Would you give up sex? Could you?
My best friend has decided that she will no longer have sex. Not forever, just until she meets the man she is going to marry.
Rachel* just turned 32 and is currently single. After numerous one night stands and a few boyfriends, she has chosen to use abstinence for protection.
Not just protection against STIs or babies, but protection from herself.
Over the past six months Rachel has been dating a few guys on Tinder. She enforced this ban only a couple of months ago.
She has never felt better about men and believes the difference in her mental state after giving up sex with these guys is incredible.
She no longer spends hours pining over these men, wondering if they’ll ever call back. Her confidence, self-love and worth are at an all-time high.
These days, Rachel dates a little differently.
After they wine and dine, she now chooses to go home separately. If they’re lucky, or in her words, “special” — they may get a little kiss.
I know myself and my girlfriends would agree when we’ve had one night stands in the past or meaningless sex, the next day we’ve felt deflated, used and insecure.
Men, from experience, on the other hand find it much easier to detach themselves.
I recently read an article that supported this — Anne Campbell, a psychologist from Durham University, surveyed more than 3,300 people between the ages of 17 and 40.
When male and females were asked about their experiences and feelings after one-night stands, 80 per cent of men had overall positive feelings about it and were OK with them.
I don’t mean to suggest that men don’t get emotionally beaten up by their actions as teens and I’m sure there are plenty of guys who have had horrible teen years on the end of rejection and heartbreak.
Perhaps the remaining 20 per cent of men had the same feelings as the 46 per cent of women who felt it was a shameful experience.
This 46 per cent of women said they felt “regret at being used.”
They said things like: “I felt cheap”, “horrified afterwards”, and “I felt degraded. Made myself look cheap and easy. Total regret.”
Rachel informed me that all these feelings had vanished for her and she felt happy and secure within herself since giving up sex.
For years, she and I had both lacked self-confidence and worth.
Recently, as we chatted over a few wines, a light bulb went off. Perhaps we had created this in our teenage years. We had, at such a young age, locked ourselves into a vicious cycle.