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I Was Abstinent for Five Years and it Saved My life

John, as I will anonymously call him, was an ex of mine whom I was involved with for over two years. I was a regular college kid, bed hopping, bar hopping and having fun when I met John in my first year of grad school. It was a long distance relationship. We had tremendously good sex that kept him flying in to see me about twice a month, despite being in medical school. It seemed like he was the one, when in hindsight, all it tragically really was, was good sex.  And this was going to change me in ways I regret.

People say good sex is a sign of a good and healthy relationship and I couldn’t agree more. However, new in the world of playing the game of finding and keeping significant others, sex was often too much my priority.  This was because I believed in the saying that good sexual chemistry was an indicator of how healthy the relationship can be. However, with John, the sex took a turn that was good in a way that led to an unhealthy way of interacting. He became too confident, too dominant and soon I was a passive lump—just as I had learned to be in bed with him.

The Art of Sleeping Alone
Slate

In hindsight, my interactions with family, friends and co-workers were increasingly making me unhappy and I couldn’t understand why. My ability to be assertive had diminished and at the time I couldn’t figure out that it was because of my sex life. I didn’t react to aggressiveness in any way that won me ground with anyone who sensed my passiveness and reacted to it negatively. By the time John and I had broken up, I had lower self esteem, which was ironic given that at first, my sexual relationship with him had made me glow. Unhealthy sex, I think, causes depression or stress in my life and I have been wary about partners since my experience with John. I realize that I had not been mindful of what was going on with me sexually and hearing how sexually in touch many women are made me balk at myself. I needed to be in touch and I didn’t want to need a man to figure myself out.

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To many of us, sex is important, and I am one of these women. I love sex, but now have gone without it in about five years. It was a choice to be abstinent, and I found spending time to get sexually in touch with myself was the healthiest decision I could have made. I immediately understood better what turns me on  and why. It took me years to recover my career after what happened in my relationship with John but after I took time off from thinking about my next best orgasm, I have had a clear head that has helped me take better care of myself.

Janet Ro

Janet Ro

Thrashing through armies of roses and thorn, I rushing to save my dear pet unicorn. My bones have been breaking, my poor skin does bleed, but I'm rescued by every new word that you read.

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