Mamamia and news.com.au both adopted the story told originally to New York Magazine about a 58 – year – old heterosexual male who claims going through life not having lost his virginity or ‘without having a proper kiss’. This isn’t due to a choice to remain celibate. He links his lack of success with women to low self – esteem stemming from an abusive father. All the articles I’ve read seem to indicate more than just a lack of sex. It seems to be a lack of intimacy in general.
I’m not knocking the fact that this man would love an intimate relationship, but this story obviously goes beyond that. This man is looking for love and affection that he, by the sound of it, didn’t get while growing up, especially from his dad. As a result, it seems to me that he finds it extremely hard to connect with anyone, let alone on a sexual level.
The thing is, we all need to know we’re loved, from childhood throughout one’s life. To me, that’s the tragedy of this story. Non – voluntary celibacy, along with an eventual lack of desire seem to be symptoms rather than the problem. He’s even rejected suggestions that he could just see a sex worker. Obviously, he wants more than that.
I’ve often said that celibacy should be chosen by the individual, not thrusted on an individual. But regardless on whether we’ve had sex or not, we all need some form of love and intimacy in our lives. ThT to me, is what this story is really about.
has anyone else read the story? What did you think about it?
Response to Tom Elliot’s editorial piece: “Nothing Natural About Celibacy”:
Dear Mr. Elliot
I want to respond to the editorial piece you wrote ‘Nothing Natural About Celibacy’ (Herald Sun, 30/8/2014, p. 15). A quote jumped out at me when I was reading it:
Physical intimacy with a significant other is a normal and fundamental part of human existence
For most people, I repeat MOST PEOPLE this is the case. But it isn ‘t the case for a small number of people (e.g. people who are asexual). Why do I bring this up? Because it’s true. I’m on of those people. Right back from my sex and emotional intimacy didn’t necessarily go hand in hand. All crushes I’ve had have never been physical, always emotional. Throughout my life, unless my orientation changes, that’s going to continue to be the case.
Why did I bring this up? Because I’m tired of people like me getting either completely ignored in the media or having our feelings invalidated. We do exist! I can’t just ‘make’ myself sexual ( if there’s a form of re- orientation therapy that I haven’t heard about and it’s actually scientifically PROVEN to work, tell me about it I’m interested (I honestly doubt it though).
I honestly respect the fact that MOST humans have an innate drive to seek out a sexual partner. My argument, is that not EVERYONE has that drive and it would be great if that could be acknowledged.
This word irks me when people are actually talking about sexuality. “He/she lives a gay lifestyle”, “Oh, your asexual? That’s a good lifestyle” (ok, the last one is made up).
Here’s the thing, when someone says to you, for example, “I’m asexual”, what the person is really saying is “I don’t feel any sexual attraction to anyone regardless of gender”. Usually, they are NOT talking about celibacy.
It irritates me, quite frankly, when people say things like “gay lifestyle”. What do they mean exactly by “gay lifestyle”? The gay bar scene? What you see at Mardi Gras ( or the caricatured portrayals? What about people on monogamous same – sex relationships? What about those who, because of personal choice, are celibate? What about people who are in homoromantic relationships, but don’t act out sexually? (maybe because a partner is asexual)?
I have said this before, and I’ll say it again: sexual orientation is a pattern of ATTRACTION toward certain genders. It often starts at puberty en carries onto adulthood. Sure, most people eventually act on such attractions, but regardless of whether someone does or doesn’t, it doesn’t change a person’s orientation. In fact, some scientists actually believe that sexual orientation notation is either determined in the womb or in early childhood (up to about age five). That is WAY before any actions take place. It’s years before people can cognitively make choices on such matters. That’s one of the reasons why most countries have age of consent laws and why anything under that is usually condemned.
Sure some people will do some experimentation to determine their sexuality. Others will know by instinct, often by the age of fifteen. Some even know a lot earlier.
I’ll close by saying this. I’m asexual.
- No, that DOES NOT mean I’m ‘special’
- It does not mean I’m single (I am, but that’s irrelevant)
- it does not mean I’m a prude (haven’t been called that, just saying)
- It simply means I don’t like anyone physically.