Read the full article by Samantha Cole at Vice.com

 

Alexander Rhodes, the owner of the NoFap trademark, filed a complaint against a neuroscientist who studies porn and sexuality, for libel and defamation.

 

The owner of the NoFap trademark and website, Alexander Rhodes, is suing a neuroscientist for defamation, claiming that she has made “numerous false and defamatory statements” about him and his work.

Rhodes founded NoFap in 2011 after—as he tells it in the lawsuit—a lifelong addiction to porn beginning at age 11. His work, put simply, is to help men resist jerking off. The tenets of the NoFap website state that it’s merely trying to help people break porn addiction by abstaining from masturbating. The website is careful to claim that it’s just a website, that it’s not a movement, even though it was spawned from an associated subreddit with 515,000 subscribers and a Twitter account with more than 19,000 followers.

NoFap is most commonly associated with #NoNutNovember, an online challenge in which men try not to masturbate or otherwise orgasm for a month. As with many male-focused online communities, there are parts of the community that are focused on men’s rights, are misogynistic, and that have harassed people. A 2018 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Sexualities found that members of NoFap online communities don’t see women in porn as “real women,” and that “real sex” is seen through the predominately male, heterosexual worldview of its members.

Nicole Prause, a neuroscientist who studies sexual science through a neuroscience and physiology lens, has researched so-called “porn addiction” and found no scientific basis for it. “These online communities have whipped themselves into a frenzy when in the past men wouldn’t have been concerned,” Prause told the Guardian in 2016. “Then the next time they go to have sex they are causing themselves more distress.”

Prause has said publicly that she is regularly harassed by NoFap followers, and in posts in the last few days, she’s claimed that harassment and death threats from Rhodes’ fans have escalated to the point that the FBI and local law enforcement are involved.

In the lawsuit, Rhodes claims that Prause’s statements are false, and have caused him to suffer “significant reputational harm and sustained actual damages” in lost revenue, productivity, and expenses in amount amount exceeding the jurisdictional minimum of $75,000.