The NeverFap method of addressing porn addiction comprises of five core principles.
Each principle maintains a purpose, along with a range of associated skills which you must develop in order to successfully address your porn addiction.
Without mastery of all five of these principles, we cannot hope to consistently manage the emotions, thoughts and behaviours which may be contributing towards our porn addiction.
For more of a relaxed introduction, I highly recommend reading my article The Five Principles Of Neverfap As They Relate To My Life which explains how they apply to my own life.
Before we begin, we must ask ourselves a very important question:
What is a fundamental principle and what makes it fundamental?
A fundamental principle is a hard truth. It is something which remains true irrespective of whether you agree with it, how you feel about it, nor even how you understand or interpret it.
It simply is.
You may attempt to dispute these fundamental truths or argue against their validity, which is perfectly fine if that is your intention.
However it certainly won’t help you overcome porn addiction, which is the primary reason why you’re here. You know, to receive help for a problem that you cannot do alone.
My intention on the other hand is very clear. I am here to help you overcome porn addiction.
So in order to do this, we must first set some ground rules and truly understand exactly what we’re getting ourselves into.
The key thing to understand about fundamental principles is that they are not subject to open-ended thinking.
“Well, my mind doesn’t really work like that.”
“While that may be true, I don’t personally allow it to affect me in that way.”
This is not how fundamental principles operate.
Hard truths are not open to subjective questioning. Certainly, you’re more than welcome to question them if you like, however it won’t help you with your porn addiction.
In fact, there’s a very specific word that is used to describe when people refuse to accept the fundamental basis of reality.
It's called denial.
Whether you realise it or not, the reason why you are a porn addict is because you are in denial about some aspect of your life.
Perhaps it is a misunderstanding of what you are capable of as a human being. Perhaps you have a low opinion of your self-worth. Maybe you never had the chance to develop any healthy coping mechanisms growing up.
Ultimately, the aim of these five fundamental principles is to help you expose the fact that there is something wrong with the way you currently think.
As a former porn addict, I encourage you to embrace the idea that everything you know about yourself is wrong, and to not fight the unfamiliar.
You cannot get better if you cannot first recognise that you have a problem.
The Five Fundamental Principles of NeverFap
On a superficial level, none of these principles seem to have anything to do with addressing porn addiction.
For example, there is no fundamental principle along the lines of “Never visit a porn website ever again” or “You should never willingly orgasm”.
A large part of the reason why this is the case is because porn addiction has very little to do with porn itself.
Rather, porn addiction is merely a symptom of a wider range of problems which NeverFap aims to address.
So without further ado, here are the five fundmental principles of NeverFap:
While all these principles are important in their own right, this is perhaps the one that people tend to struggle with most.
Or rather, it is a way of thinking and understanding which is completely foreign to most of us, and even those of us who do not have a porn addiction.
What Choice over mind iterates is the fact that you have complete control over your mind.
This is irrespective of whether you currently feel in control of your mind, whether you agree it’s possible to have full control over your mind, or whether you’ve even experienced having full control over your mind.
What's important to understand is that your mind is fundamentally capable of being controlled.
I would personally say that this fundamental principle is both equal parts understanding and practice.
Certainly while practicing and exercising choice is important, understanding the extent to which we have choice will help us gain the confidence to truly feel comfortable dictating our thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviour.
By in large, the way this confidence is achieved is through controlled meditation and perspective training, which is covered extensively throughout the NeverFap Deluxe Practices section.
For example, a situation where many porn addicts believe they do not have control is in public.
Many porn addicts (particularly male porn addicts) have a tendency to stare at women they find attractive in public. In particular, control over staring at hot women in public.
Well, I’m here to tell you that with daily practice, we can learn to develop control over our mind, and completely filter the women we walk past in public altogether.
This is one of those concepts that people think they understand, and yet refutely misunderstand simply because of how obliviously unbalanced they are to begin with.
In fact, it’s something most people outright ignore because they don’t believe it’s “that big of a deal”, not quite understanding the consequences that ignoring balance can have on their life.
In other words, denial.
What Balance over reward maintains is this idea that we must prioritise balance over our immediate wants and goals.
Often we become so affixated with something, either through obsession or neglect, we fail to consider the wider ramifications of our actions.
So we cut corners in order to achieve or experience what we want, only to face the consequences of our actions later.
Not realising that the reason why we’re struggling is because of the corners that we’ve cut.
For example, overworking ourselves is a prominent example of cutting corners in order to achieve something at the immediate harm to both our physical and mental health.
We stay up late to finish what we’re working on, ruining our sleep schedule and ability to regulate stress. We most cases, resort to caffeine and porn to keep us energised, resulting in addiction and dysfunction.
And yet, we're so focused on the outcome that we don't quite realise what we're even doing wrong.
Rather, we feel justified in our actions, inspite of the fact that we recognise that we may have a problem with addiction or our mental health.
Even though a) Cutting corners makes you less productive overall than if you were functioning normally and b) Having the added effect of ruining your mental health physical health in the process.
Instead, by learning to respect the principle of balance in your life, you can actually get more done overall without burning out, and without the constant baggage of emotional volatility and stress.
I think part of the problem is that people fall into the trap of believing they’re inherently unique when it comes to cutting corners.
They think they can somehow "cheat" the system and come out ahead.
Put simply, it’s impossible.
No one is immune to their own biology.
Even though people may not show it (in most cases, they simply know how to hide it very effectively), there is a hard limit to what everyone can do on a daily basis without it affecting their mental health.
The point is that if we are to overcome our porn addiction, we must respect this limit and embrace balance in everything we do.
This means taking breaks, even when we want to push forward. This means challenging ourselves, even if we don’t feel like it.
And by learning to value and respect these boundaries, you may gain a significant amount of control over your life.
Awareness is absolutely fundamental to everything we do.
It is what allows us to identify and address the destructive patterns in our life, as well as serve as a stop-gap between our thoughts and our actions.
What Awareness over all maintains is that having awareness over our actions is critical to not only understanding the impact those actions may have over our own lives, but also how we can learn to gain control over them.
Without full awareness, we simply cannot hope to act with any amount of intention, nor understand the responsibility we have over them.
Instead, we allow our habitual thoughts, emotions and beliefs to take over and continue their self-destructive patterns.
I think the reason why most people struggle with this concept of awareness is because:
a) They’re not currently aware, nor understand how to be aware because it’s not something they’ve ever practiced.
b) Most people struggle to even understand what this concept of awareness actually is. (I was certainly one of them)
In reality, awareness is actually really simple.
Awareness is your ability to sense the world around you.
That’s literally it.
It’s not about focusing your mind or trying really hard not to think, or even trying to figure out how to empty the thoughts in your mind.
Certainly, they may be useful skills and they may be a consequence of practicing awareness, however the actual action of awareness itself is simple.
It is simply being present with your senses.
Pretty neat, huh?
And when you’re present with your senses and what you’re feeling, it provides you with the ability to control and gauge your experience.
Without reaction, and without taking what you’re experiencing personally.
Essentially, the basis of this principle is that the simplest path is often the most efficient.
And as humans, we instinctly do what we find most simple, either for better or worse.
Therefore, solutions which are simple by design are going to be more effective than solutions which are convoluted.
It’s the reason why I personally follow the paleo diet and only eat one meal a day.
Doing this is vastly more simple than counting calories, obsessing over when I can eat and organising three meals a day.
In other words, simple is often easy.
Certainly, part of the reason why we're addicted to porn in the first place is because it's the easy thing to do.
Back to the principle itself, what Struggle over none relates to is this idea that if you’re really struggling with someone, then you’re probably not doing it right.
Which means either you’re not understanding it intuitively, or you’re fundamentally misunderstanding what you’re trying to understand.
For example, understanding that porn recovery isn’t about fighting yourself or forcing yourself to “get through it”.
If at any point you feel like you have to force yourself to do something, then it indicates that you’re doing something incorrectly or more importantly, not actually recovering from porn addiction.
Because life without porn isn't a struggle.
It’s actually one of the most liberating and empowering things you can do.
The takeaway being that life only ever becomes a chore when we act against it or neglect it.
Especially when it comes to addressing porn addiction.
Much like Balance over reward, this is one of those principles that people tend to ignore, because they underestimate the ramifications of ignoring it.
Uncondition over judgement is about pursing acceptance over judgement.
What a lot of people don't realise is that judgement is a mental trap.
Because when you make a judgement, you essentially trap yourself into a limited point of view.
Of course, the reason why it may not seem like a mental trap is because at first, making one judgement isn’t going to kill you.
But humans never just make one judgement.
We make thousands of judgements each and everyday, each time moulding our perception of who we are and what we know.
And when we make enough of these judgements, they can form into habits of belief which prevent us from exercising awareness.
After all, how can you be aware of what's going on in your mind, if your mind is in a constant state of habitual thinking?
The more judgements you make, the more awareness you trade, and the more faith that gets placed into ideas of who you are and what the world is.
It becomes a trap because without realising it, through judgement you end up in a state of habitual unawareness, full of harmful behaviours that we have no idea how to control or influence.
Now imagine trying to address something like porn addiction under this state of mind.
It becomes almost impossible.
Because guess what happens when you invest all your faith into a bunch of fruitless ideas?
You end up having no capacity to address the problems in your life which actually has meaning, like your porn addiction.
Remember, there are consequences to everything you do in life, whether you realise it or not.
So there you go.
The Five Fundamental Principles of NeverFap.
Hopefully you have a better idea of what the Five Fundamental Principles of NeverFap are, as well as what they represent.
They exist to help guide you through your porn recovery journey, as well as help you make healthy decisions.
If ever you get confused about anything, it can help to come back to these five principles, or try to assess what you might be doing incorrectly.
Because at the end of the day, overcoming porn addiction is completely within your reach.
You just have to know exactly what you’re doing and why.
Moving forward I recommend checking out the article index which contains further information in regards to the NeverFap method of overcoming porn addiction.