WOMEN

What One Woman Learned When She Decided To Give Up Sex For A Year

"Being celibate isn’t being loveless."

After getting divorced and then being "ghosted" by a boyfriend, Tabatha, a "millennial writer/blogger" who lives in Dayton, Ohio, decided to take a vow of celibacy for a year.

"I didn't want sex or a romantic relationship to... hold me back or keep me from being able to be self-sufficient emotionally, so I decided I'm not going to date anybody or sleep with anybody for 2016," she told HuffPost Love+Sex co-hosts Carina Kolodny and Noah Michelson.

Not only did Tabatha make this pledge, she also drafted a list of "incomplete commandments of [her] self-imposed celibacy," which included, "Thou shalt not join any dating sites/apps/etc." and "Thou shalt not whine about being single," among others.

After just a few months, Tabatha discovered the energy and time she had been channeling into dating or casual sex could instead be spent with her children or strengthening bonds with friends.

"Being celibate isn’t being loveless," she said. "It’s not condemning yourself to a life of loneliness. You just find love in different ways from different people and you learn to accept that, in a way that maybe you weren’t open to anymore."

Kolodny and Michelson also spoke with two other women who have taken vows of celibacy to learn more about why they made that decision and how it has impacted their lives.

One woman, Kat, chose to stop having sex with her boyfriend of two and a half years as a way to strengthen her relationship with God and to gain a sense of control in her life. The other, Eve Tushnet, is the author of Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith and Amends: A Novel. She became a Catholic in college and, in doing so, began a life of celibacy.

Listen to the podcast below to learn more about what it means to be celibate in 2016, as well as what people who aren't celibate can learn about their own sex lives from those who are.

The HuffPost Love+Sex podcast is produced by Katelyn Bogucki and edited by Nick Offenberg.

Have an idea for an episode? Need help with a question about love or sex? Find us on Twitter at @HuffPostPodcast or email us at loveandsexpodcast@huffingtonpost.com.

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