Celibacy has become a trending topic. With the culture of dating causing many women to be reluctant to have sex, I’m sure this trend will last a while. But how does one become celibate? Denying yourself sex can be a very daunting process. Discipline and self-control are needed as well as patience. But speaking from someone who has been celibate now for over 5 years, anyone can tackle this challenge. You just need a strategy.
What is celibacy?
Many people argue over the difference between celibacy and abstinence but it’s really just about context. I’m a Christian so celibacy for me is no sex until marriage. Abstinence is abstaining from sex for a time period that you set. I honestly don’t understand why what you call it matters. Spectators love debating topics they don’t participate in. I say celibacy is what you make it. This includes if your celibacy only consists of avoiding penetration or if you want to remove oral sex and masturbation. It’s your journey, choose what you’re comfortable with and stick to it.
Now that you understand what celibacy is, let’s jump into the topic at hand…how to be celibate. I don’t think you can approach celibacy from a step-by-step guide because it’s so subjective. But I do believe I can give you foundational tips that can help you start your celibacy journey.
Tips for Starting Celibacy
You MUST Have a strong why…
Your why is your everything. If you’re only celibate because you think it’ll help you get a man or husband then you’re going to struggle. My why is 2 things.
- Sex hasn’t done anything but hurt me.
First, I prayed a lot about why I was so broken. My instruction from God was celibacy. It was a commitment I made to God. Secondly, when I looked back over my life, sex hasn’t done anything but hurt me. I have given my body to these guys and I haven’t received anything back in most cases but hurt feelings and a broken heart. So what was the point of sex?
So what’s your why? What brought you to this decision? Dig deep because on the days you want to quit, you’re going to need a strong why to keep you going.
Set unbreakable boundaries…
You can’t move like a person who is sexually active when you’re celibate. Recalibrate your entire mindset and routine in order to make this work. I had to readjust my dating plans and the men I wanted. I had to make some tough decisions.
- The first thing I removed was casual dating. In most cases, casual dating involves casual sex and I knew that wasn’t my goal so it had to go.
- Second, I eliminated overnight stays. Staying the night with a guy can test the most disciplined celibate person. It’s best to just remove it.
- Third, I increased public outings and set curfews for myself. When you have late-night dates, it’s really tempting to do a nightcap. To eliminate that temptation, I set a curfew for myself.
- Fourth, I prepared myself to walk away from men who didn’t respect my celibacy journey. A man doesn’t have to be celibate to date me because dating is the process of qualifying someone to be your partner. So no, I don’t require anyone to already be celibate. But I do require respect. This means not shaming me or trying to change my mind about my celibacy. They must understand it and not try to pressure me. I’d rather them tell me it’s just not for them. I have been rejected because of my celibacy and it stings at first but I know that just means they aren’t for me. But I am always willing to walk away.
- Fifth, I reduced drinking while on dates. You can drink but limit it to a maximum of 2. Drinks will lighten your inhibitions which can lead to you making unwise decisions.
You MUST have accountability partners…
One of my main reasons for speaking about celibacy on my blog is that all my followers and readers became my accountability partners. Now, if I have sex, I’m not just letting myself and God down, I’m letting you guys down too. I dread even thinking about coming on here saying I had sex before marriage. I cringe because I am some people’s only hope and example. For that reason, I stay strong in my time of weakness for you guys.
With that being said, you need to have at least one person or a few people to keep you accountable. They will be the people you trust and who will talk you out of bad decisions that’ll lead you in the opposite direction of what you’re trying to do. If you don’t think you have a lot of friends on this path, connect with some Facebook Groups or follow people on social media on the same path so you can be constantly reminded of what your goal is.
You MUST have a plan of action…
Right before my 1 year celibacy anniversary, I almost had sex. We were naked and the condom was on, that’s how close. I had invited him over and we both had been drinking because it was St. Patricks Day. I had crossed 2 of my boundaries. He was over after dark and we were drinking. Then things got hot and heavy and he was almost “in there” and I started praying silently for God to help me in this situation. Right before he inserted, the Holy Spirit said “Get up”. You may think I’m crazy but I can’t make this stuff up. I pushed him off of me and ran to my bathroom where I have scripture covering my mirror on sticky notes. I began to read them and realized what almost happened. 3 weeks out from my first-year no-sexaversary, I was about to buss it open.
My plan of action helped me. You have to know that there is always an exit, no matter how close you are. The Bible says God will always provide an exit for our temptation because no temptation has overtaken us. You have to believe that and understand that it is never too late. Even if you slip up and have sex, you can still reset and start over. But the goal is to have a plan of action so it won’t get there.
When is the best time to tell the guy you’re dating you’re celibate?
Use wisdom and protect yourself at all costs. Telling someone you’re celibate is a vulnerable topic. You risk getting rejected or judged or preyed upon. Use caution because it’s honestly not everyone’s business. You wouldn’t go on a date and announce “I’m sexually active” upon meeting someone so you shouldn’t let someone know you’re celibate that soon. I tell people when I get to the point of liking them enough that if I was having sex, I would have sex with them. I usually reveal it within a month. I don’t believe in dragging it out but I also don’t think revealing it too soon is wise either.
I hear a lot of people on the outside looking in saying to let someone know on the first date or in the first conversation. If it comes up and it’s natural, then that’s fine. But I don’t think that’s always necessary because many times, you’ll never see that person again after a first date. The date is to discover if you like them. Revealing that information isn’t always required. Again, use wisdom.
Should you date while celibate?
I would suggest you not date for at least the first 6 months because that’s the most challenging time. It is very easy to be celibate when there is no one there romantically but it gets really tough when you are dating. You need to practice on your own before testing your celibacy out while dating. You need to build that muscle. It’s just like with anything, practice makes perfect. You can’t tell a recovering alcoholic to walk past a liquor store 1 month after sobriety. That temptation is far too strong. But after 2 years that same recovering alcoholic can possibly walk down the wine aisle in the grocery store and not be tempted by it. It takes discipline and discipline takes work, practice, and sacrifice.
Can You Mastubate While Celibate?
The simple answer is yes. But it shouldn’t be a replacement for sex. Masturbation actually makes you want sex more. When you feed your sexual desires, you just desire them more. It’s best to starve the craving unless absolutely necessary. If you feel like you’re about to crack, masturbate. It will remind you that you’re about to break your promise to yourself for those 5 seconds of pleasure you feel when you climax. But if you’re just doing it out of habit, refrain. The more you refrain, the more you train your brain not to desire it.