Cambridge Study: Internet porn addiction mirrors drug addiction

Cambridge University logoComments: The long-awaited Voon study highlighted in the UK documentary "Porn on the Brain" is finally out. As expected, Cambridge University researchers found that compulsive porn users react to porn cues in the same way that drug addicts react to drug cues. But there's more.

Compulsive porn users craved porn (greater wanting), but did not have higher sexual desire (liking) than controls. This finding aligns perfectly with the current model of addiction, and refutes the  theory that "higher sexual desire" causes compulsive porn use. Drug addicts are thought to be driven to seek their drug because they want – rather than enjoy – it. This abnormal process is known as incentive motivation. This is a hallmark of addiction disorders.

The other major finding (not reported in the media) was that over 50% of subjects (average age: 25) had difficulty achieving erections with real partners, yet could achieve erections with porn.

Finally, researchers found that younger subjects had enhanced reward circuit activity when exposed to porn cues. Higher dopamine spikes and greater reward sensitivity are major factors in adolescents being more vulnerable to addiction and sexual conditioning.

The results of the Cambridge study, and last month's German study (Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated With Pornography Consumption: The Brain on Porn (2014), provide very strong support for hypotheses put forth here on YBOP from its inception in 2011.

Start here for an 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 see 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.

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

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Age 24 - PMO almost destroyed my life. Now - So much happier & healthier

happy guytl;dr - PMO almost destroyed my life.... discovered NoFap... drastically changed things... got happier :D... NoFap challenge works I swear. 100 days baby!

Study: Anal heterosex among ages 16-18 reveals climate of 'coercion' & influence of porn

Comments: From the study - "The main reasons given for young people having anal sex were that men wanted to copy what they saw in pornography, and that ‘it's tighter’."

Other reasons described in the study for having anal sex were clearly derived from viewing porn.

  August 13, 2014

A new study of sexually active British teens reveals disturbing narratives about anal sex.

I used to have one night stands and broken relationships, now I have friends.

happy guyNew job and a coworker invited me over to her place. Now in the past this means we would have had sex because Orgasm drives my life and leads me to many one night. And she was interested.

Age 22 - Fapping. Ain't nobody got time fo dat


happy guyIt's now been 90 days and a few hours since I made the decision to stop wasting time/effort by masturbating. I went from spending 1-3 hours daily viewing pornographic smut straight to 0, after spending 8 years of my life thinking there was nothing inherently wrong with porn (provided it's ethically produced and you don't take life lessons from it). 90 days later, I'm kind of mad at NoFap. Mad because it worked.

Age 20 - ED cured, plus many other positive benefits (2nd reboot)

happy guyIt has been a very interesting 90 days but there have definitely been many positive benefits and progress from the socially awkward kid with PIED that never wanted to go out or do anything but play video games. Although it was very difficult especially in my flat line from about day 25 to day 70. I ended up curing PIED and have had the hardest morning wood since the end of my flat line every day.

How I Quit Porn in One Shot

SonnyPorn is a bad habit. Like any habit it can be eliminated. To be fair, I didn’t have an upbringing like most guys in this generation. My household was always lagging from a technology standpoint. I rarely played video games.


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