Re: Celibacy: Everyday Presentations

Jacinta & Craig (jascraig@GEKO.COM.AU)
Tue, 12 Dec 1995 14:45:00 +1100

At 04:25 PM 11/12/95 -0500, you wrote:
>apropos of bob's comments on celibacy, a few questions:
>first, the leap from celibacy to spouselessness is one my mind won't make
>and so i am not certain i follow bob's reasoning in his off the cuff
>typology. the spinster, the homosexual and the catholic preist may have
>many things in common but celibacy seems not to be one of them.
>spouselessnass perhaps, except that not too many north american gay men
>or lesbians would agree. rather, their spouses just have the wrong bits.

I have read an article (unfortunetly I can't remember it's name), that
dicussed a number of hetrosexual married couples that where celibate. The
reasons ranged from 'just not interested', to rape in the past, and a
unwillingness to have anything to do with sex.


>let me offer a different "typology" of the celibate, from a limited
>fields of experience, whre celibate means the refusal of sexual intimacy,
>not sim0ply its abseence. i would exclude the accidentally celibate, such
>as bob's virginal spinsters, since they would appear to be celibate in
>deed only...

Bob's virginal spinsters, and your no. 4 could be the same people.
>1. the spiritual - such as those priest, celibacy as an expression of or
>as part of the pursuit of some spiritual state [or grace, superiority
>[not the catholics who have long acknowledged that celibacy actually
>hinders their capacity to minister to their flock in some ways]
>2. the self-improving - celibacy as a kind of kinky yuppie exercise to
>make one either a] a better more focussed person or b] more sexually
>focussed by avoiding wasted pleasures
>3. the pathological - literally, a fearful retreat from sex as something
>either materially or psychically dirty
>4. my celibacy, my gift...a kind of saving it the right one model of
>refusal where having saved it is more of a gift than what was saved
>5. to avoid danger...celibacy as a strategy of avoiding the dangers of
>sex [ of which the anthropological literature is rife with examples]
>6. the guileless...the celibate who doesn't know he or she is celibatre
>because sex just seems never to have taken hold in their maps of the world

I believe that no. 7 should be those without a sexual partner (and this
doesn't mean a relationship). These people are either not interested in sex
at this time (as work or study might be more important to them), or unable
to find someone they are 'interrested' in. Just because these reasons are
temp. does not deny them validity.