On abstinence

Jordan Miller, USA (AC 08-10)

It seems that the common view of abstinence is that it is an antiquated practice: Something only preserved by narrow-minded, religious fundamentalists who have not been liberated by modern thought. This is the sad truth for many who blindly believe what they are told under the banner of “because the Bible tells me so…” and often abstinence’s most adamant defenders are the epitome of what is wrong with fundamentalist beliefs; however, I myself have chosen to be abstinent, not simply because it says so in a book or because it is an arbitrary rule made by some distant God, but because I believe abstinence is the way in which to have the most meaningful, holistic, and fulfilling relationships. If I make the choice to be as physically intimate as I can be with someone (to have sex with them), then I want to feel just as emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually intimate with that person. This will make sex all that more meaningful and wonderful, a fully, truly intimate connection with another person. I was asked once whether I would do naked cuddling since it isn’t technically sex, but for me the point is not dancing around the rule or looking for loopholes that allow me to do what I want while maintaining moral vindication. Morality is not about technicalities it is about spirit; It is about the spirit of the discipline, the reason behind it. If I have sex freely with many people as a casual thing, then it becomes something cheaper, something less meaningful and fulfilling.  Whether this means not having sex till I am married I don’t know, but I will remain abstinent until I am willing to commit all of myself to someone else and them to me. I can.

– United World College Student Magazine –

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