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Sex, So What? May 29, 2009

Posted by Onely in Bad Onely Activities, Dating, Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought, sex.
Tags: , , , ,

celibacy2On the heels of  Lisa’s dealbreakers post that talked about Involuntary Celibacy (a term that we may define differently than others do), we wanted to discuss Indifferent Celibacy.  As Bella DePaulo said in her recent sex post ,

Those who simply care less – or not at all – about sex are marginalized by contemporary sexual norms.

I postulate that it’s easier to be happily single if you don’t care about sex. Just like it’s easier to be skinny if you don’t care about marzipan.

Of course, people will ask, “What kind of a repressed person doesn’t want marzipan at least once a month?” or “Don’t you know that inadequate intake of marzipan leads to intellectual and physical stagnation?”

But Freud is dead, people.

I am pretty indifferent to sex. Sometimes I wonder whether it’s fair for me to write this blog about how easy it is to be happily single, when I have such an advantage over other wannabe Onelers.  Because the pursuit of sex is stigmatized unless it’s tied to pursuit of coupledom, an Involuntary Celibate who enjoys sex can feel obligated to create coupled “relationships” they really don’t want. Sex-sanctioned-by-couplehood takes up a lot more time and energy than just-sex. So Indifferent Celibates like me, who can take or leave sex, have our resources freed up for other things and can more easily unknot ourselves from the train tracks of our sex-and-pairing culture.

Full disclosure: I may or may not be a natural IndiffeCel.  While many sex-seekers (singles, couples, married, incels alike) have an ongoing goal of getting laid to feel good, I have wierd health problems that mean that I have an ongoing goal of not feeling crappy. You know that natural high you get when you’re getting ready for a third date with someone really awesome? Well, I get that happy when my right ear stops ringing. This up-and-down dynamic of the pursuit of health may well be replacing the pursuit of sex for me. Not to mention random effects of medication.  Maybe if I had a full-functioning physique, I would not be an IndiffeCel. Or maybe my my interests  would continue to lie elsewhere other than sex. Who knows.

But regardless of the reasons for my indiffecelibacy, my point remains the same: Oneliness is easier for me.  But there’s always a tradeoff:  Indifferent Celibates are stigmatized in our society more than sex-seeking singles, and even more than Voluntary Celibates.

VolCels have made a decision to not have sex, for reasons that are important to them (body health, mental health, religion, etc.). Mainstream America understands this kind of proactive stance easier than they understand someone who can take or leave sex like it’s a t-shirt on the discount rack at Target. If the media constantly bombarded us with images of Target t-shirts in bewitching-rich-desirable settings, then people indifferent to Target t-shirts would be thought very, very wierd as well.

Copious Readership, what do you think about IndiffiCels or VolCels? Are you or have you ever been one? Do you wish you were one? Are you glad you’re not one? Explain!


P.S.  I hope Brian at Fitzroyalty is happy–he’s created a sex monster. Stay tuned for Onely’s upcoming series,  Animal Sex: What it can teach us about deconstructing heteronormativity. We were going to start this series today, but that would have meant we’d have to push this IndiffeCel post into next week, which would have meant we’d be mixing posts on Human and Animal sex, which is just too sexmonstery even for us (sorry, Brian = )  ).


1. Lauri - May 29, 2009

Great post. All these blogs on this topic actually had me thinking earlier today about the whole hierarchy thing. At the top you have the married people, whom we all presume are having fantastic sex on a daily basis, because, of course, they are married (this may be the stupidest assumption we as a society can possibly make). They are at the top because not only are they having sex, they are moral! Then of course you have the people who are “relationships,” followed, I guess, by single VolCels, because they may not be having sex, be we sure do value self deprivation around here! Then you have the “healthy” singles, who still get some standing because obviously, sex is everyone on earth’s number one priority, so that’s required to be normal. They just drop down on the ladder because they’re not monogamous and as such going to hell. Then I would say, the single InCels come next- they’re single, so obviously they have their problems. But at least we know WHY they’re single, and we feel really bad for them because they want to move up the ladder but can’t seem to make it happen. It’s normal to want to move up the ladder. Then at the bottom, I would have to say, are the single IndCels. These poor souls are both single and abnormal. Notice, I didn’t mention married InCels or married IndCels

I’ve been InCel, IndCel, healthy, and relationshipper!

2. Alan - May 29, 2009

Guess I’m at the bottom of the ladder. 😉

Never really been that interested in sex, so it’s easy for me to be single and not in any relationship. Though I know it’s not so for other people.

I think it’s also easier for me, having a more intellectual/dreamer type of personality, as you tend to have a preference for the abstract. I think it’s harder if you’re a more concrete, here-and-now type of personality, and a preference for tangible things (like sex).

Peter - July 10, 2012

You appear to be on the right track (a non-copulatory organism).

However, the fact that you have been involved within copulation in the past (don’t lie), cannot remove the “stains of depravity” that shall forever reside upon your body, lol.

3. autonomous - May 29, 2009

I love this post and relate your goal of not feeling crappy due to physical conditions of my own. Incidently, I’ve been paying close attention to the effects of toxic people/situations on my body and have experimented recently with approaching said toxic sources with shoulder-shrugging indifference. Somewhere I’m sure I care, I just don’t want to bother.
Same with sex, not that I would classify sex as a toxic situation, but it can definitely be an energy-sucker when the person who goes with the penis is a bad match. (That would be my last relationship) I guess that makes me an indifferent celibate at present.
If it happens to change by means of a fabulous lover who is witty and makes me laugh and who doesn’t want to get all serious and complicated, well okay, but until and if then, it’s me and mr. magenta.
(By the way, it’s the married girlfriends who seem to promote the use of self-gratification aids the most. Just an observation.)

4. Fitzroyalty - May 30, 2009

I’m happy to have created a monster if it gets people talking!

The desire to label and dismiss everything that is different to what we choose and everyone different from ourselves is strong, and that is what I am trying to avoid. Some people have low libidos or other reasons for not being driven to sexually engage with others, and some people are asexual and don’t feel attracted to either sex though they have a recognisable libido.

I am also interested in deconstructing why we continue to package romantic and sexual relationships with domestic relationships, particulary if we are nominally single or don’t have children. I like ongoing romantic and sexual relationships but don’t like living together, as I find the domestic routine that develops profoundly unromantic.

So called living apart together relationships seem indistinguishable from singledom to some people. Why do we care so much for these inadequate labels?

I have no more interest in whether sexual identity and desire are biologically innate or socially constructed than trying to determine where my seemingly innate love of the colour green comes from.

So, fuck or don’t fuck. Do what you want. Stop worrying what other people think. Their views are not important.

Lauri - May 30, 2009

“I am also interested in deconstructing why we continue to package romantic and sexual relationships with domestic relationships”

Dude! I have been wondering about this so much lately as I go from 7 years of living alone to looking for roommates. Friends have joked that I just need to find a guy before my lease runs out.

and I just can’t get past this thought:

“why would the person you want to sleep with necessarily be the best roommate for you?”

It’s like Bella DePaulo’s “sex and everything else partner.” How does being domestically-or financially-compatible with someone go with being sexually compatible. I don’t get it. I loved my last boyfriend, but we wanted to live in totally different parts of the country. If I meet another guy who I also love but we want to live in the same place, how does that make him “the one” over the other guy? I see so many of friends in various stages of starting marriages, and it’s all about logistics- money, housing, timing, jobs…it’s exactly the same my roommate process…it’s like there isn’t any romance or sex involved at all…

trauma queen - June 8, 2009

aaargh so many thought i have been thinking for so long now!!

indians tend to be conservative, and so sex is really not such a big deal. In fact a lot of my married friends also wonder if they ‘should’ be doing it more often…at the end of the day, it really is all about what YOU want.

But I suppose pop culture certainly makes all of us feel that we lack hormones or something 😛 And that goes in line with what Christina said about “Maybe if I had a full-functioning physique, I would not be an IndiffeCel. ” or maybe not – why even entertain that thought and thus fall pray to the hype 😉

Well I sure feel good. This is a global phenomenan.

5. Rachel’s Musings » What is in a word? - May 30, 2009

[…] I am obviously no longer a virgin because I have a child. Why does a single person have to be celibate? And what’s up with being on the shelf? As if being unmarried means that you cannot possibly […]

6. Rachel - May 31, 2009

I listened to the Point of Inquiry interview with Mary Roach this morning. It is very interesting, though a bit shallow, imo. I guess you have to read the book…

The reason I am posting this here though, is an exchange toward the end: The conversation is around the health impact on regular sex. Roach says that “intuitively” she thinks that people who have regular sex are healthier. I can’t believe DJ let her get away with something like this! What scientific support is there? Is it the same that “shows” that married people are healthier and rich people are richer? It is an interesting question but I suspect the answer is much more nuanced and needs to consider our cultural sex-obsessed context…

7. Animal Sex: What it can teach us about heteronormativity « Onely: Single and Happy - June 2, 2009

[…] desires or lifestyles (ranging from wanting to have sex but not a relationship, for example, to feeling indifferent about sex altogether). The thing is, most of us probably grew up with our parents teaching us about the […]

8. Singlutionary - June 12, 2009

I love sex. But I also love my solitude and not having gross men in my bed. I would love to find a not-gross man with a very decadent bed and have regular hot, high-thread-count sex with him.

So lately I’m a volcel, I guess. I feel the same way about getting laid as I do about dating: not worth the time or energy. Of course, if a fantastic lover were to come into my life I wouldn’t don a chastity belt and throw away the key.

Being a person who is really into sex and kinda a natural horndog, I have had to find ways to cope with my volcel-ism. I throw myself into other activities and redirect all my sexual energy into exercise (healthy) or eating (unhealthy) or replacing toilets (thrifty). And I spend a good $200/yr at Good Vibrations or Babeland (translation, I masturbate a lot with top notch novelty toys until I bust out the motor and almost destroy an entire planet with battery usage). I live vicariously through craigslist personals, especially casual encounters. And, as time goes on, I pass through the “god, I’m dying here” phase and the constant distracting, aching desire fades. Until it returns and I start the cycle all over again.

Do I need sex. Yes. I am not prepared to go the rest of my life without sex. But right now I would rather go without. When I master my own boundaries and my own desires and find an appropriate sexual partner (one is most likely enough at one time–I would definitely max out at 2) (and no, I don’t need to share domestic space with said lover) humping will become my main source of recreation.

Peter - July 10, 2012

I pitty you. You have decided to “destroy your temple” (body), with copulation and now you will have to live with that fact for the rest of your days.

9. Rachel’s Musings » The Challenge of Sex - June 14, 2009

[…] with sexual energy when there’s no obvious outlet like an intimate partner (for example, theOnely post and Bella DePaulo’s writing). It seems fitting, then, to summarize Chapter 8 of Edwards and […]

10. Carolyn - July 11, 2009

Great post! Personally I’m an Indifferent Celibate but I think I understand celibacy more than I understand people who actively want sex with others. I’m not unhealthy, didn’t have a rigid Christian upbringing and haven’t had many bad experiences… I just don’t ‘get it’ and will go for long times very happily without ever once having sex. Unfortunately… I’m in a relationship (I personally don’t think sex and pairing go together) so this causes a few difficulties.

I just sometimes wish that I understood what people see in it. My partner is a good lover, and I don’t hate sex… I just don’t want it enough, and thanks to the masses, this makes me feel like I’m not normal anymore…

Brittany - January 7, 2011

Do you think maybe you could be asexual? If you go to asexuality.org you could learn about it. I always felt that I was not normal, but it turns out I’m just asexual, which explained a lot, and I learned a lot about myself and feel a lot more comfortable now.

Onely - January 7, 2011

Hm, interesting, I don’t know. Possibly sometimes. I wouldn’t want to necessarily label myself as that completely, but definitely sometimes. Thanks for the site–I’ll check it out!

Peter - July 10, 2012

Leave your man and refrain from this activity (copulation) that actively seeks to humiliate you into making babies.

Embrace intelligence now! 🙂

11. gkfm - January 7, 2011

Definitely check out asexuality, because what you write sounds like asexuality. I myself am an aromantic asexual, meaning I don’t experience romantic or sexual attraction towards other people, and never have in fact. As such, I’ve never had the desire to have sex, and probably never have either. For me, the right person would be someone who doesn’t want to have sex either 🙂

Asexuality is a sexual orientation just like hetero-, homo- and bisexuality. Asexuality isn’t known that widely, because the amount of asexuals is estimated to be around one per cent of the population.

Onely - January 7, 2011

This brings up an interesting topic–can people be asexual, homosexual, or hetero at different times in their lives? I’ve heard that we’re all bi to some degree; perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we are all bi-a-sexual. Needless to say (but I’m going to anyway), these aspects of ourselves are often squished by common (heteronormative) culture, so we just don’t see them as often.

12. sound-man - August 23, 2011

The wizened authors of the Wiki on incel think you only need to get laid, and voila! instant well-being. After a certain age, most of the women available for sex have problems left behind from previous husbands/lovers (baggage?) Nothing contributes to well-being like unsnarling a financial mess or fatherless children. And this tends to make such women incel becuse men avoid them,.

Onely - August 23, 2011

“After a certain age, most of the women available for sex have problems left behind from previous husbands/lovers (baggage?) Nothing contributes to well-being like unsnarling a financial mess or fatherless children. And this tends to make such women incel becuse men avoid them.”

I read the Wikipedia article because I wasn’t sure if this statement was a paraphrase of that article or a statement from sound-man. I didn’t see any such point of view in the article (although the article was problematic on many levels, specifically because it didn’t address the issue of all the incels who are only incel because they feel a social pressure to pair up, not necessarily because the actually want to pair up). So I’m assuming this statement is coming from sound-man.

Not all, and not even most, of older women necessarily or unequivocably have “baggage”. And I’d have to assume that as far as baggage goes, an equal proportion of men have it too, so that should be mentioned.


13. sarasvati3 - September 7, 2011

I love when you put these great names to things I’ve felt for so long! I’m totally an Indifferent Celibate. When I’ve been coupled in the past, sex was nice and I enjoyed it but I haven’t had any for (I’ve kind of lost count but I *think*) 4-5 years and I really couldn’t care less. Sometimes when I’ve had a bit to drink, I think about how it would be nice to have it but then I sober up and get over that. lol I’m on anti-depressants though and have been since before I first had sex so I also don’t know if this is a medicated indifference or if I’d be this way anyway. I was thinking this is a great and inevitably important discussion for onelies and I’m glad I found this post!!

Onely - September 12, 2011

Here at Onely one of our favorite things is to make up wierd names for stuff!! = )

14. Peter - July 10, 2012

Hi. Only a self-hating person who lacks intelligence would be foolish enough to engage in a.more copulative act(s), just so they can satisfy that brain-implant that “forces them to humiliate themselves, just to make babies”.

Fact: Love fools two people into forming a bond, in order for them to humiliate thrmselves into “making babies” – that’s it! Humans don’t grow on trees and so humans everywhere are “pushed into” copulating with one another, thus making complete fools of themselves. How I mock and laugh at your lack of intelligence and lack of self-respect 😀


15. Maddison - September 1, 2014

Superb, what a weblog it is! This website provides valuable
facts to us, keep it up.

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