Not a word that appears on this blog very often, I’m thinking.
It’s a word that makes me think of halibut. Which in turn leads me to thoughts of Monty Python.
Not flattering… or sexy.
I can continue the haphazard word association if you like, moving on to baited, and then on further still to cell.
In case you hadn’t guessed, I am that word: celibate.
If you need – as most people do – to put me into a box, then for the purposes of this article, the most important and significant box is this: I am Christian.
As you may be aware, for the most part (theologies differ), Followers of the Way believe that sex outside of marriage is verboten. I believed this absolutely up to the age of around 20.
It might seem contradictory, but I like logic, you see. I like the weight of evidence. Not sleeping with boys age 16 provided freedom from the perils of emotional ties, heartache, teen pregnancy and a raft of unsavoury ‘diseases down there’, not to mention the fact that illegitimate offspring were a sure fire way to torpedo any future plans for a career.
In 1995 girl in my class at school was expelled for being pregnant.
Back then there seemed to be rather good arguments for being a good girl.
As I got older the reason and logic argument started to fade. Student life came and went, so did a couple of boyfriends and sex went into the bargain too.
Fast-forward 9 years. I have been single that many years, since a three-year live-in relationship ended. Now I’m staring the mid-thirties firmly in the eye and have not had sex for seven years, not even snogged anyone for four.
I am still a Christian. But I am no longer convinced that waiting and ‘staying pure’ is an absolute requirement. I blame Him (God) for these stupid rules that only fit perfectly and make sense for a healthy marriage in an ideal world. There do not appear to be any answers for those left out in the cold, high up and forgotten on a shelf somewhere.
I want to be wistful, and poetic about it. Full of tortured longing in a dramatic, French sort of way… but I am just a bag of blood and bones, held together by a slowly evaporating shrinking, wrinkling wrapper of skin.
Even though I no longer subscribe strictly to the doctrine of no sex outside marriage, I also know that no matter how much I want it I am not going to jump in the sack with just anyone.
It is such an up close and personal thing that despite the frustration I still want to be with someone who knows me, and with whom I have built up some sort of trust. I want a lasting and certain attraction to be in place, rather than a haze of blinding alcoholic lust.
My own hands know me so well now that I wonder if any man can satisfy me. But then I recall distant memories of salty flesh and tongues and heartbeats, and the rise and fall of a beloved breathing chest. And I know that I cannot pretend.
I know that two are better than one.
I know I would rather seek out lines on another body and slowly map out its territory than follow the old familiar relief/tension management system that currently functions as an inferior replacement.
Have I failed God, or has he failed me? I truly do not know, but I cannot help feeling that sticking to my principles and staying true to the path I have chosen has cost me a great deal.
I pay the price with bitter lonely tears and many long years of untouched cruelty.
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