Why Do We Keep Fetishizing Guys Who Give Up Sex?

As another guy becomes an internet sensation for being brave enough to give up wanking, we ask why do we keep fetishizing chaste guys?


by Sophie Cullinane |
Published on

Monks give up all their worldly belongings to dedicate their lives to prayer, Mahatma Gandhi lasted 21 days on only sips of citrus juice and water when on hunger strike for India’s independence and now a guy called Rory Patrick isn’t having a wank for 100 days. How honourable.

Rory Patrick became an internet celebrity after announcing to his Twitter followers on April 5th that he would be abstaining from sex and masturbation for 100 days marked with the hashtag #rory100. Apparently, Rory notice that sowing his wild oats was having a negative affect on his day to day life, telling Vice:

‘Coming was also my primary coping strategy for stress or pain, and that just didn’t seem healthy at all.’

And so began his journey of no-wanking discovery. About a quarter of the way through the 100 day mission, he tweeted out a photo of himself making the three-fingered Hunger Games salute, which soon was adopted by his followers who tweeted back images of themselves in solidarity. He explained:

‘It let me know people were thinking about me and kept me honest. I didn’t want to ruin it one night because I was stressed about work and needed to rub one out.’

When, finally, the 100th day arrived, Rory watched the World Cup final with a friend, went back the house his housemate had left empty so he could be as loud as he wanted and got down to having a wank. In a tweet which really cannot be described as anything other than an exercise in hyperbole, he shared:

'I remember shaking deeply in my core like I hadn’t felt before, and then I proceeded to finish all over my chest with a fury I haven’t felt since I was in middle school. The orgasm reverberated throughout the room for at least 20 minutes.'

And with that, an internet celebrity was born. Rory now has nearly 14K followers and many many female admirers all offering themselves up as the person to break his next 100 dayabstinence bout. It’s clear from this story that what women really find sexy at the moment is a guy who’s not actually having any sex.

And Rory isn’t alone with this one, a self described ‘player’ (vom) called Peter Lynagh just raised more than £27,000 for charity after making a bet with his flatmate that he c0uld go without sex for 12 months. Peter was apparently tired of his clubbing lifestyle which inevitably ended with one-night stands. Apparently he had slept with 20 women the previous year and was known to friends as ‘Ireland’s horniest export’, but he accepted the challenge nonetheless and ended up being pledged nearly £30K by people blown away by his ‘bravery’. When we heard about this story, everyone at team Debrief had the same reaction – that Peter is about to get SO LAID after this. Since winning the bet earlier this year Peter has (shockingly) started a relationship with a woman he met though his fundraising page.

But why is it that we react the way we do to these men abstaining from sex for a year? What is it about it that makes women in particular react so strongly to their stories and fetishize the idea of a ‘chaste man’? It’s useful when we’re thinking about this to consider what our reaction would be if a woman didn’t have sex for a year. We’d hazard a guess that one of the first questions that would pop into your head was if she was celibate out of choice, or simply because she wasn’t getting any action – it’s telling, because it’s the sort of concern that wouldn’t ever come up in the case with the men.

All of this fetishizing plays into the assumption that all men are motivated by sex and getting their end away, whereas women are much more motivated by emotion and finding a relationship. No one really bats an eyelid when a woman is celibate for a period of time because we’re apparently all out to find our mate for life and therefore much more likely to be 'choosey'. When a woman gives up sex, she’s ‘emotionally damaged’ and getting out of the race or simply going through a dry spell, when a man gives up sex for a year he’s a hero. This is clearly nonsense – if we were to believe that both men and women are motivated by sex and emotion in equal measure, then maybe we’d stop thinking some guy is ‘brave’ just because he didn’t give himself a tug for a few months. The charity stuff is great, but when you put it like that it does make all the fetishizing sound pretty silly.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophiecullinane

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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