Celibacy and just Not Getting Any are not the same thing. Not Getting Any is a lonesome thing, and for the most part not a chosen thing. Celibacy is something you choose. I’ve experienced both.
The first half of my young adult life I lived in a religious community, in a communal lifestyle. There were idealistic young men and women both, my age. The women lived down the hall in their own room. There were some times we had to share bathrooms. Unmarried sex in this particular belief system was considered the worst of all sins. The worst thing you could do, the kind of thing that could get you kicked out. The kind of thing you go to Hell for. Never mind the reasoning behind it. That was then. So for about thirteen years I lived in a series of places, with young women, intelligent, strong, often, not always, physically beautiful. Each quirky in their own way. It was a lifestyle that tended to attract quirky people - such as me - which over time only made them more interesting. Celibacy was how you lived in a house, just down the hall from the very thing your loins were longing for. Pussy.
It was a choice. Being a choice gave it power, it was a strain, a boundary that made you grow as a plant finds a way to grow in a tiny sidewalk crack. Bonsai trees, before they showed up in supermarkets, were revered in ancient Japan by samurais, because of where they were found in nature. A natural bonsai tree could be found growing on the side of a cliff, or some such place where a plant had no business being. The roots were small, because they were growing in cracks in the rock, with what soil gathered there. They represented an ideal of toughness, of determination to live, a form of art known as Wabi Sabi, seeing the beauty in imperfection. Celibacy is like that.
When a boundary is created, a line drawn, it is a limit. It restrains from the possible, But it also creates an alternate possible. For me, a young man who never much impressed the ladies, it eliminated the need for sexual competition. The women didn’t need me to impress them. They weren’t looking for a boyfriend. We were brothers and sisters, and that was understood. This was incredibly liberating. It was the first time I found a way to get past my own ego and insecurities. I could be their friend. I could connect with my feelings and express myself in a way usually reserved for gay guys. We could hear each other. In those years I learned to really love women. I love the company of women. I love the conversation of women. I love what women are. I love the way a room feels when a woman is in it. That is a priceless gift many men never get the chance to have. I was recently the stage hand for my church’s production of “The Vagina Monologues”. The women in the cast elected me “Bob”. When I found out what that was, I felt greatly honored. You’ll have to look it up.