Who’s giving up sex for Lent?

March 01, 2022

A group of Christian couples recently gave up sex for three weeks while they embarked on a spiritual journey to get closer to God.

The Reverend Dr Carla Dunbar-led saints engaged in fasting and prayer over the period, and, according to the pastor, they felt that abstaining would lead to greater spiritual growth.

"It was a conscious decision of the couples in my ministry to give up sex for a period of time. We did it in January for 21 days," said Dunbar, who is known to some as 'the sex pastor'.

Dunbar said that spiritual journeys, which involve fasting, require deep focus and dedication.

"In Christendom, fasting is accompanied by prayer and meditation and reading of the Word. It is not just the giving up of something. It is more the time we spend with God," she said.

Tomorrow's start of the Lenten season has reignited discussion on the extent to which people abstain from sex in order to go on spiritual or other journeys. Dunbar told THE STAR that fasting from sex is commonplace, but said that she has never encountered anyone who gave up sex for Lent, but noted that some people do it.

It it customary for persons to make bold declarations about the things that they will be giving up for Lent. Invariably, the eating of red meat and the consumption of alcoholic beverages often seem to make the list. And so too sex!

Like Dunbar, Dr Sidney McGill, a clinical sexologist, has no evidence that vast numbers of people actually avoid getting between the sheets and denying themselves sexual pleasures during Lent.

The Lenten season, which commemorates the 40 days and 40 nights that Jesus fasted while in the desert, commences tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday, and will culminate on Good Friday, which will be on April 15.

"I think you do have the religious people, especially the Catholics who will more likely give up red meat and things like that and still eat their fish. About sex now, I don't know of that. I know with the pandemic, the collective anxiety is much higher than normal, and you know people have sex a lot of times because it relives their anxiety. They don't know they doing that but that it what is happening in a lot of cases," McGill said.

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