“Celibacy is the most extreme of sexual perversions, after all.” -Ada Palmer, Too Like the Lightning
When my short lived marriage was upended, I found myself abandoned in a small town. My newly acquired town was the sort of place where everyone knew everyone since birth. The town seemed densely populated by relatives, ex’s and a surplus of baby daddies (mamma’s too). There was no room for newcomers.
I was barely into my twenties but even at this point my feelings on sex and intimacy were skewed. Sex was just another mere mechanism of my escape, another form of a quick high with a disappointing come down. At some point, I made the conscious decision to stop. The decision came after examining the local choices, my past dalliances and my craving for connection. Whatever I was looking for wasn’t here.
My little experiment of willpower, turned into an almost five year long journey. The fact that after four years I was still searching for someone that I could reciprocate genuine feelings with felt like a cosmic joke. If you want to give someone a good belly laugh, tell them you’re abstinent.
There was no deity to impress or fear of punishment; just a young woman who wanted to know if something better existed. It did, but not in the way I expected. That time period of self discovery was evolutionary. My developing self awareness highlighted all my emotional short-comings.
I wasn’t impervious to loneliness. I would miss the frenzy. And, when I get bored, I get reckless. Dates where I toed the line were my own test of pleasure and punishment. Whether it was mine or theirs, I found almost a sick pleasure in the denial.
Boredom coupled with intense chemistry was my breaking point. I remember him laughing in disbelief as I straddled him. The high didn’t last. I had broken the promise to myself and felt just as hollow.
Fast forward a couple years, a couple missteps and one serious relationship later. Five months out and I can feel the all too familiar twitch of boredom. Over the last decade I have become a near master of denial, whether it be drugs, alcohol, sugar, carbs or sex. During every stage I was learning a different lesson. My life has taken a less is more approach. Removing choices helped remove obstacles. It works for Mark Zuckerberg, ever wonder why he’s always in that grey t-shirt? The more situated I keep my situation, the freer I feel.