How Not Having Sex for a Year Changed a Man's Life, Raised Funds for Australian Charity

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By Reissa Su | January 7, 2014 4:53 PM EST

After promising to not have sex for a year on the first of 2013 for charity, Pete Lynagh has become a changed man. He admitted to pick up women on a regular basis for "completely shallow" reasons in clubs. The 33-year-old has discovered a better version of himself after successfully keeping his vow of celibacy for a year.

REUTERS/Samrang Pring
A Cambodian woman shouts as she marches on a street to celebrate International Women's Day in central Phnom Penh March 8, 2012. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

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Mr Lynagh said his outlook on life and relationships have changed. Through his Facebook page "Pete's Chastity for Charity", the Northern Ireland native was able to raise over $50,000 for the benefit of Free to Shine, a charitable organisation founded in Australia with the goal of rescuing children from sex slavery and giving them educational scholarships.

The funds Mr Lynagh raised were used to set-up an office and hire staff. The number of Cambodian girls freed from the sex slave trade almost doubled from 70 to 140. Mr Lynagh visited Cambodia in September 2012 and was overwhelmed to see the children he helped save now in schools instead of working as sex slaves.

The vow to not have sex for a year started when his housemate made a bet that Mr Lynagh couldn't stop having sex for a year. He could not believe his efforts had raised money to  help children in Cambodia.

Despite his successful vow of chastity, he had to overcome several challenges along the way. He kept video diaries and documented his thoughts in a blog.  Mr Lynagh was allowed to kiss women but no physical contact should happen after that. When he found himself in a two-month relationship, he almost broke his vow of chastity since he felt "animal attraction" taking over.

He took it as a challenge but it turned out the woman was not interested in him. Mr Lynagh realised he was looking for external affirmation and admitted he didn't like himself before because he was dealing with issues from childhood.

Raising funds for the charity Free to Shine gave him purpose in life, which is to serve others. He has learned to love himself now and values the meaning of real relationships. He is looking forward to finding the right partner in the future.

Last New Year's Day 2013, he made a promise not to have sex for one year.  On New Year's Day 2014, he celebrated with his friends and went home early. Mr Lynagh joked he imagined waking up in the Playboy mansion.

Mr Lynagh looks forward to not chase women this time around but focus on working on his new role in another charity, The Big Umbrella, which supports projects in Australia and other countries. He will help children get out of poverty and exploitation.

Like a changed man who has realised the more important things in life, Mr Lynagh has declared that "meaningless sex" doesn't appeal to him anymore. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Samrang Pring / )
A Cambodian woman shouts as she marches on a street to celebrate International Women's Day in central Phnom Penh March 8, 2012. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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