Up until very recently, I was living with a seriously awful roommate. She was your typical passive aggressive person who refused to communicate and would let issues fester and fester until she would explode in a fit of pure crazy. One point of contention was my boyfriend. Roomie and I shared a big house, but boyfriend and I always kept to ourselves in my room. Of course, since boy and I are both pretty vivacious, we had sex regularly. We were pretty considerate, since the acoustics carried. We’d generally try to avoid doing anything when we knew she was home, or we’d blast the TV or our music, but she still couldn’t deal. (Going to the boy’s place wasn’t an option most of the time because his living situation was even more oppressive than mine.)
So, in an effort to be a decent roommate, I stopped having sex with my boyfriend, regularly, for almost six months. It wasn’t a total sex desert — we went on a couple of trips during this time (hotel sex is amazeballs), and sometimes he’d go house-sit for his parents when they were out of town and I’d tag along. But, for the most part, my vag was closed for business.
At first, it was miserable. I was resentful and annoyed at my roommate, and frustrated that I couldn’t ravage my boyfriend any time I wanted — like, hello, isn’t that one of the perks of a relationship? But after a bit, I started to enjoy it. Sex can be stressful, especially as someone who is hypercritical, hypersensitive and obsessed with analyzing. I was always worried about my performance, about the way my body looked to him and, of course, the slight possibility of pregnancy or STDs lingered in the back of my head. Sex can also be too consuming — for me, between having it, thinking about it, reading about it and writing about it, sex was almost becoming a mundane chore. Though I do love sex and all the pleasure it brings, it also felt great to feel like my body was purely mine again. There is something about being naked in front of someone else all the time that starts to take a little bit of a toll on my autonomy. I went from going to the gym so I’m attractive for my boyfriend to going to the gym because I really love feeling strong and fit. I went from looking at my body from a perspective of “How can I use this to please my boyfriend?” to “How can I take care of my body to the best of my ability?” I am independent by nature, but sometimes I start to lose myself when I’m trying to connect to others.
The best part of my forced celibacy was that my relationship did not suffer at all. We remained just as close as we were when we were boning on the regular, we still did intimate things, and he still called me sexy and hot. Some people perceive “dry spells” as being the end of the world, and I’m pretty sure some people would think that a forced sex hiatus would be the ultimate death knell for a couple, but that was far from the case. It was a great opportunity to get reacquainted with myself (what can I say, I’m a bit selfish sometimes) and relieve myself of a little mental stress.