I moved to Johannesburg in 2011, a graduate working in Sandton, single and ready to explore the city. I started a blog under the pseudonym "Sisi in Sandton", to try and replicate the demi-goddess Carrie Bradshaw's musings in Sex and City. I was looking forward to nights filled with parties, long lunches and finding Mr. Big!
Although I wasn't actively practicing celibacy, I was sort of halfway in, kind of waiting for the right "situationship", but not pursuing it. In August 2011 I got plugged into a great church and made the decision to, among other things, go all the way into the celibate journey. I kind of kept it private for the first few years because I was afraid to be judged if I fell off, and six years later the only thing I regret was not sharing my journey sooner!
I am happy that celibacy has been getting some action, no pun intended, and it's becoming widely discussed in places other than church! I think celebrities like DeVon Franklin and Meagan Goode, Russell Wilson and Ciara, Lolo Jones, Tim Tebow and Yvonne Orji have actually made celibacy look possible and even sexy!
Here are the top 5 benefits of celibacy that I have seen in my personal life:
Since I started my journey I have achieved so much more than I thought I could, such as becoming a full-time entrepreneur and getting very involved in my community. I have developed the ability and discipline to see things to the end, even if it gets hard in the middle. If viewed correctly, being single and celibate can turn you into a powerhouse by eliminating distractions. Many athletes actually avoid sex before big competitions, in fact Rocky Marciano, the real life Rocky Balboa, was said to keep away from sex prior to a fight and he is the only heavyweight boxer to retire undefeated. I think that's a little too good to be a coincidence.
I grew up with a plethora of self-esteem issues, from my weight and a family tragedy in my early teens. I struggled with feelings of inadequacy, shame and worthlessness until my early 20s I started reading the Bible and finding inspirational content. The celibacy journey has helped me to see the intrinsic worth of my body, soul, mind and spirit. That they are worth protecting as well as developing and not to be shared with any person. The ability to say no to the trends of popular culture and society, has helped me say yes to my unique needs. My new-found confidence has helped me to take bigger risks in my personal and professional life, and I am taking much better care of my physical well-being.
There aren't many 30-something men lining up to date a woman that is celibate, in fact, from experience - they run for the hills when they hear the word. I now use it as a tool to weed out time wasters, and it is very efficient! My definition of fun has changed to a Friday night series binge with a yummy treat and soft pyjamas! I have been single for 7 years because I thoroughly enjoy my own company, and Snapchat filters! I think those who follow me on social media get to see some of my crazy antics and there is not much more I don't post because of my job!
I want to encourage women to find the joy of living in every season and to embrace singleness, it is the best part of life! Celibacy has helped me find and celebrate myself, quirks and all! If I can't enjoy the total package - no one else will!
I have made friends with really incredible, kind, intelligent and loving humans across race, religions and gender. My friends and family are my true wealth! As much as I do love time to myself, it's such a joy to be around them, they challenge me and keep me accountable. I have friends who hold different views on celibacy, or even my faith but our relationships are built on mutual respect and love. I have also reformed how to relate to the opposite sex, moving from objectifying men based on looks or status, to seeing them as brothers and friends. For me, it's important to have a clear perspective and appreciation of love outside the context of dating and I feel so loved every day.
When it comes to celibacy, for religious reasons, you don't know when the wait will end, or if it will end. I am content with that, because I have found my purpose and that is the pinnacle to a fulfilled life. DeVon and Meagan have written a book on their celibacy journey as singles and in their courtship called "The Wait", but I beg to disagree with this title. I don't think celibacy should be about waiting, it's about living. And that is what I'm doing, living wild, recklessly, joyfully and purposefully... With no strings attached!
I love that we live in a time where women can decide what to with their bodies, and it's equally great to recognise that they can decide what not to do with their bodies. I am extremely grateful to be part of a greater community of men and women on this journey that are bravely telling their stories.
I recommend celibacy for one or all the reasons above, you may find the love of your life or find how much love there is in your life! What have you got to lose?