ALAS! You Haven’t Been Celibate – Celibacy vs. Abstinence

Hey Star! Good to have you back in Miss Flowery’s world and thanks for being a part of my #Galaxy.

Today’s post is about Celibacy and Abstinence –a topic I love to discuss a lot. And, I have shared my struggles with celibacy in a couple of videos on my YouTube channel.

So yeah, I hear many people say they are celibate and keeping themselves until marriage (Hi, Linda) or waiting until they have a real connection with their partner before they engage in sexual activities with them. The truth is, people choose to go the celibacy route for different reasons.

Why People Decide to be Celibate

1.. Religious conviction

2. Spiritual reasons

3. They’ve had their hearts broken one too many times, and they just decide, “You know what, amma close my legs and keep my pants zipped for now, or forever!”

4. The fear of sexually transmitted diseases or infections

5. The fear of unintended pregnancy

6. Wanting to know their partner more before getting dickmatized

7. For growth (spiritually or emotionally)

8. For a change of lifestyle

9. To focus on other aspects of their life, such as career, business, family, etc.

I am one girl who likes to scream, “I am celibate!” into the ears of any man showing interest in me. Because honestly, I can’t be struggling every night to push somebody’s son away or keep slapping his hands off my pants. Also, I just think it is fair to let you know where I stand from the start.

However, I have found out that most of us who claim to be celibate ain’t actually celibate. Yes, that’s right!

The truth is, a lot of people confuse abstinence for celibacy, but there is a difference between the two, and I will be shedding light on this.

What is Celibacy?

Celibacy is a decision or a voluntary vow to refrain from sexual activities or marriage, usually for religious reasons, on a long-term basis or for life. Celibacy is intentional, and it can  be for any of the reasons I stated above.

Celibacy = sexlessness and/or no marriage

What is Sexual Abstinence?

Abstinence is the decision to refrain from having penetrative sex.

Sexual abstinence = No penetrative sex

Abstinence & Celibacy

The difference between abstinence and celibacy is that abstinence is the decision not to have penetrative sex while celibacy is the vow to refrain from sexual relations or never get married for a reason or convictions over an extended period or for life.

So, no, darling, not having sex or kissing because you do not have a partner and are single to a stupor does not mean you are practising celibacy. You’re not; it just that you do not have the means. Being celibate is when you have access to sexual activities but you have decided not to engage in it.

Now, both celibacy and abstinence are terms thrown around for the unmarried. (Please, correct me if I’m wrong.) In marriage the term used is chastity.

What is chastity?

Chastity is a virtue or quality. It is the state of abstaining from unlawful sexual intercourse and staying pure in conduct and intention. The keyword here is ‘lawful’, and that means staying pure and faithful to your husband, wife or Christ (for priests). You can say a married couple/partner is chaste when they do not think, say or indulge in extramarital affairs.

Chastity = no extramarital affair (no sexual thoughts, intention, or conducts with an unlawful partner.)

Now that we understand what these terms mean, it is essential to point out that, it is only with chastity that the rules are clear, and that is not to say, think or do anything sexual with someone other than your lawful partner.

Howbeit, with celibacy and abstinence, the rules are not as clear cut, but before I state the rules, I need to explain the word outercourse and intercourse.

Outercourse simply means non-penetrative sexual activity, which includes, kissing, hugging, cuddling, biting, licking, necking, sucking, dry humping (I love this!), clitoral stimulation, handjobs, massages, etc.

Intercourse means penetrative sexual activity, which includes, fellatio, cunnilingus, vaginal sex, anal sex and penetrative toy plays.

Back to the rules

In celibacy, there are no fixed rules. Some people find it okay to engage in outercourse but not intercourse. Heck! Some don’t even consider certain penetrative sexual activities a desecration of their vow to celibacy. And there are others who believe when you are celibate, you should refrain from both intercourse and outercourse.

Meanwhile, in abstinence, the rule is anything but vaginal and anal penetration. I feel abstinence requires some level of skillfulness or superpower as the ability to stop yourself from going further when things have already gotten steamy is incredible and, might I add, risky.

You see what I mean by some people claiming to practise celibacy, but in the real sense, it is abstinence. #TeamOutercourse&SmallIntercourse #TeamCelibateButNotSoCelibate. Honestly, I don’t know where I fall –the line seems blurred.

Nevertheless, I must state that I am a firm believer of no sex before marriage, and if you ask for my opinion, I’ll tell you that you can have a beautiful romantic relationship without sex. But then, you didn’t ask.

Like I said in this video, I have my reasons (a few of them) for choosing to be celibate, and I’m not going to impose them on you.

But you should know that the decision to be celibate is one you must make by yourself. Not because your mama told you and absolutely not because your pastor says so. Otherwise, you will break that vow long before you finish spelling the word itself.

Firstly, understand what celibacy means, have a genuine reason for wanting to be celibate, and set boundaries for yourself according to your conviction. I have a friend who told me he and his wife were convinced they were not to kiss before marriage, and that is totally fine. I don’t have that conviction, yet. I kiss my man all over his face, neck, chest, stomach and everywhere holy.

My point is, you must know what you want and why you want it before committing to the vow of celibacy. Lastly, be intentional about what you do and stay true to your values.


1. Do you think fingering is intercourse or outercourse?
2. Are you ever jealous of your sexually active or celibate friends? 

FACT: I sometimes do, especially when I’m on heat or on days with weather such as today. I find myself asking who sent me to be celibate…LOL

3. Do you think masturbation defiles celibacy?

Bolaji Gelax

Hey, Star! Thanks for stopping by my world. I'm a gorgeous, sassy radio junkie who enjoys playing devil's advocate. I love everything that makes me happy, which includes the Stars in my #Galaxy. They call me MISS FLOWERY because I bring good vibes, love and light. Feel free to explore my world ❤✨

22 thoughts on “ALAS! You Haven’t Been Celibate – Celibacy vs. Abstinence

  1. A beautiful one once again. I, however, have an issue with your use of ‘lawful’ while defining what ‘Chastity’ is. Sexual intercourse between to consenting adults is not unlawful. And while I am a firm believer in no sex before marriage (God, help me o), I think the idea of sexual intercourse between two consenting adults being a sin is mostly from a religious worldview, and since not everyone shares that, we can’t just saw it is unlawful.

    1. Thanks plenty plenty, Juwon.

      The use of ‘lawful’ in chastity is so because it is in relation to marriage, and marriage is a lawful bidding, yeah. That means if a married adult has a sexual relationship with another adult who is not their lawful marital partner (with or without consent), they have defiled their marital vows and bed.

      Did I make sense?

  2. Very interesting read! So, one could engage in all those sexual activities and still say, “I’m celibate?” How does that even work if celibacy is no sex before marriage?

    1. It would seem so, Vie. A lot of people who claim to be celibate are more sexually active than those who have sex.

  3. Sex (as a topic) has been over-flogged, especially on social media to a point where all I have to give is 5 secs attention.

    So, I kinda just roll my eyes whenever the discussion pops up in a room.

    I am an advocate of ‘Do what pleases you as long as you are not hurting anyone AND YOU CAN SHOULDER THE RESPONSIBILITY that comes with it.’

    I celebrate those who choose to be celibate.

    I also celebrate those who choose to explore their sexuality.

    Laslas, we go dey alright.

    1. Over-flogged doesn’t even begin to cut it, phew!

      I think you need a microphone, those at the back need to hear you. Heheheee… we gonna be all right, las las.

  4. This is an interesting piece BJ. Great work.

    I believe you have a large audience and what is ‘lawful’ are different. In the southern part of Nigeria, two adults who are married but not to each other can have sex, as far as their is consent then it’s not a crime. However, in Northern Nigeria where I live, the penal code which is applicable here sees it as crime, so this might vary. However, I believe chastity has more to do with morality …

    Now, sister BJ, I will quote some part of your write up for my next question.

    “simply means non-penetrative sexual activity, which includes, kissing, hugging, cuddling, biting, licking, necking, sucking, dry humping (I love this!), clitoral stimulation, handjobs, massages, etc.”

    All the examples you mentioned here are all dry humping if I am correct, or are they different? If they are, what is dry humping to you Ma?

    Keep the great writing up. I enjoy reading your post.

    1. Wait first, how is that extramarital affair not a big deal? Wow, I didn’t know that, for real.

      Which one is sister BJ now, ehn? 😂 Nope, they are not. Dry humping is different, it involves moving/rubbing your genitals while fully clothed. (Google is your friend 😒)

      Thank you plenty plenty plenty for reading and commenting ❤

  5. Interesting piece.

    Well who defines what we do with our own body under the sheets? Masturbation, Fingering, Celibacy, Abstinence, Outer/Intercourse!

    People/culture choose a definition that suits their sexual orientation and/or modus operandi. I always thought Abstinence was “Abstinence” until I heard “I do, but not all the way” and I agree, those must have some kinda Super power!

    Let’s sha maintain our lane with our preferences and take responsibility. We all go dey alright las las.

    Holla Gelax-to!☺


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