I’m a 29 year old single male and have been for a long time. I’ve been making all sorts of efforts towards getting a girlfriend, from talking to everyone to improve social skills, reading about conversation, etc. but nothing has helped with my anxiety, thus I’m still a virgin. It is also almost impossible for me to talk about sex with other women because the topic just doesn’t come up. If it did, I am sure I would have an anxiety attack. Is there something wrong with me? I’ve heard not masturbating can help increase my testosterone levels or otherwise increase my confidence. Is that true? How effective is it? If you or your readers have any advice, please let me know. I am desperate and have bouts with depression thinking I will never meet someone I will be able to really talk with.
Nessa: Ryan was very shy when I met him. I am not shy, but I am very reserved. We were both inexperienced sexually but I had much more of a social life so I wasn’t new to talking to the opposite sex. I am a great listener though, and people seem to really open up around me. With that being said, for us it helped that AOL was brand new and although we knew each other in real life, a lot of our communication was done through AOL Instant Messaging. Sometimes we would go through AOL private chat rooms, which meant at the time we were both exclusively talking to each other and not juggling Instant Messages from 10 different people. It was almost like an “online” commitment. This seemed to really help Ryan open up. Eventually we would meet in person and instead of being shy, I got to see the guy who talked to me in private rooms. I loved that guy so much. Ryan shy was cute, but he wouldn’t want to meet my friends, didn’t want to open up, and seemed more shy and awkward than personable and sweet.
I recently read a great article below about dealing with shyness. Although these steps may seem a bit therapeutic (I am not a counselor or professional therapist), it may help to give some of these steps a try.
1) Focus outwards, away from your shyness. Shyness makes us self-absorbed. This is descriptive, not judgemental. Shy people can feel they have ‘nothing to say’, that they should have amazing stories to tell and be the life and soul of the party. But consider this:
People love you when you find them interesting. Overcoming shyness isn’t about suddenly thinking you’re great. It’s more about forgetting yourself and focusing outward.
Ask questions and cultivate genuine curiosity. This:
Gives you something to talk about.
Gives other people a chance to talk about themselves (for which they will love you).
Takes your attention off yourself.
Until shyness fades more completely, the next tip will also help you out.
2) Prepare properly. Once shyness has gone you won’t need to do this; but whilst you still feel shy, practice preparing topics of conversation. If you have an idea of the type of people that are going to be at a gathering, then do a little homework. If many of them are sailing enthusiasts, for instance: Google the local sailing club, find out local sailing routes, prepare a few questions to ask about sailing.
If you feel shy at work, look out for interesting news items over the weekend and bring them into conversation on Monday.
Get into the habit of remembering what people have told you and referring back to it as future conversation starters.
But overcoming shyness isn’t just about talking more.
3) Send the right signals. Shy people are often misdiagnosed as unfriendly, aloof, or ‘stuck up’. Shyness can make us look unapproachable.
Research has found that we find people who smile and look directly at us more attractive. And people are 86% more likely to strike up conversations with strangers in the street if they are smiling.
Another benefit is that smiling even when you don’t feel like it actually makes you feel better – which can lead to real smiling. 🙂
An important point here: If you smile at someone and they don’t smile back, that is not your problem. We can’t make anyone accept our friendliness any more that we can make someone like us through sheer force.
4) Focus on putting other people at their ease. Working as a hypnotherapist I’ve seen so many clients who suffered from arachnophobia – fear of spiders. The trouble was, I had a fear of spiders myself! But rather than working on myself directly, I found that working to lift other people’s fear magically lifted my own.
The point here is that by focusing on putting other people at their ease, you’ll find that you feel much more comfortable. Notice who seems a little more diffident or anxious and work to help them feel more relaxed.
5) Learn to manage anxiety
Shyness is really a type of social anxiety. Manage your anxiety by:
Making your out-breath longer than your in-breath. Extending the out-breath begins to relax body and mind very quickly. Once you feel more relaxed, you instantly feel more sociable.
Rehearse being confident. Mentally rehearsing being more outgoing and relaxed has amazing results. Lie down somewhere comfortable, focus on breathing deeply and slowly, and imagine watching yourself in the upcoming social situation looking relaxed, comfortable, and even talkative. You’ll be amazed how this ‘self-hypnotic’ preparation will affect the way you actually feel when you get there.
(Or let me help you by listening to this free audio session right now.)
And lastly, start to ‘wear out’ shyness by putting yourself in as many social situations as possible. We build fear around what we avoid; so by purposefully seeking out situations which would have made you feel shy, you can begin to kick that shyness out of your life. – Uncommonhelp.me
I am unsure about masturbation, but I don’t think quitting masturbation will help you be more social or less shy around women. I think practicing with the steps listed above, social media, and maybe even dating sites may help. Look into a few options and see what you can find.
As far as your depression, I am sorry to hear that. Just know that there are a lot of guys and girls out there just like you. Don’t get too hung up or depressed on being shy or not getting dates. The internet is an endless source of ways to practice communicating, even if it’s at sites like ours, or just random forums. Keep your chin up and trust me, eventually you will find that perfect key to your locked personality that will open up your Pandoras box. You’ll be ready to share everything you’ve kept inside for so long…including your semen. 🙂
Ryan: First of all, quitting masturbation may raise or not raise your testosterone depending on how you do it. According to a study published in the “Journal of Zhejiang University,” ejaculation may set off a subtle hormonal cycle. Ejaculation that is followed by 6 days of abstinence may contribute to peak testosterone levels on the seventh day of after ejaculation. In other words, abstaining for 6 days will not raise or lower your testosterone, but if you masturbate on the 7th day, afterwards your testosterone levels will rise above normal. In fact, there are many studies that show different results, please read below:
Masturbation may have subtle effects on testosterone levels. However, testosterone levels result from other factors that relate to elements of overall physical health. The Masturbation Page website indicates that psychological factors may have significant influence over testosterone levels. For example, testosterone levels may rise in men who expect sexual activity or men who expect to be tested for testosterone levels.
Ejaculation results from masturbating to the point of orgasm. According to a study published in the “Journal of Zhejiang University,” ejaculation may set off a subtle hormonal cycle. Ejaculation that is followed by 6 days of abstinence may contribute to peak testosterone levels on the seventh day of after ejaculation. The Zhejiang University researchers discovered that abstaining from ejaculation for 6 days after orgasm has little effect on testosterone levels, but testosterone levels reached approximately 146 percent on the seventh day.
Rises During Masturbation
A July 2010 “Psychology Today” article concedes that testosterone levels may rise during masturbation. However, the article suggests that ejaculation does not significantly affect testosterone levels: testosterone levels may rise slightly during sexual activity, which includes masturbation, and levels drop back down to normal levels afterward.
Rises After Masturbation
According to an article on the T Nation website, a 1978 study evaluated testosterone levels in young men after sexual activity. The results of the study indicated that testosterone levels were slightly higher in young men after masturbation.
Lower Testosterone Levels
The Ask Men website published an article that advises against frequent masturbation. According to the article, men who masturbate frequently or look forward to masturbating alone on a daily basis may be less likely to engage in sexual activity with a partner. The article suggests that solo masturbation or masturbating with pornography regularly may reduce testosterone levels and reduce sexual partner-seeking behavior due to lower levels of testosterone.
Higher Precursory Steroid
Masturbation may increase levels of a testosterone precursory steroid. The Gengo website indicates that testosterone originates from a steroid called androsteneione, and androstenedione originates from a steroid called 17 alphahydroxypergnenolone. A study published in the “Academia Scientiarum Bohemoslavaca” evaluated steroid hormone levels in young men before and after masturbation-provoked ejaculation. The study found that most circulating steroid levels did not change after ejaculation, but circulating 17 alphahydroxpregenolone increased significantly. The publication does not indicate whether higher levels of 17 alphahydroxypregnolone can result in higher testosterone levels.
Masturbation and sexual activity in general may have no significant effect on testosterone levels. The TeenHealth website notes that semen is not the primary source of testosterone, which indicates that ejaculation that occurs with masturbation does not reduce testosterone levels. Generally, masturbation does not have any negative effects on hormone levels. TeenHealth suggests that testosterone levels involve several factors, such as age, time of day and physical activity. – LiveStrong.com
Do I think masturbation will help with your shyness? Absolutely not. I do believe exercising and physical activity will help your testosterone levels, confidence, and social skills more than masturbation, or lack thereof, could ever do. You could also try dating sites like mysexhookups.com, which may help you work on practicing talking to different women in a sexual manner, without having anything to be nervous about. Whether it be live women that interact with you on camera, or just flirting back and forth with someone who really won’t judge you, it could be good practice. Although these types of places are not always free, it can help open you up socially under the right circumstances. Everything in moderation.
I wish I had more advice for you regarding shyness, because I was extremely shy and until I met Nessa, I could barely talk to women. Sometimes it’s the woman. If they are open enough to listen and make you feel good about yourself, being the introvert that I am, as soon as I trusted her not to judge me, my body, or my inexperience, I opened up to her like I had never opened up to anyone. Back when we met, there were no dating sites, but we did get to know each other much better through AOL Instant Messaging. For me, talking to her on the phone, although I had met her, was still very hard. However, talking through instant messages or private chat rooms on AOL, it was almost like I was a whole different person. For months though, I’d have a million things to type to her in instant message, but in person I was still shy. She was very patient and I guess she saw who I was on the inside (or behind the IM box) and stuck with me. There are websites like arousr.com where you can text/sext with women who won’t judge you for being shy. You can also send photos back and forth and possibly practice your social skills. Again, these are just suggestions and you should decide what option bests fits your needs. Practicing won’t hurt.
With the depression thing, trust me, I lived it. I channeled my energy towards my hobbies, which at the time was music. I wrote music each day, produced music, and kept my mind off the feeling of, ‘I will be lonely forever.” However, that is exactly what I felt inside. I felt hopeless and lonely. But, be patient, practice your social skills online, and I believe eventually you will find your other half. shy guy shy guy shy guy