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 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.


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!

ED cured - Far more sensitive & feel more sensations. Deeper voice. Girlfriend happy.

redwoodsMy reasons for doing NoFap:

  • ED with partner
  • Addictive personality/Addiction to PMO
  • Improve self control
  • Increase enjoyment of other activities

Age 64 - PIED: I’m much more alive and very grateful

happy couple20 years ago, I was unmarried and living with my hot future 2nd wife; I had it made; things couldn’t have been better. We married a year later, and surprisingly, things got even better. I only learned recently that I was operating at ~40% emotionally back then due to fapping. Years later, PIED started to happen, though I didn’t know it as such.

Documentary on Porn's Effects - Preview clips

Meet Fritz (camera operator and editor) and Susanna (journalist), who are creating an independent, trigger-free, documentary called "REWIRED."  Check out their short trailers of a recovered user and the German scientist who did the first brain study on porn users. Stay informed by subscribing to their FaceBook page!


Age 23 - Delayed ejaculation healed: For the first time in my life I finished inside a vagina

couple in bedYou might have seen some of my posts regarding my DE problem. DE is why I started NoFap several months ago now. I can honestly say NoFap has saved me. I'm finally (nearly) there, to recovery I mean.

Age 22 - ED cured: but I had to wake up my libido with sex and ejaculations

happy guyPheew... this has been a hell of a journey, but I think that I'm finally cured from my ED. I am 22 years old, started watching porn when I was 13-14, and have been doing so consistently since then.

Age 41 - I love my wife much more - intimacy passionate and pleasurable

smiling coupleOnce I really understood how porn and fapping work on the brain, and understood the damage that PMO does, something changed. Something inside snapped, and I said "I am done with porn and fapping forever!"

'Your Brain on Porn' - Father's Network Scotland (book review)

FNS logoNICK THORPE examines emerging evidence of the havoc internet pornography can wreak in our brains, our relationships – and our children.

Physiological Benefits Reported by Men Eliminating PMO

guy working outOver and over again men who quit porn report physical changes that would not normally be associated with addiction-related changes, although they may well be neuro-endocrine. Here we collect a sample of those accounts. (See What benefits do people see as they reboot? for other kinds of benefits.)

Age 18 - More focused, clearer thinking, much more emotional, appreciate women for who they are

happy coupleGuys, I can't believe I finally got here! I started my NoFap journey about 2 years ago as a Senior in Highschool. Before this streak 36 days was my longest, I'm pretty proud of myself!


Subscribe to Your Brain On Porn RSS