What is Celibacy? Reasons, Benefits, Drawbacks

 There are as many types of relationships as many people in this world. Some of those people choose not to have physical intimacy before marriage. Today, we’ll discuss what is celibacy; its reasons, benefits, and drawbacks.

What is Celibacy? 

Celibacy is the decision of a person to avoid physical intimacy and sexual intercourse before marriage. Some individuals vow to refrain from sexual intercourse for a lifetime in some instances like nuns and priests. However, other people decide to remain celibate for a specific period of time for a few months or years until they find the right person involved in the committed relationship.

Involuntary Celibacy

Involuntary celibacy is when a person likes the notion of sexual intercourse but couldn’t find the right partner or any person. Celibacy comprises various elements like no penetration, no sexual/physical intercourse, or the penetration of men’s genitals into women.


Abstinence is like celibacy but the difference is that it doesn’t involve any vow or decision. You can say that abstinence is the result of celibacy. A person would remain in the abstinent state as long as he/she doesn’t engage in sexually penetrating activity.

Reasons for Practicing Celibacy 

Cultural & Religious

People remain celibate for various cultural, religious, and spiritual reasons. Sex is considered a very sacred and personal activity and only to be performed with one person after marriage. However, many cultural norms require a person to remain a virgin until one’s wedding day. They perceive virginity as a criterion and a standard of innocence and purity for women. This is the reason why women wear a white dress on their wedding day.

A Choice

People don’t always practice celibacy because of cultural and religious restrictions. Sometimes, they choose to remain celibate due to their personal curiosity, values, and beliefs. They prefer to wait for their right partner and then engage with him/her in physical intimacy. However, people also remain celibate for various other reasons like avoiding emotional distress, unwanted pregnancy, STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).

How to Decide to be Celibate 

If you’re planning to be celibate, then some of the following things that you should keep in mind are as follows;

It’s Your Decision

The most important thing that you should keep in mind is that you’re going to be celibate for yourself and no one else. If it’s not your kind of thing and you don’t like to do it, then it would be very difficult for you to be committed to it and stay on its path. It would result in the form of a lot of insecurities, sadness, and resentment. Therefore, you should take all of your time to do the inner work and then decide to be celibate.

Try it Out

If the idea of remaining celibate has got your interest, and you’re thinking about doing it before marriage, but you aren’t sure. There’s no harm in trying, and you should give it a try. You should set a specific timeframe for which you’ll be celibate. If you like this type of lifestyle, then you can carry it on.

Every Celibacy Story is Different

If a person chooses to be celibate, then it doesn’t mean that every sexually/active person behaves in a certain way. Usually, people assume that those who choose to celibate, don’t have sexual life at all. A person could be intimate with a person without engaging in physical intercourse. At the end of the day, it’s your decision what you are or aren’t comfortable with. Once you make a decision, then it’s significant that you should commit yourself to it.

No Judgment

A celibate person engages in sexual activity, and then it develops feelings of self-criticism and shame. Therefore, it’s significant that you shouldn’t judge yourself or compare your life experiences with others. If you have created a perfect unrealistic image of yourself, then it would become difficult for you to maintain it.

Pressure of Celibacy

Remaining celibate brings a lot of pressure on yourself. It could be the external pressure from the family, culture, or religion, or the internal pressure that you’re putting on yourself. If you don’t want to be celibate, then you should avoid the external influences that are compelling you to do it. Usually, it results in the form of a self-blame game.

Right Reasons

You should ask yourself why you want to be celibate. If you want to be celibate in order to portray a better image of yourself and please others, then it’s not a healthy decision. You shouldn’t choose celibacy for submissive and superficial reasons.

Acknowledge Things Change

If you’re realizing the fact that your mindset has changed, and you want to be celibate anymore. You should ask yourself what factors are compelling you to change yourself. What you would like to do in order to move forward in your life.

True to Yourself

If external factors are pushing you to break celibacy, then you shouldn’t allow it. You should hold on to your beliefs and inner voices. Therefore, you should ensure to choose the right option for you.

Benefits of Celibacy 

Some of the main benefits of practicing celibacy are as follows;

Emotional & Psychological Concerns

When it comes to engaging with sexual activity with any unfamiliar person every time, then it brings a lot of emotional and psychological concerns. You can easily avoid it if you’re celibate. Most important, you can focus on spirituality and develop a strong connection with the deity or the universe. It develops many personal traits in you like self-compassion, patience, and restraints.

Focused Attention

When you’re celibate, then you can easily focus your attention on various areas of life, and the sexual thoughts won’t occupy your mind. Whenever you come across any potential partner, then you don’t have to worry about introducing the sex, it would come naturally.

Saving Cost & Risks

Being celibate saves a lot of your costs, and you don’t worry about buying contraceptives, birth control tablets, and condoms. Additionally, it reduces the risks of sexually transmitted diseases and the psychological pressure of unplanned pregnancy.

Drawbacks of Celibacy 

Overwhelming Pressure

Being celibate brings a lot of pressure on yourself and imposes self-restraint on your willpower, and it can be overwhelming sometimes. That’s why experts suggest that you shouldn’t be judgmental to yourself while being celibate, and stick to your commitment.


When your sexual desire is met due to celibacy, then it develops a frustrating response in you. Things would aggravate when your peers and colleagues are doing and you aren’t, then it would make you feel left behind and insecure feelings in you.

Sexist Connotations

Many cultures across the world have considered women “sexual beings” for centuries and that’s where the term celibacy originates. It has been the criteria of women’s character for thousands of years, and it still is in different parts of the world.

Conclusion: What is Celibacy? Reasons, Benefits, Drawbacks 

After an in-depth study of what is celibacy; its reasons, benefits, drawbacks, and how to make such a decision; we have realized that being celibate offers you a lot of advantages. If you’re planning on being celibate, then you should keep in mind the abovementioned suggestions and do it for the right reasons.