No more booty smooshing: A vow of celibacy in 2019 | Opinion | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

No more booty smooshing: A vow of celibacy in 2019

Undertaking a year of no sex in the name of self-love.

No more booty smooshing: A vow of celibacy in 2019
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Leslie Greening is a queer member of the local kink community and former cam model. You can find her on Twitter and Fetlife, @PinkPunkSlut.

Declaring a year of celibacy feels ominous. Like I am punishing myself for not tidying up my life so I took away my toys...except I still have my toys.

I haven’t lost my mind. I’m just trying something new. No sex, for a year. Can I even do this? 

This year for Valentine’s Day, instead of smooshing booties, I am hanging out solo. I haven’t figured out how to navigate dating without sex yet. What do people do after so much time together romantically? Kiss and say goodbye? I’m not ready for that kind of pressure. 

It’s only been since February 1 that I’ve decided to abstain, and I’m still learning to navigate the world from this different perspective. 

There are some asexual folks, people who experience no sexual desire, who might still engage in sex acts to please their partners despite not feeling desire themselves. I spoke to one woman who is asexual and she explained that being polyamorous in addition to asexual can have the added benefit of alleviating the pressure to please a partner since there is some reassurance their needs are being met in another way. This is about my speed. 

Highly sexual people often date with the anticipated outcome of sex. It’s not expected but often desired. How does one date without sex? I don’t know, yet. When do I broach the conversation of sex with potential partners? On my profile, during that ever-awkward introductory chat, during the first date? 

If I disclose my non-sex-having status upon agreeing to date, I might save everyone some time if it’s not something they are willing to navigate. Which is fair. I think. 

Though chastity before marriage is a fairly well-known social construct, I’ve only known a handful of people who successfully followed through with it all the way from first date through the ceremony. While I don’t anticipate matching with a devoutly religious person, I can appreciate the social pressure to “put out” a bit better now that I won’t be. 

While I can strongly relate to (though not fully understand) celibacy before marriage, I don’t want to assume I know the ins and outs of what it is like to navigate the dating word as asexual or greysexual, experiencing limited sexual desire only in specific circumstances. Though I can relate to certain experiences, my sexual desire still exists and I’ll have to learn to cope with that separately. I hope the motor on my Hitachi survives. 

Sexuality really isn’t just orientation but also drive. The desire—or not—to have sex is fairly innate. Wanting to satisfy one’s partner is reasonable but I need to consider navigating my own limitations as well. Do I even want to date someone unwilling to be understanding of these boundaries, however new they may be to me? 

I’m not sure cuddly sleepovers after a night of drinks would be particularly restful if I’m grinding my teeth in frustration all night long. For the sake of being affectionate and showing attraction, do I just suck it up and potentially have a terrible night’s sleep? Or do I avoid a tempting situation altogether? 

Realistically most of the answers to my many, many questions are going to boil down to the type of relationships I keep. Maybe a  cuddly sleepover full of lust is worth it for the right person. For now, the only right person I’m worried about is me. I need to take a beat and spend my time differently. Maybe I’ll pick up a hobby like knitting…or kickboxing. 

Whatever it is, I hope I learn something from this personal experiment of sorts. Otherwise, a year is a long time not to do a thing I love.


Opinionated is a rotating column by Halifax writers featured regularly in The Coast. The views published are those of the author.

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