NCOSE honors Gary Wilson with the 2021 #CESESummit Founders Award

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation honors Gary Wilson with the 2021 #CESESummit Founders Award.

Perhaps you once or are now struggling with a pornography addiction. Maybe you have lost a relationship with someone you dearly loved because their desire for pornography was stronger than their desire for you. Or you may be a parent or caregiver worried about your child’s exposure to pornography online. If so, you need to know that Mr. Gary Wilson—a brilliant-minded, highly ethical, tenacious, and valiant man who fought on your behalf—has died.

Among his many accomplishments, Gary was the author of the best-selling book Your Brain On Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction, presenter of the immensely popular TEDx talk “The Great Porn Experiment” (14+ million views), and creator of the website, a clearinghouse for the latest research, media, and self-reports on pornography’s effects and potential harms.

Despite his immeasurable impact on the movement, Gary will be remembered for his kindness, empathy, and courage. Above all else, Gary was a good man. All of us at NCOSE were brokenhearted to learn that on May 20, Gary died following years of chronic illness.

It is hard for us to describe the immensity of the loss that Gary’s passing means to his family, many friends and allies, and to the movement to confront the public health harms of pornography that he pioneered. Gary’s TEDx talk, website, and book provided the answers that so many men and women unable to defeat their compulsive use of pornography had long sought. With a compassion deeply steeped in his encyclopedic knowledge of the social and neuroscience research on pornography’s effects, Gary literally rescued countless numbers of individuals from pornography’s grip of despair and despondency. He was motivated by kindness and asked for nothing in return.

While his TEDx talk made him an internet sensation, Gary preferred to stay out of the limelight and help other people shine. He and his wife Marnia Robinson formed a dynamic duo, working tirelessly behind the scenes to help those seeking freedom from pornography addiction, as well as advocates around the world seeking the latest research. One of their monumental achievements was the cataloging and synthesizing of research on internet pornography’s effects on their website

Gary’s hard-hitting, research-based analysis was the pornography industry’s worst nightmare. This resulted in a relentless and withering barrage of personal attacks, which Gary courageously withstood. He was bold in his conviction, never straying from the facts.

As Gary once remarked,

“The malicious censorship tactics of the porn industry and its sexology allies curb scientific and public debate. Just as Big Tobacco once did, they distract the public from the well-documented risks of porn’s harm to both users and those it exploits.”

Despite the high personal toll his work exacted, a close friend explained that Gary continued to “speak truth in a sea of lies.”

As we mourn the loss of a man described by friends and loved ones as a “hero” and “protector” there are two ways you can propel Gary’s legacy forward.

Share Gary’s TEDx Talk, “The Great Porn Experiment” on social media.
Take a few moments to express your gratitude for Gary’s sacrifice and valor at the memorial website
We add our voice to thousands of others saying, “Thank you, Gary Wilson.”