Virginity means a state of never having had penetrative sex. Penetrative sex is the insertion of the penis into the vagina.
Abstinence means giving up a particular thing voluntarily. This thing you give up could be a particular food, drugs, drinking, or intercourse.
Celibacy refers to giving up sex by choice. A celibate person may have had sex before, but at present and the in future, they decide not to have it.
Celibacy may have different meanings for different people. Strict celibates refrain from all kinds of sexual activity including self-pleasuring. Other celibates may have romantic relationships. Some celibates engage in kissing, touching, and other methods of non-penetrative intercourse with their partners. Celibacy may be temporary or permanent.
Permanent celibacy is often pledged for religious reasons. Priests, nuns, and monks take a vow of celibacy when they are initiated into the Church. Celibacy is often dictated in other religions as well. Most religions advise both the males and females to remain celibate until they take marital vows.
Thus, celibacy is not the same as virginity. It is voluntary, and it can be practiced by those who have had intercourse before. Celibates can always go back to being sexually active.
Why do people become celibate?
There are plenty of reasons for becoming celibate. People find it helpful in different ways. Men and women can choose to become celibate at any age for several reasons, such as:
- Becoming celibate for religious reasons: Some people may become celibate for religious purposes, for example, religious figures like monks, nuns, and priests take a vow of celibacy for life and many have been celibate their entire lives. Some people may turn to religion later in life and choose celibacy to develop a closer relationship with their God.
- Becoming celibate after being diagnoses with a sexually transmitted disease: If diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) like HIV/AIDS, people may decide to become celibate to completely avoid the risk of spread of infection.
- Becoming celibate because of one’s relationship with sex: Some people may become celibate if their relationship with sex has become unhealthy, or they may feel they need a break from it. Avoiding sex for some time may break a trend of seeking instant gratification or one-night stands.
- Becoming celibate after sex addiction: Sometimes people may completely want to stay away from any sexual activity, but this may not be a permanent thing because it is possible to return to a healthy sex life after experiencing sex addiction.
- Becoming celibate to focus on personal growth: Sex and dating can consume a lot of thought, energy, and time. Some people may find becoming celibate is helpful for reclaiming that time and using it for personal growth.
- Age and disabilities: Some people due to old age or disabilities may choose to become celibate because they are not able to engage in intercourse due to their physical and health limitations.
The decision to lose one’s virginity requires a lot of careful thought and should not be driven by peer pressure. One’s morality, religion, values, age, and relationship status also play a major role in one’s decision to have sex. You and your partner must have to be equally invested emotionally to ‘go all the way.’ Two important factors to consider are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and birth control (such as condoms, diaphragms, oral contraceptive pills, and spermicidal lubricants). Only barrier methods of contraception like condoms and diaphragm help prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Younger individuals may discuss losing virginity and sex with a parent, relative, teacher, counselor, healthcare professional, or a trustworthy adult.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Diderot D. Celibacy. The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Si. Arbor A: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library. 2013. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/d/did/did2222.0002.669/--celibacy?rgn=main;view=fulltext;q1=Ancient+history
Top Does Celibate Mean Virgin? Related Articles
30 Reasons Why People Have SexSince ancient times, the reasons people have sex have been assumed to be few and simple. However, several proposed theories suggest reasons to perform the carnal act may be larger in number and psychologically complex.
Is It Normal to Have Sex Every Day?Sex is known to be a proven stressbuster that elevates your mood instantly, and yes, it is completely normal to have sex every day. There are phases in life when you have sex more frequently.
Healthy Aging: Better Sex After 50`It's never too late to improve your sex life. Learn how older adults can overcome common health conditions affecting seniors over 50 such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis in order to have a healthy sex life.
Sex & Love QuizRelationships, sex, and love! Could it be that what motivates physical attraction in us may be all in our minds? Take the Sex & Love Quiz to challenge yourself on healthy human sexuality!
Sexual Problems in MenMale sexual dysfunction can be caused by physical or psychological problems. Common sexual problems in men include erectile dysfunction (impotence or ED), premature ejaculation, and loss of libido. Treatment for sexual dysfunction in men may involve medication, hormone therapy, psychological therapy, and the use of mechanical aids.
Sexual Problems (Sex) in WomenSexual dysfunction refers to a problem that arises during any phase of the sexual response cycle, preventing an individual or couple from experiencing sexual satisfaction. Physical, medical, and psychological conditions may affect sexual functioning, resulting in inhibited sexual desire, inability to become aroused, lack of orgasm, and painful intercourse. Treating the underlying physical and psychological problems usually resolves most female sexual problems.
Sexual AddictionThe term sex addiction describes the behavior of someone who has an unusually strong sex drive or sexual obsession. Sex and thoughts of sex dominate a sex addict's thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships. Sex addicts may engage in exhibitionism, voyeurism, prostitution, compulsive masturbation, or cybersex. Treatment for sex addiction includes individual counseling, marital and/or family therapy, support groups, 12-step recovery programs, and in some cases, medications.
Sexual HealthSexual health information including birth control, impotence, herpes, sexually transmitted diseases, staying healthy, women's sexual health concerns, and men's sexual health concerns. Learn about the most common sexual conditions affecting men and women.
Benefits of SexHow would you like a stronger immune system or better sleep? Action between the sheets can help you get all of this and more. Read on to discover the surprising health benefits of sex.
Teen Girls Tricky IssuesBeing a teenage girl comes with a variety of challenges. Here are tips on dealing with dating, sexting, cyber bullying, mean girls, periods, bad breath, and more as health experts explain when and how to get help.