I Didn’t Have Sex For Five Years And It Wasn’t All Bad

I used to keep my five-year celibacy a secret out of fear of people thinking I was a prude, but you know what? I’m unafraid to shout it out because what happened during those five years taught me a lot.

  1. Sex doesn’t change me. I know who I am. I’m a passionate, loving, and sensual person. That didn’t change just because I wasn’t having sex for five years. I’m not defined by my sex life or lack of it.
  2. Sometimes I seriously missed it. Who wouldn’t? There were times when I worried that I’d remain celibate forever, get 20 cats and call it a day—or maybe have to become a nun. Yikes. Luckily, there was always a way to pleasure myself instead of waiting around for a man.
  3. I missed more than just sex. I realized that I wasn’t really missing the act of sex – I was really missing the emotional intimacy that comes with it in long-term relationships. Sex was just a part of that and I wanted an emotionally strong relationship in my life. That was the goal.
  4. There wasn’t something wrong with me. Just because I wasn’t going out and having sex, it didn’t mean that I was weird AF. I remember one guy I went on a date with who was so shocked that I wasn’t having any sex, he looked at me as though I’d turned into a demon. I just didn’t feel the need to get a man to sleep with during that time when I was single. I wasn’t about to chase sex down. I wanted it to happen naturally, like when I met a great guy. Call me old-fashioned, but that’s what was going on in my head.
  5. One-night stands just didn’t do it for me. There were times when I’d meet interesting, sexy guys and be tempted to have one-night stands with them. One even suggested a FWB scenario. It sounded tempting but honestly, I just couldn’t go through with it. I’ve never been a casual sex kind of person who hits it and quits it. I want the guy who chooses me for more than a night or two.
  6. I had something better to look forward to. I liked the idea of keeping sex as something to look forward to when I met a great guy I wanted to be in a relationship with. It meant that sex would be romantic and meaningful, not just some physical need I had to satisfy.
  7. I’d been hurt before. I’ve been seriously hurt by boyfriends in the past. What does that have to do with not wanting to have casual sex? Well, I didn’t want to give myself to someone who didn’t see me as girlfriend material. I wanted to trust someone before getting into bed with them, which I know from experience makes sex so much more fantastic. So yeah, I was holding out for something amazing.
  8. It’s too easy to get sex. Call me crazy, but it’s just too easy to get sex. I’m not even sounding full of myself here. I realized if I lowered my standards and turned a blind eye to the jerks that were out there, I’d be able to find loads of sex all the time. But did I want that? Hell no. I wanted something that was more of a challenge, and more than just ordinary. Anyone can get sex but can anyone get the amazing partner to go with incredible sex? Not easily!
  9. I had loads of baggage. During those five years, I took a long time to get over my ex. He’d cheated on me and treated me really badly so I had to unpack and sort through all my emotional baggage. Ugh. The last thing I needed was to get into a sexual relationship with someone. I knew that I was too vulnerable, and certainly not in the right state of mind to separate sex from feelings. I didn’t want to fall for someone when they weren’t ever going to be mine or use sex as a distraction from my issues.
  10. Sex is overrated. Look, I love sex just as much as the next person but honestly, I wanted and needed happiness that lasted longer than an orgasm. I was single after a toxic relationship and wanted to find ways to make myself happy without needing someone to give me great sex. I took the time to explore myself, sexually and otherwise, to find what made me happy. It empowered me to know that I was the only one responsible for my happiness.
  11. I had a sexy time. I wasn’t waiting around for the perfect guy who could make me have multiple orgasms. Hell no! I was using the time to do non-relationship things that satisfied me. During that time, I furthered my education, I made amazing new friends (no FWBs), reconnected with long-lost family, and pursued new hobbies. Who needed sex when I was having so much fun?
  12. I made amazing male friends. For the first time ever, I could spend time with new male friends I’d met and not have to think in terms of attraction, sex, or relationships. Sex didn’t get in the way of our interactions, which was so liberating! I managed to build some amazing friendships during that time, which I’ll always cherish so much more than casual sex. 
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.