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I Chose Abstinence When I No Longer Felt Fulfilled By Casual Sex

These days, many situationships begin and end in sex, with a little false hope of commitment in between.

Sex

When anyone asks me to describe the dating scene today the first thought that comes to mind is Drake's "Doing it Wrong" lyrics, "We live in a generation of, not being in love, and not being together." Even previously while in relationships, something always felt temporary and inorganic and there was never much certainty of a title or status. I couldn't recall the last time I was involved with someone and felt total fulfillment from anything in the situation other than sex. Many situationships these days begin and end in sex, and maybe a little false hope of commitment in between.

Those were the men I referred to as my "something to do" boo because the peak of the productivity between us occurred only during a spontaneous Netflix and Chill night, thereby designating them as something to do when there's nothing to do. Of course, there was the usual night out to eat here and there, and maybe a movie, but never anything that knocked me off my feet and gave me an experience that was remarkably unique. I think sex played a heavy role in the lack of effort. Was this what I preferred? Absolutely not.

By nature, humans desire love and companionship, no matter how much they try to deny it. I'd take a romantic walk in the park with my partner any day over a random night of sexcapades.

It was one Sunday morning that I woke up and realized there was some truth to a tweet I recently came across which read, "Women can eliminate weak men in a single generation by simply refusing to sleep with them."


After some heavy reflection and contemplation, I decided that it's best to hold back on sex until I'm in a fulfilling committed relationship. Normally, women choose to practice abstinence until they're married, but I knew my limitations and wanted to set a realistic goal for myself. I believe that for any woman seeking to settle down and be in a committed relationship with someone, they might also want to consider eliminating sex until then.

Here are the ways you can approach and practice abstinence while dating:

Stay Booked and Busy

This is a perfect time to pick up a new hobby or dive into some desired past times. Focusing on a new venture will keep your attention and schedule occupied, whereby leaving less idle time for thoughts of sex. You'll find that engaging in activities that keep you happy and busy proves to be rejuvenating and makes abstaining from sex much more possible.

Once I began shifting more of my energy into my writing, reading, and entrepreneurial tasks, there was very little brain capacity left to even consider sex.

Featured image by Shutterstock

When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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