Masturbation is very, very common. It is estimated that above 90% of Men, over the age of 30, have tried it at least once. In most cases, especially with men, porn is used to help the user climax, and on average, one masturbates 3-4 times a week. Did you know that masturbation, especially with the use of porn may be detrimental to your mental well being and social confidence?
Masturbation and Self Confidence
Masturbation may seem like an innocent act to release sexual tension. While that may be true, it has a negative effect on your brain which consequently affects your day to day behaviour. To explain this further we must grasp what exactly emotion is.
What are Emotions?
Emotions are chemical reactions that occur in our brain . There are specific chemicals called Neurotransmitters, that cause you to feel a certain emotion. For example, Dopamine is the feel good chemical and Cortisol is the stress chemical. A lot of Dopamine and you feel good, likewise with Cortisol; a lot of that, and you feel stressed out.
As mentioned above, Dopamine is the chemical that allows us to feel good. It also helps us feel a sense of reward. Studies show, that there is a correlation between low Dopamine levels and social anxiety, depression and low self-esteem .
How Masturbation affects the brain
When you masturbate and reach orgasm, a cocktail of chemicals flush around your body, and brain. The chemical we are most interested in is Dopamine. Here is the important bit; when you reach orgasm, you receive a large, but short burst of Dopamine, consequently, making you feel great. In fact, you get an even larger short and large burst of this Dopamine if you watch porn, whilst masturbating. Over time, your brain gets used to receiving this large Dopamine fix, so eventually, you become de-sensitised to the small pleasures in life, including being social.
What does this mean?
Since you become de-sensitised to lower levels of Dopamine from these ‘small pleasures’; effectively, you become bored at times you are supposed to feel good. As a result, you become less and less interested, as well as becoming a large Dopamine fix ‘fiend’. It gets to a point where the only way you can get this large fix of Dopamine, is through masturbation.
Joining the dots
Remember when I said there is a correlation between low Dopamine levels and social anxiety, depression and low self-esteem? Well, since you are de-sensitised to the Dopamine received from day to day pleasures, it is almost like you are not receiving any Dopamine. This is where you start exhibiting behaviours such as social anxiety and depression .
What can you do to help yourself out?
NoFap is a very large and supportive community on Reddit, that spreads the word of the dangers of masturbation, particularly in those who are addicted. NoFap does what it says on the tin. Rebooting is the term they use for when you successfully ‘reboot’ your mind and restore natural levels of chemicals, by staying away from porn and masturbation; just like when your computer restores its speed when you turn it off and back on. Confidence is not the only benefit you notice; in fact, click here for a list of what to expect if you choose to participate!
Here is a TED talks video that goes into depth about how masturbation and porn affect the brain. As with masturbation, any chemical dependence also has a similar effect; for example, smoking releases a large fix of dopamine and eventually negatively affects your confidence, as well as other aspects of your health and mental well being. A step in the right direction is to rid yourself of any dependence to truly be free!
Please note that there are limited academic studies on this topic, therefore please do not take this as medical advice. All I can suggest is for you to look into it by doing some research, and have a certain level of trust towards those who have experienced positive effects within the community!
If you have any questions, leave them below and until next time, take care.
Please note; no copyright infringement is intended. All images used have been labelled for re-use on Google Images. If any artist or designer has any issues with any of the content used in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact me to correct the issue.
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