Up until recently, the idea of abstinence has always given me a bad vibe.
From the abstinence contract drawn up by my sixth grade teacher that me and all of my peers were made to sign, to the endless “sex talks” with my parents to reinforce that God wanted me to choose abstinence (although He would actually prefer celibacy, but would forgive me if I waited to have sex with someone I could possibly marry)– the way abstinence was portrayed to me in the past always felt restrictive.
Not to mention, the idea of “the wait” is typically introduced to adolescents and young adults by parental figures, who have a tendency to neglect describing why it can actually be beneficial for you, aside from the fact that it’ll make a better case for you getting into heaven. The notion that we need to be pure for our partners or wait to give our spouses this precious gift wasn’t appealing at all. I wanted to know why am I sacrificing pleasure for someone I don’t even know yet? What if the person I’m waiting for won’t know how to please me? Will I even understand how to pleasure myself?
More recently, I’ve been meeting people who are choosing abstinence in their adulthood to focus on heightening their pleasure. And once I started researching, I found that women of all ages, whether they’re in a relationship or single, choose to take a break from sex to come back stronger and to make sure the sex they are having fulfills them physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
Celeste Little, a writer from New York City, recounts her experience with choosing to be abstinent as a woman who is sex-positive and a feminist: “I’ve always believed that I have the right to reject any advances and to dictate exactly what types of relationships I want to engage in. But, as a young woman who was often shy, confused or focused on being gentle with other people’s emotions, the reality of my dating life often fell short. Abstinence gave me an excuse to find and use my own voice again, something I should’ve been doing all along.”
Here’s how taking a sex break can help you ascend your sex life:
Figure Out What You Want From a Sexual Experience
No matter how casual or connected your romantic interactions are, you should should ask yourself, Am I getting what I want out of sex? Even if you’re achieving orgasms from your sexual encounters, you could still feel like something is missing afterwards.
Do you want to explore your pleasure with a partner? Do you want more intimacy?
Abstinence can give you the opportunity to step back and reflect on your sex life to pinpoint what you’ve been accepting and what you need more of. This process can also help you set boundaries to limit your sexual partners who will always consider your needs and your pleasure (A.K.A. the cream of the crop).
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Get Your Sexual Health On Track
If you’re consistently experiencing irritation, yeast infections, or STI’s while you’re sexually active, you might be bypassing some important details about your sexual experiences. Your body may be indicating that the way you’re having sex isn’t the healthiest.
Make sure you know if you’re allergic to certain materials or chemicals that are commonly used in condoms and sex toys. You and our partner should also be getting tested for STDs and STIs regularly.
Abstaining from sex for a period of time will allow you the time and space to do your research, visit your healthcare provider and determine the best way to engage in sex while still prioritizing our sexual health.
Forget Getting Physical, Get Sensual
Have you ever had one of your senses is lost, the others are heightened? In the same way, removing the physical act of sexual intercourse from your sex life can give you an opportunity to strengthen other aspects of your connection with a partner. You can then focus on going deeper in the relationship by building emotional intimacy. You can even explore each other sensually through foreplay (which isn’t off the table if you don’t want it to be) and even cuddling.
Asking yourself, Is the sex I’m having truly fulfilling me? Is the first step to having a quality intimate life. Taking a step back to reflect and become more acquainted with yourself and your partner might end up being the best thing that happens to your sex life.
Featured photo: Pexels/Klaus Nielsen
Kymberly Deane is a writer, content creator, and storyteller based in Brooklyn, New York. Her passion for continual self-improvement and exploring new things has led her to become a health and wellness zealot, with a particular love for sexual health and wellness. She uses her writing to share the gems she discovers throughout her journey.