What is celibacy?
Celibacy is the state of abstaining from marriage and/or s3x. Usually, celibacy is seen as related to abstaining from intercourse or acts related to it. Celibacy can be permanent or temporary and the application, whether it be marriage or intercourse, is person-specific. However, some celibate people may participate in outercourse, self-pleasure, and certain types of pen3tr@tion. Always ask for clarity before assuming where a celibate person places their boundaries. It is also essential to be respectful when asking the "range" of someone's celibacy; it may not be your business.
Why be celibate?
Some people choose celibacy due to religious or spiritual beliefs or a political statement. It may be used as a tool against STI transmission and pregnancy (abstinence) for some. Some people see celibacy as an opportunity for spiritual cleansing and do it temporarily between or with partners. Some people see it as a way to regain control of agency over their bodies and feel empowered. It could also be as simple as someone wanting to save money or focus their time and energy on building other types of intimate relationships.
Wait, so non-monogamous people can be celibate?
Celibacy is not a "monogamous" only thing. some people choose celibate lifestyles and are non-monogamous. This is inclusive of polyamory. It is important to remember that celibacy can be inclusive of marriage, and not all non-monogamous lifestyles require s3xu@l interaction.
What does it look like?
Once again, celibacy is person-specific, so even how non-monogamous celibate person navigates their relationships are unique. Some may have multiple relationships but remain permanently or temporarily celibate with most or all of their partners. It may show up in their boundaries. For others, their celibacy could be a short/long-term period. Usually, their partners are informed, and it could be from a few weeks to over a year-long, depending on the person. A supportive polycule will respect their celibacy and not do anything to break their celibacy. Their celibacy does not mean the non-monogamous connections they build are less valid.