"Aww Hell, Ethel! That Girl is Gonna Talk About Sex Again!"
Quote from imaginary persons
If you probably shouldn't write about it.....
Now that's out of the way.
As of midnight the morning of July 15. I have been celibate for one year.
It was anti-climactic. (crickets chirping)
In no way am I suggesting this for anyone. This was only for me, and it took some serious strength that beat me to the floor more than a few times. I thought I'd write about the reason. I'm tired, seriously tired. I'm tired of my own choices. I'm 47 for several more days. I've not had more or less sex than the average person, but I've had too many bad relationships for me personally. One is too many. I'm tired.
I'm tired of telling myself that things aren't that bad or that this or that is probably just me being picky, especially when this or that involves behaviors I know I can't live with. It doesn't matter if they wear weird colors or if they are felons. If you know you can't live with it, then don't. I'm tired of lying to myself. I'm tired of telling myself, "If I just love them enough." I thought I'd had enough of that years ago. I was wrong.
This year was all about me for the first time in my life. It could have been self care even if I was not celibate, but I know myself, and I know that no sooner is sex involved than I begin to make poor decisions. I get self sacrificing beyond what is healthy. Self doubt creeps in, and I try too hard. It wasn't that I had enough of other's problems. I had enough of mine, and very often the b.s. that I smell is my own. (Now try finding an s/o who knows the same about themselves. Good luck.)
( I'm in recovery for alcohol and drug addiction, and I've an anniversary coming up later this month, for now, it's just 15 years clean and sober. It was suggested early on, because I needed to face myself, and didn't really have anything to share with others except some very twisted thinking, that I give myself as a gift a year of celibacy. This was to learn to focus on self care.
It sounded like torture to me at the time, and I don't like pain nearly as much as I used to.
I did make an effort and made it six months. Another time it was nine months, and each time when I broke my own pact with myself, it was not thought out. It was a desperate need for mental comfort that I placated temporarily with sex precisely as I had used alcohol, and not too impressive sex at that. No, I'm not talking about the Other person here either. It's me, without a doubt.
Zero to passion in 15 seconds or less is fine as an occasion, but it's not much of a way to live. Neither is relying on sex to feel beautiful, wanted or anything else I was looking for. It's most definitely not all about what *I need, nor is it all about the Other.)
What this year gave me was some peace with it. I don't have any idea what is best for others, and would never assume to. I just know that for me, I needed this time, and it was not easy.
I had a few close calls when I had to work very hard to remind myself I wanted more from myself. Once, that it didn't happen, I can't even take credit for. I lost it, and apparently the Universe said, "Wait." I'm glad.
So here I am. I did it; One year of celibacy. It's a solemn feeling, at times depressing, though I feel a sense of accomplishment and an odd amount of serenity. I know I'm charge of and responsible for my own decisions. It's not really that much of a feat considering how much of my life I was celibate in marriages, but not for this kind of stretch and this time it was my choice.
Why the self-imposed endurance test? It was put to me that, how could I expect myself to be in a relationship or even marriage, if I didn't know how to handle my own body? Times come with all people, men in my case, when they might not be capable of participating. Illnesses, disagreements, physical problems, etc. Could I remain a true partner, if I didn't know how to live without sex? I know I can now, and I know I can have peace in it.
I feel extremes for me are as unhealthy as rash decisions are. I'm not saying, "Never." I may well decide on going it another year, but I have no plans on attacking the first male that is willing to hold still either. (My brain still goes there.)
I've learned sexual energy is the same as creative energy, and that these can be channeled into painting, singing, problem solving, writing and helping others. I've also learned there is a sickness in using any of these good things as avoidance mechanisms, and to hide from the humanness of sexuality is as detrimental as sleeping with anyone you can....for me. Balance is key in my thinking as well as my actions.
Did my, "Kundalini" rise? Ermm..That's a bit personal, don't you think? Better put for me, "Did that creative, deliciously sexual energy get expressed at every level of my being?" Yes! From the passion that causes self preservation, to that which cares for worlds, to the speaker in me, to the thinker and to a feeling of connectedness with Spirit, yes. Can that happen during sex? Yes, and now I have both. I'm a greedy thing, and if it can get me to grow, I pretty much want it. ;) It's that simple. This wasn't about deprivation. It was about me wanting more out of me. It was my own growth, my own path, my own love as well as experience for the sake of experience. This was new territory, and that alone held excitement. I had no idea what would happen or what I'd feel. Feeling that coursing of sexual energy flow and blossom out into my life has energized me, quietened me and made me feel that I am someone I respect on another level, not a better one, just another one.
I face me daily, and I've learned it's o.k. to lovingly tell my body, "Wait." I've done that with my diet in times when immediate indulgences would have meant having something that made me feel bad. Why not do the same with my sexuality or any action? I have no personal moralistic judgments on sex, no need to loathe, demean, hide, control or worship my own sexuality, and I feel my choice of celibacy was a way of life as respectable as anyone's choice of one or seven partners. It's not my business. I don't know what others need. This was only for me.
I have to wonder if I missed some lesson along the way, or if maybe this, at times, shaky commitment kept me out of some trouble I'll never know about. At end, I'm not really sure. I feel more loving toward myself, at the same time, I've felt more loving toward myself in sexual relationships.
. The point is to love the self no matter where you are, and fulfillment doesn't come from the Other, but from the self. Maybe that's the lesson for me, to know this on a deeper level.
It may be interesting to know, I haven't taken the whole thing too seriously. I have cursed, ranted, cried and laughed about the whole thing many times, more laughs than not. It was just something I wanted to see if I was capable of. More, I wanted to see if I was capable of finding other ways of comfort, and I have. Turns out there is more to life than sex and romance, and there is more to it than white-knuckled celibacy. Can I carry this peace into relationships with others? I don't know, and I don't know that I'm willing to gamble it just yet. I kind of like where I am...oddly, and I'm certainly not ready to be a cat lady. I'm neither, "On the hunt," nor am I hiding. I'm at peace. That is damned cool. :)
A few months ago, I began having conversations with males for the purpose of seeing if I could on a level that was possibly, curiously romantic, but no more. I can (I'm as surprised as anyone!), and fortunately those who aren't interested in intellectual or spiritual exchange fade away as quickly as I have before. This isn't a higher plane. It's just another one, an interesting realm and a way of relating to people that is less focused on my needs and more about deeper human connections. I'm learning more about myself and others, and it's even been fun. Again, those things can be achieved through sex, and who knows? Maybe I'll be better at getting there, because of this experience.
I'm very aware of an exchange of spiritual energy even in the absence of sex, but I'm also more aware it is more thorough and stronger where sex is involved for me. I'm not sure I'm ready to share that with anyone, and I may never be. I may also choose to do so. I don't know. The path to connection is now broader, and need not stay within my previous conception of what that connection should do, be, feel like, look like, etc. I'm more open-minded to interactions on more levels, neither one level or another. There is more of a blend to my life now. (I just envisioned a many-path'd sexual octopus. See? I'm not dead. I'm just on hold. lol! I crack me up!)
When I began writing this, the only positive I could think of was, "Well, it didn't kill me!" LOL! It's alright. It's seriously alright, and for now, it's better than alright.There is a beauty to it. It's subtle, and I'm stronger and a more well rounded person for it.
So, how does a person "celebrate" a year of celibacy when sex isn't going to happen (my choice), I don't drink or drug, nor do I eat sugary foods? Maybe, just maybe it's o.k. to have an accomplishment without reward. Maybe only knowing I did it is enough. That must be true, because it brought on the most relaxed smile.
I used to long for a friend, the task was to see if I could *be* one to myself and others on this plane.
smiles and nods. Yes.
Be true to you in each moment whatever that means for you in those moments. Whatever the experience, don't miss it if it's true to you.
In stillness...with love,