A while back I was at the Success of 3.0 event in Boulder Colorado, where author John Grey of “Men are from Mars women are from Venus “ fame was a guest speaker. We know him for his relationship advice, and as a man who speaks so affectionately about his long-term wife and partner. At one point he told the audience that he was a celibate monk for nine years of his life. I nearly choked! The thought of NO sex for NINE YEARS was completely horrifying to me. I could not imagine the void I would feel being a nonsexual being for anywhere near that length of time, just the thought of it made me want to shrivel up and die. I got over my shock as he described his reasoning for focusing that life force energy in positive, constructive and spiritual endeavour— as path of fulfillment in it's own unique way. When you are focused on the physical, or entrenched in relationship— thats a whole lot of time and energy that you are not focusing on honing in other areas of your development. hmmmm… right?
At that time I was going through a period of my life where I was adjusting from the separation of my partner of nearly 19 years; going from long term 100% monogamy (at least I was—lol), to being newly single and navigating single life was interesting (and not overly enticing, I might add). I struggled with balancing my need for sexual contact and my need for intimacy/connection because as a single person I couldn't seem to experience both, at least not simultaneously. I've never been the kind of person who is easily attracted to people, the ‘fling’ has never been my thing because I have always been about connection. Who a person is: their beliefs, their values, passions and interests must align with mine to spark an attraction (needle in the haystack comes to mind....) But I had gone without sex for so long that I was starting to feel completely deprived. And to be honest… in spite being a confident, attractive and sensual human being, I felt like a victim of unchosen celibacy. But after listening to John Grey's story, I decided to make celibacy a choice. MY choice. This was a very pivotal mind-switch for me, because my conundrum wasn’t really about the fact that I wan’t being pursued by men, it was that I was being impatient about fulfilling a connection with ONE man. But in that decision, my mind had made an instant switch from “waahhh Im so deprived” to “why bother if its not the whole package?” I know what I am looking for in a partner and I know that any attempt to get what I need on a purely physical level would not suffice.
Truth be told, I have had sex only within the context of love, when I “tried it” otherwise, it left me feeling more empty and more alone than ever. Apparently, I can’t have sex ‘just for sex’. I have zero judgment around people who can have sex just for physical (truthfully, I wish I had the capacity to just treat physical for the physical) but I had to recognize that it's something that I'm just not capable of. And I am not capable because I have the fundamental belief that sex is not just a physical act or physiological requirement but is a mental, emotional, AND spiritual connection. My feeling is that if you are not incorporating the emotional and spiritual element then you are missing out on what allows sex to be not just pleasurably good-- but an ecstatic experience. And so I decided then and there, while sitting at the Boulder Theater, that I would hold out—as hard as that maybe—until I have a genuine connection with someone who has the capacity to connect on a soul level.
When a woman feels secure in her connection to her partner, when she feels the protection of her heart in the hands of her love— then pleasure is infinite. Without that, its just a physical experience.
It has been over a year of complete celibacy. Most of the time I feel empowered by this decision, other times, it still feels like agony, like a huge aspect of who I am is not being expressed, and to an extent, stifled. But every time I think of the alternative (non-connected sex) to me nothing is worse than the intensity of emptiness that choice holds. So I remind myself that if John Grey could hold out for NINE YEARS, to then find his ‘Next Level Love’ and life mate on his soul journey… then I can keep the faith. Rather than expelling my energy on attractions, flings, flirtations, or casual whatevers…I can channel that energy in to creating my ideal life and develop my ideal self in order to better attract my ideal partner. As my friend Nahko Bear’s mantra continues to remind me: “I Believe in the Good Things Coming”. It will be so.
Yup, thats me passing the "marshmallow test", but not taking my eye off the prize...haha