What's abstinence in a relationship? It refers to sexual intercourse. Couples practicing abstinence in a relationship continue being together without having sex. Some couples even stop kissing and behave platonically like friends, though continue being lovers even without sex. There are certain benefits of abstinence in a relationship. But, there are also different side effects of abstinence. It is a very serious thing, so you definitely shouldn’t play around. Read on to find out more about pros and cons of abstinence.

pros and cons of abstinence

Definition of Abstinence

So, abstinence is when partners in a relationship voluntarily and consciously stop having sex with each other and other people providing a couple has an open relationship. In other words, there’s no sex for partners practicing abstinence in a relationship.

Some stricter versions of abstinence go further with partners stopping even to kiss. From this point of view, it might be claimed that abstinence in a relationship completely deprives a couple of sensual pleasures. Can you hold hands? Well, I guess you can, but it won’t compensate for all the stuff you’re definitely going to miss like petting, hugs and stuff. Some couples stop doing it all but then go crazy at the look of each other and not always in a good way.

Abstinence in a relationship leaves no place for any kind of sex. Moreover, some extremely devoted couples can even stop masturbating, though, obviously, masturbation is not sex. Petting can also be excluded because it gives tactile pleasure and can encourage partners to the point where they wouldn’t be able to control themselves anymore.

Difference Between Celibacy and Abstinence

What is the difference between abstinence and celibacy? Celibacy is a wider and more complex thing. Celibacy requires a person never to be married or involved in romantic relationships. However, a married couple can go for sexual abstinence without practicing celibacy. Thus, celibacy includes abstinence but is not limited by it. Moreover, celibacy is more often associated with religion. Ascetic behavior of the many of religious devotees is based on sexual abstinence. For many monks and priests in different religions it is forbidden to marry or have sex.

Disadvantages of Abstinence


Abstinence in a relationship can cause alienation. Partners can simply lose interest in each other because of the lack of physical contact. Sex is important and only the strongest relationships can benefit from abstinence. 

side effects of abstinence

Another will inevitably be damaged by it. Moreover, there’s a risk that slowly alienating from each partner will eventually break up. Though sex is not a single most important thing we crave in a relationship, it is irreplaceable. It gives eternal sensual pleasure that is existentially important. Alienation can also cause cheating and emotional miscommunication. Speaking in broader terms, partners can easily become less interested in each other only because they do not get what their biology wants – sex.

Stress, Anxiety, Depression

It is one thing not to have a relationship and have no sex because of it. But being in a relationship without sex is confusing. Partners continue to see each other regularly and start to irritate each other because their presence doesn’t indicate the possibility of sex. Therefore, you feel like you’re constantly reminded of what you can’t have because your partner continues to be in front of you. Sounds logical, right? And it is true because you are biologically programmed by nature to desire your partner and your conscious decision cannot force your body to change its natural ways. Therefore, you might start feeling apathetic, low, and anxious which can cause stress and depression.


When you lack sexual activity, you start sublimating. The process of sublimation comes from a sphere of psychology. It is the way in which you either consciously, or unconsciously project and source your sexual energy. Everybody sublimates more or less in life. The more you deprive yourself of sex, the more severe sublimation occurs. It can easily become the reason of your anger which you will project on your partner. Only because she or he is the one near you most of the time. It can significantly decrease the amount of joy in your relationship. Why? Because anger has no place in joyful and happy relationships.


Depriving yourself of the possibility of a sexual intercourse with your partner might cause you or your partner to find sensual pleasure elsewhere. This is definitely one of the most dangerous facts about abstinence. It can cause cheating and, as well all know it pretty well, cheating generally leads to a breakup. Therefore, only those partners who really trust each other should try sexual abstinence. In all the other cases it is not worth the risk. Therefore, you should consider all the risks and avoid trying it. Moreover, even if you yourself is adamant about being able to do it, it doesn’t necessarily follow that your partner can handle it as well.

You never can tell what your partner’s sexual energy is like because even your partner doesn’t understand it completely and precisely. Therefore, one partner may consider a successful abstinence as a lack of interest and try to compensate lack of attention somewhere else with another person. That happens quite often, and it is one of the strongest arguments against sexual abstinence in relationship.

Benefits of Abstinence

Though it is definitely so that sexual abstinence in a relationship has more cons, there are certain advantages of abstinence which can benefit serious long-term relationships. One of this benefits is a more solid spiritual connection. Sexual abstinence is the best for a couple to learn that their relationship is more than just two bodies interacting and obeying the natural law because they like each other’s looks. Sexual abstinence can teach partners to behave more like mature people, it can open spirituality, increase self-confidence, teach partners real teamwork, improve quality of communication, etc. Read on to know more about abstinence relationship tips.

Mature Behavior

It typically happens so that partners get used to each over the time, especially sexually. That’s why you can see so many tips on how to spice up your sex life online. Nevertheless, partners substitute their focus on the physical presence of each other in order to build something more solid than just romantic attraction. In the absence of sexual satisfaction, partners in the committed long-term relationships build homes, buy cars, decide to have kids, save money, etc. In other words, focus on sex is no a purely mature thing. Therefore, in the absence of sex partners start noticing other things. And maturing is the most important among them. Co-living and relationships are not only about sex, though it may be the most pleasant and joyful part.


It doesn’t matter whether you’re a religious person or not. Spirituality is something we all possess because there’s a huge difference between animals and human beings. Humans invented and implemented in life such notions as love, soul, spirit, mindfulness, consciousness, etc. All these immaterial things are the driving factor in our lives. Unlike animals are driven by instincts, humans have emotional intelligence. Thus, we feel things and depend a lot on intuition, rationality, and conscience.

abstinence relationship tips

In broad terms, sexual abstinence helps one to develop in this direction. For this same reason, preachers, ministers, and saints restrained themselves from having sex in order to rise spiritually. You don’t have to be a priest but, believe it or not, sexual abstinence can make you happier seeing as how it uncovers your humane potential. Though we all need sex, that is something we have in common with animals. Thus, try not having it at least for some time in order to, perhaps, understand better what it is to be a human being.

Better Sex

Trying not to have sex with your partner is absolutely the best way to spice up your sex life. Simply because the decrease in quantity brings forwards the increase in quality. It is way more difficult to get used to your partner if you have a sexual intercourse once a month instead of doing it once a week. The fewer there are sexual intercourses the better each intercourse will be. It works like a clock. But don’t go to extremes because at some point you’re going to want to have sex so much, it won’t matter whether it is your partner you’re attracted to or just sex itself. Keep that in mind!

So, when you practice sexual abstinence you become attracted to your partner more and this feeling is mutual. You want more what you can’t have. In order to know how to practice abstinence in a relationship correctly, you need to know that it is mostly done to increase the levels of attraction. That is the most important reasons behind the partners’ decision to do it. Inform yourself better to know how to deal with abstinence in a relationship in case some problems arise. Don’t go to the extremes and stay cautious. The balance between vivid attraction and cold alienation, between the desire of sex itself and the desire of your partner, between the benefits and disadvantages of a sexual abstinence.

How to practice abstinence in relationships right way

Try to avoid irritants. During this period, you should definitely not watch porn and erotic films, visit strip clubs and sex parties (although it can be a fun experience to continue to practice abstinence in such conditions). In moments when the arousal comes, and thoughts about someone you desperately want won’t leave your head, breathing practices help.

Outline the boundaries of sexuality, and then it will be easier for you to understand what to abstain from. What is sex for you? Contact between two people or masturbation too? Are fantasies and thoughts considered sex? Before starting abstaining, it's a good idea to set things clear. The severity of abstinence depends on the purpose it’s practiced for. If you want to miss having sex with your partner and refresh your relationship, then you can masturbate and fantasize. If you want to feel the movement of energy in yourself, learn to transform and sublimate it, then it’s important to completely abstain from any actions that kindle passion.

All in all, you are now well aware that such a thing as sexual abstinence in a relationship exists. Moreover, it is a quite popular practice. It is totally up to you whether to practice it or not. One thing is certain, though, and that is the fact that it’s all pretty serious stuff that you shouldn’t mess with. Be serious about the whole deal and good luck!

How to prolong the duration of sexual intercourse after the long abstinence?
Firstly, it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle – it primarily includes doing sports. Secondly, it is necessary to establish nutrition – this is important for microcirculation. The third tip is to change sex positions frequently. Moreover, it is advisable to use thick latex condoms, which make you more sensitive. Also, you can use breathing techniques or a special set of exercises that helps to train the pelvic muscles.
Is it true that without sex, women age faster because abstinence leads to hormonal imbalances that decrease collagen production?
The absence or presence of sex does not affect the function of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, or ovaries, so a woman will not experience hormonal imbalance during abstinence. The synthesis of collagen is influenced by thyroid hormones and estrogen, the absence or presence of sexual life does not affect the synthesis of these hormones in any way, and therefore, does not affect collagen either.
Is "sex for health" necessary?
According to gynecologists, the absence of sex in a woman's life will in no way affect her health, both general and reproductive. But in representatives of the stronger sex, regular sexual activity contributes to the production of mobile spermatozoids. Thus, prolonged abstinence can lead to various diseases such as impotence, infertility, prostatitis, and premature ejaculation.
Comments (1)
22.07.2020 09:35
The benefits are surely tempting, but the disadvantages are much scarier. The stress alone significantly complicates a relationship, speaking from experience here. But cheating is what I’m really scared of. I’m not sure I’d practice abstinence myself.

Add Comment

Search Gallery