“In December, I decided to abstain from sex for a year,” Tom Young writes in a new op-ed published by the Washington Post.
Let’s all give him a round of applause.
Young, an aspiring screenwriter from Los Angeles, continues: “It wasn’t in response to a bad one-night stand or any moral objection–sex was something I always kept lighthearted, fun and safe. But along the way, I found myself looking for more than just a physical connection.”
Throughout his 20s, Young says, he has “enjoyed partnerships with a variety of men,” from guys he’s met at the gym to guy he’s run into at the bar, but ultimately those liaisons have all proved unfulfilling.
“I grew disappointed that the romance always ended in the bedroom,” he writes.
So he quit sex.
The decision was triggered after a recent trip to San Francisco. While he was there, Young met a guy at a bar who he really, really liked.
“I knew this guy was a real catch, and although we lived on opposite sides of the country, I wanted our fling to evolve into something lasting,” he writes. “On our first video chat together, I floated the idea of developing a relationship. Unfortunately, he declined, telling me he wanted to stay single and sexually available.”
A few months later, that same guy changed his relationship status on Facebook to “In a relationship.” Young was devastated. Then, after getting over the heartache, he had an epiphany.
Related: Rupert Everett Is “Over Sex”
“I finally realized that the hook-up culture I embraced had left me feeling unfulfilled,” he says. “Between the hot encounters and desperate debauchery, I chose fleeting gratification over anything else.”
As it just so happened, at around the same time Young made this realization the FDA announced it was lifting its ban on blood donations from gay men, provided they abstained from sex for 12 months.
“I saw it as a chance to reevaluate my choices for my body and my heart, all while contributing my O-negative blood to the greater good,” Young writes. “By refraining from sex for a year, I will have the opportunity to save a life and, hopefully, renew my own sense of well-being.”
It has now been three months since he vowed to deny his loins pleasure for an entire year.
“Discussing my vow of chastity makes for complicated pillow talk,” he explains. “I’ve had guys take off once I told them about it. But the next day I’m always thankful I avoided another one-time deal. Perhaps after these few months of detoxing, I’ll be able to find men who will take the time to get to know me.”
“I’m giving myself the chance to build a connection with someone outside of sex,” he concludes, “no matter how hard it may be.”