Brain Scan Studies on Porn Users

At this time, two studies have examined the brains of porn users:

  1. Max Planck Institute logoBrain 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 logoCambridge University: Brain scans find porn addiction (2014). This is the first in a series of studies. It 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.

Start here for an 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 see 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!

Age 30 - ED cured: feel like a normal person again, capable of having a real relationship.

couple on the grassI'm going to keep this brief, I'm really just writing because the success stories have kept me going during the hard times so it's time I shared mine. I've been a PMO addict for about a decade now (fapping compulsively for even longer but not with porn).

London Times feature by Gary Wilson - "A cure for porn addicts who have lost that loving feeling"

Sunday Times logoYoung men are finding that addiction to hardcore videos is harming their physical ability to have real sex. Gary Wilson explains how science and online discussion groups are helping them to quit

In 2007, something strange happened on the internet. I know, something strange is always happening on the internet. But this wasn’t a viral sensation that came and went in a few weeks. Hundreds and then thousands of people, mostly male, mostly young, started questioning the effects of online pornography. On websites for body-builders, ‘pick-up artists’, medical-advice seekers, car enthusiasts, even guitarists – wherever men gathered online – conversations turned to porn and what it was doing to them.

Age 26 - Female: I feel like a changed woman!!! Our sex together has become so much more fruitful and connected.

happy coupleI am a 26 year old female. I was in a pretty fruitless long term relationship where I was able to utilize porn to pick up the slack. After the relationship ended, I definitely increased my porn use to every day. I met my now fiance and we have sex pretty regularly.

Age 16 - I honestly have never felt this happy in my life. I feel like myself again.

happy guyI honestly really don't even know what to say right now. I'm super excited I've made it this far; I remember the days when I literally used to imagine and dream about this. I feel obligated to share my story and motives before getting into how NoFap has affected me.

Age 21 - I wrote a 180,000 words novel in three months!

novelist at workWow. I can't believe I did this. 180k is a lot. That's just a bit less than Harry Potter 4, just to give you an idea. Sure, I got a big correction to do now, but I've created something out of simple words.

More than half of voters under 40 either think porn is ruining their sex lives, or are "unsure"


[] Under-40 Poll: Porn is ruining our sex lives? More young people than not say Internet porn has no effect on their real-life sex lives, according to a new Rare poll. Forty-eight percent said they weren’t bothered by it, while 33 percent of young voters said porn was having a negative effect. Nineteen percent were unsure.

"Another Study Links Compulsive Sexual Behavior to Other Forms of Addiction" by Robert Weiss LCSW

biasStatus Quo (For Now). In mid-July I published a blog discussing a recently released fMRI (brain imaging) study showing that the brain activity of sex addicts, when they are shown pornography, mirrors the brain activity of drug addicts when they are exposed to drug-related imagery.

Age 37 - ED is rarely a problem for me now. Relationship between my wife and I has drastically improved.

happy coupleI want to start by saying that I feel to be somewhat in the minority here, since I am older and married 18 years - that's more years than some of you have been alive. I'm not doing this in hard mode, and I am trying to have sex as often as I feel comfortable doing so.

Age 24 - ED cured: I'm 2 months away from 1 year fap free, its mind blowing to say the least.

mind blownMan has it been a long time since i was here! I can't believe I'm 2 months away from 1 year fap free, its mind blowing to say the least. I have certainly changed over the time I've been doing this, I met a girl about 6 months ago and we started dating not long after.

Age 17 - Clearer head, speak my mind, way more generous & sociable. first ever initmate relationship

young guySo I've just hit the big six-0; here's what I've gained out of the last 1440+ hours porn & fap free.

YourBrainRebalanced Radio Show #9: Gary Wilson joined the group.

LINK to Show #9

Gary Wilson joined the group to talk about his book, porn addiction science, and his new YouTube series on pornography addiction that was released. This was a DAMN good episode.

Age 32 - Chronic ED: maintained erection during sex for first time in 8 years

keep calm and rock hardJust want to say thanks to this forum and everyone on it. Using a throwaway account but a regular lurker on reddit and I stumbled across this forum a few months back. Tried a few times to break the cycle and finally made some progress with 34 days now since I fapped. Have been prescribed cialis by my doctor for years even though im only 32 years old.


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