If you had asked me about sex when I was in my 20s, I would have told you that I had my fair share of it like everyone else must have and even if I may not be proud of that fact, it is what it is and there's nothing I can do to change it. However, if you asked me today being in my 30s about sex, I would respond using terms like 'overrated', 'been there and done that' and have now chosen celibacy going on 2 years. My decision to be celibate was at first not exactly by choice but later became a voluntary decision. What do I mean? Well, for those who don't know, I used to be married and after things went south between my ex and I, sex naturally was the furthest thing from my mind and as time went on, I made the decision to be celibate until God decides to change my situation.
Anyone who has ever made this choice will tell you that there is a more purposeful reason for wanting to abstain from sexual activity or indulgence. Celibacy is quite different from Abstinence in that while the former can be defined as a voluntary choice to sexually abstain for a larger purpose, the latter is the act of restraining oneself from an indulgence which could be sex, food, alcohol, shopping etc--which is also more difficult to do.
I chose celibacy for several reasons--some of which may be similar to why other people have also decided to go down this path. I was seeking clarity in my spiritual and personal life and wanting desperately to re-connect with who I used to be or even who I really am or was supposed to be. One would expect that as 30 something year old women and men, we should be expressing our 'sexual freedoms' to the maximum--of which I don't even really know what that means to be honest. Does it mean I should be going around sleeping with random men because I want to express how sexually liberated I am as I tread closer and closer to 40? Umm...thanks but no thanks. I had enough sex in my 20s to know what I like, what I don't like, what I respond to and what I don't respond to and have come to a place where I know I can and will be okay if I never had sex again. I'm not saying I would prefer it but for me right now, life has gone beyond the desire for sexual pleasures. One may argue that it's easier to claim celibacy when you are not in a relationship and things more than likely will take a complicated turn when there is a partner to consider. It is possible but if all it takes for you to give up on being celibate (which is a choice I'm sure no-one makes lightly), is the entrance of a man, then there was no real thought behind that choice to begin with.
I am certainly not here to tell anybody that being celibate is better than being sexually active, neither am I here to sound preachy or judgemental; I am not a virgin and I don't claim to be. What I will say however is, if you are seeking something more meaningful for your life and are tired of the trajectory your romantic relationships have been taking, abstinence or celibacy may be just the thing that helps you find the clarity you need. Sex is a beautiful thing created by God for our enjoyment and procreation but as with anything, abuse is what tends to bring ugliness to a thing of beauty.
Celibacy doesnt need to be based on a religious choice, even though it often is, it could be a form of wanting to experience and enjoy a deeper, non sexual form of intimacy with a partner or could be a means to self discovery outside of sex.Whatever your reasons are, it is entirely your choice and nothing you need to be ashamed of or feel the need to explain to anyone. Own it and let the experience teach you what it is that you hoped to learn in the first place. Have I learned anything from my journey? Absolutely--and my growth has been both personal and spiritual. The way I see and think about things is so different from before and if anyone had ever told me that having sex or abstaining from it carried such power, I would not have ever believed it--especially if you told me that in my 20s.
It can get hard on some days for sure but when I think about how far I've come in my journey, it would be a shame to throw it all away for a fleeting moment of pleasure and that isn't worth it to me. There is a popular Nigerian saying that goes "body no be firewood" which is loosely translated to mean that we are not made of stone and so will naturally have desires that crave sexual fulfillment and while I agree with that, there is also the biblical saying that "man shall not live by bread alone..." (LOL). "Bread" for me signifies more than the literal "food" meaning but basically anything I think I need to survive. This is a choice I've made and I'm still growing and learning from it daily.
Have you ever considered celibacy? If so, what has been your experience so far? Are you struggling? Please share in the comments. This is a NO JUDGEMENT zone.
Thanks for reading ya'll and see you back here on Saturday.