By Kesia Pitt
When I vowed not to have sex with anyone (anymore) until I got married, I never thought my journey would be six years long and counting…that’s two-thousand, one-hundred and ninety (2,190) days of NO SEX. So, let me just say, in the beginning, it was one of the hardest disciplines I’ve had to master in my life. I mean, I have a high-revving engine i.e. healthy sex-drive, so abstaining was akin to pure, unadulterated torture. The kind of pull-the-fingernails-from-the-cuticle-one-by-one torture…okay, okay, not that severe but I promise you, some days sure felt like it. “Why would someone subject themselves to this?” you may ask. For those who choose to take this journey, the reasons vary – for his or her faith/religious, immersion in personal goals, no distractions, disillusionment with failed relationships – whatever the reason, the choice usually of a personal nature. For me, the decision was two-fold. First, when I decided to give my life fully to Christ, the words ‘fornication’ and ‘obedience’ seemed to jump out at me during my initial Bible study reading, and after much praying and feeling conviction in my heart, I decided I wanted to please God more than I wanted to please myself, hence, my decision. Second, I was tired of being heart-broken in relationships that didn’t yield what I wanted or needed…namely a soulmate and relationship not based predominately on sex. I’d become incredibly cynical because of the scabs that were collecting, turning into keloids on my heart and I knew it was time for some serious self-reflection, healing and alone time with myself. And I was determined to be successful at loving myself and learning about God’s love for me, FIRST.
In case you’re wondering, here are some definitions according to celibrate.org:
- Sexual abstinence: the practice of voluntarily abstaining from sexual intercourse and (usually) all other sexual activity.
- Celibacy: abstaining from sex, especially because of religious vows or chastity.
More people appear to be making the decision to abstain, but I wonder if they hear the same comments I hear when on some dates. Social media has changed so much about how we interact and communicate with one another. So much so that all I really hear is, “Do you wanna hang out?”. I was later told that this has become synonymous with instant gratification sex, one-night stands, etc. So, being celibate or abstaining in this ‘Hang Out’ Era, can make this decision even more challenging and complicated, and sometimes, humorous. For example, I’m viewed as everything, from tricky to crazy, given the comments I’ve heard: “You’re trying to trick a man into marrying you,” or, “Something must be wrong with you,” or how about, “You must have a disease” (that last one almost made me lose my religion for a minute and cuss the guy out). Of course, not all of the comments are that extreme or rude. What I’m used to hearing is, “Naw, I can’t do that (wait),” or, “I gotta try it out BEFORE I put a ring on it.” The singer and actor Tyrese Gibson, before he recently married, even spoke against this, saying he absolutely wouldn’t do this because of the possibility of marrying and getting ‘Potential Bad Vagina’. Wow. Now granted, there’s no guarantee that everyone who waits and who is practicing celibacy will marry a sex professor skilled in every area, and that is the chance some of us take. But, I believe in the beauty of connecting on a deeper level (intimacy) which will lead to the soul-stirring, mind-blowing sex many of us seek, whether you’ve had it, want it again, or never had it.