I am currently reading Alan Watts’ autobiography In My Own Way, which I find very humbling to read, as it unscrupulously shows me what great writing can look like.
But this little blog post is about sex and masturbation, not writing. For I found that Watts’ view on sexual asceticism is precisely the same as mine.
Earlier this year, I completed a self-discipline challenge of staying sexually abstinent for 100 days. My conclusion was that I will never abuse my willpower for hazarding my mental health and suppressing my nature ever again.
Now, here is what I just read in the aforementioned book:
Over the years it has become my firm opinion that sexual activity (even if only through masturbation) is “requisite and necessary, as well for the body as for the soul”; for men and women alike. It stimulates your glands, exercises your pelvis, thrills your nerves, brings mind and body together as one, and culminates in an ecstasy in which there is neither past nor future nor separation between self and other. We need this as we need vitamins, proteins, water, and air. (Alan Watts, In My Own Way)
This is exactly what I learned from my own abstinence and NoFap pursuits.
Asceticism in general means being constantly preoccupied with non-pleasure. An ascetic lives as little in a state of mindcoolness as a radical hedonist. He has solely negated his extreme desire for pleasure. The desire for anti-pleasure heats up the mind as much as an exuberance of pleasure. As with all fanatic behavior, a rampant desire rages at both ends of the extreme.
But in case you still think that you need NoFap to live a better life, instead of seeing it as a tool to enhance your sexual pleasure, consider what Christopher Ryan once said about NoFap on his podcast:
If you want to get your shit together, you gotta deal with your feelings, not with the behavior they trigger.
If excessive fapping (or fucking) is your escape from reality, then moderate sexual asceticism, along with a regular meditation practice, can help you face your grievances. Obsessive sexual asceticism, however, is just as much an escape from your problems as its opposite. Only goalless silence lets you see your issues clearly—lets you see yourself clearly. Maybe dismayingly clearly.
- How Moderation Gives Us Freedom
- On the Virtue of Moderation
- The Path to Mindcoolness #9 – Growth Happens in Silence
- Alan Watts on Self-Discipline and Self-Acceptance