Abstinence and celibacy are two words that people often use interchangeably, but they actually have some pretty significant differences. I’m sure you might not know what the difference is either, so let’s take a look at what each word means!
The difference between abstinence and celibacy is one of personal preference for how to avoid sex. Abstinence can be defined as refraining from having sexual intercourse with someone else while celibacy may refer to choosing not to engage in sexual intercourse or any type of sexual activity.
- 1 What Is Abstinence?
- 2 What Is Celibacy?
- 3 Abstinence vs Celibacy
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 A Word From Mantra Care
What Is Abstinence?
Abstinence is the voluntary choice to not do something. This could be anything from not having sex, to not eating junk food. Abstinence is a personal decision that someone makes for themselves. This situation is often seen in sexual behavior. Abstinence is the act of not participating in any kind of sex or genital contact with another person.
Abstinence has always been a standard for people, especially young adults who are under pressure to participate in all kinds of typical teenage behaviors like drugs and alcohol use as well as having relations outside marriage. While abstinence may be the oldest method used by humans, it isn’t necessarily an easy decision to make because there’s so much information out today about how other people choose to live their lives which can influence what others feel they have to do when everyone else around them seems more comfortable being sexually active than abstinent from sex altogether.
Types of Abstinence
There are many types of abstinence that people practice. Some of these are:
This form of abstinence means not using drugs. This includes cigarettes, alcohol, and all other mind-altering substances.
This type of abstinence prohibits the eating of certain foods. For example, someone who is practicing food abstinence may only eat fruits and vegetables.
This is the most common form of abstinence and simply refers to not having any kind of sexual contact with other people. It includes vaginal, oral, and anal sex.
Another form of abstinence is refraining from wearing specific types or amounts of clothing. For example, a person may choose to wear more modest clothing in order to practice this type of abstinence.
This abstinence means not drinking any type of alcohol. This includes beer, wine, and liquor.
This is the most common form of abstinence that people practice because it simply means not having any kind of sexual contact with another person. This includes vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Many religions preach against premarital sex; therefore they promote abstinence until marriage can take place between two consenting adults who are in love with each other enough to wait for this type of intimacy until after their wedding day when they make a lifelong commitment to one another before God as well as society.
This form of abstinence is when someone chooses to not interact with other people in general. They may stay isolated from others or avoid social situations.
Signs of Abstinence
There are many signs of abstinence. Some of these are:
- The person is at peace with their decision
- They have a strong support system
- They are able to set healthy boundaries for themselves
- Their quality of life has improved since they made the decision to abstain from something
- They feel empowered and in control of their lives
Causes of Abstinence
There are many causes of abstinence. Some of these are:
This can be a cause of abstinence for many people. Many religions preach against premarital sex and encourage their followers to abstain from any type of sexual contact until they are married.
People may choose to abstain from something based on their personal values. For example, someone may value modesty and therefore choose not to wear revealing clothing.
A person may choose to abstain from something due to health reasons. This could be anything from not wanting to get sick, to not wanting to contract an STI.
If a person has had negative experiences with sex or relationships, they may choose to abstain from both in the future. This could be due to emotional trauma or physical pain that they experienced during sex.
Effects of Abstinence On Individual’s Life
The effects that abstinence has on an individual vary depending upon many factors including where someone falls along the spectrum of celibacy if they have chosen this lifestyle because it feels to abstain from sex, drugs, food, etc.
Abstinence can have many positive effects on someone’s life depending upon the reasons that they practice it. Some of these benefits are:
- The person feels empowered and in control over their own choices because no one is making them do anything that they don’t want to do
- They feel an increase in self-esteem because they are able to make healthy decisions for themselves without having anyone else influence those decisions by pressuring them into doing something different than what they would like to do
- Their quality of life has improved since abstaining from sex or relationships with other people (past or present) due to negative experiences, religious beliefs, personal values, health issues/reasons, bad habits such as addiction, etc.
- They may have more time to focus on other things that are important to them such as their hobbies, relationships with friends and family, work, etc. because they are not spending the majority of their time trying to find a sexual or romantic partner
How to Practice Abstinence
If you are interested in practicing abstinence, there are a few things that you can do to make it easier for yourself:
- Talk to your friends and family about why you have chosen abstinence and what it means for you. This will help them understand your decision and they may be more supportive of you.
- Find an online community or support group of people who are also practicing abstinence. This can be helpful because you can share your experiences and get advice from others who understand what you’re going through.
- Make a plan for how you will deal with difficult situations that may tempt you to have sex. This can include things like talking to a friend before going out, making sure you’re in a safe environment or having someone available to talk to if things get tough.
- Remind yourself why you chose abstinence and what benefits it has for you. This can help keep you motivated when things get tough.
What Is Celibacy?
Celibacy is a state where someone has chosen to abstain from sex and sexual contact altogether. It is often seen as a religious choice, where someone has decided that they will devote their lives to serving God in some way and therefore will not have any kind of physical relationship with anyone else.
Celibacy doesn’t necessarily have to be about religion, though. Some people may choose celibacy for other reasons, like wanting to focus on their careers or simply because they don’t want to have a physical relationship with anyone else.
Signs of Celibacy
There are a few signs that a person may be celibate:
- They have chosen to abstain from sex and sexual contact with other people. This could also include masturbation or any kind of physical intimacy including kissing, making out, etc.
- not taking part in activities that arise from the senses, such as movies and television shows that involve sexual expressions. Whether it be a form of creative expression via artistry or a form of entertainment involving acting out sexually explicit scenes for the sake of arousing viewers, either way, it prevents someone from being able to maintain a state of celibacy.
- not visiting websites that display pornographic material online.
Reasons For Celibacy
There can be many reasons why someone would choose to be celibate. Here are just some of them:
- They have chosen a life path that does not allow for sexual activity, such as being in an institution where they take vows of celibacy (religious or otherwise).
- They want to focus on their career and maintain the amount of time required to do so without having relationships get in the way. For instance, if you’re working 60+ hours per week at your job with only one day off per week, how much free time/energy is left over after work before going out? It’s probably very minimal compared to people who don’t work nearly as many hours/week. This can make it incredibly difficult for trying birth control methods that require daily application.
- They feel that they are too young to have a sexual relationship with anyone else and/or don’t know if the person(s) whom they’re interested in would be willing or able to wait until the time is right for them.
- Some people choose celibacy because of their faith, where sex before marriage goes against their set belief system. This could also include things like premarital sex as well as homosexuality which may go against some religions’ beliefs (in spite of many others accepting all kinds of sexuality).
Effects of Celibacy On Individual’s Life
There are many effects of celibacy on an individual’s life. Here are just a few:
- People who choose celibacy have to be constantly aware of the temptations that surround them at all times. This can be difficult, especially if they’re living in a society where it seems like everyone else is having sex.
- They may feel as though they are missing out on something that everyone else is enjoying.
- Celibacy can often lead to loneliness, especially if someone does not have many friends who share the same beliefs.
- People who are celibate may find it difficult to relate to others who are sexually active. This could potentially lead to tension and/or misunderstandings in personal relationships.
How To Practice Celibacy
There are many different ways that somebody can practice celibacy. Here are just a few:
- They can be completely abstinent from sex and sexual contact with other people. This includes masturbation, which is a form of self-pleasure.
- They can limit their exposure to activities that might lead to sexual arousals, such as watching movies or TV shows that have explicit scenes in them, going to websites with pornographic material, etc.
- They can refrain from any kind of physical intimacy, including kissing and making out.
- He/she can choose not to date anyone until they feel ready for a sexual relationship.
- They can talk to a therapist or counselor about any struggles they may be having in order to get guidance and support.
Abstinence vs Celibacy
The main difference between abstinence and celibacy is that abstinence is a personal choice, while celibacy is often seen as a religious choice. Abstinence can be for any number of reasons, while celibacy is usually about not having any kind of physical relationship with anyone else.
Both abstinence and celibacy have their own benefits and drawbacks, but it ultimately comes down to what each individual person wants for themselves. If someone feels like they want to abstain from sex altogether, then that’s perfectly fine! But if someone feels called to celibacy, then that’s also a valid decision. Ultimately, it’s up to each person to decide what works best for them.
In conclusion, abstinence and celibacy both have their own benefits. People choose to be abstinent for many reasons, including things like career goals or religious beliefs. Celibacy is usually a choice that someone makes because they feel called to it on a deeper level than just not wanting to have sex with anyone else.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.