January 26, 2010

"Eliminating sex from your list of concerns opens up a tremendous amount of brain and emotional space that the strategizing, analyzing and agonizing over our sex lives often fills."

From "4 Non-Religious Reasons To Be Celibate."

61 comments:

rhhardin said...

Eliminating church on Sundays frees up hours of useful time.

Henry said...

Why stop with eliminating sex from your list of concerns? Just go the whole hog and eliminate people. All sorts of strategizing, analyzing, and agonizing will be resolved.

Henry said...

Anyway, this is an old idea. Go away, '70s.

Barney Miller (Season 7, Episode 6).

Jason (the commenter) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jag said...

Trust me, celibacy does not stop one from thinking about sex. That's a misconception. That said, when celibacy is lived well, it can enable one to channel sexual energy toward other creative horizons (prayer, for example).

Jason (the commenter) said...

rhhardin,

Not going to church also opens up a tremendous amount of brain and emotional space that religion often fills.

You could get in a car accident going to and from church, so not going is healthy.

If your religion would prevent you from sharing your body and emotions with others you also get more intimacy by not going.

So, this is a list of four non-religious reasons to be celibate, or to not be religious.

Salamandyr said...

I agree with the sentiment, having devoted an inordinate amount of my twenties to getting sex that I could have been using pursuing my education with greater diligence.

However, perhaps a better solution than chastity (celibacy is foregoing marriage) is legal prostitution.

Jeff said...

Master of their domain indeed.

former law student said...

If I simply stop eating I won't have to think about what to make for dinner. Eliminating grocery shopping, cooking, and clean up will give me hours of free tie. I'm done with eating.

bagoh20 said...

Life is a pain in the ass.

Robert Cook said...

Speaking of "master of their domain," there was an episode of SEINFELD where George swore off sex--or perhaps he simply didn't have a girlfriend and had no choice, I don't recall exactly now--and, free of the bedevilment of sexual desire or activity, he blossomed into a virtual genius and font of wisdom and maturity. In the end, he gave in to a flirtation and his newfound genius and sagacity immediately disappeared.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I certainly hope that Meade hasn't found himself in the Althouse dog house.

Sofa King said...

Robert Cook -

Don't forget that in the SAME episode, Elaine (as I recall to teach her boyfriend a lesson) also underwent an extended period without sex - and became incompetent and unmotivated!

El Pollo Real said...

Eliminating sex from your list of concerns....

For men, I suppose the easiest way to achieve that would be chemical castration. The surgical option probably isn't funded by NHS.

Sofa King said...

I do want to say that as annoying as it is to be lectured on the evils of sexual pursuit, it is equally annoying to be harrangued about its importance.

ricpic said...

Life is a pain in the ass
It's a hassle a passel of worries and woes.
But what's the alternative? Lying face up
Under grass bending as the wind blows.

traditionalguy said...

Two thoughts come:1) the abstaining act of the will is a good exercise whether from food or from sex. This strengthens one's will to be boss over the body's demands and addictions. 2) Since sex is good for you like a healthy diet is good for you, try to find a committed relationship with a loving partner which can be like eating a healthy diet that avoids the poisoning that comes from rotten people or from rotten food. Bon appetit!

SteveR said...

History is filled with the contributions of eunuchs.

Paddy O. said...

"I'm done with eating."

It's called fasting.

C.S. Lewis had a nice little bit to say on chastity, that features an example of food... in an interesting way.

If I could add one to the list of four, which may connect to the post title one.

Eliminating sex means eliminating the strategies pursued to find sexual partners. We perform to make those connections. Absence that goal, free from that goal, we're free to pursue our particular interests, to throw ourselves into relating more freely to others and more freely to ourselves. We able to become more of who we particularly are, without worry.

And, curiously enough, doing that later on opens up all kinds of unintentional doors.

Lem said...

"Eliminating sex from your list of concerns opens up a tremendous amount of brain and emotional space that the strategizing, analyzing and agonizing over our sex lives often fills."

Nonsense.
The opposite is probably true.

For one, sex is not rocket science, secondly scheduling it seems to work for some people.

Pogo said...

There ain't much the strategizing, analyzing and agonizing over masturbation.

Or so I'm told.

Too bad this article didn't come out before John Edwards met Rielle Hunter.

Or mebbe that advice doesn't apply to those who are physically very striking, in a certain area, where everyone who sees it says 'whoa.'"

save_the_rustbelt said...

Being an expert on time management, I can find plenty of time for my brain and my emotions, and time to giggy with it.

No agonizing here.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

My next t-shirt needs to say physically very striking, in a certain area, where everyone who sees it says 'whoa.'.


Well, maybe not.

Mark O said...

I've often thought how rich I would be if only . . ..

Dogwood said...

If I simply stop eating I won't have to think about what to make for dinner. Eliminating grocery shopping, cooking, and clean up will give me hours of free tie. I'm done with eating.

IIRC, low-calorie diets are supposed to help you live longer, so win win!

Deborah said...

For men, I suppose the easiest way to achieve that would be chemical castration

For women, menopause usually does the trick.

Freeman Hunt said...

I never have to strategize, analyze, or agonize over my sex life. It's called monogamy.

Pogo said...

After you open up that tremendous amount of brain and emotional space, consider subletting it.

In a down economy, the extra income might be handy.

SteveR said...

You're still young Freeman.

campy said...

For men, I suppose the easiest way to achieve that would be chemical castration

For women, menopause usually does the trick.

You misspelled "marriage."

Freeman Hunt said...

Oh, this is for young people.

Okay.

Then true. They can look forward to marriage and a lifetime of angst free sex.

Freeman Hunt said...

Steve, I've been married for eight years. We have two young children.

Maybe instead of monogamy, one should specify active monogamy. Anyway, it's easy.

Pogo said...

Actually, the article is kind of nice and old fashioned, countering decades of advice to "love the one you're with".

Deborah said...

You misspelled "marriage."

Snort.

wv: ressesse.

ricpic said...

The best strategy is to appear to be interested in her personality.

SteveR said...

Freeman, I agree, its just after 25 years and with three teenagers, it does take a bit more "thought" than it used to. Still just as good.

Pogo said...

A friend of mine once said he never knew that in getting married he was entering a monastic order.

Said sotto voce, in fact. But my laugh drew a sharp look from his missus. Gulp.

SMGalbraith said...

Wait, I thought men worked ourselves sick in order to succeed and to attract women?

Seems to me if we give up our desire for women we'll just lay around all day and watch sports.

Hmm, I'm thinking..I'm thinking.

ricpic said...

Sex is not rocket science,
It's more hydraulics --
Ass off the ground before you blast
Is elementary physics!

Jimmy said...

Meade, Double OUCH!

El Pollo Real said...

Sex is not rocket science

There is a fair bit of thrust involved.

former law student said...

I never have to strategize, analyze, or agonize over my sex life

Real life has a way of interfering and/or spoiling the mood.

LoafingOaf said...

Will right-wing activist James O'Keefe and his girlfriend learn to live celibate lives now that O'Keefe is going to prison?

[James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles] never became romantically involved, Giles said. "We're too good as business partners for that -- and besides, he has a girlfriend," she said.

O'Keefe contends their tactics are "the future of activism and investigative reporting."

"This is now my full-time job," he said.

How's that workin' out for ya?

Lem said...

There is a fair bit of thrust involved.

You have to man the control room at all times, keeping an eye on unwarranted leaks.

damikesc said...

He is right. You will think of the most imaginative ways to masturbate.

Trooper York said...

Bad plastic surgery!

Reason enough for any man!

Aaron said...

mmm, yeah, nothing improves concentration more than... an erection that won't go away.

El Pollo Real said...

...now that O'Keefe is going to prison?

So soon? Why don't you start lighting the ovens too while you're at it Loaf.

El Pollo Real said...

wv: "unchor" What every bad performer dreads.

Eric said...

Whenever I see someone expound on all the reasons you'd want to be celibate the words that actually get through to me are "I've given up".

I'm not saying nobody is celibate by choice, just that a lot of people claim it's by choice when it really isn't.

Eric said...

Will right-wing activist James O'Keefe and his girlfriend learn to live celibate lives now that O'Keefe is going to prison?

Arrested is not the same as convicted which is not the same as imprisoned. I'll be very surprised if he actually gets a prison sentence.

The Crack Emcee said...

Divorce pretty much took care of things for me. When I was married, I was perplexed why my friends, men and women, put themselves through the things they did, with the cheating, serial break-ups, constant negotions, financial entanglements, misunderstandings, etc. Now that I'm divorced and, I think, see people for what they are capable of, I recoil from the idea of human contact, and find myself laughing at what others do for it. (Having started early, and then been married for 20 years, I'd never do any of that - it's just not worth it.) I'm willing to wait for someone special and what comes naturally.

Does it free up time? I guess (I never considered my marriage time-consuming). Do I still think of sex? Nope: I think of intimacy - and miss it. Because I didn't have as many "negative" thoughts as I do now, I can't speak to the "tremendous amount of brain space" thing. I've always been musically creative, though I haven't been able to indulge it much since the divorce, but the ideas keep on coming. Once I finish digging myself out of this post-divorce debt, I'll let you know if anything's different. I doubt it - except for the fact that women will, once again, regard me as much more than just "some guy" when I'm out-and-about. (That's been a major change.) I, on the other hand, will never see the opposite sex the same - and that will definitely be a change. No more feminist anthems like this (address broke in two parts):

http://www.laweekly.com/1998-02-26/

music/security-to-the-stage/

Now it's The Macho Response all the way.

The Crack Emcee said...

Trooper York,

Woman, pulling down her top to reveal her fake tits: "Do these look fake to you?"

Me: "No, but the rest of you does."

Woman: "Well I never,..."

Me: "Yes you did."

Conclusion: I'm just not a man for all this.

Ann Althouse said...

Good luck to you, Crack.

virgil xenophon said...

Wrong, sofa king! When women don't have sex they don't simply become unmotivated, they turn into bitter harpies--harridan-like shrews who prey on their man like lions prey on wildebeaste...

Synova said...

The "non-religious" reasons to be celibate sound just like the religious ones. Point for point.

Of course, if your idea of "religious" reasons are "God said so" and never a single thought as to *why* God might say so... then it might not seem like the same list.

God saying so does help people who care about that to follow through with something that is difficult. It can also be a good alternative for having to answer a question that's none of anyone elses business.

William said...

There's a carny trick where the bottles have leaden bottoms. You pay a dollar to throw three balls at them. It's looks easy, but the laws of physics are such that it is not possible to knock the balls over and win a prize. Marriage, celibacy, polygamy, sheep fucking: All these stratagems have the same result: you lose. If there were a sure fire route from sex to everlasting happiness someone would have hit on it by now. Every so often the carney barker lets someone like Freeman win, but that's only so the other marks will ante up a dollar to play the game.

Jenna Culbertson said...

Being celibate is a choice that is made by each individual based on moral and spiritual beliefs. If this choice brings peace and joy to a persons life than it is right. The choice isn't going to be the same for every individual on the face of the earth.

kentuckyliz said...

Desire is suffering.

--the Buddha

Joe said...

I was celibate before marriage and looking back it was one of the most idiotic decisions I ever made (though quite a bit a religious brainwashing went into that decision.)