Men and Celibacy

Many reading this title will think I am writing an oxymoron, but I am not. Steve sent me an article highlighting the growing numbers of men who are entering the no-sex zone.

According to Dr. Ian Kerner, a noted sex therapist and author of the forthcoming Sex Detox: A Relationship Rejuvenation Program for Everyone, research suggests that millions of otherwise-sane men have, at one time, chosen to take a break from sex—and, in many cases, masturbation and the consumption of sexual images in any form—in search of something deeper, safer or less complicated.

My hope is to spark discussion on the reasons why some men choose this lifestyle. For clarity, my discussion is limited to men who are not married and not virgins. We are going to delve into the five main categories that to me represent the major catalysts for why men choose to lead a celibate life. The five categories include safety, pregnancy, value, hooks, and spirituality.

Safety
By safety, I am referring to sexual health and avoidance of sexual transmitted diseases. Some men I have talked to think it is simply too risky to entrust their sexual health to a condom. Of course, one should get tested early and often. Knowing your status is vital but condoms are not 100% so why take the risk? This logic is especially strong for people that have loved ones that either died or are suffering from an STD.

Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a fear that many men have when they have sex. This fear is exacerbated when a man hasn’t reached important goals for himself. Often times these goals are graduating from graduate school, being established in a career, getting married, etc. We shouldn’t make value judgments on these goals but rather understand that most men want certain things in place before they have children.

Value
In most situations, women outnumber men by a large margin. Anyone who has been to college can attest to this fact. This disparity does speak to value though. From the article, 

“As a single black man living in New York City, where women outnumber men, Crawford says that the odds are stacked in his favor, making it almost too easy to hook up.” Sex has become devalued to me because of the simple fact that it happens so often.”

And l don’t think it is a question of whether Crawford is a male ho. In fact, most people would say, it is only easy if you choose to have sex. This misses the point though because I think men who choose to be celibate choose this lifestyle in order to have a better appreciation for sex. In other words I think that some men are put off by the fact that they can have a lot of sex. It is basic economics; things that are scarce are valued more highly than things that are abundant. Celibacy forces scarcity, get it? 

Hooks
This one is a little nuanced. By hooks, I mean the core things that build and sustain a relationship. Many times men have a hard time satisfying the emotional needs of their woman, so if a man fits this description, but knows he is good in bed, the sex can serve to compensate for what he can’t provide emotionally. But let’s keep it real ladies, you or some of your girlfriends have probably been in relationships where you probably wouldn’t have been in the relationship half as long were it not for the sex.

My point is that for the men that want and need to upgrade their emotional attachment to women, celibacy is a way of ensuring that sex is not a compensating factor in their relationship. Additionally, celibacy forces men to have deeper and purer conversations because for real, what is the point of a man gorging himself in sexual temptation and/or pillow talk, if it’s not going down?

 

Spirituality
This post is getting long, so I’ll come back to the spiritual reason in another post.

Looking forward to your comments,

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

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17 responses to “Men and Celibacy”

  1. Lalipa says :

    I am a Thai New Zealander, temporarily living in Bangkok, Thailand. Back in 2006, when I was still living in Wellington, New Zealand, a best friend of mine who is a Greek New Zealander started lecturing me about the male sex drive. She is a devoutly practicing Greek Orthodox, so I don’t know how she can be so tolerating of promiscuity. She said that it was her grandmother who told her that men are not celibate by nature. Once they’ve been active, they’re going to have to become active again, she said. You see, if you take it into context, her husband her cheated on her with a number of women, and her grandmother had brought her up to be ‘accepting’ of, let’s say, double standards of sexual behaviour for men and women. Anyway, when she told me that male celibacy is unnatural, it stirred up a whole lot of emotions in me. Back then, I was only 26, and I certainly did NOT look forward to having a randy husband who could not live without sex. I am simply NOT the kind of woman who can put up with a sexually desperate and needy man. My friend, on the other hand, is not only putting up with a husband who cheated on her, but he has also forced himself on her, and so on…I won’t say further. But because she is devoutly Greek Orthodox, she is having a whole lot of trouble getting divorce. She actually cannot deal with the idea of being divorced.

    The point I’m trying to make is this: since her comment that men are not celibate by nature, I have been doing a whole lot of research on celibacy. I am from an Eastern culture, so where I come from, celibacy is literally worshipped. I grew up with monks as part of my landscape. But I have to admit that my friend’s comment caused an emotional crisis inside me. And I know it was because I had always idealised and imagined that, one day, I will have a wonderful husband who is a gentleman and who has monk-like qualities: independent, able to look after himself, intelligent, caring, compassionate, and who considers sex to be an expression of love (monks do NOT need to be anti-sex by the way). Well, at the very least, my future husband should not be a sex maniac. I wasn’t about to let my friend’s comment ruin my ideals. So I set out to do research on celibacy, especially male celibacy, in order to prove to myself that I still had hopes of finding a wonderful husband who has monk-like qualities, and who completely respects my principles of remaining a virgin until marriage. Your website has helped to clarify a whole lot of things. Thank you, and looking forward to further websites…

  2. sweeterex says :

    All four points you have discussed is informative. But I am much concerned about the second point – it is real facts during sex pregnancy is fear factor between couples. But if you involve in oral sex you can overcome your fear for pregnancy and also take safe sex.This which is most important in oral sex definitely semen taste! Then I would suggest that there are several natural products available in the market to improve semen taste. We also have products that can be very useful for improving semen taste at Sweeterex.com.

  3. Mary Boyd says :

    MEN AND CELIBACY; VOICE YOUR OPINION???????

    I have a very good friend that has chosen to wait to be active , Looking for Mrs. Right and most of the Woman actually Laugh at Him Because of His Chose. i am seeking opinions from Both Sides of this Opinion, He’s a Hard worker, He has serveral Hobbies, and a Great Since of Humor, But Because he chooses this LifeStyle , Woman Either Laugh, Or think there is Something Wrong with Him?????
    All Opinions excepted .

    • Tammy Butler says :

      He sounds like he’s intelligent enough to not be swayed by what others think!! I truly believe he will be rewarded in the end for his choice, and those laughing ARE NOT the ones he wants. The woman he selects will be blessed to have a man who realizes the importance of self-disicpline and views himself special enough to not give of himself easily. My prayer is that he will remain stong in his beliefs and will be an example to other men.

  4. Genevieve says :

    I long to find a man who is willing to remain celibate until marriage. I would never laugh at, rather embrace a celibate man.Indeed, I have meet some who are intelligent, compassionate, independent, even religious, yet the ones I meet are unwilling to abstain from sex and this tarnishes the relationships. Why do men disregard that part of the Scripture? Don’t they have any respect or value in their own body?! The answers I receive when asking this frustrate me.

    If I could find a man who shares my values, faith, and patience, that will be the greatest blessing. I know I am even too young to even worry about getting married and having such a man…I’d just like to know that they exist or know one (and get along with him, lol) as reassurance for the future.

    • Tammy Butler says :

      Stay strong sister and know that God honors and rewards faith!!! It’s wonderful that you are thinking the way you are while young. Most men find it more difficult to honor that part of scripture because they are not socialized/taught the value of abstinence early in life, and the situation just worsens as they get older. Everything in society tells them that they should be anything but celibate, and women don’t help things because far too many are too willing to give of themselves too easily!!! Remain steadfast and God will reward you with THE one He chooses for you if that it is will. Also, please know that every blessing is not in the form of a man. Just stay aligned with God, and He will fulfill his will in your life

  5. Daniel says :

    I am a 23 year old aspiring Waiter/Actor/Model, who has had success in each and also have an Associates in Education. Why are these things significant? Because I’m a young man… and the only celibate one of my kind with my lifestyle that I know…

    I’ve been celibate for over 5 1/2 years and I was so sick of being alone for most of them. I spent only 4 weeks of the first 5 years of my celibacy with a girlfriend. I haven’t met a celibate girl that I like and could fall in love with. There’s almost no such thing as a fling when you’re celibate and it puts a lot of strain on your personal life.

    I’ve been with my unbelievably gorgeous girlfriend now for almost 7 months and no, she doesn’t practice celibacy, but also claims to respect my choice and even admire it. We do fool around every once in awhile (I’m only human) but no sex. Knowing her past is a different one, it really ate me up at the start of our relationship. In the middle not so much until last night…

    I asked her why she didn’t want to fool around at all today and it opened up a small discussion of theories. One being her double major and ridiculous stress level which I’m aware of, another being her birth control(she has terrible cramps)… but she threw me a curveball… “I don’t want to get into it but… maybe it’s because I’m not having sex.”

    She may be right, but chew me up and spit me out why don’t you… It just made me more aware that she doesn’t understand how real this commitment is to me. It deserves more than a passing comment like that and I really had trouble explaining how being celibate is a defining part of my life.

    I could write a novel on the thoughts that race through my mind about this, but I haven’t found anyone like me to read about, so I figured I’d write instead… I’d like to hear any insight that I could get. But if it doesn’t render a response then that’s okay, I just hope that it means something to someone else.

  6. Shane A. says :

    I want to be celibent because for SEXUAL INDEPENDENCE!! Exclund mastabaiton if possible!! It’s been a month and I’m prond !!

  7. Al Dente says :

    I was celibate from the time I was 18 until I was 33. And I was able to do that not for lack of opportunity to have sex, but because of a strong belief that sex is not something we do for recreation, but as an expression of love and intimacy between husband and wife.

    So from experience, It is entirely possible to live a celibate lifestyle in the 21st Century. What you’ll need more than anything is a discipline and strong enough resolve to pull you through the difficult days and nights when everything inside of you is pulling you in the opposite direction.

    I found that avoiding taking mental snap shots of sensual images or attractive women helped keep from laying in the bed at night replaying what I saw. I’m not saying you shouldn’t look and admire the goodness, but don’t lock in on it and dwell, it has a way of coming back and hitting you at your weakest moment.

    Another great advocate you may find will be in a loving caring girlfriend that is emotionally mature enough to see the value in being celibate. Apart from the obvious issues a couple can avoid having to deal with as a result of sex, you’ll find yourself in a situation where the relationship will have to “stand on its own two feet.” Meaning, you’ll find out if you’re there because that’s where the sex is, or if you’re there because that’s who you love.

    I ended up falling short of making it until marriage, which is important to admit here, however after much discussion and “what are we doing” moments, I can say with all honesty that we’re back on track, and pray that we can stay that way until we exchange vows.

  8. eVe says :

    People don’t understand that sex should be enjoyed with the person you are married to. The Bible clearly states that if a man and woman can’t control themselves, let them marry. I can’t understand why a man and woman who like each other can’t appreciate each other in other ways. What happen to self control? Why can’t a couple kiss, touch (appropriately), and hug each other without it having to lead to sex? What about developing a connection, deepening friendship? What happened to having meaningful conversation? Why is it that people believe that the only way to show how much one likes or love someone is to sleep with them?

    I made the decision four years ago to be celibate. It’s never easy to live in the world but not be like the world. I think some of us forgot that we are “peculiar people”. Yes, we will be laughed at, mocked and we will be questioned about our beliefs. But as this blog entry lays out, abstinence can avoid so much heartache and life changing situations.

    I was getting to know a gentleman in August who was actively pursuing me. He saw something different about me. Said that he liked the way I look, the way I carry myself. Showered me with compliments on a regular. He believed in God and I was telling him what it means to me to be a Christian, how it’s a lifestyle change. He told me how much he liked me, how perfect I am, how I make him feel so different. I told him I liked him too. We were not only physically attracted to each other, but we felt like we had a spiritual bond. So we continued to spend time together and we started to become more intimate. I started thinking about how he would feel once I told him about my celibacy and wondered if he was interested in me enough to see where this goes, although we were not going to be sexually engaged. Finally, the day came that we had a conversation about sex. Once I told him that I don’t plan on having sex again until marriage, things started to change. He isn’t actively pursuing me anymore. I called him a few days after our conversation to see where his head was at. He finally told me that he doesn’t think this can go any further. He likes me a lot, BUT he isn’t ready for marriage and he can’t be involved if he is not having sex with me…BUT he assured me that he is not a sex addict. The conversation was respectful, we mutally understood the situation, and I assumed that things were just going to end cold turkey. A week passed and we haven’t spoken. He calls me and asked me if I “threw him away.” We spoke for a little while and later that evening he wanted to see me. So I went to his place. Missing each other, things got a little hot and heavy, but no sex. However, he’s trying any way possible to get me to loosen up my feelings about sex. The night ended in frustration and I have not heard from him in weeks. So I let him go.

    I have learned some things about myself in this situation. No man is worth me compromising my standards for. I also learned that love has no boundaries. When you really love someone, you accept them for who they are. Had this man liked me as much as he said he did, we would still be together. He said he has never been with a woman like me before, but because of his need for sex, he was willing to let someone like me go. I am in my late twenties, and I am the real deal, the marriage material kind, the Proverbs 31 woman. I know my worth and I long for a man who would accept me completely. I read a comment from an article recently about the difference between “making love” and sex, a woman said that sex is an urge to fulfill temporary lust. She continues to say when she makes love with her husband, it is earthshaking sex. She said she submits herself to him and him to her and they are so deeply in love that their lovemaking has residual effects, resonating throughout the next day!!!! Now that description is what I call mind-blowing sex!!!! I’ve had my share of sexual encounters, and I have never experienced that kind of sex before. This kind of sexual fulfillment, ectasy and lasting satisfaction can’t be fulfilled with any regular jane or joe on a day that one is feeling “horny”.

    That is the kind of love and sex that I desire for my life. So I remain hopeful that there are men who desire sexual purity until marriage. And one day, the man that was meant to be mine will come into my life and sweep me off my feet. In the meantime, I have to hold fast to the desires of my heart and put my hope in God.

  9. Wesley Delaney says :

    hi i’m 22 and i was sexual active until i decided that it’s not the right time for me but my question is why do people have to laugh or think that i am lying. I work alot which brings stress to my life and i can’t handle anymore stress but it seems to me that i cause more problems being celibare to others, what should i do?

  10. Ashley Brown says :

    if you’re celibent is it okay to masterbate? because i have been trying to be celibent but i still masterbate

  11. Kisha says :

    can someone explain what goes on in a man’s mind if he fits the ”hooks” part? I think I am experiencing it with my man of 8 months now.

  12. brandonq says :

    @Kisha If the issue is that every emotionally-laden conversation is interrupted by sex then you may want to try to have that same conversation in a private but public setting and see what that yields.

  13. SuneeCU says :

    This is just what the doctor ordered. I was so glad someone had the wisdom to post this.

  14. LC says :

    It’s interesting that male celibacy is so often discussed in terms of the guy working toward a higher standard so that he’ll be a better husband. What about the celibate guys who plan to be celibate and single indefinitely? Surely those guys exist.

  15. DD says :

    I’m 28 and a virgin, and I can’t tell you how much the absence of sex has brought clarity and focus into my life. Sex seems to complicate everything and propels you to entertain people you have no business entertaining. I’ve never been in a relationship; I’m looking forward to my first encounter with another man, but I love myself so much at this point that “sex” seems like an abstraction to me.

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