Celibacy generally means the act of abstaining [click here for the Abstinence Topic] from all sex or just vaginal intercourse for a varied amount of time or for a variety of reasons.

Some people don’t have a sex partner and some people choose to not be sexually active. Celibacy is sometimes involuntary because of lack of access to a sex partner (does not always include people who consider themselves “incels,” a term for a specific group that is involuntarily celibate, click here for the Incel Topic), a temporary decision for personal reasons or it can be a lifelong choice for both religious and non-religious reasons.

The sourced articles below should provide more information on the topic of celibacy.

    1. Celibacy

      “A voluntary refusal to marry or engage in sexual intercourse, celibacy is often associated with taking religious vows. The three types of religious celibacy are sacerdotal, monastic, and institutional.”

      Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., kids.britannica.com, accessed 5/3/2022

    2. Being Celibate And Abstinent Aren’t The Same—Here’s Why Sexologists Say The Difference Is Important

      “While the words ‘abstinent’ and ‘celibate’ are related (they both essentially mean you’re not doing something), the terms are not exactly interchangeable, says sexologist and Bloomi founder Rebecca Alvarez Story. And understanding the difference is key because communication is integral to overall well-being. In this case, knowing the true definitions and using them correctly might help us all be on the same page regarding sexual health. ‘Celibacy is very sex-specific and abstinence is not sex-specific,’ says Story.”

      Natalie Arroyo Camacho, wellandgood.com, 4/3/2022

    3. What Are The Effects Of Not Having Sex For A Long Time — Or Ever?

      “Asexuality and celibacy are not the same. Celibacy is consciously choosing to avoid sex. Being asexual is a sexual identity.”

      Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST; Jennifer Litner, PhD, LMFT, CST, healthline.com, 4/1/2022

    4. Voluntary Celibacy Is Trending On TikTok

      “People are proudly identifying as ‘volcels,’ better known on TikTok as ‘voluntary celibate.’ Voluntary celibacy is the act of choosing to refrain from sex, as opposed to the term ‘incel,’ or someone who is involuntarily celibate.”

      Gigi Fong, hypebae.com, 3/21/2022

    5. So, You Haven’t Had Sex For… Awhile. Here’s How To Approach Your (Second) First Time

      “‘Celibacy can be great for some people, but it depends on why they are being celibate,’ [Susan Milstein, Ph.D., a human sexuality educator on the medical review board of Women’s Health Interactive] explains. If someone feels forced into celibacy because they do not have a partner, that can be really frustrating. On the other hand, if they are choosing to be celibate, then it can be a fantastic, empowering experience.”

      Ashley Martens, asweatlife.com, 2/10/2022

    6. Gen Zers Going Viral For Practicing Celibacy

      “Generation Z has declared TikTok a no sex zone. Users on the platform have banned together to form #CelibacyTikTok — a place where young people have decided to practice abstinence.”

      Samantha Ibrahim, nypost.com, 1/28/2022

    7. Sex After Celibacy: Are There Side Effects?

      “So, what happens to your body if you’re nervous about breaking the seal on your celibacy? Your jitters can trigger your sympathetic nervous system, resulting in the constriction of blood vessels and the release of the stress hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol. Translation: This makes it harder to develop and keep an erection during sexual activity.”

      Medically reviewed by Jill Johnson, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, forhims.com, 8/24/2021; (Broken link removed 12/2023)

    8. How Does Celibacy Affect Your Health?

      “Asexuality and celibacy are not the same. Asexuality means that a person generally or never experiences sexual attraction and feels no desire to have sex. An asexual person may still engage in sexual activity, either alone or with a partner. Celibacy, on the other hand, refers to abstinence from sex for a specific period or forever. While asexuality is not a choice, celibacy can be a choice or the product of circumstance.”

      Zawn Villines; Medically reviewed by Valinda Riggins Nwadike, MD, MPH, medicalnewstoday.com, 7/21/2021

    9. The Psychological Benefits Of Celibacy

      “What Is Celibacy?
      Celibacy is the practice of not having sex. But not everyone defines celibacy the same way. Some people abstain from all kinds of sexual contact, including kissing or holding hands. Others only refrain from sexual intercourse. Some people use masturbation in place of partnered sex. Others refrain from that as well. You might associate celibacy with religion, but faith isn’t the only reason why people decide not to have sex.”

      Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD, webmd.com, 6/28/2021

    10. What Happens To Your Body When You Don’t Have Sex For A Long Time

      “For people who do not live with a partner, lockdown has, in theory, meant three months of celibacy. Going so long without sex or intimate touch can be more than just frustrating. Three sex therapists and psychologists explained to Insider exactly what kind of ramifications they see in people who don’t experience sexual contact for a long period of time, from heightened anxiety to sleeplessness.”

      Canela López, afr.com, 6/29/2020

    11. Why People Are Having So Much Less Sex

      “If media sex spurs real sex, then casual whoopee should be through the roof. But recent studies show that since 2000, partner sex has declined and celibacy has surged. Today, among American men age 18 to 24, almost one-third report no partner sex during the previous year, and in several—but not all—other age groups, partner lovemaking has also declined and celibacy has risen.”

      Michael Castleman M.A., psychologytoday.com, 6/15/2021

    12. How To Be Queer And Celibate

      “Dr Karen Gurney, Clinical Psychologist and Psychosexologist at 56 Dean Street and The Havelock Clinic believes celibacy can be a viable option for people with past sexual trauma. ‘Talking about sex is difficult for most people, mainly because we’ve been socialised not to by a shame-based society,’ she says. ‘Choosing not to have sex in itself can be an important part of sexual expression. For example, choosing not to have sex with others for a period of time can be a way to regain control and draw boundaries. For some people, it might be important to pay attention to when this strategy might be becoming less useful, and perhaps turning more into an avoidance strategy.’”

      Jamie Windust, i-d.vice.com, 3/3/2020

    13. The Power Of Celibacy: ‘Giving Up Sex Was A Massive Relief’

      “In a world where you can get a sexual partner faster than a pizza delivery, it has never been easier to play the field. Yet, despite all that swiping right, a surprising number of people are not having sex at all – not for religious reasons, or because they can’t get a date, but because they find that celibacy makes them happier.”

      Lizzie Cernik, theguardian.com, 1/28/2020

    14. 6 Health Benefits Of Being Celibate

      “Here was this celebrity, openly embracing the choice not to have sex. Not for religious reasons, but simply because it is her choice. So, this got us thinking: Everyone always talks about the health benefits of having sex, but are there benefits of abstaining from it as well? To find out, we reached out to a few sex and health experts, whose answers might surprise you. Whether you’ve intentionally sworn off sex or you’re just in a dry spell, prepare to have your feelings about celibacy bolstered by the ways being celibate can boost your health.”

      Julie Sprankles, makeitgrateful.com, 10/16/2019