Celibacy, to me, has always meant an intentional decision to not engage in sex. In my past, I never thought about masturbating so that never entered into my thought process. To say I was guarded, sheltered and not in the know about sex, would be putting it mildly. I don’t blame anyone for this, it just the times back then. Mom and I had “the talk” and I had sex education in the six grade which, looking back, was more uncomfortable for the teachers than the kids, and we just giggled through the whole thing. It was a true revelation that my daughter, many years later came home from her sex education class (in a Catholic school) and we compared notes. They were still using the same videos and books. She and I had already had many talks about sex so I wasn’t worried.
Celibacy was always something that I related to a Catholic priest, even though I wasn’t raised Catholic, that was when I heard the word the most. I was raised that sex was an obligation (again, no blame on Mom, she did her best with what she knew) and was to happen after marriage for the purpose of having children and building a family. That is what I did. I had reasons to question this based on my feelings about sex and sexuality, but I suppressed those feelings sure there was something wrong with me. Celibacy wasn’t something I could decide for myself. I was obligated to have children and even though it was a more modern obligation than my Mom dealt with (we waited for financial security and college to finish and saved for a house, etc.) that was the long term goal. (We didn’t abstain from sex until we were married, which my ex-husband still lists as a sin in his monthly confessional to his priest. Personally, I’m good with it.
My problem was I didn’t like sex. It was boring, obligatory, and one more chore that I needed to check off a list. After my daughter was born, my “recovery time” was about 6 months! This was me consciously or subconsciously saying I don’t like or need sex and you now have a kid so back off. Looking back, I can say that was my intentional self imposed celibacy. I didn’t want sex, I didn’t need sex, and now I had an excuse to not have sex. Our relationship wasn’t based on any mutual satisfaction in any realm. For once, I had a little power to sway things my way and I took it.
Now, fast forwarding to where I am now in my life, my perspective has taken a 180-degree flip. I love sex. I enjoy that intimacy. Vanilla or kinky I enjoy being with other humans in that way. I can express myself more clearly now and that, in truth, has made all the difference. I was in a relationship with a man who was my friend, my lover and my Dom. The connection was addictive. I went from avoiding sex and my self-imposed celibacy to legitimately begging for it. There were other lovers in between him and my ex-husband but they were all vanilla and none of them was anything that made me want sex more. I had a very “take it or leave it” attitude about sex, which usually meant, I left it. My Dom and I would go weeks and/or months without any physical contact and it drove me crazy. I knew he was having sex with others. I was not. Was this my celibacy imposed by someone else? As my Dom, he was clear I had permission and his blessing to find someone to be with when I couldn’t be with him. He was very understanding of my situation and how I felt and was willing to help me any way he could. I didn’t want just anyone else, I wanted him. All of him. Being with someone else felt like cheating on him. From that perspective, was it self-imposed celibacy because I had the “permission” to be with others?
I don’t want to be celibate! I love sex. I miss sex. All kinds of sex. I am extremely jealous of all those that are having sex. Since the breakup in August, I have had sex twice. It’s January. You can do the math. That was the awkward first time, getting to know each other sex. It was still sex and it was good sex. But, I struggle with all the thoughts in my head and heart and somehow it still doesn’t feel right. Was it awkward because it was the first time? Was it awkward because it wasn’t as kinky as I like? He didn’t slap my ass or pull my hair or say the words I wanted to hear. That doesn’t make it bad and there is potential, but am I begging him for it? Nope. Am I ok if we just have lunch and not have sex? Yep. So… is this my self imposed celibacy because I’m picky? Am I not willing to put in the time and work things out with this guy? Am I not patient enough to take the time and see if we could eventually have awesome kinky sex? When my daughter broke up with her boyfriend of three years, after the heartache had turned to anger, she looked at me and said, “you know what really makes me mad Mom, I fucking trained him to be a great lover and now some other bitch is going to benefit from it.” Have these wise words from my offspring made me hesitant to invest time in another relationship? Has the way my Dom left me made me hesitant to put myself out there for fear of being abandoned again?
The more important question, I guess, would be is what I am experiencing “self-imposed celibacy” or am I just still healing from a devasting breakup and loss of not just a friend and a lover, but a Dom as well. My first Dom. When partners pass away a year is the assumed appropriate amount of time before you begin to date and/or have sex again. I am only at 5 months. Do I give myself a break for the next 7 months? Do I wish I could erase my brain and just go out and find mind-blowing sex and have that be the cure-all? You bet I do! Maybe in time that can happen. Right now I feel stuck between wanting and needing sexual contact and still feeling like I am cheating on a man that no longer speaks to me.
My self-imposed celibacy after my daughter was born, compared to the self-imposed celibacy I am in now (if that is what this is) feel very different. When my daughter was born, that celibacy felt powerful. I was making a decision and sticking to it. I was taking control of the situation even if I didn’t realize then what I was doing. What I am experiencing now feels out of my control. It feels hopeless. All of the solutions I find to having some kind of sex life again are not viable to me. At least not now. I am hopeful things will change. For now, hope is all I have.