Brain Studies on Porn Users

Max Planck Institute logoRecent studies assessing brain structure & functioning of Internet 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 correlating with the amount of porn consumed. It also found that more porn use correlated with less reward circuit activation while viewing sexual photos. Researchers stated their findings indicated desensitization, and possibly tolerance, the need for greater stimulation.
  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) - The second Cambridge University study: "Our findings of enhanced attentional bias... suggest possible overlaps with enhanced attentional bias observed in studies of drug cues in disorders of addictions. These findings converge with recent findings of neural reactivity to sexually explicit cues in [porn addicts] in a network similar to that implicated in drug-cue-reactivity studies and provide support for incentive motivation theories of addiction underlying the aberrant response to sexual cues in [porn addicts]."

These study results are consistent with 110+ 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. 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!

Age 25 - ED cured: Fantastic sex with my dream girl. I have never been this happy to be alive.

guy kissing girlMy goal when starting nofap was to put on some muscle, to find a girlfriend, and have successful sex for the first time in my life. Since starting nofap 10 months ago I have leaned down to 10% with intermittent fasting, found myself an amazing, beautiful girlfriend and a new job.

Attend a sexual health conference in Philadelphia, October 8-10

SASH logoThe Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH) is a nonprofit multidisciplinary organization dedicated to scholarship, clinical training, and resources for promoting sexual health and overcoming problematic sexual behaviors. SASH welcomes members of the public to attend its annual conference.

Research confirms sharp rise in youthful ED

worried guy in bedroom with girl Young men today appear to be experiencing a sharp increase in ED (and other sexual dysfunctions) since the advent of streaming internet. All studies assessing young male sexuality since 2010 report historic levels of erectile dysfunction, and startling rates of a new scourge: low libido.

Trading Later Rewards for Current Pleasure: Pornography Consumption and Delay Discounting (2015)

Comments: This paper contains two longitudinal studies examining the effects of Internet porn on "delay discounting." Delay discounting happens when people choose ten dollars right now rather than 20 dollars in a week. It's the inability to delay immediate gratification for a more valuable reward in the future.

Age 18 - 90 Day Hard Mode: Benefits & Experience

rock climbingToday is my day 90 on hard mode. I'm going to try my best to explain the changes I've experienced, benefits and all that, and organize it to the best of my ability because I'm very good at rambling.

Age 24 - Social anxiety is something I have struggled with for decades, now it barely bothers me

happy guyLike the title says, today is 110 days in for me, 20 more than my initial goal of 90 days. I can honestly say that things are looking up and life is improving. I'm going to try keep this short even though I could ramble on forever.

XXX: Porn Addiction (Native American Calling radio)

Native America Calling logoDo you think pornography can consume lives and affect relationships? Some also believe that porn also creates a negative image of women and sex. How do you think porn affects the way men, especially young boys, view women and sex? Listen to the show

Condom-ED study + Kinsey Institute Spin

detective at workUS News reported that "Condoms Don't Prevent Erection, Study Says: New Research puts to rest an old, out-dated theory." The spin and misinformation are strong in this one! We can hear the condom manufacturers now, talking with the Kinsey folk (who did the study) saying, "Men think condoms cause ED. How can we get something into the press to convince them otherwise?"

Age 43 - 30 Days in. NoFAP has transformed my marriage

happy coupleI'm 43 years old and been married for 20 years. Up until now I fapped the entire time. I committed myself to try NoFap / NoPorn for 30 days. Today I hit that mark. The results have been incredible!

Age 21 - Social anxiety gone, people respect me

young guyI have been here for over a year relapsed.... struggled... got down..... but u guys never let me give out. I always read the inspirational words by u all and always got up again and again.

Age 28 - No more debilitating depression, suicidal thoughts. Energy, concentration, stamina up

couple eating a mealI'm a 28 y/o guy who started fapping at around age 11 and started looking at P (first stills, then videos) at around age 13. I was an introverted teen, a gamer, and socially awkward but embracing it.


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