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Religionists: Is Abstinence Really Possible?

Please i want to know if it is possible to truly, totally abstain from having sex before and or when married.

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One thing I resent is when people think you can only abstain or be a virgin if you are "born-again". In addition, it amazes when nigerian women think their guys must be christian and going to church if he's to stay off other women.

One can most defintely be atheist and yet abstain from unwarranted sexual escapades, or in addition refuse to soil his image by jumping into sex at very opportuinty. These are the people who deserve the most respect.

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Later, I may make a detailed contribution on sexuality, celibacy, abstinence, marriage etc. But in the meantime I will say that physical abstinence from sex is only a very minor aspect of the story. Is one who have physically abstained from sexual intercourse celibate when such a one harbours lustful desires that are not expressed physically? Is one who have not had sexual union but continually or occationally battles with the sexual instinct celibate? Is one really a virgin simply because he or she has not had sex? Is a man or woman who engages in self sexual stimulation but have not engaged in sexual union with another person celibate? Can a person who have not engaged in physical sex but reads or watches pornographic materials be considered celibate? Can a monk who have no contact with the temptations of life because he is living in a remote cave be considered  celibate just because he has not had physical sex? These questions and much more is to suggest to discussants that physical abstinence from sex is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Your secrets are safe with me, don't worry.

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How do you know I'm a man? Start listing evidence!

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Very very good. Now you are hitting upon an issue at the heart of all spiritual journeying . . ."We can see through it in several ways" . . . I can go on posting from here. . . but I will have to let you discover things yourself.

"Those who have ears to hear, let them hear"

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My statement still stands as is.  Shifting focus to the last two declarative sentences of your post . . to me, I find the statement "see through it" to be rather obscure.  We can see through it in several ways - renunciation being one of those ways.  If you disagree, I would like you to elaborate on those sentences and further enlighten me by providing your perspective on the reflection you posted.

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It's the easiest thing in the world. I still don't understand why people act as if they cannot 'hold body'. It's a matter of self discipline and self control.

If you want to do it, you do it. If you're too weak to do it - you find excuses not to do it. SIMPLE.

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@H202

I suggest you re-read the last two sentences of my post, the ones that end with the red colored text, over and over again. . .

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One of the characteristics that distinguishes us from wild animals is our self-control. If practicing renunciation makes one deluded, then failure to utilize the self-control we have as human beings also makes us deluded. Restraint is not utterly useless.

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This short reflection may be useful to those who want to practice RENUNCIATION -:

Anytime you're practicing renunciation, you're deluded. You're deluded. What are you renouncing? Anytime you renounce something, you are tied forever to the thing you renounce. There's a guru in India who says, "Every time a prostitute comes to me, she's talking about nothing but God. She says I'm sick of this life that I'm living. I want God. But every time a priest comes to me he's talking about nothing but sex". Very well, when you renounce something, you're stuck to it forever. When you fight something, you're tied to it forever. As long as you're fighting it, you are giving it power. You give it as much power as you are using to fight it.

The only way to get out of this is to see through it. Don't renounce it, SEE THROUGH IT. Understand its true value and you won't need to renounce it; it will just drop from your hands.

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Even if I concede to your assertion that sexual abstinence is unnatural, then you must also surrender that neither is the use of sex purely and solely for leisure when an ersatz mechanism is introduced.  A large majority of individuals engaging in pre-marital and post-marital intercourse are evidently unready to accept the subsequent natural consequences that result from having raw, natural sex.  In short, the use of condoms and other contraceptives to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STDs are in a similar vein as "unnatural" as sexual abstinence as used in your context.

My 2

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lol deepsight, happy new yr to you too.

Even as a "great christian soldier" (which i do not claim to be by any stretch of the imagination), we still live in the flesh. I was astonished the day i read Romans 7 to realise even Paul himself (a great apostle) had a struggle with the flesh too despite his anointing.

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Dont get me wrong . . . i am certainly not excusing sin but admitting that a life above sin is a daily struggle that the christian must face. As much as we hate to admit it, a large majority of christian singles today do NOT practice abstinence especially if you're with a long established partner that you intend to marry.

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Abstinence is possible but very difficult i must admit.

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With reference to the OP -

I positively challenge any person to assert that sex is unnatural.

If sex is natural, which it evidently is, then abstention from sex is patently and most certainly UNNATURAL.

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MyJoe, thanks but I guess its not necessary. SeanT21, who I was talking to, knows me in reality outside Nairaland and so does JeSoul. So i could have made such a sideline post only in reply to either of them. I dont joke about such things & I was not advertising so I had to curb the gist before it goes out of hand. I know some other people will as well attempt to ressurect the gist anyway.

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I think you hurt the lady, Bawo, and I would apologise.

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My knowledge of your stance has nothing to do with it. The OP clearly said: “abstinence before or during marriage.” Thus avoiding pre-marital sex was clearly an issue in the OP.

Why did you have to use anti-social examples such as these -

1. Drug & Alcoholism rehab programs

2. Prisons & other Legal correctional institutions like the "juve".

3. Psychotherapy as a medical aid in resolving soul trauma?

- When you are fully aware that none of these may be said to be natural in the sense that sex is? You demanded honesty of me and I will demand no less from you, Maven.

This is not honest because the OP talks about abstinence altogether and not systematically and deliberately “fasting” and then “breaking the fast” – which would approximate only to a scenario where I choose to abstain for a short period. Reasons could be medical, whatever. This is totally different from reverting to celibacy in toto, on the imagination that sex is wrong - and YOU KNOW THIS.

FALSE AGAIN, because merely having sex (as opposed to abstinence which the OP talked about) cannot by itself be said to amount to an excess. An excess of what? An excess of a natural urge, even if exercised only once a month, for example? Would that be an excess?

Why are you comparing it to eating in excess? Who is talking about sex in excess here? ? ? ? The OP said – “abstinence” – which connotes NO SEX AT ALL. How can having sex, say once, for example, amount to an excess? ? ? Especially when it is a natural urge that our God-made hormones push us towards?

THEY ONLY SEE IT AS AN EXCESS BECAUSE THEIR RELIGION HAS CONDITIONED THEM TO PETTY SELF-GUILT OVER NATURAL URGES. OTHERWISE IS THERE ANY SANE REASON IN THE WORLD WHY A CREATURE WITH A SEXUAL URGE WOULD IMAGINE THAT GIVING VENT TO THAT NATURAL URGE (EVEN ONCE) IS “AN EXCESS”? ? ?

DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE TO YOU, MAVEN? ? ?

Anything that is unnatural is what I categorize as wrong or evil.

Sex is natural – manifestly – and neither you nor Albert Einstein can contradict that fact.

Therefore abstention from sex is unnatural.

Therefore abstention from sex is evil.

And even more evil is it for a person to accede to his natural urges and then on account of imported religion begin to imagine that it is wrong for him to have sex.

That’s re-maintenance. That’s evil.

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Deep Sight, i knew you would roll in the direction of sex outside marriage because you already know my stance. But that is totally off my point on this thread. You said trying to resume a life of celibacy after sexual experience is demonic, and i countered that the same methods are used to deal with other ethical, social, medical and personal issues. Then you said it does not apply because this is a natural instinct like eating (which begins the off-point journey, because people can break their fast , eat and resume fasting. Your hero, Gandhi, did it often). I replied meaning that eating will not be a thing we are trying to "correct", so maybe gula (gluttony) or alcoholism may be a more appropriate view. I said this because, objectively, why some people will choose to re-maintain a state of celibacy is constituted from their own personal ethics, like the reason why one will choose to stop smoking or doing drugs or eating in excess or something. So they all compare in light of the fact that the person sees it as an excess in view of their personal ethics. Otherwise why would they want to re-maintain, as you put it? My point is not whether human beings are sleeping with hogs or dogs or they are having indiscriminate sex. Its none of my business. My point is, how can you say it is "demonic" (evil, wrong, misguided, improper) to decide to re-maintain? Thats what I was on about and not the excess sexual escapades of others, or the lack thereof.

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Honesty? You want Honesty? I will give you honesty.

FALSE. Read the OP. This thread is NOT about excesses. It is simply about abstention from sex before marriage or even thereafter. You needn't make the far fetched assumption that everyone having sex outside of marriage is doing so to excess and therefore a sex maniac.

The Sexual instinct is a natural instinct. There is evidence that nature did not factor the cultural institution of marriage at all; this evidence is simply the fact that humans become sexually mature (go past puberty) at an age when they are manifestly unsuited for the cultural institution of marriage with its attendant societal strains. Why does nature impose sexual urges so early? If you look in the natural world you will see that nature only imposes urges and unctions where they are fit. . .and also serve a purpose

You also cannot deny that sex aside from reproduction also serves purposes of pleasure: and this is perfectly intended by nature. Notice how all the factors necessary for our survival, nature deliberately makes tempting for us. Thus food is not eaten only to survive: you are fully aware that that Blue Bunny Ice Cream you had last Christmas was bought for pleasure only. This is how nature works out.

This also exposes the fallacy in your position because it amounts to asserting that anyone who eats any food that is not strictly for his survival is thereby indulging in an excess.

Another pointer is the fact that humans are amongst the very few creatures that do not have a "mating season" but rather have sexual urges all year round. This shows very clearly that the human being is designed as a sexual creature with very natural sexual urges.

Religion and Culture are the factors that often stand in the way of the manifestly natural.

I thus repeat; and i am being perfectly honest when i assert that there has never been, nor will there ever be anything even remotely wrong with premarital sex. It falls perfectly into the tandem of nature and I put you to the very strictest proof of the contrary.

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DeepSight, if you will be honest to yourself you will see how my analogy applies. You have mentioned eating and drinking as natural impulses, but you have eschewed gula. You can't tell me that excesses are a natural order, it tends to successive entropy. Gluttony is the analogous equivalent of many of the "unmaintained" practices, and not hunger because those sexua.l actions are not intended to procreate. Se.x, as discussed here, is more akin to those (often tending to excess) fun-and-excitement seeking practices I mentioned, or in some cases they were lured into it unsuspectingly, or otherwise where the people who stopped "maintaining" were. maybe, rap.ed, then you can liken it to the psychotherapy I mentioned. Lets be honest in our analysis, please.

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Your analogy would have been excellent but for the fatal fact that none of the problems you mentioned are natural to humanity or better put: they do not have a natural role in furthering the species. Sex, on the other hand, is a perfectly natural unction designed to ensure the propagation of the species. Just like hunger ensures you eat, thirst ensures you drink necessary water. Sexual hunger ensures we reproduce. I thus believe there is alot of hypocrisy in mankind's religious approach to sexuality.

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@Deepsight: Can I take your opinion that "re-maintenance is demonic since maintenance is dreadful enough" to mean you do not believe, for instance, in

1. Drug & Alcoholism rehab programs

2. Prisons & other Legal correctional institutions like the "juve".

3. Psychotherapy as a medical aid in resolving soul trauma?

Because IMO they employ similar procedures in getting one back to a path he/she deliberately or mistakenly left or was lured into abandoning for the sake of excitement and adventure. What say ye?

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Let me just add a little slang of mine.

Some ladies have always been virgins. These are called "Maintainers" as they are "maintaining".

Other ladies lose their virginity but at some point decide to start "maintaining" again. This is called "re-maintenance".

Maintenance is dreadful enough, but re-maintenance is absolutely demonic.

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@imhotep

Abeg don't leave the man to ponder and muse over a pensive quote when a direct answer would suffice.

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lol My dear maven, you are not in shackles, nor have i crucified you. Do not complicate a simple and direct question.

We can all engender mistruths to validate our perpsectives is all I'm saying.

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Abstinence is possible if you keep away from bad thoughts

And bad company, with God all things are possible.

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@Imhotep. . . looks like you're propounding again the Buddha's four noble truths on desire.

@ Topic: each should have his fill. Only when sated, and then tired, and then repulsed, will deisre recede.

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Not teach ripe person: waste of person.

Teach not ripe person: waste of words.

[Chinese saying]

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Renunciation of OBJECTS without the renunciation of DESIRES is SHORT-LIVED. . .no matter how hard you try.

-Mahatma Gandhi

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this is one generous God, what about a woman that cannot satisfy her libido with one man, does she get a choice of marrying multiple husbands?

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thats why God gave men that one woman cannot satisfy their libido to marry more if they can afford it rather than adultery,cos na hot oil and iron rod angels go pour inside ur TOTO when u die,also expect more punishments in the grave and hellfire

BE A MUSLIM and be liberated

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Its harder for men to abstan from sex before marriage. For women, its easy.

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By this i meant, married persons not having extra marital affairs.

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why would a married couple agree to abstinence?

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