… OK, since she asked first I’ll bring the question to you, good Catholic readers. How does a single Catholic woman handle her sex drive in a healthy way?
For some people this really isn’t an issue—just go get some! But for me, this is issue. I am virgin, and have the conviction to stay abstinent till he, whoever he is, “puts a ring on it.” But with this sex drive, I have had plenty of thoughts of abandoning this conviction.
What I’m trying to say is that I want to know how to have healthy sexuality when I am single and unmarried. I don’t want to know how to suppress it, but how to live within as a complete spiritual, emotional, physical, and sexual being.
Other people are giving advice how to be “healthy”: condoms, masturbation, and oral sex “because it’s not really sex.” But what does the church say about healthy sexuality? How do I as a single young woman who is trying to follow Christ, do this?
I think her question is an excellent one, and one I’ve asked myself from time to time. In our sex crazed society people view Catholics as anomalies. We are perceived as pent-up and sexually repressed. I’ve been told time and time again to suppress any sexual feelings I may have without any real concrete way to put this into practice so I understand Kristin’s exasperation.
When you hear someone mention healthy sexuality these days they usually mean cautious promiscuity – using contraception to prevent pregnancy and condoms against STD’s which is ironic because both prevent neither. Nothing is consequence free, not even masturbation.
So what do you do? Is there anything more to offer us than “take a cold shower”? Is the frustration part and parcel with being single and the cross we should just shut and bear? Because I am going to be honest, when I read her statement “how to live as a complete spiritual, emotional, physical, and sexual being” I thought … as single people are we even supposed to be complete sexual beings? I can’t be sexual with myself so I am at loss to her meaning.
I have been divorced since 2004 so I have had a lot of time to figure out how to deal with sexual urges. I have identified when they are strongest; usually when I feel the loneliest. So I try really hard not to let those feelings get the best of me which means a good deal of my energies is spent keeping myself occupied. Which is tiring and feels a lot like suppression.
And since I have been married I suffer under no delusion that simply having a spouse means you will no longer have to deal with sexual frustrations. A spouse is not a live in concubine ready at your beck and call, just as getting married because you are lonely will not make you feel fulfilled.
What say you? What advice would you give Kristin and other single women out there?