Did you meet Jordan Peterson

112-Peterson: Pornography and Intimacy

In the following we give a conversation between Jordan B. Peterson and the blogger Andrew from the Youtube channel "Sorting Myself Out" again:

Andrew: At some point I started watching porn a lot. It couldn't be anything, the porn had to correspond to a certain image. I limited myself more and more to one type. Then one day I read the book "Neustart im Kopf" by Dr. Norman Doidge (...) And I completely understood what it was about. I realized that every time I give in, I keep the circuit going and it gets better if I don't give in. But implementing it gave me problems. I did it recently. I haven't seen any porn in over a month.

Jordan B. Peterson: I would like to ask you a few questions about this. There are a lot of men on the internet right now talking about pornography use, although it's hard to say how many are choosing to quit. I myself have commented publicly on this several times and described porn consumption as, say, suboptimal. I think it harms the women who appear in porn, but also the young men who watch it. Because he grants us access to a part, but denies us the whole. And I find that dangerous because pornography offers immediate satisfaction, but not an option for medium to long-term development of life or character. A dangerous trap.

And then there is something else that Dr. Doidge stated in his book. We do not know what effects this massive burden of having multiple virtual sex partners has on the development of sexual behavior, sexual satisfaction, sexual impulse and relationships among young men. So in a sense a technological marvel that is very dangerous. Or at least has the potential to do so.

Seeking instant gratification

What do you think porn has done to you and have you benefited from stopping it, and if so, what?

Andrew: One of my main problems was finding instant gratification. In my case, it was about food, marijuana, television, and porn. So my mind kept circling around one of them, and once the experience was over I felt a little quick release, making me feel good until the pain came back. At some point I realized that my pleasure was simply getting rid of pain. So pain and pleasure were two sides of the same coin that I tossed over and over again.

After deciding to stop, I thought that I would try to write it down every time I feel the desire to watch porn. On the first day I could hardly believe it because almost every minute I had a thought like, "Look at one, look at one." I watched my thoughts try to trick me. I don't know what you think about this, but after all, I always bite my thumb on a certain spot whenever I thought of porn. Then I noticed that over the next few days my thoughts came less and less. And now that it's been a month, I hardly think about it anymore and the benefit for me is that I feel a lot more conscious and not so much looking for pleasure. I now enjoy walking and being in nature.

Peterson: Your report is really very reminiscent of an addiction. You explained that really well. If you engage in a behavior and then there is a burst of pleasure like an orgasm, that behavior will be strengthened and the circuitry that will get you into that behavior will become stronger. Because behavior that culminates in a reward tends to become stronger. This includes attitudes, ideas, thoughts, impulses and rationalizations of exactly the kind that you have described. Then you said that giving up really bothered you for the first day or two and then started to wear off pretty steeply, and that's a good example of how behavior dies when you stop rewarding it.

And what did it bring you? And how do you think this will affect your willingness or ability to have a long-term relationship?

Andrew:Of course, I suddenly have a lot more free time. And when it comes to finding a partner ... I often didn’t seek contact with women because I had the feeling that it would just cause me problems wherever it went. One time a woman approached me and we had a couple of dates and it went great. She was attracted to me, I was attracted to her, we got along great. But when it came time to get intimate with each other, I began to tremble like a leaf. Because I was so used to using the old charm of the imagination. Always the same thing that I could imagine in my head.

Sex is powerful

I don't know what most men think about when they watch porn. I always had to come up with a whole background story because I had a problem with the subject of trust because of my past. So I imagined, “Where are we? Why did we meet? What will happen after that? ”And because of this whole complex, I avoided sex with this woman.

Peterson:In addition, I have tried to find out what reasonable guidelines there can be when it comes to initiating sexual activity with a new partner. It seems to me that you probably shouldn't get involved in anything you wouldn't talk to the other about. Because that could mean that you don't know the other person well enough to physically go that far with them. And that harbors dangers. You have outlined some of them. Sex is powerful. Especially if you are inexperienced, you can be easily injured and the pain can be long-term or permanent. And this is how your relationship is shaped. And one of the things I would suggest to you when you get into the next relationship, even if it's hard, is to stop going further sexually until you are ready to talk about how you are in partner-like and sexually ticking away.

This type of emotional intimacy seems like the proper precursor to physical intimacy. And I know that our culture, probably since the birth of the birth control pill, has driven us to move on quickly. There is a general belief that casual sex is firstly possible and secondly desirable. But I think that's a big mistake. I don't believe either. I don't think there is such a thing as casual sex, nor do I think it's desirable. I think this wish causes people a lot more trouble than they think.

This post is an excerpt from a video by Jordan B. Peterson and blogger Andrew from the Youtube channel Sorting myself out. Here go to the excerpt.

Photo: jordanbpeterson.com

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