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noun: celibacy

the state of abstaining from marriage and sexual relations.

Inhale. Exhale.

In January 2016, I decided that I was going to be celibate for what I considered one of the dumbest reasons out there. It wasn’t due to religious reasons. I wasn’t violated and my last sexual encounter wasn’t bad. (These are all very very valid reasons.) I decided in contrast, to become celibate because some silly boy broke my heart. (Truly hate when I make decision based off some insignificant boy when I should be basing them off myself but I digress) I use this term “broke my heart” loosely because what really happened was my soul was shattered, reality crumbled, everything I once knew to be true was no longer, childhood erased, to be more accurate, but that’s an article for another day. Like I was saying, I decided I was going to be celibate for one year as a result of a situation and when I say celibate, I mean really celibate. No sexual relations, no penetration, no oral (given or received), no digital, no masturbation, no anal, no nothing and here’s exactly how it worked out for me

Within the first month, I realized that I had been using sex for some pretty damaging reasons. I was using sex as a tool to deal with my problems. Every time I felt rejected, abandoned, insecure, or not in control of my life, I would seek sex as a way to build myself back up. Who wants to do that? So during my first month I started seeking and address problems within myself and identifying ways to work through them by myself, for myself.

Months two through four were seemingly insignificant, but during the fourth month, I started questioning if I really truly even wanted to be celibate or was this some sort of backward scheme I tricked my own self into.

By the seventh month, I just realized that I was a sexual person. I like sex. I like intimacy. I like being vulnerable with people in all ways. I like to touch and hugs and kiss and other things. I just like sex and there is nothing wrong with that. Sex is fun and I am allowed to have fun in this way. I’m not going to shame myself or try to policy myself based off what other people opinions. Because enjoying sex does not conflict with my personal values, beliefs, or relationship with the higher power I believe in. By the seventh month, I realized that this year of celibacy was a challenge not punishment.

Month eight I realized you can be intimate with someone and not have sex. You can lay in bed with someone and not have sex. You can talk to someone all night and not have sex. You can go on dates and not have sex. All great forms of spending time with someone, getting to know someone, and being intimate and are not diminished by not concluding with sex. Although I think I knew that, it was really an ah ha moment from me.

At month nine I knew It’s okay to make mistakes to remind yourself that you are young and I made mistakes to remind myself that I am young.

By the tenth month, I felt extremely comfortable telling people I was interested in romantically that I was celibate. I cared less about hurting the budding situationship and it wasn’t even a test to see if “they would still stick around”, it was much much more about being transparent to manage their expectation of me. Think about it this way, I would never want them to think I didn’t like them because I had no interest in initiating sex.

There was one day in month eleven when I was sitting across from my ex, and we are not on good terms in the slightest please keep that in mind, but I saw this nigga and I was thinking about that suggestive emoji winky face and…… CELIBACY IS HARD! Honestly, truly. For me particularly, it became more about self discipline and finding new ways to gain clarity than anything else.

Month twelve, was a struggle. A lot of ups and downs. Times where I’m like “Yeah, this celibacy thing is not to shabby” then other times it was “This is absolutely the stupidest version of self-inflicted hell I’ve ever experienced.” Almost year, I was still facing some underlying personal issues and celibacy did not get easier for me. I was struggling with do I go back to my old ways, break my pack with myself and just have sex to push these things back down or should I suffer through them until I find a way that works to get rid of them all together. I stayed the course because the end was just so close, but what am I to do when the year is over?

So what’s next:

I’m not gonna sit here and tell you, now you should become celibate nor am I going to say that celibacy is so easy. I didn’t find “the one” because I decided to abstain from sex and I don’t really know what’s next for me. Do I stick with it? Do I throw it out the wind? I honestly (clearly) haven’t figured it out yet, but I will say that I feel like I value sex and not having sex more, in a way that I didn’t before and I’m not sure I can explain. This past year has pushed me toward self-discovery, being more aware of who I am and what I want from all relationships (romantic, sexual, and platonic). I think practicing celibacy has made me a better person and has given me more than I could have even expected when I started.

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