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. One other major finding was 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"

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Age 25 - Started NoFap; Rediscovered Passion

Wrestling matchTo say this has been a long journey is a definitive understatement. Since the age of 13, I slowly began to dive into an abyss known as addiction, though I had no idea until about two years ago.

Age 19 - I am more focused, determined, and motivated than ever. I view women differently

skiingFellow Fapstronauts: boys, girls, men, women and everyone in between, this is my humble 90 day report. Before I delve in, a few of my specs are: 19 year old (as of 3 days), been using porn and masturbating since the age of 13.

I'm happier & more creative, I more sociable and appreciate the simple things

FriendsSo this is my 60 days report. I have to say - I've grown a lot in these 2 months as a person.

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Spread the word. Inform others of the latest relevant developments.

The Basics Of Rebooting

Age 22 - ED: Much better. Also more confident & energized, less brain fog, better relationship

martial artsI am 22 year old virgin. I was addicted to fapping for around 12 years of my life. I fapped almost every day, once or twice, sometimes even more, fantasizing or watching porn. After all these years, i think it just made me feel better when I had some problems. I was very shy.

Age 26 - Delayed Ejaculation cured: one of the best feelings in my life

water fallI'm so happy right now! No fap is probably one of the best things I've decided to do. I'm 26 and suffered from DE while having sex with a woman.

Age 26 - 2 years ago I was close to committing suicide: I truly feel like I have been given a second chance

Sunrise2 years ago I was very close to committing suicide, I was a sad person with no goals, no desire to live and waking up wishing life wouldn't be shit most of the time.

Hollywood takes on porn-induced sexual dysfunctions (Movie review: "Men, Women and Children")

Jason ReitmanIn the new film Men, Women and Children, Crash director Jason Reitman, does a brilliant, excruciating job of examining the first generation to come of age on smartphones. But they aren't the only generation battered by the momentum online.

The One Habit That Holds 99% of Men Back (MenProvement podcast)

sluggish guy thinkingIn this session Sean Russell and Marc Summer of chat about porn and masturbation. Both share their stories and the improvements they've seen since quitting porn. Listen to the show

Sex on the Brain: What Brain Plasticity Teaches About Internet Porn (2014), Norman Doidge, MD

Hungarian ReviewExcerpts: "We are in the midst of a revolution in sexual and romantic tastes unlike any other in history, a social experiment being performed on children and teenagers... What clinicians don’t know much about, yet, is how we shall help teenagers, whose sexual tastes are being influenced by porn, because this level of porn exposure is quite new. Will these influences and tastes turn out to be superficial? Or will the new porn scenarios deeply embed themselves because the teen years are still a formative period?"

Age 28 - Mild PIED cured in 35 days. Erections are very strong.

Happy coupleThe reason I came to NoFap is that, about 35 days ago I was with a girl that I really liked and I had ED issues. While feeling down afterwards I discovered NoFap, YBOP and PIED. This weekend I was with that same girl again after about 35 days of NoFap.


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