Confessions of a Twenty-Five-Year-Old Celibate Woman
As a 25 year-old virgin, I'm wildly aware that I'm the odd one out in this sexually liberated world. As I look back at different stages of my life, I'm intrigued by the factors that influenced my decisions in abstaining from sex.
Yes, I am a celibate adult. It may sound unusual, since I choose to be celibate, but even celibate women can have a sex life.
My first sexual experience wasn't ideal and caused me much trauma. I was about nine years old and playing with my older brother and his friend. We were at their home, and his friend took me aside for a "game." I thought it was harmless until he asked me to remove my pants.
Despite my questions, I obliged, and he attempted to penetrate me. He was also just a child and had no idea what he was doing. His penis was also flaccid, so that didn't help either. It ended up being a weird sexual organs touching moment that confused me about sex.
I felt violated and had no one to turn to for closure. Countless nightmares later, I talked about it with my best friend last year, and it was the most freeing thing.
Celibacy or Insecurity?
My upbringing was Christian-based. Most preach sex is a sin. It was almost taboo to talk about it with my African parents. My parents shipped me to boarding school during my elementary school years.
I was a higher achiever in academics, and to some extent, I used that to overcompensate because I didn't feel attractive. I recall a comment by my mother where she said, "Big people who aren't smart come off as useless." Being a "fat girl," I tried to be useful by getting good grades. I sank into a hole of low self-esteem, and my mental health took a dive, without even realizing it.
Things got worse when I joined an all-girls Catholic high school. A group of insecure girls starving for male attention is no good for anyone's self-esteem. We often attended events and contests where we interacted with male students from other schools. This was my first experience with welcome male attention.
Of course, I understood that it would not lead to anything substantial, as I came from a strict family. Boyfriends were a luxury you only secured after you got an education. My insecurities also led me to reject or appear disinterested in guys. I chose to be the resistance that didn't care for a sexual relationship. Part of me was just afraid I'd get turned down.
The Failed Experimentation Stage
University was supposed to be my golden age of sexual experimentation. Since I moved out from my parent's house, the freedom was overwhelming. I was ready to explore. I met some guys I liked, but I don't think I was ever prepared to go the whole way with any of them. The farthest I went with any of them was foreplay.
I let one guy finger me, but it wasn't the best experience. He had zero technique. Out of all the almost sex experiences I had, I only enjoyed intimacy with one guy. From how he touched me seemed to know his way around the female anatomy.
I wanted to have sex with him badly, but I knew I wasn't ready. Also, it'd been a while since I shaved, so things were wild down there. At this point, I was overweight and a little self-conscious about my body. I was scared of being seen fully naked by a man.
Thoughts of having my first time with someone I didn't share an emotional connection with were scary. I knew I wanted to be with someone who was in my life and understood my traumas and insecurities. However, I was also emotionally unavailable, as architecture school was plunging me into an identity crisis.
After all the sleepless nights and tons of assignments, I only wanted to sleep and watch tons of Netflix. I also changed friend groups to a more reserved Christian crowd. I still identified with those religious beliefs, but I couldn't remember what the inside of a church looked like, as I hadn't stepped into one since joining university.
Discovering Masturbation and Orgasms
After stopping my sexual escapades with guys, I started experimenting by myself. I cannot recall how I bumped into porn, but I started watching videos of women pleasuring themselves and picked up a thing or two.
My masturbation sessions were far between as I hadn't mastered my body. My mind and body connection was also poor. I did not realize how much female orgasms start from the mind, but it felt nice to touch myself, so I kept at it.
At 23, I had my first orgasm, and I could feel my body lifting from my bed to the ceiling. Finally, I had mastered the rhythm. I would hold sex parties for myself. Whenever I watched a movie or series and the characters were getting into it, I'd touch myself if I felt the urge. I had stopped watching porn at this point because I realized I prefer sex stories with a solid storyline.
As much as I was still enjoying my masturbation phase and experimenting with different pleasure points, I still felt guilt. My strict Christian background still haunted me, and I began wanting to stop. Let's say pleasure is addictive and a great way to escape the pressure of the real world. I still didn't feel convicted enough to stop, as my relationship with God was also unstable.
Last year, I rekindled my relationship with God and felt I should fully commit. I was going through a tough season, as I was doing my finals in school and had no idea what to do afterwards. This time, I chose to be spiritual rather than religious. I also channeled my energy to working out and lost about forty-two pounds.
This was a huge boost to my self-esteem and I started believing I was worthy of sex that's packaged with love. I'd been temped to engage in sexual relations with any guy to tick the first-time sex box. It felt like a thing on my to-do list that needed to get done.
Turning 25 was also a major shift for me. It changed how I look at my body, sex, relationships and emotions. My new belief was that sex, for me, is spiritual. This may not be the case for everyone, but it is for this 25-year-old virgin.
Rushing to have sex violated my emotions to appease my desire to fit in and social anxiety. I also had to admit that I was using masturbation for the wrong reasons. It had turned into this thing I do to avoid intimate connections with others.
If I could make myself orgasm, why do I need other people? Since a relationship is something I'm still interested in, I chose to stop masturbation. Every time I masturbated just to get off, I felt something was missing—a spiritual connection to my body.
The Journey So Far
It hasn't been easy, as desires can get crazy. At 25, I chose to go on a journey of celibacy and abstinence, and it opened up my spiritual being in ways I could never imagine. Even at my age, I'm still not ready to enter my first relationship or experience penetrative sex.
I still feel connected to my body, and CrossFit and yoga have helped me exercise my mind and body connection. It's been a journey to accept myself and learn to love myself before seeking outside love. I can’t wait to dive into O-town when the time is right.