Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Public Celibacy

Note: I understand how ridiculous it is that I'm actually writing about something in the Post annoying me. Almost everything in the NY Post annoys me, I read it for the crossword puzzle more than anything else. Still, this who celibacy thing really hit a nerve.

I was reading yet another article in the NY Post today about NY women opting for celibacy. First of all, in it's digging for famous representatives of the "new celibacy" it handed us the misinformation that Courtney Love is currently celibate. Love stated on Howard Stern that she didn't have sex for four years while working on the new Hole record, but that she's back on the banging wagon since she finished recording (if you haven't watched the interview and you have access of Howard OnDemand you should, it's captivating as Love generally is when she's somewhat lucid.) So in typical Post fashion it tries to convince us this is a "trend" by smattering in a few famous gals with stories of "regular" New Yorkers. Too bad their regular New Yorkers consist of Julia Allison and a former Miss Teen Alabama.

Honestly, none of this bothered me as much as how tacky I really think going public with your vow of celibacy really is. Religiously motivated virginity is one thing, but a "sex break" is a whole other. It's no one business who you are having sex with so why is it anyone's business who you aren't? There was a time in my life when I wasn't really having sex. I was newly sober and figuring my shit out. I didn't write a book about it, I didn't feel the need to call it a lifestyle change. It was, simply, being responsible and taking care of myself. Sometimes sex is a good thing, sometimes it isn't. It depends on the individual and where she is at. But honestly, if you need to not have sex to be able to record an album, you probably don't have a healthy enough relationship with sex to be having it when that album is done.

Also, in the Post's reference to Gaga's celibacy, it takes her quote out of context. Her stance is pro-relationship and anti-promiscuity. No sex without commitment. That's hardly celibacy. And while I do appreciate the punny headline, "They're Havin' a Celibation" crowing over a ragged photo of Courtney Love, I'm so sick of this shit.

I have no problem with celibacy, your pussy and whatever you want to do with it is your perogative, but this isn't even celibacy. It's just not promiscuity. These women aren't in relationships and I can bet you if they were in committed relationships they would be having sex. If they were saying they were avoiding relationships for the sake of productivity they wouldn't be in a sexy pictorial in the Post.

Furthermore, I think this is bad for women in general. We're once again returning to this notion that we are the gatekeepers to sex. We are the ones who are the decision makers, the naysayers. Aside from Lenny Kravitz, men don't make the news by saying they are off sex. But again, celibacy is far different from just "not putting out." It's great to avoid hyper-sexualizing oneself but come on. There is nothing abnormal about not having promiscuous sex. And really Julia Allison? Is it worth a fucking press release because you decided not to have sex for a month?!?! I mean that's what humans do after a bad breakup, they take either dive in deep or take a breather.

I am having difficulty vocalizing what exactly is bothering me here. I guess it's partially this notion that women can't be productive creative individuals when they are involved with men, sexually or romantically. Instead of casting off the notion of relationships, sexual or not, maybe we should be more focused on casting off the roles we take in these relationships and the relationship we have with not just our sexuality but our partners. If you need to not have sex with people right away in order to find the proper partner, that makes sense, but don't call it celibacy for fuck's sake.

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