Sex and Platonicism

Opposite gender roomatessharing their keys ina new apartment. Photo by AntonioGuillemF on

Why are some of us choosing not to have sex?

A significant portion of all male-female relationships are characterized by mutual sexual attraction. When we meet someone we find attractive, it is natural to think about this person as a potential sexual partner. 

People do not need to view these thoughts as lustful or particularly debaucherous. 

The subtle inner confirmation we feel when attracted to another person could not be more natural. 

However, the presence of attraction doesn’t always forecast sexual entanglement. 

This insight may appear obvious. We don’t have sex with everyone who stimulates us physically or emotionally. 

However, it isn’t so obvious why we may choose not to, given the opportunity to engage in consensual intimacy with someone in a private space. 

Moral values around sexuality, purity, virginity, family and marriage provide many reasons one might refrain from casual sexual encounters with those they find attractive. 

Often though, we mysteriously suspend our adherence to moral considerations and practices when a desire for another is strong enough. 

While some people abstain from casual sexual relations with others and base their reasoning on moral principles, this may not be representative of everyone.

Sexually transmitted diseases also create a disincentive to freely engage in casual intimacy with other people. 

However, given modern advances in sexual disease testing, prevention and the general slowing of STD contraction over time, at least in western nations, this appears to be an increasingly feeble argument. 

I think it is helpful to venture outside of traditional normative boundaries in considering why someone chooses not to engage in intimacy, even when the opportunity freely and openly presents itself. 

After all, many non-religious health-conscious people decide to maintain exclusively platonic relationships. 

One observation is that you might refrain from casual sex with someone if you believe in “romantic ownership.”  One doesn’t need to be married to be committed emotionally and physically. 

This idea of “romantic ownership” may be inherent to what humans believe about romantic relationships. When we are involved with someone in a romantic or consistently intimate way, we see them as ‘ours.’. We say my boyfriend, my husband, my girlfriend, my wife. 

While we generally endorse “my” in all human connections – my boss, my employee, my teacher-the placement of my in front of romantic labels foreshadows and eventually reveals an almost religious zeal in us to demonstrate our ownership of the other person. 

The sharpest emotions come out of us to defend romantic ties to one another. This zeal naturally implies adherence to a code of monogamy, hence more focus on platonic relationships.

A second observation is that as one matures in all aspects of their being, they can gradually move past the ephemeralities and anxiety-inducing trends in romantic relationships. 

In addition to purely biological impulses, the desire for total acceptance and radical love from another generates inspiration  for deep bonding and sexual connection. 

This yearning causes us to rush many times blindly into intimate relations with someone we find attractive yet know little about. 

But, through experience, as one becomes familiar with emotion and sexual desire and learns patience amid their urges, they find a space of awareness between themselves and their natural inclinations. 

In this space, this person can contemplate the future with another, observe how  their interest thinks, and genuinely get to know them as a friend. 

If this happens, one will certainly  be less inclined to engage in casual sexual activity immediately. This experiential process does not imply that this person no longer possesses sexual nature or desire. 

It only means that one may choose to build rapport sans the presence of the sexual element at any moment. 

A third observation is that some individuals possess self-esteem issues related to trauma. Their trauma prevents them from stepping into friendships, romantic or otherwise. 

If you feel you have difficulty speaking to others and developing friendships, check this out

Whether you choose to abstain from sex and cultivate platonic relationships, enjoy and share your sexuality with others, or some part of both, remember that everyone who chooses not to engage in sex right away isn’t weird or strange. 

Some are very prudent and judicious in who they choose to connect themselves with and so require time before they become intimate with you.