Brain Scan Studies on Porn Users

At this time, two studies have examined the brains of porn users:

  1. Max Planck Institute logoBrain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated With Pornography Consumption: The Brain on Porn (2014) - A German study which found 3 significant addiction-related brain changes that correlated with the amount of porn consumed. It also found that the more porn consumed the less activity in the reward circuit, indicating desensitization, and increasing the need for greater stimulation (tolerance).
  2. Cambridge University logoCambridge University: Brain scans find porn addiction (2014). This is the first in a series of studies. It found the same brain activity as seen in drug addicts and alcoholics. It also found that porn addicts fit the accepted addiction model of wanting "it" more, but not liking "it" more. One other major finding was that 60% of subjects (average age: 25) had difficulty achieving erections/arousal with real partners, yet could achieve erections with porn.

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 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"

Captions also available for 한국의, Chinese, Português, Czech, Deutsch, Estonian, עברית, Hungarian, Italian, Polski, Serbian, Slovak. 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!

ED - After recovering for 8 months I have finally been able to have sex consistently

I have been waiting for a while to write this post and now I can. After recovering for 8 months I have finally been able to have sex consistently without any erection problems.

iRights for Young People Using the Internet

iRights logoFrom the iRights website

Internet and digital technologies are a fundamental part of children and young people’s lives, impacting on their behaviour and shaping the world in which they live. Almost every aspect of a young person’s life has an online dimension and yet digital technologies are rarely designed with their needs in mind.

180 days - Now shit gets done!

Get Shit Done signToday it's 180 days ago that I last saw porn. I feel a lot has changed since then, not just mental changes, but my life has changed so much.

A new person - So good to be out of the flatline

happy guyI am on day 54 of hardcore mode and I feel incredible! The past 3 days have been fantastic! It feels so good to be out of the flatline. I am happier, funnier and overall way more social and outgoing.

Age 27 - Pros of NoFap, Cons of PMO

pros and consSome will apply to all, others only to some, but they're there for you to consider.

Sex on the Brain: What Brain Plasticity Teaches About Internet Porn (2014), Norman Doidge, MD

Hungarian ReviewExcerpts: "We are in the midst of a revolution in sexual and romantic tastes unlike any other in history, a social experiment being performed on children and teenagers... What clinicians don’t know much about, yet, is how we shall help teenagers, whose sexual tastes are being influenced by porn, because this level of porn exposure is quite new. Will these influences and tastes turn out to be superficial? Or will the new porn scenarios deeply embed themselves because the teen years are still a formative period?"

Masturbation and Pornography Use Among Coupled Heterosexual Men With Decreased Sexual Desire: How Many Roles of Masturbation? (2014)

"caution tape on computer screenAmong men [with decreased sexual desire] who used pornography at least once a week [in 2011], 26.1% reported that they were unable to control their pornography use. In addition, 26.7% of men reported that their use of pornography negatively affected their partnered sex and 21.1% claimed to have attempted to stop using pornography."

It was never the Asperger’s that was holding me back! It was PMO! (Freaking pornography did this to me!)

Asperger'sTL;DR: I wasn’t awesome. Now I am. Don’t give up on the NoFap challenge! The benefits are real! At a pretty early age I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

If you haven't signed up for the NoFap Academy Newsletter, do it!

Brain cleanseHere's a sample:

If you are seriously trying to quit porn, it should be a no brainer that you need to trash your stash. Clean your hard drive, cancel any memberships you have, and if you are old school, toss those magazines/DVD’s away. You aren’t going to be needing these things in your new porn free life and keeping them around is just temptation that could lead you toward a relapse.

Age 23 - I have made progress! Girlfriend, back to school, moved

waterfallThis is going to be the first positive post about NoFap that I've been able to type in a long time. I've been attempting this thing for years now.

Age 23 - 5 tries to get to 90 days, lots of benefits

SupermanI don't think I'm completely rebooted just yet, but my urges are almost nonexistent. This took me around 5 tries to get to 90 days. Before when I PMO, I would do it around 2 times a day, sometimes 3.

Clyde Lewis interviews Gary on Ground Zero (syndicated radio show)

Logo for "Ground Zero" with Clyde Lewis"World of Whorecraft: Porn And The Coolidge Effect"

This show is 3+ hours long. Gary enters it about 43 minutes in.

Listen to show


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