Although the word "abstinence" makes me cringe, I acknowledge that there are, in fact, many benefits to abstaining from sex for an extended period of time — benefits that I make sure to remind myself of when I'm having a dry spell. Kara Baskin once wrote a wonderful piece on the joys of having less sex for the Boston Globe, saying "It’s a liberating perspective, free of the pursuit of the ultimate marriage by leaning in, having it all, or calibrating housework against sex. We’ve made our bed; now maybe we can learn to enjoy lying in it."
Whether or not you're in a committed relationship, a break from sex can be healthy, even luxurious. It's all about balance, and sometimes, we can't find the time or energy or interest to fit sex into our lives. And that's OK. Here are some of the biggest perks of abstinence — whether it's accidental or intentional.
1. MORE MASTURBATING
If you're not having sex, you're likely to masturbate more. I don't need to tell you that masturbating is a delightful activity (with many health benefits) that allows you to connect more intimately with your body and what you like. No sex doesn't need to mean no pleasure...it just means you can focus 100 percent of your energies on what gets you off.
2. MORE EXPLORING
On a similar note, let your dry spell inspire you to explore your body in new ways. Treat yourself to a new sex toy. Go to Babeland or your local sex toy shop and chat with a salesperson, who will be more than happy to help you find your perfect vibrator. Then: go home, turn off your phone, slip into something a little more comfortable, and get to it.
3. MORE APPRECIATING
In Baskin's article in the Globe , author Jennifer Senior, who just wrote a book on 21st century family life called All Joy, No Fun says, “We have to stop torturing ourselves with counterfactual histories about what we’re missing out on and embrace what we have...We all lead deeply lopsided lives, and there’s a difference between what makes sense for a couple internally and how an outsider might adjudicate it.” It's possible that little to no sex makes perfect sense for your life right now. Appreciate that.
4. NO STDS, NO BABIES
There is a 0 percent chance you will contract a sexually transmitted disease, and there is a 0 percent you'll get pregnant.
5. LESS DRAMA
Not only will venereal disease worries and pregnancy scares vanish, but there will be a drastic decrease of drama in your life, now that you're no longer dealing with frustrating, ambiguous sex-based relationships. (Plus, there will be less of this kind of texting.)
6. MORE TIME
Not having sex frees up a substantial amount of time, which you can devote to a whole range of activities: reading, dancing, exercising, eating, wood-working, pretty much all the verbs. Start a weird project. Get really into knitting. Finally watch Breaking Bad. The possibilities are endless.
Image: Bustle Stock Photo