Your Brain on Porn

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Start here: Evolution has not prepared your brain for today's porn

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.

Studies linking porn use or porn/sex addiction to sexual dysfunctions, lower arousal, and lower sexual & relationship satisfaction

Reality Check - Regardless of what you may read in some journalistic accounts, multiple studies reveal a link between porn use and sexual performance problems, relationship and sexual dissatisfaction, and reduced brain activation to sexual stimuli.

Let's start with sexual dysfunctions. Studies assessing young male sexuality since 2010 report historic levels of sexual dysfunctions, and startling rates of a new scourge: low libido. Documented in this lay article and in this literature review by the US Navy.

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 (no studies falsify the porn addiction model). The results of these 33 neurological studies (and upcoming studies) are consistent with 210+ 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 12 recent neuroscience-based reviews of the literature:

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

Captions also available for other languages, including 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!

Getting your first 30 days porn free~

Watch it on Youtube.

So you decided to try going porn free or "NoFap" but haven't been able to get those first 30 days under your belt. Here are some tips to help you get there.

For more from Noah visit

Age 23 – Erections wayyyy better now, social anxiety/brain fog gone

I have been fapping to porn for like 10 years. I'm 23 btw, and it got to the point where I would only watch one actress while laying in bed. Which lead me to pied ( I could last forever during sex and then when I would get on top, I would completely lose my erection).

Age 18 – I’m now a functioning human being

In 15 minutes it will have been 90 days. Tomorrow I will wake-up and walk out into the fresh air and read books and feel alive and optimistic. The number 90 doesn't mean anything at this point. My mornings have been like that for weeks. It has been a hard journey, and a new one of readjusting to the sexual world is only just beginning, but I don't regret a thing.

Age 17 - Acne gone, female attention, better grades, lost 50lbs, stronger erections

A teenager reaching the 1 year mark... seems impossible. But I'm here! My brother told me about this subreddit about a year and a half ago. I got interested and researched, but relapsed in the first week. A couple months later, I decided to try it again. And I didn't relapse.