Chatting About Celibacy
by Jordan Richins, World Association of Sex Coaches Certified Sex Coach
For many people, sexuality and dating can be an intimidating and broad challenge. Aside from the struggles of getting ready to go out, you have to find people that you want to go out with. There are many apps currently on the market that make meeting people easier than ever, but what if you’re not looking for a hookup… ever?
Celibacy in 2016 sounds like a strange topic in a sex saturated world. Media everywhere is telling you that you’re ok to do whatever you want with your body. We’ve had sexual revolutions and the time is NOW for sexploration! Maybe you have played the game and sampled some of the vast sexual smorgasbord, or maybe you haven’t. And now you want to sit out a few rounds before joining the feast. You’re not alone.
My personal dating profile has the three words that every single man in his twenties and thirties is dying to hear from a potential partner. I am religious, straightedge/sober, and celibate. I don’t explicitly list that I’m celibate but it comes up within the first few messages. Why would I tell someone that? Why should you have to bring it up?
I’m going to talk to you about why I’m doing what I’m doing as a 26 year old sexologist.
Here is an actual *explicit* message I received. I just said ‘Hello’ and got this response: “J, can I be honest with you? You are absolutely gorgeous, but all that’s running through my mind is my head between your legs and eating you out.” So you can see why I have to follow up with the fact that I’m celibate early on. There are many blogs from Straight White Boys Texting to Tinder Nightmares about how men and women conduct themselves with the opposite sex, so I know there is a chance you can relate to the boldness (whether online or in person).
Telling someone you’re celibate isn’t the sexiest thing, but why are you trying to be sexy? Dating is about getting to know people. But, it often turns into seeing whether or not you’re interested in someone’s genitals or seeing if they’re better/more fun/more daring or more exciting sexually than your current partner/prospects. There’s no harm in being curious what someone has underneath their underthings. But, do you want to use this as your primary way to get to know someone?
The majority of the relationships in my life have failed, and they failed in the bedroom. Why? I’m a sexologist who is passionate about passion. I should know all the answers and be able to do all the things you read about in Men’s Health or Cosmo. I can, but guys, I don’t want to. There is something so… devastating when all the wonderful things about you that make you, you, are pushed aside because people only want to know how you give/get sexual pleasure. There’s that heartbreaking moment when you’ve gone on a few dates with someone. They’re fun, funny, you have great conversational chemistry and then they stop trying to get to know you and start trying to get you in bed.
There are many excuses people use to try to justify their desire to become intimate early on in dating:
“Waiting to have sex (or any sexual expression) is too difficult/unnatural.”
“We are at our sexual prime–we deserve this.”
Or, my favorite:
“I know you’ve had bad experiences in the past but I could make you…”
You do not need to justify your reason for wanting to be celibate.Tthis is a choice you have every right to make — just like they have every right to practice sexual expression in their own way. You should not have to audition, naked, in order to be in someone’s life. Yet for some reason, it is usually the first screen that is used to vet people.
It seems unfair that these are some of the requirements that we put onto people. I have been teased and harassed for my personal choice to pursue celibacy. People are right, it is difficult and unnatural. This is not an easy task, especially for someone who is in my field. It seems excessive, out dated, and boring. My experiences with it have been interesting, though.
I moved to Los Angeles from a very small, conservative city. With the beaches and new, sexy humans, I was intimidated! In the back of my head I was wondering if being 100% chaste was even a realistic thing to do. I wanted to test drive all the cars! There is such a freeing feeling though, as I’ve gotten to know and date people out here, with the preface that I’m celibate. No one is trying to game me or play me, they know exactly what they’re doing.
When you tell someone, “I don’t really want to do that,” there is a chance that maybe you will want to do that someday. When you tell someone, “I am celibate,” they can actually hear the key lock up your chastity pants. They know there is no way to get anything. Knowing that sex is off the table weeds out a LOT of people, but that’s good. Yes, there are beautiful people out here that decided not to go out with me because of it. There are beautiful people I turned down because they were willing to “wait until I changed my mind”.
The people who opted in have been fun, playful and compassionate people — I am not hanging around with prudes. I feel less stress and less worry. I’m less emotionally compromised and conflicted than ever about the people I spend my time with. They are people who acknowledge my life choice, and see it as a minor part of me, which is what sexuality should be. A wonderful, but small, piece of a delicious life pie.
Do I still have human feelings and biological pressure? Yah duh. Knowing that I don’t have to do anything about it, or that there aren’t people waiting at my toes for me to slip up gives me so much safety and reassurance.
You are no better or worse than anyone in this world for how you have or have not conducted yourself sexually. I know amazing virgins and amazing humans who don’t know how many people they’ve slept with. Super vanilla and the most vibrant colors of the rainbow. Sweet, twisted, kinky darlings who are as respectful as the most humble humans. The beautiful thing about your sexuality is that it is yours- not anyone else’s. There is no social rubric you need to compare yourself to in order to be up to date with everyone else. Rock what you believe (or don’t) and you will feel happier for it, even if it feels weird initially.
Originally published at worldassociationofsexcoaches.org on August 5, 2016.