“Your capacity to say NO determines your capacity to say YES to greater things!” – E. Stanley Jones
What is abstinence?
Abstinence means voluntarily choosing not to engage in any sexual activity until marriage.
By choosing abstinence until marriage, you give yourself the best chance at a happy and healthy future. Abstinence until marriage is the only way to effectively protect yourself when it comes to sex. YOU ARE WORTH WAITING FOR!
People who do not wait until they are married to have sex are more likely to:
- Contract a sexually transmitted disease
- Experience an unplanned pregnancy
- Be physically abused or depressed
Isn’t everybody having sex?
Actually, no. The majority of young adults are not currently sexually active and statistics show that remaining abstinent until marriage is a growing trend. After years of being told that sex can be causal and safe, many are seeing the painful consequences of premarital sexual activity.
What about safe sex?
Technically, there is no such thing as safe sex. No type of contraceptive pill, condom, shot or device offers 100% protection against STI/STDs or pregnancy.
It’s too late for me – I’ve already had sex.
It’s never too late to start making good choices. Make a commitment to yourself and your future spouse by choosing to stop having sex and wait for marriage. Remember – you are worth waiting for!
- Myth: Having sex with someone doesn’t mean anything.
- Truth: Every time you have a sexual encounter, your body releases chemicals that bond you with that person. It doesn’t matter if it is once or within a marriage, your body reacts the same way.
- Myth: If we don’t have sex we might break up.
- Truth: If you have to have sex to keep someone in the relationship, you may want to re-evaluate the relationship.
- Myth: By living together before marriage, we really get to know each other.
- Truth: Cohabiting couples report higher levels of serious physical violence and emotional abuse.
You might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t view pornography often,” or, “Pornography doesn’t change how I view sex at all.”
But did you know…
Pornography decreases sexual satisfaction with your partner.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for helping us remember how to satisfy our natural drives and increase pleasure. Exposure to porn, especially for long periods of time, releases surge after surge of dopamine and gives the brain an unnatural neuro-chemical high (similar to an experience when using drugs such a cocaine or heroin).
The brain eventually fatigues, limiting the release of dopamine and leaving the viewer wanting more but unable to reach a level of satisfaction. This desensitization causes everyday pleasures, including sex, to begin to lose their satisfaction and the viewer seeks out more graphic pornography to get the same arousal.
Pornography disconnects real relationships.
Porn teaches the viewer to desire variety and “designer sex” more than the familiar sexual interactions of real relationships. The relational disconnect created from viewing pornography stems from detached, emotional involvement in a sexual experience and feeds a desire for more casual sex.
Pornography creates an addiction.
Similar to an alcoholic, a pornography viewer goes from not needing it, to trying it, to wanting it, to eventually feeling like they need it. Addiction hijacks the brain’s natural appetites, rewiring the neurological pathways to create a sense that the body needs pornography. The porn addiction can make the viewer feel like she or he has been robbed of the freedom to make her or his own choices.
Pornography lowers your view of the opposite sex.
Pornography desensitizes viewers to the cruelty and mistreatment of the opposite sex and teaches them to see individuals as sexual commodities. Viewing porn teaches both men and women to look and act in a certain way that can lead to low self-esteem and self harm.
Pornography supports human trafficking.
Demand is the common denominator in pornography and human trafficking. People who buy sex or view porn are supporting the human trafficking industry because they sustain the demand that fuels the commercial sex industry.
- Right before you started looking at pornographic material, what was going through your mind? What environment were you in?
- Was the trigger something you saw or did? Was there a mood you found in yourself?
- Did feelings of helplessness, hopelessness or worthlessness trigger your need for porn?
- Find an accountability partner whom you trust and will challenge you. Your accountability partner should have like-minded values and a similar background.
- Internet accountability software allows you to control what you see online.
Develop a Plan.
- Prepare yourself for a personal marathon, not a sprint.
- Set regular meeting times with your accountability partner.
- Know your triggers and adjust your schedule accordingly.
- Seek healthy, alternative coping mechanisms when you do experience a trigger.
- Remain motivated by recalling why you are seeking recovery.