(The following is from a series of emails I had with someone on the subject of my decision to stop having sex. I feel that it may help clarify in ways my long post did not. The other person’s text is in italics.)
Why are you being celibate these days?
I am trying to avoid immorality. Sexual immorality is a big area I had let slide.
Ok, so are you saying your going to wait till you get married before you do again????
That is my current outlook, and it is a bleak one (on account of I have low hopes for my becoming (and also locating) a suitable candidate for marriage). Yes.
So how long are you giving yourself to find a suitable mate before all bets are off and you stop being celibate???
Well, see, the idea isn’t that I’m desperate for sex, or desperate for companionship. The idea is that I want to behave rightly, for as much of my life as is possible. Now, I can’t alter the past, so I can’t undo what has already happened. What I can do is alter the future, avoiding sin as best I can and seeking after what is right and good.
In reality I’ve always felt that it would be unlikely for me to ever end up with a spouse, and that sentiment hasn’t changed, so the outlook isn’t some countdown until a wedding day “or else.” It’s more an outlook of I’m probably never going to have sex again, and if that’s God’s Will, that’s okay.
In combination is this: I should never have had sex in the first place. Which is to say, it would have been better to go from birth to death in celibacy.
* * * * * * * *
There is more to the story. It seems there always is. It may seem like repetition, but it feels more like iteration to me. (Remind me to share my idea for a new denomination of Christianity; I drive by a church of “Practical Christianity” on my way to work, but most days when I first see it my mind reads “Fractal Christianity,” and I’ve begun to flesh out what that means.) If you know about fractal geometry, this makes sense, and if you don’t — well, I’m not about to explain it tonight. Oh, and this post assumes you’ve read that one.
So, having sex wasn’t entirely about punishment, but by the time I got that far into my post, I was tired and mentally exhausted and … my thoughts were not as well organized or remembered as I would have hoped. That was certainly an important aspect, but there was also a large measure of general despair.
It played primarily in the same key as the sentiment of “I’ve already failed to remain a virgin, why not keep going?” It was a sort of feeling like my life was rubbish, my choices had always been bad, nothing good would ever come of me, so why bother trying to stick to some ideal? That as long as being good and making right choices didn’t keep me out of a shit life, why not at least have some semblance of a good time along the way? Why not take full advantage of all the people practically clamoring to have sex with me over the years? I’ve had so many people leave me, dump me, avoid me altogether because I wouldn’t have sex with them. Who knows how things might have turned out differently if I hadn’t been so stiff-necked on that small point? So when such and such came up where sex was an option I would have simply avoided altogether before, now I chose sex. Why not?
Worse than that, my despair has been feeding into my pre-existing undercurrent of suicidal wishes, and I have had an amazing amount of unsafe sex with a variety of partners, every time hoping in some small, sad part of me that I’d catch something fatal. (And yes, the part that was working to punish me was hoping I’d catch something awful as well, or get someone pregnant. Anything that would hurt me, or turn my life upside down, inside out.) Alas, I only had to buy one abortion, and I still seem to come up ‘clean’ – too bad they can’t test for sin, right? But you don’t tell your partners that you’re hoping that having sex with them will end up killing you; it ruins the mood.
Ugh. The long day, the late hour, or admitting that last bit … has taken it out of me. That’s all I’ve got for today. More later? At least I’m posting, trying to get it down, get it out. Now, to sleep.