The Argument for Celibacy
The Argument for Celibacy
How could someone explain America’s loosening view of sexual intercourse over recent decades? Have our moral standards changed so much that they now accept or even encourage frequent sex? Is it just a method of rebellion as people attempt to fight conservative
societal views? Perhaps we just wish to fight those who instill inhibitive ideas on us, and our forms of freedom – in this case, that of our bodies.
Has American media’s desire for revenue and profit caused an increased sway towards what was previously deemed inappropriate? Thomas Jefferson even once said that “man is an imitative animal”.
Is America just experiencing a spontaneous hormone rush? Is it possible for a society to experience its own version of puberty? Or has America just always been horny and never
shown it? After all, the 70-year-old chick from The Wedding Singer screwed the modern
equivalent of 200 men before she got married, didn’t she?
One can speculate on these ideas, probably others as well, and not really get anywhere.
They’ve all contributed to modern attitudes towards sex. But beneath all the sexual innuendos of American entertainment, the social standards of acceptance based on sexual practices, and all of the Saturday night hoopla over who’s going to get laid first and how many beers it will take, there is a subtle current of those who look in the other direction. Imagine this – some
people are actually happy without getting any.
You can reread that last sentence if you have to. That’s why it’s there.
Not all people consider it a priority to do push-ups the hard way every weekend. In fact, some
consider it a priority not to. These people are celibates, and they’re not ashamed to admit it. They’re proud of it. Ridicule them as you may, but they often have very good reasons to refrain from the common practices regarding sexual intercourse, and all the cultural side dishes that
Where will you find them? Yeah, church. We know. Where else? The reality is that they can be found in the same places as everyone else. You just may not realize it. Be that as it may, these people follow a different code on how, when and why they would or would not participate in
There can be several motives why people decide to engage in sex. You know them. Everyone does. And of course, mostly for married folk, there’s the desire to have children. Other than
that, all of those motives really originate, whether directly or indirectly, from the basic biological urge that makes us all crave sex. The difference between celibacy and the casual sexual
attitude in today’s society is how a person decides to react to that urge and the various other motives that stem from it.
As there are different reasons why people have sex, there can also be varying reasons why people don’t. The most obvious one is health risks, and the spread of sexually transmitted
diseases. However, when compared to most other reasons, this one still revolves around benefit to a certain physical satisfaction, that of being healthy and free of complication. It also stems from the issue of pressure and acceptance, as a person who contracts any health
problems from intercourse may feel shunned from his or her peers, or may experience a personal sense of disappointment.
Since major health issues with sex have only arose within the past 25 years, and the roots of
celibacy go back to early mythology and historical religious doctrines – thousands of years –
health issues are not the starting point if one is trying to understand the true origins of celibacy, or any type of refrain from sexual activity. It may provide some added motivation for those who
wish to practice it, but it is not a main force behind it. In fact, there are quite a few forces behind the desire for celibacy, and the willingness to stray from common modern views and practices.
The origins of celibacy date back to the ancient Greek empire, influenced by goddesses of Greek mythology, namely Athena, Artemis and Hestia, who were all virgins possessing the power to resist that of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The Greeks also had a fascination with
mythical virgins, such as Daphne, a beautiful huntress who was sought after by other gods and mythical figures, and desperately managed to preserve her virginity forever by having herself turned into a tree. Other mythological gods, such as Zeus, Apollo, Poseidon and Ares spent
good portions of their existence engaging in frequent sexual activity. Since very few were considered able to withstand their seductive powers, Athena, Artemis and Hestia were viewed in an honorable light. Their virginity was viewed as a precious state of purity.
The major religions of the world also place certain respective values on virginity. Many Christians view pre-marital sex as sinful, and demeaning to the body, believed to be a temple of God. Sex is only to be practiced once married, and as a means of not only procreation and
carrying on the human species, but also expressing the precious unity and love between husband and wife as ordained by God. Thus, sex is not to be utilized as a toy or simple vehicle of obtaining physical pleasure. Muslims and Jews uphold virginity in unmarried women, but believe that once married, a couple should fully enjoy the glory of intercourse made available by God. Hindus consider the control of sexual desire to be an important step towards self-realization. Some Hindus believe that it converts sexual energy into spiritual energy. Buddhists believe celibacy necessary for spiritual salvation, even during some periods of marriage. These religious philosophies affect the lives and sexual practices of those that follow
their respective faiths.
Obviously, America’s typical conceptions develop because not everyone sees a reason to devoutly follow a religious faith. They find no higher purpose in refraining from sexual pleasure. Some miss the full teachings of their respective faiths, and fail to recognize the value it places on celibacy. Some people simply don’t believe that that aspect of their faith is essential, and thus is flexible to deviation from celibacy. Some may wish to remain celibate because of their
faith, but find themselves unable to keep their desires in check, and fail to do so. Some, whether reasonably or wishfully, decide to stray from certain precepts of their religious faith, and find that the enjoyment of intercourse should be enjoyed and cherished when possible.
You only live once – abstract, debatable, and sometimes ambiguous principles should not
inhibit anyone from feasting on the joys of sex.
And of course, some find any religious principle of any kind to be worthless in following. Such
are common reasons for modern views of sex, and such views are purely a matter choice. Nevertheless, a number of people remain celibate in order to adhere to their principles of faith. In fact, the word “celibacy” typically becomes synonymous with the word “religion” in some
circles as a result of stereotypes associated with the practice. Nevertheless, there are other motives behind it.
For example, celibates don’t view sex as the main course of a relationship. While many stray from marriages and relationships seeking greater sexual satisfaction, celibates do not believe relationships should be built around sex, but rather that sex becomes a part of it. Sex itself is not the climax of romance. Even some people who do have pre-marital sex relegate it to one
sole dimension of a relationship, not the main purpose or goal for which that relationship exists. If the relation is built around sex, then the more important parts of it shall suffer, such as social interactions and problem solving. Hence why one should condition himself for a
marriage based on such factors by engaging in a healthy relationship prior to taking the vows. Pre-marital sex also allows for mistrust between companions as one may get caught up in outdoing significant other’s previous sexual partners.
In addition, while many see sex as the means of generating affection in a relationship, celibates view it merely as an expression of that affection, an affection that can only be acquired through intense personal care and understanding, such as that which is gained
through a marital relationship. They do not view sex as the principal method by which to generate this intimacy. Thus, when a married couple engages in intercourse, it becomes more enjoyable as there is a greater feeling of affection expressed in its actions.
Peer pressure becomes a factor as well. Some decide to go along with the snowball effect of popular culture, and dive head first into sex, attempting to gain social acceptance from both peers and significant other. Celibates don’t find it worthwhile to follow such motives, and
possess strong integrity in regards to their personal values. The excuse that “everybody is doing it” isn’t worth anything. It is, in fact, ridiculous to do something of the sort simply because everyone else decides to. If a person needs acceptance from a companion or a community
that tries to shape them based on the cultural values they force onto them, then in the eyes of celibates, that person may not have a very good sense of self-worth. Celibates take great pride
and personal satisfaction from standing up against common stance, and resisting such aspects of social conformity.
There is also the desire for moral purity, and celibates do not find social desire for changing morals to be a valid reason for doing so. Especially in terms of religious beliefs, while many people find that God simply adjusts His moral standards based on common practices, celibates remains steadfast that God’s moral values have never changed one bit, and will never change regardless of what the world wants. The belief that God must sympathize with the altered values of today because they are commonly accepted by human beings holds no value. In the Old Testament of the Bible, God says, “Surely I, the Lord, do not change” (Malachi 3:6). His standards and morals hold true throughout the generations. Thus, a celibate finds no merit in believing that God, who holds infinite power over all, will simply change Himself based on human beings, who are unfathomably less powerful than He. Even aside
from the concept of God and religion, the same principle applies to moral values regarding the value of one’s virginity, regardless of whether it comes from a religious belief, or an acquired moral standard for other reasons.
Overall, celibates simply place a great value on their virginity, and unlike most, don’t view it as a piece of them that must be jettisoned as soon as possible. Rather it is to be cherished, conserved, and cultivated so that when the time does come to give it up to a deserving marital
companion, it is a time of great honor and enjoyment. To put it more understandably, you can think of it more in economic terms.
Buy low, sell high.
In other words, the longer one conserves virginity, the more value it gains, both for the virgin,
and for the partner who takes it away. The sooner it is wasted, the less value a person’s sexual experiences will have from there on out.
The concept of supply and demand.
Surely you’re familiar with this one. Similar to the buy-low-sell-high rule, the more a person
engages in sex, the less value it has. Conversely, if one engages in sex less frequently, the rarity of the occasion renders the moment greater value and a much better sense of pleasure.
Gosh, Alan Greenspan should have become a sexual therapist.
As Americans, of course, we have the right to choose what precedents we wish to follow. Whether religious, moral or social, we have the right to follow our own values, so long as they do not defy the U.S. Constitution, the law of the land, as well as state and local laws. By
American law, a person is not required to remain celibate. But to those who find other religious and moral principles to ascend any man-made laws, there is a strong value in preserving one’s
virginity until marriage. But again, in our country, adhering to these principles is a matter of choice. Most choose not to, and find many forms of sex to be part of our culture, and completely acceptable to engage in. Some do not view it as such. While the celibate may not make his virginal state well-known, the values that influence its holding remain true and
steadfast in his life, regardless of cultural and social change. Celibates are often ridiculed for not following societal views or conforming to popular culture. Anyone can argue as to whether
or not these aspects of life are acceptable, but next time you think of a celibate in a ridiculing manner, ask yourself if you would have the courage and the integrity of one. Then try ridiculing. It could prove much harder than getting someone in the sack.