Why might someone choose to be celibate? Religion can play a big role in that decision, but there are also emotional reasons, concerns over STDs, and the fact that some people identify as asexual. I’m willing to bet that that more people than ever are choosing to be celibate right now, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want and need to seek out meaningful connections.
Here are some tips for navigating the online dating world when sex is off the table.
4 Tips for Online Dating When Celibate
1. Be Clear about Celibacy in Your Profile
Don’t think that by keeping your profile “clean” and free of sexual references, you will attract like-minded women. Unless you’re clear about your desire to remain celibate, those viewing your profile will assume that you’re open to having sex. (That’s the default setting when it comes to online dating.)
If you feel that the word “celibate” is too personal, try “platonic.” Say that you’re looking to connect in non-physical ways, then list a few examples of things you’d like to do. Even putting out a call for “friends” isn’t specific enough. Some will misinterpret that as “friends with benefits.”
2. Determine Your Limits
What does celibacy mean to you? For some, it means avoiding any kind of sexual activity altogether, for others it means something more specific, like promising not to have penetrative sex before marriage. The most empowering thing about being celibate is that you decide where to draw the line.
Determine your limits before putting yourself out there so that you can communicate your boundaries firmly and clearly the first time around. Be ready for questions, and—on the rare occasion—pressure from women who love the challenge, want what they want, and are determined to make you fuck them. Try to educate where you can, and just block the rest.
3. Find Your Own Ways to Connect without Sex
Once you’ve found someone who appreciates what you have to offer, figure out ways to connect, together. In sex-based relationships, connecting usually conforms to a well-worn path of events: A first kiss followed by rounding all the bases.
When sex is taken out of the equation, creativity reins. Perhaps you’re both foodies and want take an online gourmet cooking class together? Or you love movies and want someone to share your reviews with? There are lots of ways to come together and to feel less lonely that don’t involve getting physical.
4. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Platforms like Zoom and Skype have made connecting in non-physical ways easier than ever. Both activities I mentioned in the previous section can be enjoyed from home using the screen sharing option that comes with most video-conferencing apps.
If your definition of celibacy includes activities like phone sex and mutual masturbation, technology can deliver. Find a quiet, private place to set yourself up, be sure your partner is on the same page, then have at it. You might both need to ease into things a bit, starting with audio calls, until you’re comfortable enough to go on camera. Don’t rush things. Take your time to enjoy all that celibate dating has to offer.
Are you celibate and dating online? What tips would you share?