This article is from the Celibacy FAQ, by email@example.com (ML Poulter) with numerous contributions by others.
Western society is pervasively heterosexual. The images presented to us
convey the message that the quality of a man's life is very much dependent
on the quality of the woman he gets to mate with, and vice versa. Being
celibate, like being gay or lesbian, requires you to step outside of this
conditioning. One also has to face the pervasive folklore that people only
choose celibacy because there is something wrong with them, or because
they view sex as "dirty". To express oneself as a celibate is thus to
score a huge victory over peer pressure. Hence while some people use
celibacy to fit in to a social group (usually in religious contexts),
others use it as an ultimate expression of individuality and independence.
Sexual abstinence is interesting as an issue because it is an
issue which cuts across normal boundaries: extreme feminists find
themselves agreeing with religious zealots.
A link between celibacy and eccentricity is suggested by David
Weeks' and Jamie James' book "Eccentrics: A Study of Sanity and
"Eccentrics are usually friendly people, glad to share their
hobbyhorses with anyone who is interested, but they tend to
be solitary by nature and sometimes find it difficult to be
intimate with other people. Nonetheless, most of them do
cherish romance when and if it comes along, and fall head
over heels in love, but when the initial enthusiasm wanes,
they have a hard time sustaining the relationship.
We also found that a rather large number of modern eccen-
trics seem to have no particular interest in sex. Loners such
as Anita, the artist, have chosen celibacy and seem to be
genuinely contented with that way of life."