It is with the greatest of sadness that we announce the death of our beloved friend and colleague, Gary Wilson. He passed away on 20th May 2021 as a result of complications due to Lyme’s disease. He leaves behind his wife Marnia, son Arion and canine companion, Smokey. The press release is here: Best-selling author of Your Brain on Porn, Gary Wilson, has passed away
Apart from being just one of the most thoughtful, smart and witty persons we’ve ever known, Gary is special to us is because his work was the inspiration for our charity The Reward Foundation. We were so motivated by his popular TEDx talk “The Great Porn Experiment” in 2012, now with over 14 million views, that we wanted to spread the knowledge and hope his work brought to those struggling knowingly or unknowingly with problematic pornography use. He was an original thinker and a hard worker. Most of all, he was a courageous defender of the scientific truth in the face of opposition from agenda-driven fanatics who denied porn’s effects on the brain.
Gifted teacher and researcher
Gary was our honorary research officer. He was a co-author with 7 US Navy doctors on the seminal “Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports”. The paper has had more views than any other paper in the history of the prestigious journal, Behavioural Sciences. He was also author of the highly cited “Eliminate Chronic Internet Pornography Use to Reveal its Effects (2016). As a gifted teacher with a dry sense of humour, he willingly gave of his time to help us with various presentations and lesson plans. He helped everyone who sought his assistance. He’ll be deeply missed.
Gary was the first person to draw attention publicly to the potentially addictive nature of internet pornography. He did in that TEDx talk in 2012. Technology and access to pornography have developed at a dizzying pace in the intervening years. At the same time pornography has snared more and more people. Among Pornography users rates of sexual dysfunctions have skyrocketed year-on-year. This rise has occurred alongside a dramatic drop in libido and sexual satisfaction with real partners.
Your Brain on Porn
Such was the popularity of the TEDx talk that Gary was encouraged by many to update it in the form of a book. This became “Your Brain on Porn – Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction”. It is the best-selling book in its category on Amazon. The second edition covers Compulsive sexual behaviour disorder. The World Health Organization has now included CSBD as an impulse control disorder in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Leading researchers and clinicians have also considered the extent to which types and patterns of pornography use may be classified as an “other specified disorder due to addictive behaviours” in the ICD-11. Recent biological data suggest that pornography use and compulsive sexual behaviours may be best classified as addictions rather than impulse control disorders. So Gary was right and extremely prescient in his estimation of pornography’s effects.
His book is available now in its second edition in paperback, Kindle and as an e-book. The book is now available German, Dutch, Arabic, Hungarian, Japanese, Russian. Several other languages are in the pipeline.
His son Arion is building a memorial website. You can read comments here: Comments. And submit your own here, if you wish: Gary Wilson’s Life. The comments section of the memorial is a true testament of how many lives he touched in a positive way. Many people have said he literally saved their life.
His work will live on through us and many others who are part of the growing army of people recognising what damage uninformed, casual use of pornography can bring. His work brings hope to the countless thousands who are suffering with the knowledge that, by removing porn from their lives, they can not only heal their brain, but put their lives on a better footing than possibly ever before. Thank you, Gary. You are a true modern-day hero. We love you.
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