Celibacy is a lifestyle choice that – on the surface – seems counterproductive
After all, we learn in school that we are mammals, programmed to survive and to do that we need to procreate. This tired argument falls down in 2020 because modern-day sex is no longer solely for making babies. Sex is now Pleasure Central and it has taken center stage within our culture. But at what price to our mental health in these troubled times?
Sex sells. But in 2020, the cleverest among us are already busy defining our new normal and – whether by choice or through circumstance – we are celibate right now. As we venture out into summer, blinking at the light, Mating Season seems different this year. For the single man or woman, it’s a vastly changed landscape. No holidays, no bars, no pubs. No hunting grounds and limited opportunities to meet and mingle.
We have time-traveled to the late 1980s but this is not AIDS or a ‘sex ban.’ This is something far more positive for our mental health. This is celibacy. And it could catch on. It’s even been sanctioned by law in the UK. Suddenly it’s not only a mental health choice. Staying celibate has become a legal requirement.
‘Why not?’ has become, ‘Is it with the risk?’
For many of us in the UK, lockdown is the longest period of celibacy we have ever experienced – and it’s not over yet. The choice is between our libido (‘scratching that itch’) and our safety. So what’s another few months of celibacy between friends? Post lockdown, as we review our spending habits and our bank balance – our everything – it’s certain we’ll also be reviewing our sexual appetites.
Our evolution now depends on adapting emotionally to social change. So…will celibacy become our new normal along with working from home?
We think of celibacy in the same way as sobriety. We fear it. We mock it. We avoid it. This is because society teaches us from a very early age to think of celibacy as ‘lack.’ A lack of indulging. In an appetite driven culture, choosing not to feed ourselves is ‘a bad thing.’ Unless we are sleeping with whoever we want to, we’re missing out, right? Wrong. Instead of a ‘dry spell’ or a state-imposed ‘sex ban’, celibacy could turn into a positive for us all as we navigate these troubled times.
The joys of celibacy
A period of celibacy improves our physical, mental, and emotional health. According to health experts, there are 6 main benefits :
- Increased focus – this is what we need right now as we set business goals, restore finances and define our future
- Emotional clarity – a 360 of our emotional health gives us time to repair and restore our emotions
- More time for self-care – pamper that body. Heal it. Listen to it.
- Sexual healing – 2 years of celibacy following any kind of abuse allows the body and mind to heal
- Feeling more empowered – set your boundaries up before dating again
- Detox from self-destructive sex or promiscuity and restore your mental health
If you miss sex, it’s worth reminding yourself that a period of celibacy is essential for emotional evolution. We can use this time to reunderstand intimacy. Relearn the difference between emotions and bodily urges. Unlearn harmful sexual behaviors. A period of celibacy can help you to understand the difference between a purely physical and an emotional attraction. This can strengthen any new friendships you make and help you to be more discerning when you restart dating.
Celibacy gives us temporary freedom of heart.
Celibacy is not for everyone – or forever – but in 2020 it could be an essential part of our New Normal.
Article By Alice Smith