I recently read a few books on the subject of sexual purity. Most of them were directed specifically toward men, though one was written to both sexes. The latter correctly recognized that many women deal with lust as well, albeit they typically experience it in different ways than men do. Of these books, my favorite is Pure Eyes. All of the books acknowledge the difficulty a large percentage of men have with lust in general, and pornography in particular. They recognize the fact that many men (Christian men in particular) have sincerely wanted to and have tried to improve in this area, only to fail over and over again. The lesson is that will power alone isn’t enough to overcome this battle.
Of all the books, I feel that Pure Eyes does the best job of helping guys who are struggling in this area. The book focuses very clearly on exact steps to take to overcome sexual addiction. (It focuses specifically on pornography, though I believe all the principles would apply to sexual addiction in general. This is in part because the definition they suggest for pornography is anything which personally stimulates a man sexually outside of his marriage.) The book clearly states that a man must be committed to the process, else he will fail again. Though I’m not certain, I get the impression that much of the approach is similar to 12-step recovery programs such as AA.
There are a couple of key steps to breaking the cycle which are addressed in Pure Eyes. The book explains that the brain remembers which things have led to a “high” (good feeling due to certain chemical releases in the brain). These experiences actually “rewire” the brain to engage in the activity which leads to the high. Once triggered, a person’s brain gets stuck on a path to act in this same manner again. So the first key step to overcoming addictions is to reduce triggers as much as possible. The second step involves redirecting activity once triggered. For the latter part especially, accountability is a key component. Also, the book talks about the need to focus on something positive, in terms of a bigger picture purpose for one’s life.
In summary, I’d definitely recommend this book to any guy who is seeking to overcome sexual temptation. (Also note: there is a book published by the same organization specifically for women entitled “Pure Heart“.)