Men’s Lifestyles

Discover the Straight Men Choosing Celibacy Voluntarily for a Fresh Perspective by Lisa

At the age of 29, Bobby made a decision that would change his life for the next three years. He chose to abstain​ from dating and sex, not out of a deliberate vow of celibacy, but rather out of a⁢ need to ⁢focus on himself. He wasn’t even familiar with the term ‍’celibate’ at the time. ⁣”I⁤ felt compelled to eliminate⁣ dating from my life, which inadvertently led me to celibacy,” he⁤ shares. “I ⁤was simply taking each day as it came.”

Like many others, it was the end of a⁢ relationship‌ that triggered Bobby’s self-reflection. He had just ended a ‘situationship’ with ​a woman ‌he was deeply‍ attracted to,‍ but ⁤the feelings weren’t mutual. ‌After a ⁤few casual encounters post-breakup, he ​found⁤ himself feeling⁢ hollow. Coupled ⁢with the uncertainty of life after university, he decided to focus solely on himself⁢ until he⁤ figured out​ his⁢ life’s direction. “In retrospect, it ‌was a pivotal decision that shaped me into the person I am today. The absence of distractions allowed me to concentrate on my personal growth,” he reflects.

Although he⁣ kept his ‌decision private at the ⁣time, Bobby is now an outspoken advocate for celibacy.⁤ He’s not alone ‍in this. The media often associates celibacy with involuntary celibates or ‘incels’, a term infamous for its association with violent misogyny. However, recently, there’s been a surge of non-religious ⁣voluntary ⁤celibates, or ‘volcels’, ‍discussing their choice to abstain from sex online. The topic is⁤ trending on TikTok, with the⁣ celibacy hashtag garnering over 200 million views, and the media is taking notice.

For Jeremie, a 28-year-old, his 18-month celibacy journey was triggered by his unresolved feelings about himself, especially concerning women. Despite the eventual benefits, the initial months were challenging. As a straight man, choosing to abstain from sex contradicted his ingrained perceptions ‍of masculinity. “The belief ⁤that a man’s worth‍ is tied to his sexual prowess started to emerge more prominently,” ​he admits. “If someone had asked me then if I believed my value was tied to the number of women I could sleep with, I‍ would have ⁢quickly said, ‘No’. ‌But‍ there ⁢I was, ‍questioning that.”

Jeremie’s self-esteem took a hit ⁣during his celibacy. Without the distraction of⁣ dating, he had to confront the anxiety, stress, and boredom he had been avoiding. “I had very few other ⁤ways to meet these emotional needs,” he explains, “so I developed an unhealthy reliance on ⁤romantic relationships to cope.” The lack of open discussion about celibacy ‍among his peers made him feel isolated in his journey.

Online discussions about voluntary celibacy are mostly dominated by women and queer individuals. They share experiences of how trauma, unhealthy relationships, unsatisfactory sex, ‍or disillusionment with hook-up culture led them to choose abstinence. In ‍the US, ⁢voluntary celibacy has ‌even been linked to ​the rollback of abortion rights, as sex now ‍carries a higher risk for​ those who can get pregnant.

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