sex

'I've said no to sex for two years. Here's why.'

I used to think about sex a lot

What it would feel like, who I would be doing it with and when exactly it would happen. I thought about the sheets – or the floor – I'd 'lose' it on and the noises I'd make (naturally or not). I wanted something perfect, but simple. A first time that I could tell my friends about without it seeming too attached or serious – because God forbid sex sounded like something that mattered to me. 

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I had so many ideas about sex and about what should absolutely happen, that when it actually did happen, the moment became so blurry I found it hard to recount to others. 

He was experienced and older, but still just as awkward as me. He didn't do what my friends said he would and there was no fantasy. No romance. It was just a bad experience. That's it. 

Back then, I didn't really know all I know about sex now – that it can be awkward, rushed, and complicated. And that as good and fulfilling as sex definitely could be, it can also leave you feeling a little... incomplete.

I moved on quickly. There were other partners, some that were memorable and others that certainly were not. 

Now, I am not particularly religious – I don't have any egregious beliefs about womanhood or the female body. But there came a moment, somewhere in between 21 and 22, where I realised I didn't actually want sex. I wanted a good story to tell my friends and to feel like I wasn't missing out on the fun everyone else around me seemed to be having.

I was sick of being written off half the time as some obnoxious feminist for demanding to have my needs met too. I didn't enjoy hook-up culture the way others did. I didn't feel similar to my friends at all or share any of the same sentiments about casual sex. 

I felt bad for not enjoying sex like others, and I felt even worse for resenting men overall when male partners were unsatisfying. There were some questions as to whether I was doing something wrong from those around me, so I asked my sex partners. They said no. I asked again. One admitted I didn't seem that into it. Another told me he felt insecure because my responses felt fake... And they were right. 

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So, in hindsight, I suppose my decision to become abstinent was quick. I deleted dating apps, unfollowed, blocked and unfriended a number of people from my social media profiles and let booty calls (cringe) go unanswered.

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It's now been almost two years since I last had sex, and I have never felt this much peace. 

I know so many sexually active people, and while I initially believed they would find me boring for not being able to go toe to toe with them over crazy sex stories, I've yet to find that to be the case. 

I'll admit, it's a weird feeling to be this young and to not take part in a practice that is so normalised in our society. I've had people ask if I feel weird for not wanting sex, if I am a born-again Christian, or if the reason I don't do the deed has to do with insecurities over my size, or the way I look. 

None of it bothers me anymore. 

Because in all honesty, abstinence in 2022 is pretty f**king great. Of course, I'll clarify that I have plenty of regrets in my life – but being abstinent isn't one of them.

Nowadays, I feel guilty when I don't invest enough time into my platonic relationships, or if I let my work fall to the wayside for a little too long. But there are no more bad feelings over not getting a text back from a guy I slept with the night before, or that sick feeling of regret after partaking in sexual activities.

So, if you're wondering what's changed for me, I'd say my dating life has. I don't focus on sexual chemistry so much anymore because when I date people; I make it clear that's not as important to me. There's no underlying sexual tension, because sex isn't my 'endgame' anymore. 

The only 'negative' is wondering if I could ever be 'good' in bed again (but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it). 

I think a lot of me is still a sexual person; I may not partake in casual sex but if I liked someone enough, I'd happily break my dry spell without a second thought. For now though, I'm happy not hooking up with other people. 

If you yourself are stuck in a loop of disheartening sexual encounters that leave you a little worse off in the end, write about how causal sex makes you feel and then decide if those feelings are good. 

If they're not, perhaps try abstinence and see how it goes. Who knows? You might even enjoy it.

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