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. 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) - "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 100 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. 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!

Myths About Porn and Related Dysfunction (Girl Boner Radio)

Gabe_Headshot[1]-2August explores myths about women learned from adult films then interviews Gabe Deem, a former porn addict turned experienced speaker and mentor, on a controversial new study that claims that porn-related dysfunction isn’t legit. Listen to the episode on iTunes here or stream it here.

To learn more, follow Gabe on Twitter (@GabeDeem) and read his blog.

Age 16 - Women in general are so much more attractive now, Meditation is key

young guyI'm a 16 yr old male who recently discovered NoFap, and I have to say that it's probably the best thing I've ever done for myself (besides meditating).

ED cured - A wife's report: Here are the changes he and I have noticed

couple kissingLast night, after we had sex, my husband said to me, "I can't believe I ever thought that jacking off and watching porn was better than having sex. I wish I could go back and just kick myself. I knew there was a problem back then, but I didn't know what it was or what to do about it."

Age 25 - Better mood & energy, More communicative, More in touch with my feelings and emotions

Young guyAnother big milestone. I'm a 25 year old guy, trying to be better. The benefits for me are:

Less Anxiety, Greater creativity & focus, Better eye contact, Being funny, and more

young guyI can't say that your gonna become superman but I think it's much better than being that lazy/annoying/socially uncalibrated / anxious/nervous 24/7 Guy .

Change Your Brain: How Your Habits Cause Anxiety (short ebook)

Change Your BrainAnxiety and the use of anti-anxiety medications are rapidly increasing for adolescents--and medication often does not help. What has changed? (Read it - and write a review!)

Who knew all I had to do was stop jerking off to feel the emotional state of happiness?

Filipino guyMy name is John and I'd like to tell you a story about addiction. As a young child, I moved from the Philippines to the US with my mother. The struggle of understanding what to do for both my mother and I was quite difficult at that point of time.

Age 22 - (ED) Just had sex successfully more than 6 times over the weekend with my girlfriend

couple in bedJust had sex successfully more than 6 times over the weekend with my girlfriend. My story is almost the same as most of you started when I was 12 or 13, I am a very shy person had anxiety attacks when trying to have sex and ED.

"The ultimate guide to quitting porn. 25 powerful steps to block porn websites and beat porn for good"

collage of porn wordsPeople addicted to porn succeed in overcoming their porn addiction in two ways: First, they need an effective plan with actionable ideas to give them the tools and confidence that their recovery from porn will last. And second, they need to believe it will work.... Read this guide by Tim Simon of Stop Procrastinating.

Age 17 - a lot more confident, even with a few slips

young guy runningI started NoFap about 80 days ago, In which I relapsed 4 times, first three in first three weeks, and now the forth time, not bad. It was and awesome journey, all the bad and good things. First three weeks were truly hard.

Study: Low sexual desire and ejaculation disorders higher in young internet porn users

Urology professor Carlo ForestaUrology professor Carlo Foresta, President of the Italian Society of Reproductive Pathophysiology, has completed a study on 893 young people between 18 and 20. Low sexual desire and ejaculation disorders were higher in regular internet pornography users.

Age 26 - ED & escalation to really nasty stuff: It no longer turns me on.

water fallI'm no longer fixated on anal sex, and the thoughts of having sex with transvestites, young teen girls (13/14), corpses, and other really nasty stuff no longer turns me on. This is probably the biggest thing to change.


Subscribe to Your Brain On Porn RSS