read the article, or at least skim through it, as there will be complementary info in text form.

But start with the video now…

(The video I talk about in the end, can be found further down in this article)

What Negative Effects Can Fapping To Adult Sites Have?

Let's start by listing some of the most common negative effects overconsumption of adult sites can have. After that we will take a closer look at whether it's possible to fix those issues, even if you happen to relapse from time to time.

These are the most common negative effects that can occur with frequent use of internet porn…

  • Social anxiety or anxiety in general.
  • Porn induced erectile dysfunction (PIED).
  • Low libido and lack of interest in real life people.
  • Low motivation and drive.
  • Mild PIED.
  • Depression.
  • Delayed ejaculation / inability to climax.
  • Concentration problems.
  • Brain fog.
  • Poor short term memory.
  • Poor self-esteem.

The sexual problems are more a combination of desensitization and conditioning of your sexual responses. In other words, by all the years of fapping to adult sites, you have trained your brain to respond more to pixels on a screen than to real life people. (Dopamine, which is high during porn use, and is a “learning chemical”, has unfortunately helped rewire your sexual responses to the wrong thing).

So let's take a look at what I personally think about relapses during your NoFap journey…

…and whether fixing those issues could be possible even if you were to relapse, from time to time.

The desensitized dopamine system and NoFap relapses…

A lot of those problems I listed are caused by a poor functioning dopamine system that follows when the brains reward system get desensitized by all the super stimulating adult sites.

A messed up dopamin system can have a direct impact on things like low motivation, social anxiety, depression (even anhedonia), brain fog, short term memory etc.

Now, if you are one of those people who has not yet fully overcome his porn addiction, then it should be somewhat comforting to know that, even with some relapses here and there, it is still potentially possible to “reset” you dopamine system.

Yes, and by “resetting the dopamine system” I'm now talking about reversing the desensitization. Basically upregulate your dopamine D2 receptors.

If you're lucky, your desensitization can reverse – even with relapses…

Let's say that you have been a porn addict for several years and that you are now really desensitized with low motivation, poor concentration, low energy and mood.

So, you decide to start rebooting and you really try to do it seriously because, well, you want to heal your brain!

You go about rebooting to the best of your ability but you have a relapse every 10th or every 12th day, or something close to that.

Between your relapses, however, you have been living healthy and you have been super strict with your PMO reboot.

Relapsing: three steps forward and two steps back – The net effect could still be progress…

Well, as long as that relapse every 12th day is comparatively mild (like for example just 10-15 minutes), then I would like to argue that your reward system and you desensitization actually heals faster than you tear it down.

It's just that it would severely slow down your progress. But since you are healing faster than you are tearing down, if you keep going long enough, you would actually be in pretty good shape.

Keep in mind that we are now purely talking about your desensitized reward system, and not about healing sexual problems and the addiction itself.

When it comes to that, you will most likely NOT  get away with relapsing this frequently (more about that further down in the article).

Now, if your relapses were a bit more intense, then healing becomes more problematic.

If you were to have a 3-5 hour binge every, lets say 9th day, then you would put yourself back so much that your desensitization would never fully heal (unless you change your patterns, of course).

Related post: NoFap relapse recovery protocol (recover faster)

That 5 hour binge is so super stimulating, knocking out so many of your dopamine receptors, that if you only go 9 days until your next 5 hour binge then, I'm sorry to say, that this is not good enough!

Even though your brain starts to try repairing itself after your binge, 9 days is just not enough time for it to fully regain sensitivity and thus it would leave you permanently desensitized.

Disclaimer: at the time of writing this article, there are no specific brain studies that look into how much a NoFap relapse sets you back. The numbers I'm throwing at you are just drawn from what I have read about addiction and the brain in general, as well as my personal rebooting experience in combination with what I have seen from other rebooters, after having been almost 10 years in the rebooting community. You should take the numbers with a grain of salt!!!

We are all different…

That disclaimer needs to be there because, even though I feel pretty confident in my writing, you have to remember that we are all different and we heal differently, so you need to take the numbers with a grain of salt.

We have different lifestyles, different brains and thus the time it takes to heal tends to also be different for everyone.

Relapses and the addiction itself…

When it comes to “fixing” you porn addiction in and of itself, then a relapse every 12th day would not be good. Whether it'd be a 7 minute relapse or a 7 hour relapse, it would be bad…

…it would be really bad.


Well, because every time you are giving in to the cravings you are feeding the addiction.

I mean what I say!

That is exactly what is happening inside your brain.

Your addiction has created “sensitized” (don't confuse this word with desensitized) pathways in your brain. These pathways are in essence a “super memory of pleasure”. They are what scream out to you just how good it would feel to act out. Every time you do NOT give in, those pathways weaken a bit. Every time you do give in, no matter how short the relapse is, you are reinforcing your addiction.

So, armed with that knowledge, you now understand how destructive every relapse is for “future you.”

For every relapse you are making it harder and harder for future you to NOT relapse. In other words, you are making your addiction worse.

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And remember, this is more about “giving in” to your urges, and not so much about the length of your relapse.

So, when your addiction voice is saying; “Common man, just one minute, that's hardly bad, right?”


It's true that one minute would not be that bad for the reward system, but it's VERY bad in terms of reinforcing your addictive behavior and pushing all your problems onto “future you”.

If you ever want to overcome your addiction, you need to stop giving in.

Relapses and your sexual problems…

Lastly, we have the sexual problems.

Problems like PIED, delayed ejaculation and little to no libido for real life people.


Here too, relapsing every 10th day or so would be extremely destructive and it's safe to safe that most guys with PIED will never heal if they keept doing that.

Now, sure there might be exceptions to this -as we are so different and all- but for the vast majority of guys who have PIED, logging in 10 day streaks is just not good enough.

Related post: How to reverse PIED.

Delayed ejaculation…

Delayed ejaculation is a bit easier to fix, as it takes less aggressive rebooting to do so, but even that could prove to be difficult with a relapse every 10th day…

…especially in the beginning of your reboot!

It's would be a whole different matter if you first fixed your DE and then start using in moderation every 10th day. But even so, I would advice against moderation.

This is because I have indeed seen hundreds of guys failing with that approach, only to descend back into the PMO addiction hell-hole once again, some of them not managing to get out a second time.

Now, that, if anything, is sad!

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Low libido…

This one is closely related to PIED and related to delayed ejaculation as well. In fact, all the sexual problems caused by porn are closely related and in order to fix them you need to be doing better than relapsing every 10th day.

Especially if your relapses are problematic.

By problematic I mean jumping from video to video, scene to scene, always chasing the “perfect” clip, which by the way doesn't exist…

…it's dopamine that makes you think it does.

So, if your relapses look like that, and of course, the longer they are, the more you are hurting yourself.

Related post: NoFap relapse recovery protocol (recover faster)

If You Need Help To Overcome Your Addiction…

Discover >>A good online course for quitting porn<< right here…

How Bad is A Relapse on NoFap?

So there you have it.

Just exactly how bad a NoFap relapse is, depends on what goal you have, and from which angle we look at it.

Sure, you might be able to reverse your desensitization with some relapses here and there, but as far as PIED and your porn addiction itself goes your goal should be to get away from relapsing forever.

Because one thing is for sure, if you struggle with one ore several addictions, well, let's just say that you're life could be so much better if you got rid of them.

Thanks for reading!

Scandinavian Bob

P.S. I will make more videos, with more details about relapsing on my YouTube channel real soon. So if you found this article interesting, consider checking out my channel. You can click here now to do so.

P.P.S. If you want my personal help with rebooting, or just need to ask me something, you can find my contact page right here.

Related post: NoFap relapse after long streak


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