This article is from the Celibacy FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (ML Poulter) with numerous contributions by others.
Sooner or later, any discussion of celibacy turns to the question of how
you deal with basic biological needs. This is an area where the
difference between religious and secular celibates is most severe.
Concern particularly centers on male celibates: how long can they avoid...
err... you know... without exploding from build-up of... stuff? I'm not
aware of any studies on this issue, but I can say to such questioners that
regular... umm... thingy is not essential to health in the way they might
think. While it has been claimed by some (famously the pseudoscientist
Wilhelm Reich) that sex is essential to mental and/or physical health,
there is no substantial evidence to back this up, and plenty of celibates
who are of obviously sound mind and body. One of my male correspondents
reports abstaining from sex *and* from... that thing for eight years and
seems very happy.
Part of the reason why celibacy seems so odd in modern western culture may
be to do with this culture's view of sex as nothing more than a way of
answering a biological need: it may seem arbitrary to answer your needs in
one way as opposed to another. If, on the other hand, you recognise that
sex is not just a biological act but a very complex interaction with all
sorts of psychological, economic, medical or social consequences, then it
is no contradiction to refrain from sex but not from... umm....