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I'm posting in this circle because the "No Fap" (I know, the name is so cringey) movement is directly related to pornography consumption, and also because I want to address this question specifically to the radical feminists here. I know that radical feminism is concerned with women's liberation and our focus is on the ways that patriarchy oppresses women, rather than any negative impacts it may have on men. As such, I am not trying to ruffle any feathers here by bringing up a male-centered movement, I am just making this post because I do feel this movement is adjacent to many of the things we fight for and aligns with many of our goals. I would like to hear if anyone here has any opinions regarding it. I have never seen it discussed, perhaps there is a reason for that? Or it just hasn't come up?

Thanks to the user who posted that Gail Dines video yesterday I have been on a big Gail Dines binge on youtube. (She's amazing and I want to be her when I grow up). That led me to finding the channel for the "Fight the New Drug" organization, which is also quite excellent - it's full of expert testimonials on how porn impacts the brain, the rise of pornography in the internet age, as well as stories of trafficked women. In addition to this, they feature stories of young men who have given up pornography consumption. Going down that rabbit hole led me to the "No Fap" subreddit and I'm just really not sure what to make of it.

In the best light, I see a huge number of men who see how vile, dangerous and often pernicious pornography is, exactly the thing we want to get people to realize. Could these men be .... allies? They are the target demographic of porn, and they're shunning it. Of course, they are doing it for reasons of personal benefit (e.g. they're trying to regain the ability to have an erection without having to watch something violent and disgusting, they see how it personally impacts their ability to function and have normal relationships), rather than necessarily realizing how harmful the porn industry is toward women. I guess an analogy would be someone who becomes a vegan to lower their cholesterol rather than for animal welfare reasons. Either way, they aren't eating meat.

A reduction in consumption is a reduction in consumption. The porn industry serves a demand, and it seems that lowering demand by any means is good, right?

One post on there was like "I gave up porn because I lost my ability to see women as anything but objects". Objectification of women underlies every struggle we fight as radical feminists. The porn industry is massive and its reach is so huge, and it's hammering the idea into the heads of virtually all young men that women are subhuman objects. Gail Dines rightly calls it a "public health crisis". So I guess it's heartening(?) to see that some young men are realizing this and quitting porn, and encouraging each other to quit it, too.

I'm posting in this circle because the "No Fap" (I know, the name is so cringey) movement is directly related to pornography consumption, and also because I want to address this question specifically to the radical feminists here. I know that radical feminism is concerned with women's liberation and our focus is on the ways that patriarchy oppresses women, rather than any negative impacts it may have on men. As such, I am not trying to ruffle any feathers here by bringing up a male-centered movement, I am just making this post because I do feel this movement is adjacent to many of the things we fight for and aligns with many of our goals. I would like to hear if anyone here has any opinions regarding it. I have never seen it discussed, perhaps there is a reason for that? Or it just hasn't come up? Thanks to the user who posted that Gail Dines video yesterday I have been on a big Gail Dines binge on youtube. (She's amazing and I want to be her when I grow up). That led me to finding the channel for the "Fight the New Drug" organization, which is also quite excellent - it's full of expert testimonials on how porn impacts the brain, the rise of pornography in the internet age, as well as stories of trafficked women. In addition to this, they feature stories of young men who have given up pornography consumption. Going down that rabbit hole led me to the "No Fap" subreddit and I'm just really not sure what to make of it. In the best light, I see a huge number of men who see how vile, dangerous and often pernicious pornography is, exactly the thing we want to get people to realize. Could these men be .... allies? They are the target demographic of porn, and they're shunning it. Of course, they are doing it for reasons of personal benefit (e.g. they're trying to regain the ability to have an erection without having to watch something violent and disgusting, they see how it personally impacts their ability to function and have normal relationships), rather than necessarily realizing how harmful the porn industry is toward women. I guess an analogy would be someone who becomes a vegan to lower their cholesterol rather than for animal welfare reasons. Either way, they aren't eating meat. A reduction in consumption is a reduction in consumption. The porn industry serves a demand, and it seems that lowering demand by any means is good, right? One post on there was like "I gave up porn because I lost my ability to see women as anything but objects". Objectification of women underlies every struggle we fight as radical feminists. The porn industry is massive and its reach is so huge, and it's hammering the idea into the heads of virtually all young men that women are subhuman objects. Gail Dines rightly calls it a "public health crisis". So I guess it's heartening(?) to see that some young men are realizing this and quitting porn, and encouraging each other to quit it, too.

39 comments

[–] IronicWolf 2 points (+2|-0)

Less pornography is good but most of these men are doing it because excessive pornography consumption has affected their ability to have an erection. So a movement entirely centred around the demands of men’s penises. Unless they reject pornography specifically on the basis that it is exploitative and harmful to women, they’re no real friend or ally of women.

[–] RisingUp 3 points (+3|-0) Edited

Sadly, I think a 'porn is bad for penises' message is much more likely to have an impact on the world than 'porn is the cause of thousands of women and children being trafficked, raped and abused.'

So I'm all for the nofap movement and I hope their message spreads, although I have nothing but contempt for the men in it and wouldn't fuck one with someone else's bargepole. Decent men don't get addicted to porn in the first place.

[–] bornwithovaries 3 points (+3|-0)

Am I the only one weirded out that they're calling it "no fap" rather than just "no porn"? Masturbation was never the issue, guys. I'd rather a guy fapped than do some of the stupid, inconsiderate, and downright dangerous things men do to get laid.

[–] estina 2 points (+2|-0)

I’ve browsed there before. Though some are misogynistic I do think there is a range and many are young men trying to find healthier ways of relating to themselves and to women. I feel empathy for many of them and personally don’t feel the need to condemn the whole lot. At the end of the day at least they’re not actively supporting the porn industry like most men do.

[–] lucretiamott [OP] DworkinDownvoted 2 points (+2|-0)

That was my general impression there as well. I saw quite a few posts that I found pretty heartening.

I think it's a very positive development. Sure, their logic tends to be...not very feminist. They want to stop masturbating and watching porn because they feel it's emasculating. However, I've noticed that many do refer to the inability to perceive women in non-objectifying ways, and I do think their basic motivation is to shape their own sexuality as opposed to having the porn industry shape it for them (which I think is an important feminist goal as well). So I'm all for seeing them as allies. We need all the support we can get!

[–] Sunkised 8 points (+8|-0)

I lurk in that space. Some men said they finally see women as human after quitting porn. People really underestimate how bad porn is for our brain. After I quit, it felt like my brain reset. I stopped oversexualizing fellow women and saw this disgusting trash for what it is.

[–] itsnotaboutewe 6 points (+6|-0)

I really don't like this new idea of different groups being banded together in the public eye as allies. This is how LGB got stuck with the T and all the other perversions. Radical feminism and GC feminism are close enough to be classed as allies but that's about it. It should be enough to say that another group has some aims or beliefs that we agree with without tying ourselves to them and being accused of being a part of them. We are currently linked to right wing religious groups and conservative political parties because of this idea of allyship with people we really have not much in common with. I think of it like this: I love dogs and Hitler loved dogs but that doesn't make us allies. It only means that there is one small thing about Hitler that I cannot hate him for but I can certainly hate him for the rest.

[–] questioningtw 5 points (+5|-0)

I agree that men in the anti porn movement can be allies-and they often are. There are anti porn men that don't like porn because they don't want to see women being abused. Nofap though.....is different. They are actually anti masterbation, which is stupid. They blame women for giving them sexual thoughts and think that semen retention actually gives them powers.

[–] La 2 points (+3|-1)

Masturbation is healthy and fun. Men should do it.

Men who are against masturbation will end up viewing women as temptresses and providers of sex. See: religion.

Not allies.

And I’m not even anti porn relative to this site (don’t kick me out!)

Just know how men obsessing over rubbing one out is not good for women.

[–] PaperDelusions 7 points (+7|-0)

I personally don't have problems with people masturbating, it can be good and healthy (if did sometimes without porn).

If by no fap you mean "no porn" then of course it's a good thing. The less porn males consume, the better for everyone.

But don't get fooled, they mostly don't do it because they care about human trafficking, disgusting abuse etc. They do it because their dick doesn't get hard the way they want it to, because they don't get off to normal sex anymore.

[–] JooskeRunneboom 11 points (+11|-0)

It's good that they're not consuming porn because it reduces demand for porn, but I wouldn't call them allies for panicking over their broken dicks. They're still completely self-centred on the matter.

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