When I first read about the trend of women in their 20s going without sex
, the first thing I thought was, Oh, right. In my apartment, we call that April. It's fun -- there are burritos.
The second thing I thought was, "F**k you guys." Lots of us go without sex for long stretches of time (I mean, like, not THAT long) and don't attach any significance to it other than being sort of crabby. And here are these girls posing in plunging sundresses
, talking about not getting laid like it's a juice fast.
These women -- most of them sex-positive and admittedly experienced -- claim that locking it up can make you more focused, help your career and improve your relationships.
Katie Jean Arnold, a performer and "access bars
" practitioner (it's a kind of aided meditation therapy, we gather) has been voluntarily celibate before, but her decision to embark on a more epic sex fast was featured in a recent New York Post article
(alongside Wikipedia-page-having entity Julia Allison and some girl who says that not f**king helps her be a better wedding-dress designer). Katie spoke to me about why you shouldn't hate her for taking her sex fast public, and why it's actually improving her job and her interactions with men.
Julieanne: OK, I have to get this out of the way. Are you like, "Oh, f**k, my name is up on the Internet with Julia Allison's now?"
Katie Jean Arnold:
I'm new here ... No one likes her?
Ha, you are "new here." Cliffs Notes: She's the worst.
Ha ha. Well, I just figured being in the Post would be funny.
Exactly. I love how it's news that a pretty girl in New York isn't having sex. In the past, you've been celibate for as long as eight months. How long are you going this time?
It's been two weeks so far. The last hook-up I had was so easy and so hilarious. It was so New York City for me -- I got picked up on a subway platform. I'd see people making out on and near the subway, and I wanted that experience. Now that I've had it, I'm on to other things. Like working on my music. I'm going to be celibate until I sign a record contract -- a lucrative one. Or, I guess until I get married. But I'm not dating, or open to it right now.Wow. So is this more of an "I'm feeling dirty" thing or an "I'm training to fight Apollo Creed" thing?
I'm training to fight Apollo. There's nothing dirty about it. I was so happy to share my story with the Post because I thought the last hook-up was so funny. I called my friend the morning after laughing.
But a lot of women who are being interviewed about the celibacy trend are using really negative language to talk about sex. You told the Post that "Sex in New York for me had become like the 99-cent package of Ding Dongs on the corner." I think it can get easy to conflate casual sex with something shameful.
No shame! My sister [an adult Internet model] is the party girl. I was taking part in her world for a while. And sex, of course, is a fun part of my world. I think it's funny that sex is discussed so much, whether it's being celibate or being a slut.
So it's more about channeling energy into other things than sex than abstaining for moral reasons?
It is about that. I can only focus on a few things at once.
I live in New York. I'm single. I often go a couple of months without sex. It blows. But is it really that hard to Not Get Laid?
It's a complete energy shift.
It's just not pursuing sex.
Before I was viewing each guy I met as a potential partner. Do I like him? Does he like me? Blah, blah, blah. Now there is no thought about that, because I am not doing that right now.
So you just lay down the law with guys right away?
I was doing energy work on two guys this past Saturday night. I traded one of them Access Bars work (an hour process that has me touch different points on the head) for Thai massage and I told him how I wasn't having sex. And he just laughed and was like, "Oh, my God!"
He thought Thai massage meant "Thai massage."
No, the "Thai massage" was nice and legit. I was working on an attractive guy and it was actually easier to work with him, because attraction did not matter, because that's not in the cards for me at all. Being celibate is also like prolonged foreplay with myself. I remember last time, when I was celibate for eight months, and I chose to have sex again -- it was sooooo much fun.
Can you masturbate?
Yeah, masturbation is fine. I'm celibate from sex with others.
Phew. OK, but you've done sex fasts before. Does it get really difficult at some point?
I've used sex as a stress relief in the past. It's fun to have a few drinks and then have sex.
So I hear.
But so as long as I work, keep active in performing improv and music, keep myself at the gym, and attend yoga regularly, I'll be totally fine. [In terms of sexual frustration] my body goes in a three-week cycle, so I'll probably add in some terrifying adrenaline pumping activity every three weeks. This next week, I'll probably do some stand-up to get me that same "high."
Important question: do you find that dudes are more into you when you remove sex from the equation?
Totally. You always want what you can't have.
Katie Jean Arnold is a musician, comedian and Access Consciousness Bars Facilitator in New York.