NoFap is a secular website. Despite this, we’ve seen some funny, perplexing, and ridiculous false information attempting to connect NoFap to religion, including but not limited to:
- That NoFap is owned by another organization that is heavily funded by the Mormon church (written by a PhD in a peer-reviewed journal)
- That NoFap is secretly funded by the Mormon church (by defamers)
- That NoFap is a “covert religious operation” (in a porn industry trade publication)
- That NoFap is associated with the “Christian porn addiction industry” (an online article)
None of these claims are based in reality.
NoFap is 100% secular.
NoFap was not religiously-inspired.
NoFap was originally created in 2011 as a forum to discuss abstaining from rubbing one out for seven days to one month. Our founder was engaging in online discussions around the issue for years before this – but the popularity of a “7 day challenge” Internet meme on Reddit prompted him to finally launch a formal discussion board around the topic. Reddit users were buzzing about a journal article which purported that avoiding ejaculation for seven days could result in a temporary blood serum testosterone peak, and NoFap provided a place to engage in this challenge, as well as to go on for a full month of masturbation avoidance.
The creator and original members of NoFap were not looking to reduce masturbation or pornography for religious or moral reasons, but were just performing a self-experiment to see if their sexual habits were negatively impacting their lives. Long story short, the original users of NoFap found that curbing their porn use and masturbation down to more moderate levels – or going porn-free indefinitely – often resulted in significant benefits. From there, NoFap has grown into one of the largest platforms for people pursuing healthier sexual habits, and into one of the most prominent recovery websites for porn addiction, problematic porn use, and compulsive sexual behavior.
NoFap’s founder is openly non-religious.
This fact has been covered by numerous news organizations, including CNN, The New York Times, and even religious websites such as “LifeSiteNews.” Our website was created by an atheist who now identifies as a non-religious agnostic.
NoFap receives zero funding from religious organizations.
NoFap is financially sustained by its members, not the Mormon church, the Catholic church, or other religious organizations. NoFap is not owned by any religious group, nor does any religious group posses any ownership interest in our website. NoFap does not coordinate with any religious group, nor does any religious group maintain any influence over NoFap.
Most of NoFap’s users aren’t religious.
NoFap is thrilled to host an incredibly diverse community of people from all over the world. Our community primarily consists of non-religious people (one survey indicated 62%), but religious people are welcome to utilize our platform, as well. Only 17% of NoFap users report going to religious services weekly. Another survey indicated that only 14% of NoFap’s users listed religious reasons as a factor in joining the website.
NoFap doesn’t engage in religious or moral arguments.
While modern, digital Internet-based porn has potentially addictive features compared to the physical pornography of decades past, NoFap isn’t “against” the general idea of sex media and doesn’t argue that nude or sex media is “immoral,” “wrong,” or “bad.” Porn of the 2000s is very different from pornography of the 1990s – as it is now available in virtually endless abundance and novelty. When discussing the potential effects associated with porn overuse and porn addiction, NoFap relies on personal accounts and points to clinicians and scientific experts publishing research. NoFap is a website by recovering porn addicts, for recovering porn addicts. We do our best to facilitate a shame-free and supportive environment for people to pursue healthier sexual habits. NoFap doesn’t engage in culture wars and just aims to help people who choose to pursue sexual self-improvement. Our secular approach to porn addiction is even appreciated by many religious people, who felt like participating in faith-based “chastity” programs wasn’t as useful to them. Other religious users may supplement using NoFap with religiously-based resources.
Why are some activists attempting to spread disinformation about recovery advocates?
Despite comprehensive media coverage describing the non-religious reasons for NoFap’s existence and its non-religiously-inspired backstory, certain entities seem highly motivated to spread false information about NoFap, including falsely linking it to religion. Some of these entities are just misinformed (and we hope that this article helps to clear things up), but others seem to spread such false information intentionally. Often, entities spreading such disinformation are porn advocate activists or even have connections to the porn industry.
One central contention by anti-porn addiction folks is that porn addiction doesn’t exist and is usually one of two things: moral disapproval with porn use or using porn to cope with other mental health issues. That the problems that porn addicts experience aren’t caused by the porn itself but by their supposed sexual shame surrounding porn use – or by the other purported mental health factors that led them to use so much porn.
It seems that some anti-porn addiction folks want NoFap to be religious (even though it isn’t) so that it would neatly fit into their idea that porn addiction isn’t real and that “porn addiction” is usually a sexual shame issue. While it is true that some people who believe they have “porn addiction” or “problematic pornography use” probably don’t, many do.
Neurological research reveals brain changes associated with excessive, out-of-control porn use that fits within the behavioral addiction model. According to our data, 68% of NoFap’s users report not experiencing shame related to their porn use – that that doesn’t mean that the 32% of users that do experience shame are automatically disqualified from being diagnosed with porn addiction, problematic porn use, or non-porn compulsive sexual behavior. While it may be true that some porn users (particularly those from religious backgrounds) may experience shame around their porn use, research has supported that those who believe they are addicted or struggle with compulsive porn use often actually struggle to control their porn use. Research supports that such moral incongruence is also present at similar rates in gambling and other addictions. The World Health Organization specifically excludes “distress that is entirely related to moral judgments and disapproval about sexual impulses, urges, or behaviours” in the criteria for Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder.
In any case, NoFap is secular. Problematic porn use and porn addiction can impact religious people and non-religious people. Porn addiction is real. There are adverse effects associated with excessive porn use. And recovery is possible. Click here to learn more about disinformation spread about NoFap and porn addiction.