As much as I’d like to leave that title as it is, I suppose I owe you a brief explanation:
Some of my friends from one of our sister floors made an enormous waffle one day. A pizza-sized waffle, as I heard it, and liberally festooned with whipped cream, Nutella, and other delights. Through a small slip of the tongue, this “Celebratory Waffle” became “The Celibacy Waffle”, and thus was born the edible symbol of sexual purity.
* * *
They say the average man thinks about sex every six seconds. They also say that chewing gum takes seven years to pass through the digestive system, people can get pregnant from swimming pools, and pigs have 30-minute orgasms, so forgive me if I wear my skeptical hat for this one.
Nevertheless, I would say that just about all guys think about sex at least a few times a day. And some more than that.
Anyhoo, I’ve been thinking about it lately…specifically, the lack of sex that will likely arise from my becoming increasingly like Henry Higgins: “a confirmed old bachelor and likely to remain so.”
Now, I’m really not looking for “Oh, you’re a great guy, you’ll find the right woman, blah blah blah” kinds of responses right now. I appreciate the sentiments, but that’s not what this post is about.
Because, honestly, though I may whine from time to time, my self-esteem is pretty healthy. Perhaps too healthy, if anything. I know I’m a pretty good guy, and if I put my mind to it, I’m sure I could wend my way into a relationship without too much difficulty (Let it never be said that a Psych minor isn’t good for anything.).
The thing is, I’m not sure I want to.
For one thing, I’m worried that if I jumped into a relationship, I would be using the girl to fill some sort of temporary emotional void, a relationship marked by co-dependency instead of love.
But perhaps the bigger reason is that I am a hideous commitophobe.
I don’t like committing to things…sometimes not even my own opinions. I used to be a planner. I would plan things out to the minutest detail, and then things would come crashing down left and right. Now I tend to throw organization to the wind, doing things on a whim, and somehow…somehow everything always works out. God showing mercy to fools, maybe.
But relationships, as far as I can tell, are non-stop planning. Planning dates, planning meals, planning weddings, planning homes, planning children, planning jobs, planning days, planning weekends, planning LIVES. Planning, coordination, structure…all the things I’ve come to avoid.
So these things have convinced me that I don’t want a relationship as much as I once thought I did.
But then there’s the whole sex thing.
Yeah, you thought I forgot about that, didn’t you? Thought I forgot about sex in all the self-analysis? Well, looks like another six seconds have passed, because sex is back on the brain.
I am of the probably fairly small minority of people that believes in keeping sex within marriage. Or, as an alternate way of looking at it, that sex is the initiation of a sacred bond between two people, and that marriage is a legal construct to enforce it. Too much to talk about on that…I’ll save it for another post.
Anyway, I don’t really feel like judging people who have different views on the subject, but that at least is the standard that I have for myself. What this means, though, is “no marriage, no sex.”
And that’s kind of scary. I never thought I’d be particularly good at sex, but I’d always hoped to at least give it a try. The thought of never ever having sex is intimidating, and it’s not an eventuality that anyone in the church ever prepared me for. Everyone told me to “Save sex for marriage,” but nobody told me I might have to “Save sex for NEVER.”
They probably know most teenage guys will commit suicide if they hear that.
Marriage is taken as a given in Christian circles, though I’m pretty sure it was never ensured in the Bible. “Blessed are the abstinent, for they shall have hot honeymoon sex.”
The upside to this is that Christian guys are very strongly driven toward marriage. However, the downside may be that Christian guys are very strongly driven toward marriage.
I’m not saying marriage is bad, but I’ve seen a lot of relationships that zoomed from “kinda hanging out” to “here comes the bride” without much downtime. And most of the Christian relationships I’ve seen start out at a level of commitment on par with engagement in the secular world. Only time will tell if these relationships will stand the test of time.
All this is to say, maybe we shouldn’t look at marriage as the only worthwhile state of the Christian. A celibate lifestyle is one that should be acknowledged and, when it is embraced, respected.
I, for one, have a growing respect for monks. I’m sure they have days when they think, “Man…I wish I’d gotten to have sex at least once.” After all, the pipes don’t stop working just because you don’t use the faucet.