The dictionary meaning of celibacy is the state of abstaining from marriage and sexual relations. As in “a priest who has taken a vow of celibacy”.
We are the only species that has sex for pleasure
All of sex is a projection of the mind say some learned sages – but I beg to differ. There are the sexually active years between teenage up to around the fifties when the body is hijacked by the hormonal impulses to reach out for sex. It is natural of course that almost all living creatures mate at prescribed times. So do human beings, however we seem to indulge in sex irrespective of mating requirements and all year round. We are the only species that has sex for pleasure. That is where the major role of the mind comes in.
So then the questions of ‘why abstain at all’ arises. Why do you want to deny the body such a beautiful experience? It is obviously good for physical and mental health. So why? There are couples who have deliberately chosen to remain celibate. A survey says that several young couples in the state of Gujarat have opted for celibacy within the marriage. When asked why they chose to stay together, the answer was that they enjoy the companionship and for financial stability. So do they curb their sexual needs or is it a natural decline of the sexual urges? While I cannot answer that question I can share my reasons for choosing to be celibate.
I considered myself to be a high libido woman
I could think non-stop about sex like most men do. Also I was never as conditioned by religion or society to curb bad thoughts. So I was like a free bird in my mind. However, I also stayed within boundaries and did not join the Osho camp that was just 10 kms from my house in Pune. I maintained that delicate balance of what I want and what I could do – decently. I was not a nymphomaniac either – the gardener or the bus-conductor could not turn me on, I needed an intellectual connection before I could shed my inhibitions or my clothes. Also, I needed to be in love. That is a huge gate to cross.
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I started my sexual journey when I was 18 years old and have chosen my partners carefully or rather I found it very difficult to find anyone suitable and spent long stretches of time without sex. If I were born in this generation I guess I could have it solved by having serial one-night stands. In my time most people were anyway waiting for the official channels of arranged marriage to start their married life with sex.
That was a path that was near impossible for me for two reasons, I was adamantly against dowry, and my brother was battling a mental health condition that was such a huge stigma in our society. So with great trepidation I allowed myself the freedom to explore sex before marriage. Therefore the last thirty years I went through a roller coaster of emotional upheavals that were related to sexual encounters. Though my men numbered only 4 they were enough to fragment me into a thousand pieces, psychologically and emotionally.
What I really wanted
Then about 8 years ago when I turned 50 years old, I meditated on what I really wanted. I had 2 grown up kids and no husband or lover. I wanted to go back to that 14 year old, who was so perfect, whole and complete. She was a lover with no man, she was happy; she was in tune with the universe and with nature. I wanted to be that little girl. I had begun to meditate some 20 years ago and I got my answers from my own inner voice or from a divine source, through meditation or in my dreams. And that’s when I decided I am better of without this activity – sex. Did I want sex? Maybe. But the men had set the bar too high. They were all very handsome and extremely good in bed. I had enjoyed tantric sex and a lifetime of multiple orgasms. What more could I have asked for?
Do I have any anxiety about this decision to be celibate?
None! I am calm, satisfied and only engage in masturbation for maintenance of the Netherlands. Every woman should do so, to keep her uterus in place and keep the pelvic muscles in good health. Do I still get attracted to men? No. I don’t even feel that for my exes, anymore. What changed? The peace and calm that fills my mind, and the solitude that keeps me sane, far away from the drama and anguish that sexual relationships seem to bring along.