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Can Porn Make You Socially Awkward?

Can Porn Make You Socially Awkward?

How to rebuild your social life after quitting

Chronic porn use, like other super-stimulating drugs and behaviors, impacts how your brain functions (check out the Your Brain On Porn course within the REMOJO app for a deep dive on this).

One of those impacts is a reduction in dopamine sensitivity. When you have an Internet porn habit, you’re regularly blasting your brain with more dopamine (the desire neurotransmitter) than it’s meant to handle. Rationally you know it’s just pixels on a screen, but your deep animal brain structures don’t know the difference. The adaptations your brain makes can have far-reaching side effects like lack of motivation, social anxiety, decreased confidence, lessened focus, and more.

Compounding these effects on your brain are the effects of porn on your mind. Porn doesn’t prepare you well for real women, flirting, dating, or sex. Like we wrote in the Insight, Has Porn Made You Bad at Sex?, learning how to date and have sex from porn is like learning how to drive by watching the Fast and Furious franchise. By the time you got to the ninth movie, you’d think you can drive to outer space with rockets strapped to your car.

Moviegoers don’t take the driving in the Fast movies seriously because they’ve seen how real people drive and how real cars work thousands of times in the real world. But so many guys who are growing up on porn don’t have this grounded experience of real sex and relationships. If these are the images you have in your mind when talking to women, you’re in for some awkward social interactions.

Any shame your porn habit brings you compounds all these effects. This doesn’t apply to everyone, but if you’re ashamed of what you’re doing online and trying to hide it, it’s going to dim the light and confidence you bring to social situations.

When you quit porn, the shame of living a double life fades away and the neurological effects start to reverse. This is why so many rebooters (people quitting porn) feel like they’re developing “superpowers” like better memory, clear thinking, social confidence, and increased chemistry with potential dates. For personal stories about these benefits, check out our Insight Why Are Men Challenging Themselves to Quit Porn?

But REMOJO doesn’t tell people to quit porn and wait for things to get better. We believe that this journey is about so much more than removing porn from your life. It’s about getting your vitality back and reaching your potential as a man. And that requires focused action—not waiting around for good things to happen to you.

10 tips to rebuild your social and dating life

1. Forget about sexual goals.

It’s a joke as old as the human race that men have a one-track mind. But porn exacerbates this, creating men who are fixated on sex. Consciously or subconsciously, porn users start to objectify women, valuing them chiefly for their potential to provide sexual pleasure. I’m not saying you should avoid sex if the opportunity arises. But forget about trying to make it happen for a while. Women can sense when all that’s on your mind is having sex with her.

When you let that go and instead think about enjoying the moment, you’ll have more fun and so will the people around you. You might even find yourself with more romantic opportunities!

2. Make friends with women.

Your potential dates don’t want to feel like they’re the first woman you’ve talked to in months. A lot of chronic porn users have few female friends for the reasons in tip number 1. The more women you’re close with (friendship), the more understanding and empathy you’ll develop for them as fellow humans—rather than objectifying them or idealizing them (putting them on a pedestal). You’ll become more comfortable and confident around women, and ultimately those friends may have attractive single friends they want to set you up with…

3. Be present and have fun getting to know people.

Porn users tend to lose appreciation for life’s simple pleasures, like a walk in nature, playing sports, or a good conversation. It’s going to be very tough to create meaningful bonds with people if you can’t stay present and enjoy time spent with them for its own sake, rather than checking your phone every 30 seconds for a dopamine hit or wanting to get home to play video games or masturbate.

“Mindfulness” is all about staying in the present moment. Check out our Insight 5 Ways to Level Up With Mindfulness for more on this.

4. Be your best self, not the self you think people want you to be.

Take it from someone who has tried it: turning yourself into what you think others want you to be is a losing game. You’ll never be good enough for everyone, and you’ll lose your own identity in the attempt. When you focus on unashamedly being fully yourself an interesting thing happens: People who don’t like you for who you are will go away, and people who do like you for who you are will want to be around you. Follow this logic, and you’ll end up surrounded by people who love you for who you truly are!

5. Be the organizer, not the wallflower.

We all want to be invited out to have fun with cool people. So be the person who gives people the gift of that invitation. Be proactive and make things happen! Provide space for celebration and social connection. You’ll be appreciated.

6. Don’t take things personally or make assumptions.

When you’re putting yourself out there to invite people out and make things happen, some people will say no, make excuses, or flat-out not respond. You might think, “Shit, they don’t like me. People don’t want to hang out with me.”

It’s easy to take things personally, but the truth usually has very little to do with you. Don’t get angry or lash out. If you’re going to assume anything, assume they have personal stuff going on and just don’t have energy for a new friend right now.

If you have read Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements, you may recognize these two pieces of advice. If not, I highly recommend it!

7. Give to others without expectation of receiving anything in return.

People don’t like “nice guys” because nice guys do things for people hoping that they’re going to get something in return (usually sex).

Instead, be kind. Give to people just for the joy of it. Give them compliments just to see the smile on their faces. That’s the kind of person good people want to be around.

8. Put yourself in situations around people with similar interests.

Your chances of making friends and finding dates are pretty low if you spend all your time alone in your room. Get out around people you’re likely to get along with! Take classes, join clubs, play sports, volunteer—anything to be around others with similar passions where fun connections can be made. Meetup.com is a great platform for finding events like this (or organizing your own).

9. Beware dating apps.

Most dating apps are designed to keep you stimulated and keep you swiping—much like porn sites. If you choose to use dating apps, make sure it’s actually enhancing your real life. Choose platforms that are more about conversation and connection than physical appearance and hookups (or scams and people who just want your money). Avoid apps like Tinder in which you’re just swiping through a bunch of sexy pictures.

10. Use the REMOJO courses!

Relationships, Sex, and Orgasm in the REMOJO app will help you continue to rethink intimacy and sex now that your mind is unclouded by porn scripts. And dating coach Matt Artisan’s Balls of Steel course will help you explode your confidence and kick start your dating life. Get into the free app today to unchain your mind and get your vitality and charisma back!

REMOJO in-app courses

Live better without porn.

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