Book Review – “Wired for Intimacy” by William Struthers

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Jason brought home this book sometime late last year and told me he thought it was a decent read.  I decided I’d give it a shot even though I was still trying to steer clear of anything mildly triggering.  I had just finished Your Sexually Addicted Spouse and was able to keep myself grounded – so I decided to dig in.

I just flipped back through the book and oh how I wish I had written this review shortly after finishing it.  I almost decided to not write the book review – however, I feel like this book is an important one for any wife that finds themselves married to a husband with a sexual addiction or sexual integrity issue.



So, I’m pressing on and writing the review.  Here we go…

Name of the book:  Wired for Intimacy.  How pornography hijacks the male brain.  By William M. Struthers.

Trigger level:  Low.  Of the books that I’ve reviewed on the website, this is one of the books with a lower overall trigger level.  (You can read a little bit more as to why I include the trigger level here.)

What I liked about this book:

  • The author’s no non-sense stance on pornography.  Here are a couple of quotes:  “Pornography is the consumption of sexual poison that becomes part of the fabric of the mind.”, “Pornography takes human sexuality out of its natural context – intimacy between two human beings – and makes it a product to be bought and sold.”, “I view pornography as an institutional evil that preys on the disaffected, wounded and desperate members of society.”
  • I loved the author’s explanation of what happens neurochemically when the male brain is exposed to pornography.  He likens the neurochemical release of dopamine with a sex addiction to the release of dopamine with heroin or cocaine use.
  • After explaining in great detail how pornography hijacks the brain, he then spends the latter half of the book discussing what it looks like, as a man, to have his needs met through intimate relationship with God and others.  This is more of a vision-casting, in a sense.  He also discusses his concern with placing too much of an emphasis on sexual intercourse.  He says it shouldn’t be “elevated” to a “holy of holies” but rather used as a “means by which a husband and wife can share the journey of sanctification together…and also the means by which God can give the blessing of children.”

What I didn’t like about this book:

  • Practically nothing.  This book was incredibly affirming as to the damaging effects of pornography use.
  • The second half of the book (the book is split into two sections) wasn’t as insightful to me – primarily because he spends a lot of time talking about masculinity in general.  So, if you are pressed for time – just read section I of the book.


Additional Thoughts:

  • I wanted to end this book review with my favorite passage from the book:  “Men share with women the same basic needs of humanity.  The need for intimacy, to be known and to know, to be close, affirmed, loved; all are human needs.  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.”  What a beautiful description of what is potentially awaiting each of us that has been robbed by a sexual addiction.

Have you read this book?  And if so, what are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear.  xo-Shelley


2 thoughts on “Book Review – “Wired for Intimacy” by William Struthers

  1. caroline

    November 1, 2015  |  07:54 am

    Oh Shelley, this is THE book.

    I first saw a tiny advertisement for this book in the back of a World magazine and was mesmerized by that title. I had been told by everyone (christian authors, pastors, my mother, etc) that men were just ultra-visual horny animals and God made them that way it was just the ladies that needed/wanted a soul connection.

    That never set right with me, so the title of Suthers book was like a lightning bolt, I immediately wanted it.

    But…it was several years before full disclosure, and with zero faith left in my intuition, I told myself I had no right to get it. I reasoned it would discourage and insult my husband who didn’t have a problem anymore, it would be a cruel, disloyal, un-supportive, bad-wife thing to do…

    So I tore out the edge of the page with the ad and tucked it into my underwear drawer. Over the next few years on really difficult days I would pull it out and unfold the tattered page and read that subtitle again and again:
    “How pornography hijacks the male brain” …hijacks…hijacks…hijacks

    When the crap hit the fan it was the first book I bought and I read through in one night and gave it to hubs. So sorry I hadn’t bought it right away.

    If there was such a thing as a golden key or an overnight turn around for my husband this was it!

    He had already been living porn free for well over a year, but by using avoidance and mental tricks that would not have lasted. Having someone explain WHY it was so hard to give up (a chemical addiction) validated his struggle, but at the same time it gave hope. He learned that each time he chose right behaviors, he was cutting new pathways in the brain, and therefore actually making it easier to choose right again next time.

    The spiritual insights (the manly stuff) gave the encouragement to want to move forward even through hard times, and the practical advice in the back was great ( In one place Struthers talks abut helping a man walk backwards from a relapse to see exactly where his will actually gave into the habitual sin…it was long before he clicked the porn)

    Cant speak highly enough of this one. I’ve given out it as a wedding gift, Christmas gift, and birthday gift. I even gave and discussed it with three single Christian men in a church parking lot…all together…whew…that was a holy spirit moment for sure!

    If I had enough money I’d send one to every pastor in America.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      November 16, 2015  |  10:29 pm

      Caroline! Thank you for your words here. It adds a depth to the book review that I wasn’t able to bring and I hope that everyone that reads the book review will read your comment, too! xo-Shelley

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