NoFap How To Know If You’re in Flatline

So you are doing NoFap and now you wonder if you are in a flatline or not?

How do you know if you're in a flatline?

Well, in today's post you will find the answer to that so grab a cup of coffee and prepare yourself to spend a few minutes here because there are a couple of important things you need to know about the dreaded flatline.

NoFap How To Know If You're in A Flatline

The flatline often starts a couple of weeks after you stopped fapping to porn. For some people it starts in the seconds week, while others get hit by the flatline a bit later on in their reboot.

What is the flatline?

The flatline is a period of time when the negative effects you saw from fapping to porn get even worse and som “additional” scary symptoms can even pop up.

The Flatline test
Here's how to tell…

So how do you know if you're in a NoFao flatline?

Well, first, count how many of these  questions you can answer “yes” to. And here I need to point out that in order to answer yes to some of the questions, you need to have experienced a sudden shift.

How many of these can you answer “yes” to?

  1. You have quit porn sometime in the last 2 months?
  2. You are experiencing a sudden drop in your libido / sex drive? 
  3. You suddenly feel less motivated and have no real drive to do anything at all?
  4. It is like your penis all of a sudden lost sensitivity?
  5. You feel more anxious than normal?
  6. You feel more depressed than normal?
  7. When you see a real attractive person you have no physical response in your body, like you use to have?
  8. Your penis have even decreased in size a bit. It's like it's shrivels up and feels lifeless?
  9. You have even lost all desire to look at porn?
  10. Your sleep is suddenly worse than it was a month ago?
  11. You feel like, if you were to hug a gorgeous girl right now, nothing at all would happen in your body?
  12. You lost your morning wood?

Ok so how many “yes” answers did you get?

Count your “yes” answers and then compare your results to the following…

  • 0-3 = you are probably not in a flatline
  • 4-6 = you are probably in a flatline
  • 6-12 = you are definitely in a flatline

Now, don't be so quick to answer “yes.

For example, if you have been depressed the last 6 months or so, then it's not a sudden shift in your mood and therefore you can't answer “yes” to the question “you feel more depressed than normal?”…

…this is important if you want to know whether or not you really are in a flatline as many of the flatline symptoms are also symptoms of a “normal” depression.

Let's take a closer look ate some of the more typical flatline symptoms…

The “Dead penis” symptom – Does the penis really shrivel up?

This is a symptom that is unique for quitting a porn addiction.

A lot of the other symptoms could be explained by normal withdrawals, and low dopamine, but when an alcoholic stops drinking his penis doesn't shrivel up and become lifeless…

…hence the uniqueness here.

Not everyone will experience it…

Not everyone who are going through a flatline will experience this, but a lot of guys do. And yes, for some guys the penis really shrinks a bit and shrivels up like a turtle head.


Why this happens no one knows for sure, but personally I think it is because the sexual centers in the brain needs a rest and so it completely stops sending any arousal signals to the penis and thus there is also less blood flow and less sensitivity down there…

…this is just my own theory though, but I think it's not that far fetched.

Lack of motivation and drive

This is one of the most common symptoms and I would guess that at least 90 % of guys who really had an addiction to porn will experience this when they quit fapping to porn.


When you quit an addiction your already low dopamine levels will drop even further. They will stay very low during the first few weeks after quitting and during this time it is very common to experience a total lack of drive and motivation. Even for things that normally use to be pretty fun.

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Increased anxiety

Not everyone who goes through a flatline will experience an increase in anxiety, so this symptom is not as common as lack of motivation, but it IS still a pretty common symptom. Perhaps 40-60% of guys who quit porn will experience it, but those numbers are just my own estimation, so don't quote me on it.


A few days after you quit an addiction the stress center in your brain becomes hyper active. This is why a lot of guys experience increased anxiety during their flatline. I personally struggled with this symptom when I did my own reboot, a few years ago. I talk more about this in the article No PMO withdrawal symptoms.

A Loss of morning wood

Again, not everyone who fall into the flatline will experience this symptom, but it is a common flatline symptom never the less and it happens to a lot of guys. It is often a very scary period as there is no sign of “life” down there. No sign of life during the daytime and no night or morning erections either…



Probably the same explanation as I gave under the “dead penis symptom”. The brains sexual center needs a rest, so it does not send any signals to your penis at all, for a period of time. Just ride it out and do not fall for the trap to “test” your erections by using porn.


How long does the flatline last?

Ok, so if you have read the article this far, by now you probably have a pretty good idea whether or not you are in a flatline.

If you think you are, then the next logical question to ask is…”how long will my flatline last?”

Well, first you need to know that every ones reboot is unique and no one can tell you the exact answer to that question.

The average number of weeks seem to be somewhere between 6-10 weeks, but there are a lot of exceptions  to that, and it also depends on how addicted to porn you are, what age you are and your porn history.

For more details and to find a more exact number that suits YOUR situation better, read my article >>NoFap When does libido come back.

How to get out of flatline faster

I always say, patience and time are your two best friends. You need to let it take the time it needs, but that said, there are actually a few things you can do to speed up your recover and to potentially get out of the flatline faster.

I have made an article where I talk in detail about how to do this, and if you are interested in that you can find it here >> NoFap how to get out of flatline.

How to know if I'm in a flatline
Final words

Ok, there you have it. I hope you found this article informative and helpful. You can return to this post if you want to take the flatline test again after a couple of weeks.

Just remember that it is important to understand that in order to know, there must have been changes in your symptoms and that those have to happen quite suddenly in order to draw any conclusions.

Other interesting posts…

P.S. Are you struggling? Click here to go to my contact page to discover what kind of help I’m currently offering.

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F.A.Q's About the NoFap flatline

Q: I quit fapping to porn 3 weeks ago and now I have started to experience panic attacks. Can this be related to me quitting?

A: Yes it can. It is actually pretty common. When quitting an addiction the brains stress center goes hyperactive and as a result many people experience an increase in anxiety and some people get panic attacks, even if they never had such problems before. Just keep going, things will get better.

Q: My flatline is taking way too long. Is there anything I can do to speed it up?

A: You need to pursue patience, but yes, there are things you can do to potentially speed it up a bit. Take a look at my article >> How to get out of the PMO flatline

Q: Can intermittent fasting help me get out of the flatline?

A: You need to understand that we don't know exactly what's going on inside the brain and all the science behind the flatline. That said, intermittent fasting may help since fasting can help increase the number of dopamine D-2 receptors. The dopamine receptors really get knocked out during an addiction so doing things that can help regrow them would, logically, be a good thing. Many guys do intermittent fasting as a part of their NoFap journey. I personally did it, and I still do it to this day. Give it a try, at the very least it has a lot of other health benefits.

Q: How do I know if I'm in the NoFap flatline?

A: Read this article 🙂



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