This is the longest I’ve gone without being intimate with anyone (by choice) and I have to say I don’t even mind. It’s actually given me a lot to think about – that previously if I hadn’t been with someone in a while I might have felt that I should go back to an ex or hook up with someone because that was what I was ‘supposed to do’, that I would rather go out with friends or be at home with a glass of wine than drive over to a FWB’s to hook up. I’m actually finding that this period of being celibate (for lack of a better word) is bringing a lot of clarity about the kind of people I want in my life and what my next relationship will be like.
What is everyone’s thoughts? Have you ever taken a break from sex (or dating, doesn’t have to be sex) and learnt something new about yourself?
Celibate was definitely not the word I was looking for hahahaha, I think I meant abstinent!
Hahah yeah definitely two different words there @purple omg
I love that this time alone has given you time for self-reflection! Do you find that since you’re not having sex with other people that you’ve been able to explore yourself more in a sexual sense? Like what you like or don’t like, how you connect with your body more?
I don’t remember ever having a break from sexual encounters tbh, there have been moments where I wasn’t enjoying things though and mistook that for being asexual.
I can definitely relate to this! I’ve been single for about 5 years now and when I used to go through a ‘dry spell’ I used to feel like there was some sort of pressure to have sex just because it was I thought I was supposed to do and that there might be something wrong with me if I’m not having sex regularly and I found when I would have sex it was almost like I was doing it just to break the dry spell which I found wasn’t as fulfilling or empowering.
Now I don’t really mind having dry spells to be honest and I make sure if when I do have sex it’t because I want to and not because I feel like I have to!
Not so much explore myself in a sexual sense (been a bit stressed lately so haven’t really felt in that kind of mood) but more what @GoldenRose said, I really relate to that. In the past I might have had sex because I felt the societal pressure or to ‘get over’ a dry spell and get back into it for no actual good reason. It just feels nice to not feel that pressure and just CHILL. Like, there is nothing wrong with not having sex for a while and it’s totally normal and doesn’t make me any less desirable or loveable.
I have had a dry spell before after a hard breakup i didn’t sleep with anyone for about a year!
At the time I do think i felt some pressure to be having sex but I really focused on myself and my studying, did some travelling and spent some time with my family and friends which i look back on now and realise it was exactly what i needed in that point in my life 🙂 There’s nothing wrong with having a break and focusing on you!
Definitely no big deal taking a break from feeling the need to always be involved intimately with a partner, whether sexually with a partner or in a longer-term relationship.
Simply reconnecting with your own values (priorities, interests, friends etc) and pursuing your own short and mid-term goals can go a long way in helping you discover what you truly want.
Aiming to be the best version of yourself is all you can ask of yourself – and more often than not, you naturally become more attractive to others. As a guy, I can think of many occasions were I’ve met a girl who is pursuing her own values and interests and they are usually more interesting to talk to, even if I don’t share exactly the same interests, goals and aspirations as her.
@Purple, just do your thing!
This is an interesting topic. I have had many dry spells in my life, but I’m not sure that any of them were by choice :P.
It’s curious to think that something can be so empowering if it’s by choice, but equally disempowering if it’s not.
What are everyone’s experiences with accidental dry spells?
@earthmama I like where you’re going with that, and I think it’s all about how you frame it to yourself.
My accidental dry spells have kinda ended up turning into something I’ve maintained by choice – I think once you break past societal/personal pressure @purple and @curiousss mentioned, you reach the point where you can really focus on what you want and do your thing, as @andymate said! Personally, I went from hooking up with people because I felt like I ‘had to’ be having regular sex, as a single sex-posi person, to becoming way more selective about who/when I slept with someone – because once I separated myself from that mental pressure, I found that when I decided to sleep with someone, I was really super extra into it because I was being more selective for me? And I generally had a better time (like, a great time). I don’t know if that makes sense.
And then yeah, I didn’t realise as an introvert how much extra emotional energy going on lots of dates and sleeping with different people was costing me. As someone with limited social energy in the tank, I’m really seeing the benefits personally of channelling that into my family, friends, other relationships and areas of my life!
But if you’d asked me right after my break-up if I thought I could feel that good about a dry spell, I would’ve laughed at you. Kinda surprised myself with how it turned out.
@goldenrose “I used to feel like there was some sort of pressure to have sex just because it was I thought I was supposed to do and that there might be something wrong with me if I’m not having sex regularly”
Yessss, why is there so much pressure around needing to have/want sex in order to be normal!
Like @andymate says, just do your thing! Who cares what anyone else thinks or says tbh, it’s your body, you get to choose what you do with it.
@earthmama I can definitely relate to that. I feel that all the dry spells in my life have not been by choice but rather caused by circumstance. These dry spells haven’t ever bothered me from a social pressure perspective but rather from a performance stand point.
As a guy I feel that if there has been a significant period of time where there has been no sexual intimacy there can be increased pressure about being able to perform and sufficiently please your partner. Without a dry spell there’s still expectation to perform and so that with the extra excitement created by the lack of sex I feel the pressure to perform is only increased.
Is this the same from a female perspective?