There was a time in my fairly recent past when “Big Pimpin’” was the soundtrack to my life. It was a time of plenty during which I was getting numbers from every cute counter clerk I came across, going on consecutive dates with lots of attractive people and cramming in nooners instead of books. But all good things must come to an end, and gradually I burned all my bridges and entered a period of temporarily celibacy.
Many of us experience this kind of “celibacy,” or dry-spells, out of personal choice, bad luck or from being sexually apathetic. In this case, I am talking about people who are pro-sex, are already sexually active, and are not abstaining from sex out of religious reasons. Sexual dry-spells can be excruciating as your genitals increasingly cause physical and emotional discomfort from prolonged negligence and lack of social interaction. But throughout this recent dry-spell which I surprisingly welcomed and enjoyed, I learned that not having sex is just as much a part of having sex, and that temporary celibacy has legitimate value.
An important truth that’s forgotten in the perpetual quest for play is that you need to know what it’s like to not have sex in order to enjoy having sex to the fullest extent. After doing it enough times, even the novelty of getting laid with new people wears off. This probably explains why playboys and maneaters don’t often treat their romantic interests very nicely. It gets harder to appreciate how much a person makes oneself vulnerable when being physically intimate.
It’s easy to become a conceited douchebag when you’re “Big Pimpin’” and having sex with multiple partners. You’re in a better mindset to develop deeper relationships when you’re not looking for sex at every opportunity. You’ll have more respect for yourself as well as for other people when you’re not objectifying every person you come into contact with.
Sex is portrayed as something we should want and have all the time. It’s easy to lose self-esteem for not having sex, and also to gain way too much when you do. Sex is a great way to feel validated, wanted and attractive, but it doesn’t necessarily change or add meaning to who you are outside of the bedroom. We shouldn’t let our sex lives significantly affect how we define and value ourselves as individuals.
Sex leads to all sorts of unforeseeable consequences, whether you want them or not. It’s awesome to have sex with as many people as possible if one is willing to give the communication and attention each partner deserves. But keeping up and staying on the same page with multiple people is a lot of work, and it adds stress to our already busy lives. Not wanting to deal with drama or put time into maintaining sexual relations are important reasons why not having sex can feel really good sometimes.
Once you feel like you’ve had enough sex to get it out of your system, you may find the desire to focus your time and energy on other rewarding things. My friend, who hasn’t had sex or masturbated in eight months, tells me he has the intense concentration and focus of a warrior monk. It’s not that he’s not down to fuck, he’s just not actively seeking it at the moment.
There’s more time and attention to devote to work and other interests when getting laid isn’t a constant prerogative. After a period of being intimate with other people, it’s nice to just mind your own business and do you. The process of learning to be happy by oneself invites discovery, transformation and increased self-esteem that comes from within and not from others.