Chastity Chic: Can Celebs Like Lady Gaga Make Celibacy Cool?


The word of the day is CELIBACY.  Yes kids; you heard me correct: CELIBACY.  From Lady Gaga’s  recent promulgation on the benefits of chaste living to public demands to free Catholic priests from the ties that bind, celibacy is becoming an increasingly  important component of this cultural moment.  So  let’s talk about not having sex, those opting out and those that may want to think about opting in.

This week both CNN.com and the Washingtonpost.com are featuring stories about celebs abstaining from sex.  In addition to Lady Gaga, celebs who have gone on the record about their chaste lifestyles include: Adriana Lima, Lenny Kravitz, Jordin Sparks, and Miley Cyrus.   Gaga’s celibacy contradicts her sexualized image and lyrics.  Her music video for the hit dance single Telephone  features a full frontal crotch shot; a move that does not exactly inspire modesty. Gaga, who is Catholic, often invokes Madonna in her styling and image, an artist who wrote the book on “Sex“.  Ironically, early in her career Madonna riled the Vatican faithful; her erotic videos were laden with symbols of her Catholic childhood.  I wonder if Lady Gaga’s pledge of celibacy will result in a Papal endorsement:

It’s OK to be whomever it is that you want to be,” she said. “You don’t have to have sex to feel good about yourself, and if you’re not ready, don’t do it.

Celibacy’s place in the modern Catholic church is also under scrutiny. as the massive domestic and international sex scandals dominate recent headlines.  Many critics suggests that celibacy within the priesthood has led to this institutional problem of child sex abuse.  However, research as shown sexual abuse rates in the Catholic Church is not higher than in society, other public institutions and other religious denominations.   However, one must wonder if the vows of celibacy have a place in the modern world?  The more progressive Episcopal church allows priest to marry and have recently allowed gay clergy to serve in the memory.  Is such an approach more aligned to this cultural moment? 

Whether pledging purity out of religious, moral, health, or any number of motivations, I hope abstaining finds a place in the world of gratuitous sexual exploitation.  Perhaps Gaga’s advice may save a few more teenage girls from starring appearances on MTV’s Sixteen and Pregnant.

So what do you think?  Is abstinence the new sex?  Does celibacy sell?

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