SEX AND SINGLEHOOD Handling sexual desires when single

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Whether married or unmarried, male or female, sexual desire is something all of us grapple with at many points in our lives. These are natural feelings and part of our body systems hence we cannot run away from them. While it is easy for married people and those in relationships to satisfy their desires, it is a whole new kettle of fish for single people. We tell you how to take charge of your sexual desire if you are single.

Some people refer to sexual desires as a necessary evil as they do not know what to do with them, yet it is a part and parcel of their biology. We need it if we are to procreate as God commands us in the book of Genesis. Sexual desire, also referred to as sex drive or libido, is a powerful amalgamation of neurochemicals – testosterone, serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine – that drive an urge to satisfy sexual needs. These hormones regulate libido in humans.

For men, sexual desire kicks in at puberty and this is when some start to masturbate. Testosterone levels in men peak at around 18 years of age. Their libido will then develop until they reach around 50 years before it starts to decline. This has largely been attributed to a phenomenon referred to as andropause where there is a reduction of testosterone levels. Remember; testosterone is one of the major hormones that controls sex drive. For women, the sex drive begins later on and like for men, it increases with time. Experience has also been shown to increase a woman’s sex drive.

According to experts, women reach their sexual peaks between mid- to late-20’s. This level of sexual maturity is referred to as genital prime and it is when a woman’s body most quickly responds to arousal. Sex drive may decrease in women as they hit menopause as the oestrogen levels fall and the ovaries produce less testosterone. Generally, sexual drive in humans is like an active volcano waiting to erupt. There are several factors that trigger it and they include a particular person or anyone of the opposite sex, time of day, emotions and visual cues such as erotic pictures or movies.

If not controlled, sexual desires can easily dominate a person and may lead to pain and eternal regret. It is thus important for anyone, whether married or not, to learn how to control them. It is worth noting that the earlier you take control of your sexual urges the better so as to avoid lifelong regrets. Furthermore, once married, you will be in a good position to ward off temptations to cheat on your spouse. So how can one control their sexual desires? We tell you.

Accept them

As explained earlier, sexual urges are a pretty normal thing that every adult goes through. We are also wired to think about sex. Don’t be ashamed of feeling this way. The first step to controlling your sexual urges would be to first acknowledge and accept them as a physical need that seeks fulfillment. In accepting our sexual desires, we are in a better position to keep our feelings in check.

Avoid triggers

In order to be in control of your sexual urges, you have to understand what triggers them. This varies from person to person hence it is imperative for one to do a soul searching to identify what triggers their sexual desire. Without doubt, we are surrounded with obvious signs and sexual innuendos; it would thus help to know when and where you mostly think about sex so as to help keep the mind alert to steer clear of them. If you notice that pornographic materials fire you up, make it difficult to access them. Dispose of pornographic magazines and videos and try to the best of your ability to resist the temptation to visit pornographic sites on the Internet. If being alone in a room with a member of the opposite sex brings thoughts of sex, avoid such situations.

Be a master of your own thoughts

It is the brain that releases the hormones that control sexual desires hence the battle can be fought mentally. Here, self-awareness is key as it is only when you identify your thoughts are drifting to sex matters that you can be able to distract yourself. Engage your mind on other things other than sex for such thoughts to vanish. If you find yourself thinking about sex every time you are in bed, you can make a habit of reading in bed so as to divert such thoughts. If you are in class or meeting, start taking notes once you notice your mind is drifting. All in all, don’t beat yourself up for thinking about sex; it’s normal – but don’t let it control you.

Exercise

In many movies, you will notice that when a character is not able to gratify their sexual urges they usually look for an intense physical activity to calm them down. The same applies in real life situations. Once you notice you desire sex and can’t have it, distract yourself through exercise. Take a walk, run or do sit ups – anything that will put the urge in the back burner. During exercise, the body releases endorphins – the feel good hormones. Apart from the good feelings, endorphins also help alleviate depression. Endorphins are released during sex – this explains why sex feels so good – hence exercise is a good substitute to sex.

Stay busy

They say an idle mind is the devil’s workshop and it rings true in this case. But that is not to say sex is evil, far from it! By being busy, your mind will be occupied by whatever you will be doing hence channeling your thoughts away from the urges. If you really need to relax, engage in activities that don’t require a lot of energy such as reading a novel or watching a movie. The aim is to fill up your free time such that you don’t start thinking about sex. Look for ways to turn that sexual urge into creative energy. You can decide to cook, sing, or mend that shirt you love so much. Just as you would channel your anger to something else, so can you channel your sexual desires on other things that excite you.

Eat

Yes, eat. Sometimes sexual urges might be from a different type of dissatisfaction altogether such as hunger. So, if you want to keep sexual urges at bay, don’t skip meals; eat healthy balanced meals. While at it, hydrate as well. Remember; we want your mind sharp enough to ward off the sexual urge.

Keep good company

If you are determined to remain chaste, then the company you keep will determine whether you will be able to see through your resolution or not. Surrounding yourself with people pursuing the same goals as you, especially on matters chastity could offer you the much-needed support. Your companions have a great impact on your social life hence it is advisable you hang out with people who share your ideals. For example, if your acquaintances talk about nothing else but sex, you might find it difficult to control your urges. Hanging out alone with a member of the opposite sex might not only stir up the desires unnecessarily, but also put you in a very awkward position.

Steer clear from alcohol and drugs

Alcohol, in small amounts, will increase your sexual desire. If you are looking to distract yourself from the sex urges, then a bottle of your favourite drink won’t give you the respite you are looking for. The ethanol in alcohol stimulates the hypothalamus – a part of the brain that is responsible for regulating hunger, body temperature, hormone levels and, of course, libido. Taking alcohol may exacerbate the sexual urges. Studies have shown that there are certain aromas that rouse sex urges and oddly enough, most of these aromas are found in wine. Now you know why wine is an aphrodisiac.

Talk to someone

Thing is, you may try all the above but you are still unable to get sex out of your mind leave alone controlling your sexual urges. This might be a pointer to a more serious condition. In such a situation, your next option would be to talk to someone about it. Isn’t it said that a problem shared is a problem half solved? Seek psychological counselling as obsessive thinking can be alleviated through therapy and medication. Whatever you do, never ever force your sexual urges on someone without their consent as that would amount to rape. If you think you might be a danger to someone, extract yourself from that situation and seek counselling.

Published in September 2016

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