NoFap Flatline: The Full Guide and Timeline

NoFap is a popular community based website that encourages men to stop watching porn. The NoFap forum consists of men’s personal experience of quitting porn and masturbation.

The objective of the documentation of men’s NoFap journey is essentially to shed light on the negative effects of porn addiction. Increased energy, clarity and confidence are benefits commonly expressed by users.

The premise of this movement was created on freeing men from sexual behaviors that has formed into an addiction and the “Super Human” state achieved once completed.

What Are the Rules of Adhering to NoFap?

  • No masturbating
  • Quit porn
  • Reset period

To be a part of the NoFap community, you must refrain from masturbation and watching porn. Any kind of masturbation is forbidden, and this includes “edging”. Self-sexual arousal is absolutely not acceptable in NoFap. Another rule that is often overlooked, is to stop having sex for at least 90 days. Once those 90 days are over, the “Reset Period” is complete. It is encouraged that each individual that participates shares their experience. 

What is the NoFap Flatline?

Users often describe what is called a “flatline” when documenting their journey to quitting porn. The NoFap flatline is a period of time where generally rewarding experiences become dull moments. Abused sexual arousal causes the flatline and is something recovering porn addicts go through. The flatline occurs during the pursuit of ending porn addiction and is often described as the most difficult hurdle to clear. 

Why does the NoFap Flatline Occur?

Simple answer… lack of dopamine released. During your NoFap journey, this is inevitable. Your body releases dopamine when achieving orgasm in order to feel sexual arousal. Dopamine is the hormone released by the brain that gives the “happy” feeling. It is essential. Now, depending on the porn addict, each individual’s dopamine levels will vary. When the human brain releases dopamine, it is the brain’s way of rewarding yourself for achieving a satisfactory task. Porn and excessive masturbation greatly increase dopamine levels which causes a chemical imbalance. The brain is not constructed to be rewarded for cheap achievements. Orgasming too frequently will cause the brain to become addicted to the dopamine rush that comes with it.

What are the Symptoms of the NoFap Flatline?

  • Brain fog
  • Sadness
  • Lower productivity
  • Psychological urge to masturbate
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Lack of sexual arousal

Why is this? Well, rewiring your brain to find replacements for dopamine rushes can be very difficult. The overwhelming majority of those who participate in NoFap experience the flatline. These symptoms of the flatline are all a direct cause of cheap stimulation for a dopamine rush. Expending sexual energy on porn unhealthily programs your brain to become addicted to porn. These feelings are not exclusive to quitting porn either, they are present when trying to combat most addictions. Many find it difficult to find a replacement for porn. Users who have experienced this persistently recommend working out. Exercise has been proven to boost dopamine levels and offers a psychological reward system that inevitably boosts self-esteem.

How Long Does the NoFap Flatline Last?

Most NoFap users describe the flatline as an experience on their NoFap journey that usually lasts 2-6 weeks. The NoFap flatline is usually present after about a month of quitting porn and masturbation altogether. The flatline is almost a guaranteed obstacle for anybody quitting porn. You will know that you are experiencing the NoFap flatline when the benefits of participating in NoFap are no longer noticeable. However, the most challenging days during the flatline are in the first week of it. Once you make life adjustments to find other healthy sources to create dopamine rushes, the flatline will fade away. Depending on the severity of your porn addiction, instantly ridding yourself of daily dopamine rushes will cause the feeling of emptiness and brain fog. Your body will resist this significant change. Most who get past the first month of NoFap start to consider watching porn again once the flatline hits, in order to regain mental clarity.

Timeline of the NoFap Flatline Period

FlatlineWeek 1

  • Urge to masturbate in the first couple of days
  • Intense mental haze
  • Feeling of depression
  • Morning wood
  • High sexual arousal during different times through the day
  • Unfamiliar sexual fantasies

As I stated before, the worst stretch of the flatline are the first week. In particular, the first couple of days during the first week are described as the most intense. These symptoms come as a surprise because of all the benefits felt leading up to the NoFap flatline. The flatline has been routinely talked about as a sudden feeling and unexpected mood switch. These initial feelings will last about a week.

Some thoughts during the beginning of the NoFap Flatline commonly include:

  • I should watch porn
  • Are the benefits of NoFaps just placebo?
  • I’ve quit for long enough

This is exactly why the NoFap community exists. Millions of men have experienced these exact emotions and thoughts but still persevered to achieve the goal of healing their minds. The community has described the immense benefits that NoFap provides mentally, physically and emotionally.

Weeks 2-3

  • Urge to masturbate progressively lessens
  • Healthy excitement creeps back in subtle ways
  • Partial mental clarity
  • Sex drive re-emerges

You are now 2-3 weeks into the flatline. Finally, the benefits initially felt when quitting are more present than before. This is when you start to realize for yourself that NoFap is not just placebo and real benefits are felt. It is rare that men who have made it thus far in the NoFap timeline give into their sexual urges. This tells you that your brain is in the process of recalculating and finding other sources of dopamine rushes. Usually during this period, NoFap users find out for themselves what those sources could be. Whether it is working out, hiking, acts of kindness etc. , that is for the individual to find. There is always an alternative to excessively masturbating and watching porn.

Flatline Weeks 3-6

  • Urges are far less common
  • Confidence will be higher
  • Higher energy
  • More discipline 
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Healthier sexual energy
  • Pure sex drive

This is the stage in which you are almost finished leveling-up. The benefits are blatantly back in most aspects of your porn-free life.

During this time, the symptoms of the NoFap flatline are noticeably weaker and you can almost feel the “Superhuman phase” setting in. The benefits during this time will undoubtedly outweigh the negatives of the flatline. You will feel confident, happy and energetic. There may be urges to watch porn during fractional periods of the day, but nothing compared to the devil on your shoulder felt during the first couple of days during NoFap and the first week of the flatline. Congratulations, you are almost there. 

What Comes After the NoFap Flatline?

You will have more self control once the flatline is over. The overwhelming majority of men have dealt with the urge to masturbate since the start of puberty. The intense libido is a foreign feeling for young men whose brains haven’t nearly completed development. The habit of porn and masturbation to assist easing the urge, develops quickly. Porn and masturbation are extremely addicting, especially to those who haven’t seen what is displayed in the videos. The habit created at a young age is often a staple in Men’s daily routine for the rest of their lives. Breaking the cycle of addiction of anything is extremely difficult, but most come out a better person on the other side. To reject what your brain may be telling you to do, gives you more power and control over your thoughts. Subconsciously, having control over your own thoughts will dramatically improve your self-esteem, productivity and self-control. Having the power to not succumb to porn addiction will reward you with more confidence in defeating other addictions.

You have now entered the Superhuman phase. This is the point where the flatline is without question, over. 

Superhuman Phase

Once the flatline is over, the “super human” phase can be recognized. This phase takes some time to attain, but millions of us have described this phase as the happiest we have ever been. Many have cited NoFap as the cure to their depression, other addictions, desensitized sexual encounters, low self-esteem and much more. Most do not understand the power that porn has over our brains. Sexually driven dopamine is the most extreme natural feeling one could get and when achieving this is only a google search away, this feeling becomes abused due to the accessibility of porn itself.

 What does this state feel like?

Almost as if you are “Superhuman”. The power of overcoming an addiction that many of us formed during our teenage years, unlocks our true potential. The confidence gained from beating porn addiction will make you feel as if you could overcome any adversity thrown your way. You will realize truly how addicted to porn you were and the negative toll it takes on our brains. Every addiction comes with a cost. The specific benefits of the Superhuman phase include:

  • Supreme confidence
  • Feeling of “pureness”
  • Discipline
  • High level of productivity
  • More cognisant of identifying which lifestyle choices are healthy or not
  • No anxiety
  • Motivation

Eliminating the cheap dopamine rushes and instead earning that feeling through something productive massively improves motivation. Dopamine is also the hormone responsible for having the drive to achieve something, so when that is replaced, productivity in all aspects of life are far more attainable.

The lesser known benefits of NoFap

  • Sustained boost of energy
  • Erectile dysfunction cure
  • Enhanced stimulation during sex

Energy. Energy is absolutely a must for productivity, but watching porn and masturbating takes that away. After orgasm, endorphins are released into the bloodstream which causes an extreme feeling of relaxation. These endorphins stay in your bloodstream for 2-3 hours which inevitably cause you to feel drained during this time. Excessive masturbation causes these endorphins to be in action practically all day. Some porn addicts begin their day by ridding themselves of their morning wood, which creates tiredness to start the day. Let’s say someone orgasms three times a day, that is 6-9 hours of feeling physically drained. 6-9 hours of the day where the body isn’t performing nearly as efficiently as it should be.

NoFap users have also noted their erectile dysfunction being cured after participating. Porn is an extreme exaggeration of sex that fails to replicate the human nature side of it.  Masturbating to porn is just a mere simulation of what actual sexual encounters are like. “Getting off” to essentially your device’s screen while stimulating yourself with your hand, will grow into the only way your brain recognizes when to get erect. This heavily plays into the reason why erectile dysfunction is as common as ever. When the majority of your orgasms are from masturbation while watching porn, getting erect becomes extremely difficult because of the unfamiliarity of the sexual experience. A complete avoidance of porn resets the brain’s hormonal output which leads to what is described as a more “natural experience”.

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