Does Celibacy Include Kissing?

Celibacy is a voluntary choice and you can decide how you want to practice it.
Celibacy is a voluntary choice and you can decide how you want to practice it.

Celibacy generally means abstaining from sex (usually penetrative sex) voluntarily. Ideally, celibates must stay away from everything related to sex, such as kissing, cuddling, snuggling, or touching sexual parts. However, different people practice celibacy differently. Celibacy is a voluntary choice and you can decide how you want to practice it. You may kiss your partner provided it does not lead to sexual intercourse.

What is the difference between celibacy and abstinence?

Celibacy is a voluntary choice to remain unmarried or avoid indulging in sexual activity for an extended period (it could be one year to a lifetime). Most of the time, it is pledged for religious purposes.

Abstinence is strict avoidance of all kinds of sexual activities for a limited period or until marriage.

What are the various reasons for celibacy?

Religion has been the most common reason for people resorting to celibacy. However, in the past few years, people are seen practicing celibacy for various reasons that include:

  • Part of your spiritual practice
  • Personal development
  • A way to recover from sex addiction

You may have to practice celibacy involuntarily because

  • You are ill
  • Have some physical incapability to perform sex
  • Your partner can’t have sex with you
  • You do not have a partner
  • You have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD)

Is celibacy unhealthy for you?

There is no doubt that sex is a great stressbuster with proven health benefits of being an immunity booster and a calorie burner. However, it is not the only way to reap all these benefits.

Over time, when you learn to live with celibacy and feel at peace with it, you will feel the joy of being detached from sex. You will learn to look at life from a different perspective. If you chose to practice celibacy, it can

  • Give you space to discover nonsexual activities that make you happy
  • Build stronger emotional connections with a partner
  • Help you give more time for self-care
  • Encourage you to do exercises that release your stress

How to resist the temptations while you practice celibacy?

Once you decide to practice celibacy, you will find many temptations along the way. You may feel like giving up. However, before you take a U-turn, think of all the reasons you made this choice. Here are a few things that may help you distract from sexual thoughts:

  • Avoid getting into a situation that can trigger sexual thoughts: Avoid watching movies that contain sex scenes.
  • Prepare a new routine that helps you stay occupied: You can start developing new habits, such as doing meditation and daily workouts. You can pursue hobbies like gardening or pottery as well.
  • Focus your attention on things that are important to you: You can focus on your career or a goal that you always wanted to achieve.
  • Find like-minded friends or support groups that can help you deal with celibacy: You can find people like you who are practicing celibacy. You could look for them on social media apps, such as Facebook.


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Manuel GM. Religious Celibacy From the Celibate's Point of View. J Religion and Health. December 1, 1989;28(4):279-97.

Siegel K, Schrimshaw EW. Reasons for the Adoption of Celibacy Among Older Men and Women Living With HIV/AIDS. J Sex Res. May 1, 2003;40(2):189-200.