Sexual abstinence

act of refraining from sexual activity
(Redirected from Celibacy)

Sexual abstinence is the practice of not having sex. It is a choice that some people make. As well as sex itself, they may also choose to abstain from other sexual activities. Sexual abstinence has been debated since ancient history, both in terms of same-sex and opposite-sex relationships. Some people take anaphrodisiacs to help them stay abstinent.[2] Someone who decides to avoid sex is called a celibate or volcel.[3]

Purity rings are worn by some young people to show their commitment to abstinence.[1]



Abstaining from sex before marriage can be called chastity. In some countries, it is illegal to have sex before marriage. Many religious and ethical systems forbid sexual activities between a person and anyone other than a spouse. These include most denominational variations of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Other legal systems and societal norms can promote abstinence. People who are abstinent even though they do not want to be are sometimes called incels or TFL (true forced loneliness).[4][5] One form of sexual abstinence is fapstinence, avoiding masturbation.[6]



People may choose to practice abstinence for other reasons. A common reason is because of the person's religious or philosophical beliefs. When done for religious reasons, it is called celibacy.[1] Other people may choose abstinence in order to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. When someone is abstinent from sex but they don't want to be, its sometimes called incel, short for involuntary celibacy.[7]



  1. 1.0 1.1 O'Brien, Jodi (2009). Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, Volume 1. SAGE. pp. 118–119. ISBN 978-1412909167. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  2. Taberner, P. V. "Introduction: The Nature of Aphrodisiacs." Aphrodisiacs. Springer, Boston, MA, 1985. 1-20.
  3. Wiklund, Maria. "The misogyny within the manosphere. A discourse analysis in a Swedish context." (2020).
  4. MacDonald, D.K. (2016) Involuntary Celibacy: Causes and Treatments. Retrieved from
  5. The Love-Shy Survival Guide, p 14, 2009, Talmer Shockley
  6. Wilson, Clare. "The truth about porn." (2016): 20-21.
  7. Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd (October 2004). ThirdWay. Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd. pp. 7–.

Other websites

  • Chastity in Catholic Encyclopedia — a Christian view on chastity