Abstaining For A Year Isn’t “Giving Up Sex”

Abstaining For A Year Isn’t “Giving Up Sex”

It seems like we can’t go an hour anymore without some media outlet somewhere publishing an article and/or headline that’s misleading, riddled with errors, or just plain full of shit, including about abstaining from sex. Sex-related news is no exception, of course, so Calico sees such reports popping up on her radar all the time.

Granted, today’s example is pretty mild by modern standards, but it still irked her to click through to the article with a headline-derived expectation that didn’t come close to being met by the article itself. This one doesn’t rise to the standard that inspires most (non-orange) people to scream FAKE NEWS, but it still got under Calico’s skin, just a bit

What was the sex-news that inspired mild irritation and brow-furrowing in Calico today? Does she have a point, or is she just grousing for grousing’s sake? Judge for yourself in Calico’s new post, “Abstaining For A Year Isn’t ‘Giving Up Sex’.”

abstaining sex

by Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com Sex Movies for Women and Couples

I know it’s rather de rigueur to rip on the media for publishing misleading or false statements these days (“FAKE NEWS!!!”), so I try not to join in the pile-on too often. 

Sometimes it’s difficult to refrain though, because with so many media outlets around the world writing new articles and headlines every day, the examples of mistakes, twists and bias-borne spin quickly become countless.

Even as someone who mostly writes goofy screeds about sex-related news, I find myself shaking my head daily at the way media outlets present such news – and particularly the headlines these outlets use to hook the eyeballs of readers and viewers.

Maybe the Headline Writer Should Abstain from Typing for a Year

Before I start ranting about the latest sex-related headline to draw my ire, I’m going to concede up front that this is not a particularly egregious example where misleading headlines are concerned. I’m not even sure I can say the headline misrepresents the article it tops, so much as I will say it made me expect something other than what I got.

The power of celibacy: ‘Giving up sex was a massive relief’,” is the headline for the Guardian piece in question. To me, that headline suggests I’m about to read about a person who has sworn off sex entirely – and the idea that doing so has been a “massive relief” for that person is compelling. It implies a feeling toward sex to which it’s impossible for me to relate, but it’s compelling, nonetheless.

As it turns out though, the article isn’t about someone who ‘gave up’ sex; it’s about a woman who broke up with her boyfriend, then didn’t have sex with anyone for a year. In other words, it’s about someone who did something which is not particularly uncommon – although I’d bet a lot of people who don’t have sex for over a year after a breakup don’t exactly plan for that to be the way things played out.

“Between the ages of 16 and 34, I hadn’t spent more than a few months single,” Catherine Gray, the author of book called The Unexpected Joy of Being Single, told the Guardian. “I felt incomplete without a plus-one and constantly hunted approval. I reached rock-bottom after being disproportionately crushed by the failure of a six-month relationship, so I decided to give up sex and dating for an entire year.”

To me, someone abstaining from sex and dating for a year isn’t remotely the same thing as “giving up” sex – an act I associate more with nuns than freelance writers who contribute to publications like Marie Claire and Women’s Health.

This Just In: You Can Grow as a Person and Have Sex in the Same Calendar Year

With all due respect to Gray, when I read what she has to say about giving up sex and dating, I can’t escape the conclusion that the relief she experienced from her year of celibacy has less to do with giving up sex and more to do with dumping a turd of a boyfriend – and along the way, dumping some strange notions about the source of her self-worth.

“Instead of doing what my boyfriend wanted to, I discovered what I liked, developing a love for yoga, photography and travelling,” Gray said. “I dressed differently and no longer cared about attracting men. I started to see myself as a person – rather than a girlfriend or a sexual plaything.”

Those are certainly positive developments for Gray, but why did she have to give up sex to start seeing herself as a person, rather than as a girlfriend or “sexual plaything”? And did her previous boyfriend forbid her from taking yoga classes, for fuck’s sake? Did he also seize her passport?

Stand Up for Yourself, Dammit!

I get that a lot of people define themselves in part by their relationships and the roles they play in those relationships, but there’s another way to approach growth that doesn’t require giving up sex. It’s called “asserting yourself and your independence” – and I highly, highly recommend it.

sexual abstainingIn my marriage, if there’s tension or disagreement between what my husband expects from me, sexually or otherwise, we hash that shit out, on the spot. If I think he’s being reasonable, I’ll show some flexibility and meet him in the middle, if I feel so inclined. If I think he’s being an asshole, then I tell him so.

If I liked doing yoga (which I don’t and can’t imagine I ever will), I’d bloody well do some yoga – and if my husband chimed in to say he forbids me doing yoga, then he’d be sleeping on the couch. Not the couch in the living room – the one on the back porch that offers no support and is just a glorified outdoor dog bed at this point.

Thankfully, my husband IS reasonable (eh, for the most part), so I can do yoga, or take photography classes, or do whatever the hell else I want to do (within reason) – and he gets to sleep in an actual bed, with the added privilege of having me sleep next to him.

So, if you’re in a crappy relationship, one in which you’re living for your partner and/or don’t feel free to be yourself, don’t feel like you need to make a one-year vow of celibacy. Just hash that shit out with your partner – or find a new one who’s a better fit for you.

Abstaining?  In the meantime, check out some original adult films at Sssh.com – Click here!

Juicy Adult - Image Ad


If you enjoy a fun and educational approach to sexuality then Erotic Scribes is sure to please. No boring, dry articles here. From Passionate Sex to Smart Porn, the news, articles and opinions on sex-related topics are interesting and entertaining. And the erotic videos and sex toy reviews are designed to enlighten and entertain.

And because Erotic Scribes is designed for women, there's a range of information from mild to wild suited for your individual preference. So check us out, and be amazed at some of the features designed to excite, educate and possibly even surprise you.

Erotic Scribes is the free news and information site published by Sssh.com, the web's destination place for erotica for women, by women.

The views in our op-eds, and news commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of Sssh.Com, its owners or staff and are solely the opinions of the contributing authors & journalists.

Recent Articles

A Very Different Porn Experience

Sex Toys Fantastic For Women and Couples! COUPON CODE SSSH20 for 20% off.

VR Porn For Women!

vr porn for women

Explicit Erotica Exquisitely Done explicit erotica exquisitely done Erotic Cinema For Discerning Adults boodigo adult porn search Anonymous Adult Search
Female Friendly Live Cams

Polls & Quizes

Related articles