Brain Studies on Porn Users

Max Planck Institute logoRecent studies assessing brain structure & functioning of porn users:

  1. Brain 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 logoNeural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours (2014) - The first in a series of Cambridge University studies 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.
  3. Enhanced Attentional Bias towards Sexually Explicit Cues in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours (2014) - "Our findings of enhanced attentional bias... suggest possible overlaps with enhanced attentional bias observed in studies of drug cues in disorders of addictions."

These study results are consistent with 90 internet addiction brain studies, many of which also include internet porn use. In short, there's ample (and growing) peer-reviewed scientific support for the addiction model.

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.

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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!

Age 32 - Gay, More focus, harder dick

RockiesI discovered this site about a year and a half ago and tried/stopped in fits and starts.  Well I got a kindle as a Christmas present and downloaded Your Brain On Porn because I was interested and it was only $5.

Ugraded Ape Podcast: Gary Wilson discusses addiction

Gary comes back onto the Upgraded Ape Show today to give us a deeper insight into the neurochemsitry behind addiction, including a overview of dopamine and the reward circuit. LINK TO THE SHOW

Age 37 - Healthy energy levels and focus, sex way better

Happy coupleWell, this day has come and it's both unbelievable and underwhelming. I've been NoFapping (?) on easy mode and over the last 90 days. The power and volume of my ejaculations have been abundant and slightly pride-inducing, if I do say so myself.

Age 34 - Married: PIED cured. I am fitter, healthier, more positive

new plantThought I would share with you a brief summary of my journey. I am not posting this in the success forum because the road is long and hard.

Age 41 - Gay man - "Hard on really hard and stands up proud."

happy guyImproved physique from being more motivated at gym and swimming. Better sleep pattern and not cutting sleep hours watching porn and webcams like [deleted]. Better posture less back ache and neck ache not huddled over a PC half the night.

YourBrainRebalanced Radio Show #12: Healthy Activities To Include

Noah, Charlie and Daniel discuss Healthy Activities To Include In Rebooting and Life. Then answer questions from the forums. LINK TO SHOW

Age 17 - I am free. NoFap has saved my life.

young guyNofap has saved my life. I finally know what it is like to live. I am now happy to get out of bed every morning. (most of the time ;-).)

Age 43 - How a gay man with a 20-year porn habit changed his life (ED)

Out of the closetMe Pre-Reboot: Here is a snapshot of me on October 29, 2014, before rebooting:

Age 21 - 10 Months: The future looks more incredible that I ever could have imagined

flirtingI am so excited for this year. It's T-minus TEN days until I go back down to uni, now, and thanks to this brilliant little spot on the internet I have discovered all the tools I need to make it the most incredible of my life so far in every way.

Your Brain Rebalanced Radio

YBR Radio ShowCharlie, Noah, and Jack discuss relapse, recovery, porn in relationships, fetishes, sexuality in America, and more. LINK TO SHOW

Age 22 - Gay man. ED: I was able to hook up and actually get an erection!

gay guyIt's been 60 great days of NoFap. While I stumbled a bit last week, I pushed through it and found that just telling myself no is the best way to go. I feel awesome, and I think it keeps getting easier.

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