Sexual abstinence is the practice of not having sex. It is a choice that some people make. As well as sex itself, they may also choose to abstain from other sexual activities. Sexual abstinence has been debated since ancient history, both in terms of same-sex and opposite-sex relationships. Some people take anaphrodisiacs to help them stay abstinent.
Abstaining from sex before marriage is usually called chastity. In some countries, it is illegal to have sex before marriage. Many religious and ethical systems proscribe sexual activities between a person and anyone other than a spouse of that person, including most denominational variations of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as have, historically, many legal systems and societal norms. People who are abstinent even though they do not want to be are sometimes called incels or TFL (true forced loneliness). One form of sexual abstinence is fapstinence, avoiding masturbation.
People may choose to do this for any reason. A common reason is because of the person's religious or philosophical beliefs. When done for religious reasons, it is called celibacy. Other people may choose abstinence in order to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. When someone is abstinent from sex but they don't want to be, its sometimes called incel, short for involuntary celibacy.
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- MacDonald, D.K. (2016) Involuntary Celibacy: Causes and Treatments. Retrieved from http://dustinkmacdonald.com/involuntary-celibacy-causes-treatments/
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- Chastity in Catholic Encyclopedia — a Christian view on chastity