Ever see Steve McQueen’s last film, Shame? No? Well, go see it. Anyway, Michael Fassbender plays an addict of all things sexual, and the film follows as his life slowly unravels. Extreme and unlikely example? Maybe, but this is true: looking at pornography influences your working memory, and the influence sure isn’t positive.
In a study out of Germany, twenty-eight male participants had to complete four working memory tasks that involved manipulating images: one neutral, on negative, one positive, and one pornographic. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the participants had the hardest time completing the task involving the pornographic image; in other words, their working memory worked a lot better when not exposed to porn.
The study’s authors write that their findings support the idea that porn addiction is a real thing, and certainly something that’s preventing you from juggling multiple mental items. Don’t want to give up porn? Try sex instead—trust us, it’s way better.