Celibate For All The Wrong Reasons

by Clutch

It feels like everyday another celebrity is announcing their celibacy to the world and in a culture obsessed with sex, it’s refreshing. But the downside to this trend is when the decision to become celibate seems more like a ploy, than an informed choice.

There are people who become celibate because of religion like Meghan Good and Jessica White, who revealed her celibacy to Page Six Magazine recently, saying: “Celibacy is a choice that every woman has to make for herself. [...] I’ve made a lot of bad decisions, but God led me to such a beautiful place when I turned 27 [in June 2011]-it was a pivotal moment. I started feeling more beautiful. I felt like I’d never been so happy. The light bulb turned on for me. This is the new journey. I feel like I’m starting over.”

But there are those who believe that becoming celibate makes them pure, which would then make sex a dirty offense. Clutch reader kamille writes: “I respect people’s religious beliefs and motivations and whatnot. But I have a problem with this whole remaining ‘pure’ as a motivation, mostly on the part of women. As if sex is somehow dirty, well then nature must be one dirty mothertrucka then.”

And then, some people are confused about what celibacy actually entails. As Clutch reader Pseudonym said: “I’m more offended by the faux celibacy that has become a trend. Everyone’s claiming to be celibate until they have sex next time they get a boyfriend. That is NOT celibacy. That’s called not having sex with randoms. There’s a HUGE difference.”

I applaud celibacy and am celibate myself for religious reasons, but I do agree with both of these readers. Too many people are using celibacy as a way to appear purer than people who do have sex; or as a tool to determine if a partner is “really in love,” and will give up sex for the relationship. It’s also frustrating to see people claim celibacy after a breakup then have sex as soon as they’re in a new relationship. That misses the point of celibacy altogether.

What do you think about celibacy as a trend, Clutchettes? Is there a right or wrong reason to become celibate?

  • http://theinfamousl.wordpress.com theinfamousl

    I completely disagree with this article. Some people are celibate for non-religious purposes in which case, they don’t have sex with randoms because they simply don’t want to have sex with randoms. You could go 5 years without having sex until you meet the right partner for you, who are you to undermine someone who made the effort of not engaging in a form of sex they were not comfortable having?!

    Furthermore, not having sex with randoms or outside of a relationship is not a ploy and being uncomfortable having casual sex doesn’t mean that someone thinks sex is dirty or against nature which is WHY someone would engage in sex with a new boyfriend or someone they were comitted to.

    In the age of HIV, herpes and a dozen other STDs I don’t think choosing to abstain for an unknown amount of time until you find the right person to have sex with is wrong. I also don’t think choosing do to this means you are turning your nose up and people who engage in casual sex, we are all entitled to do what we want with our bodies.

  • http://gravatar.com/womenar4 womenar4

    Being celibate is a choice, yes. But people have to remember that you can’t be celibate when you choose to. Sex is not a dirty word. But having sex with multiple people is dirty to most people. That’s probably why people are running around saying they are celibate. Just know that you are no longer celibate when you have sex of any kind. So be careful when applying the word to the life you are living now.

  • Tia

    If someone chooses to not have sex for any period of time or for any reason, more power to them! Why do I care?

  • http://twitter.com/khal khal

    It sounds like these celebs and people who choose to not have sex outside of religious reasons are just using the wrong word. They’re abstaining from sex, which would be no sex for some limited amount of time. Celibacy at its core is based in religion, if I’m not mistaken, so I can totally see the point of the article.

  • Shell

    Clutch is getting weird….how is any reason behind being celibate is wrong?

  • http://differentnorm.wordpress.com differentnorm

    Celibate for all the wrong reasons? Whatever the reasoning may be, I’m glad to hear that there are people willing to forego sex, and consequently reduce their risk for STIs & unplanned pregnancy *insert Kanye shrug*

  • elyse

    LOL…I didn’t know you needed a reason to be celibate. Maybe some folks just wake up and say “I don’t wanna have sex anymore”. And more power to them. And these celebs aren’t BROADCASTING their celibacy, nosy journalist ask them about it, they answer.

  • http://gravatar.com/billiemcqueen billie

    I’m almost not surprised that this is the new trend..i mean look at all the rap songs mocking Christianity, mocking our creator. Its ridiculous! So of course celebs are going to come forth claiming their celibacy in hopes to stay on the blogs and twitter. I am not happy with this ploy of ignorance educating ignorance.

    Open your bibles people and really get educated on the topic! Sex creates soul ties which should only be made between two married people. That’s why you cant sleep with the next hot thing that walks into your life. Guard your heart. guard your mind, guard your spirit! Your creating soul ties with people your not even talking to 6 months down the line. Celibacy protects your spirit and is nothing to be played around with.

    But then again rappers are saying church and amen in the same sentence with other vulgar words and chicks are half naked in the club rocking cross earrings and necklaces so I digress.

  • Perspective

    This one is going into the MEMORY BANKS – for the next time I come on clutch and the women are talking about waiting and all that for Mr. Right and how black men don’t want to settle down – BE FOREWARNED. This blog has been filed.

    Now getting into the topic

    Statement:
    ““Celibacy is a choice that every woman has to make for herself. [...] I’ve made a lot of bad decisions, but God led me to such a beautiful place when I turned 27 [in June 2011]-it was a pivotal moment. I started feeling more beautiful. I felt like I’d never been so happy. The light bulb turned on for me. This is the new journey. I feel like I’m starting over.””

    Response:
    “Too many people are using celibacy as a way to appear purer than people who do have sex; or as a tool to determine if a partner is “really in love,” and will give up sex for the relationship. ”

    Exactly!!!!!!!!

    Men have been calling this out for YEARS! Now you see what men are talking about.

    Oh I gave it up to the whole block, or I gave it up to your boy – BUT NOW I’M CELIBATE UNTIL I FIND THE RIGHT MAN BECAUSE “WHITE JESUS” HAS SHOWN ME THE LIGHT.

    BM – (in unison) – “AWWWWWW MAN, CHICK! GTFOH!!!!!!!”

    “GET OUT OF HERE WITH THAT SUGAR AND SPICE DUMBNESS – I HEARD YOU WERE A FREAK.”

    Just be who you are! Stop with the faking like your cave the unknown and undiscovered with a secret treasure at the bottom of it.

    Yes ladies I know about the double standard. It is what it is. All I’m saying is BE SMART – keep your business on the LOW – and just do you. Most men know it’s unreasonable to go out here looking for a virgin these days, unless you are plucking them fresh out of HS or the first 2 years in college. Shoot – THE FIRST SEMESTER OF COLLEGE. After than? Some women are like bathrooms with permanent markers on the wall – LETTING YOU KNOW – “BOBBY WAS HERE!” Some men don’t even leave a signature – just a stupid face cartoon or something, like damn!? HOW DID YOU GET IN HERE?! Must have been a Grey Goose Night.

    “NO I’M REALLY A GOOD GIRL! HE TRICKED ME!”

    Stop lying chick – my boy already told me. He didn’t even tell me the story, we just got in the car and he threw on a track.

    \(..\) FROM THE WINDOW!!!!!! … (/..)/ TO THE WALLLLLLLLLL – Till the ….

    Me: “OH WORD!”

    Brotha: “Yes, my ninja!”

    Me: “Damn and all these years I was thinkin… she was…”

    Brotha: “Hate to break it to you man!”

    Me: “Man I was gonna make her my wife!”

    Brotha: “Come on man – who you foolin?”

    Pause…. think about it… wait some more… (awkward moment of silence)

    Me: “Ahhhhhhhh – you right you right!”
    Brotha: nods in agreement.

  • Perspective

    I do have to second this – however – I believe the issue is the sincerity with which these statement are made.

    Anyone who is celibate DOESN’T HAVE TO ANNOUNCE IT – they just are. Nowadays – its like women announce this to get brownie points.

    I’m more impressed with men say it – because popular culture suggest that a man should be sleeping with everything and get PRAISE FOR IT.

    So if a Lupe Fiasco type says I’m celibate – I’m like – “WOW!” talk about against the grain.

    I think the issue is that women have BUST into the male realm so much so – and are realizing that you get no KUDOS for it.

    As an older woman told another woman I know.

    “Competing with men in all areas isn’t going to make you happy, and it’s not going to make them like you”

  • Marie

    Celibate for the wrong reasons? The nerve of this article! That’s part of the problem with the world today folks thinking they can judge or try to control the freedom of others. If Jessica is celibate for 5 years or 5 minutes, that’s her business and since she is grown, however she came to the decision is a good reason.

  • Savvy

    Im celibate for my own personal reasons long before I knew that celebrities were trying to start a trend. If its for your own personal reasons then how can it be seen as a bad thing? I think everybody is so quick to judge others and not themselves. Im not sure why it bothers so many people. I dont see anyone as bad if they aint celibate and sex aint a bad thing. Your life is your rules.

  • http://hbny.tumblr.com Ebony Nnenne

    Celibacy is a personal choice. I’m always taken aback by women who choose to declare it publicly, like what’s the point? Does it add value to one’s image in a hypersexual society? Is it a declaration against a painful past? Both women have sexy images so maybe they felt need to share. I think celibacy is awesome for any man or woman. I also believeiin sexual discretion. what you do or don’t do behind closed doors isn’t anyone’s business really. And for any true religious woman, its a given.

  • Ms. Write

    What makes sex with multiple people dirty? Is there a certain qualifying number? Just a thought…

  • victoria

    Great comment

  • Pseudonym

    As a person who made one of the comments that you’re referring to, I must tell you that you’re COMPLETELY misconstruing what I said. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with not having sex with randoms and waiting to be in a relationship. What I AM saying is that it’s annoying and that so many women feel the need to label this “normal/ordinary” (for lack of a better term) behavior with the heavy term of “celibacy.”

    I don’t have sex with randoms for a number of reasons (STDs, the low likelihood that a one-nite stand will actually consist of good sex, and not coming into contact with that many absolutely breathtakingly sexy men that I just HAVE to have [disappointed at my 20s; I was expecting Adonises everywhere!!!!]). However, even as someone who, for the most part, only has sex with boyfriends, I have a number of “celibate” friends who have had more sex in the past few years than I have. THAT is not celibacy.

    Just as every woman who has casual sex shouldn’t be labeled a “whore,” every woman who goes three weeks without sex shouldn’t label herself “celibate.” Celibacy has an ACTUAL meaning and all these women thinking the 90-day rule makes them celibate are watering down the term for those who are actually waiting for marriage (This also probably confuses men who one day realize that they’ve had sex with every “celibate” woman they’ve dated.).

    THAT’S the point I’m making.

    Whether you have sex with more or less people is up to you and for no one else to judge. So, no need to self-righteously label oneself as “celibate” as if that increases your worth (which is what I think the other comment was getting at). Being “celibate” (ESPECIALLY fake celibate) doesn’t make a woman any more valuable or virtuous of a woman than anyone else who doesn’t claim that title. and, it doesn’t increase marital outcomes either.

    So, overall, (back to that first comment) let’s not let a woman’s worth be measured by how many people she is or is not having sex with. Whether you have had zero partners, 1 partner, 10, or 100, there’s no reason to go broadcasting that information out into the public. (That’s SOOOOO TACKY!!!!) A woman’s worth is not in how many people have seen her vagina.

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    @billie. You betta speak that truth. Soul ties are very real. Sex is a covenant to “tie” a husband and wife together physically and spirtually. Until I was taught about soul ties, I could never figure out why I was having such a hard time letting go of this person or struggling to simply move on. The issues we face today (i.e. STDS, unplanned pregnancies etc.) are all consequences to going against the order God has put in place. Bottom line. I was sexually active in the past but made a conscious choice to become celibate when I became serious about serving God.It’s a personal choice that works for me. I don’t have to shout it from the roof tops or remind everybody about why I’m “not doin’” it. Celibacy does not make you pure … its what’s in your heart that does.

  • ?

    THANK YOU!! I mind my own genitals and expect everyone to do the same. I dont care at all about anyones reasons for whatever they do with their genitals. As long as it’s legal and you’re being safe.

  • P

    I must agree with @Perspective. When men announce their celibacy (even though, it is a private manner) it does seem more worthy. Society is more acceptable with men sleeping around. So when these women announce their decision, it does seem as if a brownie should be given out. Women don’t give second thoughts to there is a difference with them sleeping with 200+ men verse a man sleeping with 200+ women. My God, BOTH are nasty!!! The difference is a woman’s reputation will follow her around forever, and a day ; so maybe this is why female celebrities are making their announcement public. I know that is sort of old-fashion thinking, but having my grandmother as such an influential part of my life. I can’t separate from the difference of a man and a woman when it comes to sexual needs. Yes, we love sex just as much, but we will be judged differently.

    On another note, I must comment on Pseudonym’s statement. It was simply perfect. I know the question was about celibacy as a trend, but reading Pseudonym’s statement. I couldn’t help but think this is a great “teaching” statement. It was perfect b/c this is a culture obsessed with sex. Sex and more sex is what our youth hears and sees. They aren’t given any messages at all, but just to do it. Coming from this perspective, our youth need to understand what celibacy is first. Then the differences between it, waiting for the special one, or once the “right time” presents itself. Not providing youth with options, but explaining to them what the differences are. In order that they may understand sex is “not dirty”, but very enjoyable. If they are bed hopping, it is taking away from the beauty of it and those actions make sex dirty. This is precisely why there is HUGE difference between celibacy and sleeping with random people. For our youth, give them a choice and not allow society to engrave their spirits with sex whereas they must start early. It can be a choice to wait.

  • ANthony

    Whether someone is upfront about it, or they keep quiet, laying off of sex for a while is never a bad idea. I personally feel that the term “casual sex” is a borderline oxymoron. Sex almost always tends to be much more loaded with meaning than we want to admit. Being selective just makes sense. I know there are a whole lot of men dealing with child support and bricks through their windows who wish they had been celibate or abstained.

  • P

    I said that wrong: So when these men announce their decision, it seems as if a brownie should be given to them.

  • Ooh La La

    YES!!

  • Trinity

    @Perspective

    Now I can’t let you write comments like that. I just don’t believe sisters are thattt bad. You have gone entirely too far. “Some women are like bathrooms with permanent markers on the wall – LETTING YOU KNOW – “BOBBY WAS HERE!” Some men don’t even leave a signature – just a stupid face cartoon or something, like damn!? HOW DID YOU GET IN HERE?! Must have been a Grey Goose Night.” – Boy Bye! Yes, I am laughing a little, but you can’t talk about women like that. It more women left than have slept around than you think.

    And yes I can laugh and comment. Before you come for me, just know there’s no need. Good day, Sir! Have a nice evening!

  • Trinity

    #Hatsoff to you. ~Bravo!

  • http://shayemoore.wordpress.com jeanettemoore

    I don’t bring up the fact that I’m abstaining from sex until marraige unless I’m serious enough with someone or I’m talking about it amongst others who have the same goal as me. Not everyone needs to be privy to this information.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    As the old saying goes…”thou protest too much…” I really think all of this is coming from because both sides think the other is judging them when that is NOT the case for the most part. Those who are sexually active think people who abstained from sex is judging them and looking down on them while those who aren’t sexually active think those who are engaging in sex think they are being holier than thou or basing their worth on their “nonsexual” status. If you are happy with what you don’t or do sexually than that is all that matters. Why are folks trying to limit and police people on what goes on (or doesn’t) in between their sheets or how they self-identified themselves. Folks really need to get over themselves these days because it isn’t that serious. There is no right or wrong way to be celibate just like there is no right or wrong way to judge normal “sexual activity”. Each person have to set their own limits and standards just because your views and thoughts on sex works and sounds right to you doesn’t mean it sounds right and works for the next.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Good point, what is consider “causal” sex? What may be casual sex for one doesn’t mean it is for another. I know some people who consider casual sex as hooking up and others as “just” doing oral. I don’t get it; sex is sex is sex to me whether it is casual or deliberate regardless if you knew the person for 5 minutes or five years or if you have strong feelings or limited feelings. Why are folks splitting hairs on the subject is very confusing.

  • Fantastico

    Exactly!

  • http://gravatar.com/heavenleiblu heavenleiblu

    How about we all lay off broadcasting our sexual activity; whether “layin it low, and spreading it wide” or being chaste? I honestly don’t care what’s going on between the legs of people I’m not (thinking about) having sex with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lasaundra.watsonlegate Lasaundra Watson-Legate

    I am frankly tired of the whole celebrity, celibacy “thing”. Adult celibacy deserves neither praise or condemnation. What most adults truly want is love and intimacy and we are struggling at how to achieve that end. Sex is often too casual but celibacy may simply reflect a fear of intimacy. Is there any evidence that marriages between 2 people who were adult celibates are more successful than others? The veneration of celibacy began at a time when the average age of marriage for girls was 12 but, what happens if the parties are in their 20′s and 30′s?

  • mEE

    I was “celibate” during the last year of my relationship with my ex-boyfriend. I didn’t consider it celibacy…I just didn’t want to have sex with HIM. we broke up and months later I started dating my current bf. by then I hadn’t had sex in almost 2 years. so somehow it came up in conversation and he asked me if I was celibate. my response was, “…no I just haven’t had sex in 2 years”.
    I dunno I guess I always considered “celibacy” to be something bigger than just not having sex. I didn’t put any extra thought into it. I wasn’t not having sex for religious or moral reasons…or really even on purpose. I just was in a crappy relationship and then after I didn’t wanna “have sex with randoms”. ::shrugs:: it just wasn’t that deep.

    but I mean as most people stated, whether you’re having sex with one or one million, as an adult you just shouldn’t be broadcasting that information.

  • i.mean.really

    “But people have to remember that you can’t be celibate when you choose to.”

    Um, what? Celibacy is the act of choosing not to have sex. Celibacy is not the flu, you can’t catch it.

    And you don’t know that having sex with “lots” of people is a turn off. I, for one, don’t care how many people my partner has been with. As long as you show up with a clean bill of health and a box of condoms it’s on. I’ve got a bad back and I’m too old to train someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

  • MissyL

    i actually was celibate for almost 2 years. No religious reasons, I mainly did it because I felt like my relationships with men were poor because of it. I blamed sex. Looking back do I regret celibacy NO! It taught me so much about myself. I even fell in love with a man for a year who did not want to commit and found myself in many of the same heartbroken situations I had when I was having sex with the person. I realized my relationship with myself had to change. It wasn’t about sex. I was always putting them before me and that had to stop with or without sex. I think celibacy is a great way to allow you to see clearly and reevaluate your relationship yourself and others. Sex is by no means dirty but I think many people like myself blame it for their issues with dating. So like me they figure, no sex= I will find love, which is far from the truth. I broke my celibacy when I met a man who wanted me in his life and was serious about it and was as invested as I was. He knew from the gate I was not tolerating anything and if he was with me he had to come correct. Finally putting myself first, not in a selfish sense but in a sense that allowing what I want out of a relationship truly dictate how I date. I used to be so fearful of losing a “good guy” that I would pretty much try to do everything to please them even neglecting my own desires in a relationship. Would I do it over absolutely. It help me understand who I am and what I want romantically and had I not gone through that process I wouldn’t have been ready for my king!

  • EMMA

    I respect myself God and my body that’s why I celibate, with that being said someone who has sex with multiple partners can still have that same amount of dignity and self-respect. Sex is powerful a physical, mental, spiritual and sometimes emotional exchange and for me I don’t want to just “give it up” for any so-and-so who may just want a good time.

  • LALA

    No prob. But even when you’re married, you’re not “giving it up.” Sex is not an act of defeat for women.

  • http://gabandgraffiti.wordpress.com marloweovershakespeare

    “Celibacy does not make you pure, its what’s in your heart that does.”
    Boom. Pat. POOOOOOWWWW!!!!!!!!!!
    2 Timothy 2:22. That is all.

  • EMMA

    I totally agree

  • http://www.facebook.com/saidahwk Ali Wilson

    You’re kidding me, right? Welcome to the 21st century. Celibacy doesn’t protect you any more than chastity pins do. Lol

  • Pingback: The Spread of Celibacy | thefrontstreet.net

  • H

    Like som1 said in his/her comment, celibacy is actually rooted in religion or deeply rooted moral values no matter how much u argue it. Whether or not previous sex has been had does not affect it tho no sex b4 will make it easier. Celibacy is thus not a long break b/w sexual partners but a decision adhered to even when one is in a serious relationship. U r celibate means u r celibate even when u r engaged to an arabian prince..lol..Marriage is the only ideal reason why a truly celibate person should break his celibacy vow. I know thid cos I’ve been celibate since 17 and will be breaking it in july after my wedding. Am 24 currently so do the math..p.s I’ve had 2 serious relationships before this and my partner respected my vow cos I stood by it and yea..am religious but not in a drabby way. Few friends even know abt dis vow and dts y I won’t write my name on this article.

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