On Celibacy and Depression

I dearly love my female platonic friends, but I have noticed that not being lovers limits communication to certain safe areas. Sexual relationships afford me a free pass to be more spontaneous. Being sexually uncensored appears to give me permission to be less controlled and sanitized in general. I don’t watch my words as carefully.

Upon reading this excerpt on Soul Embrace’s blog (the entire entry can be found here), I immediately thought about how this truth pertains to depression and loneliness. Depression often leads to isolation. Isolating oneself is an easy, albeit ineffective way to deal with not being comfortable in one’s own skin. This begets greater depression and more negative self-talk.

I’ve seen a number of sources espouse the importance of regular sexual activity as a way to treat depression. Maybe  the way a sexual relationship makes us feel unfettered and uninhibited is a gateway to feeling less inhibited in social situations. Is there a connection?

Over the course of learning more about myself and my relationships in the past few months, it’s become clear to me that I often avoid friendships with other females. I think subconsciously I preferred to make friends with men, either because of having had negative experiences in the past with close female friends or because I believed mutual attraction between man and woman to be something of value when getting to know one another- if I knew an attraction was there I felt more comfortable that he would like me no matter what; I could be myself and relax, feeling secure that the attraction would create a bond not susceptible to a painful end.

Of course, my subconscious is not infallible, and that logic is inherently flawed. The true key to connecting with others and forming productive relationships, sexual or otherwise, is boundaries and assertiveness. These are muscles that have to be flexed over and over again. In time, relationships will develop accordingly. As an added bonus, our sexual relationships will be more fulfilling when we are comfortable in our own skin and comfortable communicating with our partners.

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2 thoughts on “On Celibacy and Depression

  1. Interesting blog. I’m actually doing a 30-day “woman fast” – celibacy from pursuing a woman’s attention and affection in all variety of ways – because I’ve noticed these complex identity and safety and validation issues are often bewildering.

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