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Five years of abstaining might not have been perfect, but it built an unshakeable foundation

Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

Eight years ago, the term “celibacy” wielded the same discomfort and embarrassment as an STD. However, when I moved from NY to L.A. in the summer of 2012, that sexless “disorder” crept its way into my life, nestling in boldly yet unnoticed like the fly on Mike Pence’s head at the VP debate.

At that point, nothing about my lifestyle reflected monogamy, let alone abstinence. As a young, single brother with a real job in L.A., the allure of Hollywood’s party scene had me out in these streets being a ho. …

Dear Level

After 60 days of celibacy, you’ll be amazed by what you’ve learned about yourself

Illustration: Janet Sung

The year was 1997. I was 24 years old and dating a few people but none seriously. Truth be told, I was kind of over it. It felt like every single situationship was the same: Date for a while until you feel like it’s compatible; have sex; date a little while longer; watch things inevitably fizzle out for any number of reasons.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

I wasn’t ready to get married or have babies, so each relationship was just a freestyle swim back and forth in the dating pool with no real idea of what (if anything) came next.


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