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My Celibacy Decision

When I tell my friends (and lovers) that I am choosing to be celibate for a good period of time (until July 2011), they are often perplexed as to why I would choose this. I’m not surprised; it’s a little shocking even to me, and I’m the one making the decision! In case you don’t know, to give a little background, I have LONG been a supporter of positive sexuality, have been polyamorous for quite a few years, and have no qualms about telling people I LOVE sex. So, why give it up then?

It’s a damn fine question. In fact, I have to admit that I didn’t decide to be celibate for a particular set of reasons; rather, I decided it was right for me at this moment, intuitively, and only later set about thinking of what ways this benefits me at this time. And there are numerous ways…I’m sure I’ll miss some but here are a few of the big ones that come to mind:

A great deal has happened this year, and the biggest by far is my separation from (and soon to be divorce from) my exhusband. I have been with him, off and on (on more than off), for the past fourteen years. We started dating when I was sixteen. He was my second boyfriend, and the second person/time I ever had sex. I’ve been fucking him a LOOONG time! Needless to say, my character was greatly influenced by this relationship, and so was my sexuality. In many ways, for both of us, we have no idea who we would be without the influence of the other. I have known D for almost half my life (I’m 31 now) and actually, truly, moving on from that relationship has had a tremendous impact on me.

We had actually separated once in the past, for two years, but we saw each other very frequently during that time, and were physically involved shortly thereafter. This time is different: he lives three hours away and, although he sees the kids every weekend, we hardly see each other for more than 5-10 minutes a week. Getting this distance has been good for both of us, and it has made me see several things clearly that I have ignored/looked over/glazed over in the past. One of the things that has been a constant between us is an extremely powerful physical connection. The force, the gravity, of that connection was overwhelming. It was an addiction. The physical pull towards each other was so strong, and intensified our emotional connection so much, that we both were constantly drawn to each other despite many significant differences in outlook and personality that caused constant strife between us. We have wildly different approaches to finances, to parenting, to housekeeping, to holidays, to family..and those are only the biggies. With the distance we have now, I can see clearly that he does not share ideals that I wish to share with a primary partner. And here is the crux of things: I do wish to have a primary partner again. For a while, I did not. I did not want the entanglement, the stress, the drama that could easily come from such a commitment. But, as time has gone by, I realized I do miss certain things. I miss the feeling of being part of a team, of having someone to snuggle with at the end of the night, someone to coparent with, someone to share resources with, to giggle with over silly little things.

In realizing this, I began to do something I had never done before: I made a list of qualities I need in such a partner. These things are not complicated: a similar parenting style, financially stable, able to budget, poly, preferably kinky. The only one that surprised me was the realization that I want someone who has their own kids: because I am DONE with that part of my life. I enjoyed childbirth very much, both times, but I have no desire to start over with a baby as I would someday like to have MY life again. Anyway, when I made this list, I also saw that it’s important for me to connect with someone strongly in a mental way first, BEFORE any physical connection. Because I am very “boy” that way – if the sex is great, I get distracted, I overlook important, VITAL compatibility issues. And I am simply unwilling to do that anymore. (I find it rather ironic that, far from the “usual” female reason for celibacy in dating, i.e. to be sure the guy wants to be with her ASIDE from sex, I have the opposite problem: I am fully confident that people want much more from me than the sex, but I need to be sure *I* don’t get caught up in the sex and distracted…that is, I need to be sure I want THEM without the sex lol!)

SO that’s one major reason why I feel pulled to this celibacy thing.

Another one has to do with sex and my libido. When D moved out in May, it hit me hard. I missed the sex something fierce, and I wasn’t really enjoying sex so much with other people. In large part, that is due to the fact that the D/s in our relationship was so predominant, and I really don’t sub to anyone else. So I missed the submission tremendously, and it had a dampening effect on everything else. However, I know myself very well, and *because* I was craving submission so strongly, I knew I could not trust myself to navigate a scene wisely…so I abstained totally from D/s. It sucked, but it was the best thing for me. Meanwhile, my libido continued to be nonexistant. I continued to have sex on a fairly regular basis, but it was mainly driven by other people’s desire. That is, if THEY wanted to, I was fine with it, but if someone else didn’t make a first more, I would have gone the whole night just snuggling. It’s very easy for me to adopt a “why not?” attitude with sex. I don’t have to be lusting after it like crazy to decide “sure” when someone else is interested. I do enjoy it in the moment, I do cum, but the *motivation* to make it happen wasn’t in ME. So a good portion of this celibacy choice is to address that as well. I feel that, to solve the Case of My Missing Libido, being very selfish with my body and allowing ME to feel desire for someone first – and to let that desire build over a LONG period – was a necessary thing. When July rolls around, I WANT to be going completely nuts wanting sex. That would be exactly according to plan LOL! Because this “me not wanting sex” thing? Is weird, and freaks me out, honestly.

OK, so those are some of my main reasons. The “rules” are simple: no sex until July. Dates are fine, kissing is okay, that’s all. Exact date in July to be determined, and hey, I will likely throw a party to celebrate! :p

Questions? Please throw them at me! The more I explain it to others, the more I understand it myself…

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Opt in vs. opt out

If you’ve ever had an inbox full of newsletters you inadvertantly signed up for and never bothered to remove yourself from the list, you’re familiar with the fact that going along the default, easiest route is human nature. It’s just easier to delete the email (or just ignore it…) than to take that two extra steps to open it and click the “remove” link. Even if all those newletters bother you, chances are excellent you STILL go with the easiest (aka laziest) option. This is just how we’re wired.

So, why is this relevant in life? Because you can USE this “weakness” to your advantage.

I’m very fond of saying “If it’s not easy, I’m not doing it!,” but that doesn’t mean things don’t get done. What it means is, I am always looking for ways to turn “difficult” tasks into “easy” ones, ways to train my default behavior into one that serves my *long-term* interests. Sometimes this involves editing my internal dialogue to reflect a new mindset, but just as often it involves creating barriers. Or, more to the point, HELPFUL barriers.

For example, if my goal is to stop eating ice cream, how do I make that easy for myself? Well, ice cream is yummy, so trusting my willpower is NOT a good plan here. If it’s in the house, I’m going to want to eat it! Constantly! So, instead of having to constantly fight my own impulses (and inevitably fail!), I make it easy on myself: I don’t buy it at the supermarket, period. Now, I only have to exercise my willpower ONCE, while grocery shopping. (And the easiest way for me to do THAT is to avoid the ice cream aisle TOTALLY.) By making this one small change, I was able to drop a fiendish (several pints a week) ice cream habit pretty easily.

Now, I didn’t ban myself from going to the store to get ice cream should I desire it one night, but the fact is, my inherently lazy self would rather NOT take an extra trip just to go get ice cream, 97% of the time. And if I really REALLY wanted it, enough to go out and buy some, than hey, I’m okay with that.

So basically, previously (ice cream in the freezer) all I had to do was “opt in” to having ice cream – it was already there, it was the default. Having it was the easiest thing. Now that the default is NOT having it, to “opt out” of my default requires enough steps that I generally won’t bother.

What happens if those few steps are “too easy” for you? Add some more barriers.

Let’s say that now, once you’re home, you’re ok, but you now buy ice cream at work. You can create a barrier there too: Stop bringing your bank card and limit the cash you carry. This works wonderfully too if you’re struggling to stick to a budget: keep your debit and credit cards HOME. You can’t spend money you don’t have access to, after all!

There are many MANY ways to make your default match your desired actions and make it HARD to veer from the desired default. Think about the habit that you want to change and start brainstorming. Keep in mind that it will probably take some tweaking along the way, and don’t forget that your mindset is an important aspect as well (that is, if you’re trying to eat vegan but still identify yourself as an omnivore, that’s going to be a conflict and your default won’t change that easily). The more ways you can make your desired default EASY and your old default HARD, the better!

Aside from the grocery shopping trick (which I’ve used to cut out junk food of all types as well as “boxed mixes” of any sort) and the cash-only trick, some others I have used include:

– keeping mail in my hand until I sort it over the garbage (otherwise it ends up on a surface…and not dealt with)
– getting dresses and making my bed in a 1-2 punch immediately on waking up (makes it quite a bit harder to snuggle in bed for “just five more minutes”!)
– fold the laundry while standing at the dryer (why it’s easier to put the already-folded laundry away ASAP when I get upstairs versus folding it upstairs and putting it away I could not tell you…but when I bring it up unfolded I am 82% likely to leave it in the bag for AT LEAST a day before dealing with it, so I’ll take whatever trick works!)

I have quite a few more I plan to try soon. 🙂

Do you have any ways to trick your brain into a new “easy” default? Let me know!

Birthday Thanks!

Dear Victor, Alexzandra, Dexter, Lulu, Joe, Raven, Jose, Jimmy, Samm, Seth, Kittie, Sen, Irshad, Elena, Mark, Louisa, Jaime, Hope, Captain Scorpio, Xae and the Other Seth,

Thank you all so very VERY much for coming out and making my birthday celebration FUCKING AWESOME. Thank you Seth for squeezing in dinner despite plans later; Raven and Jose for squeezing in dinner despite plans upon plans before AND after!; Alexzandra for the chance to meet you in person; Dexter for the *lovely* jewelry (and the thankless task of sorting the bill); Victor for making it after all; Louisa & Jaime (& Other Seth) for giving me the chance to see such a darling woman that I see much too infrequently (and YUMMY chocolate!); Joe & Lulu for being fabulous (and all-natural bodycare products for the win!) and on such short acquaintance too :-D; Kittie & Sen for being my amazing partners (and without whom my life would be a bit less joyful); Jimmy & Samm for making it all the way through to the end of the night (AND giving me a ride home…plus the chance to get to know Samm better, a definite bonus!); Irshad for your wonderfully geeky presence and your photography prowess; Elena & Mark for making it all the way from Queens (and yet another woman I don’t see nearly enough of!!) and :coughs: not minding when I flashed Mark by accident :p; Hope for the chance to reconnect with a beautiful woman (and for giving us the Quote of the Night!!); Captain Scorpio for making it to burlesque (and looking damn snazzy to boot); and last but far from least, Xae for making it at last-minute notice (and for trusting me that HyperGender Burlesque did not mean he’d be seeing nothing but boys!).

I love you all, this is hands down the best birthday celebration I’ve had! In February or March I will definitely have another Ginger Munch (TM)…

And thanks especially to Madangsui for being incredibly gracious about our constantly expanding party for three hours LOL!

Thank you to Dex

Dear Dex,

Thank you for…oh for so many things. For being there when I need an ear, for your ever insightful (and always appreciated!) interpretations of my tarot spreads and for encouraging me to open and explore more of my intuitive side.

Thank you for the wonderful gifts you have given me, jewelry I adore and wear frequently, for your company on my birthday last year, and most especially for your willingness to drop everything to come to my assistance with the house when I was struggling.

I hope that what you get from me is half as good as the positive energy I receive from you!

:hugs:

~Ginger

Thank you Sam

Dear Sam,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do a reading on you. It meant a great deal to me to be able to do so.

Thank you for making some time to hang out before you moved, for your lovely company, and particularly for taking a risk and speaking to me that first night at Martini Red. You are a wonderful, vibrant person, and I am hopeful you will see that in yourself the way that I (and others) do.

Also, and it’s a great bonus :p you’re totally hot!!

Thank you, Murphy

There is so much on my mind of late that I could prattle on about it for hours, however, I will not do that at the moment 😀

Instead, a lovely girl that I wrote a thank you letter to a while back told me recently that, on a night she was feeling down, she went back and reread her letter, and felt much better. And that reminded me: thank you letters! I’ve stopped writing them!! How could I let that happen?!?

So, without further ado, let the thankfullness resume apace. 🙂
Dear Murphy,

Thank you for sharing with me stories of times past, for trusting me enough to open up to me and discuss things you hardly ever talk about anymore. Thank you for letting me show you four-leaf clovers, for hugs, for talk of magical things. Thank you for the warm, comforting feeling that you carry with you and share so willingly with others. Thank you for your smile. Thank you for understanding when I tell you the struggles I am facing down and sorting out of late. And thank you especially for suspending me, for a sublime moment that inspired me to dance while in the air, for the delicious energy you bring to the scene, so much so that lovely Jacob called it “the sexiest thing he’s ever seen”!!

To a dear dear ex

Dear F,

More than likely I’ll have to print this for you to have you read it, but that’s okay. For you, always.

I don’t think you have any idea the impact that you have had on me. You taught me that it is okay to take care of *ME*, to reserve some energy and even money to pamper myself, that in fact it was important to take care of myself in order to take care of others, especially my children. When I would visit you, it was a time for me, precious and lovely. Being with you, and in your peaceful home, refreshed me for the week ahead. And when I was home doing my chores, and would talk to you while cleaning up, gosh that made me happy. It is so easy to get lonely cleaning up by yourself, kids asleep, and even when D and I were “together”, he was always busy in his own space once the kids were in bed. Talking to you was a lifeline, a way to feel connected and chat even when I was in fact quite alone.

And boy, were you a great sounding board. You were SO supportive of my marriage, always the voice of reason, reminding me that my husband was in fact a great guy, pushing me to look at my own faults in whatever argument we had had, and advising me to give him time “to come around” as you were so certain he would. And you were right, every time. Perhaps if I had talked to you when things went badly, it would have been better LOL! Patience is so difficult for me when I sense something amiss, and it was always your counsel to be patient.

When you found someone you wanted to be monogamous with, it was a difficult lesson for me, one we both knew was coming from the start. I was, and am, very happy for you, and you have yet again helped teach me something: how to let go with grace.

Thank you, for so much that I cannot explain; for loving me, for taking care of me, for being there when I needed someone to cry to. Thank you for your open mind, your surprising kinkiness, your trust and your heart. I love you.