Sex is everywhere in gay life. If you believe all what you read, men are at it 24/7. But some people, believe it or not, choose to abstain from sex. What are the reasons behind this? Alex Hopkins at Gays.com speaks to one gay man who turned his back on the boudoir.

 

Tough decision

Seven months ago, John Pierce, an attractive gay man in his 40s, made a decision which shocked his gay friends: he announced that he was giving up sex. "Why on earth would you want to do that?!" was the general reaction, John tells me. John’s reasons were brave. “In previous years a lot of the time I was having sex I was also high, engaging in chemsex. As I had decided to abstain from class A's I also wanted to abstain from sex. The two had become linked in my mind. I didn't want my brain to become 'hard-wired' so that, like some unfortunates, I could only have sex when chemed-up!”

 

The wrong kind of sex

John’s experiences with chemsex, or 'party and play' as it is often known, had become increasingly negative, even dangerous – particularly the episodes in which he would find himself high of Crystal Meth for days on end. “Even though it only happened three or four times a year the effects were devastating,” explains John. “Namely debilitating come-downs that would last up to a fortnight and leave me feeling clinically depressed and paranoid”. The drug also had a marked impact on the type of sex John was having: Crystal would push him to ever greater extremes – and he would frequently find himself having sex with guys he wouldn’t normally go near. Other areas of his life started being adversely affected as a result; he knew things had to change.

 

Why do we have sex?

Gay men have sex for a variety of reasons, whether that be a quick shag or with someone they’re attracted to, someone they may even consider building a relationship with. John’s escapades, however – which were starting to follow a distinctly worrying pattern - had become increasingly meaningless. “When I read profiles on certain mobile apps peppered with words/phrases like 'cum dump', and 'pig sex', I do sometimes wonder whatever happened to the love,” he muses.

As the Dalai Lama once said, "People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used." John decided it was time to tackle this imbalance head on.

Giving up sex
Whatever happened to love?
 

And, yes, it is hard!

The end goal of John’s new path was to try and give himself some time to recover from recent traumatic sexual experiences. “For me, that went hand in hand with abstaining from libido enhancing drugs which may seem to promise some carnal liberation but in truth, in the long-term, actually enslave you/trap you in a vicious cycle,” he believes. “So, I guess it was about the freedom to make more informed choices regarding the sex I have and who I do it with.”

No one, of course, said it would be easy – although John says that until recently it has not been too challenging. “Now though, because it’s the summer in the UK, I find myself feeling hornier,” he says. “But the toughest part has been abstaining from the drugs. Establishing a daily spiritual practice has helped enormously with that.”

 

Daring to date

John is determined to keep to his goal; indeed, he even intends to go the whole of 2017 without having sex. He has already seen the benefits. “Taking a break means I have more energy and time to focus on other things in life!” The ultimate prize, though, John says, would be if the man of his dreams comes along. “In the New Year, I would like to start dating again but take things slowly,” he adds. His ongoing sabbatical from sex will, he hopes, allow him to view it differently, to reset things to factory settings. “Sex can and should be a positive, affirming experience. But I think we often forget that sex is also a physical, emotional and spiritual energetic exchange,” says John. “Taking a break from sex has made me reflect on what kind of sexual connection I ultimately want to have. I’d recommend more gay men give it a go.”

 

Have you ever given up sex?  What was your experience? Share below.

 


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