Can it benefit my recovery?
Relationships and sexual activities are controversial in recovery from alcoholism, addiction and co-dependency. But there are benefits to sexual abstinence. These apply equally to heterosexual, gays and lesbian.
Sexual abstinence is a choice to refrain from sexual activity. This choice is usually made for a specific reason. The reason may be moral, religious, legal, or for health and safety.
It may only be short-term celibacy. It’s fine to go through periods of your life in which you choose to abstain – the decision to have sex is yours to make, each and every time.
Abstaining does not mean you are frigid or destined for life as a monk or a nun – it may just be a temporary decision. Taking some time out for your body, mind, and spirit.
You may just need some headspace without the emotions and complications of sex. Maybe you have exams or something else important that you need to concentrate on, so you can’t be up all night working through the Karma Sutra.
Everyone has a different definition of sexual abstinence. The most common meaning of sexual abstinence is not having sexual intercourse, vaginal or anal. Oral sex can be considered sexual activity and would therefore be included as an activity to stop if you make the decision to be abstinent.
Abstinence is common. Refraining from sexual intercourse, is a common practice all over the world. Women and men of all ages deliberately choose to abstain. Abstinence is a normal, common, and acceptable alternative to sexual intercourse.
Enjoy your sexuality. Abstinence doesn’t have to mean switching off your sex drive completely. In fact, with a little imagination, abstinence can be very sexy. Instead of rushing into the act, it will make the smaller gestures such as hand holding, massages, bathing together, kissing, and touching all the more sensual.
Possible Benefits of Sexual Abstinence
- Sexual abstinence in early recovery may prevent emotional roller coaster.
- Sexual abstinence in early recovery removes one of the risks for relapse.
- You may enjoy a clear conscience with your Higher Power.
- Avoid vulnerable situations if you have a tendency to act on emotional impulses.
- Peace of mind in your life and future relationships.
- Abstinence prevents pregnancy.
- More self-respect and more respect for each other and respected by other people.
- No worries about Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
- Less stress: Think about it. No sex also means no worrying about your performance in the sack, who sleeps in the wet patch, how you look naked (unless you are a naturist), whether they’re sleeping with someone else, whether you should sleep with someone else, whether to spit or swallow, screaming the wrong person’s name and carpet burns.
- Get a life: Time and energy usually spent having sex, thinking about sex, and trying to get sex can instead be spent on more interesting things.
Common reasons for practicing sexual abstinence include:
- poor health – medical celibacy
- psycho-sociological reasons (e.g., clinical depression, social anxiety disorder, increasing testosterone in males, or negative past experiences),
- legal injunctions requiring conformity.
- circumstantial reasons such as incarceration or geographical isolation.
- to focus on other matters – sublimation
- inability to find a suitable sexual partner – involuntary celibacy
- religious or philosophical reasons
- physically or emotionally unprepared (such as early recovery)
Have I left anything out?