The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent social distancing measures have been stressful for everyone. To combat negative feelings, such as boredom, loneliness, or isolation, the general public have increased habits such as drinking, smoking, and, most relevantly, the consumption of pornography. The organization NoFap was founded in 2012 by web-developed Alexander Rhodes. He was worried about how the wide availability of pornography, and the possibility of becoming addicted, could negatively impact individuals and, consequently, wider society. Starting as a lifestyle website designed to help people resist masturbation, NoFap has birthed a vast community of, primarily men, who engage in three-month challenges to "reboot," i.e., Fapstronauts. Now with 822k members, R/NoFap is the biggest dedicated digital platform. This talk explores the values of this forum in relation to topics such as motivation and masculinity. In particular, it looks at how the membership has responded to social distancing measures during the Covid-19 pandemic: a time in which they may have been more vulnerable to relapse. Discussion points include whether social distancing measures help or hinder Fapstronauts, how social distancing has led to individuals questioning what counts as cheating, and how the community supports members.

Cite as

Smith, D. 2021, 'Taking matters into their own hands: lockdown and the NoFap community', Robert Gordon University. https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/1631791

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Last updated: 05 February 2024
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