Men and Celibacy
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.
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 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.
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?
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?
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,