It is not a question of if you are going to relapse, but when you are going to relapse.
^ This is not actually an original idea. The “not a question of if but a question of when” is what veteran motorcycle riders usually say to new riders, in order to get them more serious about the ATGATT (all the gear all the time) concept.
Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this piece you are going to get a bit of the old ATGATT mindset into your NoFap routine.
By knowing that you may one day fail, you are going to mentally prepare yourself, so that when you relapse, you’ll be able to return to your streak within a day or so.
What Counts as a NoFap Relapse?
There are a million different schools of thought regarding what is considered a relapse.
While for most people even a single fap to be enough to count as a relapse, that may not be correct.
This is similar to what happens to alcoholics.
Do you think that someone that has stayed clean for over 300 days is going to stop working on his drinking problem because of a single beer or whiskey?
The same goes for people on NoFap.
I’d say that if you can get back into your old anti-masturbation routine within 3 days, you are good to go.
If however, your relapse is lasting for more than 3 days, that is when you should get worried.
About the NoFap Flatline
The NoFap flatline happens anywhere between ~day 15-20 of NoFap and a period that may last up to months in the future.
The flatline is marked by having extremely low or non-existent libido, which means that many guys get scared. They’ve been stimulated by pornography for such a long time, that they have forgotten what’s life like when you are not aroused 24/7.
Anyway, the flatline is real, and most probably you are going to have to go through it. No one can tell you how long it’s going to last. Some have been in the flatline for over 12 months.
The community consensus is that the longer you’ve been masturbating to porn, the longer and worst your NoFap flatline symptoms are going to be. As younger generations begin their porn journey at a younger age, and with more extreme types of porn videos available, that means that some may even be in the flatline for 2 years. It is sad that people are going to have to go through, but that’s the price we have to pay.
It is natural to have a lingering desire to relapse while the flatline persists. It’s okay if that happens – that’s the point this article is trying to make.
It can be scary to endure weeks of feeling no sexual sensations – no horniness, no morning wood. Some guys relapse and try to masturbate because they want to “check” if things work down there. Everyone knows that it would be best if you never relapse, but if you do, and if that happens while you are experiencing flatline symptoms, know that it’s okay.
Relapsing Doesn’t Break Your NoFap Streak
For most people, once they’ve gone on NoFap, they can never go completely back into their old routine. It seems that becoming enlightened about the dangers of masturbation is enough to get most people in check.
I know that your 30-60-90 or however long streak is a source of pride.
It is a benchmark to how far you’ve come, and if you’ve just relapsed, you obviously don’t want to reset your counter.
If you have a feeling in your gut that this episode is going to end tomorrow, then don’t reset your NoFap counter.
Resetting your daily counter is an act of self-punishment, which should only be reserved for severe mistakes.
Self-punishment works, but only in adequate doses and at the right time – so try not to be too hard on yourself.
NoFap Relapse Questions and Answers:
What are the Side-Effects of a NoFap Relapse?
The side-effects of relapsing during NoFap is that you are going to enter the beginning stages of losing your NoFap benefits and superpowers.
I know a lot of people don’t believe in the superpowers, but they are actually real. Superpowers are the talents that all guys have inside of them, that had been buried due to watching too much porn. Relapsing once won’t “reset” your gains, but it does put you at risk, and that is the main side-effect.
How to Recover from a Relapse?
There is only one way you can recover from a relapse – and that is to not continue relapsing during the next few days. To fully recover from a relapse, you need to make sure you’ve learned your lesson, and that includes being aware of what triggered your NoFap relapse.
If it was a commercial or TV show, try not to watch it again. If it was some website, don’t visit it again. If you were bored or stressed out, try to figure out a way not to repeat that situation.
Anyone can relapse, and that is understandable. The most important thing after relapsing is to make sure that that one session isn’t prolonged as a “binge relapse.” There’s more information on what is a binge relapse in the answer below;
What is a Binge Relapse?
A binge relapse is the worst of all relapses. A binge relapse is a relapse that continues for several days or even weeks, and it includes masturbating multiple times in a single day.
Binge relapses are the only thing that can completely destroy your NoFap superpowers and revert you back to “level 0.” The reason why binge relapses happen is due to the addiction pathways that have been formed in your brain.
The same thing happens to alcoholics and drug users – many alcoholics find that one sip of alcohol is enough to get them back on the binge drinking bandwagon. People that watched a lot of porn work the same way – even one porn video can make them masturbate dozens of time before they realize the damage they are causing to themselves.
What are Relapse Triggers?
A relapse trigger is anything that causes you to feel a craving to relapse.
This can range from a simple ad on a website, to a female TV show character that you view as a sexual object. Even a girl wearing a piece of clothing you like can be a trigger. If you developed a fetish for mini skirts, every time you see a girl in a mini skirt, you’ll feel an urge to return to PMO. Anything and anyone can be a trigger, which is why it is important for you to be aware of the things that trigger you sexually. Only be eliminating such influences can you lower your chances to relapse.
Other common relapse triggers are sexualized advertisements, sexually stimulating text (yes, erotic novels or articles can lead to a relapse) and video games that contain nudity or overly sexualized female characters.
Is Relapsing Caused by Depression?
Relapsing can be caused by depression, loneliness, and anxiety, but it can also happen without these three emotional issues.
While sometimes being in a bad spot in life can cause you to relapse, often times you can lose your NoFap streak simply because you have a habit to masturbate. You may be completely happy and fulfilled with how things are going, and yet you may find yourself watching porn, and then feel bad about it.
There doesn’t have to be a correlation between depression and relapsing.
What is the Best Way to Not Relapse?
There are several things you can adjust in your life in order to prevent a NoFap relapse. There are also a few prevention tools that can be of use – the tools are especially helpful if you are just about to relapse and are in need of urgent help (that’s the “NoFap Panic Button”).
The main activity that can prevent a relapse is physical training. Any kind of sport, including weight-lifting and MMA, can help you build the needed strength of character in order to be able to say “no” to porn. Training also makes you busy, which gives you less time to masturbate.
Most guys that have suffered from masturbation addiction also have a lot of free time. Having a lot of time is a vicious cycle, as boredom creates a need to masturbate, and masturbation makes people unsuccessful. Being unsuccessful naturally frees a lot of time, and so the cycle goes.
So, remember to keep busy and improve yourself. If you don’t want to do some outdoor activity, you can train at home. You can work on cultivating interesting hobbies, such as playing the guitar and reading books. Even learning how to program can create a massive difference in your quality of life and career choices.
What is the Relapse Cycle?
A relapse cycle is the cycle between relapsing while being on NoFap, and not relapsing. It’s the high and low point of NoFap.
It is a given that every one of us is going to relapse at some point. It is up to us how the relapse cycle is going to turn out. You may just relapse for a single time, and then continue to not masturbate for two years. Or your relapse cycle can include things like chronic masturbation, losing your superpowers, and then “rediscovering” NoFap after a few months and continuing the cycle all over again.
Can you Relapse After 30 Days of NoFap?
Yes, you can relapse at any day or week of NoFap.
Guys can relapse during the first week, or after 30, 60, and 90-days of NoFap. It doesn’t matter how long you have been porn-free, you can always relapse. Even after a few years of NoFap, if the right toxic combinations are present (such as stress and anxiety) you can relapse.
What if You Dream About Relapsing?
Dreaming about relapsing and wet dreams is a frequent thing, especially with younger NoFap adherents. The reason why you may be dreaming of relapsing and may suffer from a wet dream is because your hormones are highly active, and your brain is used to frequent orgasms.
You’ve placed yourself in a situation where your brain isn’t satisfying its base desires, yet the hormones are still raging on. There is nothing to be afraid when dreaming or thinking of relapsing, as long as you don’t actually relapse.
When do Most People Relapse?
There is no specific time period or day of the week when people relapse.
Most just relapse when the right combination of being horny and feeling a physical urge are present. I guess being bored or having free time is one of the biggest precursors to relapsing, which would mean night time if you are employed.
Can You Relapse While Drunk?
Yes, being drunk lowers your inhibition, meaning you are more likely to do things that you don’t want to or that scare you.
The drunker you are, the more unwise decisions you are going to make. That’s why many career politicians never drink alcohol.
Is Edging Worse Than a Relapse?
This is a difficult question, as edging and relapsing are the two main dangers of NoFap.
It depends on how long either of these two lasts. If you edge for just a few minutes, that’s going to do less damage than binge relapsing for a whole week.
Similarly, if you edge daily, but relapse only once every few months, then relapsing is going to be the lesser of the two evils.
Will Relapsing Remove my NoFap Benefits?
Yes, each relapse cycle is slowly going to remove your NoFap benefits and superpowers.
Relapsing once may not produce much of an effect – perhaps your mental clarity will be slightly lower and you may suffer from brain fog for a few hours. Relapse for a few months and all of your benefits may be lost.
Benefits such as having a deeper voice and high testosterone usually take 2-3 weeks of relapsing in order to be undone.
What if You Relapse Multiple Times?
You can either relapse once (meaning you masturbated just once) or you can relapse multiple times, meaning you’ve masturbated multiple times.
The rule of thumb is that if you relapse more than three times in a short period of time, you are suffering from a binge relapse. The magnitude of your relapse does make a difference in how much side-effects you are going to suffer. Always try to settle for a single relapse vs. multiple relapses.
Can You Relapse Without Touching?
If you watch pornography, you are by definition relapsing, even if you don’t touch yourself.
Touching yourself is just the finishing “touch” in your relapse.
Do Wet Dreams Count as a Relapse?
No, wet dreams do not count as a relapse, as you have no control over this, meaning your conscious mind is not the one to be blamed. A relapse is more about being personally responsible, rather than suffering from an involuntary ejaculation.
Dreaming about wet dreams, or having a wet dream is not a relapse.
Can Stress Cause a NoFap Relapse?
Yes, stress is one of the biggest causes of a NoFap relapse, which is why you should strive to minimize the amount of stress you are suffering.
How to Deal with Regret after Relapsing?
Many guys find that they suffer from regret after a relapse.
In fact, the regret may be so bad, that it can prolong the relapse into lasting for several days. That’s why it is important to know how to forgive yourself, and know that everyone relapses – we are all human after all.
Learn a lesson from your relapse, don’t grief, and continue onwards.