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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
VINE VOICEon April 24, 2011
Originally posted on my [...] blog

The promise of Wired for Intimacy is that it can speak to the problems of pornography both from a Christian/theological/moral perspective and a neurological/psychological perspective. Some people are drawn more to one type of argument or the other. But I think it is important that there is an attempt at both sides. Without the theological, there is just a pragmatic science. Without the science, it is one person's theological system against another.

The first half of the book progresses from definition of pornography, to the social issues that occur because of pornography, to the neurological effects on the male brain from exposure to pornography. This is the heart of the book. The main issue identified neurologically is the potential for creating sexual triggers that are based more on pornography than a sexual partner. And the earlier a person is introduced to pornography the more likely that sexual response will become dependent on pornography and create sexual dysfunction when sexual response is desired with a human partner.

Sexual response for a male is more complicated than I would have imagined. There are a variety of chemical, hormonal, and other neurological responses that usually occur in the progression of arousal through to orgasm. But when pornography is used, several of the steps are skipped. When the brain becomes used to skipping steps, the ability for a man to have a fuller sexual response becomes limited. (There is a lot of neurological science in the book that I am skipping.)

For readers that are Christians I think that chapter 2 (Corruption of Intimacy) is important. But for readers that are non-Christian (as most of the negative reviews on Amazon indicate) there is a need for a discussion that is based in science but uses more abstracted moral argument that is not based solely in Christianity. Even counselors that are Christians and pastors could use assistance in helping people that may be starting at a different theological point. That being said, as a Christian, the fact that pornography inhibits the ability to hear the Holy Spirit I think is important (but that really only works if pornography is an addiction and the case has to be made scientifically that there is an addiction.)

The second section of the book is about how to move to `sanctification'. This section was useful as a starter, but really is just a start. I think the most useful parts of the second section are when the discussion talks about the difference between being a physically adult male and an emotionally adult man. There is a difference and many articles and books have been written about it, but this is a good summary of the difference but focused around how pornography can be involved in stunting the emotionally development of men.

I have heard many speakers talk about the dangers of pornography, but usually it is abstract moral discussion. The specifics of why pornography (especially when used by teens and young adults) can affect the long term sexual activity, even within a monogamous, otherwise healthy marriage relationship. I think that real and serious discussion of this material should be a part of every church youth group.

The biggest weakness of this book is how it focuses on men. That is an editorial decision and I think is fine. But I wanted much more discussion of the differences between male and female response. Instead, most of it was simply reduced to a description of the male response and then saying women are different, but no real discussion about why.
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on April 1, 2014
"Repeated exposure to any stimulus results in neurological circuit making. That is how we learn. But what does pornography teach and how does it change those who regularly consume it?" (p. 13)

This book is an exploration of the physical, neurobiological, and psychological effects of pornography on men in particular, written from a Christian perspective. The first half which is a heavy detailed discussion along these lines, and includes a large chapter that is pretty much "Brain Biology 101." It then widens out into broader areas of discussion as well: masculine identity, what it means to be an embodied soul, and the nature of true intimacy.

I found this book very helpful in stimulating fresh thought in these areas. I don't know much about psychology and neurobiology, and I found these aspects fascinating. While the whole book was useful, a couple of paragraphs stood out as extremely helpful:

""Pornography takes human sexuality out of its natural context - intimacy between two human beings - and makes it a product to be bought and sold. By debasing the human body and valuing it in the same way we would something from the local convenience store, pornography promotes a human being's sexuality as a product for consumption." (19)

As I come across suggestive women or images in my day to day life, I have often had this ringing in my mind: "Her sexuality is not a product to be consumed, for even a second. Not even if she is presenting it that way."

The other was this:

"Men share with women the same basic needs of humanity. The need for intimacy requires that we understand who we are and share that with those we long to be known by. As we become more intimate, the other speaks into us things about ourselves that we could not possibly know from the inside. We allow the one we are intimate with to discover us in ways we could not do on our own, and we do so with them. It is a process that develops and deepens over time. We know ourselves more fully because we are known more fully. The intimacy that we have with God and with others enables us to move along the journey toward either sanctification or depravity. Pornography corrupts the ability to be intimate." (43)

I had never thought about intimacy this way. Very enlightening.

I found this book to be a very helpful brick in the foundation of sexual purity. Of course this does not exhaust the spiritual and Biblical matters involved, but understanding the way our brains and minds work is an important step in realizing the harm, and understanding the solutions to this problem. God has created a full-orbed reality, with bodies and brains, as well as minds and souls. I recommend this as a good exploration of another side of God's multi-layered world.
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on December 16, 2014
I am almost finished with the book and the best part is about the effects of your brain when watching pornography. This author really knows what he is talking about and he makes sure to have plenty of references throughout the chapters. It is really interesting how he blends in faith with scientific evidence. It is blended so well to the point where it won't push away a non religious person that wants to learn about the way the male mind works dealing with sex and it won't push away the religious person.
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on April 3, 2014
Wired for Intimacy was a good book for the Christian reader who is battling the war against pornography. The author, who understands the complexities of the brain, explains what are damaging effects porn can have on the human soul. At times, the author's medical explanations are a little deep and detailed, but all in all it is a good book to consider and to be challenged by. I recommend it. Tim Hall
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on December 25, 2014
Good look at the scientific issues of how ellict images change your brain function. Good reinforcement to understand how your brain will change when breaking free from porn. Used Way of Purity as a study guide/commitment resource.
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on October 26, 2014
i bought this and gave it to my husbands pastor to give it to my husband but, he never gave it to him until such time i stopped going to that cultic church and until now, he still hasn't given it to him....
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on July 20, 2011
This book was a really excellent overview of physiological function (how the brain and body work) as it relates to pornography. It gets a little "sciencey" midway through, but if you are patient it will help in understanding the problems we face. We can change the way our brain is wired. His exhortation is that the choices we make form ruts in our brain that we easily fall into, sinful patterns or sanctified living - it becomes second nature. So whether they are healthy or unhealthy choices, it leads us down one path or another, toward sanctification or depravity. My personal exhortation is this: you need to do whatever it takes to break free. I'm just paraphrasing the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:27-30).

My main complaint is that in his practical approach there is almost no study of scripture within the book.
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on October 29, 2013
This is a must read.For any man who has struggled, is struggling or will struggle with pornography read this book.
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on October 14, 2014
Came quick and in good quality. I've only just begun reading but so far, it's very interesting.
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on July 16, 2013
Wired for Intimacy by William Struthers talks about how pornography hijacks the male brain. This book brings up a lot of topics about how porn takes the brain and changes the chemical makeup of it. A lot of men struggle with porn and it affects different areas of life. Struthers takes a different look at porn and sees how it affects the brain, not just social struggles. He also talks about how we can `re-wire' our brains to change how it works with viewing/thinking about porn. This is a Christian book, for Christian men and talks about how to use God in your struggle.

I recommend this book and I really liked it. I have read and reviewed a few other books on porn on my blog (Surfing for God and Hard Core). I also plan to read more in the future. So a lot of the topics introduced were not new to me. However it is nice to reread the information presented. The back of the book also has online resources to help break the addiction.

Get this book it was great!

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes by IVP Books. I was not required to post a positive review and the views expressed in this review are my own.
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