By: Natasha Archary
Whatever happened to traditional dating? In the age where finding a warm body to keep you company for the night is as simple as a right swipe. Is there any merit in holding out until you’re ready?
The number of twenty-something’s choosing a celibate lifestyle are at the highest they’ve been since the 1920s. A study details that with the amount of time we’re spending online today, this leaves little time for personal interaction. Despite online apps like Tinder, Zoosk, Bumble and Match.com, 15% of people born in the 90s, reported not having a sexual partner since they were 18.
The no-sex policy
Reasons for many remaining celibate include fear of sexual abuse, equating a sex-free lifestyle with self-worth and identity, religious beliefs, previous failed relationships or bad experiences with sex and emotional health.
For many participants in the survey, meaningless sex did little for their emotional state of mind. Despite the decision to engage in sexual intercourse being mutual, that empty feeling afterwards is ego-bruising. Random sex and generic hookups, though fun in the beginning often ends with one or both parties questioning their sense of self.
The quest to fulfill some sort of void and finding that solace being intimate with someone only lasts as long as the euphoria from the sexual act itself. When asked, one of the common scenarios was that all communication ceased after sex.
Ghosting, even if the arrangement was a “friends with benefits” setup, was the biggest factor for many. Men and women included. Contrary to popular belief, most people do not want to be used for purely sexual endeavors.
Celibacy in a modern world
Many think that being celibate means saving yourself for marriage. This may be true for some, but a latent desire to take a celibate route, could come from a past abusive relationship, a bad sexual encounter, rape, the search for spiritual enlightenment or for a number of other deeply personal choices.
In a previous post, we touched on losing an interest in sex. Asexuality is a factor for many who decide to remain celibate. An asexual is someone who is not attracted to anyone sexually. There may be romantic feelings involved, but this doesn’t mean that a person is now obligated to take things to a physical level and have sex with you.
Research alludes to youngsters missing out on sexual encounters before they marry. Claiming a life behind the safety of the online world prevents most in their 20s and 30s from experiencing physical satisfaction. Does this mean that celibacy does not strengthen your relationship?
Do we equate falling and being in love with someone to the level of physical intimacy that science claims we NEED to have? Or are we perfectly capable of loving someone whilst maintaining a celibate lifestyle?
It’s deeper than that
A traumatic sexual encounter and deep routed psychological issues around sex with the fear and anxiety it brings to many, should not be taken lightly. Whether a person is celibate for years or a few months, do not assume that you will be able to convince them to have sex with you.
Don’t lie to yourself or the person you’re with, that sex is not important and that you’ll wait however long that takes. Relationship blogger, Warren Pettis, shared his insights into the problems with dating women who are celibate. According to Warren, the longer a man dates a woman the more he falls for her.
He stresses that many men fail to understand why women choose to be celibate. According to Warren, telling a man you’re celibate is not enough. Men arrive at their own conclusions for your very personal decision.
Not that you owe anyone an explanation but he does have a point. A relationship should be based on communication and trust. If you are to explore the possibility of a celibate relationship, the lines of communication need to open.
If you’re not sure that you’ll want a physical relationship with the person, then this needs to be communicated.
“I’d like to get to know you and date you but I don’t want to have sex with you. Until I’m ready. Do understand that I don’t know whether I’ll ever be ready. And I’d appreciate it if you don’t force the issue or try to coerce me.”
Laying your cards out on the table ensures you’re both aware of the terms. And if neither of you can agree, it’s okay. It just means this is not your person.