Our Sexuality! Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 9

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So let’s clear up the confusion…

There is much debate around the question whether or not a person is truly celibate if they are using sex toys, self-pleasure, watching porn or other forms of sexual activity that do not include a partner. The answer to the question is no. Celibacy in its authentic form is an unmarried person who is avoiding all forms of sexuality for religious or spiritual reason. Once a person marries and/or engages in sexual activities including: anal, oral, vaginal intercourse, self-pleasure/masturbation, using sex toys, watching porn, hugging, kissing and for some individuals, it may also include thoughts and words, they are no longer considered celibate but rather abstinent. Even if a person divorces or separates from their spouse and decides to stop engaging in sexual activities, they are still considered to be practicing abstinence.

Aside from religious or spiritual reasons, why do people choose not to partake in sexual activities?

There are many reasons an individual may decide to make a vow to abstain from sexual activities. Here are some of the most common reasons:

*Cultural, moral and religious beliefs

*Experienced a trauma

*Legal reasons

*Ethical reason

*Medical reasons

*Reproductive health conditions

*Reconnect with self

*Tired of unhealthy relationships

*Saving self for marriage

*Emotionally overwhelmed

Benefits of Abstaining

For those who choose to sexually abstain, the benefits are plenty and well worth the commitment. Below are some of the benefits.

Emotional Stability

Sexual encounters can have lasting effects which may include the inability of a person to form strong emotional bonds of love, intimacy, attachment and/or trust. Often people engage in sexual activities because they are longing to have a connection with someone, however, having sex for the wrong reasons can leave a person feeling emotionally emptier than before the encounter. Choosing to abstain from sexual activities helps to clear the mind and balance the emotions.

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