How a sex fast can fix your love lifeFebruary 14, 2019
When Nina Burns broke up with her boyfriend of four years, the 24-year-old model swore off sex.
“It was a really bad relationship,” the East Villager tells The Post. She wanted to take some time to focus on herself — and not have her head “clouded” by sex, or somebody else’s wants and needs.
“People decide to go sober for their physical health,” she says, “but being celibate is for your mental health.”
Just ask Justin Bieber: Last week, the singer revealed to Vogue that he swore off sex for a year before marrying Hailey Baldwin.
“[God] doesn’t ask us not to have sex for him because he wants rules and stuff,” Bieber, a born-again Christian, told the fashion mag. “He’s like, ‘I’m trying to protect you from hurt and pain.’ I think sex can cause a lot of pain. Sometimes people have sex because they don’t feel good enough. Because they lack self-worth. Women do that, and guys do that.”
After Burns’ 2017 breakup, she says that she was celibate for nearly a year. During that time, she went back to school to study merchandising — and started to see herself as someone whose self-worth didn’t revolve around sex. Last July, she started seeing an artist. They took things slowly, cultivating a friendship before romance. Two months into their relationship, Burns was ready to have sex again.
“Going celibate is a more mature way to find someone who values other things in life,” she says. “It was just what I needed.”
Not everyone agrees. Vanessa Valentino, a Midtown-based sex therapist and clinical psychologist, suspects celibacy is more of a fad than a fix — and not a substitute for genuine introspection.
“People are looking at a past relationship and trying to prevent it from happening again,” she says. “Celibacy, in a way, is to center yourself, but you don’t have to go so far.” Instead, she says, “just think about” why you feel the need to abstain, and take it from there.
Still, some New Yorkers insist that being celibate helps them feel better about themselves, especially where casual relationships are concerned.
“Having sex without a deep connection leaves me feeling used and empty,” says Tina Tandon, a 30-something fashion designer. “You just feel so let down . . . And it feels horrible when you realize you don’t have any real feelings for the person you just slept with.”
The Upper East Sider, who’s been divorced for seven years, has been celibate for the past six months. She says she plans to stay that way until she meets someone she can get intimate with in a meaningful way.
“I feel like I’m more focused on myself and my work and my energy,” Tandon says. “I’m more in control. I don’t want the negative aftereffects — crying when people use you. It’s a horrible waste of energy.”
‘People decide to go sober for their physical health, but being celibate is for your mental health.’
Today, she feels more confident than ever, explaining to dates why she’s not hitting the sheets with them.
“I feel like my body is a temple,” Tandon says. “I have to be careful who I let into my body and what they are bringing to me. Are they bringing something that will enhance my temple, or will it take away from me? They have to prove themselves worthy of having a piece of me.”
Jonathan, 36, says he’s refrained from all sexual activity for the past three years. The Orthodox Jewish entrepreneur, who declined to share his last name for privacy reasons, believes that becoming celibate would be good for business.
“I wasn’t successful . . . and I was trying to understand why,” the Tribeca man says. His religious training told him that business success comes from the spiritual world, not the physical one. Eliminating all physical contact with the opposite sex, the former ladies’ man thought, might help.
He says the first 90 days of celibacy were torture: “At first, it’s harder than quitting heroin.” He went on a date during that time, explaining that he couldn’t hug her because he’s celibate. After she didn’t hear from him, she called in a tizzy: His refusal had hurt her feelings.
These days, he avoids the bar scene that defined his life for years.
“I’m not looking to get laid, so there’s no reason to go to a bar,” Jonathan says. “I’m now an eligible bachelor for a girl where I only save sex for her.”
So did celibacy really help his business?
“Some deals went through,” he says.
Jonathan hopes he can stay celibate until he marries. For now, though, he’s perfectly happy.
“I learned that I have strong willpower — now I know a person can do anything,” he says. “It’s all in the mind.”
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