Your Brain on Porn

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This site is maintained by a group effort that includes men who have recovered from internet-porn related problems and a retired anatomy & physiology teacher. You can contact YBOP admins here, but you must first create an account. Please do not ask YBOP admins questions specific to your situation. YBOP does not diagnose or provide medical or sexual advice. See the Support Page and About This Site for help with your porn-related problems.

Quick FAQs:

1) Is this site religious?

  • Nope. The site's founder is an atheist (as were his parents and grandparents). For more see this 2016 interview of Gary Wilson by Noah B. Church.

2) Does anyone make money from YBOP?

3) What is the current state of the research on Internet porn addiction and porn's effects? 

4) Has Gary Wilson published in the peer-reviewed literature?

5) Are there any studies that falsify the porn addiction model?

6) Do doctors and therapists recognize and treat porn-induced sexual dysfunctions?

  • Yes. This page contains articles and videos with about 110 experts (urology professors, urologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, sexologists, MDs) who acknowledge and have successfully treated porn-induced ED and porn-induced loss of sexual desire.

7) Is YBOP for banning Internet porn?

  • Nope.

8) Why was YBOP created?

  • We created the site because we don’t like people suffering needlessly simply because they lack critical information for improving their circumstances themselves.

Relevant Research and Articles About the Studies

Below this long intro are many sub-sections containing relevant studies. First we have lists of studies that provide support for the claims made by YBOP. (See Questionable & Misleading Studies for highly publicized papers that are not what they claim to be.):

  1. This page lists 39 neuroscience-based studies (MRI, fMRI, EEG, neuropsychological, hormonal) providing strong support for the addiction model.
  2. This list contains 16 recent literature reviews & commentaries by some of the top neuroscientists in the world - all supporting the addiction model. (This dated paper was not a literature review and misrepresented most the papers it did cite.)
  3. 27 studies link porn use/porn addiction to sexual problems and lower arousal to sexual stimuli. The first 5 studies in the list demonstrate causation, as participants eliminated porn use and healed chronic sexual dysfunctions.
  4. Almost 60 studies link porn use to less sexual and relationship satisfaction. (As far as we know all studies involving males have reported more porn use linked to poorer sexual or relationship satisfaction.)
  5. About 30 studies reporting findings consistent with escalation of porn use (tolerance), habituation to porn, and even withdrawal symptoms (all signs & symptoms of addiction).
  6. Over 55 studies link porn use to poorer mental-emotional health & poorer cognitive outcomes.
  7. Over 25 studies link porn use to "un-egalitarian attitudes" toward women and sexist views.
  8. At least 25 studies falsify the claim that sex & porn addicts "just have high sexual desire"
  9. The world's most widely used medical diagnostic manual, The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), contains a new diagnosis suitable for porn addiction: "Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder."
  10. How to recognize biased articles: They cite Prause et al., 2015 (falsely claiming it debunks porn addiction), while omitting over 3 dozen neurological studies supporting porn addiction.

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.

chart

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.

Brain Studies on Porn Users & Sex Addicts

This page lists the studies assessing the brain structure and functioning of Internet porn users and sex/porn addicts (Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder).To date every study offers support for the porn addiction model (no studies falsify the porn addiction model). The results of these 39 neurological studies (and upcoming studies) are consistent with 280+ 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 studies reporting escalation or tolerance, and these 16 recent neuroscience-based reviews of the literature & commentaries:

Gary's TEDx talk - "The Great Porn Experiment" (2012)

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

Comprehensive empirical support for "The Great Porn Experiment" (2012)

New edition of "Your Brain on Porn" book now out - in audio too!

The 2nd edition of Your Brain on Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction is now out. It's revised, a bit longer, and has more citations and up-to-date research. More (Audio version now available from UK too.) Visit Amazon. Wilson's proceeds go to a registered charity endeavoring to raise awareness of internet porn's effects. Here's an excerpt:

Age 32 - PIED appears to be cured. 100% erection with my light stroking. Morning wood returned.

I have developed PIED and decided that I would document my NOFAP jouney. The reason I decided to do this is because I had a hard time finding people who were as extreme as me in the following combined criteria. I want people to have an idea of what kind of improvements are capable in similar cases.

Age 18 - More drive, attracted to different type of girl, mental clarity

I’m 18, I started NoFap because I stumbled on it by accident. Had been going on and off for some time (streaks of a few days, then relapsing, few days again, etc. Streaks consistently became a bit longer each time.). At some point I just made it to 21 days or so without really trying and from there on the urges never really came back.

Shy bladder and frequent urination cured

After going six months without masturbation I have literally cured myself from these two.... And I just realized this now. Earlier my bladder was very shy... Haha I mean it would be difficult for me to urinate if there are other also in the line....