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Abstinence: No Sex, New You?

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Pretty Black Young Woman Ponytail
Not every woman wants to admit she’s not getting any. At a recent outing with my girlfriends, we wound up talking about just how little sex we were having and how badly we were in need of some action. There we were, four beautiful, sexy women sitting together and not one of us was getting any on the regular. In fact, most of us had been without sex for weeks; for me it had been months. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had sex in the past year. I guess you could say I’ve been abstinent.

We each had our reasons for the drought. One of my girlfriends just ended a serious relationship and wasn't looking to start another. One was in between dates, another was having a hard time finding "her type," and the other was just tired of going back and dating guys from her past. What’s my deal? I’m approaching the end of a year-long sabbatical from dating that I embarked on in an effort to focus on a major relocation and brand new career. I don’t have anything against good sex, it’s just that when other things had to take top priority, my sex life became an innocent victim. I’ve called this part of my life my "personal reinvention." It’s been beautiful, but it hasn’t been easy.

To be honest, I try hard not to think about the no-sex part. Now don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times of the month where my hormones are screaming loud enough to make even Ray Ray from the train look scrumptious. Hell, there have even been times where if a man had said the exact right thing at the exact right moment, who knows what could’ve gone down? I’ve wanted to be touched passionately and deeply by someone who desires me to my core. To wake up in the safety of another man’s arms would be nice from time to time. But, you see, I buried these feelings and desires in the back of my mind for a reason. I put them far away knowing that giving in to those temptations wasn’t best for me at the time.

Sometimes it can feel lonely. Which is why it was interesting to see a recent ESSENCE.com poll showing that my girlfriends and I aren’t the only ones not having sex. According to the poll results, over 60% of women surveyed about their birth control habits reported being celibate or abstinent.  

For so long I thought of abstinence as something formal that you plan, sort of like celibacy. But I like sex and consider myself a very sexual person, and so do my girlfriends. It wasn’t that I wanted to do this -- I had to do this -- for me. So do my girlfriends. I didn’t set out with the intent to give up sex, and I’m not making any promises or guarantees as to how much longer I can go without it. Does that make me abstinent? Or focused? Or are they really one and the same?
 
Now that I’ve held my goodies for so long, it does make me want to be sure my next sexual experience will be a real treat. I’m settled into my new job and home now, so I’m open to entertaining the idea of dating again. I’m sure that sex will eventually play a role in that, but until the time is right, I’ll continue to be patient. Now that I’ve gone without consistent sex for so long, my standards are higher. I want the experience to be worth the wait. If I can’t have it the way I want it, I'll wait for a better time and the right person.
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