Commentary: 5 Benefits of Celibacy

When Nicki Minaj said she was practicing celibacy, we weren't shocked -- just mildly confused. With her sexuality always under scrutiny, it's a little hard to believe that the sexiest young female rapper in the game isn't getting her freak on. At the tail end of my own year-long stint of celibacy, I've learned that holding off sex can be freakier than getting it on all the time. Celibacy not only gives you some extra room to clear your head, it also helps you find a deeper sense of sexuality that is all your own. If you think you need a break from getting broken off, here are five side effects of celibacy that I found to be beneficial... Here's what you had to say: Samika commented via Facebook:"You definitely have more clarity." Kimbra wrote via Facebook: "I've been celibate for a while now and the freedom that comes along with it is beautiful!"

When Nicki Minaj said she was practicing celibacy, we weren't shocked just mildly confused. With her sexuality always under scrutiny, it was a little hard to believe that the sexiest young female rapper in the game isn't getting her freak on. However, at the tail end of my own year-long stint of celibacy, I've learned that holding off from sex can be freakier than getting all the time. Celibacy not only gives you some extra room to clear your head, it also helps you a deeper sense of sexuality that is all your own. If you think you need a break from getting broken off, here are five side effects of celibacy that I found to be very beneficial.

Abstaining from sex for a while allows you to stop clouding your thoughts with guys all the time so that you could focus on yourself. I stopped thinking about what I wanted my life to be like with a man and started to focus on what I desired for me. Now I have a clear idea of my short and long-term goals, without the input of what my boyfriend thinks or wants to do. What's more, I can present those clear goals to the next man I meet and hopefully we can objectively decide whether or not our goals are aligned.

Sex has the power to bring two people closer together. The problem is if you're not prepared for it, it can bring you closer to the wrong person. I spent a lot of my early twenties with boyfriends that were so wrong for me. Neither of us could see how dysfunctional our relationships were because the intimacy of sex masked a lot of our problems. Once I put my sexual desires aside, I could focus on really understanding the types of people I was getting involved in. I have a stronger grasp on the characteristics that are important to me.

It's so easy to fret about whether or not our men like our bodies. I remember always being terrified of "the first time" with a guy. Are my thighs thin enough? Is my stomach flat enough? Is my skin soft enough? Being celibate takes a lot of that worry away and you can start to see your body with clearer eyes. My very wise and spiritual aunt gave me a positive affirmation to say every morning, while standing naked in front of the mirror -- "I am enough." It only took a few weeks before "I am enough," became, "I am really sexy!" I like the strength in my thick thighs and the slope of my breasts. Even the womanly paunch of my lower abdomen is cute to me sometimes. When you stop trying to look at yourself through someone else's eyes you can start to just get to know and enjoy your body for you. Which brings me to my next benefit...

I'm all for celibacy. I'm not for self-torture. I think masturbation should be a part of any healthy adult's life, whether sexually active or not. However, not having a man around to knock your socks off means you get pretty good at making things move and shake all by yourself. This past year, taking a little "me time" was my way of wishing myself a good day in the morning and congratulating myself for a day well spent at night or just blowing off some extra steam on a Saturday afternoon. I tried out new toys, experimented with how sexy different fabrics made me feel and fantasized more freely than I ever have. I can only imagine how good sex will be because I took the time out to get to know my body a little bit better.

The people who tell you, "If you don't use it, you lose it," are totally lying. Yes I went through bouts of low sex drive during my year of celibacy. However, for the most part, I thought about sex all the time. Throughout the year, those thoughts evolved. I stopped thinking about sex as a tool for power in a relationship and started viewing it as a gift that two people get to enjoy. A lot of my fears about sex just melted away once I came to that conclusion and I was left feeling giddy about the prospect of good loving.

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