“Street lust” means being particularly aware of attractive women (substitute men if that that is your sexual template) – driving, walking, in the grocery store, etc…..and taking a real good look. This is a tough habit for most – and often the last to go. I want to share what has worked for me.
Whenever I would happen across a woman that was particularly attractive, I tried to say a quick prayer for her and see if that allowed the moment to pass. However, if I noticed that I had a shift in feeling that lingered for more than a minute or two, I would call a recovering friend to make a surrender. At first I was calling a lot!!! I am not one who is typically excited about making calls frankly, even though I am always glad when I do. Eventually, It wasn’t worth taking the look in the first place in order to avoid making so many calls.
Now, as my peripheral vision sees a potentially triggering woman, rather than go through the little ritual of checking to confirm or disconfirm my suspicion, I will instead look elsewhere and experience that momentary off-balance feeling of wondering what I am missing. It further helps cement the deal by my orienting my body in a different direction altogether. If I happen to directly (vs peripherally) see a woman who is triggering, I allow my eyes to “bounce off” her. In denying myself in this way, my brain started to believe thatI had all I needed with God; that He would take care of all my needs. I felt more and more like I was walking with Him in my everyday life and public experience. Now, if needed at all, it is easy to glance farther away or let my eyes “bounce off” from potentially triggering women and simply feel peace.
At present this kind of consciousness in having a need to look away rarely happens at all and only in particularly triggering situations. Instead I find myself looking back on interactions and realizing I am experiencing old bald dudes and pretty young women in largely the same way…people with varying emotions and experiences and personalities that I interact with. For the single person, this is particularly useful, because you can better discern what it is you really want in a partner apart from a baseline attraction. The single guy sometimes decides themselves into not surrendering a tendency to scan the streets etc because they are single and looking. That is not true. They are better off slowing down or stopping the street lust so they can find balance and peace with God.
A significant portion of this change occurred by my practicing another level of surrender I would like to write about later after this has been practiced for a while.