I used to believe that it was easy to moderate my vices using willpower alone, whether it comes to sex or something as basic as coffee, but I realized that “moderation” or seeking the “middle path” are mythical notions. If you allow just a little bit of vice in your life, the process of backsliding immediately begins as you gradually make exceptions to partake in more and more of the vice. Therefore, when it comes to staying away from harm, abstinence is the only solution that is effective.
A habit that is extremely difficult for me to control is coffee. While you may argue that coffee is healthy, it contains a high amount of caffeine, a powerful drug that creates physical dependency. If you are a regular coffee drinker and have tried to quit, you’re aware of the debilitating withdrawal effects of headaches, fatigue, and brain fog. I love the bitter taste of coffee, but my body and mind become dependent on it.
In the past, I’ve tried to moderate my caffeine intake to only once a week. That would work for a few weeks until I felt it was safe to drink on a second day of the week. I can’t become dependent on coffee from just drinking twice a week, right? But the backsliding had already begun. Within a month, I will be drinking every day, becoming fully dependent on it, all because I started drinking it once a week. The same applies to alcohol.
When it comes to sex, a guide of moderation I tried in the past was to only pursue it when I had a physical need. When I was feeling horny, I would pursue a casual sex interaction, but this would increase the desire for more sex, and it doesn’t account for the fact that your “need” of sex can be manipulated by your environment, especially if you live in a society bathing in free porn. It would only take one sex act to create voluminous thoughts and fantasies that made me hornier, and that all happened because I had sex based on what I thought was a genuine need. Soon enough, I’m thinking of sex every day and feel that I need sex quite often. The fulfillment of sex, it turns out, begets the desire for more sex.
Over a year ago, I was dating a girl who was fulfilling my sexual need. We would see each other once or twice a week. She soon ended the relationship because I did not want to commit to her. That same night, in a state of mild panic, I went to a seedy dive bar named Dragon and picked up a girl of ill repute. I had sex with her a couple of days later. I did not particularly like this girl, but I used her body because I thought I was in need of sex, when really I was just upset. I proceeded to have a rather unfavorable sexual experience that I have since tried to forget. During this time period, I had convinced myself that I was in a state of moderation, but I was actually ready to sleep with any woman who was willing.
A random female may attempt moderation when improving her look through surgical means. She only wants to inject a little filler in her lips to garner more likes for her Instagram photos, but once her lips are nice and juicy, she starts to notice the micro wrinkles on her face. Back to the dermatologist she goes for Botox, and you know what, she now feels that her breasts are two sizes too small. Can the kind doctor recommend a surgeon for breast augmentation? It started with the lips, and a few years down the line she looks artificial and a full decade older than her actual age.
Indian guru Osho preached the middle way, but he embraced being treated like a god. He said yes to every media outlet who came knocking while using his status to sleep with his female followers. That is moderation? It’s very easy to preach moderation, for it sounds reasonable and pleasing to the ear, but it doesn’t work in practice. Moderation is a slow falling. Once you partake in a small dose of vice, you give it the means to fill your thoughts, and soon, your behavior. I no longer kid myself that I can moderate any vice, no matter how minor they seem to appear, and know that abstinence is the best approach.
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