Reader Poll: What did you give up for Lent?

Overachiever that I am, I decided to be particularly ambitious this year for Lent. In addition to giving up greasy Mexican food and my guilty pleasure, Gawker, I made a vow to forgo sex for the next forty days. I claim temporary insanity.

So far, it's been less than a week and I'm ready to crack. Unless I develop a coke habit immediately, I'm not sure what I'm going to amuse myself with for the duration of February and March.

Day 1: Cleanse.

I wake up hungover, briefly recall the previous night's events, and realize (somewhat distraught) that Mardi Gras was the last hurrah. After a Fat Tuesday filled with booze, boobs, and boys, I am now on the first 24 hours of forty chaste days.

I am already regretting this decision when my friend Adia points to a stain on my comforter. "Um, is that what I think it is?" she asks.

I glance at the telltale spot and shrug, "I honestly don't remember."

"And uh, this?" Adia picks up half of a condom wrapper from the floor.

Well, then. It looks like it's time for some spring cleaning. I may have made a Lent resolution but everywhere I turn, there are a litany of reminders from my error-filled winter. I head to the laundry room. The remainder of Ash Wednesday is spent washing my sheets clean of a season's worth of mistakes.

Day 2: Become a born-again virgin. Reconsider.

A reporter from The Harvard Crimson calls me for an interview about my opinion on the new campus abstinence movement. Apparently, writing about sex makes me an authority on it (Do I have a future as a professional talking head or what?)

Reporter: "I heard you gave up sex for Lent. How's that going?"
Me [twitching]: "Fine."
Reporter: "Well, what do you think of waiting for marriage to have sex?"
Me: "Uh … that's perfectly legitimate. But let me steal a line from Sex and the City and put it this way: would you buy a car without test-driving it first? Nuh- uh. Make sense?"
Reporter: "Sure."
Me: "Can you mention in the article that I drive Bentleys?"
Reporter: "Err … okay."

Day 3: Giving booty calls the boot.

Clearing all hookups from my phone book proves easier said than done. First is my massive inbox of questionable text messages.

Not more than an hour after I erase nine or ten phonebook entries, I receive a call from an unlisted number …

Caller: "Yo! What's up?"
Me: "Who's this?"
Caller: "Steve. Why don't know who I am?"
Me: "I'm … amnesic."
Caller: "Well, what are you doing tonight?"
Me: "Trying to remember stuff. Bye."

I re-add Steve to the phonebook and make a mental note to not pick up.

Day 4: Reality sets in.

My roommate Allie finds out about my resolution and says, "You're kidding me, right? You're going to die."

Thanks for the support, Allie. It's just sex. It's not like an integral part of my mental or physical well-being. Wait. Fuck.

I may be doing peachy keen now, but weeks down the line, this itch is going to grow into an ugly, sprawling rash. And isn't spring break during Lent? What am I supposed to do at night while everyone else pairs off? Will I suddenly become "that friend" who stands around prudishly while everyone else jumps into the STD-laden hot tub? Shirtless guys will be walking around in tropical paradise and my vagina will be carrying a huge "DO NOT ENTER" sign.

I decide that an unsavory sexual topic will turn me off from ever wanting to see a penis again. So Harvard student that I am, I engage my best friend in an intellectual discussion about ass-to-mouth after viewing particularly illustrative porn on the subject.

Me: "What kind of notions of dominance are being promoted when the penis is transferred from one orifice to the other?"
Best Friend: "Lena, you are sick."

I point at the unsanitary action on my computer screen. Wait, am I getting turned on? Shit. Not literally.

Day 5: Desperation.

You know it's bad when ass-to-mouth starts to seem sexy. If I don't do something quick, I'm going to lose it. It's time to take drastic action. With Easter over a month away, I can't wait for Jesus or the Easter Bunny to show up. I order a Rabbit.

Day 6: Acceptance

I decide to celebrate making it through the past week by taking a dip in Charles River. You know, rebirth and all. Unfortunately, Boston weather disagrees with me and I have to settle for getting my virginity resurrected via rainwater.

But you know, this isn't so bad. I mean, without nightly visitors, I have so much more time to organize my postcard collection. Last night, I even looked into that abstinence group The Harvard Crimson asked me about.

They call themselves True Love Revolution and their website says that "it's never too late to recommit yourself to abstinence." You mean, born-again virginity is as fashionable as me showing up during the last course of a dinner party? I consider joining.

No, I don't.

Lena writes a sex blog at
Nudie pics can be directed to elle at