Article written by Maya Vukovska

You don’t have to be His Holiness the Dalai Lama, or any kind of Buddhist monk, for that matter, to subscribe to a vow of celibacy. There are adults who often choose to go for sexual abstinеnce for reasons other than religion, birth control, or fear of STDs. Some valid reasons can be focusing on one’s professional career, recovering from injury or illness, mourning the loss of a partner (not necessarily dead!), and waiting for the right person to come into your life. Consciously giving up sex is just like any other challenge people constantly take up, like quitting carbs or stopping smoking, for example. People who choose to go into a dry-spell period often manage to stay focused and don’t let anything and anybody get in their way. Which, of course, is admirable… But!

Why I am here today is to give you some insight into the risks of abstaining from sex in case you have been sexually active up to this point.

Giving your body a hard time

Do you know what the body experiences during, let’s say, sugar withdrawal? Let me tell you: Along with the constant cravings, the most common symptoms are depression, anxiety, dizziness, fatigue, and sometimes complete brain fog. When you stop having sex AT ALL, prepare to feel, more or less, like that.

Needless to say, sex, when is good and does not involve dry-humping your teddy bear, releases a bucket full of endorphins and the hormone oxytocin that make you crazily happy. When you suddenly turn off the tap of the bliss provider, not only is the sense of exhilaration brought to a halt, but some negative physical and psychological outcomes are to be expected, too. In other words, the body is in shock. To it, being refused to get its regular fix of sexual pleasure feels like a knockout by the fist of Еvander Holyfield.

Stress levels are sky-rocketing

With the endorphin levels dropping down, the stress and anxiety levels go up, although you may not feel it at the beginning of the sex-fasting period. What else you may find unusual is that you can’t get to sleep or sleep well at night. And it’s not because you’ve drunk too much coffee or have played Battlefield until 5 a.m. The thing is that oxytocin released during sex has another perk - it helps you sleep better.

The libido leaves the house

As a kid, I was a very finicky eater. Every time I’d refuse to eat because I was not feeling hungry, my Grandma would persuade me with the words,” Appetite comes with eating.” Grandma was a very sagacious person, and if I could ask her to share her opinion on today’s topic, she’d shrug her shoulders and say, “You know, kiddo, appetite for sex comes with having it.”

Don’t want to freak you out, but if you haven’t had sex in a while, there’s a good chance that at some point you’ll stop missing it. And again the endorphins are to blame: they help us associate sex with good feelings, and once we break this connection, we minimize the need to have sex. And eventually, the sex drive will just move out of the body.

Less sex - weaker immune system

In 2004, 112 college students participated in a study carried out by the Department of Psychology at Wilkes University. They were divided into 4 groups depending on the frequency of their sexual encounters. The researchers measured the levels of IgA, an antigen found in the saliva which is in the very front line defending us from colds and flus.The results were stunning: Those who reported to having had more sex showed significantly higher levels of IgA than the rest of the participants. That made the researchers believe that regular sex makes us more immune to certain diseases.

Whether sex helps also against COVID-19 and its is to be investigated.

Sex abstinence can make you dumb

Well, it’s an exaggeration, of course, but still, there’s some truth to it. A 2013 research on age-related decline in the hippocampus’s function shows that sex boosts the creation of new neurons in the brain. What’s more, regular sex activity improves also mental processes such as memory, perception, attention, and language comprehension. In other words, the lack of sex makes you less intelligent. The bottom line is that if you abstain from sex for too long, you can kiss the Nobel Prize goodbye!

February 01, 2022 — Andrew Christian