Voluntary Celibacy Is The Extreme Way Some Gen Z Women Are Protecting Their Peace

Society has certainly come a long way from the days of Shakespeare, when death was wished upon women who had sex before marriage (via Attn:). Thanks to the sex positivity movement, many of these societal chains that once held women back from addressing their own physical needs have been dismantled. We still have a long way to go before slut-shaming is totally eradicated, but many modern women feel much more sexually empowered than their mothers and grandmothers did. Part of that empowerment is the right to choose whether or not to have sex in the first place, and as it stands, a surprising number of Gen Z women are saying no.


Dazed explains that young women are opting to stay celibate for longer as they date new people, whether or not they've had sex before. There's a multitude of reasons for this, from women wanting to focus on their careers and friendships, to those not feeling empowered by the sexual positivity movement. Some women feel that openly embracing sex when they were younger and less confident paved the way for them to be used and manipulated by predators, and are now taking their power back by staying celibate.

How celibacy protects peace

TikTok users like @billieemali have given the #celibacy trend momentum over the past few years, many of them explaining through their entertaining videos that refraining from having sex brings them peace.


Primarily, they feel that celibacy protects a person from being exploited and manipulated by those just looking for sex. The self-described #celibacygang follow the theory that if you're not sleeping with anyone, it's much harder for people to trick or pressure you into sex because the answer is a firm no from the start. By removing sex from the equation, you also have more time and space to focus on other things that will boost your overall wellbeing, including relationships with friends and family, work, and personal development.

The other major reason why celibacy can guard against unnecessary drama is because sex can introduce problematic hormones like oxytocin into the equation that can make it hard for you to think clearly when you're dating someone new. "Sex is fun, but it also creates a biological attachment you may not be ready to have," dating coach Aly McDonald told Bustle. "When we bring sex into the mix before there is commitment, our feelings and attachment grow, and we can't see things as clearly."


By choosing to be celibate, you will keep a clear mind as you try to work out whether you actually see a future with the person you're dating. You'll be less likely to get attached to someone who isn't worth your time.

How to tell the person you're dating that you're celibate

Voluntary celibacy isn't for everyone. It's okay if you don't want to abstain from sex, and the decision has no impact on your worth as a person. But if you'd like to try celibacy, it can be a daunting thing to explain to the person you're dating.


Celibacy may not be a topic to discuss on the first date, unless your date wants to sleep with you then. If that's the case, explain that you're not going to be sleeping with anyone until you're ready. Be firm so they know it's not up for debate.

If the topic doesn't come up on the first date, you can bring it up in time when you feel ready. In many cases, it will come up when your date tries to take things to the next step, but some people will wait for you to make that first move. 

Once you do know them a little better, you can talk about your reasoning if you feel comfortable, going into as much detail as feels right. You don't owe anyone an explanation for what you do with your body, but keep in mind that some people may assume you're not interested in them romantically if you keep turning down intimate moments without letting them know why. If you don't feel comfortable explaining your reasons yet, assure them that you are interested in them, but you're just not ready for that next step.