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Sexplorations with AJ: Celibacy is so Julia

Hello everyone! I hope everything is good and nice and you’re enjoying those darling buds of May this month. And with buds come flowers and with flowers come bees.. . who Bumble.

Last month, dating and social app, Bumble, released a series of ads and promotions that definitely ruffled feathers. The ads contained phrases such as ‘Thou shalt not give up on dating and become a Nun’ and ‘You know full well a vow of celibacy is not the answer.’

The backlash was pretty instantaneous with the public commenting on the ‘shaming’ nature of the ads as well as disempowering women by using femininely centred, religious language when refering to the celibacy. 

Internet ‘IT’ girl and Uncut Gems star, Julia Fox made her feelings towards the ads very clear in an Instagram story stating;


“…imagine pretending to be a dating app FOR WOMEN and launching a million dollar ad campaign BLAMING WOMEN for a very normal reaction to men’s violence.”


The ads were quickly pulled by Bumble and an apology statement was issued quickly after. But, as we sit here in the fallout of it all, Julia Fox has unintentionally become the internets favourite celibacy advocate.


Has celibacy has made its way into the public eye in a somewhat trendy way? I mean, think about the term itself, what comes to mind? I’m willing to bet it’s that stereotypical image of nuns and monks at convents and monasteries. 


Traditionally, the idea of celibacy and abstinence is based heavily in religion and purity culture, but more recently the meaning and reasoning has shifted to something even more personal; self empowerment and protection.


Julia Fox stated in a TikTok comment that she has “never been happier” since being celibate for the last two and a half years.

She then expanded her reasoning for abstaining, pointing to the overturning of Roe v Wade and the US’s abortion control laws on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens: Live:

“Our rights (are) being stripped away from us, this is a way I can take back control. .. I just don’t feel comfortable until things change.”


With the state of sex education and abortion access in the world, Fox seems to display a cool-girl way to protect and command control over a persons reproductive and sexual health. Simply summed up, if we don’t want it and it doesn’t make us happy, you’re not going to get it. 


Thank you for reading June’s Sexplorations, check back for our July edition, and catch up on May’s conversation about the porn industry here.

Edited by Emily Duff


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