Celibacy Update #1 – I F***ed Up

Lisbon, Portugal At Night

That Didn’t Take Too Long…

After Only A Couple Days, I Slipped Up

I got so much support from you all after posting my blog about going celibate for anyone who reached out, or even just read it. I really appreciate your support.

I come to you with a heavy heart to admit that I fucked up.

I went out one night, stayed out way too late and ended up hooking up with someone.

Was this someone I had an intent in building a long-term relationship with? No

This was a situation where excitement overcame me. I imagine the women I was with may be reading this, and I feel horrible if she feels guilty about what happened or feels like our time together was a mistake, however I’d like to tell the truth, as I see it.

Do I regret it?

Not necessarily

Lately I’ve been listening to a really beautiful song by Fireboy DML Ashawo. The main lyrics of this song go

“No be my fault oh, na shayo, na all of us can be ashawo”. Which translates to “It’s not my fault it’s the alcohol, all of us can be scandalous (lit. prostitutes)”

Great song, and he looks incredible in the album cover here

Part of me really resonates with this song. It’s not my fault it’s the alcohol. We all have a drive to be scandalous.

Maybe that’s all the explanation needed?

Or perhaps, given my focus on celibacy, I should try to analyze it a bit more.

But First

Being Promiscuous Is F***ing Fun

I stayed out partying until 5 am, I got a hotel suite downtown, woke up to a brunch that included free champagne, and I spent the day making love, drinking wine & hanging out in a sauna.

I’m reminded a quote from Russel Brand, a famous actor and comedian who struggled with addiction

If drugs worked I’d still be doing them today

Russel Brand

The reality is being promiscuous is a lot of fun. If it wasn’t such a good time, then it wouldn’t be so hard to give it up.

Beautiful shot from my time in Lisbon, this scenery really makes me want to party 😂

Is It Really That Big Of A Problem?

There’s a voice in my head that asks this question. That questions all of my celibacy.

A voice in my head that doesn’t want to change, change is kind of a pain in the ass.

A voice in my head that tells me the following.

  • Are my compulsions around dating really that bad?
  • Am I really hurting myself and others that bad?
  • I can go back to mindlessly philandering, and most likely nothing too bad will happen.
  • Dude it’s not like I’m a drug-addict, people have way worse compulsions. I don’t pay for sex, I don’t go on sex sites, things really aren’t that bad.
  • I’m being a bit too dramatic about all of this, I can handle going back to how I was and things will be fine.

So Do I Need A Crisis To Change For Good?

In my analyzing anxiety as a motivator, I realized that from a high-level I have two large categories of motivation for change. Whether that’s changing my habits around work, or interactions with women, whatever.

  1. Motivation that’s rooted in positivity, growth & being better.
  2. And two, motivation that’s rooted in negativity, fear & aversion.

Ultimately I want more and more of my motivation to come from positivity.

However, in the short term motivation from positivity isn’t super powerful. It’s far easier to procrastinate and push things off when you’re motivated from positivity.

Motivation from fear on the other hand is powerful, it’s urgent. It demands things get done now.

I can continue to indulge in these behaviors and wait until they get so bad (again) that I’m forced to change out of pure fear & anxiety, and not from a place of positivity & growth.

I can allow things to get that bad, and after a powerful enough catalyst I’ll get serious again.

Or I can try to focus my mind on my goals, on growth, on positivity & where my future can be with this work. I can change without needing to hit some rock bottom first.

Digital Nomad In Playa Del Carmen
A shot from my time in Mexico, where I started questioning negative vs. positive motivation.

So What’s The Problem Then?

I feel like I let a number of you down, there’s a possibility I hurt someone’s feelings, and ultimately it’s not aligned with who I want to be.

But The Deepest Issue Relates To That Voice In My Head

That same voice that questions if any of this is necessary starts up again when I start hooking up with women

It tells me stuff like this

So you don’t feel so great this time, but what if you hooked up with that girl from the hostel? Or the other girl you met at the bar last night? I bet you could find someone who would fulfill you.

The casual sex isn’t wrong. It’s that you’re not doing it with the right woman. Let’s try some other women and I bet you’ll find one that finally meets your needs. Someone who gives you the acceptance you need, the approval of others around you. Someone who causes you to be overcome with excitement & erases the looming melancholy of existence.

And After Enough Time It May Work

That voice, isn’t completely wrong. If I philander enough, I usually find someone to fill the void for a bit. Sometimes it’s for a day, or a week or even a few months.

But eventually the high fades, and I’m left with these same unmet needs, and looming melancholy.

But It Tells Me

That’s not your fault, it’s her. If only she was more [attractive, emotionally supportive, friendlier, easy-going, driven, etc.] then you’d be fixed. Then you’d be whole.

Let’s Just Try One More Girl

This Next One

She’s Gonna Be The One

I hurt incredible people in the process.

And the more women I’m with the bigger the desire becomes.

Imagine being at a luxury hotel with access to a word class chef that can cook you whatever you want. A place complete with all the fancy, delicious foods you could ever want and a chef that will make you whatever your heart desires. You eat and eat, but realize the more you eat the hungrier you get.

That’s what it feels like, an insatiable desire that only gets stronger the more energy I feed into it.

There are only two ways to handle it.

  • Be more mindful and aware of it
  • Or allow it to devour me entirely
Mpumalanga, South Africa
A shot from Mpumalanga, South Africa where my shift in relationship-dynamics started

So What Do I Do Now?

I humbly admit that I made a mistake, take what I can learn from this and remember the goals I outlined when I started.

This reminds me a lot of dieting, how incredibly motivated you are, until the first time you cheat….

Then after cheating on the diet your internal dialogue goes off about

  • “This is impossible”
  • “Maybe this is just the weight I’m supposed to be at”
  • “So and so doesn’t have the [lifestyle, genetics, environmental] hurdles I do, dieting doesn’t work for me”
  • “I’m never going to be able to stick to this diet now, I’m going to fail again”

I started dieting at 17 years old. Over the last 13 years I’ve seen a million people get far more serious about fitness than me, then a year or so later, completely give up on it.


Small streams run long

The only reason I’ve had any modicum of success in health and fitness is because I remain consistent. Just like the quote above, I work methodically, not rushing full steam ahead with all I have and abandoning things after a few weeks.

I don’t have a crazy diet I follow, I don’t work out 3 hours every time I go to the gym. I’m consistent, and I’m consistent because I love the lifestyle and what it offers me.

So regardless of how many times I screw up my diet, or drink more than I intended, I always come back to health and fitness the next day (or maybe sometimes in a few days 😂).

Essentially, the process of celibacy is the same. While the stakes are a bit higher, and there is a larger impact on the people around me, the lessons I’ve learned in health and fitness apply here.

My mistake can either be a road bump, or a mountain range. It’s entirely up to me to decide.

Quilotoa Lake Ecuador
A shot of the Andes Mountains in Quilotoa, Ecuador. A beautiful landscape I thought of after mentioning “mountain range”

I’m Choosing To See This As A Road Bump, Not A Mountain Range

So What Can I Take Away From This? Hint: Some of these are incredibly obvious

  • Drinking late, and alone with a women is a bad idea
    • If I’m going to go out drinking, stay in a group, if the group leaves and I’m left with someone I’m attracted to, then it’s time for me to leave
    • If I go out, I’m going to try to call it a night by midnight. I usually only stay out longer when I’m looking for something to make me happy instead of being grateful about the night I had.
  • I can slip up, and not fall into the abyss
    • As I mentioned, the thought arose to start chasing after women again. While that thought is nearly always running, it was quite a bit more powerful after giving in. But I didn’t follow it, which I’m pretty pumped about.
    • If I continue on philandering I can sense that the drive will grow, but for now it’s not as consuming as it’s been in the past.
  • I’m Irresistible To Women
    • That’s obviously a joke.
    • But on a serious note, there are signs when you are into someone and they’re into you. I don’t necessarily need to end all communication with that person when that arises. However, if I’m in a risky situation and see the signs then that’s a good time to say goodbye.
  • Listening to my body
    • Call it mindfulness, or getting in touch with your body or what will you. I know when feelings of longing & desire are coming in. I know when I’m feeling out of touch with who I want to be.
    • I can sense it in my body, and the less time I spend in sitting with those emotions the more I will react in ways that go against who I want to be.

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