Let me start this off by saying I’m not like most guys. I care deeply about sports, don’t mind a quality craft beer every now and then, and have an affinity for the opposite sex. But outside of that, I’m very different from my gender.
For instance, I don’t mind wearing a bright floral print button up when the weather permits. I appreciate the importance of Feng shui in my dwelling spaces, pairing quality décor with meaningful essential oils in my diffuser. I love to bake and cook, spending copious amounts of time in the kitchen as a form of release therapy. But chief of all of my differences is my approach to sex.
Compared to my peers, I became sexually active rather late, waiting until 21-years-old to get into that arena. I chose to wait because I saw how often girls I went to high school with suffered from the one-dimensional thinking most guys possessed. They wanted to be loved; most guys wanted to merely have sex.
At first I only slept with girls I genuinely loved. There was Shelby, a girlfriend of mine for 18 months. After her came Evangeline, my significant other for 14 months. That relationship led to profound heartbreak and almost turned me into a playboy, the type of guy who does and says whatever just to get women into bed.
I tried that lifestyle for a year. Personally speaking, that, combined with my attempts at casual sex, left me feeling empty and hollow inside. I prefer to have a deep-rooted emotional connection to the women I’m sleeping with. The sex is so much better that way!
As a result of the travesty that was my sex life all throughout 2019, I decided to take a step back from that domain and focus on my goals. It’s been 3 years since I’ve been in bed with anyone outside of myself, and if I’m being completely honest, I REALLY enjoy it. There are a handful of surprising side effects I’ve experienced since starting to live what some consider a celibate lifestyle. Chief among them are:
I think it’s safe to say that pursuing casual sex and/or relationships is more commonplace nowadays than it’s ever been. For crying out loud, I see middle school kids using language and dressing in ways designed to attract potential mates, something that didn’t exist when I was that age. My peers and I were spending our time in parks enjoying the outdoors, not pursuing sex at incredibly early ages.
I’m also still in my 20’s, when “playing the field” makes sense. If I had a dollar for every encounter with a female who subtly hinted at the fact she found me attractive, I’d be rich enough to avoid having to pursue a full-time writing career.
At first, I found abstaining from engaging with them challenging. After all, sex is something most people, if not all people, want in some capacity or at some point. However, the longer I abstained, the easier it became. It’s kind of like going to the gym. At first it’s incredibly laborious and takes tremendous dedication. After some time, it becomes muscle memory and something you actively look forward to.
Not having sex has taught me mind AND body mastery. The hardest thing for a guy to do (arguably) is say no to a female, especially when she’s the one making the sexual advances. If you can do that, you’ve aligned mind and body in a very meaningful way. I’ve long known how Ross from Friends felt when he turned down Rachel’s sexual advances after her father had a heart attack.
I’ve always been patient when it comes to having sex because of what I witnessed in high school. It broke my heart to see several of my female counterparts lose their virginity to guys that solely wanted to take, not give. Sex should be mutually enjoyable, not a way to earn bragging rights or points with the boys. So I vowed to myself to never be that type of guy.
With my first girlfriend, I waited 8 months before we slept together. With my second girlfriend, it was 6 months. I learned a long time ago that most males will do or say whatever necessary to cut down on this time. While I understand that male perspective, I DO NOT agree with it for a simple reason; doing so can and usually leads to heartbreak.
“I thought he was different,” “He played me,” or “What an asshole!” are a few of the more common phrases articulated by females all over the globe whenever they run into guys of this magnitude. This in turn creates bitter, dangerous women (the type who tear apart my articles about males such as this one in the comments section).
3 years without sex = extreme patience. I can now say with the utmost confidence that I have the ability to make future paramours feel important, safe, and valued as a person BEFORE seeking out sex. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want — to feel like we matter? Why allow your genitalia to keep you from doing this?
3) Appreciation of alone time
I did EVERYTHING with my girlfriends. I’ve had my own place since I was 19-years-old; when I was dating Shelby and Evangeline, I went from a house I shared with roommates to my first truly solo apartment. Because of this, it was easy to “play house,” or act as if we lived together.
This created an extremely codependent environment, and that was mostly because it was easy to have sex whenever we wanted, as often as we wanted. The more we slept together, the more we wanted to be around each other; the more we were around each other, the more we slept together. And round and round we went.
Additionally, a huge component of interacting with the opposite gender is sex and intimacy. My generation has several “urban dictionary” terms to describe the desire to be with someone. For instance, there’s cuffing season, which is coming up shortly— when the weather outdoors becomes colder in Autumn, that’s the perfect time to find a partner to spend time with.
Not having sex for over 3 years has caused me to do a complete 180. I value my alone time now more than I ever have. I’m pretty much Jughead Jones (portrayed by Cole Sprouse) from Riverdale — a reclusive loner who enjoys being alone, writing his all his spare time.
Besides, when you eliminate the pursuit of mates from your life — for any period of time — you’d be surprised at how much additional time to yourself you have. All the primping, preening, going out, drinking, talking, texting, coffee dates, rejection, all to rinse and repeat, takes up substantial amounts of time.
The question is — can you handle being by yourself and use your alone time constructively??
4) More selective about future partners
Once you get into a groove at the gym, you feel so much better day in and day out, it’s hard to stop. Pair that with a healthy diet chalk-full of quality cuisine, and most people are wary of going back to having a potbelly from munching on Doritos and burgers consistently.
Similarly, the longer I go without sex, the less willing I am to settle, or give myself to just anyone. I’ve always had standards, but now they’re more firmly cemented.
More importantly, because I haven’t slept with anyone for such a long time AND I’m okay being alone, I don’t fear the most harrowing potential reality most people fear — the prospect of being alone for life without a spouse or kids. I’m willing to sacrifice for the right person as long as necessary, but I’m okay if that person never comes along.
Lastly, I remember what it was like to have sex. I know how emotionally gripping it can be and is for both men and women, but especially women. The last thing I ever want is to be among the population of men who don’t understand or appreciate this.
5) Better female relationships
Dave Chappelle once told a story I’ll never forget. It was about the beginning of his career, when he signed one of his first deals. He’d just been given $25,000 cash.
Rather than just carry it around, he put it in his backpack. In spite of this, he still felt very unsafe. It’s not everyday that a person walks around with that type of cash on them. The scariest part? He had to ride the subway late at night.
That experience made him very aware of what it’s like to have something on him that pretty much everyone wants. It fundamentally changed his perception of women, since guys go crazy for vaginal intercourse.
He likened the two to one another; it made him applaud women, as they have to walk around daily with something worth more than $25,000 and hope that the person they “give it to” values them the right way. That story, combined with how life has gone the last 3ish years, has taught me to value women outside of sex, something most males struggle with.
I see a lot of guys going out of their way to make a woman feel valued 1) when they want to sleep with them or 2) when they’re seeking out an intimate relationship, only to stop applying the skills that got them into the relationship or into bed at the worst time; it’s as if that’s as far as their goal-setting went, when that should be the beginning.
Learning how to TRULY treat a female starts with platonic friendships. If you cannot have females in your life that you don’t want to sleep with (or at the very least, might want to, but know how not to), then you might want to reevaluate your life.
I have no idea how much longer I’ll embrace celibacy. I still have moments where I want to break my streak or go back to how I once used to live. But remembering how unfulfilling being a playboy was, combined with how much more rewarding life feels on account of how I’m currently living, makes it all the more worthwhile.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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