I Vouch for Abstinence in the 21st Century

The first time I heard the word “abstinence” was in a human sexuality course that I had to take during my freshmen year of high school. What does the word abstinence mean? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, it means the practice of not doing or having something that is wanted and or enjoyable. At the time, I remember being flustered and turning red. The class itself was uncomfortable because it dealt with… Well, sex, so it wasn’t the most comfortable setting for me. But the whole idea of abstinence was appalling to me. Wasn’t that a given? The idea of having sex before getting married was unimaginable for me at the time. Actually, it still is… Growing up in a traditional Korean, Christian family, my parents never had the “sex talk” with me, but it was obvious that they wouldn’t be pleased if I ever did decide to do so.

With apps like Tinder becoming a thing nowadays, and phrases like “one night stands” becoming popular, it’s become a lot easier for people to hook up. (It’s my own opinion; I could be wrong…) While more people wanted to wait until they got married back in the day, young adults nowadays think differently. And amongst those young adults, you have people like me, who are still vouching for abstinence. It could be due to my upbringing from my old-fashioned parents, but it never once was an issue for me. And while no one asks why I decide to be abstinent (because that would just be really awkward), I still get the odd looks when I do tell people my choice, if the conversation ever comes up.

There are two reasons that I decided to stay abstinent:

1. Sex is a lot more holy than people make it out to be. There is actually a lot more meaning to sex than people think. It isn’t just about the pleasure and the orgasms (or the lack of, for some people…). When two people have sex, they’re giving themselves to one another. It doesn’t just end after you’ve both finished, but you feel an emotional connection to each other. And I believe that if you have sex with multiple people, then you won’t have any of yourself left; you’ll be the same on the outside, but it won’t feel the same on the inside. That’s why I think it’s more meaningful to wait until you get married. You married the person that you married because you felt a connection with him/her, and you love your significant other. The entire idea is quite sacred because it’s the union of two people into one, (literally and symbolically). And I find it sad that people feel that they need to have sex when they are dating someone. Because, do you really?

2. The entire purpose of sex isn’t pleasure. I find it that people completely miss the idea or purpose of sex. Really, what is the purpose of sex? Pleasure? Orgasms? I learned, and believe that the purpose of sex is reproduction. Children, hence the reason I want to wait until marriage. Yes, safe sex actually can exist, and yes, there are many types of birth control out there. But I’d rather respect and keep its purpose for what it is. And for me, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

It isn’t easy vouching for abstinence in the 21st century. There are so many TV shows and movies out there that bluntly talk about, and meticulously hint at the idea of sex. Even schools are teaching their students to practice safe sex, explaining my human sexuality class from high school. I’ve gotten some judging looks, and odd stares, and someone saying that I’m only abstinent because I “can’t get any,” but I stand my ground. It’s what I believe in, and what I’m going to continue to vouch for. And hopefully, my future will appreciate that of me.

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