Celibate definition: The condition of abstaining from sex. Celibate is the adjective form of the word celibacy, which means a state of abstinence from sex. People who say that they are celibate are usually so because of a religious or spiritual vow that they made.
Celibacy has a long history, especially in monastic and religious orders. The Roman Catholic church banned sex and marriage for members of the clergy in the 12th century. The vows of celibacy among the clergy demonstrated a willingness to renounce the "pleasures of the flesh" and embrace God and church instead.
Mahatma Gandhi is one of the more famous celibates. Gandhi was a celibate Brahmacharya. A Brahmacharya is renunciant, usually a monk, who renounces wealth and sex in favor of higher spiritual pursuits. Many celibates discover a higher joy beyond what the flesh can offer.
In Gandhi's view, we are all slaves to the senses. The best way to remain the master of the senses is to control them. Gandhi did this via fasting, meditating, praying and avoiding exciting foods. In his autobiography, Gandhi said, "The existence of God within makes the control of the mind possible. Let no one think that it is impossible because it is difficult. It is the highest goal, and it is no wonder that the highest effort should be necessary to attain it."
The prophet Mohammed had interesting views on celibacy. He said that the act of remaining celibate may be good for some, but that it is usually best for the individual to marry and enjoy sex in moderation.
Not all religious paths have affirmative views of celibacy. There are some practices within Taoism and Buddhism which have more positive attitudes toward sex. Some schools of Taoism state that males waste their vital life force energy through ejaculation. This leads to deteriorating health and a lack of energy to engage in spiritual practice. When ejaculation is separated from orgasm through certain practices, then orgasm becomes spiritually empowering and leads to a greater capacity for love.