Path of the Ascète
Though often related to priesthood or being a monk, there are other ways to look at this path. It’s interesting when you apply it to BDSM and sado-masochism as well. Ultimately asceticism is about self/other regulation and sensual play.
The first part of this journey is figuring out your motives for it. Are you reducing your stimulation because you feel out of control; because you feel the people of the world are; because you want to be closer to your gods; or because you want to try deprivation to increase your sensual play? Do you want to control someone else or yourself? Are you using it to discipline the body, or punish it? Do you want to become a better version of yourself or a closer couple?
Then there are safety considerations. When you play with senses, there is a risk of going too far. Pain and deprivation can send your body into neuro/psychogenic shock. Returning to full sensory stimulation should be a slow, easy process after pain or deprivation are over. Or it can overwhelm the CNS system. It can feel like/be perceived as an assault. And trigger all kinds of emotional responses. Bring up old wounds that you may or may not be aware of.
How big that issue is might depend on how much of the body is involved in the experience.
Be sure to start slow, short times and small things. This is something monks practice for years, with good reason.
The spiritual and emotional growth opportunity for the person undergoing the asceticism might be quite something for them, if it’s properly done. It’s why many religions have feast and fasting days, and why prayer and meditation are so significant in most major religions and alternative health practices.
That growth can lead to you finding a path forward out of a period of stagnation, excess, or it can help heal after abuse. And if done as a couple, can break or bond them. Couples need to be going at the same pace and for the same reasons.
Asceticism is often used with chastity, (as in it’s not just the genitals in a cage/belt but other deprivation or masochism tools as well) or it can be a time to overstimulate (tease) the person so they don’t focus just on their genitals.
A way to compensate for the deprivation you feel during these lockdowns and ltd social engagements and possible sexual deprivation (if you’re unpartnered) is to use this time to learn what your body and mind are capable of. But be sure to have someone checking in on you that you trust and who knows you well. Someone who knows how to check for shock if you are quite deprived or in large amounts of pain during your explorations.
And reminder: be sure to build back your stimulation slowly so you don’t become overstimulated. And comfort your body afterwards with gentle self massage, rhythmic slow exercises (Like Tai Chi or Yoga) or a warm bath or shower.
There is a long list of things that could be considered to be ascetic, too long to list. This is a topic that needs to be researched before you try it and is better done with a mentor than just winging it.