“You mean ‘celebrant,’ right? As in, as a celebrant of the Earth, you have lots and lots of sex?”
“No. I mean I don’t have any. At least not with other people.”
“But…why would you do that?”
I would have thought, given my size, that it would be assumed I wasn’t having sex; that’s the going theory, right? Fat girls are as sexless as we are shapeless?
Wrong. Even outside the Pagan community, big girls get laid all the time. Thanks to internet dating and the fact that sexuality is far more varied than popular media would have us believe, fatness is not an automatic prohibitive to having a sex life. Most of the time the problem lies in the person’s lack of self-confidence more than in his or her appearance. Everyone knows at least one funny-looking person who has hot and cold running shag.
In fact, among those who practice many “alternative” religions, the community’s default position seems to be “if you are not constantly fucking, you’re oppressed.”
Needless to say, when it comes out in conversation that I have chosen to abstain from sexual activity with other people, I tend to get looked at like I just peed in the punchbowl. The reactions have run an interesting gamut from a “yeah, right, you just can’t get any” up-and-down look to a scary “But by abstaining from sex you’re violating the laws of nature!!!” that strongly resembles the you-must-have-children-or-you’re-not-a-real-woman arguments I’ve heard.
Let me tell you something: nobody has the right to tell you what to do with your body. Nobody has the right to make you feel guilty over who you are or aren’t sleeping with; and nobody has the right to belittle your personal sexual choices. At least for the moment, batshit insane Congress notwithstanding, my body is still my own to govern, and anyone who thinks otherwise is not worth my time.
The question, however, remains: Why did I declare myself celibate?
People’s first inclination is to believe that I wasn’t getting any and so I just decided to make a bad situation more noble by saying it had a purpose. Not so. At the time I made this decision I had access to the best sex of my life. I was a tertiary member of a polyamorous situation…and that, it turned out, was part of the problem.
I realized over time that I am a one-man-woman. For most of my life I have come in a distant second with men, if that. But more importantly, I’ve come in last with myself, and being page three of a flow chart was not helping my sense of self-worth any at all.
I realized I needed to enter into a loving and supportive adult relationship with myself before even considering throwing all my issues at someone else.
Not long after that I had a second realization: I don’t really like relationships. I find dealing with other people’s nonsense tiresome and aggravating, and I have yet to meet anyone I think would be worth the irritation long-term. I am intensely private, don’t like being touched, and don’t like people getting all up in my space. I do fine having friends over, or having someone up for a weekend, but the thought of living with another human being gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Most of the time in relationships I find myself thinking, “Okay…when do I get to miss you?”
Okay, then, why not just have a sexual relationship?
Oh, I could give you all sorts of reasons, quote all sorts of spiritual texts in which great masters get up in people’s privates and decide that we as a society are far too irresponsible with our sexuality, yadda yadda. Hey, maybe that’s true; you don’t have to have cable TV to know which way the syphilis is blowing. But as with so many life choices, when it comes down to it, it has nothing to do with cultural mores or what the world thinks. You can have all the logical reasons in the world to do something or not, but if you don’t have a personal reason, one that really resonates with you, there’s no way you’re going to fully commit. To tell the truth, the closest thing to a lofty purpose I had was “I’m tired of the bullshit.”
I can be kind of intense. After years of trying to hold back with men to avoid scaring them, I decided that wasn’t fair to myself or to them; if I can’t be fully myself, the relationship is not worth the bother. But in order for me to really give of myself, I have to be willing to completely open up to the other person, and I absolutely cannot do that in a sex-only relationship. I require both a sense of unshakable safety and the conviction that my partner is as devoted as I am. I don’t just want your naughty bits – I want your soul.
That’s sort of the Scorpio motto, actually.
Loving like that is exhausting. Even just shagging like that takes a lot of energy and time and lag bolts.
And as I’ve said before when discussing self-marriage, until I am able to offer myself the love and strength and encouragement and acceptance I would want in someone else, I am not about to try and find it out there; depending on someone else for your happiness is just about the dumbest thing around, and it also puts a lot of unfair pressure on the source of that happiness who has to live up to a probably-unrealistic ideal you’ve created to hang your heart on.
I’ve been shagless for going on a year now, and while occasionally it’s really annoying, for the most part it doesn’t bother me at all. I have plenty of torrid trysts with Mr. Shaky – but afterward I can drop him over the side of the bed and that’s that. I don’t have a time frame on how long I intend to be off the market; I have yet to be tempted, and dating is the last thing on earth I’m interested in.
Actually watching Glee is the last thing on earth I’m interested in. Dating is second.
I haven’t taken any sort of vow, and I don’t view this as a permanent situation, although if it is, oh well. I’m just not in a plus-one place right now, and rather than halfheartedly do the mating dance because society expects me to, I turn my creative energy to things that actually matter to my life, like writing. I am disinclined to turn the sign back to “OPEN FOR BUSINESS.” I find my own company perfectly satisfying.
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