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Sexual Abstinence

Definition of Sexual Abstinence

Sexual abstinence can mean different things to different people. For some, it is the decision not to have sexual intercourse (penetration of one body by another). For others, it is closer to celibacy in that a decision is made to withdraw from all sexual activity.

The motivation for these decisions varies from spiritual claims to health and risk reduction around sexually transmitted disease.

However, sexual abstinence as a concept can be controversial.

We see this controversy in the phrase itself. What does ‘sexual’ mean in practical terms? What are you abstaining from? Intercourse? Does that mean Outercourse is acceptable? Is kissing forbidden in true sexual abstinence? Is meaningful flirting online permitted when practicing sexual abstinence?

It is this grey area that tells us abstaining from sex is a personal practice. For those of us considering it, we have to think more about why than how.

Why we might abstain from sex is a very important question. It is this question that guides our search for an appropriate teacher or model for our practice. Choosing a role model is more difficult than we think.

 

How To Find a Good Guide for Sexual Abstinence

Finding the right way to approach this practice can be tricky.

As we stated above, get yourself informed about your reasons before you do anything else. Don’t underestimate this step. Particularly if you are going to abstain for spiritual reasons.

If you haven’t chosen this yourself, and you are simply going along with what your church elders, friends or teachers are telling you, your project is likely to fail. That means, when tested, you won’t pass. This will place you in a self esteem battle with yourself laced with shame and guilt.

Educate yourself first. Then create an abstinence plan.

 

Abstinence for Health

If you want to abstain for health reasons, examine time frames, and look at how you communicate this to a current or future partner.

Take a good look at what disease you are avoiding and how it is transmitted.

If you are fearful of transmitting a disease, contact a sexual health clinic to discover how to deal with the disease.

Many diseases are transmitted through oral sex and kissing also, so get informed and take control of your sexual health by getting to the bottom of these problems.

 

Spiritual Benefits of Sexual Abstinence

If you are considering sexual abstinence for spiritual reasons, again, you have to ask yourself what your purpose is.

The conversation around the spiritual benefits of abstinence does not need to carry negative connotations. Often sexual abstinence is mistaken for a refusal of lust. If sexual abstinence is tangled up with sexual refusal, it can be easy to tumble into an ocean of guilt and shame.

Sexual abstinence does not have to be about shame or self-denial. It can be a tool to enhance psychic and spiritual breakthrough. It can also be a way of getting closer to your sexual self.

Read more about Spiritual Abstinence.

 

Abstinence for Spirit

Abstinence can help you refocus on a creative activity.

Taking your sexual energy and moving it away from lust and into a creative project such as building something, designing something, writing something or learning something is another way to use abstinence in a positive way.

Channeling sexual energy into creativity can produce exciting results in short term creative projects. Want to write a novella? A piece of music? Design and decorate a room? Design a house?

Abstaining from sex can be a conscious decision made in order to direct immersion in a project. You can choose to devote seven days to create the first draft of a major work and use sexual abstinence as part of a spiritual engagement with that project.

 

Sexual Abstinence for Couples

Sexual abstinence can be a thing that a couple does together. It can be a ritual used when during a grieving period after a death or an initial connection after a divorce.

It can be a way of establishing a reset while performing other cleansing rituals such as a diet or a house decluttering.

It can be part of a cognitive ritual a couple performs to mark a transition from one state through to another. Sort of the same way as the honeymoon is a ritual of the beginning of the sexual journey together.

 

Unchosen Abstinence

Sometimes sexual abstinence finds you without you choosing it. When you have a low sex drive, or when under extreme stress or find yourself out of a sexual relationship before you’ve entered another one. By making a clear decision to use the time to engage in sexual abstinence you feel less tossed about by the world events. You ‘go with the flow’ rather than resist.

Sexual abstinence, when embraced, can be a very positive experience. Your quest, if this has happened to you, is to make it your choice by taking control of it, rather than feeling a victim of your circumstance.

Final Thoughts

Sexual Abstinence when practiced deliberately can, strangely, become part of a vibrant sex life.

You may be practicing abstinence without knowing. You may be avoiding sex out of fear. You may be abstaining because you feel anything else is wrong.

By choosing abstinence deliberately, defining it for yourself, and deciding what path you will take as you practice, you take sexual abstinence and you define it in your own way.

It becomes just another of life’s joyful and enriching sexual experiences.

 

 

Further reading:

Health Line

Planned Parenthood

Medical News Today

Journal of Sexual Medicine

Psychology Today

Transforming sexual energy into creative energy

Alchemize Sexual Energy

An Islamic Perspective on Abstinence

A Jewish Perspective on Abstinence

A Hindu Perspective on Abstinence

A Christian Perspective on Abstinence

 

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