What is The NoFap Flatline?
If you are looking for info on the NoFap flatline you just found the right page.
This is how the page is structured:
- What is the NoFap flatline? (Or as some people call it, the PMO Flatline)
- 7 Surprising facts about the flatline
- How to get out of the flatline
This should be interesting. Let's jump in right away.
Here we go…
What is The PMO Flatline?
The flatline is a period of low mood and little to no libido that starts short after a person stops masturbating to porn.
The flatline often starts about 2-4 weeks into a reboot, but the onset varies from person to person and not everyone will experience it.
A reboot is when a person stops using porn in order to reverse the addicted relation brain changes that has developed from all the years of masturbating to porn.
The flatline is a period of time when the person commonly experiences some, or all, of the following symptoms…
- Complete loss of libido
- Low motivation and drive
- Feelings of “emptiness”
The flatline can be quite scary and many guys really suffer here.
This is understandable since a sudden loss of libido can make you feel “broken” and the low motivation and low mood can make everything seem grey and somehow pointless.
Many guys describe this period as someone pulled the plug out of the machinery that powers sex-drive and even though they can still objectively seem that a woman is beautiful there is little to no physical respons in the body.
How long does the flaltine last?
It's different for everyone, but if I had to come up with the most “average” time frame, it would be somewhere around 2-4 months. But, again, it is highly different and some guys have much longer flatlines than others.
Fact #1 The Penis Can Become Smaller
This may sound wild, but the fact is that many guys experience a shrinkage of the penis when the flatline hits.
This is only temporary, though, and it is not like the penis is losing “mass”, it is more so that it “shrivels up” due to less blod flow.
Yes, indeed the penis shrinkage is a common flatline symptom that often happens in combination with a complete loss of libido. The penis can shrivel up, feel colder, and become smaller. Many guys refer to this as “the turtle head period”.
I don't think anyone knows what's causing this, but my personal guss is that it is because the brain is not sending any arousal signals whatsoever to the nether regions during the flatline and as a result there is also less blood flow….
…but again, that is just me speculating.
The “turtle head” phenomenon is temporary…
Luckily this scary phenomenon is only temporary and for some guys it goes away even before the flatline has ended. Also, not every guy will experience the dreaded turtle head, even if they are going through a massive flatline.
Here are a couple of quotes from guys who experienced the “turtle head”
Guy number 1
During the flatline I went through phases were my penis shriveled up so bad it was frightening. It was like a turtle head, wanting to retract into my body, and I was scare shitless it would stay that way. After 5 weeks of flatlining it went back to normal and after a few more weeks my libido started coming back as well.
Guy number 2
I had read about the dead penis thing before I started rebooting so I didn't freak out when it happened to me, but it was not fun. I felt totally broken and sure there were times I wondered if I would stay that way. I had shorter periods were I came out of the flaltline here and there…just to fall back into i again. In total my flatline lasted about 4 months.
Fact #2 The Flatline Is An Indication Of Brain Changes
The flatline has actually become so common in today's world that some guys are surprised to learn that the flatline is not a “normal” thing.
As in, “what do you mean? It's not normal to lose libido of taking a break from fapping?”
It is not normal for a healthy man to lose his sex drive just because he stops masturbating for a few weeks. If this happens it is a clear sign that all the years of fapping to adult sites has caused addiction related brain changes.
Now, the brain changes can range from mild to more severe, but some physical changes has to have occurred in order for you to experience the flatline.
30 years ago the flatline didn't even exist.
Back in the day, guys who enlisted in the army or guys who had to go work somewhere in a group with other men, without having the possibility to masturbate for a few weeks, just became more horny. Their libido did not just disappear. This is the way our sexuality is supposed to work if we have a healthy brain.
Now, don't freak out. I know the words “brain changes” sounds scary and all, but they will reverse by doing NoFap and by staying away from porn.
Fact #3 Some Guys Can Escape The Flatline – Even If Severely Addicted
Even if you are severely addicted to porn, it is by no means a guarantee that you will have to go through the horrible flatline when you quit. I don't have exact numbers on this, but I would estimate that perhaps 15-25% of guys are lucky enough to never experience the flatline, even if they consider themselves to be addicted.
However, most guys will have to battle the flatline though and this seem to be the case for “mildly” addicted guys as well.
In other words, you don't have to be one of those guys who used porn every day in order to experience the flatline. It is possible to have brain changes occur with years of only 1 or 2 porn sessions per week.
This is the way it was for me, as I personally never used porn more than 1-2 times a week and I had to go through a few absolutely awful flatlines back when I was rebooting…
…holy crap, they were nasty!
Fact #4 The Flatline Consists of Two Parts
Ok, since we are all different, this does not apply to everyone, but for many guys, the flatline consists of two parts. This is the way it was for me and many guys I coach are experiencing the same.
The first part of the flatline is when you notice all the typical symptoms, as in loss of libido, less motivation and lower mood. But then after a few days or weeks the empty feeling often gets a bit worse.
It's not easy to describe, but I refer to it as “the void”.
It's a feeling of general blah, and that nothing really matters. Sometimes it can be so pronounced that the guys relapse on purpose just because, even though they want to reboot, right then and there, because of the empty feeling, they don't even care if they destory their streak.
If you want to learn more about “the void phase” you can check out this video I made a while back, where I explain more about what it is, and how to deal with it.
Relapsing because of the “void”…It's because of low dopamine levels…
It is very common with relapses during this phase.
Some guys relapse as a desperate attempt to raise their mood, others relapse because they just can't muster up enough motivation to care about their reboot at this stage of their journey.
I'm pretty sure this low and empty phase is caused because the already low dopamine levels drop even further, leaving the guys with a total loss of motivation…
…and all that is left seems to be this empty feeling…
…that black hole in their chest.
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Realize that you actually DO care!
It is important to know that, even though you may feel like you don't care in the moment, you actually do care.
Because if you choose to relapse on purpose, you will regret it the next day because then you know that you are just prolonging your reboot and that, even though you may get a temporary lift when you get a short break from the withdrawals, you know you will have to go through “the void'” phase again.
So don't expect the day after your relapse to be a picknick either…
…relapsing is not the solution.
So don't relapse on purpose. Everyone I know who has tried it will regret it the next day. This is the way it was for myself as well, back when I was rebooting. I didn't care that rainy Friday afternoon when my mood was super low, but man, the next day when I woke up to a broken streak, well…
…let's just say, I was not a happy camper!
Watch the video above to get more tips on how to survive “the void” part of the flatline.
Here are a couple of quotes…
Guy number 1
“Man I have relapsed many times during the last three years and I always sink into this dark, empty place about 30 days into a streak. I try to do physical exercise, and it helps a bit, but man my motivation so low. I often cry during my streaks, but during this phase I can't even do that…I often just sit there in total apathy.”
Guy number 2
“I experienced severe anhedonia during the later part of my flatline. Nothing got me excited. Even if someone told me “Wow! congratulations, you just won two million dollars on the lottery”, I don't think I would have cared. I relapsed several times because of this, not because I had urges, I didn't, but because I didn't care about me ruining my streak and I guess my brain still somehow remembered that “porn is supposed to bring pleasure”…which it didn't during the deepest phase of flatline. No no no, not even porn as pleasurable here.”
Fact #5 You May Have To Go Through Several Flatlines
Don't assume that you will have only one flatline and it'll be over with.
The first flatline is often the longest…
The flatline can come and go and many guys go through several flatlines during their reboot. However, the first one is most often the longest one.
Your first flatline can for example start in your second week and last for 2 months or so after witch you get out of the flatline and your libido comes soaring back. You think it's over and you feel great, but then you sink back into a second flatline 3 weeks later. This is a common pattern, but again, the second flatline is often shorter than the first one.
It is also possible that you will have to go through a third and a fourth, but one or two seem to be the most common numbers of times guys have to put up with the dreaded flatline..
Some guys are lucky enough to just have to deal with one flatline though, or even no flatline at all, so let's hope you are one of those guys.
Here are a couple of quotes from guys who experienced several flatlines.
Guy number 1
“My first flatline started 3 weeks into my reboot. I had the dead penis syndrome for 5 weeks and then my libido came back. I kept going and after about 2 months I had a second flatline that lasted about 10 days. It has now been 120 days and I feel good however I still experience some “mini flatlines” from time to time where I become extremely depressed for 1 day or two, but nothing like the first two flatlines.”
Guy number 2
“It took me 8 months to heal my porn induced ED. During those 8 months I had three flatlines. The first one lasted 4 months and was very…very…very scary! I felt completely broken, but when I got out it I knew rebooting was what I needed to do so I vowed to myself to never go back to porn and I kept going. I had two more flatlines and they lasted 2 weeks. When I got out of the third one I managed to have successful sex. Today I no longer have any erection problems and my energy levels and my mood is great. Fuck porn!!!”
Fact #6 Girls May Still Be Strangely Attracted To You
This is a controversial one, but so many guys are reporting increased attention from the opposite sex during their NoFap journey…
…and, surprisingly enough, for some guys it seems to happen even if their are in a flatline.
So many guys are reporting this that, well, they are just too numerous to ignore.
So what's going on? Does NoFap give you some kind of mysterious superpowers?
I honestly do not know what's behind this, but I need to let you know that it has happened to me too, and as a middle aged man who is a bit of a sceptic, I have a hard time swallowing it…
…yet, it's hard to ignore when it starts happening to oneself.
I am from being an attractive male, but during my NoFap streaks over the years I have noticed this strange attraction phenomenon several times.
You have to believe me when I say, girls do not normally smile and flirt with me for no reason, for example when I'm out grocery shopping, but several times during semen retention streaks I've experienced this and it has always happened between the days 20 and 40.
I remember one time, I think I was on day 29, it happened several times in one day. Once when I was out to a cafeteria and then shortly after when I was in the grocery store. On both occasions I had girls looking straight into my eyes with that strange “please come talk to me look” while smiling with a warm smile and touching their hair. This is something that normally just does NOT happen to me, but on NoFap, somehow, it seem to be the case.
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I do my best in trying to explain this mysterious phenomenon in the post “NoFap Women attraction”, but if you go read it, in all honesty, it is just me speculation on what could be going on and while I do give some plausible biological explanations, that could be considered pretty good, the truth is that I do not have a clue if they are what's causing it.
Now, don't get me wrong…
…you don't have to be in a flatline for this to happen.
Many guys report increased attention from the opposite sex during their whole NoFap journey, but I find it surprising that it can even happen during flatline, when it's common with a very low mood…
…and that's the reason why I wanted to include it here.
A couple of quotes from men who have noticed the increased attention from females…
Guy number 1
“The increased attention from girls is definitely real. When I'm a couple of weeks into a streak girls start paying way more attention to me. I don't know how this works but maybe they can sense something? I know girls find confident men attractive and nofap does increase confidence… but the thing is, when on nofap, I get that same increase in attention even on days I don't feel confident.”
Guy number 2
“Something has to be going on because I get more attention on NoFap then I do when I'm fapping. Is it more testosterone? Increased pheromones? Can they sense something else? I don't know but I sure lik it!”
Fact #7 The Flatline Will Make You Stronger
I know it's a cliche, but it is true; what doesn't kill you makes you stronger…
…so too does the PMO flatline.
Rebooting isn't easy, but in the end it is so worth it and just the mere fact that you did something very difficult, and that you managed to come out of it with your sanity intact, makes you more mentally tough.
In addition to this, the NoFap journey is often a time of personal growth, as during the reboot most guys start feeling a strong desire to work on themselves and to grow in other areas of their lives as well, not just their sexuality.
As a result guys who have done a good PMO reboot emerge stronger than ever before, and even though all the years of fapping to porn really hurt them and caused a lot of misery, in the end they are kind of glad it happened…
…and ths is exactly because of the fact that they had to go through a tough “self-improvement” period and now feel stronger than ever before.
How To Get Out Of The NoFap Flatline
So are there any particular steps we have to take in order to get out of the NOFap flatline?
Well, no, as long as you stay away from fapping to adult sites you will recover and the main thing you have to do is to pursue patience and give it time…
…time…time…time, sometimes a very long time!
Can we speed up the recovery?
That said, there are some things we can do to potentially get out of the flatline faster, and to speed up the recovery in general.
Since this article is getting too long already, I'm not going to go into that here, but if you are interested you can take a look at the articles…
The NoFap Flatline Final Words
Ok, there you have it.
I hope this article has been informative and that you now know more about the NoFap flatline than when you came here.
If you happen to be battling the flatline right now, remember that it will pass and that you will emerge stronger than ever. Even if it may feel bad right now, stay strong and keep trucking…
…it's always darkest before the dawn.
Thanks for reading!
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FAQ's About The Flatline
Q: Is it possible to be in a flatline before you quit porn?
A: Yes, I think so. Some people seem to be so overstimulated by the all the fapping to adult sites that their brains somehow force them into a flatline in order to get a break. Now, I don't know if that's exactly what's going on, but to me it seems to be the most logical explanation. The solution is of course to do what the brain wants, and give the brain a much needed PMO reboot. Also, it is always smart to go see a professional in order to rule out any other potential problems.
Q: Can we get “stuck” in the flatline…as in, we never get out of it?
A: Some people can get stuck in the flatline, yes. Even though they are fully recovered, for some guys the libido seem to remain “sleeping”, so they may have to kickstart it with a couple of orgasms. I talk more about this in the article NoFap has killed my libido.
Q: Is it possible for the flatline to only last for 2 weeks?
A: Yes it is. For most guys the flatline is longer than that, but shorter flatlines do happen.
Related post: when does the flatline hit, for most people?