Does Excessive Masturbation to Porn Cause Social Anxiety?

Pornography addiction

In today's post, I'm going to explore a topic that is probably going to push you out of your comfort zone a little bit. We're going to see whether or not excessive masturbation to porn can lead to social anxiety. 

There, I've said it... My parents would be proud of me if they knew that I'm writing a blog post about masturbation. :)

There's a bunch of information floating around the web claiming that it if you indulge in masturbating to pornography, then that's somehow going to make you more socially awkward. And that you're going to have a harder time socializing. And that you're going to have lower self-esteem.

Is that all true? Let's find out.

Masturbation and Porn

You and I both know that as soon as you read the title of this post and first spotted the words  "Excessive Masturbation to Porn," you knew that in this post you were going to read about pornography. 

And you were right.

But let's be brutally honest, masturbation today is almost synonymous with the word porn. Porn was created not just to entertain but to arouse and it does its job damn well.

In fact, according to a study done in 2006, 84% of adults have viewed pornographic films. So as far as the vast majority of the population is concerned porn is part of almost everybody's life. 

And if they watch it, then I would hazard a guess that they also occasionally masturbate to it, right?

So we have to realize that masturbation and porn walk hand in hand - no pun intended.

If you masturbate, chances are, you're frequently watching porn when you're doing it. And if you're watching pornography, I bet you don't just sit there and admire the magnificent lighting and the superb performance of the actors...

So now we have to ask a different question: does excessive masturbation to porn cause social anxiety? 

And my answer would be a resounding yes.

Let's find out why. 

Is porn addictive?

Pornography addiction

First of all, - and I'm sure you know this already - porn is addictive. 

If you want proof, try to stop watching porn for the next week. If you succeed without having frequent porn-fueled fantasies and cravings for seven days, then congratulations: you are not yet addicted to pornography. 

But if you find it difficult to resist the temptation of porn videos; if your mind randomly breaks free from mundane tasks and errands of your everyday life and indulges in sultry visions of unnaturally beautiful humans making love in unusual ways, despite your best efforts to block these thoughts from taking control of your mental resources, well, then porn has infiltrated your brain my friend and it's tweaking your knobs and buttons in there.

Still not convinced? Well, can you answer no to all of these questions:

  1. Has watching pornography been having negative impact on your life? 
  2. Does it interfere with you getting work done or focusing on completing important tasks? 
  3. Have you gradually been looking at more and more stimulating types of porn to masturbate?
  4. Do you feel a strong sense of deprivation or craving when you try to stop watching porn?
  5. Do you find it more difficult to get aroused by your partner? 
  6. Has your sexual life become more aggressive or emotionally disconnected?

If you answered yes to any of the above 6 questions, then chances are, you are a compulsive porn user. 

How Porn Affects Your Brain

Brain cells

"Yeah right but what's wrong with that? Doesn't everyone watch porn? What's the big deal?"

The immense popularity of porn doesn't make its impact on your brain any less dramatic. 

#1 Distorted Sexual Views

The first problem with compulsive porn consumption is that is gradually distorts your view of sexuality. If you rely on porn to teach you how making love works, then you're in for a rude awakening.

For the most part, pornography portrays men as these dominant, powerful creatures that use women to satisfy their immediate sexual hunger. There's very little reciprocity in the act. It's mostly men pillaging a woman's body and taking whatever "loot" they desire.

Pornography is ripe with violence. Sometimes implicit, sometimes more explicit but aggression is always lurking behind each motion in every scene.

Now if you watch a lot of that, it'll start to slowly and gradually seep into your worldview and change the way you look at a sexual relationship with another human being.

You might expect total submission from your partner to get off. You might try to persuade them to do things that they're uncomfortable with just because you've seen it happen in porn and it's convinced you that it's completely normal.

Remember, porn is not real sex. It's staged, it's artificial, it's fine-tuned and architected in minute detail to get you hooked. 

#2 Perversion

The other big problem with pornography is that it's a hotbed of perversion.

Excessive porn consumption is going to bombard your brain with images of really perverted things. Things that your partner will probably never want to engage in, ever. 

And maybe some of these things are really not your thing, either. But once you've kind of "seen it all," you start looking for videos that offer some novelty. And oftentimes that's some really perverted content that you would have shied away from before. 

Watching a lot of pornography is like a roller coaster. Once it starts, it's very hard to control its course.

You are going to get bored with content and gradually increase your level of tolerance for really weird stuff. Your filters of what's right and what's not right are going to get diluted and you'll find yourself watching some really perverted things that may even contradict your core values. 

But when you're sexually aroused, your core values usually aren't the first item on your list of priorities unfortunately.

#3 Increased Dopamine Resistance

Dopamine is the hormone that's responsible for feeling good. It has to do with emotions such as feeling rewarded and happy. 

On the other hand, if your dopamine levels are low, then you're going to feel depressed, unmotivated, sluggish, fearful and socially anxious. 

It just so happens that your brain rewards ejaculation - a surefire sign that you're passing on your genes - by releasing a high dose of dopamine into your bloodstream. It basically spikes your dopamine levels for a short amount of time during orgasm. 

Now if you masturbate excessively to porn, you're going to be flooding your brain with high doses of dopamine. And while that might seem like a good idea in the heat of the moment, in the long run, your body will get desensitized to normal levels of dopamine in your system. 

As a result, your body's normal levels of dopamine will not be enough to lift you up. Your life will turn into a bleak desert of apathy punctuated by intense dopamine-rich sessions of masturbating to porn.

#4 Difficulty Getting and Maintaining Erection During Sex

Banana

And finally, watching porn compulsively is going to flood your brain with powerful images of violent sex, perverted intercourse and unnaturally perfect bodies.

Guess what? Chances are, your partner's sexuality will probably pale in comparison to these pornographic visions.

For example, you might no longer be aroused by her taking her shirt off. That just won't cut it for a brain gone wild on porn. No, you might need a much more explicit display of sexuality from her that she might be uncomfortable with. 

And let's not forget how she might end up feeling after her natural beauty fails to arouse you sexually. The only rational conclusion she can think of would be that she's not beautiful enough. 

And for men, there's the added problem of developing what's called a "death grip" during masturbation. That basically means grabbing on their genitals harder than necessarily to increase the stimulus that leads to ejaculation.

The problem with the "death grip" is not only that it can damage the tissue of the penis but that it also trains your brain to expect a tightness similar to your hand's "death grip" to be able to ejaculate. 

And guess what?

A woman's vagina isn't going to be able to provide that level of tightness. You'll end up feeling like you're making love to a cloud and you're not going to be able to maintain erection during sex like that.

"Fapper's Remorse"

And then, when you're finally done masturbating, some of the above realizations might hit you like a truck in absence of the dopamine cloud in your brain, high on porn. 

This sense of wastefulness and solitude comes bubbling up inside your mind after you've achieved orgasm.

By the way, I'm not really sure what this sudden surge of anxiety and depression is called exactly. Feel free to tell me your version in the comments below. I know that a fancy way of putting it is "post-coital regret." But essentially it's a weird blend of disquieting self-disgust and shame.

  1. First the realization hits you that what you've been watching is weird. You can't believe what you've been watching. 
  2. Then, you need to take care of the "aftermath" of your orgasm. Messy business and probably not the best way to pass time. 
  3. And finally you realize that masturbating to porn is a very real reminder of not having sex at that moment. 

This dreadful sequence of thoughts keeps looping around in your head for a few minutes...

Add to that that a lot of us were brought up in a family environment where masturbation and porn are either a taboo or downright considered "wrong." Somewhere along the line you are taught that it's a shameful act. 

And if you're in a relationship, then masturbation kind of makes you feel bad about yourself because, you know, you have a significant other... but you still had to do it alone. What does that say about your relationship with that person, right?

So Does Excessive Masturbation to Porn Cause Social Anxiety?

I've told you the short and sweet answer to this question at the beginning of this post: it's a big, bolded yes

It Makes You Perverted and Needy

Part of it has to do with that fact that it alters your sexual perception of women in a major way. Pornography desensitizes your brain to the subtle erotic invitations and social signals that women use to communicate their attraction. 

Porn can make you oblivious to these subtle signals to the point where you'll be socially deaf and blind. 

And then there's the problem that porn views women as sex toys. And that twisted view is contagious. You will to some degree unconsciously subscribe to it by compulsively bombarding your brain with videos where women are portrayed as sex toys. 

And women will sense this. They can almost mind-read your sexual vibe. They pick up these signals intuitively. And that pornography-inspired view of women comes across as needy and perverted so you definitely want to avoid it.

So yeah, excessive masturbation to porn will make you socially awkward around women.

It Locks You Up in Your Bedroom

One of the temptations of porn is that it's so convenient. You can masturbate to porn in your bedroom all day without breaking a sweat.

But you cannot pick up a woman in your bedroom. To do that you have to go out and meet people, make friends and socialize. It's hard work. It takes time, energy, courage, confidence and charisma. 

It's just so much more convenient to forget about social skills, stay at home and masturbate.

And you know what? Some of that courage, confidence and charisma that you need to impress women comes from the hormone testosterone, the very hormone that rises during masturbation and then plummets afterwards.

So essentially, by masturbating excessively to porn, you're manually depleting your testosterone reserves. 

Masturbation Puts You in Rest Mode

And finally, as far as your brain is concerned, based on your busy masturbation schedule, you're the alpha male of the pack. Your brain is like "You're ejaculating several times a day so you must be impregnating dozens of women per week!" Your brain can't tell the difference between masturbation and sexual intercourse with another human being.

And so since you're doing so well passing on your genes, your brain is going to try to help you regenerate and replenish your energies. It will put you in rest mode to recover from the intense physical toll that all that "sex" takes on your body. 

Conclusion

So the end result of excessive masturbation to porn is:

  • A physical state of exhaustion,
  • "Fapper's remorse," or a deep sense of shame and worthlessness,
  • No motivation to go out and socialize with the opposite sex when you can take care of your sexual needs alone,
  • Decreased levels of testosterone,
  • A distorted view of sexuality,
  • Varying degree of perversion,
  • Increased dopamine resistence,
  • Possible erection problems

I think that's a perfect recipe for social anxiety right there.

But don't get me wrong masturbating is a good thing. It starts going South when we throw pornography into the mix. That's when the addiction sets in and the brain gets desensitized to "ordinary," or in other words, natural sex. 

And since one of the main incentives of social interaction is finding a partner for life to have a family with, anything that messes with your sexual needs is going to ultimately affect your social performance as well. 

So the bottom line is, the real culprit is not excessive masturbation - it's pornography. Masturbation to pornography is addictive and it can cost you your ability to enjoy regular sexual intercourse with another person. And I think that it's just not worth it.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below.

 

 

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