• For three women who spoke to the Star, happiness doesn’t always require a robust sex life.
•Sex expert Kimberly Johnson suggests thinking of sex as less of an act, more of a tool.
It's one thing to talk about how much sex you're having. But what if you're having none? Life can be just as fulfilling.
Three women spoke to the Star to show that happiness doesn’t always require a robust sex life.
While sex may be important for some people, these three women have other priorities in mind.
"I was in a relationship in 2013 but at the time found that most men, regardless of their age, seemed immature and focused on sexual conquests above almost anything else," Lorraine Muthoni* (not her real name) reveals.
The 33-year-old accountant said that she enjoys every bit of her celibacy life and her focus is on spiritual growth.
She said that she would not mind building a relationship with a man who also exercises self-control.
"I believe that’s the best way to determine if we are compatible in other ways that- after the intercourse is no longer brand new - will sustain our relationship for years to come.”
Michelle Mutua* began her journey of celibacy back in 2009.
Michelle said she began primarily for religious reasons.
However, over the years, she says she has gained control over her libido and she is determined to wait until marriage.
Her relationship journey has been stormy.
"When I was in my 20s, I went through a period of going in and out of bad relationships. Each relationship left me more broken than before," Michelle says.
One morning, she recalls driving home from a night out, crying all the way home.
Reason? She realised that her boyfriend didn’t love her. It was unreciprocated love.
"It was at that point - and I was just 24 - that I decided to stay celibate for a year. I guess that became a ten-plus year plan!” Michelle said.
She now declares that she has been able to control her urges over time.
Michelle said that her celibacy pact does not stop her from being asked out a lot but she never compromises.
“My celibacy pact doesn’t stop me from being asked out a lot. I’ve even entertained some of those requests, but not for long as I refuse to compromise. Guys who have approached me have been open about their desires. In my head, I’m like ‘thanks for that piece of info, now I know you’re not the one," she said.
I think we all have a desire to be close to another. I also think sex is beautiful, but I have been able to control my urges to be sexually intimate with someone by surrendering those desires.Michelle Mutua*
Her family is okay with her decision.
Monicah Atieno* hasn't been intimate since 2011. She is an endurance athlete and that affects her libido.
" I’m an endurance athlete and have about 10 per cent body fat - I don’t get a period and have low hormone levels - almost undetectable estrogen and estradiol- so I literally have zero libido!” she says.
Atieno has her mind focussed on running and endurance sports. She says these are really selfish activities.
"I spend hours training and spend a lot of money on shoes, races, and travel. When I’m single," Atieno says.
She unveils her daily routine.
"I wake up early, work out, eat my perfect foods, recover... I’m in bed by 9 p.m. and repeat the same schedule the next day,” Atieno reveals.
Her ideal relationship would be with someone who is not as competitive as she is and not necessarily as intense with exercise.
"I think having two serious athletes in a relationship is really hard. What if I get injured and my partner is getting to do all the things I want to be doing? I could see us getting in a rut of only discussing training, racing, and the newest gadgets," Atieno says.
She wants someone to open her up to other hobbies and other worlds.
"I want someone who appreciates the hard work I put into training but makes sure I don’t take myself too seriously,” Atieno adds.
HOW IMPORTANT IS INTERCOURSE IN RELATIONSHIPS - EXPERT
Sex expert Kimberly Johnson tells the Repeller magazine that the way we talk about intercourse is far too narrow.
“I recommend expanding the definition of what intercourse is beyond penetration, which is so heteronormative,” Johnson says.
She adds that intercourse isn’t just one behaviour, nor is it just about “finishing.”
Johnson explains that when people over-index on the pursuit of orgasm, particularly the male ones, they emphasise the finish line instead of the playful exploration that precedes it.
She suggests thinking of sex as less of an act, more of a tool.
“Sex is supposed to be — if you choose to make it so — about bonding, and a level of intimacy,” she said. “It’s a tool for partners to use for a connection.”