Why I Am Abstinent

Young couple drinking coffee outside
Young couple drinking coffee outside

Over the last year and a half, I have dated over 100 different guys. I'm not into dating, though. In fact, I hate it. I didn't start off looking to date. Like a lot of women, I was looking for someone to begin a serious relationship with. However, that never really got off the ground and instead, I found myself in serial dater territory. Through my experience in the last year I have learned that the modern U.S. dating scene is truly the "land of free milk and cows," and because of that, sexually conservative women like myself are having a next to impossible time finding anybody willing to wait.

I'm no virgin, but I remain abstinent in between long-term relationships. And it has been a long time since I've had one. I haven't given in and slept with anyone for several reasons. One of those reasons is that I do not want to be objectified and used for sex. Of course, even in a long-term partnership, you can be used and disposed of, which is something I talk about extensively in my book I Know Why They Call a Shell a Shell.

No one really believes me when I say that I am not sexually active. Even my gynecologist thinks I'm bluffing. A few visits ago I was having issues with acne. I asked him for something to clear it up. Rather than prescribe me an antibiotic, he gave me birth control. "I don't really need this." I told him.

"Well I don't want to prescribe you the antibiotic in case you get pregnant. Its very dangerous to an unborn child."

"Wow. You're optimistic," I responded. As I had already told him I didn't have any sexual partners.

It's not that I can't find sex partners -- I know more than enough guys who are ready and willing. It's that I don't want to just sleep with someone who is essentially a stranger. I have found through dating that the majority of men expect sex within the first three dates. Most are willing to be patient and wait until the second to reveal those intentions. I have seen men throw temper tantrums as early as the second date when they realized they would not be getting their way. The age range of men I date span from guys in their mid to late twenties all the way to men in their early forties.

Recently, I made it past the four-date threshold with someone I dated for two weeks. Once that fourth date came around and I still hadn't slept with him, he became furious. He seemed to think I was nuts for expecting any man to wait that long for sex. He showed his true colors and we parted ways. I think it's absurd for anyone to expect sex within two weeks of knowing a person. To me, this says a lot about what other women are doing. These guys have had to been conditioned to believe this is the norm somehow and it's because many other women have no qualms about putting out and quickly. Just do a Google search on "How soon should I sleep with him?" and you will see the average recommendation falls somewhere between dates 3 - 6.

Call me old-fashioned, but I can't stand a man trying to rush me into sex. In fact, I cannot stand a person trying to rush me into anything. It is a turn-off, but more importantly, disrespectful when a man acts like a pushy salesperson when trying to get you into bed. I have no problems walking away from pushy sales people and I have no problem walking away from men who act like them either. Other times, men have tried to coerce me. It may be in person or it may be on the phone or in text after the date that they have tried to prep me for what was next on their agenda: sex. It seems most of them have no interest in my agenda. Usually what I say goes in one ear and out the other and the coercion continues.

Though few people realize it sex through coercion is a form of rape. I think there are a lot of things that need to be talked about before sex happens. Are you sleeping with anyone else? Are we going to be exclusive? Have you ever had any STDs? Do you have any STDs? It's no surprise that most of these men attempt to rush you into sex before you've had the chance to ask any of these questions.

There are many reasons why I am abstinent. I prefer to get to know a person, develop a relationship and build trust before I jump into bed with them. What if something goes wrong? What if the guy gets me pregnant or unknowingly give me an STD? I wait to have sex because it is important to me that there is some security within my relationship with this person. Then, if something goes wrong, I'm not going to be left to fend for myself.

Most people seem to forget that a person's most precious asset is their body and health. And because of that, I look out for me first and not some guy who tries to guilt me with blue balls just so he can hit it and quit it. I respect myself and believe it says a lot about a person's character when they have trouble taking 'no' for an answer.

This is a very personal post and I was a little reluctant to write about it, but inevitably did because I have a feeling I am not the only person out there experiencing this issue. If you find yourself being passed over in the dating world because you are looking for more than sex, for something meaningful (gasp!), please write about it in the comments section. Obviously, this applies to both men and women.

I always thought that the process of getting to know a person and building a relationship before jumping into bed was pretty normal. Apparently, I am wrong. Casual sex is what's acceptable in this culture; a culture where the concept of waiting (more than a few dates) for sex is not only abnormal, but antiquated.