Take the cliched (and flawed) analogy of someone steering a boat. Over time at the helm you become more and more used to the waves and winds and so forth; they can be just as powerful as before, but you have become lithe in steering the helm, assured, having been learned by now in the degrees of turning the helm in proportion to the effects such degrees of turn make in the movement of the boat (Hey, just a little nudge does so much! And sometimes much more violence is required at the helm). Whereas before it felt like any wave might take the boat down, now you are confident in your self-control; you start to breathe some of the air of the freedom that this self-control has brought.
But you have no doubt that you still need to keep steering. And one of the fruits, again, of this victory, is that this steering, this self-control, this custody, no longer seems to feel like you're just making things worse. No more the magical morons telling you that in steering away from a storm you were brewing a storm. In other words, it starts to bear fruit - and the air of perseverance removes the sense that you're both the prisoner and the jailer. You might say there is something enjoyable about it - because it is self-possession. Moreover, wonder of wonders, you focus on yourself less! You can happily "distract" yourself with being. How strange is that? This is a fruit of the victory. The victory, ultimately, is Christ's, which has already been won. We must bear its fruits in this world, and in order to do that, we must be assuredly grafted into the Vine, which is baptism into His death. Yep, you are just a branch. (Has Christopher West taken the image of the branch being grafted into the Vine and made it into an image of coitus? Wouldn't be surprised.)
And now that that special redemptive fruit has begun to be born - in that horrible and wonderful death to your self which Christ initiated and which was beyond your own power to effect (how strange that dying to ourselves is beyond our own power! Thanks be to Christ!) - shall we now cut down the tree? After all, it would mean we would no longer have to go about that negative business of always pruning it.
For in Christopher West Land, gaining self-control means you no longer need to steer the helm at all. Indeed, he says you then unfasten it and throw it into the waters. That's precisely what he is saying when he says that custody of the eyes is just an initial negative step after which some time of "purification" one can look with the "pure gaze of love", and that by not throwing the helm into the waters you are just blaming the lust in your heart on others, and that by not throwing the helm into the waters you are not really a believer in the "already" aspect of redemption in this world. In West World, you've weathered the storms and have been purified by them in that self-perpetuated, impure Fight Club sort of way. So go ahead, let the boat ride right into that other storm over there. You're like Jesus sleeping in the boat while all the disciples overreact in their Manichean prudishness towards sexuality.
And just as the storm is about to take the boat down, you will be able to stand up and say, "Be calm!" and the flesh and the world and the demons will obey.
Good luck with that.
What if you were averting your eyes when you were not lusting or aroused? You were just simply averting your eyes and were quite happy? In the cultish Westian sex-programming, this is a big no-no. In the cultish Westian sex-programming, you are told that in averting the eyes you are doing so because you are experiencing the first pangs of lust (which has no corresponding object in reality but is completely focalized within you) which you are then curtailing by averting the eyes, which has the effect of making the lust (which has no corresponding object in reality) worse, and that whenever you avert the eyes this is always the instance, and thus, if there is no lustful pangs you must look, with the "pure gaze of love", otherwise you are denying the "already" aspect of redemption in this world. This is enslaving people to the hellish eternity of either "looking" or "not looking", and simply being goes completely overboard - yes, overboard with the helm.