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Who is Jordan Peterson and What Does He Have to Do with Porn Addiction?

Dr R. Y. Langham

Aug 01, 2022

There has been much debate over the causes, effects, and treatments of porn addiction. For some people, porn addiction represents depravity or immoral behavior, but for others, it is simply an adult pastime – no big deal. Regardless of societal perceptions, porn addiction can cause damage to your self-esteem and self-confidence, friendships and relationships, job performance, and even your finances. Still, experts differ on the role porn plays in modern society and how dangerous it is once it enters someone’s life. 

One such porn addiction expert is Jordan Peterson. You may be asking yourself, “Who is Jordan Peterson and what does he think about porn addiction?” Well, I will introduce you to this world-renowned psychologist and porn expert with the hope that his words, information, and tips provide in-depth insight into why porn is dominating your life, so you can take the necessary steps to reclaim your life.

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Who is Jordan Peterson?

Jordan Bernt Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist, media personality, author, and University of Toronto professor. Peterson first arrived on the scene in 2010 and quickly became well known as a “conservative” cultural and political expert. Peterson, however, describes himself as a “traditional British liberal” or “traditionalist.” He has bachelor’s degrees in both political science and psychology from the University of Alberta and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University. 

After spending time at Harvard University as a researcher and professor in the mid-90s, he taught psychology at the University of Toronto (Canada). In 1999, Peterson published his first book, “Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief,” which became the foundation for many of his future lectures. This book delves into a variety of topics, such as religion, psychology, mythology, literature, and neuroscience. The goal of “Maps of Meaning,” is to examine the various belief systems. 

In a bout of controversy, Peterson released YouTube videos with the intent of criticizing the Parliament of Canada’s acceptance of the amended Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (Bill C-16) to prohibit “gender identity and expression” discrimination. The amendment passed in 2016. 

Peterson’s rationale against the bill was that using certain gender pronouns would be considered “forced speech,” which would encourage “political correctness” and “identity politics.” Peterson received widespread good and bad news coverage from both sides of the aisle (conservatives and liberals). 

Peterson’s “talks,” podcasts, and lectures have garnered millions of YouTube views. And, by 2018, he had taken a break from his clinical practice and teaching duties. After which, he published his second book, “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos,” which became a worldwide success. During this time, Peterson was deemed “the most influential public ‘intellectual’ in the Western world.”

During 2019-2020, Peterson’s work was impeded by benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome complications. However, in 2021, Peterson rebounded and published his third book, “Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life.” Afterward, he resigned from the University of Toronto and returned to podcasting on topics like “the dangers of porn addiction.”

Does Jordan Peterson Think Porn is Dangerous?

Yes, he does. 

Jordan Peterson believes that porn is a real problem. He also believes is a big problem in modern society. To Peterson, porn addiction is a curse because it is easily accessible, powerful, and destructive. According to Peterson, heterosexual males, who excessively use porn tend to lose interest in real-life, flesh-and-blood women. What does he think is the remedy to this dangerous adult pastime? Deprivation. 

Deprivation from porn refers to stopping your “heavy porn use.” Peterson suggests that deprivation can lead to a “re-sensitize” towards real-life, flesh-and-blood women in men, who are addicted to porn. Deprivation can also help repair porn’s destruction. Peterson also talks about how male porn addicts typically have a decreased interest in going out and meeting real-life, flesh-and-blood women. Peterson believes that “porn use” stunts the social development of males. 

These males use porn as an outlet. The problem is it also kills their natural sex drives, and when that dies, the only way they can get sexual satisfaction is with porn and/or masturbation. The individuals also lose their motivation to go out and meet people (in person). What does that mean? It means they lose out on possible opportunities to grow, develop, and explore life.

Peterson points to studies that show that when porn enters a community, sexual assaults, rapes, child sex abuse, etc., committed by males against females decline. However, the results are one-dimensional. Although “porn use” may cause a decline in sex crimes, it can do plenty of damage in other areas, such as sexual dysfunction (i.e., impotence, premature ejaculation (PE), erectile dysfunction (ED), poor sex drive, and/or performance anxiety), lost friendships, fractured romantic relationships, strained family dynamics, a loss of employment, debt, etc. 

So, while it is possible for porn to temporarily function as an “alternative” for certain criminal acts, eventually, these “porn users” could develop “urges” to act out their “fantasies.” So, what is Peterson’s advice? Do not replace reality with “fantasy,” because you will be disappointed. Also, do dismiss the benefits of deprivation when trying to combat porn addiction. Peterson believes that to have a life full of happiness, productivity, and adventure, you must practice deprivation when it comes to your “porn habit.” 

Deprivation can boost your sexual desire and your libido (sex drive). Perhaps, that is all you need to get back on track. So, approaching a real-life, flesh-and-blood woman, what should you do? Remove your porn triggers from your life. If you can do that, you will no longer experience the stress, anxiety, and sexual urges that prompt you to use porn (compulsion). So, ultimately, Peterson believes porn is dangerous because it is powerful enough to destroy your relationships and render you a shell of the person you used to be and could be in the future.

What is Porn Addiction?

Porn addiction is an involuntary urge to view porn. Porn addiction resembles obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in that the addict experiences non-stop, unwanted, repetitive urges to use porn (obsession). He or she then uses porn because of the intrusive urges (compulsion). Using porn helps ease the stress and anxiety triggering the urges to view porn. The cause of porn addiction varies from person to person; however, some factors appear to play a role in its development and progression. 

These factors include genetics, trauma, substance abuse or other addictions, childhood sexual abuse, past sexual assaults, exposure to sex and porn at an early age, boredom, emotional distress, mental illness, etc., Unfortunately, however, the respite is only temporary. Those urges will likely return once the “high” of viewing porn wears off. 

Porn addiction is a lonely addiction. Most porn addicts hide their behavior from other people for fear of being judged or shunned by others. Many porn addicts forgo porn addiction treatment out of shame and guilt. And, while porn addiction may seem like a harmless activity, it is not. It can destroy lives, which makes it extremely dangerous. Porn addicts are unable to stop watching porn – even if they want to. Porn addiction help is the only way to beat a “porn habit.”

Can a Man Who Is Addicted to Porn Regain His Natural Attraction to Flesh-and-Blood, Natural Women?

Yes, he can. 

According to Jordan Peterson, deprivation is extremely beneficial for porn addicts, who want to stop using porn. Peterson believes that “porn use” is popular because it is new, different, and exciting. It is a “fantasy.” And, because it is a niche activity, it will eventually lose its luster. Peterson calls “porn use” a quasi-addictive phenomenon. Porn is still relevant and popular in society because of its novelty, which has not worn off yet. 

Porn creators keep pushing the limits of porn with more extreme versions of it to keep it new, fresh, exciting, and enticing for its users. This keeps people, especially males, on the hook. This is where deprivation comes into play. Remember, deprivation means “withholding something,” which in this case is porn. In other words, staying away from porn. Is that necessary to kick a “porn habit?” Well, according to Peterson, it is. Some people think there is nothing wrong with using porn, but it is. 

Porn causes mistrust, feelings of betrayal, low self-esteem and self-confidence, unhealthy romantic relationships, etc. It changes you into a person you barely recognize. It makes you do things you normally would not do – i.e., lying. As I mentioned previously the only way to stop porn addiction in its tracks is to refrain from using it. Is Peterson suggesting you stop using porn cold turkey? No, he believes it should be gradual. But the goal should always be to re-sensitize yourself to natural females. It is possible and probably with effort. 

If you are less dependent on porn for relief and/or sexual thrills, you will be more likely to turn to females for those “sensations” and “experiences.” Keep in mind, however, that the only way you will truly be free of porn is to seek porn addiction treatment for it.

How is Porn Addiction Treated?

Porn addiction treatment typically involves a multi-treatment approach. For instance, it could consist of addiction counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), along with trauma counseling, individual counseling, family therapy, group therapy, grief counseling, and/or couples counseling. 

It may also entail hypnotherapy/hypnosis, mindfulness meditation, porn addiction research, journaling, acupuncture, yoga, books, apps, an online porn addiction recovery program, like Stop Together, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and/or medications, like SSRIs (antidepressants). 

Other ways to combat porn addiction are installing porn blockers on all of your devices, locking your electronic devices up in a locked box (and giving the key to someone you trust) at a certain time each day, moving your computer, laptop, smartphone, television into a public space, developing a consistent bedtime routine that does not involve porn, talking to someone you trust about your “porn use,” being honest with yourself, finding hobbies or busying yourself, developing healthy coping skills and mechanisms, going to porn addiction support groups, etc.

Does Jordan Peterson Have a Website?

Yes, he does! 

JordanPeterson.com offers valuable porn addiction information, along with a variety of porn addiction tools and resources. Some of these tools and resources include a mailing list, tour schedules, a list of his bestselling books for purchase, YouTube videos, podcasts, blogs, online exercises, courses, a shop, research journals, and ways to show support (i.e., donations).

Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Jordan Peterson?

Yes, there is.

Well, he is controversial, radical, and abrasive at times. He was also recently suspended from Twitter for his disparaging remarks on Elliot Page (formerly Ellen Page) and his anatomy, a transgender actor. Peterson refused to take down the tweet, instead, he doubled down on his remarks. 

And, in a rather dramatic fashion, Peterson unleashed a 14-minute rant on Instagram, dressed as Batman, stating that he would rather “die” than remove the tweet. When threatened with being “canceled” by society, Peterson rebelled against the “woke mob.” Because Peterson refused to take down the tweet, he remains off of Twitter. 

Jordan Peterson is also known for adopting an all-beef diet and for crying during interviews. Peterson also got into hot water with his tweets when he was critical of a curvy Sports Illustrated model. According to Peterson, the model was too “authoritarian-looking” and not at all attractive. He was blasted on Twitter for his remarks causing him to take a short-term break from the social media platform. 

Peterson also believes that women are marginalized and that Twitter and other social media platforms, like Facebook, routinely ignore violence and abuse on their platforms. According to Peterson, these social media platforms prioritize engagement above everything else. These things have been said for decades but did not get traction until Peterson brought them.

He is also a “free speech advocate,” who believes that people should be able to say what they want to say when they want to say it – with no repercussions. He does not like criticism and will lash out when people disagree with him. Peterson does not believe that “white privilege” exists. According to Peterson, everyone gets the same treatment, regardless of their upbringing, as a result, white people should not apologize for their “whiteness” or the benefits that come with being in the “majority.” 

Peterson also has a problem with liberalism (in the American sense). He is against “wokeness,” He does not agree with the “Left’s politics and laments that democrats have no boundaries. As far as religion is concerned, he does not believe a person should not be “forced” to pick a side – faith or atheism. This is an impossible choice because these terms, faith, and atheism, are vaguely defined. Peterson believes that God lives inside of everyone whether they believe it or not.

Peterson believes that “nuclear families” are more beneficial than single-parent homes that are missing a father. According to Peterson, when the father is missing from the home, it sets up a lot of problems, such as porn addiction, criminal behavior, substance abuse, etc. He does not believe that gay couples should raise children, rather the best-case scenario appears to be a home with a father, mother, and child or children. Because of this mentality, Peterson has become rather polarizing in the LGBTQ+ community. 

And, when it comes to the #MeToo Movement, Peterson questions why it has taken women so long to report sexual crimes. Peterson feels that if women were sexually assaulted, it should not take 15-20 years to report it. This caused a widespread condemnation of Peterson’s statements among female rape and sexual assault survivors.

What Does Jordan Peterson Think is the Best Way to Quit Porn?

According to Jordan Peterson, one of the best ways to quit porn is to become more aware of your thoughts and to write them down in a journal. Why is this important? Well, because it “forces” to put what you are thinking, feeling, and sensing, and why you feel that way. Instead of experiencing mental confusion, documenting your thoughts helps you center them in your mind, so you can evaluate and address them logically. It also helps you become more aware of your actions. 

When you can think logically, you are less likely to make foolish decisions, like using porn. This is important when it comes to “porn use.” Why? Because many porn addicts are not living like they would want to live. Thus, you need to envision a happy and productive life that does not include porn and you need a frightening vision of what could happen if you keep using porn. In other words, you need to be “scared straight,” according to Peterson. This is where writing down your thoughts, feelings, urges, experiences, and fears come into play. 

By writing these things down you can visualize two lives – one with porn and one without porn. The only way you can heal from porn addiction is to recognize the harm it is causing you – the negative consequences in your life. That is why a thought-out “story” or “picture” in your mind is essential for conquering your porn addiction. “What would your life look like in 10 years with porn?” “What would your life look like 10 years without porn?”

If you can articulate these ideas, it will be easier for you to understand how and why your “porn use” is negatively affecting your life. Perhaps, it is the embarrassment, guilt, or social isolation associated with porn addiction. Thus, Peterson believes that it is important to clean up your psyche and behavior, rather than just focusing on stopping your “porn use.”

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