Is abstinence supposed to be easy?


#1

Hi. My name is Ian. I’m 20 years old and pledged to stay abstinent until marriage, YEARS ago.

When I was in Catechism, preparing for confirmation, we (the whole class) talked about sexuality and the importance of Chastity and remaining abstinent. Everybody in the class kept throwing science into the picture as a fight against such a pledge, and if I recall, I’m the only one who said, “Fine by me,” made the pledge, and stood by it with minimum effort. I was expecting it to be hard and with a ton of temptations down the road, maybe a few moments of weakness, but I got nothing. Thoughts are rare, and actual temptations are even rarer. In fact, I don’t care if I ever become active. It’s not the most important thing to me, it’s actually one of the least common things on my mind.

Is there a reason I have no problem with this pledge? Is it supposed to be this easy? Why is it so hard for so many people to stand by this pledge?

Also, I don’t know if this is the right place to post this in, so I apologize if it’s in the wrong place.


#2

That sounds great!

Is it supposed to be easy? :nope:

That’s my answer.

I guess you could say it depends, but in your case I’d advise you to stay strong and keep praying, because once you start down the road of lust, it can be hard to quit.

Also, have you dated anyone in your life?


#3

It may be the devil has other plans for how to tempt you. Different people succumb to different vices. The trick is to not look down on others who suffer from different temptations as weak, while ignoring your own.

I do think, in today’s society, it is harder than it has been in a long time to avoid lust. Our culture is saturated with sex and in some social circles you’re considered odd to choose abstinence. So even though it’s not YOUR cross to bear, at least not now, I would be very cautious about considering yourself “better” than your peers who deal with this (I’m not saying you feel this way now, but I bet it will be a temptation at some point for you). I know I’ve felt this way sometimes about peers who drank a lot in college. I’ve never been tempted to get plastered the way they did, but I’ve had my own temptations to face with their own obstacles. I’m just thankful drink wasn’t one of mine.


#4

That’s just it. I have seen things that trigger lust in many people, yet they don’t trigger lust in me. If anything, I feel uncomfortable while seeing it, and guilty after seeing it. Thankfully, I don’t usually intend to look anything up. For example, one time I searched for pictures of palm trees(I love palm trees), and a picture of a woman in a Bikini in front of one showed up in the results. I hate it when companies/businesses do that to us.

Yes. I have had many girlfriends (not at once, obviously), but everyone of them broke up with me before I could start dating, however, one stayed with me, and we’re still together 4 years later (5 years in January). She is the nicest young woman I’ve ever had in my life, and probably ever for the years to come.


#5

So you’re saying you have no sex drive? At 20? Have you been examined by a doctor to make sure the hormones are at appropriate levels and the “plumbing” is working correctly?


#6

I have been wondering if I’m Asexual. It may not be common, but it does happen. No, I haven’t seen the doctor about it.
As for the “plumbing,” I suffer from Adult Onset Secondary Enuresis. Me, my mother and the doctor are working on finding the cause of it to see if we can treat it.


#7

Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. We all have challenges in different ways, as we need to be tested to grow spiritually.


#8

I think you should discuss your apparently low sex drive with your doctor. It is rare for a 20 year old man to have “no struggle” to remain chaste.


#9

Christian, There could be many reasons, but at the root, I believe that by being loyal to Jesus Christ, He has rewarded you with the virtue of purity. Good for you! You guys here assenting to the will of God or reaching out for His help are amazing! I am humbled.


#10

I agree. In the future, if you decide to marry, this could be a problem for your wife. Typically, people in their 20’s have high sex drives within marriage and struggles maintaining purity outside of it. If there is a physical problem causing the low sex drive it could take years to find and treat. If it were me I’d want to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

Not to mention that the lack of sex drive and the Adult Onset Secondary Enuresis could be related. Maybe they share the same underlying cause. If the doctor is trying to find the root cause of the AOSE knowing that you have a very low sex drive could be the clue s/he needs.


#11

I agree. You’ll want both fixed if you ever marry…


#12

Some of these answers reflect the harm our Culture of Death has done to all of us. Yes, a low sex drive could be a malfunction, but if the OP doesn’t have a problem with it, I don’t think he’s facing anything terminal. So why have it checked, be “cured”, and have to bare the burden of having a difficult time following God’s plan for him in his life? It’s not desirable to have to struggle with sin. God is greater than all of this, and the OP could fall in love and even before marriage find out he indeed has the potential to be a good and caring husband who suffers from no malfunction.


#13

It doesn’t reflect that. It reflects concern for ones medical condition.


#14

What I’m going to do tomorrow is talk to my doctor about my lack of interest, and maybe even request to see a specialist. If I find out that I’m asexual, then I won’t worry. If I find out that I have low hormonal levels, then I’ll let it go until marriage, UNLESS it’s something serious. If I find out that it’s something like a tumor, or a cyst, then I’m definitely going to do something about it.

In summary, if it’s serious, I’ll treat it. But if it’s minor, then I won’t worry about it. I’m not ready to die yet, however I’m not ready to break or risk breaking my pledge either.


#15

I accept you are genuine in your desire to be chaste, and to live well. Your decision to at least look into your low sex drive is smart. You then get to take advice, and make further decisions as appropriate. If there is a medical condition, you may find it has implications for more than just married life.

I would not overemphasise the pledge, and I would not see particular merit in refusing treatment for a medical condition (say, hormone levels) in order to make it easier to honour the pledge. If the pledge is easy, is it of great personal merit? Consider two men: one loves sweets, the other has no interest in sweets, preferring savoury and spices. They both pledge to give up chocolate cake for Lent. What’s wrong with this story?


#16

Christian, You’re doing the right thing. Keep on. People will not always understand you when you try to follow Christ. I am glad, though, that you are having it checked out since as Rau mentioned, it could be a medical condition. God bless you.


#17

It’s not necessarily supposed to be anything. Some people find abstinence easier than others. Some people go through periods of struggle where it seems inordinately difficult and periods of smooth sailing (I’m one of those people). Some people find it’s difficult at first and gets easier as you become accustomed to chastity (I’m also one of those people). Etc.

My own intuition is that sex drive is rather like appetite for food. It varies from person to person. I have a very low appetite generally. I often get by on 1500-1600 calories a day. Not that I’m starving myself, I just don’t feel the need to eat much. That doesn’t mean I have some kind of eating disorder, and trust me, I can be quite ravenous when I’m hungry. Likewise, that you don’t feel much urge for sex now doesn’t mean you have a low sex drive.

If you find continence easy, you might consider that as a sign of a vocation to a life that requires continence, such as the priesthood or religious life. Not a definitive or conclusive sign, of course, but one out of possibly others. In other words, one possible reason you find it easy is because you are called to a life in which you will be expected to live it. Give it some thought, eh?


#18

Purity is hard for some people because of their past sins of impurity. But if a person has remained pure all throughout his life, it should not be too hard for him to keep pure, unless, of course, God sends him a special trial meant to make him really excel in the virtue of purity. Jesus says that His yoke is easy and His burden is light: and they are. But for those who tempt God and put themselves in all kinds of occasions of sin, do not practice custody of the senses, and go on “playing with fire,” purity can be very difficult, if not impossible. God bless you.


#19

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