Abstinence and the Absence of Talk About It

By Norma Leyva
     A lot of the time, our sexual decisions are reflections of others, and it's important to validate both sides. Sex practically bleeds from anything and everything, yet it is one of the least discussed subjects. Sex is not just seen as a way to procreate, but is given a meaning ranging from pleasure to establishing an emotional connection.
Abstinence is associated with the physical side of a relationship, and is incredibly flawed in the inclusion of the perception of a relationship between two individuals. A vow to restrain from being physically intimate until marriage is an empty promise and stretches the stress a relationship already mounts. Those who choose to not remain abstinent until marriage should not have their loyalty to each other be considered less valid than those who decide to wait.
            I’m referring to the whispers in the room about the couple that had sex last week, and the fondness in people's eyes when two other individuals state that they’re waiting for their honeymoon. Immediately, there’s a gap of validity of the two relationships. Relationship A, those who were physically intimate, are considered to be less sincere than Relationship B, those who are remaining abstinent until marriage. The amount of attention put into the physical asset of a relationship is tremendous. Assumptions about the relationship are composed of each person’s sexual past, whether or not it be with each other. People are sexual beings, and although the strength of sexual desire varies from person to person, it is cruel to coerce people to deny every vestige of sexuality until marriage. Does that lend itself for wise marriages? Even then, if you get lucky enough to pick a good person the first time, it does not guarantee sexual compatibility.
       Abstinence is a blurred topic, filled with questioned exceptions and a lack of clarification. Restriction of sex is varied because what people consider to be sex, due to different ideologies and characteristics of that relationship. What the first time may be to a couple composed of a man and a woman is not what it would be to two men. Since we do not have the same perception of sex itself, we don’t reserve the right to form any opinion on such, or impose abstinence onto others. A relationship brings stress to both of the individuals, and abstinence only intensifies such due to painting expectations that may not be met. The presumption of certain sexual desires may not be met after marriage, and what then? You already put on the ring. 
     Sexual harmony is just as essential as any other aspect of a marriage. Therefore, the exploration of such before sealing the deal is essential, as is the encouragement of taking part in it. Abstinence of sex before marriage is often used as a response to concerns about unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. However, sexual education the best action to take upon this. Along with the thought of invalidating those who take part in intercourse before marriage, it is said that the devotion of that individual to their partner is less, decreasing the worth of the relationship itself. If we are correlating the physical activity one person were to have with another person with the decline of emotional constancy, we are completely dismantling the point of a marriage. A marriage that brings forth the idea of unity, including both physical and emotional aspects.
            Abstinence limits the ability of one to develop sexually and emotionally as an individual, and it is necessary to discover and clarify to yourself what you need from your partner. Relationship A might even be stronger than Relationship B. The unorthodox does not signify the lack of authenticity. We need to stop invalidating relationships that include sex before marriage and glorifying those who wait. Both choices are respectable. However, the respect given to one is not the same as the other. More education is needed on the topic of sex. Abstinence should not be the solution for anything. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Just as we are exposed to choosing marriage or not and such a decision being respected, the topic of abstinence should be as well.


  1. Is there anything else by this writer? Really unique style

    1. Hi, Amy!
      This is the first piece featured by Norma on Lithium. We agree- she's a great writer!

  2. Thank you for responding, I couldn't find her on the contributors page but I would like to get more info on her, is she not going to be writing here anymore?

    1. Hi,
      Aside from our regular staff, we open up submissions to anyone looking to be published. I can give you her email- I have no idea as to whether she plans to write for Lithium in the future.