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“Everything in the world is about sex—except sex; sex is about power.” ~ Oscar Wilde
No experience in the world compares to the sex experience.
It is unrivaled as nature’s chief source of pleasure, and most lethal agent of confusion.
However we choose to indulge, maintaining a healthy and balanced sex life is crucial for our physical and psychological well-being. Otherwise, we might need to unplug to regain perspective and balance.
Here are seven signs our sex life needs a break:
1. Using sex to heal
Believe it or not, I am a huge Marvin Gaye fan—but when it comes to emotional wounds like heartbreak and grief, sexual healing is probably not the healthiest dish on the self-care menu.
Getting over a broken heart is now a million-dollar industry because life is grief, and grief is life—two inseparable entities. And people would do anything to overcome their grief and fill the emptiness within, including having a string of needless and meaningless sexual escapades.
Stop the body count. Take a break from sex and pursue healthier options to soothe your broken heart.
2. Using sex to evaluate a situationship
A situationship is a relationship minus the expectations created out of curiosity. Most times—if not always—our curiosity gets the best of us, like catching feelings in a no-feelings zone.
When this happens (and it often does), people test the connection to see if the comfort and compatibility they enjoy could be upgraded to a full relationship by having more sex.
Every potential relationship requires a full-scale compatibility test, but relying on sex as a guide for matters of the heart is as ridiculous as navigating a maze blindfolded.
Taking a break from having sex would help you see the inherent possibilities in any form of the relationship more clearly.
3. Using sex to power a relationship
Besides breastfeeding, sex is perhaps the most powerful bonding tool ever known to humans. But when it is the only or major source of intimacy powering a relationship, it won’t take long before the fire burns out.
Cultivating deeper levels of intimacy takes time and intention, but in a world of instant gratification, the virtue of patience is no longer worth its weight in gold, causing relationships to run on fumes.
Stop ignoring the elephant in your relationship room. Take a break from sex and develop a deeper sense of connection with sustainable values.
4. Using sex to release porn addiction
Whether it is alcohol, drugs, or pornography, addiction of any kind is dangerous and destructive. It deprives humans of the opportunity to embrace and explore the many colors of life and reality.
Sexual fantasies created by pornography are designed to distort the purity of our sexual reality, leading to the creation of a hyper-sexualized image of our partners. Pursuing such fabrications sets our mental health and interpersonal relationships up for a timely collapse.
Taking a break from your sex life and seeking professional help regarding your addiction should be the priority.
5. Using sex to boost self-worth
We all want to be seen, heard, and valued as human beings—to feel good about ourselves. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with desiring validation as it is a core human need. But the idea of fulfilling this need through sexual intercourse is an unrealistic goal.
Finding a sense of self-worth is like trying to satiate an emotional abyss. No matter how good sex makes you feel, there is no quenching that thirst.
It is only wise to secure a sustainable source for all of our validation needs from within ourselves, and taking a break from sex will be helpful to achieve this delicate mind shift.
6. Using sex to spread disease
After a positive diagnosis of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), people sometimes go rogue. Their mission: weaponize and spread infectious diseases like HIV to unsuspecting people—HIV non-disclosure.
This reckless and irresponsible action could be borne from deep-seated anger and resentment, mental overstimulation, or psychological trauma. No matter the excuse, the intentional or reckless transmission of infectious diseases is not okay (and actually a crime).
Once you have been exposed to an STD or STI, be responsible. Take a break from all sexual activities, inform your partner, and protect others who are at risk. Seeking immediate medical and psychological guidance is more than advised.
7. Using sex to dissipate difficult emotions
As previously mentioned, sex is a one-of-a-kind experience. The intensity with which the fire of sexual desire burns and the surge of sweet brain juice (dopamine and oxytocin) released during orgasm is second to none—and addictive.
Sometimes, when people are required to navigate difficult emotions like anger, and they don’t know how to work through their bullsh*t, they look for other ways to bypass or erase these emotions. And sex is often the go-to option.
Shocker alert: the relief, though initially profound, is temporal. This is a sign that you need to lay off the good stuff for a while to develop healthier coping habits.
Taking a break from our sex life is a sacrifice for the greater good. It is taking a step back to analyze and reassess personal health and interpersonal relationships—like placing a fermata in a world of reckless and ill-advised sexual symphonies.
Ignoring logic and common sense to pursue sexual passion can be unhealthy for your physical and psychological well-being, resulting in a toxic experience and abuse of nature’s precious gift.
Sex is beautiful but enjoy it responsibly.