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‘NoFap’ founder files defamation suit against sex scientist who denies ‘porn addiction’ exists

‘NoFap’ founder files defamation suit against sex scientist who denies ‘porn addiction’ exists
The founder of anti-masturbation movement NoFap has sued a sex specialist for defamation, arguing the scientist – who has questioned the concept of “porn addiction” in her work – falsely accused him of harassment.

The suit was brought by NoFap figurehead Alexander Rhodes, who alleges neuroscientist Nicole Prause has slandered him with dubious claims ranging from cyberstalking to supporting “hate groups.” Rhodes says this has caused him “significant reputational harm” and financial damages exceeding $75,000.

Andrew Stebbins, Rhodes’ attorney, told Motherboard his client would not accept “malicious personal attacks from those who seek to discredit, disparage and otherwise injure him through false statements designed to assassinate his character and reputation,” adding the case was “brought solely in response ... to such attacks.”

For her part, Prause insists she has been the victim of harassment from not only Rhodes himself but from rank-and-file NoFappers, including death threats, which she claims to have forwarded to the FBI. Responding to the lawsuit, the scientist says she, not Rhodes, is the victim of defamation.

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“Alexander Rhodes and NoFap's lawsuit has no merit nor do his libelous and unfounded assertions regarding me, my character, or my business,” Prause told Motherboard. “He is entitled to his opinions, however he is not entitled to spread complete falsehoods about me to profit himself and silence speech.”

In his complaint, brought in late October, Rhodes explains that a lifelong porn addiction led him to launch NoFap in 2011, initially as a “forum for people to discuss the effects of excessive internet pornography viewing” and “compulsive sexual behavior.” Though it started out as a page on Reddit – which now amassed some 515,000 subscribers – Rhodes would create a standalone website for the idea as it gained traction online.

A study co-authored by Prause in 2013 questioned the scientific basis for the notions of sex and porn “addiction” – which are central to the NoFap concept – arguing hypersexuality might be better understood as a “non-pathological variation of high sexual desire,” as opposed to a standard addiction.

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