BIRTH CONTROL: ABSTINENCE
The dictionary definition of abstinence is "self-denial; an abstaining from the gratification of appetite." Obviously, sexual abstinence in marriage should be mutually agreeable; otherwise, it becomes merely "spouse-denial." Since human beings are equipped with intricate and complex mechanisms for the purpose both of experiencing and gratifying sexual appetites, abstinence would seem to be in opposition to human nature. Indeed, the practice of abstinence in marriage as a method of birth control might very well cause people to question the advisability of marriage itself.
There are those advocates of abstinence who base their arguments on Freud's theory of sublimation. They go only so far as to point out that sexual urges may be sublimated and expressed in socially acceptable and beneficial ways. They do not explain that sublimation is an unconscious process, and that, even then, total sublimation cannot be achieved. There is no empirical evidence, furthermore, that sublimation of biological drives can really be accomplished. As a matter of fact, a conscious attempt to sublimate sexual urges can result in such psychological malfunctions as frigidity, impotence, inability to concentrate, irritability, and insomnia; or in such physical problems as premature ejaculation, difficulty in achieving erection, prostatitis, ovarian and vulval congestion, and decreased sex drive.
Voluntary abstinence is less damaging to the normal functioning of the organism than is involuntary abstinence. In any event, normal sexual urges can find relatively harmless outlets, such as nocturnal emissions for men and nocturnal orgasms for women.
There are, of course, occasions when abstinence becomes a matter of consideration of one's spouse or oneselffor example, during an illness, during late pregnancy, immediately after childbirth, and to avoid contracting or spreading venereal disease. Even in these cases, the partner not physically involved may wish to have some sexual outlet, whether by engaging in such acts as oral or manual stimulation with the spouse, or by self-stimulation.
Abstinence before marriage is, in general, highly esteemed by our society. This sanction is founded in biblical proscriptions against premarital sexual relations, and on the romantic notion that it is good for marriage partners to have their first sexual experience together. Some sociological studies would seem to indicate that sexual adjustment in marriage may actually be more successful when husband or wife, or both, have had previous sexual experience, but other studies do not support these findings.
Men's Health Erectile Dysfunction