Abstinence: A Nut-Free Zone
The Roam Team
Giving up on getting down
Sex is cool, but have you ever tried not having it?
Sure, we’ve all had unintended droughts, where sex decides to elude us like a one night stand’s name the morning after. Sometimes, though, not having sex can be an active choice. While it’s no major surprise that, as a sex care brand, we care a lot about having sex, we’re most interested in promoting a healthy sex life. For us, this involves exploring all avenues - including not having any sex itself - and at the very least being aware of abstinence.
So what is ‘abstinence’? Simply put, it just means restraining from bodily activities that lead to pleasure. Anything addictive can lead to a path of abstinence, like drink, drugs, certain foods or gambling, but usually, it refers to sex. The key factor is intention or choice; not having the money to feed your shopping addiction, for example, isn’t abstinence, unless you’re actively choosing not to indulge. It’s all about resisting what’s seemingly irresistible; think of it as Vice’s virtuous pal, or Hedonism’s headstrong mate. Do these fictional friends, though, really have any benefits?
Let’s look at three forms of the practice - celibacy, no-nut diets and chastity belts - to see whether abstinence makes absolute sense or is all a bit of an anti-climax…
Celibacy: the all-inclusive break
Purity, celibacy, chastity - they pretty much mean the same thing - sexual abstinence in all its forms. It’s an all-inclusive break from anything below-the-belt, and often it’s associated with religious observance. Most major religions technically prohibit premarital sex or strongly discourage its followers from indulging in it, meaning that some stricter folk will wait until they’re bewed before they tie knots in bed.
Other religious people may abstain from vaginal sexual intercourse but enjoy other forms, like oral or manual; or, the so-called - ahem - ‘loophole’ of anal sex, allowing for penetration that doesn’t affect the hymen. It’s actually been going on since the sixties, apparently, so we’re not the first generation to get around key passages with the back one. And, if you’re a priest, monk or nun, you’re celibate for life - though, that’s probably irrelevant, because we’d go out on a whim and say it’s pretty unlikely any of them are reading a condom and lube brand’s blog.
Who else goes the whole way when it comes to not having sex? Well, as your school teachers might have had it, abstinence is quite clearly the most effective form of contraception (though, condoms are about 98% effective, so it’s pretty close). Equally, if you’re asexual, you’re likely to not have sex, but it’s not technically a form of abstinence; it’s a sexual orientation, not a choice.
No-nut: an edgy way to reset
So we’ve had the lowdown on abstinence when it comes to sex with other people, but what about sex with yourself? Welcome to NoFap, an online community that sees thousands of members - almost entirely men - freeze their wank bank. It’s usually to try to resolve porn addiction, improve relationships or ease ‘death-grip syndrome’, a lack of penile sensitivity purportedly caused by excessive masturbation. Others take a temporary break for No Nut November, which involves less saltiness about peanuts and more stopping yourself from ‘nutting’ (ejaculating) for an entire month to raise money for charity or spend the newly gained time getting to grips with a new hobby or interest.
While NoFap and No Nut November have questionable political connections and a dubious scientific basis (masturbation is overwhelmingly healthy), the reports of those involved are enlightening. We do get that in the same way that edging - repeatedly getting close to orgasm and then stopping - can heighten the eventual climax, a break from masturbation could lead to more pleasure when they return to, ahem, nutting. Either way, we think if you feel like you want to masturbate, you should - and maybe if you do have a few days off, treat yourself to a posh wank Roam style…
Chastity belts: the ultimate restraint
Hold on a minute, though - can abstinence be sexy? Call us an oxymoron, but it’s true: some people chase a high from being chaste, turning the ascetic, self-punishing quality of restraining from sex into a fetish.
Chastity belts might sound like something innocent, but they’re actually a kind of pure filth if you will: cages which ‘lock’ the penis or vulva and prevent you touching yourself, with the key given to a dominant playmate known as the ‘keyholder’. The thrill comes from the ultimate submissiveness of someone else having control over your body, with you only being allowed to masturbate or have sex when they deem it to be allowed, the belt stopping you from buckling. No free will, no free willy!
Our take? Nuts are good for you
Obstinate abstinence, naturally, isn’t for everyone, or probably that many people at all. Sex is one of life’s greatest pleasures, so you’ll need a pretty strong reason to deprive yourself of it if you’re an allosexual individual, especially considering the benefits of sex and masturbation. While we’ve tried to give room to some of the reasons you might be celibate, the disadvantages of abstinence speak for themselves - you’re missing out on the heady, awe-inspiring, toe-curling pleasures of sex - enough said!
Of course, if you want to take a break to pursue other interests, or to follow your religion, we totally get it. But if you do find yourself wanting to have some naughty alone time, or fun with a partner, we’d always say go for it. And if you do decide to actually incorporate chastity into your sex life, heed this advice: don’t lose that key, whatever you do…
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