I LOVE celibate relationships
I've been in a number of celibate relationships in my life. They were definitely different that friendships, and I still get a definitely Love feeling when I think of them.
One was totally non-sexual (FF). No touching, kissing, barely even hugging (touch made her freak out) but we spent almost all of our spare time together, slept in the same bed, went away with each other, went to each other's family get togethers together, bought each other gifts, almost bought two homes together at different times.
One was very intimate (FF)- baths, showers, snuggling on the couch, sleeping in the same bed, but nothing sexual. She had been abused when she was a child, and raped as a young woman, and sex freaked her out, but we were so close we were like cuddly sisters. We went for dinner, drinks, walks, mini vacations, and told each other we loved each other all the time.
One was laden with sexual tension (FM). We shared a bedroom for a few months, even shared a boyfriend with the boyfriend as the hinge in our vee, flirted, even moved to a foreign country together. We never even kissed, but sometimes I'd be totally turned on just from sitting in the same room as him.
There are others.... I feel a bit like I'm in one with Mahogany right now.
For me, sex is a cherry on top. I am extremely sexual, and love when I have a connection with a partner that works in that way. But, if it doesn't work, I am comfortable never going there, and developing other aspects of the relationship and appreciating that love and connection as it is. Part of being a good partner to me is knowing what my partner needs, and doesn't need - if my partner doesn't need sex, or sex had the capacity to destroy our connection, then I don't bring that to them.
This is of course taking into consideration that I almost always have other conduits for my sexual energy at the same time. While I was in that vee with the dude/our share boyfriend, I also had a very sexual lover from Oklahoma that I saw two or three times a weekend, plus our shared boyfriend.
I call these relationships Intimate Friendships now, instead of celibate relationships. Seems more accurate to me. They're more than friendships, but most people don't consider them relationships, so it makes it easier to sum up how I feel.