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NoFap Premature Ejaculation: Can It Help With PE?

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Reviewed by Mike Bohl, MD

Written by Shannon Ullman

Published 05/24/2022

Updated 01/16/2024

Do you ever feel like you masturbate too much? If so, know you’re not alone.

The internet (and internet pornography, specifically) has drastically changed the way society functions. For some guys, the endless supply of media can lead to sexual behavior patterns and habits that might feel shameful.

Or, it can make frequent masturbation a replacement for real sexual relationships, which is something you don’t want to happen.

But just because something feels wrong doesn’t mean it’s harming you. And while porn addiction may be a cause for concern, the messy space between frequent masturbation and negative health consequences is murky.

Men trying to limit solo sessions with the internet and a bottle of lotion may resort to NoFap.

What the heck is NoFap? Keep reading for answers.

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NoFap is a movement — an internet community convinced there’s a correlation between controlling those baser browser instincts and unlocking new levels of healthy bodily function. 

The movement alleges that “beating your meat” less often can improve health, memory, cognitive performance and maybe even performance in the bedroom — which might appeal to those dealing with sexual dysfunction problems like premature ejaculation (PE).

PE is a common male sexual dysfunction issue affecting 20 to 30 percent of men regardless of age or ethnicity — although reports are subjective and estimates vary widely.

Premature ejaculation is characterized by:

  • Ejaculation that almost always happens within about one minute (lifelong premature ejaculation) or within about three minutes (acquired premature ejaculation) of vaginal penetration

  • Inability to delay ejaculation on most or all vaginal penetrations

  • Experiencing negative personal consequences from sex, including distress, frustration or avoiding sexual intimacy altogether

So, does porn or masturbation cause premature ejaculation? Let’s explore the relationship (or lack thereof) between premature ejaculation and NoFap to find out.

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We’ve briefly discussed NoFap, but let’s go a little deeper to better understand this questionably named movement.

The NoFap is essentially a modernized version of age-old perceptions about masturbation tied up in the world of abstinence — but with a twist. It has challenges that go against PMO (porn, masturbation and orgasm).

The PMO NoFap movement combines two principles:

  • Abstaining from masturbation is better for your health than masturbating.

  • Watching internet pornography is bad for your health.

Take those two statements, mix them together, throw them into the crazy world of Reddit forums, and you’ll get the subreddit /nofap.

NoFap Challenges

Within the NoFap movement are various “challenges” men can complete for supposedly better health and semen retention.

For example, “NoFap November” is an annual 30-day challenge that helps men “reset” by avoiding porn and masturbation. If this sounds familiar, it is. Everyone from the writers of Seinfeld to the masterminds behind Lent considered this reset concept.

NoFap also has a 90-day “reboot” that challenges members to not orgasm, masturbate or look at porn for three months — with all the (purported) benefits of NoFap being the reward in both cases.

Research on Potential NoFap Benefits

As of now, no medical evidence backs up NoFap’s promises to its members. 

There’s a widespread belief in porn-induced erectile dysfunction, which can be a motivator for many men to abstain from watching internet porn or masturbation as a whole.

Researchers have acknowledged problems that can arise from indulging in excessive pornography. However, they still don’t have scientific evidence to back up whether excessive porn is a physiological cause of premature ejaculation.

It’s certainly not the most unusual treatment you may have heard of. Premature ejaculation hypnosis, anyone?

Can “no fapping” challenges help you manage premature ejaculation? 

There are two answers to this question: One is about abstinence from masturbation, and the other has to do with pornography addiction.

Let’s look at both questions independent of the NoFap movement.

Masturbation Abstinence and PE

Currently, no evidence supports a link between health benefits and being abstinent. This includes a study where researchers examined a possible connection between premature ejaculation and response to nerve tests.

Porn Abstinence and PE

With regard to porn, NoFap’s argument leaves a lot to be desired in the way of evidence.

According to a review, there’s a slight possibility that if you stop watching internet pornography, you can reverse some of the negative effects of sexual dysfunction. But lots more data is necessary to confirm or deny the connection between porn use and sexual dysfunction.

With the research we do have available, there’s a link between people who believe they’re addicted to porn and sexual dysfunction, such as PE, erectile dysfunction (ED) and sexual dissatisfaction — but the link isn’t there when looking at actual porn usage.

Want to learn more about the benefits of not ejaculating? Check out our blog.

If you want to hop on the bandwagon with the NoFap movement, that’s your choice.

But we can tell you now that a 30-day abstinence challenge may not result in the benefits you’re looking for — including if you’re dealing with premature ejaculation. And based on the research, sexual health experts don’t recommend NoFap, either.

In place of NoFap, other methods may help with premature ejaculation symptoms.

Medication-Free Approaches for PE

The stop-start technique, the squeeze method and pelvic floor exercises (also known as Kegels) are medication-free approaches that may prevent you from cumming before you’d like to.

  • Stop-start technique. For the stop-start method, you’ll stimulate your penis right up until the point of orgasm, then stop until the need to ejaculate goes away. This requires some self-control, but you can get better at it with practice.

  • Squeeze technique. The squeeze technique involves stimulating your penis and then stopping right before you orgasm. You’ll then apply some pressure to the head of the penis to decrease sensitization, then get back to business. Research shows it can work, but we recommend talking to your partner before trying it, just so nobody’s confused.

  • Pelvic floor exercises. Then there are Kegel exercises, which may improve your pelvic floor muscles’ stamina and give you some degree of orgasmic control to address ongoing premature ejaculation symptoms. You can Kegel away, but science isn’t exactly sure how many you should do — or how often you need to do them — to get desired results. 

Masturbation before sex and condom use may also help with PE. Both might delay ejaculation.

Topical PE Treatments

If you’re looking for over-the-counter treatments proven to help prevent or relieve PE symptoms, consider benzocaine wipes or desensitizing spray

Benzocaine wipes have the same active ingredient as some dental numbing medications. When used as directed, they can be effective in improving bedroom performance and satisfaction (for both you and your sexual partner).

A study looked at 21 men with PE who used 4% benzocaine wipes. After two months of use, there was a significant improvement in average IELT.

Another option to consider for PE is Delay Spray. This topical product lowers the sensitivity in your penis — and you don’t have to deal with an uncomfortable numbing sensation.

The best part is that desensitizing spray lets you enjoy sex without worrying about cumming quicker than you planned to. Spray it on 10 to 15 minutes before sex for better sexual stimulation and prevention of early orgasm.

PE Medications (Off-Label)

A final option may be antidepressants of the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) variety.

These medications work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, which is when the neurotransmitter is reabsorbed by the cells that released it. This leads to an increase in serotonin activity in your body.

SSRIs are typically first-line treatments for depression, but delayed ejaculation is one of the side effects. Consequently, they’re sometimes prescribed off-label to treat premature ejaculation.

SSRIs that may be prescribed for premature ejaculation include:

  • Sertraline (the generic version of Zoloft®)

  • Paroxetine (generic for Aropax®, Paxil®, Pexeva®, Seroxat®, Sereupin® and Brisdelle®)

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac®)

  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox®)

  • Citalopram (Celexa®)

  • Escitalopram (Lexapro® and Cipralex®)

  • Vilazodone (Viibryd®)

Sildenafil (popularly known by the brand name Viagra®) is another medication that might help treat PE. A study revealed that it may improve IELT, boost sexual satisfaction, decrease PE severity and increase the frequency of sexual activity.

This is another drug without official approval from the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to treat premature ejaculation specifically. But research shows that it can be effective in relieving symptoms.

If the non-medical treatment options for premature ejaculation aren’t working for you, speak with your healthcare provider about the potential benefits of antidepressants or ED medication.

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There’s nothing wrong with watching porn online in moderation. But if you believe you’re facing porn addiction, it’s best to avoid the PMO NoFap movement and seek professional help.

We can also safely say that the NoFap movement isn’t a good way to treat premature ejaculation.

If you’re dealing with PE symptoms or another form of sexual dysfunction, try other methods to delay ejaculation and improve your sex life. There are plenty of over-the-counter and prescription medications you can try to enhance sexual performance.

Considering joining the NoFap movement because you think excessive masturbation is affecting your daily life? We’re not here to talk you out of it — but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Here’s what to keep in mind about NoFap and premature ejaculation:

  • Masturbation is a common behavior that falls within the normal range of healthy sexual activity. In fact, it is promoted as a safe-sex behavior and applied in sex therapy.

  • There’s a lack of evidence on the relationship between masturbation and sexual dysfunction, which makes it difficult to determine if ceasing masturbation or limiting it will have effects.

  • NoFap is a movement created on Reddit to help men abstain from internet pornography and masturbation, but there’s not much evidence to back up its claims.

  • If you’re thinking of joining the NoFap community for help with PE symptoms, consider other methods, like physical techniques, wipes, sprays and off-label medications.

Ready to get help? You can talk to someone today about psychological sexual dysfunction through our online therapy platform.

Want to learn more about PE first? Check out our premature ejaculation treatments to learn more about ways to manage this sexual function issue.

If you have ED, you can explore the available erectile dysfunction treatments.

11 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

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  2. Chu, A. (2023, May 1). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554406/
  3. Gillman, N. & Gillman, M. (2019). Premature ejaculation: Aetiology and treatment strategies. Medical Sciences, 7(11), 102. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6915345/
  4. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). (2019, September 12). Premature ejaculation: What can I do on my own? InformedHealth.org - NCBI Bookshelf. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547551/
  5. Mascherek, A., Reidick, M. C. et al. (2021). Is ejaculation frequency in men related to general and mental health? Looking back and looking forward. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8382266/
  6. Myers, C. M. & Smith, M. (2019). Pelvic floor muscle training improves erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation: a systematic review. Physiotherapy, 105(2), 235–243. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30979506/
  7. Park, B. Y., Wilson, G. et al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6(3), 17. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5039517/
  8. Shabsigh, R., Kaminetsky, J. et al. (2017). PD69-02 DOUBLE-BLIND, RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL OF TOPICAL 4% BENZOCAINE WIPES FOR MANAGEMENT OF PREMATURE EJACULATION: INTERIM ANALYSIS. The Journal of Urology, 197(4S). Retrieved from: https://www.auajournals.org/doi/10.1016/j.juro.2017.02.3143
  9. Wei-Fu, W., Wang, Y. et al. (2007). Can sildenafil treat primary premature ejaculation? A prospective clinical study. International Journal of Urology, 14(4), 331–335. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17470165/
  10. Yang, B., Xia, J. et al. (2018). No effect of abstinence time on nerve electrophysiological test in premature ejaculation patients. Asian Journal of Andrology, 20(4), 391. Retrieved from: https://journals.lww.com/ajandrology/Fulltext/2018/20040/No_effect_of_abstinence_time_on_nerve.13.aspx
  11. Zimmer, F. & Imhoff, R. (2020). Abstinence from Masturbation and Hypersexuality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(4), 1333–1343. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7145784/
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Mike Bohl, MD

Dr. Mike Bohl is a licensed physician, a Medical Advisor at Hims & Hers, and the Director of Scientific & Medical Content at a stealth biotech startup, where he is involved in pharmaceutical drug development. Prior to joining Hims & Hers, Dr. Bohl spent several years working in digital health, focusing on patient education. He has also worked in medical journalism for The Dr. Oz Show (receiving recognition for contributions from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences when the show won Outstanding Informative Talk Show at the 2016–2017 Daytime Emmy® Awards) and at Sharecare. He is a Medical Expert Board Member at Eat This, Not That! and a Board Member at International Veterinary Outreach.

Dr. Bohl obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine from Brown University, his Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and his Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies—Journalism from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Leadership at Cornell University. Dr. Bohl trained in internal medicine with a focus on community health at NYU Langone Health.

Dr. Bohl is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners, Medical Writer Certified by the American Medical Writers Association, a certified Editor in the Life Sciences by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs. He has graduate certificates in Digital Storytelling and Marketing Management & Digital Strategy from Harvard Extension School and certificates in Business Law and Corporate Governance from Cornell Law School.

In addition to his written work, Dr. Bohl has experience creating medical segments for radio and producing patient education videos. He has also spent time conducting orthopedic and biomaterial research at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland and practicing clinically as a general practitioner on international medical aid projects with Medical Ministry International.

Dr. Bohl lives in Manhattan and enjoys biking, resistance training, sailing, scuba diving, skiing, tennis, and traveling. You can find Dr. Bohl on LinkedIn for more information.


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  • Islam, A., Bohl, M. S., Tsai, A. G., Younesi, M., Gillespie, R., & Akkus, O. (2015). Biomechanical evaluation of a novel suturing scheme for grafting load-bearing collagen scaffolds for rotator cuff repair. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 30(7), 669–675. https://www.clinbiomech.com/article/S0268-0033(15)00143-6/fulltext

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