So what is NoFap Hardmode? Compared to the normal mode, the additional aspect of the NoFap Hardmode is that it rules out orgasm entirely, including via sex. No porn, no masturbating, no orgasm.
NoFap Hardmode is a total reboot of one’s entire sexual health and concept of intimacy. Removing sexual encounters gives one a full breath of fresh air. This helps the mind to return to understanding sex naturally with real people instead of pixels and reboot, just like a computer.
All of the variants of NoFap require you to quit porn, but there is more than just porn to the equation of rebooting your mind. If you’re taking on the NoFap challenge to better yourself, why not go all out? Why not address how you see and value sex itself?
NoFap Rebooting Program
In the realm of addressing and overcoming porn addiction, NoFap is an authoritative community platform. NoFap offers information, support, methods, and forums which is perhaps the most active of any sexual health platform. Their bread-and-butter solution to porn addiction is the NoFap Rebooting program. While not the only organization with such a concept, NoFap is regarded as the most effective, sustainable, and comprehensive.
Rebooting put simply is intentionally abstaining from pornography for an extended period. While the main target being addressed is pornography, many Rebooters as they call themselves will also include masturbation. Some even remove orgasm and sex. This is where the three common modes of Rebooting come in.
The three main modes of NoFap Rebooting boil down to this:
- NoFap Easy mode: No porn, but you can still orgasm, either via masturbation and/or sex.
- NoFap Normal mode: No porn, and no masturbating, orgasm via sex is allowed.
- NoFap Hardmode: No porn, no maturbating, and no orgasm.
The different modes are designed for each person to select from themselves, NoFap does not prescribe anything. Someone who has a healthy marriage and sex life but experiences porn and masturbation addiction may opt for normal mode. An individual not in a relationship or looking for one may opt for hard mode. Someone may decide on NoFap easy mode to establish a relationship and reverence for their own body.
The Easy Mode and Normal Mode of Rebooting?
The one thing all modes of NoFap Rebooting have in common is abstinence from porn. While that is obvious, the dynamics of what is going on may not be at first. While freeing yourself from the dependence of porn addiction, it is important to think about what porn is doing for you. Porn is an inauthentic imitation of sex to the brain, satisfying the reward system of the brain.
Our brain’s reward system prizes having sex most highly, for the continuation of the species and our family tree. This area of the brain is where addiction operates, overriding our more evolved conscious brain and executive decision-making. Our reward system of the brain can’t tell the difference between orgasms with a loving partner or pixels on a screen. Over time through our brain’s ability to learn and adapt to our environment (neuroplasticity), the reward becomes partially or almost entirely associated with pixels, not people.
What Can Go Awry in Easy and Normal Mode
From this juncture, let’s look back at the three modes of Rebooting. Someone who opts for NoFap Easy mode may just find themselves with a masturbation addiction instead. It’s entirely possible if not likely to still fantasize and imagine porn-like scenarios, thinking about their favorite porn actors and actresses. A brain used to the extreme stimulation of abundant pornography can simply replace it with imagination because that’s what orgasm takes after months or years of being assimilated to pornography.
The mentioned situation doesn’t go far if anywhere, to begin rewiring one’s mind towards natural sexual health. It just swaps out one problematic behavior for another, with nearly no benefits. Even in undertaking the Normal mode of Rebooting, one may find themselves seeking out new or multiple sexual partners. They may even engage in risky situations to satisfy sexual urges, aiming to meet the unrealistic expectations pornography has created in them. Trading a porn and masturbation addiction for a sex addiction is not ideal.
In rebooting, simply removing pornography from one’s life is not the goal. It was only the beginning, the catalyst, for the renewal and rejuvenation of one’s mind and concept of sex.
Anything worth doing is worth doing right. That’s not to say that hard mode is right for everyone, someone can decide that for themselves. NoFap Hardmode removes not only masturbation and porn but orgasm entirely.
Let’s consider the main modality of a porn addiction, PMO. Porn, masturbation, orgasm. This is what the porn-addicted mind has been conditioned to look for, to rely on. That is what has replaced the complicated series of events involved in having a sexual partner. Dating, courting, and establishing consent, let alone all the intricacies and physics of actual sex are no more, alien seeming. PMO can be compared to drug addicts seeking drugs, using drugs, and then achieving the high.
PMO is the problematic behavior we’re trying to unlearn and eventually return to healthy, natural sex which enriches our lives, not enslaves us. To do that it is best to begin from the ground up. By removing orgasm entirely, one may find that they used PMO as a coping behavior to deal with emotions, stresses, or boredom. Hardmode gives one a chance to find alternative outlets for these things. By stepping back, it is easier to see the full picture.
What NoFap Hardmode Offers You
NoFap on hard mode also offers an opportunity to address one’s reality and how one perceives it. During the reboot, one may become painfully aware of how they see other men and women in real life. After months or years of heavy porn use, one may begin to see other people more like objects or only for their body parts. And during the hard mode, with the stimulation of PMO removed, it may be even more noticeable. To take on NoFap hard mode and rely on checking out people in public or browsing social media looking for attractive models is not the goal.
One important thing to note about Hardmode is that it does not intend to demonize orgasm or at all suggest lifelong abstinence. In drug addiction, the desired outcome is a permanent removal of drugs from one’s life. Porn addiction is similar, in that the goal is to never watch porn again. From another point of view, the goal is to intentionally build a life and self-belief where internet porn is not even needed. One where sexual urges are not controlling the far majority of your life. That said, the problem can be difficult to solve from inside the mess.
Some rebooters will default into Hardmode because they are not sexually active. For them, they can commit to remaining that way, as tough as it may seem. This is wise though as it prevents seeking alternative unhealthy sexual behaviors. Those with partners already should discuss it with them and look for support. While not ideal or simple, there are non-orgasmic sexual techniques that can be looked into. One that NoFap mentions and reports user success with is karezza.
How Long Does Hardmode Take
90 days is the ‘industry standard’ for NoFap reboots. It has shown the most success and is recommended by NoFap. The duration of a NoFap challenge does not change in Hardmode, only the parameters. What you include in your reboot should be decided independently of the duration.
The first step is to identify which level of challenge you will take on. Then the idea isn’t to see Hardmode as something you could only do for a week, and settle on that. It’s to ask yourself how long would a full unlearning and repairing of porn’s effect on your psyche and perception of the world take? For someone who started PMO at a young age or went through puberty with high-speed internet, it may take longer. For easy mode, normal, or hard mode the recommended time is always 90 days.
One thing to keep in mind is that a completed challenge does not necessarily mean a full reboot. As per NoFap, “Your brain will be fully Rebooted when, and only when, it has reversed the side effects of your problem habits, namely masturbating excessively to pornography.” Some people reach the end of their challenge only to decide to extend it because they still identify symptoms or room for improvement. The important thing about deciding on duration is not editing once you’ve begun. You can always reconsider at the end, and decide to extend.
Benefits of NoFap Hardmode
The things you stand to gain from taking on a radical challenge like NoFap Hardmode are powerful and plentiful. And our use of the word radical is very intentional, radical means ‘relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something.’ That’s precisely what NoFap and its hard mode are, and because of that, you stand to permanently gain so much more than you temporarily lose.
The first thing we’ll note is abundant free time. If someone spent one to four hours a day watching porn or thinking about porn, they now have all that time available. That’s seven to twenty-eight hours per week gained back! This can be spent on new hobbies or pursuits, on self-care or exercise, and of course on time with family or friends. Taking this time to focus on physical health is wise. It can also be problematic if you do not build new, different habits, as boredom is often one cause of porn usage. More on this in the next section.
One significant idea involved in rebooting that is reported is obtaining ‘superpowers.’ Rebooters will report enhanced confidence, creativity, motivation, and a profound shift from their life when they were consuming porn as a part of their daily routine. While they do feel largely profound, it is the contrast to their old way of being that makes them seem like superpowers. Some may have believed themselves incapable of a good life or healthy relationship. So when those come into being, they seem larger than life, and they are. Larger than your old life, that is.
Among these experiences akin to ‘superpowers’ are all manner of psychological, physiological, and social benefits. Rebooters often report massive boosts to confidence, a sense of discipline, and motivation to make additional positive changes. The discipline you channel to refrain from PMO and sex addiction isn’t only applicable to that. It is innate to you, a part of you, a discipline you possess independent of the situation. Because of that, people generally find themselves more effective in other areas of life on top of handling porn addiction.
The social and psychological aspects of a reboot are themselves some of the most relieving. Shame and guilt as well as anxiety and depression are not uncommon in longtime porn users. One can find their porn use and the intensity of it escalating, as they move beyond just ‘standard’ sex scenes to more violent or niche content, and feel shame or guilt.
It’s not unusual for an experience of ‘post nut clarity’ immediately after PMO, being upset or disgusted with one’s self. The addiction aspect of the whole thing playing out over time and worrying about people finding out can easily lead to anxiety and depression.
Now, imagine how beautiful life could become being freed from those things. Shame turns into self-esteem. Guilt into confidence. Your anxiety becomes a trust in yourself, and depression a new joy and zest for life. Everyday moments can become meaningful, as you notice and enjoy things you previously overlooked due to preoccupation with porn or self-condemnation. Other people are oftentimes quick to notice or point these out, as you experience change as gradual but to them, it may seem like a night and day difference from the last time they saw you.
Reversal of Sexual Dysfunctions
Another blessing and benefit is the healing of sexual dysfunctions. One of the most notable is PIED, or Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction. This refers to the situation of being aroused and getting off via PMO, but having difficulties or being not at all able to do so via real-life sex with another person. This can be a common thing for people with long-lasting and frequent PMO habits.
As time passes in the reboot, and the neurological pathways built regarding the PMO habit are not reinforced, they begin to weaken. Every time you feel compelled to watch porn or consider it as a solution to anything, and you do anything other than follow that urge, the wiring is weakened. At the end of a full reboot, you find PIED gone and normal sex arousing and less anxiety-ridden.
Things To Watch Out For
The main opponent in your journey is going to be the urge to return to the behavior you are abstaining from. This is where the fight will be, and there are steps you can take to ease the difficulty and set yourself up for success.
Identifying Urge-Causing Situations
The first step is to take inventory of what triggers an urge. Some rebooters realize that PMO has become a bedtime habit, and difficulty falling asleep without it. Another example is browsing social media and seeing an attractive image, then turning to pornography to masturbate. People also find that each time they are alone after having company or getting home from work, their thoughts start with PMO.
By identifying what often triggers an urge, we can look for healthier alternatives. Using bedtime PMO as an example, a touch-up of one´s sleep hygiene is in order. The term sleep hygiene doesn´t mean how clean you are while you sleep, but setting up your environment and daily routine to promote good sleep.
Urges can feel strongly compelling, but this isn’t entirely negative. Often times early on in a reboot, once a day or a week has passed, rebooters notice they are consistently turning away or letting urges dissipate. By not being controlled by a thought or urge, they take back their power from it and can be proud of their self-control.
Not Replacing PMO With Other Problematic Behaviors
Problematic behaviors like binge eating, gaming, or television can develop in place of PMO. It is a good idea to come up with a list of replacement activities to take up your time, then actively try them out and integrate what you find works. Exercise, reading, spending time with family, and the list of potential options are endless. It is endless because -everything- in the world outside of pornography is at your fingertips. All the energy and time invested into porn is now available to redirect into healthy and fulfilling activities. These activities enrich you, instead of leaving you feeling defeated.
Is the Hard Mode of NoFap Difficult?
The NoFap Hardmode Reboot is simple, yet complex. It is simple in that it only requires abstaining from three things, porn, masturbation, and orgasm. But it is complex in its application and experience, as each rebooter will experience it differently. Also, the rewards and benefits will be complex, in that they seep into your entire life and improve you across the board, just as the symptoms of PMO addiction may have.
In saying Hardmode is complex, we aren’t saying it is difficult. Many NoFap users report it is actually easier than normal mode because it fully removes the sexual element including sex. It is also considered to be the best way to achieve a full reboot, which is regardless of duration or a completed challenge. The most difficult part can be just getting started. Once going, the strength of urges and power of the addiction returns to you, as you notice your discipline developing and urges overturned into triumphs.
Honorary Mention: Monk Mode
Beyond Hardmode lies Monk Mode. This approach goes beyond PMO into one’s entire lifestyle and can consist of many things. It can include abstaining from social media, drugs and alcohol, nicotine, or any behavior. Monk Mode is a manifestation coming from NoFap’s community that developed from those who decided to go further. It involves introspection and improvement and aims to reboot your entire mind rather than just sexual health. Monk Mode can consist of a personalized itinerary, and if it interests you, go for it. Ideas regarding it can be found on NoFap forums as well as other sites.
In the end, only you can decide which mode of a NoFap reboot is right for you. Browse NoFap forums or articles to get opinions, but your circumstances and unique recovery will help you decide. The perceived difficulty of NoFap hard mode is supplemented by its completeness and full benefits and will be the best route for some. Any level of intentional change towards a more whole and healthy lifestyle is positive, and NoFap Hardmode is a provenly effective concept and community to support that.
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