Celibate

the mere idea that sex and i may not remain strangers forever petrifies me beyond anything else.  it nauseates me.  it makes it difficult to draw a breath.  it makes me shake and sweat and want to scream.

i started working in gynecology at 17, and in abortion care at 19.  i have seen more than my share of unwanted pregnancies, stds, rapes, and women and men whose lives will never be the same because of sex.  my mother is a sexual abuse survivor.  every man who's ever come into my life from my father onward has been cruel, abusive, and full of rage.

at twenty-two years old, i have never dated.  and the reason for that is that i would far rather live a life of loneliness than subject myself to sex.

berngrace berngrace
22-25
13 Responses Feb 18, 2009

"...i wish for you to open your mind to the other side of sex. "<br />
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if i've said it once, i've said it a thousand times: i'll believe it when i see it. i have tried, i have tried, i have TRIED to see things in another light, and all that's happened as a result is one terrifying, humiliating nightmare after another. there is no beauty for me in the scenarios you cited; i see bitterness and lies and divide and secrets and violence just a breath away - and it terrifies me.<br />
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i have looked for other pairs of glasses to view sex through, and i still come out with the original lenses. so your insinuation that i am so stubborn as to not make an effort to change it when the whole of my life for years has been consumed by just that is profoundly insulting.

Firstly, you are a very intelligent person by the context of your comments. You've seen a very negative side to sex. If you had been working with drug rehab patients and seen the atrocities involved with that, you'd prolly feel the same way about drugs. But you saw all the atrocities involved with sex, reproduction, and "love" (for the things you saw had no love involved). But there is another side to it all. As a person dealing with sexual anxieties, i wish for you to open your mind to the other side of sex. I'm not saying you should have sex, or even involve in sex in any way, but just to see more positive things. A husband and wife having their first baby, a newlywed couple experiencing a spiritual connection for the first time, a couple holding hands and walking on the beach. Love does not have to equal sex, though sex is a part of love. True love. Sex is does not have to be ugly or horrifying, but you still choose to see it that way. and for that, i feel sorry for you. No one should have to feel the way you do about sex or anything that involves it. and one last thing, you can up and change yourself. You're the only one who has the power to do so. So there is none of this "It is not something i can up and change; it's ME!!"

I know how annoying it is when ppl try and offer solutions and get you to 'change' as if it were that simple.<BR><br />
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For example, as a result of s*exual abuse, I am now celibate, and have been for the past 2 years.<BR><br />
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When I tried expressing myself through poetry about it, I was told 'how to fix myself by moving on' and it just angered me, as it's not that simple. <BR><br />
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As if we CHOOSE our trauma! Doesn't it just p*iss us off? Anyway you have my sympathy. Perhaps I should apply my own advice to myself, and for me, I should separate 's*ex' from 'abuse'. <BR><br />
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It is definitely hard, I haven't achieved it yet at all. I cannot face s*ex with someone I truly love, because the sensations of certain acts take me right back to abuse.<BR><br />
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Maybe there's a magic solution out there. xx

i do not draw a distinction between the two. sexual acts are no less violating and violent and traumatizing to me as any other kind of abuse would be.

I sympathise, and get what you're saying. I would probably be put off as well, (esp since I also had an abusive family, and was s*exually abused by my father, AND others.)<br />
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However, one point; are you maybe confusing 'sex' with 'abuse'?<br />
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Ppl make the mistake of referring to 'r*ape' as a 's*ex crime', for example, but to me it's the wrong title. S*ex is loving and caring. Abuse ISN'T!!!!!

no apology necessary. i was simply expounding on my experiences.<br />
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my willingness to change my perception is really neither here nor there; it is something i fundamentally do not think is possible, regardless of my motivations. sex is simply too threatening an act for me to perceive it as anything other than brutality, and i think the pursuit of seeing it differently would be futile at best.

in your case then, you are not seeking to remedy your fear. you refuse to consider any means of changing your perception, thus you must accept the life you have chosen without sexual experience. this can certainly be respected, but my apology for thinking you might have been searching for alternatives or a different perspective. i was mistaken in understanding your motives for posting, so i am sorry.

i dispute your remark that i "have jurisdiction to avoid such an experience." there is no sexual experience that i would NOT interpret as violent and manipulative and dangerous. thus, i will either remain as i am now, avoiding relationships desperately for fear that they might turn sexual, or subject myself to torture for someone else's satisfaction. some choice.<br />
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sex IS all of these things to me. i do not hold the capacity to understand them another way. that is the definition that my life circumstances have left me with , and if i were ever to get into a relationship, that is how i would see it then. it is not something that i can up and change; it is ME.

it seems that in your case, a lack of personal experience has unfortunately allowed you to dwell only upon the negative capacities of sex. in the wrong context, sex can indeed be all the things you mentioned - violent, manipulative, dangerous...with the wrong person, or in the wrong time and place. but YOU have control over that, you have jurisdiction to avoid such an experience. when you love someone, you make yourself vulnerable to them. it is a sacrifice that both persons make. if you can identify what might be causing these fears, you can address them, especially when you do have a partner who can reassure you of his/her intentions.

consider yourself fortunate. i will never be able to see it in that light.

Ok.<br />
I doubt anything I would say could change your mind so I will let it go - but my experiences, perhaps lucky for me, have never been that sex is how you describe and so although sex can be violent, dangerous and manipulative - it isnt always the case. Again, lucky for me, sex has been about love and joy. The possibility for something different from how you see it does exist.

i've been in and out of counseling since kindergarten. whenever this subject comes up, i'm told that unless i have a partner, there's nothing to be done to help me. (and, of course, this is prohibiting me from having a relationship with someone.)<br />
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sex is violent. sex is dangerous. sex is manipulation. i don't see anything so special or magical about it.

Have you ever considered counselling? You seem to have almost a phobic reaction to sex - which is not good hon, sex is normal and natural. Sex can cause alot of damage true, but it is also a beautiful experience giving and recieving pleasure to someone who loves you and you love in return - sex with someone you love is like magic. I think it would be really sad for you to miss out on something so special.