Goals, Thoughts & Strategies From Someone Who’s Not Religious
Some Background – Why Am I Going Celibate?
An Anecdote to Illustrate the Point
Just this last weekend I was in the Douro Valley with my mom. We were doing a tasting of Port wine on this beautiful patio overlooking the Douro Valley. I’ve been wanting to visit the Douro Valley for years now, and the dream has finally come true.
For anyone who follows me, they know I love drinking and learning about foreign alcohol (check out my Drink Reviews W/ A Redneck Series if you’d like to check this out). I’m in this incredible place, able to drink some of the best port I’ve ever had, but I still found my mind wandering…
I wasn’t really fully enjoying this time I have with my mom. Likely the only time her and I will ever be in the Douro Valley. My mind kept wandering to thoughts of how lonely I felt.
How I wish I had a female companion with me, someone who could offer me the acceptance and intimacy I deeply crave. I wasn’t present, and I wasn’t really enjoying the moment.
I was distracted and unsatisfied.
I’ve felt this a million times before, where I’m not present with the people around me. Regardless of how incredible the landscape is around me, my mind is wandering looking for someone to fill the void. It doesn’t matter where I’m at or what I’m doing my mind isn’t at peace until I can fill that craving.
While I’ve experienced this for large parts of my life, I’ve really only became aware of it recently, while analyzing my relationships while dating.
So I’m working now to better understand these impulses, thoughts & behaviors around this longing, and also dating, sex & relationships in general.
In This Process, I’ve Come Across the Idea of Celibacy
I’ve watched a couple of videos, which have inspired me and I’ve decided to give Celibacy a shot.
I haven’t had sex with anyone in 3 months, I’ve been committed to cutting out less meaningful sex & dating and this feels like a natural progression in that direction.
I am also traveling with my mom for the rest of the year. So this is as easy as it will ever get to implement this lifestyle. If I can’t pull it off while traveling full time with my mom, there’s no way I’d be able to do it any other time*
*As a matter of fact, I’ve tried to go fully celibate back in early 2021, it lasted less than a week 😬…
So What Are My Goals W/ Celibacy?
My overall goal for celibacy is to better understand and create more space between my impulses, thoughts & habits around sex, dating & longing for women.
Here Are Some Concrete Goals For My Celibacy
Goal #1 – To Find Other Ways to Fulfill The Needs I Historically Filled Through Romance
Namely, Acceptance / Validation, Intimacy & Excitement & Novelty. But what do these needs mean exactly?
Acceptance & Validation
I’ve realized that one of the biggest ways I get acceptance & validation is through women. Particularly through the acceptance of women I’m attracted to. When I’m getting the kind of attention I want from women I feel secure, I feel validated in who I am, I feel more comfortable & life feels lighter & more fun.
Furthermore, when I have an attractive women I feel more confident around other men. I don’t ever say anything explicit, but the subtext when I meet men and I’m with a beautiful women is something like look at this beautiful women I’m dating, I must be a pretty important, interesting guy ha?
This feeling of “validation” I get from people comes back to bite me in ways I didn’t initially realize. For the last few months I haven’t been dating, and I’ve felt insecure around men with attractive women. My subconscious mind tells me that this guy is dating a beautiful woman, therefore he’s important and I’m not.
While I consciously recognize how erroneous this thinking is, my subconscious still clammers onto women as a status symbol and proof of my importance.
I don’t have many friendships where I am emotionally vulnerable with others. The main way in which I can transparently share my feelings is in romantic relationships.
This is one of the reasons I crave romantic relationships so much, it’s the only time I can comfortably be vulnerable.
I’m currently working on building more intimacy in my platonic relationships, but man is it uncomfortable. Since I have confounded romance and intimacy for so long it’s hard to have intimate talks where I don’t feel the impulse to turn it romantic, or if I’m talking to a man, feeling incredibly uncomfortable the whole time.
Excitement & Novelty
Meeting a new woman, falling for her and feeling that new relationship energy is a powerful force. Looking back, some of the times I felt the most alive was when I was courting a new woman.
Goal #2 – To Build Stronger Future Romantic Relationships
I would like to start picking women to date based more on who they are, rather than how they can meet my needs. I feel a bit horrible admitting it, but historically I made most of my relationship choices on the latter.
Goal #3 – To Free Up More Time & Energy For Other Pursuits
Dating & chasing after women takes up a lot of time and energy. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, even when I’m doing other seemingly exciting things it can still creep in and take over my mind.
I’d like to devote the time I’ve spent in romance with women to further develop my businesses, to spend more time learning the languages I want to learn, and to check items off of my bucket list.
Goal #4 – To Find Sustainable Methods That Will Outlive My Stint of Celibacy
This largely echoes my overall goal I outlined above, but I’m not going to be celibate forever. I’m not going to move to a monastery or find a cabin in the woods and become a hermit (even as much as this life has called me in the past).
Given this, I want to be able to walk away with some tools & changes in perspective that I can use in the future whether or not I’m celibate.
Goal #5 – To Decrease Hurting Others Feelings
Consciously or unconsciously I’ve led women on to believe I was more interested than I actually was. In my pursuit to be validated by them in some cases I really did feel intense emotions for them, emotions which ebbed pretty quickly into our interactions.
I’m hoping that this new approach will result in my hurting less women in the long-term.
What Do I Want To Avoid While Being Celibate?
Based on how I’ve been with diets, and lifestyle changes before I know what sorts of traps I easily fell into, for this reason I’m also going to outline what I don’t want my celibacy to turn into.
Perfection / Dogmatism
I am doing this as a means to help with the goals above, not to be the perfect celibate person or to be the most extreme celibate person I can be.
This isn’t going to help with the sustainability of this practice, and I’ll likely end up pendulum swinging back to how I was at my worst.
Alan Watts has a great quote about religion, but I think it applies to dogmatism, spirituality & self-improvement in general, and it’s a quote that I try to keep in mind when I’m looking to “improve myself”.
“Because the religious game is simply a refined and highbrow version of the ordinary game: how can I outwit me? How can I one up me?
So if I find, for example, that, in the quest for pleasure—the ordinary pleasures of the world; food, sex, power, possessions—all this becomes a drag, and I think, “No, it isn’t there.” So I go in for the arts and literature… [then] psychoanalysis, and I found out that’s not the answer. [then] I go to religion.
But I’m still seeking what I was seeking when I wanted candy bars! I want to get that goodie.
Only, I see now that, of course, it’s not going to be a material goodie. All material goods fall apart. But maybe there’s a spiritual goodie that’s not going to fall apart.
But in that quest, the quest is not different from the quest for the candy bar. Same old story, only you’ve refined the candy bar and made it abstract and holy and blessed and so on.”Alan Watts- Mind Over Mind Talks
I don’t want to simply replace dating, sex & romance with the new more refined pursuit of celibacy.
Celibacy is not a panacea (or a fix for everything) it’s simply a tool.
Hiding Behind Celibacy As A Shield
As mentioned, the goal of this is to better understand my impulses, thoughts & behaviors not to bypass them with some magical framework.
I want to feel the feelings that arise, not resist them. I see already that it would be very easy to turn my celibacy into a shield. A shield that keeps me from having any vulnerability with women, a shield that I use to deflect and ultimately repress the impulses I have.
I will still talk to women I’m attracted to, I’ll still allow myself to feel the feelings that arise, I’ll simply increase my intention not to act on these feelings & impulses.
What Will My Celibacy Look Like?
DISCLAIMER – I’ll be outlining some intimate details of what this looks like here, if you think that will make you uncomfortable please skip to the next section.
For the remainder of 2022 (September – December) I will work to follow the rules below.
- No kissing
- No sex or sexual acts by myself or with others
- No porn
Is This Another Train Wreck Waiting To Happen?
As mentioned, I already have 3 months of no-sex under my belt so I’m going in with a bit of a head start. However only the future will reveal how this all goes.
If you made it this far in this article, I really appreciate you being part of this journey. I’ll keep you all posted on how things progress!
Follow me on Instagram @officialdigitalnomadlifestyle or on Youtube to stay tuned!