Celibacy isn’t a topic that one shares with friends especially in a social group of men in their early sixties. Surprisingly, the alpha males still loudly pound their chests and noisily announce with some brouhaha that their libido is still as strong as ever. Birthday wishes are perfunctorily accompanied by images that titillate these old men. Perhaps sent obligatorily, as many of them, although balding or greying and almost unrecognisable in shape and size, still claim that “their vital organs are still in top shape” i.e. a euphemism that they are still virile and sexually active. Usually these friends are kind and caring, quick to lend support to any of us who may be in deficit, financially or emotionally. The fellowship amongst us “brothers” is a true gift, a newfound bonus from the remnants of our early memories from primary school days. We still call one another “brothers”, quite special for it is without any religious undertones. Our origins, backgrounds and beliefs are diverse, our socio-economic differences irrelevant, rich or poor no matter. To still bond so affectionately when our diversity has been further accentuated by distance and time (over four decades) makes it even more special. Yet, there is one issue that disturbs me. There is a total disregard for those who don’t engage in sex for whatever reason, the celibate ones. Why are their feelings ignored when the alpha males boast about their sexual prowess and recent conquests? Why are our celibate brothers not celebrated for the choice they have made?
In this modern era, LGBT rights have in many countries “advanced” to protect lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders with the same rights as non-LGBT people, previously known as “normal” people. The end of the 19th century saw the rejection of Victorian morality but it did not lead to a “permissive” society. It was considered “normal” and healthy for men to be promiscuous but female chastity was still prized. Strict religious values prohibited homosexual acts and sex outside the sanctity of marriage. The sexual revolution of the roaring sixties and the psychedelic seventies, changed all that , “normal” people were liberated and one new liberty included sexual promiscuity. The Pill and the after-war euphoria which resulted in the baby boom and subsequent rise of the middle class, triggered the shift in society’s attitudes towards a much more liberal view of non-traditional sex. The arrival of the feminist movement also spurred the increase in non-traditional sexual activities, non-marital, extra-marital, and even communal ones.
Celibacy, the abstinence of sex and or marriage is usually not discussed. Required by various religious edicts even before biblical times, e.g. Gautama Buddha renounced his wife in pursuit of enlightenment. Today, celibacy is more often a lifestyle choice. Some obvious benefits:
1. No expectations of sex, therefore no rejections and no disappointments.
2. No pressure to perform like Superman in bed. No stress.
3. No frustrations, no tossing and turning in bed, waiting for the next invitation or minutest hint from your partner.
4. No wild sexual thoughts, a more focused mind at work, and increase in productivity.
5. Enjoy true friendships. Hold a placard that boldly promote yourself as a celibate, and friends and acquaintances who remain are those who don’t feel uncomfortable around you, they know you have no sexual motives.
6. No health risks from sexually transmitted diseases.
7. Self-esteem is another benefit. There is no chance of any rejection by your partner and there can be no failed sexual encounter.
Urghhlings, before you brag again about your vital organs being in tip top shape, or share titillating images, please consider this. The celibate have much more to celebrate!