Your Brain on Porn

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Start here for a brief overview of concepts & science

This article is a short synopsis of some key concepts. For the science behind it, please follow all the links and read this page. Some links go to our articles, which in turn link to studies. For a more in-depth understanding and further evidence see The Research Page. For specific content explore Porn FAQs.


What happens when you drop a male rat into a cage with a receptive female rat? First, you see a frenzy of copulation. Then, progressively, the male tires of that particular female. Even if she wants more, he has had enough. However, replace the original female with a fresh one, and the male immediately revives and gallantly struggles to fertilize her. You can repeat this process with fresh females until he is completely wiped out.

This is called the Coolidge effect—the automatic response to novel mates. Interestingly, men ejaculate more motile sperm and they do it more quickly when they view a novel porn star. This powerful automatic response to erotic novelty is what started you down the road to getting hooked on internet porn.

Studies linking porn use or porn/sex addiction to sexual dysfunctions, lower brain activation to sexual stimuli, and lower sexual satisfaction

Reality Check - Regardless of what you may read in some journalistic accounts, multiple studies reveal a link between porn use and sexual performance problems, relationship and sexual dissatisfaction, and reduced brain activation to sexual stimuli.

Let's start with sexual dysfunctions. Studies assessing young male sexuality since 2010 report historic levels of sexual dysfunctions, and startling rates of a new scourge: low libido. Documented in this article.

Brain Studies on Porn Users

This page lists all the studies assessing the brain structure and functioning of Internet porn users. To date every study offers support for the porn addiction model. The results of these 27 studies (and upcoming studies) are consistent with 170+ Internet addiction brain studies, many of which also include internet porn use. All support the premise that internet porn use can cause addiction-related brain changes, as do 10 recent neuroscience-based reviews of the literature:

Gary's TEDx talk - "The Great Porn Experiment"

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Finally climaxed with the girl I love

Finally climaxed with the girl I love today. We've had sex four times now since June, and I was unable to orgasm each time. The third time was last night, and it was great for both of us, but I was still couldn't reach it. Had sex again in the morning and it finally happened, the grin on both our faces said enough.

This is my hardest but most rewarding battle

Today is day 90 for me. To be honest with you, I'm not gonna pretend that I'm now superman and I have figured it all out within these 3 months but what I can definately say is, that I have learned a lot. I can also say that, I'm now in posession of tools that I can use to built the version of myself that I want.

Age 28 - Articulate, charismatic, no more stuttering

Yesterday I was at a party and I was the center of attention. It just hit me. I always had things to say. I travel, I work, I have hobbies and interesting experiences. I was just always too scared and too shy to talk. Why the hell would I shut up? Why the hell would I stay silent against a wall throughout the gathering?

Female - Mid 20s - Sex is 1000x better than before

My main reason for NoFap was twofold. First, for challenging some of my confidence and social anxiety issues. Secondly was to increase sensitivity as I have been masturbating since I was 12 and none of my boyfriends have ever been able to make me O...until last night.