A Christian Website Has Discovered r/NoFap

The Christian website LifeSiteNews has discovered a fascinating breed of Redditors who have sworn off masturbation (as long as they can, anyway), They do it (or don’t, I should say) for a variety of reasons, including religious beliefs, getting higher testosterone counts, and fighting back against the business of pornography:

Already there are over 65,000 fapstronauts, with hundreds more joining by the day. These modern warriors against sexual temptation have gathered together under the roof of a dedicated “sub-Reddit” (/r/NoFap), where members can request publicly viewable badges (operated on the honor system) that track how many consecutive days of “fapstinence” they’ve clocked in, share their favorite tips on how to resist the urge, encourage newcomers by describing the benefits of a life of Spartan-like self-discipline, and seek solace and encouragement to get up and dust off when they fall back into old habits.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the notion of a religious website trying to discuss masturbation without offending its readers’ sensibilities… but it’s actually a pretty decent article, albeit geared toward a religious audience. Reporter John Jalsevac does a nice job of getting to the bottom of the no-fappers’ motivations:

But what’s the point of it all? Well, that depends on whom you ask. Rhodes prides himself on the diversity of NoFap’s membership, ranging from atheists like himself to die-hard fundamentalist Christians. “I think that nofap may be the most supportive community on the Internet,” he says. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Regardless of who you are or what your goals are, the members of nofap will try to support you and genuinely care for you and try to push you to succeed.” Even the aforementioned rule about religion [don't mention it unless it's relevant to your motivations] isn’t meant to discourage religious fapstronauts, who are more than welcome to discuss their beliefs when relevant, but simply to reduce heated and tangential religious debates that detract from the core goal of NoFap.

You can read the full article here, as well as the article’s discussion thread on Reddit.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Tell the truth. This is a Seinfeld episode, isn’t it?

  • flyb

    I’m out!

  • Spuddie

    I am wondering if their website is linked to a gambling one. People taking odds for how long an individual can go.

  • Spuddie

    Was it the Glamor Magazine?

  • The Other Weirdo

    Sears catalogue.

  • LesterBallard

    I’ve never been in . . . if the hairy palms myth was true I’d look like bigfoot.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    Religion wishes it has something to offer that caused the same kind of urge and compulsion as sex. Maybe this is way the gods are always warning against it.

  • Tainda

    That’s blasphemous! And I’m talking about stopping masturbation

  • Makoto

    Regardless of who you are or what your goals are.. why should I care if you masturbate or not? Go for it if you like! Have a love interest do it for you, but be sure to return the favor! Abstain if you choose, but is there a point to avoiding it other than an old book with a ton of other weird rules that make no sense today says so?

    (If it feels uncomfortable, that’s fine, too, I must say. Some people do not like such things.)

  • Billy Bob

    How is not masturbating “fighting back against the business of pornography”?

  • The Other Weirdo

    If you refuse to fap, don’t watch pr0n. However, since much of it is free, I’m sure how that works out.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Oh good. For a moment there, I thought I might have to lead a crusade against you over pr0n. :)

  • Rain

    Rhodes prides himself on the diversity of NoFap’s membership, ranging from atheists like himself to die-hard fundamentalist Christians.

    World peace on the horizon?

  • CodeMonkeys

    Actually, some still watch porn. It’s a pretty mixed batch of people. Many motivations, religious or nonreligious motivations, life effects from many sides… it’s an interesting subreddit, to say the least.

  • Oranje

    Two things: One, thank you for spelling it with a “u” instead of an “e.” That drives me crazy. /etymologynerd

    Two, I guess I don’t get why this is a thing. Especially for the rational set, is there some connotation of anti-social behaviour along with it? Hell, the missus encourages it when she’s not feeling up to anything (and I’m not seeing anyone else).

  • Miss_Beara

    He was not Master of his Domain.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    I tried to stop masturbating once, longest 5 minutes of my life.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Grainger newspaper flier.

  • Monika Jankun-Kelly

    I think that site is meant for the secular with porn addiction issues and the religious with “self pleasure is eeeeevil” beliefs. Porn addiction is a genuine problem for some, and maybe, like alcoholics, they just can’t do moderation? The secular founder did say masturbation in moderation was just fine for most people.

  • A3Kr0n

    I’m just killin’ time waitin’ for the rapture, man.

  • Dawson

    I’ve been looking through the subreddit a bit, I just can’t find the reasons WHY they stop fapping other than either challenge or addiction. Are there any other reasons that might make sense in general?

  • http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-los-angeles/hugh-kramer Hugh Kramer

    I tried fighting self-abuse by going fishing whenever I felt the urge. Unfortunately, I had to give it up when I became so adept at putting worms on hooks that all the other fishermen began referring to me as a “master-baiter.” :)

  • BrandonUB

    If I were still capable of being astonished by stupidity, I’d be astonished by this stupidity.

  • Tainda

    No way! Da pron is good for ya!

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    ” by describing the benefits of a life of Spartan-like self-discipline”

    So, they are no masturbating, but instead they are all having gay sex?

  • Guest
  • The Captain

    Wow, I have to admit since I never went to the sub I had no idea they where actually really serious abut it. What a load of crap. I always thought it was just a joke. Or something people where doing on a lark. Like when my roommates in college quit fapping for a month just to see if they could do it. And of corse they all started literally fighting each other after the first week. They’d throw down all over the house, and with anyone they could get their drunk, testosterone fueled no fapping hands on. Man that was an annoying month.

  • Hat Stealer

    Even if I choose not to masturbate, I would never, ever, allow myself to be called a “fapstronaught.”

  • martinrc

    I stopped long enough to post this comment.

  • Anon

    /NoFap is a poe sub-reddit right? Right?
    Well screw’em more porn for me.

  • Larry Meredith

    Does it count if you’re on medication that reduces your sex drive?

  • rg57

    Haven’t they simply substituted mental masturbation in place of physical?

    It’s one thing not to do it, but to convene a forum to talk about not doing it seems counterproductive.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Funny how Joe Klein never talks about not masturbating.

  • Tom

    Did you have any gym equipment? You can exercise way better when you’re roaring with testosterone. Of course, then they’d probably wind up fighting over whose turn it was…

  • Hat Stealer

    I think that’s what the deal is with most of these guys on r/nofap. They see it as a means of self-improvement, even if they never had an addiction in the first place. Which, you know, I can respect. I don’t really consider it to be worth it, but I can at least see the point.

  • mytwocents

    Nofap is a challenge. I’m on day 100 – it is actually interesting

  • asdfdgdfg

    Its a personal fight- because many of these people are addicted to pornography and trying to break the habit. The quickest way to do this in the long run is to abstain from orgasm because it “rewires” the brain. Especially if you have erectile disfunction issues. Its a cold turkey kind of thing.