What Is Abstinence

Sex is a natural way of human rather universe life. It comes with many health related benefits and also certain severe consequences. Sexual abstinence can be put as the voluntary suppression of natural sexual desire. There are various reasons why certain people abstain from having sex. These reasons could vary from being strictly religious to others like poor health, focus on career ambitions, sexual inhibitions, fear, psychological reasons that include depression, anxiety disorders, freedom from sexual exploitation, guilt and bad past experiences .Some refrain from sex merely to avoid unwanted pregnancy as it the only 100% safe and effective method of contraception or to prevent contracting infections and STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) for example syphilis, herpes, HIV, HPV, chancriod. While for others it could be the moral and emotional responsibility that comes along with sex.

There as also some who choose sexual abstinence just as a way of living their life. They are either Anti-sexuals or plain Asexuals. Simply put, these individuals prefer not to have sex because they are of the opinion that sex is an unnecessary activity and a waste of time. There are also certain spiritual-minded people who believe that refraining from sexual activities and practicing chastity builds immense self-control and helps attain spiritual consciousness and mental awakening. Abstinence could be either partial or total. There are more advantages than ill-effects of abstinence. Some of the disadvantages include losing out on the health benefits of sex hormones. It is not practical to follow complete sexual refrain as the willpower required would be huge and therefore the purpose itself is lost. It is important to be clear and continuously remind oneself about the reasons for their choosing abstinence in the first place.

Alcohol: Abstinence from alcohol and other intoxicating beverages is suggested to minimize its harmful effects in addicts and long-term drinkers who risk permanent brain damage (wet brain or korsakoff’s syndrome) and also death due to reduced, followed by complete cessation of respiration because alcohol is a Central Nervous system depressant. It could arise mainly due to health, family or socially related issues. Promoting ‘Teetotalism’ is one effective method. It means choosing non-alcoholic beverages like tea,coffee,juice etc to get over intoxicating ones.

Food: Voluntarily depriving oneself of food can be termed as abstinence from food. It includes partial or complete fasting. Complete fast is refraining from all kinds of food and fluids excepting water. This could be done for religious, psychological, health related issues or even peer pressure. There are also some who abstain themselves from non-vegetarian food or only a certain type of food like avoiding meat or allergy inducing foods in respective individuals. Religiously it is believed that fasting is a way of penance and obliging God. In many religions all over the world including roman Catholics, Hinduism and Islam, starving oneself is considered an act of purity, reverence and a way of expressing gratitude to God.

Smoking and medicine: Willful cessation of smoking can be undertaken using nicotine replacement therapy, voluntary gradual reduction followed by complete refrainment and individual counseling. In medicine abstinence is advised for an addictive harmful drug.

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