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 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 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 26 - Day 152: I never felt this alive in my life.

happy guyI just realised it's been 5 months since I started NoFap and it really changed my life so I felt like I should give back. So here's my story: I started fapping when I was 8 or 9 and quit this year - at age of 26.

Age 20 - People were telling me how I wasn't shy like I used to be.

Keep tryingSo today has been 90 days since I embarked on this incredible journey......again. Truth be told I have been trying to quite since February of last year.

90 days - less brain fog, more energy & focus, getting more attention

FlirtingI wasn't gonna do a 90 day report for lots of reasons. Some: - I don't like to brag. I don't like to get flamed and down-voted because folks don't believe what I say. But, this might help somebody, so let's flip the switch to high-risk mode and go.

Porn Addiction Explained - Is our brain ready for this? (German w/English subtitles)

Even if you don't speak German you will find 5-minute video entertaining

Age 21 - ED gone: rebooted and rewired to recovery, but it took 2 years

Happy guyBackground: Started masturbating to soft core at age 13 (first orgasm ever was to porn on TV...yikes), progressed to hardcore 14, gang bang porn at 18.

Age 22 - Could no longer get hard to fetish porn: ED cured in 3 months

a royal marineI thought I would share my experience as someone who cured their worsening ED, addiction to porn and increasingly hardcore and novel porn viewing habits without counting down days.

"Porn: On Your Performance with Gary Wilson"

Image from article... How do I know if I'm affected by this?

The best way to find out is to conduct your own experiment. Quit for several months and see what changes you notice, if any. If you're a heavy user, be prepared for uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, which may include insomnia, irritability, depression, increased anxiety and mood swings from euphoria to despair and back.

Age 17 - more confident, energetic, motivated, and most importantly, happier. It changed my life

I'm a private, quiet person by nature, and I never felt the need to speak up. But now, roughly 500 days into my journey on NoFap, I wanted to write this-to say thank you to r/NoFap, to all the people who helped me along on my journey.

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 25 - Depression is gone, More genuine & warm, Women more attracted to me.

Happy guyTomorrow I will have gone 60 days without fapping. I figured it would be good to post how I'm doing and what 60 days without fapping feels like for me.

My change over time: from an anxious sissy to a fearless fighter (Muay Thai boxing)

Muay Thai boxingIn the past many called me a weak person. I was scared, lazy, and totally out of shape. I did not have any passions in life, other than gaming, eating junk food, smoking weed and fapping.

ED is cured - 100 days: I'm never going back to porn

I've made it through 100 days. 330% more than I originally planned. I bet many of you are thinking "why the hell would he stop when he's gone so far?" - because my only goal was to cure my ED.


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