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A vow of celibacy

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Sometimes I can't find the kids and then I'll realise they're out in the olive trees waiting. Waiting for some man to come past so they can drop their nets and bring him in, so I can have a husband

See the multi-tasking that's required on the dpb? You don't just have to balance the books, do the DIY...you've got to find a significant dude/dudette too.

Or we get in the car with our Mexican electioneering loud haler on top of the roof to encourage someone to sign on. A little cumbia, a little cha cha....

Other times I climb up the oldest tree on the property - a conifer planted in 1978, and howl at the half moon, but still no response. Or if there is I can't understand it...the language of love isn't always English.

Still we have come up with zip, nicht, nada.

And so, in my wisdom I have decided to swear a vow of celibacy of six months. I know! So no stories of findsomeone.co.nz and the happy ever after prince? No my lovelies. I can tell you retrospective happy-for-a-while stories,  hell yes I can! But no, I have decided that I have in the past slept too easily with men, and that I am going to commit to not sleeping with anyone for a while. An easy enough vow when you rarely, if barely, talk to any men in your current lifetime outside of Playcentre days where the men are practicing attachment parenting or to the men of my street all of whom seem to have had their personalities and ability to speak taken from them in a zombie apocalypse which missed our house. Or maybe Diana knew something about it and splashed some animal's blood on our front door so the firstborn wouldn't be taken? Like in Egypt in biblical times? Or perhaps the kids in the trees with nets were off-putting.

So in all honesty I have slept with men in the past for little more than a compliment or a hello. I know this may lend grist to the mill that dpb mums are easy. But I wasn't a dpb mum then was I, no; I was a tax-paying woman of age. Since becoming a mummy, there have been very few sexy times, and limited party times. Perhaps even less than convicted Bridgecorp director Peter Steigrad who while on home detention for nine months, went to Europe on holiday. But, I digress.

I started on this journey when I read a book about overcoming soft addictions. I found it free in the free box at the op shop next to the Irish pub, by the sex shop and below the strip bar. That's not my description; it was how the elderly volunteer in the op shop described it to me when I was giving directions to a friend over the phone, while standing by the homemade chutneys at the counter.

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The book quite cleverly draws you in with advice on how to stop using the internet so much, or picking zits, or spending money you can ill afford to spend. THEN it explains that once you stop whichever soft addiction you want to stop, sooner or later something else will come along - mooning people lobotomised by zombies, eating too many home made chutneys etc. And to have a handle on your life you need to have a solid core, a solid sense of who you are and what you want in your life and what you want to create in your life. And that only by having that level of a paradigm shift will your need for soft addictions fade away.

And no! It is not saying that any of these things for millions of people are addictions in and of themselves! But what resonated for me is how the book talked about how when you do whatever it is the thing you do a lot, it takes you away from yourself/out of yourself...it makes you stop being in the moment and stops you feeling things.

Ooh straight to the heart of the matter now.

I definitely used to feel this when smoking. I know, I was smoking for a wee while there, but I didn't tell you guys. Tell a New Zealand audience I smoked for a wee bit AND I'm on the dpb? I would have been tasered at high noon and put out with the recycling.

I have known since I was a lot younger that - ironically - in wanting intimacy and connection I would have sex but not always sex that meant anything. And no! I am not telling you not to, I am just saying what I need to stop doing that to help value myself more, and of course to be a good role model for the girls etc, etc.

To begin this descent (just jokes!) into celibacy, I began with watching how I talked. Previously I could bring up sex in relation to pretty much everything. I find sex and sexuality and the entire continuum fascinating.

When I was very young and still married, I listened to a spoken-word tape by Jello Biafra who said "why do we always sit around and talk about the scars we got - oh this one's from when I crashed riding down the hill, and this one's from a fight I was in etc...why don't we walk into the bar and say I just had the best goddamn orgasm of my life of my life...".

I listened to this and I thought, "That's how I think! Love and sex and orgasms are beautiful things. I will take this as my creed". This was pre-internet porn and sexy time chatting par for the course where some of my musings were, if not radical, perhaps just not always expected.

Anywho, that served me well, but perhaps it went a bit past its use-by date. So post-reading the soft addictions book I decided to save my form of chat for more appropriate times.

At first this new way of talking was a bit well, perplexing. I found that your average Joe is talking about things like insurance - I know; and gardening - that's okay I can do a bit of bougainvillea; and the perennial favourite - which primary school are you sending your kids to? Considering the first time I was asked this question the girls were six months old I was like, "I just stepped in to see what my post natal condition is and we're talking primary schools??"

But then it kind of felt okay - I stopped talking about sex so much in Facebook status updates my main aorta to the world, and perhaps I found it was better to not always be saying "c-ck" when I didn't really need to be saying it eg at Playcentre; talking to random strangers etc. Though even when I read c-ck right now, I chuckled out loud. The force is obviously strong in this one. 

Okay, so just a couple of days ago I tried it on for size. I thought it, then I said it out loud, "I'm not going to have sex for six months". (I don't know yet if this will include "private time" - feel free to let me know what you think on this part of the deal dear reader. Oh and lordy, what about kissing...?)

And I felt kind of strong saying it, like it was a GOOD thing for me to say. And saying it and committing to it made me feel stronger on the inside.

And I liked how it felt. And I noticed a knock-on effect (no, not knocked up - that would be an inappropriate and unnecessary thing to write just then!) that fantasies about finding a guy/being with someone have dissipated. It's like I've got more of my head back to think about me and the girls' futures. I feel more focused on deciding what I'm going to do, and finding more paid work. And there's less of a Seven Brides for Seven Brothers/Doris Day medley running through my head.

While I'll miss those musicals, I am excited about the beginning of my semi-monastic journey. Once again, I am not Amway about this - I'm not saying anyone else needs to commit to celibacy. I'm not saying I regret my past lives - heck no! - I'm just saying I need to not have sex for a while. And at least I didn't' say c-ck when I said Amway just now either... a victory every sex-free minute indeed.

- Essential Mums

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