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Voluntary or involuntary? Clearly-defined or open-ended? Happy or utterly miserable?

Most of us will endure (enjoy?) periods of celibacy at various points in our lives, whether it’s a short dry spell between relationships or a carefully-considered lifestyle choice. I suggested it to Marie as a Wicked Wednesday topic after talking to a couple of partners about their experiences with celibacy. I realised that I hadn’t seen many sex bloggers writing about it in any detail – why they weren’t having sex, how it made them feel, what impact it had on their lives, and what they did about it. I’m interested to know what celibacy means to other people and how they engage with it as both a concept and a reality. Hopefully this week’s Wicked Wednesday will give me a few answers!

So when I saw this week prompt I had to go and double check the meaning of word celibacy because I was fairly sure that it is one of those words that is widely misused and I was right. Celibacy is a conscious voluntary vow, usually religious in origin, to not engage in any form of sexual activity whereas a period of refraining from some or all sexual activity is actually called abstinence. Of course that is a word that has now been hijacked by right wing Christians to try to teach teenagers that not having sex somehow makes you better, especially if you are female. Anyway, enough of my slight digression about words and their meaning and onto the topic at hand…

I first had sex when I was 16. It was a fairly uneventful experience which I wrote about more in this post about virginity, The Lost and Found, but it definitely didn’t put me off, if anything it made me want to experience more. From that day to this I think the longest period I have gone without sexual activity with another human being has been after the birth of my son. It was a good 4 months before we had sex again. I was both physically and emotionally exhausted and my body just felt different and I needed time to be alone with it, to reconnect with it before I could think about letting someone else near it again. However during that time I definitely masturbated. Not as much as I usually did mind you, because mostly when a baby decides to sleep you pretty much do the same thing.

The truth is I love having orgasms and I love having sex with other humans and I really can’t imagine living without it for any length of time. Yes there have been gaps between partners but the most that has ever been is a couple of months and in that time I have kept myself happy with lots of delightful masturbation and I have been known to seek out a casual fuck to scratch that itch when the desire to be touched and to touch really nagged at me.

Again the longest time without an orgasm would have also been after the birth of my son and it was probably a good 6 – 8 week, after I had my daughter I was at it 3 weeks after she was born and aside from that there have been the odd weeks when I have been sick where I have probably not come but really in the scheme of things that has been fairly rare. As far as I am concerned a day without an orgasm is a day wasted. Sadly life often gets in the way and so there are many wasted days, but if I had the time I would totally knock one out most days. Orgasms make me happy and relaxed, I feel invigorated after them, unless they happen at bedtime and then they nearly always lead to a good night’s sleep. In fact during the last few years of my 1st marriage I wanked myself to sleep most nights whilst he slept soundly next to me. There may also have been a perverse element of ‘fuck you’ to this, as I was fed up with the lack of sexual interest shown by him and it felt good almost powerful to indulge just centimetres away from him.

Chat rooms appeared in my life during those final years of my 1st marriage too, bringing interactive filth right into my front room and boy did I make really good use of it. It was like erotica written just for you, if you found someone else who was good at it that is, and I did. On more than one occasion, but one very notable guy even ended up turning into a one day stand (and yes he was a good in reality as he had been online) and he was the first person I ever had anal sex with too. Happy filthy memories indeed. (If you ever still read here anymore, thanks A)

One of the worst parts of being in an long distance relationship with Michael was not being able to have sex. That was a period of abstinence from sexual contact with others that I did have and I will happily admit it was a massive challenge for me and I struggled a great deal. It had a fairly detrimental effect on my mood at times too and I experienced periods of both anger and sadness about it. I craved to be touched, kissed, fucked, cuddled, to taste him, to feel him, that smell of sex that you only get when you do it with another human, the way your body feels when someone else touches it. Those months apart were tough in so many ways but the lack of sexual contact was hugely difficult for me and I would never want to do that ever again.

I think about sex a lot. I replay kisses in my head, I imagine all sorts of filthy things happening to me. I wake up wet and aching from my dreams. I am thoroughly enjoying the uptick of pornographic gifs that have been appearing on Twitter since the Tumblr ban. I know, not the most ethical form of porn but it does mean you can access it whilst waiting in the car outside your child’s school at pick up time. One of the reasons I started writing this blog 9+ years ago was because my mind was constantly filled with filth and I wanted a place to share some of it. It has been a hugely successful adventure in that regard as not only have I shared it with words but with pictures too.

I am not going to say never, because if it is one thing I have learned from kink it is ‘never say never’ but I can’t imagine a time when I would want to abstain from sex. Obviously age might play a cruel trick on me but I really do hope not. I think it would make me very sad to lose this side of myself because it brings me so much joy and pleasure. I have never felt an urge to abstain. It has taken me a long time to reconcile my sex drive and accept that mine is definitely on the upper end of the scale. I spent many years when I was young feeling fairly ashamed of both my desires and the amount of sex I craved and once I learned that both were absolutely fine I decided to embrace them. Sex and kink and orgasms and filth make me happy. I love sex and I love my sexual self. We are the best of friends.

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  • Molly Moore - Author, Blogger, Photographer, Speaker, Director of Operations @Eroticon Find me in my corner of the internet at Molly's Daily Kiss and on Twitter @mollysdailykiss

  • Show Comments (11)

  • Cara Thereon

    Great write up. The difference is an important one as I struggled a bit with trying to write on this. It makes sense. I wish my drive for sex was higher honestly because I don’t often think about it as much even though I enjoy writing about it.

    • Molly Moore

      I sometimes think my sex drive a bit insane to be honest but I also love it too

      Mollyx

  • Mrs Fever

    Celibacy is often confused with both abstinence and chastity. All three words have several interpretations, and their connotations are grossly varied regardless of the fact that their dictionary definitions are strikingly similar.

    I considered going into the linguistic origins and differences of these terms in my own post, because words – how they are used, how they are understood, how they evolve – are very much My Thing. But given the question’s framework and the general leanings of WW readers, I opted for lighter fare.

    I’m glad you chose to point out the not-quite-accurate way these terms are used interchangeably though. Because while it’s not a problem, per se, it’s definitely a point of confusion. And sex (or the lack thereof) can be confusing enough on its own! 😉

    • Molly Moore

      I am glad I did the definition too as I know there was at least one blogger who was thinking about not writing for the subject as they felt that celibacy was not something that had ever experienced or even thought about

      Mollyx

  • David Miller

    Beautiful narrative Molly- yes i agree celibacy is about an enforce period of abstinence ( mutual or solo). All too ofter as we mature we think being horny or sexy or erotic or sexual in self and for others is dirty! Well fuck NO- that is the religious guilt playing at our soul- how screwed are we where a religious group behind closed doors did all that was evil and preached purity and guilt for sin!!
    YES the sense of being ashamed for feeling sexy, needy, flirtatious or desirous for sex daily was taboo. NO MORE!

    Mutually respectful porn, sex and erotic love are divine. If you find the right partner and connectivity GO FOR IT!
    UNCHASTE my heart every day- let me please another and myself and celebrate the human bodies perfect functions and triggers – May every day be wickedly sexy!!!

  • E.L. Byrne

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Abstinence only was a strong message when I was growing up and it caused me no end of grief as I too was figuring out my own sexuality. This sentence! Totally relate!!

    “I think it would make me very sad to lose this side of myself because it brings me so much joy and pleasure. I have never felt an urge to abstain. It has taken me a long time to reconcile my sex drive and accept that mine is definitely on the upper end of the scale. “

  • May More

    I too have always had a high sex drive and i soon realised having chats with my girlfriends that we are not all the same. x

  • Marie Rebelle

    “We are the best of friends.”

    I love this ending to, what it felt like to me, a love song to your sexuality. I used to have a high sex drive, but mine lowered because of circumstances in my life. I hope to find my way back to at least half of what my drive was before…

    Rebel xox

  • Victoria Blisse

    I love that you love your sexual self, it is empowering to see women saying that, doing that and encouraging others to do the same. <3

  • Julie

    A great post Molly, I too was troubled by the definitions, though only brushed over them in my post. I do love to read about how people evolved into the ones they are today. Not having sex after the birth of a baby is certainly a common thread for many of us.

  • Kayla Lords

    I’ve gone through a time of celibacy (as the actual definition) one time in my life — with the ex. The rest of the times we went without sex (and there were so many) it was abstinence. I was deeply conflicted about my sex drive and worried I wanted too much sex (and that we were somehow going to hell because of it), and made the promise to myself (and extracted a promise from him) that we would be celibate. Once we were married, the lack of sex was abstinence, mostly because I couldn’t be bothered with it.

    As much as I enjoy sex and have a vivid imagination for it, it’s very easy for me to put it on a backburner and not even think about it. Even with someone I love and love fucking as much as JB. I don’t like that about myself because it means I’ll let anything and everything get in the way.

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