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05th Feb 2023

Woman who had sex every week with ‘special friends’ shares why she went celibate for a year

Steve Hopkins

Brenda Osorno

‘I was working long hours, so dating was my outlet. But outside of my job and dating I didn’t really have a sense of my identity’

A woman has told how she went from sleeping with somebody every week to staying celibate for a year and how it completely changed how she felt about herself. Brenda Osorno went without sex for the whole of 2022 to allow her to concentrate on her own wellbeing.

The 30-year-old is one of a growing number of young people choosing to abstain from sex. Google Trends data shows searches for the term celibacy are at an all-time high in the UK, having increased by 90 per cent in the last month.

Osorno had previously gone on up to three dates a week and had a rotation of two or three “special friends” who she would sleep with once a week.

She decided to give celibacy a go after breaking up with a guy who was unwilling to commit to a more serious relationship.

Instead of dating new people, Osorno filled her time by trying out a new activity every day for a month. She tried boxing, pole dancing, cycling, basketball and even stand up comedy.

When she reached 30 days, Brenda Osorno felt so good that she carried on going with what she calls her “Mother Theresa stint”.

As she threw herself into working out, she said the months started to “fly by”.

Although she admitted to having “kissed three guys” over the past 12 months, Osorno celebrated going a year celibate in January.

She said it was “very difficult” at times and would occasionally lead to sleepless nights, but she claimed going without sex has helped her to grow in confidence and discover a sense of her own identity.

Having completed the year, she is planning to remain celibate for the time being until she finds the right guy. Brenda, an advertising producer from Miami, Florida, said:

“Celibacy gave me the confidence to try new things, and the new hobbies I have discovered have given me a renewed sense of identity. I had gotten tired of the hookup culture that exists among a lot of people in their 20s.

“I used to be a serial online dater. I was working long hours, so dating was my outlet. But outside of my job and dating I didn’t really have a sense of my identity.”

After breaking up with a guy she had been seeing for three-four months who was unwilling to commit to a more serious relationship, she decided to stop dating altogether and try out celibacy instead.

“At first, I was so infatuated with this guy that I pretended I was okay with keeping our relationship casual.

“But the new year came around and I thought, hey, let me take a step back here and work out what I really want,” she said.

While taking a vacation in Mexico, Osorno started to “look inwards” and take stock of what she wanted in her life.

“At the time I was drinking a lot, not feeling fully confident in my own body and generally not leading a healthy lifestyle,” she said.

When she returned from vacation in April 2022, she had been celibate for three months.

She added: “It was a month until my 30th birthday, so I decided to commit myself to trying something new every day and seeing what’s out there beyond dating.”

Over the course of the month, Brenda went on bike rides, took up boxing, tried pole dancing, went to Pilates classes and even tried her hand at stand up comedy.

‘I used to go on dates to validate myself’

“After my birthday, I felt great so I just kept going. I started filling my schedule with activities rather than thinking about dating – it was a form of self-therapy,” Brenda Osorno said.

“I carried on working out and started connecting with other women online who were doing the same thing, and the time started to fly by.

“Once I’d made it to six months without having sex, I thought, ‘Wow – this is the same girl who used to go on two to three dates a week!’” Osorno said that going celibate boosted her self-confidence and helped to affirm her sense of identity.

“By taking care of myself and remaining celibate, I started to work out what I wanted to do with my life. I realised that I used to go on dates to validate myself.

“Celibacy gave me the confidence to try new things, and the new hobbies I have discovered have given me a sense of identity.

“When I’m in a relationship I have a tendency to let myself go and become completely wrapped up in the other person. But going celibate made me feel like no one could hold me back. Now I don’t have to answer to anyone other than myself and my mom.”

Despite all the positives that celibacy has brought, Brenda said there have been some tricky moments.

“It was very difficult at times because I couldn’t help but fantasise about the last person I had been intimate with,” she said.

“There were some nights where I just couldn’t get him out of my head.”

She has also had female friends try to set her up with men who she has then tried to avoid.

“I was at a party last weekend and two friends set me up with a guy. All I could think was, ‘Why am I doing this?’ So I French-exited the party,” she said.

However, she said the fulfilment she has gained from remaining celibate is far more worthwhile than “hitting up a random person for a quick moment of satisfaction”.

Osorno said that going celibate has been hugely positive for her and highly recommends it for other people.

“I think more people should try celibacy. You don’t need to go a full year, but it’s nice to try to restrict yourself,” she said.

“Celibacy has given me a way to pursue other interests than dating and to focus on myself for a change.”

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