How to Pick a Lover

Posts tagged ‘celibacy’

Lovers Are Not For Everyone: The Celibacy Option

Some modern cynics make assertion
That chastity’s a sex-perversion.
Such a description should go far
To make it much more popular.
—Geoffrey B. Riddehough

One woman who isn’t interested in picking a lover is the woman who prefers to be celibate. Some women simply seem not to have sexual urges of the kind that are felt by almost all men and by most women. Rather than being either  heterosexual or homosexual, they are more appropriately designated as asexual.

Some women find the idea of sex repulsive. They don’t like to be touched; they aren’t pleased by erotic attentiveness and are by nature inclined toward a nun like existence. Often, but not always, their negative attitude toward sexuality is associated with a strong religious commitment or with a very damaging experience the first time they had sex. Other women may find the possibility of sexuality mildly appealing under the right circumstances, but they have little interest in the pursuit of sexual experience per se. The anticipated pleasures are not sufficiently enticing to outweigh their religious or moral scruples.

Some women who have been sexually active and who have enjoyed that part of their life may find that at a particular period of time, they want to take a sabbatical from sex and turn their attention and energies to something else. Such a sex sabbatical may well go with some emotional trauma, such as a broken love affair or a divorce. It might accompany a sense of loss and grief when a loved one dies. It might go with being very ill or with recovering from being very ill.

Experts who discuss male impotence are quick to point out that occasional situational impotence is quite common for many men in circumstances of psychological stress or depression. Depression tends to inflate one’s troubles while deflating one’s physical apparatus. Being depressed is not conducive to being or feeling sexy. We don’t talk about female “impotence” in the same way, but some women may experience essentially the same phenomenon with a temporary loss of sexual desire and/or of the ability to achieve orgasm.

The body has a wisdom of its own and a well-developed sense of priorities. When your body is again ready for an erotic life, it will let you know. You have little to gain, and quite a bit to lose, if you try to force from yourself a response which must come spontaneously and naturally.

There is nothing wrong with being celibate if that is what feels most appropriate for you. Whatever your reasons for not wanting a lover, you have a right to be turned off if you happen to feel turned off, and that decision is your own to make. Better to be celibate than to feel guilty, better to be celibate than to submit to unpleasant experiences, better to be celibate than to deny your feelings by going through the motions without desire.

The fact that there is an increasing permissiveness which allows women to have lovers shouldn’t be interpreted as an obligation to do so. Sexual apathy is in itself an excellent reason not to be sexually involved whether that apathy is toward only one particular man or men in general. You can take a lover if you want to, but under no circumstances should you feel you have to do so.

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Lovers Are Not For Everyone

Women keep a special corner of their hearts for sins they have never committed.
—Cornelia Otis Skinner

There are many circumstances under which a modern woman might decide that having a lover would increase her quality of life and would bring her a great deal of joy and satisfaction. It does not follow, however, that this is a decision that would be right for all women all of the time. At least three kinds of women will not be interested in the prospect of taking a lover: the woman with homophilic tendencies, the contented celibate wife, and the (presumably contented) wife in a traditional marriage.

Women as Lovers

Women as Lovers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some women who are seeking a lover are not seeking a man at all but are instead looking for another woman. The sexual revolution and the new permissiveness have made the lesbian option an increasingly acceptable alternative to traditional marriage. Some women may be exclusively homosexual. Others who are basically heterosexual may, under special circumstances, find themselves in what amounts to a homosexual encounter. Or they may wish to have a woman lover in addition to a husband or male lovers. However, the focus of my blog happens to be on picking a lover who is a man. It may well be that many of the same principles would also apply to picking a lover who is a woman. The examples in my posts happen to be male oriented: their application is a matter of personal preference and taste.

To borrow a slogan from another context: “Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman.”

Female Sexuality: Vanquishing Virginity

There was a young girl from a mission
Who was seized by a dreadful suspicion,
That “original sin”
Doesn’t matter a pin
In this era of nuclear fission.
—Rev. J. A. Davidson

In the not too distant past, a good girl—the kind fathers and mothers wanted for a daughter—was chaste and pure. If she did not marry, she remained virginal as her status slowly changed from nubile maid to simply old maid. The good girl modeled her virginity on such celebrated celibates as the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I. Whatever Good Queen Bess did or did not do with Leicester or her other courtiers, the official story was that she remained unsullied. To suggest otherwise was treasonous; to suggest the defloration of any good girl was libelous.

If the good girl did marry, then she became a good wife, which meant, most of all, a faithful one. She might be unloving and unlovable, an unpleasant companion and an incompetent helpmate; but if she was sexually monogamous, she was, by definition, good.

Cover of "Sex and the Single Girl"

The counterculture revolution of the sixties and the widespread use of the pill changed such definitions for many people. Helen Gurley Brown dared to talk about Sex and the Single Girl. Instead of being pilloried, she became famous and went on to expound the same ideas in the very successful magazine Cosmopolitan. Premarital sexual involvement became an open secret. It was no longer considered of great consequence as long as there was no pregnancy and as long as the girl in question permitted sexual encounters only with one man with whom she was in love and whom she planned or, at least, hoped to marry.

The Clairol company, which manufactures hair coloring, was immensely successful with an advertising campaign focused around a provocative question with a double entendre: “Does she or doesn’t she?” The world has changed,
and the question has become less provocative. Most of the time, we assume that she does or has or might.

Now, a more relevant question is, “Will she or won’t she?” As it is realized that an affair—or even more than one affair—is not necessarily beyond the pale, the open secret of premarital sexuality has become simply open. California psychologist Irene Kassorla affirmed that “nice girls do” and no one has to ask, “Do what?”

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