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Beat it Irishman reveals how new app NoFap helped him overcome porn addiction

The app recommends 90 days of abstinence and offers tools for users who are compulsively viewing porn.

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Man watching porn (stock)

Man watching porn (stock)

Man watching porn (stock)

A new app is helping Irish men to master the art of self-control in their battle against porn addiction.

NoFap is an online community of men who have sworn off online pornography.

The app recommends 90 days of abstinence and offers tools for users who are compulsively viewing porn.

Gavin (32), from Dublin, is a firm fan of the NoFap community. The self-employed consultant has abstained from self-pleasure for more than six months and says it has transformed his life.

"I originally decided to download the app because I was spending too much time and energy masturbating and relying on the endorphin hit that it gave me. I couldn't open my laptop without doing it. I'd start my day that way, end my day that way, I'd use it to calm me if I was stressed, or if I was bored I'd have one too. It was like a quick fix."

Admitting that it was difficult to beat the habit, the Dubliner said: "It was something I had done every day for as long as I can remember, so it was tough to change my habits. Any time I had an urge I pushed the panic button in the app which brought me to a forum or a YouTube video that explained the benefits of what I was doing.

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The NoFap app records the length of time a user has abstained from masturbating and offers support to keep up the effort

The NoFap app records the length of time a user has abstained from masturbating and offers support to keep up the effort

The NoFap app records the length of time a user has abstained from masturbating and offers support to keep up the effort

"That only happened to me twice. The first week was the hardest because I was so set in my routine that when I woke up my hands were just on autopilot."

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Dedicated Fapstronauts say the app has helped

Dedicated Fapstronauts say the app has helped

Dedicated Fapstronauts say the app has helped

The NoFap community first shot to fame when it came to prominence in 2011 thanks to Pittsburgh web developer Alexander Rhodes, who started an online thread about the benefits of not masturbating, which went viral. There are now thread now more than 450,000 members, or 'fapstronaunts'.

Fapstronauts believe that kicking the habit can have a transformative impact on their lives, ranging from increased confidence, self-discipline and increased energy levels - while many users also believe NoFap has cured them of porn-induced erectile dysfunction.

Gavin is now 176 days into his challenge and has joined ranks with celebrities including 50 Cent and Russell Brand, who also prefer not to get their rocks off.

"People do think you're a freak when you say you don't masturbate. The lad culture is that you need to masturbate or else you're not producing enough hormones or not cleaning out your pipes.

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"I don't crave it any more - I don't miss it. It has actually improved my life, even my concentration and energy levels are better. The whole movement is based on the fact that the porn industry is damaging to your sex life. I find I enjoy sex a lot more because I'm not just pumping a few out several times a day.

"People do think it's healthy to masturbate but it's like anything; like alcohol or food, it can be abused. For me, it was an addiction.

"I watched my first porno when I was 13 and it made me feel like I had to perform like a porn star."

NoFap argues that heavy porn use can change the neural pathways of the brain causing addiction, hormonal changes and sexual dysfunction.

Comparing the effects of watching porn to taking hard drugs, according to Nofap.org, those shunning self-love want to wean themselves off porn addictions, so that they can have "increased self-control, more time on your hands (now that your hands are free), and an overall improved attitude."

"We challenge our users to abstain from pornography, masturbation, or even sex altogether for a period of time. Rebooting the brain by abstaining from these behaviours has freed many users from porn addiction and porn-induced sexual dysfunction," it claims.

"Many nofappers described increased happiness throughout their lives, especially in their attitudes towards sex and interpersonal relationships,"

One user wrote: "My name is Joe and I'm a 26 year old fapaholic. Been going strong since I was 12, wow... now that I've put it into words,

"What's that called? Point of no return or some s**t...oh well. My addiction to porn and the good ol fap fap has lead me down a lubed up road of slippery twists and turns emotionally, physically and spiritually. Not sure where my social anxiety stemmed from, but I'm sure porn's got something to do with it. Laziness, lack of drive, apathy, loss of sexual interest, depression and a constant state of desiring nothing less then relaxation due to my inability to say no to beatin the lifejuice outta my drumstick."

After six months of abstaining, Gavin is hoping to plough ahead with his challenge for the foreseeable future.

"This really was a challenge I set myself during lockdown to make better use of my time but now I see no reason in stopping," he said.

"The benefits far outweight any negatives. It's just not something I would bring up in the pub because I know my mates wouldn't be as understanding."

Experts say that not all porn use can be characterised as addictive, but there are markers.

  • An increase in pornography use over time. Someone with porn addiction may go from using porn a couple of times a week to using it many times a day.
  • An increase in the intensity of pornography used. As with any addiction, porn addiction provides diminishing returns on the addictive 'hit' and users may need an increasingly intense experience to find satisfaction. Those with porn addiction may seek out more graphic, taboo, or deviant porn after 'softcore' or 'vanilla' porn stops delivering what the addiction craves.
  • An inability to easily stop pornography use despite negative consequences. This is the telltale sign of addiction.

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