The Eroticism of Abstinence

Published on Author GG RayLeave a comment


Once considered something sacred to share with the person you love, sex has become a commodity in our culture to be dealt and traded upon in the media and in our own personal lives. The emerging equality between the sexes in the past 30 years has made its impact from the bedroom to the boardroom and everywhere in between. While it cannot be disputed that equality between men and women is a good thing, being treated as equals in a male world has meant that in order to compete in a male world, women have had to adopt many previously “male” behaviors in order to be considered on par.

One such philosophy that has evolved (or some might say devolved) is an equivalent ethic of casual sex that was once seen as the “male” perspective of relationship conquests. Bragging of weekend sexual conquests has made its way out of the male locker room into the weekly brunch conversation of single women everywhere. By adopting this attitude, however, we must ask if something has been lost in our haste to correlate the notches on our belts with the power in our pockets.

Certainly, a lot of good has come out of the female sexual revolution of the past couple of decades. Women are, in theory, getting more of what they want in bed. They are less afraid of social mores that pose them on a virgin/whore axis in favor of instead concentrating on what it is that they want, which is a little more of the nasty a little more often. In our rush to get off, however, all of us, men and women, might be missing out on some of the great things that went along with putting it off a bit.

When I say that we should consider the eroticism of abstinence, I do not necessarily mean the catholic kind of abstinence that is life long and, well, if you ask this ungodly lady, unnatural. One of the great gifts of being human is our ability to savor and enjoy all of the weird and wonderful ways we have come up with for getting off. Well, so what am I getting at here? I am talking about using another human gift, self-control, to enrich the experience of sex.

A couple of things have suffered in human interactions with the increased human ability to find, experience and consume boundless amounts of sex: it has turned into consumption, not savoring. If you cook a really, really good meal once a month, you savor it and enjoy it. If you have a personal chef for every meal, you become desensitized to the quality and you start to take it for granted. But part of cooking a great meal is the preparation, the anticipation, and the ability to share it with someone else who appreciates it. That aspect of sex has been lost.

When you are out on the town, and you meet someone who is unbelievably hot, you spend the time trying to get to know how you can manage to get them back to your pad so that you can consume them. You have the incredible enjoyment of spending one, maybe two evenings on pins and needles, trying to figure out if they feel the same way as you, if they are as hot as you are and then at some point in the evening, you just cross your fingers and go for it. And then you fuck and maybe it’s good and maybe it’s bad, and maybe you’ll hear from them again, and maybe you won’t, and maybe you don’t care either way because it was the chase that was the fun part. But what if you could prolong the chase? What if you could prolong those few hours of sexual tension that led up to you feeling like you were just going to burst?

This might seem absurd at first. Didn’t we spend most of our teens longing and pining and jacking off, dreaming of the day that we will be able to touch real live hotties and not have to worry about taking care of our own business? What about that longing, though? It was painful ecstasy, but, man was it ever real. When is the last time you felt that pang in the pit of your stomach, and in the bulge of your pants, knowing that she was just too good to be true? That if you wanted her, you would have to some up with some grand John Hughs-esque scheme to get her?

Let’s consider for a moment if sexual equality had been figured in another way: that the romantic love sexual ideal that has supposedly been the arena of women’s longings since chivalry and romantic love was thrust upon us in the Middle Ages. Well, taken too far, none of us would then be having sex, ever. And that wouldn’t be romantic. But what if instead we had a balance of male/female ideals: a little romance and anticipation and a lot of good sex where we both know what we want and ask for it. I know, it’s ideal, but don’t run away casting aspersions of rose-colored glasses just yet.

I realize that it is safer to just quickly have sex before either party figures out what is wrong with the other. But we haven’t really been giving ourselves much time to figure out what is right with them in the first place. Instead we quickly get rid of them before they can tell us what is wrong (or right) with us in the sack. How can we know what is right in bed before we know a little bit about each other? And how can it not be better if we do?

What I propose is that, just once, instead of bedding that next girl that really gives you that feeling in the pit of your stomach, savor the yearning. Savor it and let it build. Do you remember how exciting your first time was? How you were literally exploding with all of the energy of universe? Why can’t that be every time? Or at least every first few times with a new girl? Of course, there can be an argument made for quantity–every now and again, someone will do something new and surprising—but there is also an argument to be made for quality.

Think of it as a kinky experiment, and tell the girl that this is your goal: to hold off on sex (but not on touching, making out, talking dirty, or even dry humping) until the two of you can’t even be in the same room as each other with out both having to cover the wet spot on the seats when you leave. And then lap up every delicious bit of it and see how long you can keep it going. Ideal, but not impossible.

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