It’s a funny thing what you find along the way when you decide to break free from social constructs and the widely held belief that men are sexists who only have one thing on their minds. Maybe we could blame the media for perpetuating stereotypes or we could admit that we are weak to our desires as many have suggested.
You could argue that it’s by default, or that they have been conditioned by the daily interactions with males, but most women live in fear of men. It’s not at all surprising because they have never been given any reason not to think that way! A casual walk on the street will get you cat-calls, verbal harassment, manhandling and equally uncomfortable, lustful stares, so I must admit that as men, we have a long way to go. When getting your rocks off, this is one of the things you observe and think about extensively.
Unfortunately following the not-so-beaten path of celibacy against the backdrop of the current sexual revolution is very trying for anyone whether male or female. The only thing you have to lean on is your values because celibacy is a very lonely journey no matter how encouraging your partner, family, and friends are. At the end of the day, it’s a personal journey that tests your will. Your value systems turn out to be your only companion and depending on how strong they are, they carry you through the daily challenges.
Celibacy isn’t really just about stopping yourself from having sex, it’s really about controlling your emotions. Its all really one big test of character. It tests how faithful you are to your own word and your ability to resist primal urges. It’s one thing to deflect your urges by keeping yourself busy all day and night, but another entirely to put yourself in situations of extreme temptation or the lion’s den if you are as melodramatic as I was on my first attempt. It could be sitting through a sex scene in a movie, watching pornography without rushing for a “bathroom break” or even being in an intimate setting alone with someone you’re attracted to without reaching for their zipper even though you’re sweating, confused, lobotomised, and anaesthetised because that is the only thing on your mind.
It is through putting yourself in those situations and managing to talk yourself down through the desire, lust and attraction; however you may call it, and rising above it that puts you in a position of power. This power over emotion is a very liberating feeling that centres you in a way, giving you a newfound confidence and dominance over desire that can be channelled into other aspects. Businessmen are always talking about making well thought out decisions that are rational and not based on emotion so I guess in that regard it can be of most benefit to have this calm.
Celibacy is a lot like riding a bike, you might stumble the first few tries but after a while it becomes second nature. This doesn’t grant you permission to ride blindfolded though because there are many obstacles on the way and the laws of physics still apply to you. Just because you gave up the right, if it can be called that, to enact your primal urges doesn’t make you any special nor does it entitle you to special favours or privileges in life. This is what I was constantly reminded of and I can tell you there are no cool points to be collected. In fact, the words celibacy and cool are on two ends of the spectrum.
So what have I learned from 378 days of celibacy? Firstly, it’s that you might have a new outlook on life, but you’re not at all righteous, chosen, or sanctified. Secondly, it’s that at the end of the day to most people you’re just another guy with 12 plus months of blue balls and sexual frustration occasionally casting lustful stares at mannequins in shopping malls and that’s accurate to a degree, but it’s still all good. Thirdly, it’s extremely difficult to sell the benefits of this lifestyle change to the next person without sounding like a religious fanatic taking the moral high ground. All you can do is try right?