Aunty Raff’s Single Sundays: Week Four – The Year I Was Celibate

Hello single people one and all (or the not single people who are just here to support me)!

Welcome to another week of Raff talking about Single Life. This week is gonna be slightly different as I’m gonna be getting real personal about a year that wasn’t great for me. However, as we’re all in lockdown, it’s something that everyone, single or otherwise, can to relate to right now (unless you’re one of the lucky ones that happen to be quarantining with their other halves). It’s like we’re currently all in an episode of Netflix Too Hot to Handle. Except, instead of an amazing villa on the beach with loads of fit people, we’re in our houses with our family. And instead of Lana (a weird Alexa-type thing) controlling us, it’s the government. And instead of losing money, the repercussions could be Corona. So not really the same except nobody is having sex. But you get the point. So this week I’ll be talking about the year I went with no sex and how it’s different from now.

So let me set the scene for you. It is the summer of 2017 and I had just had sex for the last time (with someone very questionable that I probably could have gone without, but we move). However, I did not know it was going to be the last time as I was just about to move to Italy for my year abroad. There I was, a hopeful 22-year-old, thinking I was gonna be drowning in Italian dick. But that was not going to be the case, which I’m low key thankful for because Italian men kinda suck. Now, my celibacy was a choice, it just wasn’t mine, not completely anyway. The reason I didn’t have sex for a whole year was because of Gertrude. Now, I’m sure you’re reading this going, “what the hell Raff? Why have you let some bitch dictate whether you have sex or not?!” And that would be a valid question, because no person, apart from yourself, should tell you whether you should have sex or not. But Gertrude is not a person, it is the name I have given my anxiety. Why Gertrude? Well, that is a story for another time. But yes, my anxiety played a large part in why I didn’t have sex for a whole year (well, 384 days. Yes I did count, don’t @ me). This was something very new for me to deal with and so when I wasn’t feeling sex I thought there was something wrong with me. Now, disclaimer, if you don’t have a high libido or any libido, there isn’t anything wrong with you, and I don’t think there is. But I did think there was something wrong with me because I do have a very high libido. Like, I think about sex a lot. You know that statistic then men think about sex every six seconds or whatever, that is me. Like, don’t get me wrong there were times during that year where my mental health was doing well so my libido was up again, but even then I didn’t crave just a one night stand because I had been single for two and a half years by then so I wanted something deeper (poor 22/23-year-old Raff didn’t know what was still ahead for her) and I was sick of one night stands because I already had three (once again, she really didn’t know what was waiting for her). So, although mentally I was not doing OK, the year without sex was quite easy to handle due to the fact that, truthfully I was not craving. Like, to the point that I barely even masturbated during that time, once again another sign that I thought something was not 100% OK with me. However, because of how I used to view sex and how the people around me viewed sex I felt like I needed to pretend that I was struggling with the fact that I hadn’t had sex in such a long time. The truth was 95% of the time I was saying “man, I really miss sex” it wasn’t actually true and it was just how I thought I should act, thanks to my anxiety. Mainly, the year I was celibate was a learning experience for me and how to understand my feelings and anxiety, and realise that when my sex drive is low, normally means that I’m not doing so great. It also made for a great meme when I finally did have sex (shout out to #RaffVlog).

This theory of mine that my libido and my mental health are connected was proven even more in my last year of uni when I went 9 months without having sex. Because, once again, my anxiety was all over the place and so it wasn’t that hard. Yes, it was true that I cried after nights out if I didn’t pull or whatever, but that wasn’t connected with the fact that I wanted sex as such, it was more that I wanted to feel desired by someone as I didn’t desire myself. It had nothing to do with the sex itself, but just a bit of a terrible way to try and make me feel better about myself in a superficial way. But as soon as I had a switch (funnily as soon uni finished) and started to love myself more, then I didn’t care whether I pulled or not. Furthermore, my mental health is doing wonderfully at the moment (despite what is going on in the world) and Jesus Christ is my libido high. Like, this time is a struggle. I think it also doesn’t help that I don’t actually know when I will have sex again as I started the quarantine with experiment-in-not-being-single #2, and now I have to graft for sex again, which is just an effort.

So, what is the lesson or moral of this week? During your time of being single you will go awhile without having sex, it is inevitable (unless you have so much game that you can pick up a person whenever and wherever you like, then I sault you), but it is a time for you to reflect on yourself. If you’re like me and you normally have a very high sex drive and it suddenly dips to the point where you just don’t care about sex, check in with yourself and ask why that is and work on getting back to feeling your normal self. However, also realise that it’s ok not to miss sex and you have no obligations to explain why you don’t miss it or feel like you have to miss it. If you do crave sex (which I get) look at what the reasons are for this big crave for it, and whether they are healthy or not and what exactly you miss about sex. Is it just sex? Is it being intimate with someone? And is something you can easily fix, while still being healthy for you? Because if it is, go out there and be a hoe! But remember protection.  And if you’re someone that has never craved sex or is neither here nor there about it, don’t let society (which is very sex obsessed) make you feel like you’re lesser because you have no strong opinions on it. You do you boo.

That concludes this week’s instalment of Single Sundays. Got a bit deep there didn’t it? Don’t worry, next week I will be letting you in on some of the batshit crazy things that I have experienced as a single woman. There is no question this week, but if you do have any, please (as always) email thehystriacollectiv@gmail.com and I will always try to answer it as best I can.

Remember, single life is a choice, just not always your choice, but it’s how you deal with it that makes it worthwhile.

Take Care,

Aunty Raff xx

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