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. The researchers also reported 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 100 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.


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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I live a happier and easier life now

flirtingWell, I've finally made it, but to be honest, it doesn't feel like it's been all that long. 2015 has been a clean year for me. At the beginning of 2015, I watched a TED talks on how masturbation can cause social anxiety.

Age 21 - Porn-induced ED, HOCD and Vagina Phobia finally cured after years

balanced rocksThis success story is important because I used to come on this website every day and see no improvement. Unfortunately, quitting porn is only half the battle. This story looks into the other equally important problems that I initially overlooked.

I'm a more sensitive person now. My brain is recovering from the desensitization

lakeAround April last year, I decided I wanted to stop, looked at some articles on the benefits of stopping, and started doing it less. May, I got a little more determined, looked at the articles some more, and was at 28 days when I found noFap. From there, I went on to a 93 day streak.

Age 23 - Less anxiety, I actually want to be social, So comfortable being a sexual person

crow in flightWell, for the first time in my life I have made it 90 days. First off I want to say that I don't believe that 90 days holds any significant meaning as far as recovery goes.

108 days - Brahmacharya - Every day is more exciting than the last

BrahmacharyaThis streak has been amazing so far! It's been a roller coaster though for sure!

Age 40s - Brain Fog cured forever? No more Pixel Paradise!

happy guyI'm a 40+ year old single father and I've experienced brain fog for the last year and a half. NoFap helped me get rid of it.

I became all too familiar with how porn had changed my mind and body

FocusLet's get some numbers out of the way. This will be my second time to 90 since around 2003. I started trying to quit about 6 years ago, and joined this group on another account about 2 years ago.

Age 26 - More confidence, more desire for face to face interaction, brain is better

happy guyI felt like doing a hopefully brief insight of my porn-free 70 days and still counting experience, so here goes.

Age 24 - I act like more man

happy guyI was fapping for few times a day since i was 13 years old, some times 6-7 times a day. This is my second trial of no fap, first one was 23 days and followed three months binging and in my second trial here i am at 90 days.


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