What is the No Fap Flatline?
To understand this from a scientific point of view, we need to delve into neuroscience and talk about the 3 stages of no fap.
Before we go on, it’s important to stress that this is not exact science yet. This means you can experience things differently from what I’m about to describe below.
A man that decides to put himself on the path of detox from Porn Masturbation and Orgasm (PMO) usually goes through 3 predictable brain rebooting phases.
Those phases are:
- The Detox Phase
- The Flatline Phase
- The Resurrection Phase
1: The Detox Phase
What Is the Detox Phase?
If you’ve decided to try no fap, during this phase, your brain will go into a slow and painful rebooting that will literally restructure the neuro-pathways that were altered due to excessive consumption of porn or from heavy masturbation practice.
<div style=”width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:178%;position:relative;”><iframe src=”https://giphy.com/embed/tXH8ljWiohVi8″ width=”100%” height=”100%” style=”position:absolute” frameBorder=”0″ class=”giphy-embed” allowFullScreen></iframe></div><p><a href=”https://giphy.com/gifs/tXH8ljWiohVi8″>via GIPHY</a></p>
The alterations produced by excessive masturbation and porn usage might have weakened your natural (positive) neuro-pathways and reinforced other (negative) artificial ones.
The natural neuro-pathways are those that create a sexual stimulus in you when you get intimate with a woman you’re attracted to, or that push you to interact with the opposite sex.
The artificial neural-pathways created by porn usually are associated with erectile dysfunction, objectification of women, and less desire to entertain real relationships instead of virtual ones.
Those are the traps of falling into excessive masturbation and porn. The habits that a typical man that’s addicted to porn are not behaviors that occur by chance but are specific signals that your brain sends to its other parts through neurotransmitters.
This means that your habits are nothing more than those mental circuits running in your head. If you change the circuit, the habit changes too.
That’s not going to be easy, but realize that if you want to get all the benefits that being a natural man entails, you should fight for it.
What Are Typical Signs of the Detox Phase?
If you find yourself in this phase, you will usually feel angry, depressed, and like wanting to come back to your old habits. That’s normal, especially if you’ve been a heavy porn user up to now, and you will probably have a harder time rebooting yourself in that case.
During this phase, the temptation to fall into pornographic material or to masturbate will be at its strongest. You will probably experience days where you feel like you can control the urges while others where you’ll be overwhelmed by the excessive pressure.
Try to resist.
Even if the temptation is high, that’s precisely the moment where you have to be stronger than it because if you make it to the next phase, things will be much easier.
Trust me, buddy.
A good thing you can do to make sure you pass through this phase with enough momentum is by setting clear long term goals that appeal to your emotional brain.
That’s the same brain that pushes you towards those addictions together with the automatic brain (basal ganglia) creating the habits.
That way, you’ll focus your mind on the long term results rather than being able to make it through another 3 or 5 days.
If you feel down sometimes or fail with a relapse, don’t get angry or frustrated as that’s normal.
Instead, accept how you feel and try to understand why you failed but, most importantly, don’t give up too soon because this can be one of the best things you will ever do in your life.
How Long Does the Detox Phase Last?
This phase will usually last between 7 to 15 days of staying completely clean from porn, masturbation, and orgasm (PMO).
This will also depend on the severity of your case.
For example, a guy masturbating every day will find it easier to get out of the detox phase rather than one that plays with his snake 3 times a day.
That’s pure neuroscience as the more you repeat a specific activity, the stronger the neuro-pathways linked to that activity become, exactly when you pave a road several times.
Rewiring your brain literally means writing another program on it than the program that’s already existing.
If your neuro-pathways associated with fapping are strong, you’ll have a harder time getting rid of the specific habit, whether that’s fapping, smoking, or even working out.
Yes, because your habit brain can’t tell the difference between a bad or a good habit.
That’s why the length is subjective and also depends on how you manage your life during that initial phase.
How to Safely Pass the Detox Phase
The rules are simple but effective.
You should cut off everything that triggers you into getting aroused through porn or masturbation.
Unlink the idea from your brain that to have a pleasurable orgasm, you need to watch porn and start imagining how real sex would feel like.
Apart from this, there are many ways with which you can lead yourself out of this phase:
- Getting an Accountability Coach;
- Blocking Access to Porn & Using Your Willpower;
- Using a No Fap Tracking App;
- Eliminating Habit Triggers;
- Developing New Healthy Habits;
My Experience with the Detox Phase
From my own experience, that was the hardest phase and kept being the hardest every time I lost my no fap streak after several weeks.
In the end, every brain is almost identical in its functionality, that’s why you can predictably change the negative habits you have by adopting a winning strategy.
In my personal case, what led me to success and to the next phase was focusing on my long term happiness by imagining myself with my successful business and attractive woman having a good life.
That was enough motivation that porn turned out to be a lower level of life with respect to the one I had in my mind that was absolutely wonderful.
2: The No Fap Flatline Phase
Is No Fap Flatline Normal?
The no fap “flatline” is the second stage a “no fapper” goes through after withdrawing for a time from porn, masturbation and orgasm (PMO).
During that phase, the “fapstronaut” brain will have reached the so-called flatline, a term coming from what usually a person experiences when being in this stage; i.e. nothing.
- Hard, universe testing, good sign, reset
- The worst, depression, feeling no improvement
- No more dopamine rush
That phase is a normal neurological response to the excessive past stimuli of domaine your brain was subject to.
Let’s see what actually happens during the no fap flatline.
What Are Typical Signs of No Fap Flatline?
Before we delve more in-depth on the no fap flatline, we need to make a distinction between the sexual and the emotional one. The first will concern side effects related to your sexuality while the second to your emotional state.
No Sexual Desire
That’s one of the first symptoms to look for when trying to understand where you are at in your no fap journey.
In my personal experience, I felt utterly disconnected from my sexuality during that phase, like if I didn’t really care about it anymore.
Moreover, I started to seriously worry about my masculinity, sexuality, and health during that period.
It felt horrible.
At the time, I didn’t know that it was a normal phase to go through the no fap journey and so started to go out and see if I could get aroused watching hot women. I didn’t.
Things got worse, and so I decided to watch some hot photos on Instagram of other girls I previously liked. Still nothing.
That’s when I made my first mistake; watching porn to see if it excited me. It did, of course, but I later realized that this was a frequent and dangerous trap to fall into.
If you’re experiencing no sexual drive, interest in women, or sex, don’t worry. That is probably because you’re in the flatline zone; however, if you experienced this problem in the past or if still persists, consulting a sexologist is never a bad idea.
Realize you’ve not become asexual, gay, or mentally ill.
You’re probably healing from years of shitty conditioning with the trash of porn, and now life is presenting you the bill for having watched all those videos.
No Morning Wood
Another common side effect you might experience is the loss of vital signs from your snake that used to wake up before you did.
<div style=”width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:64%;position:relative;”><iframe src=”https://giphy.com/embed/2lbhL8dSGMh8I” width=”100%” height=”100%” style=”position:absolute” frameBorder=”0″ class=”giphy-embed” allowFullScreen></iframe></div><p><a href=”https://giphy.com/gifs/pretty-snake-jungle-book-2lbhL8dSGMh8I”>via GIPHY</a></p>
I know that’s one of the worst signs you can get from your body when you’re in the no fap flatline phase, but it can happen as it happened to me.
It’s terrible to say, but for something like 10-15 days, I woke up with my penis being as flaccid as an elephant’s trunk.
<div style=”width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:54%;position:relative;”><iframe src=”https://giphy.com/embed/4VY80dptzlyAo” width=”100%” height=”100%” style=”position:absolute” frameBorder=”0″ class=”giphy-embed” allowFullScreen></iframe></div><p><a href=”https://giphy.com/gifs/reaction-4VY80dptzlyAo”>via GIPHY</a></p>
I felt like I had some hormonal problems and started to workout more, work out, and fix my diet. Of course, I was ignorant at the time and didn’t know that everything was just being reset.
That’s why if you don’t get your normal morning wood or don’t get any during the day, that could be a side effect of the flatline phase. Again, if the problem persists for too long, talk to a doctor as you don’t want to mess up with that.
The emotional flatline is related to everything that happens in your psychology during the no fap flatline phase. Let’s discover what the most common symptoms you can experience are.
During your journey, you might experience the loss of pleasure from life itself when you get into the flatline phase.
When I found myself not aroused by women, with a limp dick and worried about my health, I was also experiencing nothing from a feeling point of view.
In the beginning, I thought I had reached a zen-like state where nothing mattered to me anymore.
<div style=”width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:75%;position:relative;”><iframe src=”https://giphy.com/embed/CBgBQPMy6fmz6″ width=”100%” height=”100%” style=”position:absolute” frameBorder=”0″ class=”giphy-embed” allowFullScreen></iframe></div><p><a href=”https://giphy.com/gifs/glitch-art-signal-pixel8or-CBgBQPMy6fmz6″>via GIPHY</a></p>
However, this state was good from one side as I wasn’t shaken by bad things in life, but also good things weren’t there to make me feel good. Those zero feelings not only reflected towards women but with life in general.
I was still the same person as before, but I felt like my motivation to do things and take what I wanted had somehow vanished.
Dopamine is directly linked with our motivation stimuli. During the flatline phase, it is at its lowest, that’s why a sudden loss in motivation can occur.
However, everyone is different, so don’t take my words at face value. Speak to other people that have been doing no fap and see if they experienced the same too.
That’s also a very common side effect you might experience during the flatline phase.
Unfortunately for us, the flatline is so insidious and full of traps that only a few people can get to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
<div style=”width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:62%;position:relative;”><iframe src=”https://giphy.com/embed/B3vk3ddl3LWOA” width=”100%” height=”100%” style=”position:absolute” frameBorder=”0″ class=”giphy-embed” allowFullScreen></iframe></div><p><a href=”https://giphy.com/gifs/nightmare-darkness-no-escape-B3vk3ddl3LWOA”>via GIPHY</a></p>
Depression is a mean monster that, if not treated properly, can lead to worse conditions like suicidal thoughts. That’s why, if you feel depressed, it’s fundamental you start implementing new habits in your life that are associated with healthy dopamine-release.
I’m talking about meditation, exercise, socializing, or working on a project or passion you have.
I’ll talk about this in a while more in-depth, however, if you manage to counteract the adverse effects of depression with some activities, you’ll make it out of the flatline phase very smoothly.
If you don’t tell somebody to f**k off during that phase, you’re probably not in that phase.
Jokes apart, that’s another side effect that can be caused by a change in your hormonal state as your brain will be used to receive specific doses of pleasure from porn.
Now that you’re controlling your urges, you might feel irritated. This happens because your brain has linked those addictions to survival.
Take those as temporary signals, and realize that they are good ones! Until you hit rock bottom, you’re still not about to approach the recovery phase, so be happy to feel those feelings because it means you’re about to get out.
Emergence Inner Issues
That one is tricky and can be linked to the reason why you got into porn in the first place. If you got addicted to suppress parts of you, you didn’t like or to escape from something you will experience the re-emergence of those things.
It’s like when you hide the dust under the carpet because you don’t want to clean it. The dust is not visible, but it’s still there, and once you lift the carpet, it will come out more abundant than before.
The reason why those inner issues re-emerge is that by using porn to escape them, you haven’t targeted the core issue.
Maybe you got into porn because you believed you couldn’t get real women, or to avoid facing the harsh reality we sometimes have to accept.
However, the world doesn’t change by watching porn or masturbating, and the problems still remain. That’s why you need to stay strong and fight back with as much courage as you can.
<div style=”width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:56%;position:relative;”><iframe src=”https://giphy.com/embed/Ny4Ian52lZDz2″ width=”100%” height=”100%” style=”position:absolute” frameBorder=”0″ class=”giphy-embed” allowFullScreen></iframe></div><p><a href=”https://giphy.com/gifs/sparta-Ny4Ian52lZDz2″>via GIPHY</a></p>
How Long Does the No Fap Flatline Last?
Usually, this phase occurs between the 15th and 30th days of most no fap journeys and can last from a week to even a month, depending on your initial addiction strength.
Usually, the more substantial usage you made of PMO (Porn, Masturbation, Orgasm), the longer it will take for you to get rewired.
For a man, this phase can last 3 days, kicking in after the first week, while for another man, it can kick in after the first month and last another month. Since I don’t know your condition, I can’t really tell you what it will be like for you.
Needless to say, if you relapse during that phase, you will delay its maturity, and you might even regress back into stage 1 in a worse condition than before.
In your case, I wouldn’t worry about the length of this stage, as that’s highly subjective. What really matters is how well equipped you are to go through it! That’s what we’re going to talk about now.
How to Get to the Next Stage
During that phase, the biggest mistake one can make is to think that one more fapping or porn session won’t harm you that much.
Nothing further from the truth.
That’s the most delicate phase that will either make you go back to the shitty porn-dependent brain structure or get you to your natural manliness state.
That’s why the best thing you can do during the flatline phase is to accept how you feel, realize it’s normal to have no feelings or interest at all for sex-related topics and keep doing your things.
However, that can’t be enough, as the summed negative effects of this stage can be too much for you. That’s why I’m about to give you some mindset and habit tips that you must adopt when things get hard.
Pain is Temporary
Whether you’re experiencing just a mild apathy or the worst depression of your life, you have to realize that this is only temporary.
As many motivational speakers say, “pain is temporary, victory is forever.” That’s why you have to keep your focus on the shiny future that awaits you instead of staying focused on the dull present you’re experiencing.
When you know why you’re doing all of this, nobody will be able to stop you, and one day you’ll claim back the man that pornography has stolen from you.
Testing if you can still get aroused by women, testing if porn is good after 2 weeks is no good.
There are no tests to make here, only moving forward and then doing the real test with real women screaming from pleasure on your bed.
The only thing you should test is your resilience, willpower, and focus on what really matters instead of concentrating on things that don’t make you a better person.
To pass this stage as a master, you need to take new dopamine injectors and make it such that those make you feel good while at the same time advance you in your life.
What can those things be?
There are a ton of natural approaches you can use to destroy the decrease in dopamine you might experience during the flatline phase.
Taking Up a New Hobby
What’s better than starting a new hobby when you feel totally down? You remember that thing you always wanted to do but procrastinated on?
This might be learning how to play a musical instrument, drawing, building something, or learning something new.
What’s important is that you choose your activity based on what makes you feel good and not based on what others tell you should be doing. This would have the opposite effect and make you feel even more depressed.
Socializing & Approaching Women
That’s my favorite one and the habit that made it possible for me to stay on my no fap journey as long as 87 days (my current record).
I think this works well for almost every man on the planet; in fact, what’s better than having an adventurous interaction with a woman you like? In my opinion, very few things on this planet are so genuine, healthy, and productive as doing this.
If you’re not the kind of guy that likes talking to women, you can call a friend of yours or go out with him and socialize with other guys that you find interesting.
In any case, socializing is one of the best antidepressants in the world, and it’s also natural and free, hell!
Taking Cold Showers
I take cold showers regularly for more than 4 years now. I have to say that they give you a crazy rush of power every time you have them, especially in the morning after you wake up.
If you’re having a terrible day and are about to relapse, get into the shower and stay there for 2 minutes with hot water running on you. Then switch it to a cold one and alternate 20 seconds of cold water with 10 seconds of hot water for 5 minutes.
This will energize you like a gym workout and give you many more benefits, according to the Wim Hof Method website.
Exercising & Yoga
Those are probably some of the best ways you can spend your time when you feel low on dopamine.
Exercising is a natural antidepressant, like socializing, because of the release of endorphins that are known to reduce the perception of pain.
Ever heard of the substance called “morphine” given to patients in hospitals or to militaries experiencing a lot of pain during wars?
Endorphins are the same just that are endogenous, meaning that they are produced internally in your body.
They bind in the same neuron receptors where painkiller medicines do, that’s why when you work out intensely, you feel a lot of pleasure.
If depression is haunting you, fight it with some natural endorphins, and say, “Fuck off, baby!”
Yeah, now you can go on in your journey.
Meditation & Pranayama
Another way to relieve some negative effects of
Journaling & Letting Go
Having Real Sex
Starting a New Project
My Experience with the Flatline Phase
In one word? Horrible.
Yes, because back then, I wasn’t smart enough to look at online articles like this one that would tell me that if my dick didn’t raise or that I didn’t want to have sex with women, was all normal.
Instead, I had to go through days of self-inquiry and psychological analysis to realize if I was straight or gay deep down.
Luckily I kept going until those feeling subsidized, and my libido for real women came back stronger and more natural than ever, a fact that made me enjoy sex with very beautiful women.
3: The Resurrection Phase
If you’re in that phase, let me hug you.
The worst has already passed and your brain is already rebooting itself to its natural state.
However we must make sure you get out of the flatline stage, so we need to investigate the common symptoms defining the resurrection stage.
Let’s see them together:
What Are Typical Signs of The Resurrection Stage?
1: Increase in Self-Confidence & Decrease in Social Anxiety
After you pass the flatline phase, your dopamine levels will adjust to normality, making you feel better with yourself. In fact, if during the flatline stage, you felt depressed, it was because of the low levels of dopamine.
It has been seen that dopamine and self-confidence go hand in hand, thus by the increased production of this hormone, you will feel more confident.
Moreover, you will also feel confident around people, because low dopamine is also associated with high social anxiety. Pretty damn good, right?
2: Real Libido
After you’ve gone through very dark times in the shadows of no sexual interest, you can finally enjoy the light at the end of the tunnel.
Yes, because you can finally enjoy the natural beauty of getting horny just by watching a real woman passing next to you.
If in the past you had troubles getting excited with 1 hot naked woman on porn and needed 3 of them doing crazy scenes, now you’ll just get as hard as by inhaling the smell of the hair of a woman you like.
It will be like coming back to teen times when little girls hugged you tight and made you hard as a fucking rock.
Now you can finally give that hard snake to real women.
3: Appreciating Little Things
Another benefit you will probably experience during this stage is that life will seem full of colors and beautiful as it is.
You won’t probably need to experience crazy things to appreciate it as by merely being in the present, doing the things you like, and working on your passions, everything will feel like being enough.
Reading a book, drinking a cup of coffee, talking to a friend, or having a walk will make you feel as good as porn used to be because your baseline dopamine levels will be normalized. Fundamentally, you’ll get “excited” by things much more easily.
This is like a rebirth where you rediscover where the real pleasures of life lie at thanks to the perception that everything you were insensitive to before, has been amplified.
4: Feeling Grounded & Masculine
Apart from feeling more confident, you will also feel much more masculine and grounded in who you are.
This happens because sexual energy is a potent catalyst for spiritual evolution and personal power if it’s not dispersed.
When you retain your energy instead of dispersing it, you will keep that power within you that will make you be enough as you are. This leads us to the next benefit.
5: Increased Women Attractiveness
Women will feel there’s something different in you by the way you walk, talk, and look at them.
Since women are sensitive creatures, they will feel that you are more in tune with your masculinity and sexuality and will be drawn to that like bees to honey. That’s the law as masculine attracts the feminine and vice-versa.
Since no fap exalts your inner and outer masculine features, it will be almost inevitable to have many more women hovering around you, wanting to touch you, and to sleep with you.
Maybe you don’t believe my words, but as a dating coach, I guarantee you that retaining your sexual energy is one of the best ways to attract more women, buddy.
How Long Does the Resurrection Phase Last?
In my opinion, it’s meaningless to say how much it will last as that’s an upward phase where the more time passes, the better you’ll feel with increasingly diminishing returns on your wellbeing.
This means that the more time you can stay in this phase, the better as your brain will progressively reboot itself until the reboot is complete.
The rule then is only one: stay here for as long as you can as that’s how you’re supposed to live and feel.
How Can You Stay in The Resurrection Phase?
If you want to stay in heaven for as long as possible you might want to make up your mind that, this time, you need to be stronger and unapologetically strict with yourself and people.
Strictness With Yourself
Be aware that if you fall again into the Porn & Masturbation traps, you’ll have to start all over again with your rehabilitation, just like a drug addict does when he has his relapses.
The brain still works in the same way even if you restructured it, and due to its neuroplasticity feature, it will always be susceptible to change, whether positive or negative.
That’s why now that you have your brain as our ally, you should use all the willpower you have to say NO all the times you will want to fall back in watching porn.
In that stage, you will rarely feel the urge to watch porn as this will be an almost eradicated circuit in your brain; however, it’s still easy to fall.
Make up your mind and keep having a healthy lifestyle you hardly developed and gained during the past weeks.
Strictness With People
People will try to tempt you into falling in old, unhealthy habits.
My advice is that you should stay away from such people as much as you can because they have the potential to ruin your life again in the blink of an eye.
Make it clear to them that you are a new man now and that you have no intention to watch porn again or to develop unhealthy habits as before.
If they don’t understand you, consider changing your friends. After all, when you change your habits, you will be naturally prone to change your tribe too.
My Experience with the Resurrection Phase
It felt like a resurrection, that’s why I decided to call it this way. It’s incredible how good it feels to become a better man week by week and to leave at your back the dark days of addiction behind a stupid screen.
Needless to say, my social life and relationships with women improved so much that during summer 2019, I had tripled my social connections in my city and slept with more women than I ever had in one single year.
But that’s not only the deal as I improved the relationships with my family and older friends, making my social life super rewarding.
That kept going on until now, where I am motivated to work on my businesses, projects, and dreams like never before and to make my life a masterpiece.
I’ll go through the entire process again and again, even if it was one of the most painful things I’ve ever done.
It’s worth it.
Surely, I’ll never go back to the miserable life I was living when I was addicted to porn.