Cambridge Study: Internet porn addiction mirrors drug addiction

Cambridge University logoComments: The long-awaited Voon study highlighted in the UK documentary "Porn on the Brain" is finally out. As expected, Cambridge University researchers found that compulsive porn users react to porn cues in the same way that drug addicts react to drug cues. But there's more.

Compulsive porn users craved porn (greater wanting), but did not have higher sexual desire (liking) than controls. This finding aligns perfectly with the current model of addiction, and refutes the  theory that "higher sexual desire" causes compulsive porn use. Drug addicts are thought to be driven to seek their drug because they want – rather than enjoy – it. This abnormal process is known as incentive motivation. This is a hallmark of addiction disorders.

The other major finding (not reported in the media) was that over 50% of subjects (average age: 25) had difficulty achieving erections with real partners, yet could achieve erections with porn.

Finally, researchers found that younger subjects had enhanced reward circuit activity when exposed to porn cues. Higher dopamine spikes and greater reward sensitivity are major factors in adolescents being more vulnerable to addiction and sexual conditioning.

The results of the Cambridge study, and last month's German study (Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated With Pornography Consumption: The Brain on Porn. 2014), provide very strong support for hypotheses put forth here on YBOP from its inception in 2011.

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 20 - I owe much of career success and personal development to nofap

alpha maleMy story is quite long to just unpack here so I'll give you the bullet points and answer specific questions from anyone interested.

90 days - Where I once sat up all night clicking through video after video looking, I’m now..

upgradeThe big day is here and boy has it been an adventure. All that’s left in front of me is the big question. Am I a changed man?

ED - Sex got better with time. Now, it's fantastic

happy coupleI started nofap like probably a lot of you to see if it would fix my ED. I knew it was just a mental thing I needed to get over. 

(L) Erectile dysfunction in military males is triple the norm

Comments: Actually, these ED rates are not 3 times the norm. Unprecedented ED rates in young men of 30% or higher are the new norm as recent studies reveal: study 1, study 2, study 3, study 4.

Men age 40 and younger who are enlisted in the U.S. military are three times more likely to have erectile dysfunction (ED) than civilian men of similar age, but few military men report receiving treatment, according to a new study.

Age 22 - ED cured: I used to think I was an asexual, dysfunctional, waste of human.

dreamy coupleI want to make this "short" and simple. I just want to give some back story and let you all know what happened. I am currently age 22. I started like most of you, found porn when I was 12 or 13 and have been hooked ever since. I would PMO daily at least once since about age 15. Around the age of 18 I had sex with several girls and that's when I first started noticing ED.

Bulletproof Executive interviews Geoffrey Miller (author of "The Mating Mind")

The interviewer discusses NoFap and the need to research ideal ejaculation frequency with him. (Second half of show)



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