Abstinence, atheism, and you

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Abstinence, atheism, and you

Who wants to discuss everyone's favorite topic? So yesterday I had a thought..since abstinence is a largely Abrahamic concept, are atheists who subscribe to it basically following christian ( or abrahamic) doctrine? Now I did not say religious doctrine as I am sure there are rellgions that encourage sexual behaviour ( ie paganism)

Of course many people would say you could abstain from pre-martial sex for personal reasons, regardless of religious views. But is this just because of centuries of christian and conservative thinking? It is interesting to note that in my 2+ years of atheism, abstinence remains the hardest teaching or concept for me to overcome. It is drilled into one that pre-martial sex is one of the worst things you can do, or that virginity is so amazingly special one should never risk it improperly. Even when I tell myself we are just evolved primates, and no one gets up in arms about monkeys having sex. Marriage is a man made and largely religious institution, a concept that realitically makes no difference to you intimate physical actions. Why then is it so hard to think past?

What are your thought on atheist abstinence, pre-martial sex, and marriage in general?

Sorry if it doesn't make much since, just trying to organise my thoughts.

Psalm 14:1 "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"-From a 1763 misprinted edition of the bible

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Well, I am guessing that you

Well, I am guessing that you have never been to a hooker then.  Use a rubber.  If you don't you will die.

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Control

       The ultimate control over an adherent is to control their sex lives.  If you can do it through guilt or by threats then you have that power over nature.

 

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

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more about self control

Abrahamic religions are not the only ones that views abstinence as a good thing, so does Hinduism and Buddhism as well, and probably a few others (never bothered to research that much regarding this topic) however it can be a lifestyle choice as well, 2 of my friends have engaged in this lifestyle for fear of STD's or unwanted pregnancies, although yes they agree that condoms may reduce the possibility, abstinence makes sure it's 100 percent. This much I can respect. My partners kid (he's 18) told me (long trip to Windsor, Ontario for a job we were doing) that basically he doesn't like sex (then of course begged me not to tell his old man that he had sex....kids) basically he's asexual as far as I am concerned, which more of a genetic thing really. But there are various reasons for celibacy, my own was more of self control, as basically most of my friends viewed me as a ravenous sex machine with no appetite.....ok some truth to that but always loyal to my wife.....soon to be ex wife (hence how I did go for 1 year with no sex). But for me it was all about self control and being able to know that I can control myself, and not give in to sexual desires.


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I'd say to each their own.

I'd say to each their own. There are reasons to abstain that have nothing to do with religion. Whether they have much validity is rather irrelevant, as it is a personal choice.

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It's all about control. By

It's all about control. By getting into people's sex lives, religion can control the person.

But, one of the functions of religion has been birth control/STD control before humans had pills, abortion and prophylactics. Fundamentalism increased after AIDS came along. If we had totally effective birth control and STD prevention, I think fundamentalist religion would die off.

I think some people are just naturally monogamous. Either they don't want to experiment with sex outside marriage or they had their fill of promiscuity when they were young. Some people are asexual. Like homosexuality it's probably a combination of genetics and environment. I'm for respecting every one's way.

Unfortunately, what should be one's personal choice has been poisoned by religion. Religious fundamentalism has hijacked abstinence, so people who want monogamous marriage are pretty much coerced it accepting religion. Atheism is pretty much associated with promiscuity and homosexuality, thanks to the religious propaganda machine. I think the atheist movement needs to be accepting of people with 'family values'. Because the don't come from God, they are a natural phenomena.

Perhaps you are naturally monogamous LOC. But religion has poisoned our minds with irrational guilt and fear. You just got to figure out who you are now.

 

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 I can't help but notice

 I can't help but notice that as I survey the history of religions, the only ones who teach abstinence are also sexist (patriarchal, misogynistic, etc...) in nature.  Honestly, I think that says everything you need to know.

I've asked lots of people this question, and the odd thing is that among non-Christians who believe in abstinence, the conversation always goes something like this:

Me: Why are you waiting for marriage?

Them: Because sex is special, and I want it to be with someone I'm going to spend my life with.

Me: Why?

Them: Because I respect my body and I want to save it for someone I'm going to spend my life with.

Me: Are you saying sex is disrespectful to the human body?

Them: No... but it's... you know... a personal thing...

Me: Yeah, but what's your reason for thinking sex is special?

Them: Well, it is... it's very personal...

Me: Yeah, but why does that mean you have to wait until marriage?

Them: Because it's special... it's personal... you know.... it's my body, you know?

Me:  No.  I have no idea what you're talking about.  Have a nice day.

 

From a scientific standpoint, there's no reason not to have sex when you can.  It's good for you.  People who have regular sex are healthier and happier, in general, than those who don't.  Condoms essentially stop the spread of disease.

 

Oh, and have you noticed that the people who seem to know so much about how special sex is the first time.... haven't had sex the first time?

Duh.

I can tell you, sex with a virgin sucks.  Most women's first time sucks.  Men are notoriously bad in bed their first time.  There's nothing special about it.  Really.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I am mostly an involuntary

I am mostly an involuntary abstinent from a lack of opportunity. But today I go to the pub with former classmates from elementary school and I'll give the abstinence an annual alcoholic death blow.
Or is the topic about a sexual abstinence? Well, what's the difference. If the girl is not ugly, fat or dim-witted, one should consider doing his best and making her happy.
As for a proper age to start with sexual activity, this depends on many personal and cultural factors and is impossible to tell generally. I'd say rather earlier than later, because the development of humanity should aim towards diminishing a hard manual labour Smiling
Virginity may be special if it's voluntary and has some sufficient reason. For example, if someone has the sex associated with love and devotion, then it's unlikely to lose the virginity for an one night relationship. But a sexual abstinence from being fat or too intellectual (which turns girls off like a bucket of cold water) is nothing special.
There is something wrong with the concepts of pre-marital and marital sex. (not marTial, Loc Smiling ) The religional "morality" wants to confine the sex only to the institution of marriage, while controlling the marriage. If I love her, I shall fuck her or not, completely independently on whether or not we're married! In recent times, there's a phenomenon of couples who lives together for many years, have family, house, jobs and so on, but they're not married. And it works for them.
 
In my opinion, sexual abstinence (like a celibate of priests) causes an obsession with the lacking sex, eventually maybe a perversion.  A sexual moderation is an optimal way. (like having one girlfriend instead of three, I've seen that it does no good) In rare cases, some very enlightened and creative people directed all their sexual drive into their creativity, so they didn't need sex, but an average people should be aware that they're mammals.

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Luminon wrote: But a sexual

Luminon wrote:

 But a sexual abstinence from being ... too intellectual (which turns girls off like a bucket of cold water) 

What? The girls where I live aren't like that. Is this just a Europe thing, or do others here from the New World think the same thing? Perhaps I only surround myself with people my age from school, so my view of things is skewed.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Hambydammit wrote: I can

Hambydammit wrote:

 

I can tell you, sex with a virgin sucks.  Most women's first time sucks.  Men are notoriously bad in bed their first time.  There's nothing special about it.  Really.

 

Reminds of the joke about suicide bombers getting 72 virgins, 'Wouldn't you want a few that know what they're doing'.

It's a lot like dancing or any other activity. The more you do it the better you get at it.

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reminds me.

EXC wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

 

I can tell you, sex with a virgin sucks.  Most women's first time sucks.  Men are notoriously bad in bed their first time.  There's nothing special about it.  Really.

 

Reminds of the joke about suicide bombers getting 72 virgins, 'Wouldn't you want a few that know what they're doing'.

It's a lot like dancing or any other activity. The more you do it the better you get at it.

 

 

        I saw a news paper cartoon once of a suicide bomber in heaven recieveing his 72 virgins, they were short fat and had warts, pimples, no boobs and butch hair cuts.     Saint Peter shrugs and says  " why do you think their virgins" .

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

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Jeffrick

Jeffrick wrote:

         I saw a news paper cartoon once of a suicide bomber in heaven recieveing his 72 virgins, they were short fat and had warts, pimples, no boobs and butch hair cuts.     Saint Peter shrugs and says  " why do you think their virgins" .

LOL. I say to win the the War on Errorism, air drop Victoria's Secret calendars and pornos in the Middle East. Then promise them 99 nymphomaniacs in paradise if they don't kill anyone.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Hambydammit wrote: I can't

Hambydammit wrote:

 I can't help but notice that as I survey the history of religions, the only ones who teach abstinence are also sexist (patriarchal, misogynistic, etc...) in nature.  Honestly, I think that says everything you need to know.

I've asked lots of people this question, and the odd thing is that among non-Christians who believe in abstinence, the conversation always goes something like this:

Me: Why are you waiting for marriage?

Them: Because sex is special, and I want it to be with someone I'm going to spend my life with.

Me: Why?

Them: Because I respect my body and I want to save it for someone I'm going to spend my life with.

Me: Are you saying sex is disrespectful to the human body?

Them: No... but it's... you know... a personal thing...

Me: Yeah, but what's your reason for thinking sex is special?

Them: Well, it is... it's very personal...

Me: Yeah, but why does that mean you have to wait until marriage?

Them: Because it's special... it's personal... you know.... it's my body, you know?

Me:  No.  I have no idea what you're talking about.  Have a nice day.

 

From a scientific standpoint, there's no reason not to have sex when you can.  It's good for you.  People who have regular sex are healthier and happier, in general, than those who don't.  Condoms essentially stop the spread of disease.

 

Oh, and have you noticed that the people who seem to know so much about how special sex is the first time.... haven't had sex the first time?

Duh.

I can tell you, sex with a virgin sucks.  Most women's first time sucks.  Men are notoriously bad in bed their first time.  There's nothing special about it.  Really.

 

 

*Puts on Devil's Advocate cap*

What about STD's and children as scientific reasons not to have sex?

*Takes off Devil's Advocate cap*

Smiling

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I abstain because I know

I abstain because I know that we are merely hard wired to sexual activity. It is based on emotion not logic. By being aware of it and knowing that it is just a scheme to get me to pass on my genes, I have yet to see an actual reason to engage in it.

 

 


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Jormungander wrote:Luminon

Jormungander wrote:

Luminon wrote:

 But a sexual abstinence from being ... too intellectual (which turns girls off like a bucket of cold water) 

What? The girls where I live aren't like that. Is this just a Europe thing, or do others here from the New World think the same thing? Perhaps I only surround myself with people my age from school, so my view of things is skewed.

It is definitely not a "Europe thing". It may be like that where Luminon lives, but it certainly isn't like that here. I have yet to find any female specimen that reacts the way he describes, and I hope I never will.

"Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There's too much fraternizing with the enemy."


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: I have

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
I have yet to see an actual reason to engage in it.
Because it is very very healthy.

And also, it is GREAT!

 

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I was spawned from original sin
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 Quote:*Puts on Devil's

 

Quote:
*Puts on Devil's Advocate cap*

*Makes a martini at the swanky in-wall bar*

I've been waiting for you.  Please.  Have a seat.

Quote:
What about STD's and children as scientific reasons not to have sex?

It's funny you should mention that.  It's pretty much the last resort of the defeated in a debate over abstinence.  It's like when people realize that all their emotional ploys fall on deaf ears, they appeal to science, as if tossing out the existence of STDs somehow makes their argument for them.

In reality, it's not an argument at all.  Try it out for yourself:

1) Sexual intercourse carries the risk of disease transmission.

2) ????

3) Therefore, we should not have sex.

What's step two?  In order to derive (3), it must contain "we should not risk disease transmission because X."   So, what's X?

I don't want to make you go through all the silly steps necessary to demonstrate that this will go on ad nauseum until one side or the other gives up and goes home.  Every value judgment is necessarily dependent upon another value judgment, even when it claims to rely on a root "moral imperative" or the like.  If we say that X is a moral imperative to do Y, we can still ask why X is a better moral imperative than G, or LL, or W.

So, as far as your stated objection goes, sex risks disease transmission.  The proper scholarly answer to this statement is, "So, what?"

According to current medical research, approximately 50-70% of the sexually active population in America over the age of about 35 has a venereal disease, and as far as I can tell, it's not grinding the moral fabric of society into the ground.  In fact, you'd hardly notice, except that lots of men are having to get warts cold-burned off of their genitals, and women are having to be diligent in their Pap smears to detect the beginnings of pre-cancerous cells caused by particularly nasty HPV variants.  A relatively simple out-patient procedure removes those cells, and most women suffer no further ill effects.  It's a bit worse than having a wart burned off of your penis, or so I've been told.

Since we're talking about two consenting adults here (or, at least, two consenting teenagers who we'd prefer to wait a year or so, but will still do what teenagers do...) we must ask the question, if someone prefers to have sex and take the risk of catching a disease, who are we to tell them that their preference is wrong?

If you're going to suggest that taxpayers bear the brunt of STD prevention, you've got a long row to hoe.  Are you going to also suggest that alcohol consumption be made illegal because of the risk of cirrhosis?  There is a higher risk of contracting liver disease from unprotected drinking (what is protected drinking?) than contracting an STD from protected sex.  I'm right with you on the statement that everyone ought to always practice safe sex until or unless they're comfortable in a basically monogamous long term relationship, but considering the tremendous risk reduction of safe sex, I can't say that STD transmission is a compelling argument against sex.

Believe it or not, HIV and AIDS are not even the trump card that everyone thinks they are.  Sure, they'll kill you, but we can still ask the question -- given the statistics on HIV transmission when condoms are used consistently, how can we tell people that they must give up sex because of a miniscule risk of contracting a deadly disease?

While we're at it, every grown person with half a brain knows that when they have sex with someone new, they are risking both contracting and transmitting an STD, including HIV.  If two consenting adults have decided they want to take the risk, who are we to tell them that they do not have control over their own life?  It's not a perfect analogy, but if I invite my friend to go drinking every night of the week, and my friend goes with me, we are both risking contraction of liver disease.  Will someone suggest that it is morally wrong for us to do so?  The act of disease transmission isn't actually as big a deal as it might seem.  When two people have sex, each of them should know (in an educated society) that their activity risks disease.  Whether they get disease from drinking a bottle of absinthe or putting their wee-wee in someone's hoo-ha hardly matters... it's still engaging in a risk-laden activity in exchange for pleasure.  Since both adults are consenting and aware, there is no issue of deception, or some other generally agreed upon moral failing.

(This does not address whether or not people who know they have a disease should inform potential partners.  That's another question, which you did not ask, so I am not answering.)

In short, all we can say is that if you are scared enough of disease that you don't want the pleasure of sex, it's your body, and your right to abstain.  But there is no particular argument I'm aware of that necessitates enforcing that decision on anyone else.

 

 [EDIT:  I forgot children.  Yeah... so... there are condoms, birth control pills, and legal abortions.  I don't think I need to say more.]

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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 Quote:Cpt_pineapple

 

Quote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:
I have yet to see an actual reason to engage in it.
Because it is very very healthy.

 

And also, it is GREAT!

I have to interject here that I'm always amused at the number of virgins who seem certain that sex isn't worth the trouble.  Would we listen to someone who'd never had Indian food, yet claimed it was not worth the trouble of eating?

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:I have to

Hambydammit wrote:

I have to interject here that I'm always amused at the number of virgins who seem certain that sex isn't worth the trouble.  Would we listen to someone who'd never had Indian food, yet claimed it was not worth the trouble of eating?

 

Indeed. Everyone knows that Indian food + sex = Utopia. 

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

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So then in order to justify

So then in order to justify not wanting to sky diving, I have to sky dive?

 

 


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 No.  In order to make

 No.  In order to make pronouncements about the experience of sky diving, you need to sky dive.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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 Or, to put it in terms of

 Or, to put it in terms of Indian food, you must try Saag before you can say whether you like it or not.  Anyone who's never tried saag, and tells others they shouldn't try it because it's disgusting... probably shouldn't be trusted as much as someone who's had it and says it's great.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote: [EDIT:

Hambydammit wrote:

 [EDIT:  I forgot children.  Yeah... so... there are condoms, birth control pills, and legal abortions.  I don't think I need to say more.]

For many people (especially teens) condoms are the only one of these readily available. I believe they are about 97% effective in preventing pregnancy? I find this to have a rather sobering effect on one's desires.

Luminon wrote:

(not marTial, Loc Smiling )

Thanks Smiling

Psalm 14:1 "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"-From a 1763 misprinted edition of the bible

dudeofthemoment wrote:
This is getting redudnant. My patience with the unteachable[atheists] is limited.

Argument from Sadism: Theist presents argument in a wall of text with no punctuation and wrong spelling. Atheist cannot read and is forced to concede.


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Jormungander wrote:Luminon

Jormungander wrote:

Luminon wrote:

 But a sexual abstinence from being ... too intellectual (which turns girls off like a bucket of cold water) 

What? The girls where I live aren't like that. Is this just a Europe thing, or do others here from the New World think the same thing? Perhaps I only surround myself with people my age from school, so my view of things is skewed.

Hey man, where do you live, so I can start packing my suitcase? Or Proper Gander?
But seriously, girls who can sit down and just discuss some new scientific discoveries, philosophy, metaphysics, global politics, events and crises are nowhere to be found here, only with rare exceptions. Even at science and language philosophy classes, (university) I was the only one to show some activity, even objections if the teacher was saying baloney.
Women are generally more down-to-earth, protectors of material security, while men are more idealistic and abstract. But here I see things like no philosophy, acting, music or literature groups at middle schools. These I know only from American hi-school serials. Everyone's either unsocialized, or socialized in pubs. (guys have Counter-Strike tournaments besides that)  Thus the more intellectual individuals are selected out of local gene pool and later they go abroad, because they know English language.  Of course, I'm generalizing. It's probably better at grammar schools in richer regions.


 

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 Quote:For many people

 

Quote:
For many people (especially teens) condoms are the only one of these readily available. I believe they are about 97% effective in preventing pregnancy? I find this to have a rather sobering effect on one's desires.

On average, a woman is impregnable for three to five days per month.  That's 1/6 of the month, or 16%.  So, each sexual encounter with a condom has a 97% chance of working on a base 16% chance of fertility.

Put another way, for each of 16 of 100 sexual encounters, there's a 3% chance of failure.  The rest of the time, it doesn't matter -- if you're not aware of ovulation.  In relationships when I've relied on condoms, we always opted for blowjobs on the most fertile days.  It's not that difficult to figure out.

Oh, and having sex during ovulation doesn't guarantee pregnancy.

 

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote:*Makes a

Hambydammit wrote:
*Makes a martini at the swanky in-wall bar*
I've been waiting for you. Please. Have a seat.

lol. Don't get too excited, I can't actually support abstinence. Sex is too much fun, for one thing. I'm just going to do the best job that can be done for them.

Hambydammit wrote:

It's funny you should mention that. It's pretty much the last resort of the defeated in a debate over abstinence. It's like when people realize that all their emotional ploys fall on deaf ears, they appeal to science, as if tossing out the existence of STDs somehow makes their argument for them.

Well this is the only place I could think of that was the least bit assailable. Goes to show we like to cut through the bs faster than theists.


Hambydammit wrote:
In reality, it's not an argument at all.
1) Sexual intercourse carries the risk of disease transmission.
2) ????
3) Therefore, we should not have sex.
What's step two? In order to derive (3), it must contain "we should not risk disease transmission because X."


Don't forget parasites. Sticking out tongue
Still, since you asked what step two could be, the only answer I can think of would be:
1) Sexual intercourse carries the risk of disease transmission.
2) I don't want an std.
3) Therefore I should not have sex.
Though I would then change 3) to:
3) Therefore I should not have sex with random people en masse without checking them and myself out with a doctor.
For my own personal version. However, as I'm sure you will point out, these are not scientific responses. 

Hambydammit wrote:
I don't want to make you go through all the silly steps necessary to demonstrate that this will go on ad nauseum until one side or the other gives up and goes home. Every value judgment is necessarily dependent upon another value judgment, even when it claims to rely on a root "moral imperative" or the like. If we say that X is a moral imperative to do Y, we can still ask why X is a better moral imperative than G, or LL, or W.
So, as far as your stated objection goes, sex risks disease transmission. The proper scholarly answer to this statement is, "So, what?" According to current medical research, approximately 50-70% of the sexually active population in America over the age of about 35 has a venereal disease, and as far as I can tell, it's not grinding the moral fabric of society into the ground.

Wow. I had no idea the numbers were that high. Though I would imagine that most of those are relatively benign compared to the lethal stds.
Hambydammit wrote:
In fact, you'd hardly notice, except that lots of men are having to get warts cold-burned off of their genitals, and women are having to be diligent in their Pap smears to detect the beginnings of pre-cancerous cells caused by particularly nasty HPV variants. A relatively simple out-patient procedure removes those cells, and most women suffer no further ill effects. It's a bit worse than having a wart burned off of your penis, or so I've been told.

True, but some diseases are enough to scare the pants off of people. Warts are one thing, AIDS is something else.
Others are distinctly embarassed at receiving an std, and view a trip to the doctor in the same light as a trip to the dentist.
Granted, these are emotional arguments, but they are compelling for some individuals. Especially since sex is such an emotionally focussed activity.
Hambydammit wrote:
Since we're talking about two consenting adults here (or, at least, two consenting teenagers who we'd prefer to wait a year or so, but will still do what teenagers do...) we must ask the question, if someone prefers to have sex and take the risk of catching a disease, who are we to tell them that their preference is wrong?

We are power hungry dictators. Or religious zealots. Or something along those lines.
Hambydammit wrote:
If you're going to suggest that taxpayers bear the brunt of STD prevention, you've got a long row to hoe. Are you going to also suggest that alcohol consumption be made illegal because of the risk of cirrhosis? There is a higher risk of contracting liver disease from unprotected drinking (what is protected drinking?) than contracting an STD from protected sex.

Taxpayers? I think you lost me somewhere. Where is abstinence a taxpayers concern? I'm speaking of it as an individual choice. I am completely and totally against government involvement in peoples lives on such a level. I can't even pretend to support that side in a debate.
Hambydammit wrote:
I'm right with you on the statement that everyone ought to always practice safe sex until or unless they're comfortable in a basically monogamous long term relationship, but considering the tremendous risk reduction of safe sex, I can't say that STD transmission is a compelling argument against sex.

I have to agree.
Hambydammit wrote:
Believe it or not, HIV and AIDS are not even the trump card that everyone thinks they are. Sure, they'll kill you, but we can still ask the question -- given the statistics on HIV transmission when condoms are used consistently, how can we tell people that they must give up sex because of a miniscule risk of contracting a deadly disease?

I don't think we should be <i>telling</i> people to do much of anything given the circumstances we exist within. An education to allow people to choose for themselves is the only real option.
Hambydammit wrote:
While we're at it, every grown person with half a brain knows that when they have sex with someone new, they are risking both contracting and transmitting an STD, including HIV. If two consenting adults have decided they want to take the risk, who are we to tell them that they do not have control over their own life? It's not a perfect analogy, but if I invite my friend to go drinking every night of the week, and my friend goes with me, we are both risking contraction of liver disease. Will someone suggest that it is morally wrong for us to do so? The act of disease transmission isn't actually as big a deal as it might seem. When two people have sex, each of them should know (in an educated society) that their activity risks disease.Whether they get disease from drinking a bottle of absinthe or putting their wee-wee in someone's hoo-ha hardly matters... it's still engaging in a risk-laden activity in exchange for pleasure. Since both adults are consenting and aware, there is no issue of deception, or some other generally agreed upon moral failing.

I really have nothing to add or subtract from this.
Hambydammit wrote:
(This does not address whether or not people who know they have a disease should inform potential partners. That's another question, which you did not ask, so I am not answering.)

While there are people out there that conceal std's, there aren't all that many of them, and it is not impossible nor even particularly difficult to find out there is a potential danger if one is truly worried about such things. So I left it alone.
Hambydammit wrote:
In short, all we can say is that if you are scared enough of disease that you don't want the pleasure of sex, it's your body, and your right to abstain. But there is no particular argument I'm aware of that necessitates enforcing that decision on anyone else.

I can't support forcing people to not have sex, or even an education system that simply propogates the idea. They're nothing but counter-productive in practice. China is the most glaring example of this today.

Hambydammit wrote:
[EDIT: &nbsp;I forgot children. &nbsp;Yeah... so... there are condoms, birth control pills, and legal abortions. I don't think I need to say more.]

And adoption, for what it's worth.

I know that nothing is 100%, but if you're really not wanting a kid, and you're responsible enough to take steps to not have one, the chances of one popping out are near to nothing. It happens, but it's so rare that when it does it can actually make news headlines.

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The thing is...I'm not one

The thing is...I'm not one to tell people what to do, but I definitely promote safe/smart sex and waiting until you're comfortable and trust the person. It's just so dangerous in this day and age, with all of the STDs and AIDs running rampant. You really never know, plus I think many people rush into it to be "adult" and prove something to themselves...thus, emotional and possible physical consequences.

I don't scorn those practicing abstinence. Religious bullshit aside, it's a smart desicion for most teenagers/young adults, not for anyone else or any moral reason but simply to let them mature before they feel completely sure and ready.

*Our world is far more complex than the rigid structure we want to assign to it, and we will probably never fully understand it.*

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:So then

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

So then in order to justify not wanting to sky diving, I have to sky dive?

 

No. But you can't be anti-skydiving unless you have tried it and even then you would need to have scientific evidence to be against it, not just your personal experience. The problem is just like with sex, people have irrational fears about it. The risks can be successful managed through rational understanding of the activity. There is ample evidence that sex, exercise and extreme sports are beneficial physically, mentally, emotionally and they increase longevity.

If someone doesn't enjoy eating or is a very picky eater, medical science recommends they see a medical doctor and perhaps a psychiatrist for help. There is no medical reason to treat sexual disorders differently than eating disorders. It's not healthy to be that way.

I think if schools are going to promote music, art, physical education, etc... They should also promote extreme sports.

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peppermint wrote:I don't

peppermint wrote:

I don't scorn those practicing abstinence. Religious bullshit aside, it's a smart desicion for most teenagers/young adults, not for anyone else or any moral reason but simply to let them mature before they feel completely sure and ready.

I don't think there is any evidence that abstinence helps anyone emotionally. The pressure to live up to irrational moral standards just adds a lot of fear, guilt and stress onto young people. Biology shows us that people are ready for sex soon after puberty. People need to live up to rational scientific standards not BS moral standards.

We don't tell driving students, you can learn driving when you are mature and ready for it. No one is ever ready to drive the first time they drive. You become comfortable and safe about driving by studying it and doing it, sex is no different. Society encourages people to exercise and play sports in a safe manner. What is the reason to treat sex any differently?

When the Virginia Tech shooting took place, I didn't think that shooter had too much sex before he was comfortable, mature and ready for it. No, I thought there's a virgin that couldn't get laid, thanks to the Bible Belt's puritanical attitude about sex. Turns out I was correct.

Women's irrational puritanical attitude toward sex has led to society being full of many male sexual predators as well.  Sex could be a great motivator when used as a reward for being a good student and citizen.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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 peppermint wrote:I don't

 

peppermint wrote:
I don't scorn those practicing abstinence. Religious bullshit aside, it's a smart desicion for most teenagers/young adults, not for anyone else or any moral reason but simply to let them mature before they feel completely sure and ready.

It seems like I have a semantic problem with just about everything, doesn't it?  I guess it should come as no surprise that our words get in the way when we talk about sexual behavior.  Let's drop the Christian cultural baggage for a few minutes and just talk about humans as social animals.  Let's pretent like the cultural institution of marriage doesn't exist.  Also, let's drop the dichotomy of sex as being only intercourse.  If we look at other primates (and a lot of birds) we can see that humans are not alone in practicing non-intercourse sex.  So, from now on, when I say sex, I mean pretty much any contact that involves sexual gratification between two people.  (Yes, we can also self-sex, but that's not really important for this discussion.)

Sex in humans is actually very much like every other social activity.  That is, it's a matter of degree.  As we walk down the busy street, we pretty much avoid physical contact with everyon who's a total stranger.  On the bus, we get a little freaked out if the person next to us touches their knee to ours unless it is obvious that there is no choice in the matter because of crowding.  At work, we routinely pat our compatriots on the back, or gently hold their shoulder as we speak.  We shake hands with nearly everybody.  However, pats on the butt are right out.  Once we've become friends with someone, we hug.  When we become good friends, depending on which culture we're a part of, we probably kiss socially.  Likewise, with sex, when we move from complete strangers to bonded lovers (or mutual instant gratifiers), we go through stages, from hand holding to "lover kisses" to touching "other" erogenous zones, to manual genital stimulation to intercourse.

(Remember that sex in this post means all degrees of sexual contact.)  The reality is that virtually nobody practices abstinence.  Nearly everybody on the planet engages in sex with other people -- lots of them -- during their teen and young adult years.  The question is not whether someone will abstain from sex, but how far through the spectrum of sexual intimacy they will go with their sexual partners.

Obviously, there is a real line to be drawn at sexual intercourse because of pregnancy and STDs, but it's not as clear a line as most people seem to think, and sex does not just serve a reproductive function in humans.  STDs can be passed from non-intercourse activities, but you don't see a lot of people swearing off kissing or oral sex.  Most of the young couples I've known who were waiting for marriage found ways to give each other sexual pleasure without vaginal intercourse.  If nothing else, there aren't a lot of guys around who will stay in a dating relationship for too long without getting something they can't do themselves.

So let's backtrack a little and remember that marriage doesn't exist for this conversation.  (In other words, we're discarding waiting for sex until marriage because it's just a religious convention.)  People have sex outside of long term bonded relationships all the time, and almost nobody thinks there's anything wrong with it.  (Again... sex means everything sexual.)  In fact, from a purely psychological point of view, sex is one of the most important contributors to the development of a long  term bonded relationship!  Though it can work, it's really quite abnormal for two people to develop a strong long term sexual bond without any sex.  Sex is the best way to release the chemicals that bond us to each other.

In behavioral terms, when we say someone is abstaining from sex, what we really mean is that they are delaying vaginal intercourse.  (I'm talking about straight sex because I notice there aren't any strong movements for abstinence among gays.  At least they don't have that to worry about, eh?)  Some people delay it until they believe they are with someone they want to reproduce with, while others wait until they feel sufficiently "in love" such that their desire to have sex is greater than their desire not to.

Think about that last sentence for a little bit.  Most women who "abstain" for non-religious reasons are waiting until they are with someone they "are in love with."  I've talked enough about love that everyone reading this ought to know that it is a highly subjective term that literally means something slightly different for everybody.  Even given "in love" as a prerequisite for vaginal intercourse, people's standards are going to vary quite a bit.  Many women are waiting for a symbolic gesture of monogamy.  Again, this varies between individuals.  Some people are comfortable pledging fidelity after a week.  Others can take years to feel ready to commit.  When some people pledge fidelity, they mean, "I won't have sex with anyone else as long as I'm having fun with you."  Others mean "I intend for you to be the last bonded partner I will ever have."  Not everybody is looking for someone to be a parent with, or to be a life partner.  

So, most people who are abstaining for non-religious reasons are actually saying they are avoiding vaginal sex with someone who hasn't demonstrated a compatible relationship goal and given a symbolic gesture of a compact.  Of course... sexual bonds come in many shapes... There are summer flings, high school sweethearts, two year relationships, six month relationships, twenty year relationships, relationships with kids, without... 

I'm speculating a bit here, but it's educated speculation.  The culture of marriage has given us a false sense of how sexual human relationships really work.  We are designed to be at least serially polygamous -- that is, have more than one sexual bonded relationship in our lifetimes.  It is undeniably healthy for humans to have sex.  It's more healthy than not having sex, both physically and psychologically.  Because of our complex society, we are actually "ready to be parents" for a very short period in our adult lives.  Yet, we still ought to -- if we want to be healthier, psychologically and physically -- engage in sex.  

Oh, and one side note... By the way, Pineapple, I mean this almost scientifically... you need to get laid.

Again... remembering that marriage doesn't exist... we should expect that we will have multiple sexual partners for different lengths of time, and we should expect that they will serve different purposes.  When we take the cult of marriage out of it, we can realize that summer flings are good for the ego, good for general health, and good for our psychological fitness.  If we know going in that it's ok for us to have bonded sexual relationships that are not directed towards marriage and kids, we can start thinking about sexual intercourse in terms of weighted risks.  We can ask if the risk of STDs, pregnancy, and so forth is low enough with this person that it's worth the reward of getting the kind of sexual relationship we are looking for.

The kicker to this approach is that we discover that we have obliterated the distinction between "casual sex" and "committed sex."  In other words, some relationships are designed to be short term, like the high school sweethearts who know they're going to different colleges in different states, or the teenagers at summer camp, or whatever.  There's a whole spectrum from a couple of years down to a few hours, and it's all the same thing.  Essentially, we're looking for someone to be a sexual partner, and based on our projected investment in the relationship, our threshold for sex changes.  If we're just going to be petting in the corner at a party, I just need to be sexually attracted to you (and vice versa) and we need to chat for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or so.  If we're going to be monogamous partners for the summer, it would probably be best if we spend time together for a week or so such that we can investigate our initial assessments of each other a few times.  If we're going to have children together, we should probably wait several years (before attempting to become pregnant... not to have sexual intercourse)  to make sure we haven't missed anything major that would cause severe relationship problems in the long term.  In each of these situations, as we are examining both the relationship goal and the desired level of sexual intimacy, we are asking ourself whether this or that sexual activity is worth the risk for the reward we're getting.

 

 

 

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How is it physcially

How is it physcially healthy?

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:How is

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

How is it physcially healthy?

I think it's safe to assume you don't have much sex...

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 Quote:How is it physcially

 

Quote:
How is it physcially healthy?

Really??

http://www.newsweek.com/id/74575

http://www.forbes.com/2003/10/08/cz_af_1008health.html

http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/10-surprising-health-benefits-of-sex

Seriously, I'm amazed you missed the memo.  There hasn't been a study in recent memory that hasn't found health and psychological benefits to regular sex.  And no, being married or in a long term committed relationship is not appreciably correlated in most cases, although some of the psychological benefits are more pronounced in long term committed relationships.

 

 

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Loc wrote:For many people

Loc wrote:

For many people (especially teens) condoms are the only one of these readily available. I believe they are about 97% effective in preventing pregnancy? I find this to have a rather sobering effect on one's desires.

I think that's a BS statistics. You can buy condoms that have been electronically tested. If you use proper lubrication and use the proper size, the failure probability can be made nearly 0%. If the failure rate really is 3% this is due to ignorance and sexual taboos causing people to not buy or use them properly. Just like any mechanical process, the failure rate can be made to be near zero when done properly and consistently. The failure rate on your car's brakes is much less than 3%, yet this is far more mechanically complicated.

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 Actually, one of the most

 Actually, one of the most common causes of condom failure is using condoms that are beyond their effective date, or that have been exposed to too much heat -- like being left in a hot car.

The studies I've seen often seem to go out of their way to gloss over the fact that properly used condoms which have not been altered are nearly always effective.  On one hand, I can understand the desire.  The world isn't perfect, and those dispensers in the bathrooms of gas stations aren't regulated very well.  Many people aren't well educated on condom use.  The effective rate of failure in the general population probably is a little higher because of these factors. On the other hand... a better attitude about condoms would improve this significantly.

 

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Are there any atheists who don't masturbate?

I'd like to chime in here with a question for all those abstinent atheists. Do you masturbate? If not then why? Are you concerned about carpal tunnel syndrome? That's the only secular reason I could come up with.


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ragdish wrote:I'd like to

ragdish wrote:

I'd like to chime in here with a question for all those abstinent atheists. Do you masturbate? If not then why? Are you concerned about carpal tunnel syndrome? That's the only secular reason I could come up with.

It makes you blind too.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

 Actually, one of the most common causes of condom failure is using condoms that are beyond their effective date, or that have been exposed to too much heat -- like being left in a hot car.

Don't forget the use of latex condoms with petroleum based lubes.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

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EXC wrote:I think that's a

EXC wrote:

I think that's a BS statistics. You can buy condoms that have been electronically tested. If you use proper lubrication and use the proper size, the failure probability can be made nearly 0%. If the failure rate really is 3% this is due to ignorance and sexual taboos causing people to not buy or use them properly. Just like any mechanical process, the failure rate can be made to be near zero when done properly and consistently. The failure rate on your car's brakes is much less than 3%, yet this is far more mechanically complicated.

I don't remember where I heard that, it just stuck with me (probably as it was intended to do) Hamby has a point, some common sense can probably lower the risk of failure.

Psalm 14:1 "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"-From a 1763 misprinted edition of the bible

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As an atheist who has

As an atheist who has practiced abstinence, I must interject my reason:

 

It's always about appreciating what one has by not having it for a while. Smiling

 

Seriously. I do the same thing with treat foods and other favorite activities. I find it really helps with perspective.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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ragdish wrote:I'd like to

ragdish wrote:

I'd like to chime in here with a question for all those abstinent atheists. Do you masturbate? If not then why? Are you concerned about carpal tunnel syndrome? That's the only secular reason I could come up with.

For the first six months I did, however I realized that it was becoming more of a form of self punishment than actual self control per se.....so I quickly jerked that idea out. Sticking out tongue


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Science doesn't support this.

JillSwift wrote:

As an atheist who has practiced abstinence, I must interject my reason:

 

It's always about appreciating what one has by not having it for a while. Smiling

 

Seriously. I do the same thing with treat foods and other favorite activities. I find it really helps with perspective.

I think what the science is telling us is that sex is more like a normal biological function that should be done on a regular basis rather than a 'special treat' that can be done on a rare basis. Sex is not a chocolate moose desert, it is more like eating fruits and vegetables or like regular exercise. 

It feels good to urinate when I haven't done it for a while, but it's not healthy for your bladder/kidney to avoid urinating until your bladder is ready to burst.

Just like any activity, if you don't do it, you become rusty. People that like to dance don't say "I'll only do it rarely". When they do dance, they are going to be rusty and not very good at it. People that like to dance do it a few times a month and get better at it every time they do it.

One of the problems especially with women is that there is a stigma with looking for sex. I'm not saying people should go out and have sex with someone they're not attracted to. But there should be no shame about looking for sex, engaging in safe sex with strangers or masturbating. Instead, people with your attitude about sex should be considered to be living an unhealthy lifestyle.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Quote:As an atheist who has

Quote:

As an atheist who has practiced abstinence, I must interject my reason:

 

It's always about appreciating what one has by not having it for a while. Smiling

 

Seriously. I do the same thing with treat foods and other favorite activities. I find it really helps with perspective.

Are we talking about six months off or six years?  Six months without sex is pretty common for a lot of people, whether voluntary or not.  Six years... I'd start asking pointed questions because I'd suspect a hidden agenda.

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EXC wrote:I think what the

EXC wrote:
I think what the science is telling us is that sex is more like a normal biological function that should be done on a regular basis rather than a 'special treat' that can be done on a rare basis. Sex is not a chocolate moose desert, it is more like eating fruits and vegetables or like regular exercise.
I suppose that's one way of interpreting it, but I think it's going a shade too far to call it equal to proper nutrition. Also, if you can't see sex as having something in common with chocolate mousse, pally, you're doing it wrong. Eye-wink

EXC wrote:
It feels good to urinate when I haven't done it for a while, but it's not healthy for your bladder/kidney to avoid urinating until your bladder is ready to burst.
Heh. Not even close to what I'm suggesting.

EXC wrote:
Just like any activity, if you don't do it, you become rusty. People that like to dance don't say "I'll only do it rarely". When they do dance, they are going to be rusty and not very good at it. People that like to dance do it a few times a month and get better at it every time they do it.
Chrimeny. Just how long do you think a period of abstinence has to be? "Long enough to forget how it's done" isn't even in the same ballpark as what I mean, and rather totally misses the point.

EXC wrote:
One of the problems especially with women is that there is a stigma with looking for sex. I'm not saying people should go out and have sex with someone they're not attracted to. But there should be no shame about looking for sex, engaging in safe sex with strangers or masturbating. Instead, people with your attitude about sex should be considered to be living an unhealthy lifestyle.
My attitude? What? You don't know what my attitude is, sweetie. All you know is I've used abstinence before.

And I've used it to enhance my sex life.

See, there are no absolutes, right? It's not unhealthy to abstain from sex for a week or so, or even a month. Just like it's not unhealthy to abstain form eating one or two meals in a row. There is a range of healthy criteria for any given biological function - not one simple set of criteria.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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Hambydammit wrote:Are we

Hambydammit wrote:
Are we talking about six months off or six years?  Six months without sex is pretty common for a lot of people, whether voluntary or not.  Six years... I'd start asking pointed questions because I'd suspect a hidden agenda.
I've never seen a point to voluntary abstinence lasting longer than a month.


A week will do just dandy. (Heck, I'd imagine for some that one night would be more than plenty. Depends on the people in the relationship.)

 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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Quote:I've never seen a

Quote:
I've never seen a point to voluntary abstinence lasting longer than a month.

Curiously, I feel the same way about sushi. 

Thinking back over the past decade or so, I don't think I've gone involuntarily more than six months, and I honestly can't understand how people make it years.  I was about to climb the walls.  I feel genuinely sorry for young people who voluntarily go years because of religious condemnation.  They're missing out on great sex when their bodies are not creaking and popping and muscles aren't getting strained and all that other shit that seems to accumulate exponentially after you hit 30.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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JillSwift wrote:Also, if you

JillSwift wrote:

Also, if you can't see sex as having something in common with chocolate mousse, pally, you're doing it wrong. Eye-wink

They're both activities to be enjoyed. The difference is with high fat/sugar foods, they can easily become very unhealthy if not eaten in moderation. But, there's really not a down side to having as much safe sex as you want.

JillSwift wrote:

Chrimeny. Just how long do you think a period of abstinence has to be? "Long enough to forget how it's done" isn't even in the same ballpark as what I mean, and rather totally misses the point.

Well the interval for sexual desires is not like for eating, sleeping, urinating, etc... It can be much longer. Women and perhaps men have monthly cycles. So it's probably not unhealthy to miss a few months occasionally. But remember Hamby's point that sex isn't just intercourse. Many people that 'abstain' also avoid dating or the social interaction of hooking up for many months or years. This is unhealthy both for the individual and society.

Perhaps the problem of our misunderstanding is the word 'abstinence'. To me it means deliberately avoiding sex that one desires for long periods because of a supposed long term spiritual or healthy benefits. This is clearly unhealthy and unsupported by any science. If you mean taking a break for a few months because you don't have a strong desire or you want to reset things, then we could have some agreement.

Do you avoid it even though you really want it very much?

JillSwift wrote:

My attitude? What? You don't know what my attitude is, sweetie. All you know is I've used abstinence before.

And I've used it to enhance my sex life.

Well, I don't mean to offend, but I don't believe abstinence is backed by any science or evidence. So it's just your opinion or attitude about abstinence. Perhaps it was not 'abstinence' that enhanced your sex life but just changing the person and routine.

Exercise can become boring. So I take short breaks from it and enjoy it more when I go back. But, science does not tell me it is health to abstain from exercise when I feel the need for it. It tells me I should take short breaks if I'm getting enough to rest and vary the types and routines of physical activities.

I think the same is true of sex. Monogamy and lack of variety can get boring. But, long periods of self-denial is just not healthy.

JillSwift wrote:

See, there are no absolutes, right? It's not unhealthy to abstain from sex for a week or so, or even a month. Just like it's not unhealthy to abstain form eating one or two meals in a row. There is a range of healthy criteria for any given biological function - not one simple set of criteria.

Then I think you should call it 'taking a break from sex' and not abstinence. Dieting can be healthy, but starving the body is not.

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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JillSwift wrote:I've never

JillSwift wrote:

I've never seen a point to voluntary abstinence lasting longer than a month.


 

Well, I don't think you should call it 'abstinence' then, and we don't don't really have a difference of opinion. This is normal and healthy.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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I'm toying with an attack on

I'm toying with an attack on the cultural concept (not the practice) of abstinence for the reasons I've mentioned before and EXC has referred to.  Many people who claim abstinence are really just skipping genital intercourse.  They're still dating and having some level of intimacy.  I know several people (all women, incidentally) who are still dating, but are trying to give themselves some "space and clarity." 

This is a very common thing to hear from women, actually, and it probably has to do with the fact that women tend to bond faster and more strongly to men at the beginning of a sexual relationship, while men tend to take longer to develop the deeper emotional bonds.

In all fairness, I don't know that we can ever really hope to culturally affect the perceived dichotomy -- that sex is sex and that other stuff is something else.  Intercourse is a significant jump up the ladder, both emotionally, chemically, and socially.  Still, I would certainly like to raise awareness that we can and should talk about sex as a spectrum of activities including but not limited to intercourse.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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EXC wrote:Well, I don't

EXC wrote:
Well, I don't think you should call it 'abstinence' then, and we don't don't really have a difference of opinion. This is normal and healthy.
Ok, I'm happy to adjust a definition to fit. What you describe I'd usually call "celibacy", or at least "voluntary abstinence gone amok".


A rose by any other name...

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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JillSwift wrote: What you

JillSwift wrote:

 What you describe I'd usually call "celibacy", or at least "voluntary abstinence gone amok".

I called it 'marriage'.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen