Conscious Celibacy

A couple recent posts got me thinking about mental health and sex.  The Woman Invisible was part of the inspiration.

Sex can be a wonderful, enriching experience, but only if you’re in the right place for it mentally.  I think any issues or problems can only be magnified once sex gets added.

Sometimes sex is like a band aid, a quick fix to feel better, but it doesn’t address the underlying problems.  Other times, sex directly adds drama and stress to the situation, further complicating things.

Why do I think all this?  Because I wasn’t in a good place, had problems, and ended up making the conscious decision not to date until I was better.  It made a huge difference in my life.

During the two years of open marriage and the divorce I did a lot of sleeping around.  For about six months I was sleeping with Cat and had two girlfriends.  It was all about sex all the time.

It was a blast.

But it was also pretty damaging.

Toward the end of those two years Cat and I started working toward the divorce.  She’d met her future husband and we were getting through all the paperwork.

Mentally I wasn’t in a very good place, there were so many things over that past year that were difficult for me and I’d never taken the time to deal with any of it.  There were too many little things just adding up in my life.  Instead of dealing with each little thing before it became a problem, I avoided them all and they had been stacking up for a while.

Even though the divorce was amicable and mutual, it was still difficult on multiple levels.  Cat was still my best friend but our lives were going in different directions.  I wasn’t seeing my daughter as often as I’d liked.  I hated my job at the time, it was demeaning, difficult, and constantly kept me away from home.

Most of my marriage to Cat had been horrible.  She cheated, she lied, she was mentally and verbally abusive, so even though the last two years of the open relationship were pretty good… it wasn’t like I was leaving it in a healthy place.  I practically had marriage PTSD coming out of it.  And I was okay with the divorce, it was just the finality of actually doing it.  It basically meant the end of that period of my life and the beginning of a new one, sometimes that felt like the best decision ever but other times I felt like a failure.

The divorce also meant that my daughter was moving out.  I still got to see her off and on but with scheduling issues and long days at work I felt like the opportunity was slipping away.  Cat was also getting remarried, so my daughter was going to be at least partially raised by another man.

I was depressed, low self esteem, smoking too much, drinking too much… mentally I was a wreck.

One of the reasons, subconsciously, that I had been seeing so many women was because they kept me busy.  I didn’t have time to dwell on things because I was always dating, seeing women, and getting laid.  I didn’t bury my head in the sand, I buried it in pussy.  They were also an ego boost, three women that loved sleeping with me… constantly.

Then, the divorce with Cat got finalized and shortly afterwards things fell through with the girlfriends.  One moved back home to be closer to family, she also went back to being a lesbian. That’s kind of a funny story.  The second girlfriend left her email open and her husband found our messages… That isn’t a funny story.

It happened so quick, all three women gone in just a couple weeks.

No women, no ego boosts, no sex, and nothing to keep my brain busy.  My whole facade of stability collapsed.

That’s when I realized that my whole world had been propped up by these women.  When they were gone all those issues I’d been avoiding rushed in to fill the free time.  It was like my legs just gave out and I collapsed.

My brain went to the darkest places.   There were times I would catch myself standing in the shower and not have a clue how long I’d been there.  I had just been staring at the water running down the drain, dark thoughts looping over and over and over through my brain.  That was when the serious drinking started.

My first instinct was to find more women.  Before, the women had kept me too busy for any other issues to creep into my brain.  If I picked up a couple new ones that would give me an ego boost and a distraction.

But I realized that would have been more band aids, covering up the wounds instead of dealing with them.

The celibacy didn’t start out as a conscious decision, I just decided that I had to get my head straight.  I had to.  I couldn’t hide behind the illusion of stability anymore.  I needed to fix myself before I let any more drama into my life.

The first couple months were really difficult.  The three women had pushed my libido into overdrive, the sudden stop left my dick and my head spinning.  I would walk around drooling, it was as though I was starving and every woman looked like a T-bone steak.  Just seeing a nice body walking down the street would give me a hard on.

I pushed through it though, wanting to get healthy before jumping into anything again, and my libido gradually chilled out.  I also cut out the drinking.

The next couple months were much easier.  I focused on working out, meditating, clearing out all the bullshit that had blocked up my brain for so long.  I read a lot about Buddhism and books by the Dalai Lama.  They opened my eyes about a lot of things in how I had been living my life.  Buddhism is all about truth.  What is the underlying issue?  How do we affect the situations in our life?  What’s really important?  It asked so many tough questions that actually made me think.

meditation s

There were months when I meditated for over an hour every day.

There are a lot of misconceptions about meditation.  Basically meditation is a work out for your brain.  That sounds funny but it’s true.  We have so many distractions in our lives, so many constantly conflicting things, and our brains get pulled in dozens of directions.  If you don’t train your brain, learn how to control your thoughts and emotions than your brain gets sloppy.  It gets weak, easily distracted, and uncontrollable.

Meditation is focusing on a single thing.  Invariably other thoughts come in but you push them away and go back to focusing on the single thing.  It’s really difficult at first but the longer you practice the easier it is to push those other thoughts away, the easier it is to stay completely focused. It’s a mental work out, the more you train the stronger you get.

That ability to focus and concentrate your thoughts carries over into everything else in your life.  Control your thoughts, control your brain.  You have low self esteem, push away the negative and focus on the positive thoughts.  You have doubts about something, push those thoughts away and focus on success.  Things are difficult or distracting, push them away and focus on what’s important.

Everything gets easier.  I can’t emphasize that enough, having more control over your brain makes everything in life easier.

Before I knew it I was in a fantastic place mentally and physically.

And I hadn’t had sex in almost a year.  I didn’t need it, I didn’t need another person to validate myself.

When I did start dating again I suddenly realized how crazy most single people are.  I was in great shape, mentally strong, confident, happy… most single people aren’t.  Most of them are actually pretty fucked up.  It made me think that maybe most of them should take some time off to clear their heads.

It also made me realize how many women use sex to manipulate guys.  I literally laughed at their efforts.  Bitch, I just went a year without sex.  I don’t need your pussy.  I don’t need your bullshit.  You’re not worth my time.

So many guys are ruled by their dick and make terrible decisions because of it.  I was making all my decisions with my big head, a clear head, and it felt a whole lot better than when I was dating before.

The year that I took off from relationships, dating, and sex made such a huge improvement on my life.  It let me break the cycles I’d been caught in for so many years.  It let me focus on being the best version of me possible.  It made me the happy, healthy man I am today.

8 thoughts on “Conscious Celibacy

  1. Yes. Beautiful writing.

    And this is why I went into a no relationships stage after I broke up with my ex girlfriend. Hardest break up of my life. I kid you not. Probably because I had to say goodbye to the one person I still loved. But it had to be done.

    So glad that you found your inner peace. Say, have you ever read the way of the peaceful warrior? I that was the book that spiraled me off into my self discovery land when I was in my early 20’s.

      • I think it’s one of those obscure things.

        I came across it when I was lost and it basically was the only book in the wicca shop that jumped out at me.

        I’m glad I read it. I think it’s a great book for self empowerment.

  2. It really depends on your attitude toward sex. A lot of what you said I heard growing up as (supposed) reasons to stay celibate until marriage. But for me, I found that things go better when two people have the same expectations going in, be that a one-night stand or marriage. Also, be mindful of what you’re doing and don’t use sex (or romance, or alcohol, or food, or gaming, etc.) to cover up issues that you should be dealing with. For me, having lots of sex with different people was actually a part of my healing because I needed to get it in my head that I could have sex when I wanted to rather then when I was coerced into it. I was taking control of my body and it felt oh so good.

    I kinda ranted about bullshit we’re fed regarding sex a while ago –

    So that’s what I think in more detail.

    • I really hope you’re not equating me with any religious dogma here, that would really bother me. I even have a devil in my logo and gravitar. I didn’t write the post to preach, I wrote it to share my experience and offer a perspective that might help some people who aren’t in healthy relationships and might benefit from taking some time off. I’m going to assume that you also aren’t equating my post with the “bullshit we’re fed”.

      I don’t disagree with any of the things that you said. Sex as exploration, mutual expectations, sex for growth and all that. And not using sex to cover up issues is half the point of the post. As long as the two adults are consensual, legal, and are approaching it in a healthy way I don’t have any issue with it.

      I’ve glanced through your posts, I didn’t go deep enough for a detailed response, but they seem mostly to argue against a religious perspective on sex, celibacy, and marriage.

      If you want some more detail on my perspective on sex and relationships, I would refer you to this post:

      • I was never under the impression that you were saying anything from a religious perspective; nevertheless, some of what you said did sound eerily familiar.

        I did read your post on relationships. Clearly we have experienced different things, but I do appreciate that you clearly gave the subject a lot of thought. The world would be a much better place if more people did the same.

  3. I wish I had done the same when I first was divorced. Though things turned out alright for me, the mad, man-whore days of the beginning did nothing to build me up and actually tore me down pretty effectively. Great perspective here, man, and excellent wisdom.

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