Thoughts on Celibacy

Celibacy is a thorny issue to process, especially for a creative person. However, if you subscribe to the Christian faith, it is a subject that must be addressed definitively, otherwise moral conflicts will mess you up. Celibacy has consequences. It is not rosy, pretty, easy or triumphant as some try to paint it. It just is.

I’m unsure many interrogate why they’re celibate. There are many grey lines – celibate in your pants but randy in your thoughts. Celibate but addicted to porn and masturbation. Kinda defeats the purpose doesn’t it? There are too many good souls dealing with internal sexual dislocations, yet they’re “technically” celibate. The pressure is escaping somewhere. I believe a healthy middle lane exists – where you’re celibate but not addicted to porn or masturbation. Celibate but not highly strung or prematurely grey.

I ask young people who are celibate how they cope with the sexual pressure. The answer is typically masturbation.

Apostle Paul advised singles to marry lest they burn. In his day, women married at 16, as virgins. Ain’t nobody marrying that young no more! In his day, accessible and variegated internet porn didn’t exist so Paul’s message must be seriously contextualised for today’s demography. I’m sure there’s grace to be celibate. But last time I checked, grace doesn’t stop you from ovulating every month. So the struggle is real.

The strange thing is, marriage doesn’t cure sexual dislocations or addictions. You still have to go through recovery. (Many married people know what I’m talking about.) I think single people of faith need to talk about sex openly and stop sweeping ish under the carpet hoping for the day marriage will solve them.

As a creative celibate, a daily issue I face is where to put all the energy released when I create & achieve. The default solution is to become a workaholic as l keep recycling the energy back to work, causes, passions and more work. I dare not be idle because my mind is a perpetual laboratory of thoughts, images and fantasies. There are many creatives who haven’t yet learnt to discipline their thoughts or regulate their energies, hence the dependence on masturbation or alcohol in some cases, to settle down.

Celibacy comes at a cost. So when someone carelessly suggests you should “go and exercise”, it’s okay to give them the evil eye.

Many times, creatives are just mentally lonely. There are people around them but few who truly connect with and “get” them. That’s when they begin scrolling through their phones looking for a distraction or someone to call, a.k.a friend with benefits. They sometimes use these people – they needed someone to hold to ease the loneliness, and not necessarily a relationship. They knew it was wrong but they needed comfort. Sometimes, they even get locked into relationships they should never have started in the first place because they kept sleeping with the person. Now, the friend with benefits doesn’t understand why the creative is irritated all the time and despises them. They never really wanted them to begin with. They just needed temporary relief!

I think we spend a lot of time teaching single people of faith how to avoid pre-marital sex but rarely address the practical challenges of celibacy. In advising people to marry, we forget those who wish to but haven’t yet found the right ones. It’s a real thing. It’s not a choosy thing.

In advising people to marry, spare a thought for those who took your advice and wished they had waited and not married the wrong people. Spare a thought for those different from you, who don’t like what you like and can’t live with what you can live with. Spare a thought for those who don’t subscribe to your cultural sensibilities and tastes. Finally, be humble and grateful for the grace of God. There are many better than you who don’t have the great relationship you take for granted.

Celibacy is not rosy, pretty, easy or triumphant. It just is. Click To Tweet

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