Does Fapping Decrease Dopamine?
So you are engaging in a bit of solo sex every now and then?
And now you have started to wonder if fapping decreases dopamine?
Well, here's the answer for you:
Does fapping decrease dopamine?
Fapping without porn will cause a slight drop in dopamine after climax. But that drop is only temporary and the levels come back up pretty quickly. If you are fpping to porn, however, that drop will be a bit bigger and may also last longer. Finally, if you're fapping to porn on a regular basis, to the degree that you're causing addiction related brain changes, then you're indeed causing long term dopamine reduction.
The decrease in dopamine after fapping to porn…
Whenever you engage in some instant gratification stuff that gives you a lot of pleasure, there's always a dip in dopamine after you're done.
The process looks like this…
The A-process is you fapping, and then the B-process is the dip in dopamine that follows.
As you can see, the dip goes down below your baseline levels before returning back to normal after a while.
Fapping without porn like this is nothing to worry about really, just as long as you don't do it so much that you are physically hurting yourself.
But if you mix in porn, it can become problematic…
However, if you mix in porn there's a potential risk of things starting to take a turn for the worse. This is because today's online porn sites are so stimulating that you can override your natural satiation mechanism (which you can't do with merely fapping, not using porn).
Frequent fapping to porn can indeed cause a disrupted dopamine system and as a result your baseline dopamine levels will be put at a lower se point.
Frequent porn use can make the dopamine curve start to look like this…
This is what your dopamine and the Solomon's graph can start looking like if you keep mixing in porn into your fapping sessions, and if you keep doing it too often…
Now the A-process will be shorter and less potent and the B-process will be deeper and longer. I.e. you now get LESS pleasure in the moment and an even bigger “hangover” effect after your done.
Dopamine staying below baseline levels…
And the worst part of all, as you can see, after the B-process is over, the dopamine no longer reach up to the old baseline levels after the B-process is done.
So, how does this happen?
How it happens…
This typically happens if you keep using highly pleasurable things for a long enough period of time with little rest in between.
For example, if you have a habit of drinking a few beers after work and you frequently go for more beer while the B-process is still active.
In other words, if you go for MORE pleasure while your still down in the dumps (B-process) then you tend to dig the hole deeper and deeper, causing a permanent lower baseline level of dopamine. Same is true with internet porn.
What happens in the brain during the B-process?
If you want to see the exact biological process of what happens inside your brain when you dig the hole deeper, then take a look at a a video I posted on YouTube a while back.
It's called, does porn make you beta? and it's about how using too much porn can cause social anxiety, but it starts by showing the dopamine process behind it all (the process I just been sharing above).
This happens to your dopamine if you're frequently fapping to porn…
If you found the video informative, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel now!
I hope you found the video both entertaining and informative.
I want to share with you a bit of my personal experience on how bad my dopamine system got a few years ago, back when I was fapping a lot to online porn.
This is how bad my dopamine system got from fapping to porn…
Several years ago I was addicted to porn.
Now, first let me tell you that I didn't watch it daily. In fact, I just watched once or twice a week and I still developed addiction related brain changes.
Yes, it is actually possible to become addicted even if using only once or twice a week.
I had a hard time reading…
In the midst of my addiction it was almost impossible to read more than just a few sentences, for example in a book, without becoming distracted. I forgot what I just had read and had to go back and re-read it over and over again…
…I just couldn't do it.
I couldn't watch regular movies…
I also had a very hard time watching movies, because I kept forgetting what just happened, so I couldn't keep following along in the story line. On top of this I got urges to check my phone, over and over during the movie because my brain just wanted more instant dopamine…
…which obviously also was a big distracting thing.
Learning new things was hard in general.
If you think there's no way porn can make you this bad, I want to point out that dopamine is highly involved in concentration and short term memory. And addictions do indeed cause a disrupted dopamine system. So, I'm sorry to say, no I'm not exaggerating.
However, the good news is that, once you decide to tear yourself away from the screen and stop watching porn, the dopamine system will recover. It did for me, and it has done so for millions of people around the world.
Can the dopamine system recover – and if so, how long does it take?
The dopamine system can, and will, recover when we give up an addiction. Just as long as we don't keep hammering the reward system with way too much other super-normal stimuli during our recovery period.
Things like for example…
- Excessive social media use
- Excessive junk food
- Too much alcohol
- Other drugs
- Excessive gambling or video games
Most people have started to see some really good improvements in their dopamine functioning 90 days after quitting. Some see results quicker than that, while others need a bit more time. But in general, 90 days is often sufficient for people to notice results.
How much porn is too much?
I know my readers. The next question they are asking themselves is…“so how much porn can we get away with without causing a disrupted dopamine system?”
Well, this is difficult to say.
It depends on…
- How long your sessions are
- How vulnerable your brain is
- How you watch it
For example, jumping from clip to clip, just staying a few seconds on each, while you keep that chase going for 90 minutes, is much worse for your dopamine system than if you were to mindfully watch a ful 90 minute movie.
Porn as a coping mechanism…
It's also worse for your brain if you start using porn as escapism. I.e. you start using it as some form of a coping mechanism for problems in life.
The amount of times is a bad metric to use when it comes to giving guidelines here. Remember, I personally developed a pretty severe addiction from watching just once or twice a week. Granted, my session were long and I did jump from clip to clip, constantly chasing the perfect one to finish on…
…which of course never comes.
I wish there was a good answer, but there really isn't.
However, I think it would still be pretty safe to say that if you were to watch it only once or twice a month, without doing long sessions, the risk of becoming addicted would be very low. And that amount would probably not cause any problems to your dopamine system either…
In all honesty, though, it's kind of like drinking alcohol -where the safest amount really is zero-.
What to do next…
If you're unsure of your situation and you'd like to find out whether or not you have developed addiction related brain changes, you can read my article, Porn addiction test – Find out if you're addicted.
If you already have a hunch of what the results will be, or perhaps you've already tried to give up the porn, but you've been struggling to do so, I recommend you download my free quit porn guide below…
You can >>Download<< my FREE Quit porn guide here…
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