When Jesus talked about celibacy he talked about eunuchs. He said some were born eunuchs (people who could not have sex for physical reasons), some were made eunuchs by men, and some made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (the equivalent of celibates now).

Without putting it too bluntly- becoming a eunuch meant a bloke chopping his bits off. It was a physical thing and most definitely a permanent thing.

To be a celibate today does not mean we have to go through physical mutilation, but the sentiment is still there that what we are doing is a permanent thing. So... in the same way that a marriage vow is a public sign of a permanent personal thing, so is the celibate vow. When people make their marriage vows they are promising to love that person only, to be true to them, and to renounce all other loves. This is not that different to the celibate vow. We promise to be true to Jesus, to renounce any other relationship for the sake of having particular intimacy with Jesus. It is true that you can have a relationship and not have to get married. It is true you can live as "just single" all your life and not make a celibate vow. But in all honesty to live without the dedication/devotion of the vow and the endurance and character strength it takes to work that out, I think you would be a poorer person. Choosing to be celibate especially opens up things that we may not have faced otherwise. It is natural for a man and a woman to get together- that is why it is happening all over the place. Not that it is any easier- there are enough failed relationships and hurt people about to make that clear.

The thing is, if you are celibate you have chosen not to do what everyone else is doing, but it is not a choosing to suppress or cut off that bit of you. We still need to face up to our sexuality and then we can make a choice to surrender it to God. We are not so much saying "I don't want my sexuality so I have given it up" as saying "Lord, I choose to make the sacrifice of not expressing my sexuality in the usual way, and I do it for You"

One thing that may need to faced is whether you are homosexual or heterosexual. Everyone assumes they are heterosexual unless things are very obviously the other way around, but it may not be that clear. Maybe you might find that it is a bit confusing, especially as you build close friendships with others. You might find that you love someone of your own sex, and possibly not having had much love from your parents you might worry it is a homosexual attraction. I would assure you that it is probably not, but even if it were, the sacrifice of celibacy is the same: you are still offering to God your sexuality. The other thing is, it is not healthy for anyone to have exclusive friendships, to be so close to any one person that it excludes others. If you build with a range of people and are open in your friendships then the problem of getting too close and bordering on something that is soulish or unhelpful is less likely to happen. Again, that is the beauty of being in a Body.

About sex ..... Whatever thoughts/feelings/teachings/hype/taboos there may be about sex, it is the case that God made sex! He did not look down at Adam and Eve and think "What are they up to? Quick! Stop them!" He made something beautiful and spiritual between a man and a woman. The way the world has gone means sex has become something cheap and people are often acting in lust and self-gratification, rather than the mutually serving and satisfying sharing and giving experience God created it to be.

So, what does that mean to a celibate?

You are not going to be doing it, so do you need to bother getting healing in that area? I think we do need to be healed in every area as God wants us to be whole people. Also, as I said before, celibacy is a sacrifice of something beautiful, not ditching something we do not want. Sex also often brings a lot of guilt feelings because we do not find it easy to talk about. The truth is however that we all have a sex drive, and we need to decide what to do about it. It is not wrong to have sexual desires, though what you do with it may sometimes be wrong (or less than ideal). There is no guarantee that says once you become celibate all that gets erased from you!

We are not meant to be people who have shut down in any area of our lives, celibates are to be as fulfilled as married people- except for they do not have an active sex life. So… what do you do with your sexual desires/feelings…. It does say in the Bible that to look at a person lustfully is as bad as adultery.
I don't think that is to condemn us because everyone will look at someone some time and think "wow!". I think it is said to set a standard, to show us that dwelling on lustful thoughts and encouraging fantasies is not helpful.
If we choose to feed our mind with something it can become a habit, and it can colour the way we behave and respond in situations. A mind that has had a free rein lusting or fantasising about something/someone is not going to be a strong mind that can resist temptation when it comes along.
The more we give in with our minds the harder it is to resist, whether it is trying to resist fantasy or trying to resist a flesh and blood person. Also, we are called to have the mind of Christ, and we are told our minds are renewed by the Holy Spirit. I don't think either Jesus or the Holy Spirit are very at home in a mind that is like an X-rated movie, but that applies to everything we give our minds to, not just sexual issues.

In the same train of thought as fantasy are things like pornography or romantic literature. We need to take care of what we read and what we look at because that is feeding stuff into our minds that maybe we would be better off without. It has also been proven by psychologists and such people that pornography etc is addictive and de-sensitises people. This kind of proves that it is not the right sort of thing for a person who is a temple of the Holy Spirit to be getting into.

So, what about masturbation? I think a lot of Christians are very divided over this one. Many people see it as something quite natural. Some people may say it is fine because it is private, personal and does not hurt anyone else. Some people would say it is a bit like a safety valve, that you need to "let it out" sometimes.
Personally, I don't think it is right. Because we are made of body, soul, and spirit and I don't think we can separate what we do with our bodies from the effect it has on the rest of our being. I think the same as fantasy/pornography it can be addictive and it distorts what God created sex for. I don't think we are meant to use these bits of our bodies (which God gave us to love another person in a deeply intimate way) just for ourselves.

This may not be an issue for you, I am just trying to give some answers and a bit of a rounded view about the whole subject. If you do it, I think it is something you need to decide for yourself whether it is right or wrong, but remember "there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus".

A struggle we may have in a sexual area of our life is no worse than a struggle in any other area of our life. God hates pride, greed, inequality too, in fact the Bible probably says more about our hearts attitudes than our actions.
So, remember the celibate life is chosen, it is a gift to God, and it is something we will be working out for the rest of our lives (the same as everything else really!) we are not going to get there overnight, but we do have grace, and forgiveness and the Holy Spirit working with us. Don't get condemned because you think you have fallen short- condemnation only comes from the enemy as he tried to stop us looking to God and to Jesus blood that makes us clean and pure. One thing I do believe, is that Jesus does give us back our purity.
Whatever our sexual history, wether it is things we have done or things that have been done to us, we can be washed clean and made pure. I have heard people say that even sisters who have had abortions or have been abused can re-gain their purity and receive a spiritual virginity through the abundance of God's grace.

Celibacy is not an aim or a goal in itself, it is the path we are on. Celibacy shapes your character, it gives you the tools for life. In heaven we will all be celibate. Jesus taught us to pray "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" and celibacy is one way to do that, to prophetically show the life of heaven on earth. It is not the only way to do this, but a pretty good way to try to show people now something of the single-hearted worship of God that there will be in heaven.