I would’ve loved to start this by saying that I began my celibacy journey out of choice and as a conscious decision. But, no. The truth is that heartbreaks can drive you into an unsolicited dry spell in the blink of an eye. Mine did too. Except, this time around, my dry spell evolved into something more, something healthier – a curiosity for celibacy.

Celibacy, dating

Here’s the thing though, when I began searching for images for this story, I also came across dictionary pictures of the definition of celibacy. And let me tell you, that’s not what I’ll be talking about here.

Celibacy is defined as the state of abstaining from marriage and sexual relations. Something about this sounds a little regressive (and dramatic). In today’s world women are choosing celibacy as a way to take control of their sex life, and pleasure.

Celibacy, dating

While I enjoy sex and think it’s a great (if not the best) way to be intimate with someone, I began realising that it’s not the only thing that matters; in a partnership or in life. Which explains why so many women are choosing the celibate, single life or phase, at the moment.

Celibacy has been trending as a lifestyle choice online. Influencers everywhere are talking about how they prefer being single and frankly, even sex-less. Though, this doesn’t mean that we’ve decided to be celibate all our lives, it’s mostly a lifestyle choice that can often be a phase too.

So, what has celibacy taught me? Where do I even begin? Well for one, I’ve understood that physical attraction and chemistry aren’t enough. Therefore, dare I say, I no longer get impressed as easily as I used to. All that patriarchal conditioning is still ingrained pretty deeply, so I feel guilty even saying this!

This almost-celibate phase of mine has taught me that it’s no longer attractive when a man does the bare minimum. It has taught me that my body exists for more; like yoga, great pasta, a good dose of sunlight, sleeping in my favourite t-shirts, and my favourite bedsheets. There are other pleasures worth paying attention to.

And no, this does not mean I neglected self-pleasure. But I no longer resonate with the version of me that made another person the centre of my universe, the version of me that prioritised my partner’s desires over my own.

My coincidental celibacy turned into a series of conscious choices that taught me to tune into what my body really wants. And quite frankly, sometimes my body doesn’t want much sex. Some may see this as a criminal offence, or even some pretentious main-apni-favourite-hoon bullsh*t, but it’s just me honouring myself.

Not to mention that focusing a little less on my sex life has helped me reverse how much I’d internalised the male gaze and the damage it had caused.

I no longer want to have half-hearted sex, and this is not me throwing shade at casual sex, this is about acknowledging how important it is to listen to what other things make your body happy. And you cannot deny that us women owe this to ourselves.

Also Read | 2 Solo Trips Later, Here’s What I’ve Learnt As An Indian Woman Travelling Alone