When it comes to intercourse: there are some people who have rules and some people who have no rules. On the other hand, there are some people have no sex – at all – by choice.
There are some pros to waiting to have sex.
“Potential partners have the opportunity to explore different types of intimacy; which is important if seeking a long term relationship,” says Noni Ayana, a Bay Area licensed marriage and family therapist, and certified sex addiction therapist. “Partners need to know how not to depend on sex to achieve closeness.”
Though, are downsides as well.
Adds certified counselor and relationship expert David Bennett, “Sexual compatibility is important, and waiting until marriage means you're pretty much stuck if you find out you aren't sexually compatible. A lack of sexual excitement in marriage leads to stress, anger, and often cheating and divorce. Also, many couples that vow to abstain get married too quickly and too young, simply as a way to have sex – even if they won't admit it. This scenario is far more likely to result in divorce.”
Whether it’s for religion reasons, relationship building, or personal growth, these individuals have abstained from hanky-panky – with no regrets. Here they share why they opted to keep it in their pants.
Religion: Kenya, choosing to abstain from sex until marriage at 35.
“The No. 1 reason I choose to do so is because I am a Christian that believes sex should be reserved for marriage. Not only that, I have learned just how much sex clouds your judgment. I have seen countless women and men get into relationships with people, have sex early, and even though they know this person is extremely bad for them, they, for some reason, believe that the person will change and they can change them. Sex is extremely emotional. When it’s good, it makes you feel things that are not necessarily real. You feel that you are in love with the person and that they are in love with you, but initially they are just in love with how they made you feel during sex.”
Self-improvement: Chris, took a break while dating in his 30s.
“In my early thirties, I was abstinent by choice for a number of years following a divorce and a pattern of brief, intense, and unrewarding relationships, hook-ups and flings. What I really wanted was a long-term, committed relationship, and I was just settling for a warm body, no matter how insane or incompatible. The reality was that I had never learned how to date. I was jumping into bed with just about anybody and found myself feeling attached to them. In reality, I did not even know and, often, didn't even like them. I had to do was stay out of any romantic relationships for about a year, and then begin dating, taking things very slowly. I went on many first dates, some second or third, and a few fourth or fifth outings. I never got into bed with any of them. I have now been married for 15 years to my wife and best friend. We were engaged for about a year. Although we had some ‘heavy petting’, we did not have intercourse until about two weeks before we got married.”
Relationship Building: Blair, celibate for engagement in her 20s.
“Like most young couples, we ‘did it all’ when we were dating. When we got engaged, my now-husband Ryan suggested we become celibate until our marriage, as a way of making sure that we were best friends as well as lovers. The following 14 months were difficult, to say the least, but were actually profoundly romantic, as we found other ways to express our love. We were in our early 20s, and admittedly, the physical aspect of our relationship was very important. Having to ‘do without’ tested our willpower, and, at times, our sense of ‘couplehood.’ For Ryan and me, the ‘closed door’ gave us time for conversation, and for contemplation of who the other really was, what they cherished, what they feared. We became best friends. We found ways to stay connected physically that were not sexual; which we’ve drawn upon during the inevitable periods in our marriage where, due to injury, pregnancy and the exhaustion that babies bring, [when] sex was not happening. And now, after two kids and more than a decade of marriage, we still draw upon the deep well of friendship that we experienced during that time.”
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