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Navigating celibacy in a sexually expressive world

By Tobi Afolabi Sunday, May 24, 2020 - 02:42
Everyone is having sex. Or at least they seem to be. And while it would appear that millennials are having more sex than the previous generation, studies have shown that it’s not so. I mean the previous generation is literally called the baby boomers, I don’t think anything can top that.

It just appears that millennials are having more sex because our generation is more open and inclusive and generally more willing to talk about sex and we also have the platforms to do that: due to the internet and it’s ability to connect people globally through social media. You would think that with apps that make it easier to connect or maybe meet people, casual sex would have increased exponentially right? Wrong. We’re not having as much sex as the previous generation and for some, it is a conscious decision.

Celibacy is the decision to abstain from sex or from having sexual partners. It’s a personal choice that is closely tied to religious beliefs some people, while for others it is simply about the way they want to live. I spoke to two different people about their journey of being celibate, with clear differences but also a few similarities in the decisions that brought them down this path.

 

First Individual

What does celibacy mean for/to you?

To me, celibacy basically means not having penetrative sex.

What made you decide to stay celibate?

The decision started off as a religious one.

When you made the decision and was it informed by anything?

My guardians are pastors had drummed the importance of celibacy into me while growing up. As an obedient child/teenager, I decided to stick to their sermon/advice.

Do you get pressured about it from anyone and if so, how you handle such pressure?

Oh, yes. The guys I've been in relationships with did nothing but pressure me. Some of my girlfriends also try to pressure me when they hear I've never had sex. I just laugh them off or tell them it's my choice.

Are there are any things or conversations you feel excluded from due to being celibate?

No. I read a lot and I've done a lot of fooling around. So I never feel excluded from any conversation.

Is there anything that might change your mind about staying celibate?

It's so hard especially when one's partner has been with other people sexually. They end up cheating most times. Also, curiosity. I want to know what all the fuss is about.

 

Second Individual

What does celibacy mean for/to you?

To me, celibacy is choosing to not have sexual relations with another human, it doesn’t necessarily rule out self-pleasuring and masturbation because I believe that is more of a personal sexual experience where you are getting to know what your preferences are.

What made you decide to stay celibate?

I can’t quite remember I made the decision a long time ago, I feel like making that decision was as a result of a lot of elements. So, basically it was a mix of religious beliefs, I was taught about purity, demons, soul covenants and all that. Also, being sexually abused as a child played a huge role and finally, there was the experience that made me terrified of getting pregnant, which probably sealed the deal. Being grown up now, I have decided to remain celibate because sex is a whole lot of responsibility and I am not quite sure I want to take it on, and I’m still working through some personal fears.

When you made the decision and was it informed by anything?

I think I must have been in junior secondary school when I made the decision and like I said before,  a mixture of interesting events informed my decision.

Do you get pressured about it from anyone and if so, how you handle such pressure?

Yes, I do from people and even myself, but my closest circle respect my decision and support it, I mean they tease me from time to time but it just makes me laugh. I would say I don’t feel pressure because I have unintentionally built an empathetic support group, I don’t know of anyone on this journey with me directly, so it would be nice to have acquaintances with whom I share this same orientation but other than that, the pressure is easily handled.

Are there are any things or conversations you feel excluded from due to being celibate?

No, I think my curiosity also helped me go out of my way to learn about sex and pleasure and so I easily can understand conversations around the topic and even contribute my thoughts. I also have friends that make it easy to talk about sex even without having experienced it, so no, there’s no feeling of being excluded.

Are you in a relationship? If yes, What it is like being celibate in a committed relationship?

It allows a lot of thinking and also ways in which you try to have a healthy relationship outside of sex, I have a really beautiful relationship and I honestly feel like sex would be a nice ribbon on an already beautiful gift.

Is there anything that might change your mind about staying celibate?

Because my choice came from a place of fear, I am currently trying to unearth that fear and who knows, maybe when I am done with that journey I might either choose to remain celibate or finally choose to enjoy sex.

Do you have questions about staying celibate? Drop them below or reach out to our Moderators on our Facebook Page.

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