Sunday, April 10, 2016

Breakfast With Jesus


This morning, the Gospel reading was from John 21 , where Peter and the other apostles were out on the water and had been fishing all night and caught nothing. Then a  voice called to them from shore and told them to try and cast the net out the other side of the boat whereupon the nets were filled to near the breaking point, and then Peter recognized Jesus and went ashore.
Jesus was sitting by a charcoal fire he had made and was cooking up some fish for Breakfast.  Jesus then sat down and started sharing the fish with them .He then asked Peter three times if he loved Him, and when Peter replied affirmatively Jesus told Peter "Feed my sheep".
This is a remarkable story of redemption and restored  friendship, and it was all done over breakfast.
Jesus chose breakfast as the time to restore Peter, since it is the beginning of a new day, and it is also the least formal meal of the day. It was a quiet, friendly time of renewal, and a time when Peter was given his mission.
Since the day I became a Christian, I have had breakfast with Jesus every day . There is no better way to start a day than to rise at the crack of dawn, spend some time in prayer, and then pour out some coffee and  hear from Jesus Himself in the Bible. So for us too, the morning is a time when we can renew our friendship with Jesus, fresh every day, spend some quiet, informal time with Him, getting to know him through prayer and the Word.
 And more often than not you find that, if you listen carefully, he will restore you, and give you your mission for the day, and beyond.
Tomorrow and every day thereafter, why not have breakfast with Jesus?


Thursday, April 7, 2016

The “M” Word: Science Once Again Forced to Agree with the Church

 
 

Every day I thank God for my secular and Post-Modern friends who challenge my thinking by bringing up subjects that inspire me to provide an answer to their challenges.  This subject came up in a comments on an article I posted on FB about Poland ending abortions completely. The commenter stated her belief that the government should lay off of peoples bodies (a matter we will discuss in another post) and also took a swipe at the Church for teaching that Masturbation is a sin.

Yes the Church does teach that masturbation is wrong, and she is regularly caricatured by Hollywood and the media for it. Invariably the clergy are portrayed as snivelling, sneering small minded little bigots who are out to stop people from “having fun” and “doing what comes naturally” or in Post-modern parlance, “being true to oneself” .

Here is an offsite link to an article in Crisis magazine which compares and contrasts  traditional Christian thinking with modernism and post-modernism.  It’s a short article and really clarifies concisely the differences in worldview that are competing today.

For the purposes of this post, though, I will set the stage by stating that Church moral teaching as found in the Bible and the Catechism is based on real world experience and natural law. It is not a mean God who hates it when people “have fun” or wants to oppress people, but a loving father who sets boundaries to protect His children from harming themselves and others.

Christians accept this view, even though there is NOT ONE OF US who fully succeeds in living up to it.  In our own family lives, how many of us ever lived out perfectly what our parents taught us? Who never once tested those boundaries. There. I said it, none of us comes at this discussion as anything more than a flawed human being, whichever side of this we are on, so this is not to be taken as judging those who may hold a differing view, but rather an attempt to show through this particular subject which is EVERY man’s battle to one extent or another, that Church teaching is indeed correct, and that  the teaching is fully consistent with science and reason.

 

It is a fact that masturbation and addiction to it, is  driven by the pleasure principle.  The body releases dopamine and endorphins into the system when masturbation takes place , producing a pleasurable sensation (usually followed by guilt and disgust after the dopamine high wears off) .  The brain is this conditioned, ever so slightly , to remember that sensation, and then desires more. The trouble is, and this is why masturbation invariably goes hand in hand with pornography (in almost 100% of cases)   and in order to get the same level of pleasure, more explicit material is needed , so it is progressive.
This happens, because the habit that is developed in order to achieve the sensation actually rewires the brain, so that it becomes a driving force in one’s life and leads to some real world consequences, because it is actually brain damage.  Fortunately as we shall see, it can be reversible.
Some of he real world consequences are a decreased attention span, as the brain constantly switches over to thinking about porn and release.  This can affect one’s performance in he workplace, and in daily social interactions. It causes physical side effects as well, such as  decreased energy levels and lethargy  in physical  exertion. It affects relationships, especially between couples, as one’s focus  is shifted away from one’s partner/spouse to themselves.   Ask any woman married to a man who is into pornography and masturbation. Invariably he has little time , interest or energy left for her.   Moreover, as sex becomes a mechanical act which can be performed alone , one feels less inclined to bother with relationships with others. If they have a significant other, they spend more time in their fantasy world than with that person. Many single people fid it preferable to bothering with a relationship at all. Fewer hassles.  Don’t believe me?  For one thing, the porn industry has exploded from maybe a billion dollar a year business in pre internet days to well over 30 billion a year today. You can also look at sales of sex dolls.  Men are literally spending nearly $10 000.00 for very realistic dolls who are there in heir closets waiting at their beck and call, so the hassle of a real woman can be done without.   So yes, objectification of women is another result of porn and masturbation. A woman real or manufactured  becomes little more than a receptacle with whom/which to perform a body function.
It robs marriage of its intended purposes.   It also robs a person of mastery over oneself. One becomes a slave to porn and masturbation

I have deliberately approached the topic thus far from  a secular standpoint, as these things that science has uncovered  are true for everyone whether or not they are a believer in Christ, Allah, or follow the teachings of the Buddha,  or are atheist to the core.   You may not care for the moral implications, and wish to dismiss them for whatever reason, but the biological factors as indicated here are proof that the Church has always been correct in her approach.  Faith and reason are NOT contradictory at all, they both actually support one another, and this is why the Church has outlasted every empire, system and worldview that has ever challenged it over 2000+ years.

 

I mentioned earlier how popular culture caricaturizes the church and her teachings.  Let’s now take a look  at what the Catechism of he Catholic Church actually says about porn and masturbation.  The Catechism we have today is a comprehensive summation of everything the Church teaches, and why.  John Paul II had it compiled and released in 1994, in a style hat is readable and understandable by all. Anyone who wants to properly understand what the Church teaches, as opposed to what her detractors and the uninformed SAY it teaches should  read it. Here is a link to it online.  You can also find hard copies in most bookstores, including Chapters and Indigo. there are usually copies available in thrift stores as well.
Now that we have outlined the problem, and identified some of its causes, symptoms and consequences,  let’s take a look at how to deal with it. Again since we are approaching this matter from a mostly secular perspective,  I will put forth some scientific ways of dealing with it. That said, the chances of overcoming such a thing without the help and strength of the Holy Spirit are diminished, in part because one does not get the whole picture, and also because your priest can be of enormous help in terms of guidance and support when (not if, but when) you occasionally fall, to help restore you and get you back up again.

The following comes from a website called No Fap,  and it explains how to “reboot and rewire” the brain after having fallen into this trap. No Fap is a secular site, and offers its solutions to all men, and even many Christians have found their methods helpful.  I would recommend that Priests and Pastors read this material too, so that when dealing with the matter in the confessional or in counselling, can offer some of these concrete solutions in tandem with the spiritual remedies they normally provide.

Rebooting

The Basics of Rebooting

Prolonged or intense exposure to pornography causes the brain to wire itself in ways that can create negative effects in a person’s life, such as sexual dysfunction, addiction, and other related problems. For more information, see NoFap’s Porn Addiction 101.
Rebooting is the term coined by recovering porn users for the process of abstaining from pornography, masturbation, and sometimes orgasm altogether for a sufficient duration to recover from these negative effects. By abstaining from problematic sexual habits, we can “reboot” the brain to factory settings.
Although we at NoFap may have our recommendations on effective ways to reboot, no two people will have the same rebooting experience. In fact, people choose to reboot in many different ways, all of them valid. While we see the individual nature of rebooting as a strength, it can lead to confusion for new community members looking for a clear idea of how the rebooting process occurs. We created this page to help people get started.

Our Approach to Rebooting

NoFap began when Alexander Rhodes decided to gamify the rebooting experience by challenging himself and a small group to abstain from masturbation for one week, and sharing his experience on a Reddit-hosted forum he founded. Word spread about this initial challenge, and an even larger group tried a month-long rebooting challenge in July. Before he knew it, Alexander had formed a community of people interested in shedding habitual porn use and rediscovering healthy sexuality.
Challenges and community are the core of NoFap’s approach to rebooting. By gamifying their rebooting experiences and sharing their experiences of struggle and victories with other rebooters, NoFap’s users continue to find success and live better lives.

Rebooting Challenges

Before beginning a challenge, each user will have to choose the duration of their challenge and what parameters constitute a failure of the challenge.
The conditions for victory in a challenge are simple: if you abstain from your chosen problem behaviors for the entirety of your chosen duration, you’ve completed a rebooting challenge!

Duration

Once you choose a duration for your challenge, it’s important that you stick to it until the end. That said, don’t get too hung up on deciding on the perfect duration for you. It’s best that you just choose a duration and get going! After a period of abstinence from your chosen sexual behaviors, it’s fine to increase your duration if you feel like your brain needs more time to reboot.
Here are some suggestions for choosing a duration:

Fixed Number of Days:

NoFap’s gold standard of success is our 90-day reboot. Ninety days is a challenge duration that is difficult for most, yet achievable. It’s also sufficiently long that most users see marked improvement in their well-being once they’ve achieved victory. Some rebooters will start with this 90-day challenge only to reevaluate towards the end that extending their challenge would be of benefit.
However, users can choose any number of days that they feel appropriate. Some ambitious users will try to go an entire year, while other users are so entrenched in their behaviors that reaching two weeks proves a difficult challenge for them. The key is to choose a length of time that you could look back on and feel a sense of accomplishment after you’ve achieved victory.
Those skeptical of the reboot process may wish to try a challenge for just seven days. A short challenge is manageable for most but can act as a “sneak peek” of both the benefits and pitfalls one can experience during a longer challenge. At the very least, seven days should be enough for anyone to determine whether they have a problematic porn habit; if rebooters have difficulty abstaining from porn for seven days, it’s a pretty good sign that a full reboot would be beneficial.

Monthly Challenges

One alternative to choosing an arbitrary length of time is to take part in a monthly challenge. Both our main forums and NoFap’s subreddit host threads where users can sign up to take part in a challenge to abstain for the entirety of a given month. This can be a good entry point for users who want to test the water with a shorter challenge while experiencing the camaraderie of participating in a community event.

Symptom-Based Durations

Rather than using a set length of time to mark their reboot, some users choose to reboot until they feel the benefits of a healthier sexuality. This is can be a good choice for people who engage in a challenge specifically to see if it can help them with a problem they are experiencing. For instance, someone who might suspect their sexual dysfunction is porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED) could give rebooting a try to see if it alleviates their symptoms.
We recommend that symptom-based rebooters start with a 90-day goal and reassess their symptoms. Porn and masturbation habits don’t cause sexual dysfunction overnight, and they won’t heal overnight, either. The brain and body need time to recover from a years-long habit.
While a symptom-based challenge is a good technique for people looking for concrete results, NoFap does not promote rebooting as a cure for any medical or psychiatric issue. If you are experiencing physical or psychological symptoms that bother you, please consult your doctor.

Day Counters and Challenges

NoFap’s forums provide day-counting badges for tracking consecutive days of abstinence. These counters can be reset to day one when a member decides they have broken their abstinence streak.
The counter is meant to track your entire current streak, not your progress in your current challenge. Therefore, if you do back-to-back challenges, your day counter rolls over from one challenge into the next. For instance, if you choose to do a September challenge followed by an October challenge, you don’t need to reset your counter to day one on October 1st.

Challenge Duration vs. Reaching a Full Reboot

Our rebooting challenges are meant to help a person reboot, that is, obtain a healthy sexuality where they prefer sexual interactions with people rather than a computer screen. However, a rebooter won’t necessarily be fully rebooted at the end of their challenge. Being fully rebooted means that your brain has recovered from the effects of problem habits, namely masturbating excessively to pornography. (For more information on the brain science of rebooting, see our page about porn addiction.) The best way to identify if you’ve rebooted or not is to assess whether you still experience the urges and sexual symptoms you had before starting a reboot.
The length of time it takes for a full reboot is not typically the same as the duration of a challenge (unless you choose a symptom-based challenge duration). For instance, if your brain and body are due for a full reboot after, say, 73 days of abstinence, then doing a month-long challenge isn’t going to get you to fully reboot. This is why many rebooters will participate in back-to-back challenges until they feel they have rebooted completely.
Most rebooters find they have reached a full reboot or at least feel significantly better after 90 days. However, heavy porn users or those who went through puberty using modern Internet porn have found that they need more time. Some people, especially those with PIED, have required a year or longer to achieve significant results.

Parameters

NoFap’s users challenge themselves to abstain from a variety of behaviors. While at its core rebooting involves abstaining from artificial sexual stimulation, namely the use of pornography, users apply that principle using their own set of parameters for a challenge.
Three behaviors that users generally attempt to abstain from are looking at porn, masturbating, and having an orgasm. In the forums and on the subreddit, these are often referred to collectively by the acronym “PMO”. Sometimes users will further abbreviate PMO to refer to other sets of behaviors. They might use PM to refer to looking at porn and masturbating, but not doing it to the point of orgasm. Or they might use MO to refer to masturbating to the point of orgasm, but not while looking at porn. PMO is also commonly used as a verb. For instance, when a user reports that they’ve broken their abstinence, they might tell the forums that they PMOed.
You can find a glossary of other common terms here.

“Modes” of our Challenges

There are three common sets of guidelines which users may adopt for their challenge parameters. These are often referred to as “modes.”

Porn-Free Mode: Abstaining from Porn

“Porn-Free Mode” or “P-Mode” only requires that a rebooter abstain from looking at pornography. P-Mode rebooters allow themselves to masturbate and have orgasms (with or without a partner). While this mode is not as commonly practiced as other modes, some members arrive at the conclusion that watching pornography, and only watching pornography, is their problematic sexual habit.
P-Mode has its own pitfalls. While abstaining from the superstimulation of pornography is undoubtedly a good idea that will help the brain recover, we speculate it may take longer for a true reboot to occur, since a P-Mode rebooter is still bathing their reward system in dopamine by masturbating and having orgasms.
As with PM-Mode, rebooters who still allow themselves to orgasm should be prepared to experience the “Chaser Effect” (see Pitfalls, below), which is a period after having an orgasm where some rebooters are more apt to be triggered.
One common symptom of excessive masturbators is a desensitization of the genitals. This can be caused by a desensitization of the nerves or to a thickening of the tissue of the genitals, and is attributed to the intense stimulation hands or toys can provide, especially over long masturbation sessions. This symptom, known as “Death Grip,” often clears up after a brief period of abstinence from rough or otherwise intense masturbation. We recommend that P-Mode rebooters train themselves to touch themselves more gently or use toys that provide a more gentle, “natural” sensation for the duration of their challenge.

PM-Mode: Abstaining from Porn and Masturbation

PM-Mode is a set of parameters where the rebooter abstains from both pornography and masturbation, but allows themselves to engage in sex and have orgasms. This is a popular choice among rebooters who have partners or are otherwise sexually active. This mode isn’t as commonly practiced among our members as “Hard Mode”, in part because many excessive porn users are not sexually active.
PM-Mode is sometimes referred to as “Normal Mode,” in order to distinguish it from “Hard Mode,” which is the nickname for PMO-Mode (below). However, PM-Mode is not particularly easy and offers its own pitfalls. The “Chaser Effect” (see Pitfalls, below) is a common problem for PM-Mode rebooters. Furthermore, we speculate that the occasional bath of dopamine PM-Mode that rebooters experience when having sex may make for a slower reboot.

Hard Mode: Abstaining from Porn, Masturbation, and Orgasm Altogether

We lovingly nicknamed this mode “Hard Mode,” as many of our members are video gamers. Abstaining from PMO altogether includes barring orgasms with another person. Many rebooters do a Hard Mode reboot by default since they do not have partners or are not sexually active. Rebooters with partners can still do Hard Mode, but will want to get their partner’s on board with the idea of abstaining from sex or learning non-orgasmic sexual techniques. One such technique, karezza, has been successfully practiced by some members of the community.
While Hard Mode may seem like a more difficult reboot than P- or PM-Mode, Hard Mode rebooters won’t have to deal with the Chaser Effect, and they may experience the benefits of rebooting more quickly than if they’d done an another type of reboot.
Still, Hard Mode rebooters should be prepared for several potential difficulties. See the Pitfalls section, below.

Abstaining from Other Behaviors

Rebooters need not strictly limit themselves to NoFap’s official formats when choosing their challenge parameters.
We encourage rebooters to tailor their challenge to their own needs and aspirations. While most members of the NoFap community design their reboots around quitting porn and abstaining from masturbation for a period of time, that doesn’t mean that rebooters are limited to our standard program! A rebooting challenge is a good time to look at some other problem sexual habits. Do you spend too much time cruising social media for sexy pictures? Are you compelled to visit massage parlors or hire prostitutes? Do you engage in sexual fantasy to the point that it intrudes on your life?
We encourage people to use our choose-your-own-challenge model to pursue other habit-breaking goals and improve their lives. Whether you do it after you reboot from porn or during your porn reboot, our platform is available for anybody who wants to improve their lives. Do you drink too much coffee? Do you live a sedentary lifestyle or have poor eating habits?
We find that making too many changes all at once is difficult to sustain, and it is therefore important to be mindful of overloading your list of reboot habits. However, rebooting is a golden opportunity to make your life better, and NoFap is an excellent environment for finding support as you reach your goals.

Habits and Hobbies

In addition to abstaining from problematic sexual behaviors, we encourage rebooters to develop habits and hobbies that promote self-growth. For many rebooters, negative thoughts and feelings can trigger urges to use porn, ultimately leading to a reset or relapse. By building good habits and slowly progressing towards positive long-term goals, a rebooter can bolster their self-confidence, reduce negative thinking, and constructively use the surplus time and energy they will have after quitting porn.
It’s up to the rebooter to choose their own habits and hobbies. No one can tell you what activity will give you the positive boost you need!
For an extra challenge, try adding habits or hobbies to your challenge parameters. Commit to working on your habits or hobbies every day of your challenge.
It is important to note that a rebooter shouldn’t try to add too many habits or hobbies all at once. It is better to start small and excel than to bite off more than you can chew. Choose small goals for one or two habits or hobbies. After handling them successfully for a sustained period, slowly ramp up to bigger or more challenging goals. Refrain from taking on more habits until your first set have become second nature.

Habits

Common habits include new exercise or dietary programs, meditation, or adult daily living skills such as housework or flossing. Some rebooters like to challenge themselves to take a cold shower every morning for the duration of their reboot, as a simple way of building self-discipline.
A good habit to choose is something a rebooter can work on each day. It should be challenging enough to make a rebooter feel a sense of accomplishment, but not so intimidating that they’re just setting themselves up for more failure, which could result in negative thinking.
For instance, a sedentary rebooter will do well to exercise for 20 minutes each day rather than taking on a high-intensity exercise program. Someone looking to eat healthier might do better making sure they drink eight glasses of water each day rather than suddenly going vegan. Creative rebooters might want to finally get that novel written, but a good place to start could be a 750 words-per-day writing discipline.

Hobbies

Working on a hobby is a good way to pass the time. Some heavy porn users may have spent hours each day looking at porn and are surprised to find themselves with time on their hands once they start their reboot. This extra time may lead to boredom, which is another common trigger for porn use.
Hobbies could include finishing a project or pursuing an interest you’ve always been curious about. Hobbies that promote physical activity are a fantastic option. Taking up hiking, fun runs, or a new sport are excellent choices. Hobbies that take skill to accomplish and engage creative passions can be particularly fulfilling, and ones that engage manual dexterity can help keep “idle hands” busy. Learning to play a new instrument or handicrafts such as knitting are good options.
A good hobby provides relaxation rather than escapism. Relaxing hobbies are engaged in deliberately and leave you feeling refreshed and recharged. By contrast, escapist activities are often compulsive, performed as a way of escaping from uncomfortable duties or feelings, and will leave you feeling depleted. Only you will be able to determine whether a hobby is relaxation or escapism. For instance, video games and reading can be relaxing hobbies for one rebooter while providing destructive escapism for another rebooter.

Monk Mode

Conversely, experienced rebooters may choose to engage in a more intense regimen. Taking on an extreme challenge can be very motivating for some people! When a rebooter takes on extreme disciplines during their challenge, we refer to this as “Monk Mode.”
Monk Mode is a loosely defined term, first adopted by NoFap’s awesome community rather than NoFap itself. Some components of a Monk Mode reboot might include unplugging from any media which could contain sexual imagery, including television, YouTube, and social media. Monk Mode rebooters might abstain from losing themselves in sexual fantasy by instituting a “five second rule” for entertaining any sexual thoughts. Monk Mode rebooters in relationships might even agree with their partners to swear off all sexual contact for the duration of the reboot, including non-orgasmic contact.
People doing a Monk Mode reboot might also attempt to include intense discipline in other areas of their lives, like attempting a high-intensity workout regimen or fasting.
One consequence of Monk Mode might lie in biting off more than you can chew. The idea of attempting an extreme reboot can seem appealing in its stark simplicity, especially to pornography addicts who, like all addicts, may be all-or-nothing thinkers. But those without experience rebooting might be setting themselves up for failure if they are unable to maintain Monk Mode and subsequently become too discouraged to try again.
Rebooters attempting an intense exercise or diet regimen with their challenge should do so only after consulting their doctor.

Resetting

If a rebooter engages in one of their restricted behaviors before the end date of the challenge, this needn’t be the end of their journey. Instead, they should just “reset” and try again! Resetting means restarting their challenge beginning with day one and starting again.
Please don’t be discouraged if you have to reset. Most rebooters reset at some point. It’s important to realize that even though your day counter goes all the way back to day one, your progress isn’t completely erased. If you have several weeks or months of abstinence prior to your reset, you brain still gets the benefits of all that hard work… unless you give up and fall back into old habits entirely (see Reset vs. Relapse, below).

Counters

In the NoFap community, both at NoFap.com and NoFap’s subreddit, you will find tools to count the total consecutive number of days you’ve succeeded at rebooting challenges. These tools are called “counters” or “badges” (both names are used interchangeably). When you engage in a restricted behavior during a challenge, you need to reset your counter to day one.

When to Reset

Sometimes it’s tricky for a rebooter to determine when it’s time to reset. For instance, if a rebooter swears off porn but finds themselves browsing sexy YouTube videos, does that constitute a reset? That’s really up for that individual rebooter to determine.
If on the one hand the rebooter’s main goal is to refrain from masturbation, and watching sexy YouTube videos is tempting, then they might consider that behavior a red flag but not really a reset. If on the other hand a rebooter is trying to break a porn addiction and browsing sexy videos on YouTube puts them in the same trancelike state that they enter while watching porn, perhaps those videos should constitute porn for that rebooter, and watching them therefore constitutes a reset.
If you find yourself unsure whether to reset or not, this is a great opportunity to reach out to the collective wisdom of NoFap’s community. Get on those forums and post! Other rebooters will be happy to help.
If all else fails, a rule of thumb here is that if you remain unsure whether to reset or not, you should probably just go ahead and reset.

The Virtues of Resetting

Resetting a challenge is not the same as being a failure. In fact, there are several important virtues that are reinforced when you reset.
One virtue is honesty. Each time you admit to yourself and the other members of the community that you need to reset, you show a commendable level of honesty. Being dishonest, by failing to reset your counter or otherwise misrepresenting your progress, will do nothing but hurt yourself.
Another virtue is wisdom. Resetting is an opportunity for a rebooter to find their “weak spots” by examining what behaviors immediately led to the reset. Once these weak spots are understood, the rebooter can fix the leak, so to speak, to prevent the same thing from happening again in the future. For example, after resetting you look at what led up to your slip and realize you were browsing the Internet on your phone in bed before heading to sleep when you stumbled on some sexy pictures, which triggered your urges. Taking this knowledge, you decide to leave your phone in another room when you go to bed.
You’ll develop vulnerability and compassion when you’ve faced the pain of having to reset. By opening up and sharing your flaws with others, you learn that it’s okay to be vulnerable. And the next time someone opens up to you about their failure, you now have an increased capacity for compassion.
Perhaps the greatest lesson you can learn from resetting is tenacity. Each time you reset your count, it’s an opportunity to get up and try again. Success doesn’t come to people who never stumble; success comes to people who learn how to get up again.
When you reset, the most important things you can do are share with the community that you have stumbled, and try again.

Reset vs. Relapse

It’s important to understand the difference between a reset and a relapse. While a reset means you have failed the parameters of a challenge and need to reset your count to day one, a relapse is a more serious issue. Relapse is when a member of the community who had been improving their lives slips back into old bad habits.
Regarding relapse, mental health professionals draw a fine distinction. For someone who has been diagnosed as addicted to masturbation or sex, a single instance of masturbating or having sex does not necessarily constitute a relapse, since masturbating and sex are both largely considered natural activities. Masturbation or sex can be counted as a relapse if they negatively impact a diagnosed addict’s life. This can mean bingeing (masturbating many times per day to the point where it interferes with life), engaging in risky behavior (e.g. in public or at work), or skipping out on important obligations to do it. However, for pornography addicts, any one instance of masturbating with porn can be considered a relapse, since masturbating with porn is not a natural activity. In fact, for porn addicts, deliberately browsing porn sites without masturbating could be considered a relapse, since exposure to the superstimulus of pornography is probably harmful.
Regardless of whether you’ve relapsed or not, you need to reset your counter after any single instance of breaking your challenge commitment.
Relapses don’t necessarily happen during a rebooting challenge. Some members who have already rebooted can relapse months or years later. For these people, relapse can be a good opportunity to try rebooting again.
If you do think you’ve relapsed, it is critically important to reach out to your support system at this point, including NoFap’s community. Sometimes we need to reach out for help in order to stave off a destructive spiral.

The NoFap Community

One important aspect that makes NoFap’s approach to rebooting unique is our focus on developing a strong, supportive community. While we host the largest porn recovery community on the Internet, our community is one of the most supportive, as well. With NoFap, rebooters aren’t left to read a bunch of resources and then white-knuckle their way through a reboot without any support. Instead, our users are encouraged to engage with other people during their reboots.
Community isn’t merely a nice resource to have on hand. We believe that it’s a fundamental key to recovering. By sharing their successes, struggles, and resets with an understanding community, rebooters are actively fighting against the isolationism and self-rejection that are so often at the root of pornography addiction.
While social media has acclimated us all to surface interactions with “friends” who don’t really care about us and one-time exchanges in the comments section with a wall of faceless usernames, NoFap offers a chance to get to know people on a deeper level.

Forums

The forums at NoFap.com were built specifically to foster a supportive community. Here, members are asked to share their experiences with rebooting and porn addiction. The stories the community shares are inspiring.
The forums are also a terrific place for new rebooters to get their questions answered by members who have been through it all before. Active forum members are often happy to help answer questions and share their own experiences. By continuing to engage with the forums even long after their reboot, members aren’t just helping newbies, they are helping themselves to continue their journey of growth.

Reboot Reports

The NoFap.com forums host public journals for anyone undergoing a reboot. Rebooters are encouraged to record notes on their reboot in these reports as a way to both share their story with others and reflect on their progress.

Accountability Partners

One of the very best ways of staying on the straight-and-narrow during a reboot is by pairing up with an accountability partner. An accountability partner is another rebooter to stay accountable with. After exchanging contact info, accountability partners will check in with each other daily and report that they’ve had a successful day… or that they’ve had to reset.
This partnership doesn’t have to go beyond the simple daily check-in. However, accountability partners often share stories of their addiction and success with each other. Rebooters may find this to be one of the most genuine Internet relationships they’ve ever had.
An accountability partnership can inspire rebooters to push a little harder each day. Porn addicts are often used to letting themselves down, but are eager not to let down their friends. And few things are sweeter than crossing the finish line of a rebooting challenge with a buddy!
Members can find accountability partners on the forums. For more information about getting an accountability partner, go to this post.

It’s every man’s battle, so this is one place (among many) where the spiritual and secular meet.