Effects Of Pornograpy on the Brain

18 10 2013
Porn addict

This is a rather frank post on porn, so proceed, or not, with that in mind.

Porn is a problem. It’s a personal problem for many and a cultural problem for all. You may think you have not been affected by porn, but you have because it’s embedded in the surrounding culture. The staggering size of the pornography industry, its influence upon the media and the acceleration of technology, paired with the accessibility, anonymity, and affordability of porn all contribute to its increasing impact upon the culture.

Pornography affects you whether you’ve ever viewed it or not, and it is helpful to understand some of its negative effects, whether you are a man or woman, struggling with watching it, or simply a mom or dad with a son or daughter. There is a plethora of research on the detrimental effects of pornography (and I do not think that what follows are necessarily the worst of them), but here are seven negative effects of porn upon men and women:

Anti-pornography activist, Gail Dines, notes that young men who become addicted to porn, “neglect their schoolwork, spend huge amounts of money they don’t have, become isolated from others, and often suffer depression.” (Pornland, 93). Dr. William Struthers, who has a PhD in biopsychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, confirms some of these and adds more, finding that men who use porn become controlling, highly introverted, have high anxiety, narcissistic, curious, have low self-esteem, depressed, dissociative, distractible (Wired for Intimacy, 64-65). Ironically, while viewing porn creates momentary intensely pleasurable experiences, it ends up leading to several negative lingering psychological experiences.

Struthers elaborates,

As men fall deeper into the mental habit of fixating on [pornographic images], the exposure to them creates neural pathways. Like a path is created in the woods with each successive hiker, so do the neural paths set the course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time these neural paths become wider as they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with woman are routed….They have unknowingly created a neurological circuit that imprisons their ability to see women rightly as created in God’s image (Wired For Intimacy, 85).
In a similar vein regarding porn’s effect upon the brain, Naomi Wolf writes in her article, “The Porn Myth,”

After all, pornography works in the most basic of ways on the brain: It is Pavlovian. An orgasm is one of the biggest reinforcers imaginable. If you associate orgasm with your wife, a kiss, a scent, a body, that is what, over time, will turn you on; if you open your focus to an endless stream of ever-more-transgressive images of cybersex slaves, that is what it will take to turn you on. The ubiquity of sexual images does not free eros but dilutes it.

Sex becomes self-serving. It becomes about your pleasure and not the self-giving, mutually reciprocating intimacy that it was designed for.

This occurs from hard-core to soft-core pornography. Pamela Paul, in her book Pornified, quoting the research of one psychologist who has researched pornography at Texas A&M, writes,

‘Softcore pornography has a very negative effect on men as well. The problem with softcore pornography is that it’s voyeurism teaches men to view women as objects rather than to be in relationships with women as human beings.’ According to Brooks, pornography gives men the false impression that sex and pleasure are entirely divorced from relatoinships. In other words, pornography is inherently self-centered–something a man does by himself, for himself–by using another women as the means to pleasure, as yet another product to consume (80).
Paul references one experiment that revealed a rather shocking further effect of porn: “men and women who were exposed to large amounts of pornography were significantly less likely to want daughters than those who had none. Who would want their own little girl to be treated that way?” (80).

It becomes about your pleasure and not the self-giving, mutually reciprocating intimacy that it was designed for.
Again, it needs to be emphasized, that this is not an effect that only rests upon those who have viewed porn. The massive consumption of porn and the the size of the porn industry has hypersexualized the entire culture. Men and women are born into a pornified culture, and women are the biggest losers. Dines continues,

By inundating girls and women with the message that their most worthy attribute is their sexual hotness and crowding out other messages, pop culture is grooming them just like an individual perpetrator would. It is slowly chipping away at their self-esteem, stripping them of a sense of themselves as whole human beings, and providing them with an identity that emphasizes sex and de-emphasizes every other human attribute (Pornland, 118).

Wolf, in her own blunt way, confirms this,

For most of human history, the erotic images have been reflections of, or celebrations of, or substitutes for, real naked women. For the first time in history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn (Quoted in Wired for Intimacy, 38).

It makes real sex and even the real world boring in comparison. It particularly anesthetizes the emotional life of a man. Paul comments,

Pornography leaves men desensitivzed to both outrage and to excitement, leading to an overall diminishment of feeling and eventually to dissatisfaction with the emotional tugs of everyday life…Eventually they are left with a confusing mix of supersized expectations about sex and numbed emotions about women…When a man gets bored with pornography, both his fantasy and real worlds become imbued with indifference. The real world often gets really boring…” (Pornified, 90, 91).

Dines records how porn tells a false story about men and women. In the story of porn, women are “one-dimensional”–they never say no, never get pregnant, and can’t wait to have sex with any man and please them in whatever way imaginable (or even unimaginable). On the other hand, the story porn tells about men is that they are “soulless, unfeeling, amoral life-support systems for erect penises who are entitled to use women in any way they want. These men demonstrated zero empathy, respect, or love for the women they have sex with…(Pornland, xxiv).”
From http://theresurgence.co


The pornified brain sounds a lot like Mick Jagger; it can’t get no satisfaction. On the surface it sounds absurd. Pornography offers endless opportunities for arousal. If a human masturbates to a wider range of images or videos, shouldn’t that satiate? The simple answer is no.

Dr. Norm Doidge explains that porn is more exciting than satisfying because we have two separate pleasure systems in our brains: one for exciting pleasure and another for satisfying pleasure.

The exciting system, fueled by dopamine and anticipation, is all about appetite, such as imagining your favorite meal or a sexual episode.

The satisfying system involves actually having the meal or having sex, which provides a calming, fulfilling pleasure. This system releases opiate-like endorphins that provide feelings of peace and euphoria.

Pornography, Doidge writes, hyperactivates the appetite system. But the satisfying system is left starving for the real thing, which includes actual touching, kissing, caressing, and a connection not only with the body but also the mind and soul. The satisfying system releases oxytocin and endorphins, and bellows, in the words of Marvin Gaye, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing, Baby.”

The porn-saturated brain is fixated on sex, Dr. William Struthers explains, but real sex is intended for intimacy. The pornified brain is ready for multiple partners, images, and sexual possibilities, but it is intended for a narrow focus of exclusive sharing. Porn’s neurological superhighway is built for speed, but satisfying sex is designed for the slow and evolving discovery and appreciation of a loving partner. Porn provides few off-ramps (masturbation) that offer fleeting escapes that hasten the need for more. Meanwhile a committed couple can have long and satisfying encounters with many off ramps for creative expressions of intimacy that are not genitally oriented.

Doidge writes:

Pornographers promise healthy pleasure and relief from sexual tension, but what they often deliver is an addiction, tolerance, and an eventual decrease in pleasure. Paradoxically, the male patients I worked with often craved pornography but didn’t like it.


Pornographers want people to believe that viewing porn is harmless entertainment and that it can even spice up one’s love life, but the opposite is true. Rather than encouraging intimacy, research shows that porn steals it away.

Porn encourages selfishness rather than an exchange of intimacy. Especially among men, who are more visually stimulated than women, porn teaches that women are objects for their lust. Women are just body parts, used for personal gratification.

Pornography trains men to be consumers, to treat sex as a commodity, to think about sex as something on-tap and made-to-order. As Dr. Mary Anne Layden writes, “It is toxic miseducation about sex and relationships.”6

  • In Dr. Gary Brooks’ book, The Centerfold Syndrome, he explains that because the women in porn are only glossy magazine pictures or pixels on the screen, they have no sexual or relational expectations of their own. This trains men to desire the cheap thrill of fantasy over a committed relationship that requires them to connect to another human being. Pornography essentially trains men to be digital voyeurs: looking at women rather than seeking genuine intimacy.
  • According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, after only a few prolonged exposures to pornographic videos, men and women alike reported less sexual satisfaction with their intimate partners, including their partners’ affection, physical appearance, and sexual performance.
  • Another study that appeared in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found similar results. When men and women were exposed to pictures of female centerfold models from Playboy and Penthouse, this significantly lowered their judgments about the attractiveness of “average” people.
  • Dr. Victor Cline’s research has shown that sexual arousal and excitement diminish with repeated exposure to sexual scenes, leading people to seek out greater variety and novelty in the pornography they view.
  • French neuroscientist Serge Stoleru reports on how overexposure to erotic stimuli actually exhausts the sexual responses of healthy young men.
  • Dr. Dolf Zillmann reports when young people are repeatedly exposed to pornography, it can have a long-lasting impact on their beliefs and behaviors. Frequently, men who habitually view pornography develop cynical attitudes about love and the need for affection between partners. They begin to view the institution of marriage as sexually confining. Often, men develop a “tolerance” for sexually explicit material, leading them to seek out more novel or bizarre material to achieve the same level of arousal.

Dr. Judith Reisman summarizes it well: Pornography causes impotence — an inability to function with your own sexual power. “If he has to imagine a picture, if he has to imagine a scene, in order to actually reach the heights of completion with this person, then he’s no longer with his own power, is he? He has been stripped. He has been hijacked. He has been emasculated. He has, in effect, been castrated visually.”


If the concerns above were not enough, many men become so habituated to pornography that they experience erectile dysfunction when they are with their spouse. Rather than performing better, as pornography promises, many men find that they can only achieve consistent and sustained erections with porn.

Drs. Marnia Robinson and Gary Wilson explained in Psychology Today that overstimulation with pornography creates changes in the brain that make a man less responsive to the physical pleasure of a real woman and hyper-responsive to Internet porn. Men become sensitized to Internet porn, but desensitized to sex in general, which requires more and more stimulation to achieve arousal. When preparing for real sex, the pornified brain fails to get its dopamine surge and the signal to the penis is too weak to achieve erection. But turn on an Internet device with unlimited pages of novelty, and boom, the plumbing works.

Fast-growing online communities of people who call themselves “Fapstronauts” complain that porn is the root of their problems with ED and premature ejaculation. “Fapping,” slang for masturbating to Internet porn, is causing these people so many troubles they banded together for support. One online community claims 50,000 members, and their goal is to encourage each other to avoid pornography and masturbation for 90 days in the hope of never going back.

Download and read the rest of the book, The Porn Circuit: Understand Your Brain and Break Porn Habits in 90 Days. click the_porn_circuit_covenant_eyes

Author, Sam Black

Watch Video below for 10 Steps to Stop Porn Addiction

For More Help Overcome Porn Addiction, read  Free E-book  “Porn Circuit” Click herethe_porn_circuit_covenant_eye  

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48 responses

12 05 2020
Umar Mujahid

Really useful..I can finally convince others how harmful it is. Even I didn’t realize it could damage this much. God always wants the best for us

12 05 2020

Glad you found it helpful, Umar. Yes many people need help to ditch porn. Keep up the good work

16 03 2020

It really help me so much cause I wake up to misery life

5 03 2020

I have been a porn addict for five years now
But after reading this, I just can’t believe I have been deceiving myself that I would perform better if I watch for long.
Thanks so much for this article it was helpful to me

16 02 2020

Thanks for the information

16 02 2020

You are welcome, Elizabeth

16 01 2020

It really helpful, God delivered us in Jesus name Amen

17 01 2020


11 01 2020

This is highly centered on the male gender and I find that offensive. Porn goes both ways in showing the male and female bodies so why all this talk about porn DEMEANING women. Women also watch porn to and they also mastrubate so why ain’t they included?

15 01 2020

You are right, and that’s why the theme photo is a woman

27 12 2019

Thank you very much. This post is actually helpful especially the link to the book.

27 12 2019

Highly welcome, jointz, glad you finding the book helpful. Porn is an epidemic sweeping away our lives

27 12 2019
N bazz

Thank you so much for this article. It has touched everything about me. Porn is really a bad seed that can be planted in a human being’s life. I’ve been struggling to get rid of masturbation for years now. Am glad I’ve come across this article

27 12 2019

You are welcome, N bazz, we are happy you found it helpful. Yes porn is poison

5 12 2019

I was once addicted to porn to extend it almost ruined my life and caused my terrible sexual dysfunction that I’m still recovering from at the moment. But thank to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ set me from that evil captivity and free and i hate sin in all form more specific porn

5 12 2019

Thanks for sharing your story with us. It’s the story of many people, young, old, men women, boys and girls. Porn is a great attack on people’s lives, and it’s leaving many wreckages on its path. Thank God for pulling you out of it, share the article and spread the word so others will be warned about it and perhaps be rescued

3 11 2019
Khutsiso Kanetsi

This information was very helpful thank you 😊.

3 11 2019

You are most welcome, Khutsiso Kanetsi

27 10 2019
Anonymously Anonym

I can testify that what ever this article contains is true. I love to watch porn, and that makes me feel like getting a girlfriend to satisfy my pleasure. But sometimes, in my imagination, this what goes on “(I and my girlfriend about to have sex, and we would have to watch one of my favorite porn scenes to get the level of arousal that I need. )
Also, anytime I watch porn, I hide and masturbate to it ( while imagining sex with ladies). Every time I’m done with masturbation, I feel that sense of uselessness and guilt.

I’m so glad I came across this article.

27 10 2019

Thanks for sharing your story with us, we are glad to hear that this article is helpful

12 09 2019
Gabriel M. Ndhlovu

Thanks a lot for this article. I am very blessed. I wanted to loose my virginity as a man because I became exposed to porn since last year 2018. It is very destructive. Thank God He has helped me to keep my virginity. I value my future wife and my relationship with God and I don’t want to ruin my life. I am Gabriel Ndhlovu from Lusaka, Zambia and 26 years old. Please help me, at times when I feel depressed, lonely I find myself watching. The guilty of sinning against God to watch and against my principles is too much. I want to stop this demonic nonense. It all started when I was heart broken and disappointed. I was looking for a Christian song to comfort myself but what I found. The devil made me see and become a victim of porn for the first time, I don’t want to even loose my precious walk with God, I am getting restored in my spiritual life but I want yo fully get back to my first Love I had for God even more, and I want to continue preparing myself for a healthy marriage and relationship I believe God for and what God has promised me. Please help me, continue to email me. I desire to marry someone who fears God like me, even more, and I want her to help me fulfill my vision. I am called to do the work of God, but that became a stumbling block to my destiny. With a sincere and open heart, I want to keep my virginity, be a right man a man God has called me to be and continue to walk in the fear amd love of God.

12 09 2019

Thanks for writing in, Gabriel. You have already taken the first step to victory. Like you said, porn is a diabolic attack on people and have overcome millions of people, ruining them. Since we’re dealing with this principalities, it is important as you have observed, to rely on prayer, for that is the only way. God’s power is the greatest. So remember to pray when temptation come, stay close to Jesus and full of hope, remove all the things that bring you down.

5 12 2019

Thank you very much for sharing

6 09 2019

This piece has helped me. Thank you. Hopefully, I’ll stop.

6 09 2019

You are welcome, God bless you

26 08 2019

Thx it helped me

26 08 2019

You are welcome, Kasozi, thanks for writing in. I am glad you found it useful. Keep the flag flying.

16 08 2019
Mwamba Nsonga

I love the message. Please help me because sometimes I fall prey to such

17 07 2019
Concerned Male

Wow! We men are such uncontrollable savages who only want sex!
If y’all keep this up, you’ll never get your sons and nephews to learn good habits. Villianizing an entire sex isn’t making our genders/sexes more ‘equal’. What do you think a male teenager who is reading this is learning? Porn is bad? Men are barbaric?
I’m not doctor in psychology and porn or whatever, but you really can expect to straighten dry wood without breaking it. Just teach people how to control their emotions, psych and actions and you won’t have to blame everything but society (I use the word because you are part of the problem)

17 07 2019

First of all, introversion is not a bad thing. Stop assuming that introversion =shy. Find the MBTI definition of introversion and you’ll stop driving introvert to thinking they are shy, abnormal and even depressed.
Ps: President Barack Obama is an introvert.

25 05 2019
Atyeronimungu Tonny

Great research!

23 05 2019

Quite revealing

12 05 2019

Productive information. Be blessed.

10 05 2019
Cendrine Saah Nanfack

Thanks it was actually helpful

10 05 2019

Happy to hear that, Cendrine Saah Nangack, you make it worthwhile

7 05 2019
Simba Mudzvova

Ok then

7 05 2019
Mind Cruxifix De-Pablo

Everything is a problem

7 05 2019
Rashid Musah

The only movie without shooting, fighting and you are telling me it has a side effect to the brain?

7 05 2019
Dahonest Bwoy

Cute like dat ❤💓💯

1 05 2019
Marvel Superhero Actress Pained by Past Nude Scenes | Authors-choice

[…] Effects Of Pornograpy on the Brain […]

25 04 2019

Cock block 101

24 04 2016

Good job. keep up!

4 11 2013

I have agree completely with your findings.As a former frequent porn user I have found it took more and more exposure to get the same feeling of arousal than before ever viewing porn. I was finally ashamed and disgusted enough with myself to ask God to help me lose the lusting and fantasizing thinking that porn provides and I found it easier to stop going to those sites. I now am disgusted and turned off by all the sexual references and suggestive dress code we have allowed into our televisions. It’s on all the half hour sitcoms that used to be good family entertainment and now they are just trashed with sexual talk and discussion of both male and female body parts.How much lower will our culture have to sink before we demand changes with regard to the whole porn culture.I hope some changes take place in the near future or we as a society are surely doomed from our excessive behaviors.

4 11 2013

Thanks Loren for sharing your story with us. I am sure your story will encourage millions of young people whose lives are ruined because they are enslaved by porn and perhaps help them overcome it and live a better life.

9 08 2019
Mumuni Hafiz

People are cocooned with ignorance and do not have in mind what the future holds.The generation of self satisfaction,suffocated by ignorance.Religion can stop all these!

15 01 2020

Do you consider someone who has never had sex before but masturbates a virgin??😐

15 01 2020

No, certainly not

28 03 2020
Timothy Tyee


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