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.

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 24 studies (and upcoming studies) are consistent with 140+ 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 recent neuroscience-based reviews of the literature:

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

Captions also available for 한국의, Chinese, Português, Czech, Deutsch, Estonian, עברית, Hungarian, Italian, Polski, Serbian, Slovak. Vietamese. To see them, click on the 'YouTube' logo to watch on YOUTube. Then, when you get there, click on "CC" for captions (bottom right of screen). Ver YBOP series in Español. Make captions in your own language!

Romantically attracted to women again; no longer a borderline asexual, Can treat women as human beings now

Actually 100 days. Let's go! Features of my NoFap experience:

  • Arduous journey
  • Very much worth it

Age 22 - PIED & HOCD: After Almost 3 Years, I'm Free

Time to go on a health/positive/useful rant, so buckle down, folks, because today I plan on talking about my experience since September and things that have led me to where I am today! So, to set the scene.. this past summer I set myself back to, essentially, ground zero with my PIED.

More on Porn: Guard Your Manhood—A Response to Marty Klein

Marty Klein wrote a reaction to our original post on how porn is shaping young men’s sexual response. Klein suggested that science doesn’t empirically support our assertion of  unprecedented rates of sexual dysfunctions in young men. In fact, all studies assessing young male sexuality since 2010 report historic levels of sexual dysfunctions and startling rates of low libido. Erectile dysfunction (ED) rates range from 27 to 33 percent, while rates for low libido (hypo-sexuality) range from 16 to 37 percent. The lower ranges are taken from  studies involving teens and men 25 years old and under, while the higher ranges are from studies involving men 40 years old and under. Read more

Age 18 - Gained 15 pounds in the past 4 months completely changing my body

I guess I’m different from most people who find themselves here. I’ve always been natural outgoing and never really suffered from anxiety, depression, or confidence issues. Also I didn’t do this for religious reasons. But I’m here because the idea of making me myself the best version was enough to draw me in.

Age 19 - I'm 10 times the man I was 2 months ago

Day 58: Every day my Dad tells me how happy he is now that I'm always so happy. I'm 10 times the man I was 2 months ago and my sister says my skin is glowing. I'm 19M, I have zero social anxiety, I can face up to my problems and tackle them head on.