Quitting Porn Helps Reduce Social Anxiety? (New Study)

Can Quitting Porn Help Reduce Social Anxiety?

In this article we are going the explore the link between social anxiety and porn addiction.

Before we start diving deeper into the subject, let's get the answer out right from the start…

…can quitting porn really help reduce social anxiety?

Yes, quitting porn can help reduce social anxiety. In fact one of the most common so called “benefits” people see when they are giving up porn is increased confidence and less social anxiety. There are other benefits as well, that we'll explore further down, but before we even go there you should know that the main reason for these benefits come from overcoming a porn addiction and not from abstaining from ejaculation.

By the way, this is not an “anti porn” site. I, the owner of the site, is not religious or anything like that. I'm just presenting information and sharing my own experiences, as a former porn addict myself.

So again, I'm not anti porn…

…I'm pro information.

Giving Up Porn vs. NoFap – And The Increase in Confidence…

Many guys are doing something called “NoFap”, which is basically slang for solo sex.

The term “NoFap” can be a bit confusing…

…but keep on reading…

When guys start doing NoFap, they naturally also quit using porn -since porn and masturbation most of the time go hand in hand- and thus some people can wrongly assume that it is staying away from ejaculations that is helping their social anxiety…

…but it is not!

It's over consumption of today's super stimulating porn that has negative effects on the reward system in the brain, causing addiction related brain changes, which in turn causes less dopamine d2 receptor density. And according to research. less dopamine receptor density has been linked to more social avoidance, less social support and less social status.

The biggest benefits of NoFap happens because porn is being cut off…

So, this is why the term “NoFap”, or “NoFap benefits” can be a bit misleading, as older people online can get the impression that NoFap is only about abstaining from masturbation, when in reality, for most men it's about unhooking from a problematic porn use.

Sure some guys do it purely because they want to stay away from either masturbation or ejaculations (or both), but the biggest and most common reason for why guys are doing NoFap, is to either overcome a porn addiction…

…or to try to reduce an unhealthy amount of the said supernormal stimuli.

How Common is it for people to Notice Less Social Anxiety When Giving Going Off Porn?
Results from a poll…

Let's take a look at a poll I made in the community section on my YouTube channel Project Stronger Self.

A lot of my videos are about overcoming a porn addiction, so naturally many of my subscribers are familiar with going off porn. This made my question quite natural to ask…

“Hey guys, do you notice less social anxiety after going without porn for a while?”

More than 2500 people voted…

…and here's the results…

  • No, absolutely not: 7%
  • I'm not 100% sure, but I do not think so: 10%
  • I'm not 100% sure, but I actually think so, yes: 30%
  • Yes, I'm absolutely sure of it: 53%

As you can see, only 17% did not find that quitting porn reduced their social anxiety, while 83% found that it did.

And out of those 83%, 53% are absolutely sure of it.

Only 7% were absolutely sure that quitting porn did not help their social anxiety.

How Can Quitting Porn Help With Social Anxiety?

One of the most common benefits guys experience when going off porn is increased confidence and less social anxiety.

Several reasons…

There could be several resons for why quitting porn can reduce social anxiety.

Psychological, spiritual as well as biological reasons.

Let's take a look at the one I think is most interesting…

…the biological reason….

The process…

  • Watching porn spikes your dopamine to very high levels.
  • Unlike real sex, you can then, with the help of today's online porn, override your natural satiation mechanism.
    (This can easily be done by clicking to a new video as soon as you lose interest in the current one, and then you keep doing that, again, again, and again. You can't click to a new partner in the middle of real sex).
  • Overriding your satiation mechanism means you keep your dopamine levels elevated far longer than what your brains reward system can handle.
  • Since your brain is always going to to want to maintain a level of homeostasis, it kicks in a counter process to deal with all that dopamine.
  • In this case, the counter process is a down-regulation of your dopamine D2 receptors.

Now, in order to make any kind of sense of this, there are 4 things you need to know about dopamine receptors…

  1. These are small “slots” that dopamine itself has to lock on to, in order for dopamine to do its job.
  2. With less dopamine receptors, you now have a disrupted dopamine system. I.e. a numb pleasure response.
  3. A disrupted dopamine system can lead to a number of negative effects.
    (Common symptoms: lack of motivation, increased anxiety, poor concentration, low mood and fear and shame)
  4. Having fewer dopamine D2 receptors has been linked to increased social avoidance and lower social status
    (You can probably see how the above two points can easily turn into social anxiety)

To get an even better understanding of this process take a look at the video below, where I explain in an easy, and fun way, how it happens.

Just take a look right now, while its fresh on your mind.

How watching porn can cause social anxiety…

If you found the video informative, consider subscribing to my YT channel here.

I hope you found the video interesting.

If you want to take a deeper dive into studies about dopamine D2 receptor density and social status / anxiety / dominance, you can find a few right here…

While I personally think that this biological reason, just presented, is the most potent and most robust link between porn addiction and social anxiety, we can't deny the psychological aspect of it either.

So, let's take a closer look at that…


Discover >a good online course for quitting porn<


Does Psychology Play a Part in The Link Between Social Anxiety And Porn Use?

There's is no doubt that for some people, consuming a lot of porn could also be increase feelings of toxic and social shame.

So, how can this be?

Well, just think about the act of watching porn itself.

You're sitting there at your kitchen table with your laptop and you pull the curtains down so no one can see you. Well, just the act of doing something you feel the need to hide can send powerful signals to your subconscious mind. If you on top of that also have a porn addiction that has made you escalate into watching all kinds of nasty videos -that you feel disgusted about after you're done- then that moment when wiping yourself off with a napkin after doing your deed does not exactly make you feel like ‘the man', does it?

Does religion play a part…

For some guys, yes.

Some guys view porn, and sex itself, outside of marriage, as something immoral and shameful.

Personally I don't belong to any religion and I didn't have any moral problems with porn when I developed my addiction (I was just young and horny), but the fact is that a lot of people do view it as immoral. And continued use of something people find immoral will obviously take a toll on their self-esteem.

I've grown wiser…

Now, here I need to point out that I have since then learned that a lot of people within the porn industry itself suffer (mostly young women). While this is not always the case, and some are well treated and genuinely like the business, there are still many that suffer.

And I have also realized just how many people suffer from the negative effects of porn addiction in general. In fact, millions of people around the world. So, I can no longer say that I don't have any moral opinion on porn.

I don't think porn is doing society any net-good…

…let's just put it like that.

GRAB MY…

What Guys Are Saying About Quitting Porn And Their Social Anxiety…

Let's take a look at a few comments that some of my subscribers shared under the poll that I did in the community section on my YouTube channel. 

Remember, the question I asked in the poll was…

…Did you find that going off porn reduced your social anxiety?

“After many months of relapses and still trying i noticed that after 2-3 weeks of nofap i'm more convinced to look strangers in the eyes. Also when the fog of fap is clearing, my ability to fun/flirt chat With anybody is greatly improved.” -truelik-


“Absolutely!” -The Black Sheep-


“Meeting people is fun, talking to them too, but when you are addicted to P, your dopamine level is low, so talking to people is not that fun, just like many other activities. So when something doesn't makes you happy what is the point of doing that? That's why I'm avoiding people very often.” -TravisB-

Comment from me: Yes, every day to day activities that also raise dopamine a bit, like socializing, listening to music, working on your goals etc. pale in comparison to the addiction. It can all feel like a struggle.


“Haven't gotten very far, but of anything it makes it worse. In fact it's the main reason i haven't been able to get past a month yet, the extra anxiety is too much for me to bear” -PlayNeth-

Comment from me: This is probably due to withdrawals. When quitting an addiction, most guys will have to push through a period where they actually feel worse before they start to see any benefits. In fact, one of the most common withdrawal symptoms are anxiety and restlessness.


Porn Addiction And Social Anxiety Final Words

I think it's safe to say that a lot of people feel less socially anxious after quitting porn.

Now don't confuse this with a crazy statement like, ‘quitting porn will help everyone who suffers from social anxiety', because that's just not true.

Remember, there are, after all, many reasons behind why people suffer with anxiety. Over consumption of porn is just one of those. If porn wasn't the cause of your anxiety, then no amount of NoFap will help get rid of it either.

On the other hand, if fapping to porn has caused a dysfunctional dopamine system in your brain (like it has for millions of men out there), then yes, there's a good chance that quitting porn will reduce, or even eliminate, your social anxiety completely.

So, what to do?

Well, there's only one way to find out…

…try giving it up for at least 90 days and then see how you feel.

If you after 90 days find that giving up porn didn't give you any benefits at all, then hey, you can always go back and make up for all you lost fapping sessions, right? 🙂

If you need some guidance, you can download my free quitting porn guide by using this link right here.

Thanks for reading.

-Scandinavian Bob-

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Quitting Porn Helps Reduce Social Anxiety? (New Study)
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