Traditional ideas of celibacy


Traditional ideas of celibacy


your avatar   Ami, 23-year-old woman

Well, I am a 23-year-old female and I am very confused as to what to do and why I do what I do. I grew up with traditional ideas of celibacy and waiting for marriage and that is what I wanted to do. About 5 years ago I began to get aroused. I discovered orgasms and would masturbate and enjoy the thrill, but I felt so guilty afterwards. I even tried to limit what I watched or how I danced to avoid getting turned on. It is almost cyclical because sometimes, I manage to stay away from masturbation and orgasms but other times, I just can't help it and end up wanting more. I had an orgasm driving to school the other day and I wasn't even trying to.

Anyway, the reason why I am concerned is because I've never had a boyfriend or been intimate with anyone because of the same "guilt". Plus, I am too afraid of STDs and too afraid of having sex with the wrong person. I've had men approach me and try to start something with me but I am too scared. That's why I haven't had a boyfriend or anything because I end up turning them down. I am afraid of telling anybody because their perception of me is that of a "good girl". I don't want to keep on living according to other people's expectations, but at the same time I don't want to feel guilty.

My questions are: Have I broken my hymen if I've only had clitoral stimulation? Have I ruined it for Mr. Right since I've masturbated? Should I stop masturbating if I feel guilty? Could this have any psychological effects that would jeopardize an intimate relationship with a man in the future? Is it normal to have random orgasms throughout the day even when I am not masturbating?

I believe that self-control is what differentiates us from animals, so what is wrong with me?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Ami,

First to reassure you: There is nothing wrong, evil or wicked with masturbation. It does not break your hymen, and does not do you any damage, either physical or psychological. If it feels good, do it. There is no need to suffer any guilt. In fact, you are fortunate. Many women go through their entire life without experiencing an orgasm. When you finally settle on a lucky guy, he'll get immense pleasure from giving you pleasure. You are simply a passionate young woman. Accept yourself the way you are, and you'll have a good life.

However, how do you expect to ever meet Mr. Right and have him fall in love with you if you reject all approaches from young men? If the message you send out is "Don't touch me," then they won't. I suggest you keep your eyes open for guys who share your moral values and start a friendship with them. Don't look for a suitable future husband, but accept invitations to do suitable activities together. I assume you go to church. While attendance there is no guarantee of morals or decency, at least there is some likelihood that a member of your congregation will be morally upright. Join things like sports clubs or voluntary organizations where you can do some good, community activities like amateur theater; learn to play a musical instrument and join an orchestra... in other words, engage in activities that will give you fun, are inherently worthwhile, and may bring you in contact with men who already share some of your interests.

There is no need for you to have sex with any man just because he took you out on a date. When you get acquainted, you can make it perfectly clear that for you sex means marriage. Anyone who doesn't like this can look elsewhere. But don't isolate yourself through fear. The predators are out there, sure. However, there are a great many young fellows who want nothing more than to have a woman to love and cherish, a family to raise, a future to build. Find one of them.



This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:


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