What One Year of Celibacy Taught Me

By | November 25, 2012

Celibacy forced me to look at why I had sex and with whom.

Having survived the HIV infection dance via dating an individual who lied about his status for a year solid which immediately followed the most abusive and torturous three and a half years of my life, my decision to practice celibacy for one year to get my mind back and my head out of my ass was an intelligent choice.

Sex can be fun, exiting, pleasurable and just plain awe-inspiring.

It can also be used to manipulate, coerce, dominate and confuse.

When you have low or no self esteem, it is very easy to allow any and all type of treatment sexually and otherwise.

A sex free year takes care of that foolishness.

A sex free year should be on everyone’s “must do” lists.

My year of being celibate taught me a whole lot about me and how I handle my business.

Sex affects the brain and not always in the most positive ways.

If every interaction is filtered through whether or not we are going to do the deed, I am not really seeing the person in front of me. If every interaction is instead not clouded with indecision, disguised feeble attempts to nail me or I you, we now have the opportunity for some real clear interaction.

The year I chose celibacy was one of the most productive time periods in my life.

My year of celibacy brought me to Iowa and a wonderful writer’s workshop. I spent the entire week looking for Flannery O’Connor’s chair (she had attended the same workshop several years later).

With no sexual conquest or obsession on my mind, I was able to write and think unencumbered.

A year without arguments, miscommunications and hurt feelings allowed me to really have a serious look at my life and all of my relationship and sexual choices.

More than once, I found myself wincing at not only my choices but my justifications of these fucked up decisions.

Without sexual distraction, I could legitimately understand why I had agreed to certain things.

I began to forgive myself for being so desperate and pathetic.

It was clear that men and sex were welcome and convenient distractions that kept me in a constant state of denial and low grade relentless depression. This constant emotional angst was fed by sex which came about because of bone crushing loneliness.

Celibacy forced me to examine my behavior and what I really wanted to do with my life.

2 thoughts on “What One Year of Celibacy Taught Me

  1. Dan Collier

    Fascinating and so damned impressive, Anthony. Man,do I admire you. This reveals such strength of character. Thanks much for being out and open about your experience and your deepest thoughts and feelings.

    Your willingness to be so forthcoming is an inspiration. We are each of us better for having read this piece, Anthony.


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