At 17, I decided to become celibate. My reasoning was based on many poor decisions. The fact that I was young, charming and knew it had gotten me into a bit of trouble played into my choice. I wanted to respect the people I was with, and I knew that I could not do that while continuing to behave the same way. Over the course of a year, I learned so much about myself. Things that I would have never allowed myself to look at out while using meaningless exchanges as a buffer. These are the advantages that I came across during my stint of celibacy.
After the initial detox period, you will find time that you never knew you had. At first, it is a bit overwhelming. Without the hustle of hooking up, there is not much to do. Although, when things in your head calm down you can use that excess energy to take care of yourself. This time allows you to grow and to learn.
For me, respect was totally lacking. I did not respect my partners, myself or even the act of intimacy. Over the course of my celibacy, I learned to respect myself first. Though I had no real moral dilemma with my behavior, I learned that my actions had consequences. The people I was using mattered. They were not toys for me to play with and dispose of when I was through. I was not responsible and could not maintain any level of accountability. This meant I was not mature enough to partake in sex. This lesson was invaluable to learn and truly changed my life.
At the end of my celibacy journey, I was a different person. Though I still dabble with casual intimacy, I do not do it in the same way. The people I am with matter and treat them accordingly. I know have the ability to communicate, maintain boundaries and appreciate the exchange. If I had never taken the time I needed to learn I would not be able to say that today.