Was the Cowardly Lion Just Masturbating With Porn Too Much?

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Comments: This is one of our very first posts describing one of the unexpected benefits reported by former porn users. We are not saying that Internet porn is the primary cause of social anxiety in young men. No one knows what percentage of those with SAD have porn use as a contributing factor, because no studies exist. High-speed Internet porn is a new phenomenon; no control groups are possible; and no study has asked the right questions. That said, heavy porn users continue to report increased confidence and remission of social anxiety by altering one variable - Internet porn use. Our more recent article on this subject (with lot more science) is Porn, Masturbation and Mojo: A Neuroscience Perspective

Also see 1) Is porn making my social anxiety/confidence worse?, which contains several stories, and 2) the stories below this article.

In his 5 minute TED Talk, "The Demise of Guys" famous psychologist Phillip Zimbardo noted that "arousal addiction" (porn, video games) is a major factor in social anxiety.


There may be a correlation between porn use and social anxiety

Porn addiction can lead to isolationHas anyone reading this noticed a correlation between giving up porn and reduced social anxiety?

Due to a search engine coincidence, I have been listening to the agonies and ecstasies of recovering porn addicts for several years. Over and over, a common pattern appears: As users manage to abstain from porn and cut way back on masturbation, their desire to connect with others surges. So does their confidence, their ability to look others in the eye, their sense of humor, their perception of their "manliness," their concentration, their optimism, their judgment, their attractiveness to potential mates, and so forth. Even those formerly suffering from severe social anxiety are more often than not emboldened to explore new avenues for social contact: smiling and joking with work colleagues, online dating, meditation groups, nightspots, and so forth. In some cases it takes months, but often the shift is so rapid that it catches them by surprise. (I'm not implying that social anxiety is solely due to porn use, or that extroversion is a sign of its absence. I'm merely wondering whether, for some, more careful management of sexual desire might be surprisingly beneficial.)

In Addiction as an Attachment Disorder, Philip J. Flores makes the point that one can't attach in a normal, or even therapeutic, relationship while one is attached to an addiction. By the same token, the best support for avoiding relapse is solid relationships with others—and the ability to form them at will.

Why might a porn addict be obliged to address his compulsion in order to form, or restore, real relationships? Psychiatrist Norman Doidge suggests that the intense stimuli (high dopamine) of today's porn hijacks and rewires "brain real estate" that would otherwise be devoted to making social ties rewarding. (The Brain That Changes Itself, p. 109) Actual people become less rewarding; fake people become far more enticing. In this case, size does matter, namely, the amount of brain that lights up. Ceasing the compulsive behavior frees the brain to restore its normal priorities.

Interestingly, people whose habits cause continuous over-stimulation of their reward circuitry with high dopamine—drug users, for example—often feel anxious or depressed the rest of the time. This is largely due to abnormally low dopamine (or low sensitivity to dopamine due to a decline in D2 receptors) between the highs. Rats that have been bingeing on sugar show signs of anxiety and brain changes (decreased dopamine). And mice exposed to protracted elevated dopamine later behaved like they were depressed in response to stress. When one is anxious or depressed, socializing can feel like too much of an effort.

Several studies show that social anxiety is associated with low dopamine or decreased sensitivity. Also see this study about the link between dopamine instability and social anxiety.

Is excessive masturbation to Internet porn leading to social anxiety in some individuals?

Dopamine surges during sexual arousal and drops after climax. Do some people masturbate so frequently that their reward circuitry is unable to return to homeostasis between orgasms? Are they suffering from chronically low dopamine (or low response to dopamine)—making social anxiety more likely?  It's important to realize that masturbation frequencies in modern Western society may have little resemblance to our hunter-gatherer ancestors (see WEIRD Masturbation Habits).

If not masturbation, then heavy porn use can certainly lead to a decline in dopamine and dopamine receptors in some brains. All addictions, including behavioral addictions such as pathological gambling and Internet gaming, cause a measurable decline in dopamine signaling. If you have a porn addiction, you have what we call a numbed pleasure response or desensitization, which means low dopamine signalling. (See: Porn Then and Now: Welcome to Brain Training and Intoxicating Behaviors: 300 Vaginas = A Lot of Dopamine to understand the mechanisms.)

Ponder this: Studies show that both behavioral and substance addictions cause a decline in dopamine (D2) receptors, which is a major aspect of desensitization. First question: What's one primary biological difference between dominant and submissive primates? Answer: Dominant primates have higher levels of dopamine D2 receptors. They were not born with higher levels of D2 receptors - rather, "becoming" dominant caused the increase in D2 receptors. Second question: Could the benefits (confidence, sociability, motivation, less anxiety) men feel as they recover from porn addiction be related to an increase in D2 receptors an dopamine? (It's certainly not blood testosterone levels)

Without a doubt, some users may have chronically low dopamine or dopamine receptors to start with, but so many users notice improvements in outlook when they cut back on porn/masturbation, that we can't rule out the possibility that the habit itself further depresses dopamine levels.

Once the brain becomes less sensitive to dopamine, it "becomes less sensitive to natural reinforcers" such as the "pleasure of seeing a friend, watching a movie, or the curiosity that drives exploration." —Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Hardcore, ever-novel Internet porn is mightily compelling—for the same reason as crack and Krispy Kreme donuts. These stimuli are like nothing our ancestors' brains had to cope with as humans evolved. Yet the primitive limbic system mistakes them for things so "valuable" that it urges us to seek more and more of them—even when they cause hangovers and withdrawal symptoms.

As with drugs and alcohol, "too much" is different for everyone. However, for some, the vulnerability of the brain's reward circuitry in combination with Internet porn means that pursuit of sexual stimulation has become compulsive pursuit of sexual stimulation. That is a problem because compulsions, remember, get in the way of forming rewarding relationships. In short, it may be that balanced masturbation habits are more important for our psychological health than generally recognized.

There's clearly much to learn. For now, I'll let recovering users speak for themselves.

Stopping porn addiction can improve ability to socializeI'd always just accepted that I was below average socially. It wasn't even an issue anymore, but turns out, after two weeks without orgasm, my voice has gotten bigger and richer, I've been laughing and cracking jokes almost nonstop, and talking to people has been fluent and easy. Now, I'm the chatty one. It's something to get used to.

Another man:

I'm 25 years old and I've been using porn for 14 years. There was a period of 2 years though where I couldn't look at it because I was on a government facility where pornographic sites were banned. During those years I was at my peak of creativity: writing poetry, songs, and stories. I also talked to everyone, not shying away from a soul. When I got home I went back to spending the day looking at the nakedness of the Internet. Two years later, I've become an introvert, secluding myself away, and I'm shy and depressed most of the time. Which is the exact opposite of how I was away from it. I keep telling myself I'll "snap out of it," but when will that be? I don't want to spend another decade this way.

Another man responded:

My therapist swore that I needed meds a couple of years ago. Instead, I set about figuring out what was going on underneath the depression. When I stopped using porn, I felt worse at first, but now I am feeling better than I have in 7 years. There is no reason for depression to be so prevalent in our society other than certain lifestyle habits. We are perfectly capable of figuring out what these things are and alleviating our depression. It's a matter of sorting through our habits to find what is causing our pain, and remaining totally honest with ourselves.

A sixth-month veteran:

People ask me what have I changed because I am so much more outgoing. I have never, NEVER been more confident or motivated about approaching and engaging actual women. (And I'm actually getting real sex now!) The severe performance anxiety I had during sex, while consuming porn and beating off, is gone. [Read more men's experiences.]

Our nervous systems are open-ended circuits designed for living in community with others. In fact, it's biologically impossible to regulate our own emotions for any length of time.

Introverts, and those who didn't develop healthy bonds as infants, may be particularly at risk for social anxiety due to frequent masturbation. Isolation lets them control their exposure to awkward and unsatisfying interactions. Reaching for the escape of masturbation (or other stimuli) can then become a substitute for socially acquired self-knowledge and emotional regulation. As one man said about social anxiety:

Social isolation and porn reinforce each other. That is, being isolated leads to seeking escape and gratification by oneself, which can mean porn addiction, which lowers self esteem and confidence, which makes one more socially anxious...and so on.

The Western ideal of individualism and self-reliance encourages the attempt to become self-sufficient in lieu of cultivating the rewards of closer social ties. As Flores points out, our normal emotional need to be mirrored by others is wrongly labeled dependency and neediness. In truth, this is what our brains were designed for.

pornography addiction can make social isolation worseAs tribal, pair-bonding primates, our brains need close contact for good health throughout our lives. Frequent masturbation may replace this basic human need with escalating desire and orgasm (without the health-giving touch of affectionate intercourse). When porn/masturbation becomes compulsive, it can tend to keep healthy relationships in the future indefinitely, perhaps because it modifies the brain, its physiology, and the signals it bleeps. For many, these changes may show up as debilitating social anxiety.

The good news is that many find it easier and more enjoyable to connect with others when they abstain from porn and cut back on masturbation. I'd be very interested to hear from social anxiety sufferers (or their therapists) who experiment with giving up porn.

Comments

Masturbation stole away three years of my life

After reading some of the past comments, I felt inclined to post. Many men seem to have a strong reaction to anyone suggesting that masturbation could be an unhealthy habit and will label someone as being a staunch Catholic (which I found ridiculous since there isn't anything in this article to give that impression).

I started masturbating around the age of 11, I am currently 19. Though I don't remember how frequent I was masturbating from age 11 till now, I would have to guess that I started masturbating at a more consistent rate when I became 16. From then on were THE worst years of my life.

I'm not sure which came first, the masturbation or the social anxiety and depression. Let me note that I was always a very outgoing kid before 11th grade, always one of the popular kids in the class, but during 11th grade I developed severe social anxiety. I avoided everything and everyone. I had NO reason to act this way and even after I graduated high school I still felt the same way. Little did I know that the "natural stress reliever" that I had been relying on for so long was the culprit.

I thought that there must be something physically wrong with me, because it sure felt that way. I was tired throughout the whole day, always bitter and afraid to be social with just about anyone. This past year it had gotten so bad that I didn't even want to go to any family get-togethers and I also couldn't bring myself to go to my sister's college graduation. I would just wake up, go on the computer and feel like the most pathetic person on Earth, every single day. I was masturbating once a day on average, and sometimes more depending on how bad I felt about myself. I have to note that I am Atheist, and have never felt shame about looking at pornographic material and masturbating, I have absolutely nothing against it.

After realizing I had hit rock-bottom I examined what I was doing that could make me feel like this, and had an epiphany. I wasn't doing anything, but eating food, going on the computer and masturbating. So it probably was one of those things right? Well it was honestly as simple as that. After coming to the conclusion that masturbation could be the problem I did a search and found this article. It was pretty much a word for word of my situation and about a week and a half after abstaining from masturbation I already started to see some huge changes!

Instead of feeling like I am in a constant fog I now feel clear minded, more social, confident, happy, calm, and surprisingly more manly. I am positive that this article will help others just like me so don't be put off by some of the ignorant comments posted on here. I can tell from reading some of your comments and this blog post that you are a strong person and your intentions are to help people. I truly thank you, because I am certain that this is exactly what was holding me back from living my life.

since there are so many people having such problem without realizing it, how do you deal with these people after you've overcome the addiction?
do you ignore them and find better friends? do you help them understand their problem?
I guess what i'm trying to say is for every people recovered from porn addiction, there are probably 100 or 1000 people getting hooked with the addiction. when the ill becomes the norm, what do you do?

Without a doubt, porn use has become the norm among young males. Your generation (I assume you are relative young) will need to figure this mess out. I have no answer. I do hope those who recover from porn can enlighten others.

Friends and porn was the subject of a recent discussion our reuniting forum - http://www.reuniting.info/node/7142

We hope that a few brave scientists will research the effects of porn on users brain. The way it is now, "experts" are assuring us that porn use has no negative effects, or that it is actually beneficial. The common meme is that no amount of porn, or masturbation, is unusual or harmful.

I tested this out and confirm. I’m a nice good looking guy but I’m picky for great minded girls, let’s say really picky and instead of engaging in a relation with cute but not so like minded girls I was instead watching porn for the last few years with one nighters there and there. I have always been kind of popular but not so at ease and distant socially outside of my circle of friends. Though it sure changed my character, after 2 months of abstinence I can tell now that masturbation is the culprit of this unease.

But this is of course all logical for masturbation is the act of draining your life-force without purpose, without love wasting it away and weakening yourselves. Those mere orgasms are detrimental instead of letting your body transform this energy like it naturally can.

So after 2 months my creativity, focus, strength, willpower, mood, charisma and muscle gain are all excellent. Girls are so attracted to me it’s ridiculous and wonderful; you should have seen the party I had last night lol. I also noticed how masturbation induce selfishness, when abstaining from it you want to please a girl, you want to be romantic it’s not about unloading your gun anymore and this sense of generosity extend deeply into your personality.

So brothers you know what you have to do to live your full potential.

I remember that I started looking at erotic pictures at the age of 8 by the time I was 10 I was masturbating everyday by grinding my penis on the bed until I ejaculated. My parents did not have CineMax so when the soft core porn would come on, the channel was scrambled. I remember masturbating to the sound of sex almost every night. I was not a popular kids at school and my grades were horrible, all I thought about all day was masturbation. I have always been able to hide my true emotions very well, I just bury them deep inside, and I can become anyone I like. I had to learn and adapt so I could have sex with real women. It was easy for me to get women, I always acted like I was cool, I guess they liked my billiard skills, or the way I talked to them. I would go out on dates, but I didn't think of this girls as soul mates, I didn't have any emotions, all I did was pretend I liked them so I could get them in bed then I would slowly cut it off with them and move on to the next one. Porn and masturbation were always there, no matter how much sex I was getting I always masturbated I always watched porn. I needed it, it was like the breath of life for me. Like I said before I had to evolve in order to get real women, they thought I was a normal guy, the coolest person they ever met. Deep down inside I was hurting I was an emotional ball of mooch, I was depressed, and all I wanted to do was jack off, it seemed like it was the only thing that made me happy. Masturbation became an endless cycle. I would wake up in the morning and masturbate, get in the shower and masturbate, lotion and rub my testicles, I would go to work, sometimes I would find a hiding place at work and masturbate, I would come home, jump on the computer, watch porn and masturbate vigorously, I would shower, go out for the night, find a mate, have sex, go home and masturbate about the girl I just had sex with, after I got bored with the images of what I did I would turn on the computer and masturbate. This cycle went on for many many years. To the people around me I was a ROCK STAR I could get any girl I wanted, I lived life on the edge, I was everything they wanted to be. I lived life on the edge because I was hurting, I was a junkie, I loved the rush, I was hooked on dopamine.I finally got married and settled down one day, but there was a problem! I could no longer live the life of a rock star, I no longer had that rush, this was the only thing that keep my dopamine levels up while I wasn't masturbating. I wanted to die, I blamed my wife for everything that went wrong, I isolated myself so I could masturbate, I got into Tranny porn and felt disgusted with myself, I even told my wife to use a strap-on on me. I was so depressed and she was too. she got to see me for who I really was, behind that cool, sweet, outgoing guy lived a monster, and she got to see behind the scenes. I love my wife very much, if not I wouldn't have married her for some reason it wasn't just about the sex with her. My porn addiction killed whatever love I had, I did not help her around the house, I would not help her with the kids, I would't do anything, all I would do is sit behind the computer and secretly watch porn.If my wife didn't give me the goods I would get pissed and curse at her, I would make her feel like she wasn't shit, it was horrible, and I would talk her into getting drunk so I could take it from her while she slept. The anxiety I caused made her not be able to sleep so she turned to sleeping pills which was perfect for me cause that meant I could take it from her whenever I wanted, in whatever hole I wanted. After I got done with her I turned on my iPOD and masturbated for many hours to hardcore porn. My wife said that she was leaving recently, she said that I cause her so much pain and I damaged her so much that she doesn't know if it could ever be fixed, I made her feel worthless, I didn't see her as a human being any more, she was just there so I could ejaculate and not have to masturbate. We would have sex and I would lose my erection and this really bothered her and made her feel like her walls were lose.I promised her that I would change, I promised that it would be different, I promised that I wouldn't watch porn (THIS IS THE MAIN THING SHE COMPLAINED ABOUT) so I thought I would tell her that just to make her happy. I actually did try to stop watching porn one night and it was bad it was really bad!! My hands started to shake, my forehead started to sweat, and eventually I went into convulsions, and then I started to cry. I had finally realized that pornography and masturbation had shaped my whole life, I knew that for the sake of my children and my wife I had to stop. My whole teenage and adult life doesn't even feel real any more. I have always felt like there is more to life, I have always felt like there is something missing. I even got into YouTube looking for aliens, and government conspiracies, and people living on the Moon, I was so sure there was something missing.The only thing that's been missing is me doping, I did not know I had an addiction so I didn't know that the missing puzzle piece was the drugs released after I masturbated and watched porn, Tranny porn always got me off the hardest. I realized that I am sick, I realized that I have hurt so many people in my life. I have deleted all the porn from my hard drive and have vowed not to masturbate any more. I want to be a good man, I want to be a good father, I want my wife to get to know me for who I really am, and I cant wait to also find out who I really am.

your wife's instincts were good...about the porn. It probably *was* a prime reason your addiction escalated. You know what else? I bet she was right about you, too. I bet you *are* that wonderful guy...behind the addiction. Recovery will be the hardest thing you've ever done, but it can also be one of the most fulfilling things. Get all the support you can. Did you check the support page? All the best.
*big hug*

Thank you so much, your words give me encouragement.

From this thread: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1860581


Check out this website: http://yourbrainonporn.com/

There are plenty of other guys who've realised the damaging effects of porn and are cutting it out, or no longer watch it. Of course, very few of them will be on here as this forum is full of horny teenagers - certainly when I was that age I would never have appreciated my current viewpoint!

I'd been spanking the monkey for over a decade (when I found out about the youtube-esque porn sites I was in pig heaven! ), but realised the damaging effects of porn and masturbation on my productivity and appreciation of real girls. Abstaining has made me feel more alive - I'm much more sociable, get more done, and I've increased my confidence and self-esteem. The most successful guys I know haven't looked at porn for years - though whether that's a cause or effect of them swimming in poon is hard to tell. Probably both.

When I was at the heights of this addiction, I would always prefer to stay home alone, and it would take a lot of internal convincing to get myself out the door to go socialize with friends or family. Once I got there, I was always trying to get back home as soon as possible.

But now I find that the prospect of social activities seem fun and worth doing. I would say that being with other people is one of, if not THE very best ways to beat this addiction. It fills you with this sense of fulfillment and happiness that just makes porn and masturbation seem like a silly little waste of time.

That's not to say that deep-seated social anxiety will magically disappear, but for many guys the addiction itself was creating an unnatural desire to isolate.

I just came to a random epiphany at the moment. Thinking back my anxiety problems started with PMO when I was around 12-14 years old/.

It has gone up and down along with other factors. But after I started no fap it has completely disappeared.

http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/r4am0/social_anxiety_disappears/

22 days in, an unexpected benefit.

I have the benefits we no-faps expect to experience. My energy, motivation, and confidence are already higher than they have been in years.

Now for the kicker: for the past 2 or so years I've developed a small stutter. It's nothing terrible but still enough to bother me. It gets frustrating when I'm talking to someone and the words just won't come out right, as you can imagine.

I haven't stuttered for a week now. It's not just a little better, it's gone. I feel confident when I talk now. It sounds small, but for me this is huge. I feel ecstatic.

Keep it up everyone, we're all in this together. I can't remember the last time I made a change that's impacted me this much.

Edit: This is awesome. It seems like a lot of us have the same experience, maybe we're onto something here. Thanks for the info and updates!

Yesterday was Day 100 And I can't explain how good I felt.

NoFap has changed my life and I refuse to go back to fapping to porn or fapping in general, I am kind of scared to touch my willie in a faptacular way. I started a Ketogenic diet recently, and on Day 100 my friend asked me to find him a good torrent of P90X. We agreed to start doing that every day together and tell each other our progress. I really want to get those abs going so when I lose all this weight they will be there. Porn Addiction almost ruined my life, so glad I found out about it. I lost the Social Anxiety it caused. That was my biggest Issue. I also had ED, I never noticed because I was a social recluse, until a couple weeks into NoFap I got morning wood. That was kind of a mind fuck. It hit me like a bunch of bricks I was like Holy shit! When was the last time I had this? I feel like I finally have control over my life. Even though I am not out getting tons of girls and all that, I know I am on my way to getting whatever I desire. Before I start doing that just need to fix a couple things, weight and getting in shape. When that is done, I am coming out strong; no girl will be ready ;)

LINK - The cowardly lion that found his courage(115 Days)

Hi guys to keep this blunt and short I started looking at porn in the 4th grade (dunno how old I was then) and was hooked from the getco. Porn use got worse and worse throughout my life and would binge and then I would wonder why I couldn't get a girlfriend or why I was so shy or why I thought the world was against me and why no one liked me.

I have seriously considered suicide throughout my life because of these issues but I was able to cope with it until I found YBOP site after googling some stuff about being gay (I knew I wasn't but damn HOCD) and erection problems(on multiple occasions with girls which furthered HOCD). I came to the conclusion it was porn and I was on a new mission to get rid of porn.

115 days later I have finally broke free of the chains of porn although I won't lie, thinking about looking up porn is a constant problem, but I just know that If I don't I'll be able to have sex with my beautiful girlfriend the next day

Within the span of the 115 days I have:

  • Found a job at the local Ice rink
  • Got a beautiful girlfriend who is down and was very understanding of the process I went through
  • Found more meaning in life

To all those still struggling, just stick with it. Time heals this wound and never ever cave in. Life is a challenge and as a man your mission is to make it your bitch.

LINK - I am a different man than when I started this experiment.

Someone from nofap first suggested that I look into curtailing my porn use and at first, I laughed it off. Then after viewing yourbainonporn and reading more nofap stories, I decided to give it a shot. It took me no less than a week to really realize I had an issue with porn. It was a concept that was probably in the back of my mind prior to, but I didn't really address it otherwise. EVERYone looked, right?

I was going to wait until I got laid, but that's just one piece of the puzzle here. Within the past few months I have been more motivated than ever to get some and to be with women. I'm more aware of 'the look'. If you have yet to pick up on that subtle shift of eye motion, it's pretty intense and a bit unnerving (in a good way though). I am fully aware that I don't know quite how to handle the attention yet.

I joined OKcupid about a week ago and while I do have some personal doubts, my response rate has been quite good. I came close to getting a date, but she flaked out on me. I'm already messaging a new, prettier woman. What's odd and I didn't think this would happen, I am beside myself with all of the options out there. I don't have to be the perfect mate to get a girl. I just have to make an effort.

I should also state that I used to have social anxiety disorder. It essentially made speaking torturous. I've been through a lot of therapy and I'm back on meds after being off of them for a considerable length of time. Still, I have never felt so motivated to want to be with a woman and I attribute that largely to being pornfree. I know I have short-comings, but I have a lot to offer as well.

Does NoFap give you superpowers? Is every possible benefit people report just a placebo effect? My opinion...

Hi guys&gals!

I'd just like to put my opinion on the subject out in the open. It might seem as a rant, but that's not really the case. It's just that lately we've got a massive overflow of posts in which people are wondering why they don't get superpowers "like other fapstronauts" after XX days of NoFap and asking if it's all a placebo effect.

First I'd like to talk a bit about why NoFap became so mainstream. The thing is, that a few years ago (around 2008/2009), people started surfacing on the Internet who were freaked out that they had erectile dysfunction, but at the same time they could get a solid erection to varying degrees of extreme porn with the help of some good old death-grip. The weird thing was, that in some cases, thousands of people responded to these forum posts, saying they have the same exact symptoms.

Now, taking those symptoms into account, people figured they've desentized themselves to real women by escalating to evermore extreme genres of porn and masturbating in way that no women's vagina could match the stimulation. They hoped/guessed that if they'll stop watching porn and masturbating for significant amount of time, this desentization might be reversed.

These people, who back then didn't have YBOP, NoFap and dozens of other forums on the subject thought they were alone. The only weird-ass freaks on the planet who can't get it up to a real women, but finds disgusting genres of porn a turn on. A lot of them were virgins. Some of them were failing for years with real women which devastated their confidence. They figured that they will never be able to have normal fulfilling relationship with a women, and considering they are freaks of nature, they secluded themselves from society and became hermits. It's really interesting to me, how many heavy PMO addicts work from home and are computer specialists... Sometimes I wonder what was first - chicken or the egg (porn addiction or the seclusion from society)?

Anyway, the no PMO thing helped reverse the porn-induced ED of these guys, and besides normal libido they've started reporting other positive changes too.-Depression and social anxiety going away, increased confidence, the feeling of fulfilment and being on top of the world...

I'm one of those guys. I've had several failures with women, starting in the middle of puberty. This has become the single most devastating thing to my psyche. In this modern world, where there's hardly a commercial, a movie, a TV show, or a conversation without sexual innuendos...-I was constantly reminded of my weirdness. Every Time I saw a sexual scene in the movie i thought to myself "Wow, how easy it is for that guy, is that how's it supposed to be? I could never get erect so easily, even with such a beautiful women". When I saw a picture of a beautiful naked women in the middle of a casual magazine I thought to myself "People find this so hot, but I can't get aroused if a pretty women's not doing some extreme things in a pornographic movie. I must be so weird". Similarly with normal everyday sexual jokes or conversations with friends or strangers.

The point is I was reminded constantly that I'm a failure as a man on a very fundamental level, and I seemed to be the only one.

A year before I started NoFap, I've even gone to see psychiatrists and psychologists who diagnosed me with severe social anxiety disorder and depression, and wanted to put me on antidepressants which I never agreed to.

When via YBOP (which is just what Gary Wilson found out from those guys on various forums), I found out that the central problem of my life that was on my mind 24/7 can be reversed, the heaviest rock was lifted from my heart. When I went on my first NoFap streak (cca 80 days) I've started noticing similar super powers as reported among others. Is that realy so weird? The central thing destroying my confidence and making me feel alone on the planet of 7 billion, was being reversed and it turned out to be very common.

Today, on my 109th day of NoFap, I feel happy, confident, social, smart, capable of meeting any challenge, etc., etc.,...

TL;DR - The bottom line is, I'm not at all surprised by the changes people report. Severe porn-induced ED can be a devastating thing to ones psyche in the modern world. I'm also not surprised that others, whose life wasn't so heavily marked by PMO and/or abstain from PMO just as a challenge, don't see this benefits. You need to understand what kind of a demographics reported those results in the first place. Sure, some can experience similar effects as a placebo effect, but in a case like mine, you can't really call a removal of the problem placebo effect - it's quite simply the cure.


 From the same thread

I totally agree with you. I see posts from people who to me sound like they weren't addicted or facing harsh problems like ED and depression suggesting Nofap is all placebo. They probably weren't porn-crippled addicts to start with! As someone who had severe depression and bad ED, I can firmly state that this has been a completely life-changing experience, and I'm only on day 21. I feel like the real me for the first time in 2 years, it's miraculous. Also, I think I am finally seeing green shoots that the ED is getting better - had some slight morning wood and as far as everything else, mood and confidence, they are sky high!


From the same thread

Well said. I'm sure it's no coincidence that I'm a software specialist, and work from home a lot.

Just want to add that NoFap works wonders even if you don't have erectile problems. I suffered from a slight desensitisation, but not much (maybe because my tastes in porn were very vanilla).

The correlation with social anxiety is undeniable (although porn isn't the only culprit, of course).

Porn use is fucking harmful. I wish that more people were aware of this.


From the same thread

I suffered from anxiety (not social) and quitting PMO completely cured it - now this wasn't placebo since I had no idea that would happen and had zero expectations of what might happen and hadn't read anything on YBOP.

I started NoFap without even knowing what NoFap was or what would happen.

But if someone else has anxiety and it isn't caused by PMO then NoFap may not help them at all, that is bound to happen because anxiety is related to so many different types of disorders

Day 80+ and noticing some amazing neurological changes

I wanted to share my experiences in the last few days, because for me personally its been nothing short of stunning. To start off I've had massive social anxiety since I can remember. I always fought it, but it was me always basically faking it.

What I am noticing now is a massive change in my ability to interact with people. Most noticeably eye contact... I'd read this on yourbrainonporn, but its like night and day. Starting a few days ago I just started making eye contact with almost everyone and it felt natural. I wanted to, rather than what I've done my entire adult life which was either force it, or start it and look away assuming I was doing something embarrassing or wrong. Now I suddenly just don't give a shit.

Its not perfect though, I can still feel the blocks in my head hit after a second or so, but more often than not I just naturally say "no I won't stop" and go on until its natural conclusion. This is with guys and girls just normal human interaction

Beyond that when I was riding my bike yesterday, I was passing people and saying hello. I still couldn't naturally/easily smile as well but I feel like I almost wanted to. I was smiling at things I haven't been able to smile at forever, like a guy playing with his dog, or a little happy baby in her carriage. It was just a feeling of... almost euphoria.

And beyond that I was looking at girls passing by me without fear... making eye contact and holding it almost long enough. Even flirted with a girl at the cash register and got her to give me an interested smile.

Its nothing short of un-fucking-believable.

I'm mean I am still not there yet... I have morning wood every couple of days or so (still a huge improvement) and its not as good as I remember, but that just means I need more time.

So for everyone else doubting themselves... the rewiring is not linear, it can happen in stages, it can take longer than 90 days, you can't tell. But its real I encourage everyone to stick with it.

Also if anyone else has similar drastic changes they want to talk about, please reply. I'd like to hear them to see how much further this will go.

Ideally even though I'll probably always be an introvert, I can see myself now being more comfortable in a big group. The only thing I still need to figure out how to fix is my inability to come up with small talk... I just don't think of that sort of thing

I am 26 and have been been addicted to PMO since the age of 14. I started with “normal” porn but eventually desensitized to it and escalated to shameful genres and fetishes.

For years I wondered why I was so anxious and awkward around people. Why had I never had a girlfriend? Other people seemed to naturally connect and have affection for each other, but I always felt like I had to fake it, as if I wasn’t human. I also lacked motivation. I was content wasting hours mindlessly browsing the internet while many of my friends moved forward with their lives. It wasn’t until I came across “The Great Porn Experiment” video that I first realized PMO was the cause of my issues. Since I started pretty young I never knew what “normal” felt like. I assumed there was something wrong with me compared to other people. Porn was an outlet for my shameful lusts.

Anyway, 60 days in and I already feel like a new person. I have experienced so many benefits that I cannot even list them all here. But below is an overview of what I have experienced so far:

Weeks 3-4:

  • More confidence and emotional stability. A newfound sense of virility.
  • Less desire to waste excessive time browsing the internet and playing video games
  • Stronger and healthier attraction to women (not just looking at body parts)
  • Stronger, richer voice. Became more articulate.
  • Less social awkwardness. More desire to be around people.
  • Fog seemed to lift off of my life. Day-to-day life began seeming more interesting.

Week 5:

  • Flatline started. No sex drive, or sexual attraction to women. This actually helped me avoid PMO. Confidence dropped temporarily, but came back after a few days. Earlier benefits stayed.

Week 6:

  • Stronger desire to exercise. Better able to maintain an exercise routine. Feeling stronger, and noticing increased endurance.
  • Less attraction and addiction to sugary junk food.
  • More energy in general for day-to-day life. Stronger desire to make the most of free time and spend time outdoors.

Week 7:

  • Huge increase in motivation. Procrastinating day-to-day chores far less. Becoming more neat and organized.
  • Mind feels sharper and clearer. Better able to stay focused on tasks.

Week 8 (present):

I’m still in the flatline but all of the other benefits are still going strong. I still have occasional emotional lows, but they are less frequent and go away faster, especially if I exercise. I am really looking forward to my libido coming back to where it was around week 3-4. Hopefully that will happen in the next week or two.

I can easily say that beginning this nofap journey has been one of the most important decisions I have made in my life. If your current situation resembles my pre-nofap life, I encourage you to quit porn and fapping. It’s tough at first, but it will make your life vastly better.

My main strategy for getting this far has been to avoid the situations when I would normally be most tempted- such as when I am alone on my computer. I also noticed that other activities, such as playing certain video games, and eating sugary junk food seem to stimulate my brain in similar ways to porn and increase my desire for it. Avoiding them has helped reduce temptation.

Keeping this going will certainly continue to be challenging. But I keep reminding myself that nothing compares to this new PMO-free life. No porn I ever looked as has been as pleasurable as truly feeling alive. Here’s to another 60 days!

LINK - Day 60: My experiences so far- Totally worth it!

Just got denied today. First time I asked out girl in six years and I am so damn proud

Asked girl is she wants to see dark knight at work. I said passively if you ever want to see the movie I can drive you. Next time I will be more direct when I ask a girl out. I wasn't scared at all when I asked her out or agitated or embarrassed when she didn't answer and said okay. It wasn't that big of a deal, and I realized that we are all human other people are dating and I don't appear as some desperate loser if I ask someone out. She didn't seem bothered, but more flattered than anything. Now I can close my book on her and say onto the next one, not wondering all of the what ifs. 15 days I am finally interested in real women and want to join the dating world for the first time as a 20 year old man.

Real love's 3 week check in

I began this journey 3 weeks ago. A man who hit rock bottom in my own way and had enough of the guilt, shame and low self esteem. My habit was more of a ritual. It would often begin with me feeling sad or angry about myself. Upset I didn't talk to her, angry I let that opportunity slide. Usually feeling my actions could have been different. The pressure would build and build. Eventually I would stomp enough cracks on the thin ice I was standing on, fall into the abyss.

This time I chose to swim back to the surface and get on a motherfucking jetski.

The benefits have been tremendous:

  • Noticing girls check me out a lot. It's like they almost sense the built up testosterone, the oozing confidence, the happier guy.
  • my mind is a lot calmer, I've noticed the negativity subsided. I just feel at peace. Like some say "not giving a fuck", huge check mark. It allows you to process your thoughts clearly, talking to a girl today and it was almost like it was in slow motion.
  • My actual personality is shining through the usually awkward, shy and jittery. My one liners are coming across perfectly, love the wit.
  • Strength increase in the gym, increases in 20lb on all exercises.
  • Colour: yesterday I saw the sun shine through briefly on a gloomy day. It lit up everything so beautifully. Nice noticing the details of every small thing.

pursuing two girls at the moment and I'll let you know where it goes.

Keep up the fight!

Differences of Fapping Vs. No Fapping experiences

I have done my fair share of resets, and want to share my experiences. This may not be applicable for everyone, but I figure I could also document the positive benefits of NoFap (even as a reminder to myself).

While Fapping

Mornings: If I fapped the day or night before, it is a LOT harder to wake up. Mind is groggy. I try to sleep in a little more. Sometimes I'll even fap in the morning, which results in me getting up last minute and having to rush, resulting in being late for work, resulting in exasperatedness.... etc. I skip the most important meal of the day.

Talking and interacting with people: Avoided eye contact, jumbling up of speech (damn you brain fog!), wanting to end conversations quickly, never initiate conversation

Working out: I usually do 3 sets of 10 for whatever I'm working out, but I find myself bitching out usually around 8 or 9 if I get too tired.

Social Life: Found myself wanting to stay in. In the event that I do go out, I have found that I like to keep to myself and not really interact with those outside my group. I expect people to come to me (this never happens).

Punctuality: Not sure if related, but something I have noticed. On the days I fap I am always late if I am meeting up with friends.

NoFap

Mornings: Wake up naturally, feeling refreshed. I actually have time to make myself breakfast! I read the newspaper and take it relaxed, the way mornings should be. I don't have to rush to work, and I am generally relaxed and in a better mood for the rest of the day. Funny how one small action can make or break your days.

Talking and interacting with people: I initiate conversation! I don't avoid eye contact while walking down the hall. I look women dead in the eye and smile; they usually smile back! Who knew?!

Working out: I feel like I just have more energy, this may be placebo. I like to think that my body doesn't have to work extra to replenish resources and DNA from fapping. I finish my sets fully and feel strong.

Social Life: I know Reddit hates this, but I have been adopting a more 'YOLO' lifestyle. I'll lead my friends in going out, and have no fear nor shame in chatting up girls. I'm confident, because I KNOW I have self-control and have been taming the beast that has been plaguing me for a decade. Long story short (and YMMV!!) I got a couple dates in with a really cute girl. I think this whole nofap thing is wiring my brain into really acknowledging my time is dwindling before I get to the marriage age. PMO probably tricked that entire thing up, in a bad way.

Punctuality: Again, another weird phenomena I noticed that seems to have not been discussed. I'm always early and ontime for things.

I hope that some of you have at least experienced these changes, and that I am not the only one. I leave you all with this quote, “Nothing diminishes [the urge to fap] faster than action.” Get out there and chase the NoFap high. I know I am, because I just love the feeling of clarity.

Also I should mention, during the 20 days of No fap I saw drasting changes. My social anxiety almost disappered and it was easy for me to talk to girls. No Fap is definitely the way to go. I've known it before I discovered No Fap and this community has confirmed it. So let's do this.... LINK

LINK - I'm 25 and I've been a moderate PMO user for abour 10 years now. I've been nofap for about 11 days. Im not a virgin, but I haven't got any in about 3 years, most likely due to PMO. The effects of nofap are real, and anyone who passes it off as a placebo effect is in denial.

Throughout my adult life I've felt inferior to my peers. Part of it due to losing contact with my friends from high school, and skipping college to start working. I was thrust into a world where the vast majority of my co workers were 5 years older, and I was considered to be this scrawny kid. I was respected at my job, as I performed very well. But I couldnt go to most get togethers because I was underage, so I went into this toxic thought process, thinking that they were above me.

Having no real friends, and this feeling that no girl would be interested in this scrawny kid, I saw PMO as an escape. I would look foward to my alone time and crave it. I would avoid talking to girls because "I didnt need them", I had my escape. This continued for years, even after I turned 21.

I would occassionaly go to clubs immediately start feeling inadequate, and count down the time untill I can have "my alone time". Its absolutely pathetic.

Over the last year and a half I started working out, I put on 30lbs, and my acne has cleared up. I looked the best I ever did, yet the confidence never followed. Until I found no fap. For the last 7 days I've felt amazing.

Conversations with people in general used to be a chore for me, I would go through the motions, just waiting for the oppurtunity to get out before they find out what a loser I am. Now Im initiating them, leading them, and finally enjoying them. Women in general have been noticing me, and openly flirting with me like never before. Even though Im still somewhat shy when these situations arise, i'm getting more and more comfortable with each encounter.

I feel like Ive been living under a rock, and with each passing day of no fap, I get a little bit stronger, Im lifting that rock a little bit higher. The higher I lift it the more happiness comes in, and the more darkness that comes out of the hole i've dug myself in. The rock is whispering to me "Just fap, just this once, it'll feel good. You can act like it never happened. You can try this again later".

The rock knows the moment I fap, I'll lose all the strength I gained, I'll be back to day 1. I will get out of this hole. And Im gonna throw that rock into fucking oblivion. Here's to day 11.

Dude, nofap has strongly reduced my ADD. I've never been medicated for it for any length of time, besides self medication lol. It's also helped me deal with moderate social anxiety and I've felt generally happier and more balanced. And since not fapping is pretty much the only lifestyle change ive made in the past 6+ months(didnt really start exercising or eating better, etc.) I can attribute the changes mostly to the nofap.

http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/x8njl/nofap_and_adhd/

I'm going to tell my story. I hope it motivates you all

Like many of you, I was awful with women so I jerked off to ease my pain. Big mistake.

When I was younger (17-18) I was good with girls. pretty girls flirted with me, and I flirted back. things were fine, I was content with this. I watched porn and jerked off like any 18 year old, so this attraction rarely turned into any physical contact. I just didn't pull the trigger because it was nerve-racking and I didn't have to, because I had porn. This tore me up inside because I wanted to conquer women like my friends did. Sex was a game and I wanted to play, but I never could. Games are not fun when you don't win.

so a couple years go by, and I get my own place. I'm introverted, so i would recluse alone and smoke pot and masturbate on a daily basis. I would watch porn for fun, just to do it. Just to relax. Soon, pretty girls were not flirting with me any more. I was still upset that I couldn't bag women, but I felt powerless to control the spiral. I masturbated to compensate for what I really wanted, AFFECTION, acknowledgement. I needed a girl to say "you're good enough for me, I approve of you" I knew they didn't want to have sex with me, with my limp penis and instant ejaculation. so I jerked off

prior to /r/NoFap , going to bed with a girl was a fucking toss up. It was scary, and it made me nervous, because i jerked off. every fucking day

If i got a girl, I had to ask myself stupid questions like "oh shit, did I jerk off today? will I sexually fail because I jerked off 2 hours ago?" Now, not only was I not going to win the game, I didn't WANT to win the game. it was a fucking embarrassment.

then I found /r/NoFap. I stopped looking at porn, and now I feel like a motherfucking BOSS.

Now that I have stopped, chasing women and sex is FUN. I am confident that if I go to bed with a girl, I will get a raging boner and I will fuck her brakes off. the game is fun to play, because I want to win and I can win. girls approve of me. they want me to be a man, not a lonely little boy playing with his dick all alone. I finally have the physical ability to act like the man I want women to see me as. YOU CAN DO IT TOO

TL;DR STOP JERKING OFF OR KEEP LIVING YOUR SHIT SEX LIFE, IT'S UP TO YOU. IT'S ALL UP TO YOU

Turning into an Alphamale

Here is my story: I've been many things my entire life, but an Alpha Male was never one of them. I'm 6'3, black, track athlete, I know 3 instruments, pretty damn good looking, and I'm intelligent. Most guys think I would be able to pull chicks easy. But fapping was holding me back. Instead of going out and meeting chicks, I was at home fantasizing about those chicks.I was being lazy and a slob

But that all change. One day, after a long day of playing video games, i thought to myself, I have so many unnecessary things in my life that have no value to me. So I made a list of all the things that I wanted to give up. -fapping -video games -junk food -television

Boy, has my life turned around. I started taking my training seriously, and have gained more strength in these couple of weeks of than I have in months while simultaneously cutting fat. I have always hated books, but now I yearn for them, and I enjoy them more than videogames and TV(something I would never thought I would say).

Now when it comes to chicks, I have become the guy that I used to idolize. Those guys that could walk up to a woman and get her number. As my body became better, so did my confidence. I started shaving frequently, and making sure I look good before I go anywhere. With this, women became attracted to me.

My "I dont give a Fuck" mentality makes me view any situation as a win/win. Now I go up to random women and talk to them for minutes, something I never had the balls to do. Many say now I project this aura that no matter what situation, I am in control. Now I am finally starting to see this. If you guys want this as well. One thing I do is any time I look in the mirror. Talk to yourself. (Tell yourself your a sexy beast, and women want you. And when you do this, look at yourself directly in your eyes.)

I used to always be the guy to follow my buddies. I was the guy that said, "I don't really care what we do, I'm cool with anything." Not anymore. Now, people look to me for answers.

All in all, I thank NoFap for giving me the encouragement to discipline myself and gain self control over myself. Because once you can control yourself, you can control your surroundings. Thats what being an alpha male is all about. Being the guy in control. Being the guy who can't loose. Being the guy who makes decisions. Being the guy who people turn to for answers. Being the leader, not the follower. And last but now least, we are all sexual creatures, SO BE THE GUY THAT PULLS WOMEN! NO MATTER WHAT SITUATION!

TL;DR don't only give up fapping, take control of your whole life, become the man you've always wanted to. Reprogram your mind, life, and body to become whoever you want.

gave this report:

I am 21 years old, and I feel like I have a lot of things to make up for all of these last few mostly unproductive years. What I am most happy about [after 3 weeks of no PMO] is that my mind is actually as sharp as ever, and I feel as sharp and curious as I did when I was in elementary school, the innocent days.

Plus I feel pretty alpha, like many of the other guys have said. It's amazing for me, because I've had  alot of friends who I have known for years, and most of them have been dominant over me. Now being back home for summer break, I have reunited with some of these guys with my new more confident self. I feel like on the first day in meeting many of them, they just threw me shit tests here and there, and I just rolled over them with ease, and now I can tell they treat me with much more respect, and they're quite surprised. They're suddenly asking me for advice on their problems, suddenly I feel like their father...Total 180 reversal, seriously.

To say I become spineless if I indulge in PMO is seriously an understatement. I just become a pathetic excuse for a human being. Too emotional, no confidence, no clarity, can't think straight. And I seriously have gone YEARS living like this. Now I am controlled, stable, focused, super confident, and have a very sharp mind. And this is only 22 days. Maybe by 60 days I grow wings?

When you save your energy up, you get that unconquerable will where what would have been huge walls in your past become little knee high fences you just have to step over.

Going through the Blu-ray aisle of Best Buy with my cousin, we saw Band of Brothers on the shelf and got into a little discussion about it. Well, out of no where this cute girl approaches us, saying she couldn't help but overhear our conversation and mentioned how awesome she thought the show was.

This COMPLETELY took me by surprise. Prior to nofap, this situation would have never happen. I attribute this strictly to nofap and while I don't think I've gained some "superpower", I do believe that my abstinence from fapping has increased my social skills. I don't know what it is, but I love it. Link to thread

Earlier tonight I was over at a friend's apartment. I'm there with my roommates and several people I don't know, but I'm at least acquainted with most of the people there on some level so I'm feeling pretty comfortable. Anyway, I'm standing in a circle with probably 6 other people, all acquaintances, and we're just bullshitting and discussing random topics. As this is going on, I turn to say bye to someone as they leave and this black girl comes up to me and goes "Excuse me, what's your name?" I told her, and then she introduced herself and a few of her friends. The next thing she said took me completely off guard: "I just want to say that you have the most beautiful skin! Your cheeks just have this natural rosy glow."

I would say I was taken aback, but that would be an understatement. As someone who has suffered from low self-confidence and mild social anxiety, this compliment was one of the biggest confidence boosts of my entire life.

I've never been complimented on my skin before. There's nothing spectacular about it - in fact, I have relatively dry skin. I've never been approached that way before either. What happened tonight literally has no precedence whatsoever in my life. All I can attribute this to is nofap.

Nofap has seriously been one of the best things I've ever done for myself. I feel more healthy than ever. I need less sleep, and the sleep I do get is deeper and more fulfilling. My dreams are more intense. My appetite is bigger, but I crave healthier foods. My voice feels more powerful. My muscle tone is better, even though I rarely lift. My sparse facial hair is coming in thicker and darker. I no longer feel controlled by my mood, but instead feel the need to proactively regulate my mental state and emotions. Most importantly, my confidence is (now) at an all-time high.

Link to thread

Challanged passed, 60 days without porn, and fapping, what I got? Nothing really just:

  1. First healthy relathionship, fell in love
  2. Bosted confidance
  3. General energetic feeling
  4. Back on life track, I know what I want and what I am going to do

Its not worth it, just a waste of time, leave it guys, fapping to porn while wasting every oportunity life offers is way more satisfying - but I won't return to porn, at least for now

LINK TO THREAD

LINK TO POST - It finally clicked for me yesterday! What if? And a story of last night

Don't mind my badge, I rarely visit r/NoFap since I actually found it to be a trigger for me. I just got off an 18 day streak, my longest so far. If you're interested in knowing my story you can read my introduction over here so I won't bore you with details. I was reading r/socialskills to see what I can do to improve friendships since I have no one I can really call a "good friend" or maybe ways to meet new people. I came across an article and the little man inside my head after stumbling for so long in the dark finally found that light switch.


What if you were jogging in the Boston Commons and saw a cute girl sitting by a tree? What if you wanted to say hi but you had butterflies? What if you overcame those butterflies and walked towards her? What if you commented on the book she was reading, and she smiled and tucked her hair behind her ear? What if you reached out your hand and said “I’m _______ , by the way.” ? What if she responded with her name and invited you to sit?

What if you found out she’s an English major who would rather study in the park than in the library? What if you teased her about studying on a beautiful Saturday? What if she laughed and teased you about your toe shoes? What if you told her you could really go for a fresh cup of iced coffee? What if you asked her to join you? What if she said yes?

What if you ordered a drink and walked with your hand gently on her back to an open table? What if she had a great sense of humor and the same taste in movies? What if you started to feel completely comfortable around each other? What if you told her about a new ice cream shop you’re dying to try? What if you could see her get excited and asked her to come along the next night? What if she accepted and you asked for her number?

What if you met up and had an incredible time together? What if you went in for the kiss in between scoops of vanilla ice cream? What if this was the beginning of something great? What if she was the girl you’d been waiting for?

Now what if you had never went up to her in the first place? None of it could have happened.

It all starts with “Hello.” Don’t let the little opportunities pass you by or you’ll always wonder…

What if? Source: The Big What If?

Ok so how does this relate to r/NoFap? It was on Monday that I had this massive craving to just be out. Out at the bar, out dancing, doing anything and couldn't wait for this weekend to show up. With fapping my Friday night would consist of watching TV, fapping, video games, fapping, fapping, video games. Now instead of cravings for fapping, I have the cravings to be doing anything else. I've never been the bar type of guy (maybe because of fap!?), I've been taking dance classes the past 6 months so I love that part of going out. I just don't like being so crowded with loud music blaring. Anyway, I decided to check out this bar/lounge with the mindset of "What if?"

Now I've never been to this place before and thought it would be the usual bar with TV's, overly loud music and games. NOPE! It was located beneath this upscale restaurant so I head down this dark staircase. Really it was dark, there was only one candle at the bottom of the stairs and a locked black door. "Ok WTF? It should have opened at 6pm?" I head back up to the restaurant bar, with an older couple chilling and the bar tender. I ask him when it opens downstairs and he says its a speakeasy, you need the password to get in. "Wait, what? We have one of those in this town? Do you know the pass?" In chimes the guy at the end of the bar, "between the sheets". Awesome thanks! So I go down again and knock on the door. The Tender cracks the door slightly and I give him the pass. "Welcome man! Sit anywhere you want."

I walk in and it's this super chill, upscale establishment with older time music playing and people chatting. So I walk over to the bar and before even making it there a girl in a group with her friends (nothing special in the looks department) sitting on the couches next to the bar asks what I'm drinking. "Probably just Vodka 7" I said loud enough for Robbie (Tender) to hear me. I continue the small talk with them and up comes my drink. I grab a seat next to the group of girls and introduce myself. They're out together for one of the girls "bachelorette party". In comes the chatting and small talk stuff but they were kind of a boring group and I've finished off my drink. During this time some more people have showed up and two attractive girls on another couch. I noticed the one shying away from my looks and back to her friend and her friend then checking me out, giving a little nod of agreement and then back to their conversation. "Did that really happen?" I thought to myself, well "What if!?" it did?

I get up, order another drink at the bar and make my way to the two girls. I set my drink on the table and introduce myself, have a seat next to the one who shied away, and started having an incredible conversation with them. I would have never in a million years, especially if I were still fapping, be doing what I'm doing right now. I was geeking out with two attractive woman as we talked about Comic Con (one of them goes every year), Game of Thrones, Total Recall, REDDIT!, numerous memes, and anything else nerdy you can think of. I end up spending the rest of the night talking with them, which kind of sucked because there was another couple all dressed up like the 1930's who I wanted to talk with. Yeah, it sucked that I was talking with two awesome girls all night. WTF! Is it really this easy? What if!? it is?


TL:DR I'm going to continue my journey to reach that 90 days of NoFap but now I'm going out into the world with the What if? mentality. So many times we think, "What if she rejects me?" "What if they judge me and hate me?" "What if I make a fool of myself?". Yeah well, "What if she's the one?" "What if you're the coolest person they've ever met?" "What if you're the life of the party?". Let me tell you from last nights experience, the risk of making a fool of yourself or being rejected by a completely random stranger who you will never have to see again, is completely negligible to the possible rewards.

What is your most compelling piece of evidence for nofap?

For me it's the immense improvement in my social anxiety. I'm a software engineer, in my head a lot. I used to be very extroverted when I was very young, but over the years all this time in front of computers and eventually making a living out of it really changed that. It's come to the point that I was afraid to say anything to anyone around me, I was worried about how every little exchange was going to end up, like I was waging something really important each time. When I would pass people by I would often feel small and, in some undefinable way, lesser. This despite the fact that I'm a pretty big guy musculature-wise, having been working out and regularly lifting weights for over a decade.

Sometimes it would make me unduly aggressive, more often I would just be resigned to feeling that way and being miserable. I would always feel like I'm socially undesirable, though I've learned from various past experiences that often it was me who people were convinced was not interested in them.

I'd be lying if I said things have been the exact opposite of that lately, but they are much better in a number of key ways. I used to think there was something I needed to be doing that I didn't or couldn't do. Now there is this energy in me... if I'm alone it either translates to the desire to do something fun or productive, or just a general frustrated horniness.

When I'm around people it feels like it reaches out to them, makes me want to look at them or talk to them even if it doesn't seem like they'd be particularly reciprocal. I started realizing just how much of these numerous small bad experiences I've had with random strangers are just people reacting to a situation in exactly the same way I would.

When I would go sit somewhere like a cafe, I would feel nervous about people looking at me as I come in, as if they're judging me. Now I just see that they're curious, or are themselves feeling insecure, or if they do appear to be judgmental they seem to be compensating for something.

These are all things I've always suspected in a multitude of small ways, but it's like how U.G. Krishnamurti put it once, I have only seen the sugar, and now I'm tasting it. The whole thing feels like it's opened my eyes.

looking back on social anxiety 

My journey to day 50 has been pretty much as good for me as a lot of the posts I've read here show it has been for others, and I've read a lot of posts here over those 50 days! I began nofap after watching the TEDx video. I've had great days (weeks even) where I'v felt like I could take on the whole world, I've had a week where I felt flat and empty, I've had a week of an anxious waiting feeling that wasn't particularly nice. On the whole though it has been amazingly positive in all aspects of my life both at work, in studying and in personal interactions.

One thing is, though, that all the good changes happen so gradually (after the rush of changes in the first week or two) that it's hard to see that I am still constantly changing. But today I had a memory that made me aware just how big the change is.

Reading another post I suddenly remembered that some weekends I used to force myself to leave the house just so that I could be someplace with people, even though I wouldn't have to talk to them any more than to buy something at a shop or sit near people in a library. This I always saw as a big achievement because of the level of fear I had to combat. I pretty much know where the fear comes from but don't feel ready to share that yet, besides it's from long ago and is it really useful to try and understand everything in life, isn't it better to sometimes just let go and move forward if you can?

Looking back now I can't believe how separated from society I had become, how much social anxiety totally controlled and defined who I was. Although I still don't get out much on the weekends that extreme level of social anxiety has totally gone (although writing about it now is bringing the feeling back a little strangely).

For me social anxiety is mainly present in unstructured or unorganised situations. I have no problem at work or in a club situation for example, when I have something to do whilst I am interacting, but take me out of that context and I am jelly :) but that is changing now, slowly,

Dresdin

Same here. Exactly the same here.

I've seen the social anxiety disappear almost completely. The last stronghold is that totally unstructured social gathering. Once we get past that, we'll be all good.

zxczxc1

I pretty much know where the fear comes from but don't feel ready to share that yet, besides it's from long ago

I too have some flashbacks about the roots of my anxiety and it is all coming together like pieces of puzzle now... Fuck I have/had a lot of shit going on in my life

Aieaieouille

That's great bro! And I had noticed the same thing. Also I like what you say about unstructured situations this is totally me...

I think no fap help me a lot with SA, my anxiety is decreasing in some situations even if it's not perfect yet.

For example, this week had been tough and i'm facing fatigue and some strange anxiety. Certainly related to the flatine. But even in this difficult moment, I can see the great progress i have made.

Yesterday night I was in a club and I'm normally not so cool in this situation. Plus, the flatline symptoms were here and I felt a bit week. But even with this mood, I wasn't anxious being here and It was more or less kind of a nice party.

So my point is for people who face SA, if you see some spike of anxiety during the PMO. Don't be afraid I think it's normal, and it shouldn't hide the progress that are made on some others areas of your life!

ps : sry for my english

Wallace44

NoFap has all but removed my depression/social anxiety, I'll be uploading a 6 month video review very soon.

 somaamos

I am also at the phase where I can get out and do stuff without getting myself in trouble (panic attack), I feel OK about walking past people (looking them in the eye briefly), I am still a bit too nervous to talk - I would love to be able to say "hey how are you" or even just smile.

the anxiety is hiding all of the amazing potential you have, fight like a SOB who doesn't die!

NoFap brings all the girls to the yard!

Aw yeah! I've never been uncomfortable around women but never have I been this confident!

I was at a venue and working the merch table for the musicians when a girl walked up to the bar which was located next to me. She was really cute so I looked at her and she caught my gaze. Usually, this is where I go a bit shy and look away... instead I looked her right in the eye and smiled and she smiled back. Long story short, I got a girl's number without moving more than 3 feet in any direction.

I've been reading about some of you guys saying you're more confident and that women find you more attractive after starting nofap... to be honest, I thought it was total BS! I'm sorry I ever doubted you, nofap has got to be one of my better decisions!

Stated simply, a "tolerance break" from pornography, coupled with abstinence or restrained masturbation can help your brain reset expectations for sexual gratification and relationships, as well as boosting confidence, energy and sexual performance.

I'm personally a "graduate" of the method, having successfully done a 56-day stint completely abstaining from porn and masturbation last year. My original goal was 60 days, but I ended up "breaking" on the 56 day by having sex with a beautiful woman who's now a great friend of mine. Prior to this, I had not had sex in nearly two years, and masturbated to "fucked up/extreme" porn multiple times a day. I'm not currently in a relationship, but my sexual needs are being fulfilled.

More importantly for me was the increased energy and self confidence that arose as a result. I went from a minimum-wage part time job to a full-time position that actually puts my credentials and knowledge to work. This required a massive leap in every aspect of my life (motivation, character, self-respect, public speaking, etc.) and I fully believe that my no-porn journey helped me build the confidence I needed to succeed. After all, if you can make your body and mind bend to your will, there is very little you cannot accomplish.

LINK TO POST - http://boards.420chan.org/qq/res/349130.php

I went out alone for the first time EVER. 

I have lost touch with all of my friends from high school. so my weekends for the past 6 years have consisted of eating dinner with my mom and or sister, watching some basketball game maybe, and some video games/poker and usually I would fap to porn of course.

This is my first time doing no PMO in my life and my first weekend of no PMO. needless to say... In the past if i ever contemplated going out alone to a bar or a club I would laugh to myself and be like "lol no fucking way too awkward, ill look like a loser with no friends."

This time I had the same thought but instead I said F**K IT and went out anyways. I figured... I have nothing to do, not going to fap, so I might as well do something productive with my life... So yea I went out, ate dinner at a bar alone, then bar hopped and had some drinks. I talked to random hot girls asking them for directions and shit (obv could care less about directions I just wanted to talk to them).

Never mustered up the courage to ask a girl out but I did talk to quite a few. Something I have never done in the past. Even tried some lines I saw in a pick up video for example: do you have a name for your vagina, what would you do if some guy you liked had a small penis? I also told a couple girls striaght up that I was out alone and I said its better than being home jerking off right? Probably not the best things to talk about but i just didnt give a F**K.

I was a new man tonight. proud of myself.  I will definitely do this more often instead of fapping. Hopefully I will gain enough confidence to ask some girls out. I kept finding myself running out of things to talk about but thats a story for another time I guess. Anyway that is all.

Later he posted:

I am going to go out again tonight. I promise I will act normal this time around. wish me luck!

LINK TO POST - The connection between social anxiety and fapping 

I took the decision to put an end to my PMO addiction for a number of reasons, but curing my social anxiety wasn't one of them. To be honest, I didn't even know there was a connection between fapping and my social anxiety. I just considered myself an introverted person and I was fine with that. However lurking on this board, I noticed many posts about the confidence boost nofappers got after a few days of abstinence.

This weekend I went snowboarding. While in the aerial tramway, I noticed a pretty girl. While snowboarding down the slope, I saw her stop and I just stopped near her and said Hi! Asked her name, and had a nice 5 minute conversation. I never, ever, EVER did something like this before. Talking to a random girl has been impossible for me until now. The funny thing was that I wasn't feeling anxious at all, the conversation even had a few silent moments and I didn't feel the urge to come up with something clever to say. I felt no pressure whatsoever, no awkwardness. I still can't believe what just happened. It really did feel like a superpower. Such an awesome superpower to have, now I am afraid that I may lose it :)

Please assure me that as long as I don't fall back to my PMO addiction I get to keep this superpower.

GUY 2)

One thing that I know for sure, is that everytime I go for PMO the 2 and 3 days after doing it I just can't talk to anyone. I don't know what happeds, its like a curse. I allways feel so anxious and awkward, i don't say anyhting interesting, I act like shit actually. So as you can see in my case anxiety is very linked to PMO, also social anxiety ! But yes with time and abstinence socialization tends to Just keep the improve. So go on with that motivation !!! You're doing good. Fight strong my friend.

GUY 3)

I thought my confidence levels increasing was a coincidence until I read your post but it seems other people are experiencing it too. It's awesome! And after only 2/3 days!

GUY 4)

Dude keep at it and dont break down.. every time i feel the need i come here and re-assure myself that im not the only one. its hard to stick to it since we all got used to PMO for years.. do you really want to fall back in the same position you were in? PMO lowers your testosterone which what helped you with that conversation , if you stay strong for 2 more days (7 days total) your testosterone levels will boost up like crazy and that will increase that "superpower" to a whole new level..

GUY 5)

Just over 2 weeks in, can't say I've noticed a huge difference in social anxiety, although when I first started; after a couple of days I was definitely more talkative with people, seems to have gone back to before now, but as I've heard there are a lot of ups and downs to this process I'm hoping that after a while it'll come back!

GUY 6)

Yes it actually gets better.Much better.I feel like if I had "normal anxiety" that I believe most of you are describing here, not the one I have (read much much worse),I would be banging some girl right now.But since I do not have the normal anxiety, I need to really ease into being normal again.Hopefully in a few months I can report the same thing you did now.

GUY 7)

When I was in high school, I was the President of many organizations, a leader, loved to be in management role, etc... but after many years of jerking off well into college, I became very socially anxious, introverted, and depressed. Now I'm 23 years old, unemployed, no girlfriend, sucks.

I might take your advice and stop PMO-ing... hopefully I can get my confidence back!

GUY 8)

I'm like on day 60 something and im feelin fuckin golden. Been talking to chicks, and just ppl in general without any pressure, and just been having fun and cracking jokes. Don't take life too serious - it's just a ride. (the best fucking ride of all time!) :)

Can any introverts shed light on benefits from NoFap? At what point did you see changes in your social behavior?

guy 1)

Well I consider no fap leads to other activities that (at least in my case) involve more "being in the present", interacting with the outer world AND ultimately feeling compelled to take charge in your environment.My longest streaks haven been 28 and 29 days respectively since I started last September, usually I would PMO or MO every 7-10 days, and in between I would occasionally edge with porn. (It always leads to relapse sooner or later). So, some social behavior facts in my case:

-My gait is faster and more confident, feeling of nervousness in public places are diminished or nonexistant.

-I feel closer to both men and women. Light social interaction with classmates doesn't make me nervous anymore: now, the things I deemed impossible before nofap are those that make me nervous, e.g. talking to a super hot foreign student at my uni, I feel a little bit jerky at the beginning, but everything's smooth and easy afterwards. So i've kind of "upgraded" my social skills.

-Interaction with friends are fuller: now, I don't feel like a burden anymore: do you know those times when you're in a super good mood and everything flows, when you are able to live your day/night/whatever at its fullness ? Creating fun for you and the people who are with you out of nowhere ? Nofap makes this easier... wait, I've even considered this could be the NORMAL and natural thing.

-Regarding women: I've been noticing them more and they seem to be attracted to me. Flirting is much more healthy now, like, more physical clue- based and less about me saying weird things in order to get their attention. Talking to them is easier, more authentic and quite rewarding.

  • Enjoying the company of my family a lot more: Appreciating their efforts. Complimenting them. Saying thanks a lot more.In the dining table, Having conversations with my brother about a lot of things while our parents enjoy our wittiness.

-Assertiveness and taking charge: I feel more like a man, socially. I do care about things and take care of people more. I raise my hand, ask questions, fix things, reprimand people if I have to. I give directions, comfort others, I make sure everyone's at ease. I am tougher and more warm, people notice it and I love it.

These could be described as my peak benefits: bear in mind that everything has its shades. Some days are awesome, others not so much. There is temptation and tough days too. If you are like me, you'll start flatlining around day 10 and will feel new and with lots of energy at day 20-22.

Now, I know you are starting your current streak and that you probably are new or relatively new to no fap, are you? You are trading your dear porn, your habit of masturbation for this new thing and you want to have your benefits right now,(instant gratification) and you want to hear about them. Obvious, that's why you ask. And you say you are tempted to go for 2 weeks and "see what happens".

I'll tell you waht happens: I've been where you are, like 6 months ago. I went from skeptic to believer-wannabe, to experiencing the benefits for myself. Then I totally believed, and I relaxed and relapsed quite a few times. Nowadays not only I do see the convenience of doing nofap, but I'm also convinced it is a universal truth that masturbation and especially PMO leads only to awful things, to being a lesser human. My badge says 17 days and in two and a half months' time you'll see 100, that, I know.

What I'm trying to tell you is: I suspect you are not very convinced of this nofap thing yet. You will struggle with urges, and perhaps relapse many times. But the important thing is that you are in, that you've felt curious enough as to try. Please hear my advice: FEED on nofap thinking: it will become less of a struggle and more of a TRUTH that you won't leave behind. Pay attention to what your body and your mind will tell you. Ponder about it, it will come automatically to you. Feel proud and enjoy the ride. Your journey has started !

guy 2)

So I started to reply to this, and it turned into a long report:

http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/16n8i9/31_day_report/

guy 3)

I began to see huge changes at about 5 days

guy 4)

I went from 1-2 times daily to nofap and in 2 weeks and I felt massive changes in confidence in social situations. I went from unable to hold a conversation to working as a guide. That was the only major burst I had, after that it has been gradual changes that I don't think is necessarily that related to nofap.

Edit: Should add that most of the people I guided were young attractive people around my age. It was a big step for me.

 

A 17 year old on his 17th day of NoFap 

by throwaway277985

I first have to say thank you to my fellow fapstronauts! I could not have made it this far without you and this awesome sub-reddit. I will start off by saying wow have I been missing out. I started masturbating when I was 13 years old and never looked back. I would say I fapped at least once a day over the past 4 years. It has robbed me of feeling love, patience, happiness, and a whole slew of emotions.

Just after a little over two weeks of NoFap I have had coffee with my dream girl twice and plan on hanging out with her more. It may not seem like a big deal but to a kiss less virgin who used fapping for sexual release, it means a lot. I can now talk to girls with ease and I'm obsessed with females in general. All I want to do is be around girls and this is new for me and I will have to learn how to adjust.

It is finally making sense how the whole relationship thing works being that I never had a desire to have a SO. I have lost 31 pounds(New years resolution) and have cleared my acne away. I now dress to impress and have twice as much self confidence. What I am trying to say is that it is worth it!!! NoFap has given me a reason to live and I'm only on my 17th day. Again, thank you to all and god bless.

TL;DR: In two weeks NoFap has changed my life and gave me purpose.

http://www.builttoachieve.com/giving-up-porn-to-heal-your-social-anxiety...

People are appreciating life more after abstaining from pornography.  They are flirting with potential girlfriends, they are motivated to achieve things in life,their depression is cured and their social anxiety is almost non-existant. The thing is that most people claim that this is a placebo effect. So I decided to try it myself. I was so depressed it couldn’t get any worse, I thought.

The first tries I couldn’t even get past days. Then one try, I made it 3 weeks without pornography and masturbation. And the benefits are VERY true. The first week I didn’t really notice anything, maybe a bit more energy. The second week I even felt worse, this is called the flat line stage.  The third week I noticed some changes. I was talking to people effortlessly and it felt as if a black cloud left my brain. I felt really fresh and I had a lot more motivation to achieve things. I was killing it in the gym, girls were giving me looks. Funny enough, music sounded ten times better too! The social anxiety I had was 90% gone!

After this god like period, I eventually gave in again and the side effects came back. This proves that this isn’t a placebo effect.

It worked for me and hundreds of thousands of other people.

It is 98% certain that this is your problem if you were really social before. So why not give it a try? It will be the hardest challenge you probably faced in your life, but the benefits outweigh the effort a 100 times. It worked for me and hundreds of thousands of other people.  Even if you weren’t really social before you started using Internet pornography, you will notice an increase in urges to socialize.

Proof that Nofap drops your social anxiety.

by Philosophadam

Today, turned out to be an awesome day. I was going to sit around all day, but instead, I decided to go for a walk in the forest. As I was walking back near the Georgian baseball field, I saw these guys playing baseball. As I passed, one of the guys asked me if I wanted to play. The old me during fapping times would have been too lethargic and socially anxious to accept. But the new NoFap me had both the energy and the confidence, so I said "yeah!" We ended up playing baseball and football. Then we shared some beers and had some good laughs. What an awesome bunch of guys these guys are, true gentlemen. Thank you to them and to NoFap for inspiring me to branch out and meet new people and freeing me from social anxiety.

 

Social anxiety is a real issue. It may be helpful for those with it to research ways in which you can reduce it, or even get rid of it. Rebooting definitely helped my anxiety levels, and even just forcing myself to talk to strangers (male or female) was a huge boost to my confidence. I realised people were actually interested in listening to what I had to say.

It's important to make even small steps if need be.

http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php?topic=10775.0