Abstinence from sex is a requirement for many people seeking a spiritual life. In the U.S., abstinence-only education has been officially endorsed since 1981, despite the fact that America has the highest level of teen-pregnancies in the industrialized world. In more recent years, self-proclaimed 'Asexuals' have insisted that they have a distinct sexual identity. They have become targets of hate speech. What do these contrasting ways of thinking about abstinence tell us about modern sexual anxieties?