Back when I wrote my first book that included all of the reasons why abstinence is a good idea, I actually had sex with my then-boyfriend to "celebrate" the book's release. If there seems like there's some hypocrisy there, you'd be right. What was even more apparent was just how hooked onto sex I was...although I wasn't sure why at the time.
I'm not saying that's a bad thing. SEX IS AWESOME. Incomparably so. That said, the reason why I brought up my book in the first place is because there was a poem that I wrote that I featured in it. Its title? "Why Not the Prostitute?"
The gist? Why do so many people give prostitutes such a hard time when at least they seem to value their "stuff" (and their time) enough to get something out of the sexual situation? I mean, I've given my good stuff out to numerous dudes and had absolutely NO-THING — sometimes not even an orgasm — to show for it.
No, I'm not advocating prostitution. At the same time, what I am saying is that on January 9, 2007, literally right after having sex, something in me was like, "This just isn't working for me anymore." It wasn't the sex either. It was just that…it felt like I was not enjoying it so much as using it as a coping mechanism — a pacifier.
Hmph. Yeah, "pacifier" is the right word. When a baby is upset or even impatient, some parents will put a pacifier into their mouth and, at least for the time being, everything seems all good. Let that thing fall out though, and the child is back to being upset and impatient; maybe even more than they were before. The lesson here? Pacifiers don't really "fix" anything; they just distract you for a little while. Oftentimes, just like sex.
When I decided to give abstinence a try, just to see if I could find out why sex wasn't enough for me, I told myself I would do a year. On January 9, 2019, it will be a whopping (count 'em) 12 years!
And while I get that not everyone thinks abstinence is for them, at the same time, I do believe that if more of us tried it — even if it was just for a season — it would provide a greater sense of clarity as to what we truly want and need outside of the pleasure (and/or distraction) that sex alone provides. We'd be able to see if it might just be more of a "pacifier" than we might think.
How did I come to the conclusion that it was for me? Ironically, it was by paying attention to the steps I used to stop having sex in the first place:
I Continually Remind Myself of Why I Stopped.
I stayed in my last relationship much longer than I should have. I cared about him, but I wasn't in love. But between our friendship and the sex, I would ignore my gut that said, "You really need to end this thing."
You know what? When I look back on my sex life, in general, with most of those dudes, I ignored my gut and listened to my libido. I had this pattern of ending up with guys where — eh, 8.5 times out of 10 — the sex was outstanding but everything else was below average. Way below average.
I guess the best way to describe how I was feeling is a Maureen Dowd quote that I like a lot: "The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for."
I have girlfriends who just want sex and they're out. But when it comes to me, I wanted — needed — more than that. I felt that way back then. I still feel that way now. So on my super-horny days, I look at the tat on the inside of my right forearm (Matthew 13:45-46; my birthstone is a pearl so if you look it up, it'll make sense) and remind myself that I stopped because I want more than good sex. I want a solid — and super-lasting — connection.
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