Named “The Sexless Tribe”, the app was launched by Shakia Seabrook, 33, in a bid to help a community she believed was “not represented enough” in mainstream culture.
Despite the app still being in beta mode, Seabrook, who is from Tampa, Florida, says the app has already been downloaded more than 8,000 times.
“I can remember as early as 13 making the decision,” she says of her reasons for pledging abstinence.
“I don’t know why I made that decision at 13, but as I got older, seeing how casual sex was happening, it was nothing I desired. It didn’t look super special and fun.”
Despite having Christian beliefs, Seabrook adds that her abstinence isn’t entirely to do with her religion and that her app isn’t exclusively for Christians either.
“All are welcome,” she adds. “I didn’t create it only for Christians, I created it for anyone who’s living this lifestyle.”
Speaking about abstinence more generally, Seabrook say: “This lifestyle isn’t talked about enough. It’s not visible enough.
“There’s not space enough for people to come together and get the help they desire to be successful in living this lifestyle, so I arose to the challenge.”
The app came about in September 2020 after Seabrook recognised a need for an online space to serve her community.
Today it consists of two parts: a community space where users can interact with each other, similar to a dating app, and a resource space filled with material on abstinence.
“There are events that are hosted in the app every month via Zoom,” Seabrook adds. “Every day they get an encouraging quote to their phone, and they get a late-night check-in just to hold them accountable.
“I tell them at night maybe you’re having a little itch, maybe you need to go to the app and listen to a song or a video or a podcast.”
Seabrook adds that she bears no judgement against people who don’t choose abstinence.
“I feel like in order to make an informed decision with anything you have to be informed of all the options and I think the time that we’re living in there’s only one option being pushed and it’s sex,” she says.
“If people choose to do that, I don’t have anything to say about it, I just think we’re doing a disservice to the youth. When I was 13, I needed to know that living an abstinent lifestyle is doable and it’s being done.
“I just love being able to allow people to see that there is a different option and really give a new face and voice to what it’s like to live abstinent.”