*This post was originally posted 03/30/2016 and later restored, reedited and republished. Read about that here. It may or may not contain original photos used.
I think it’s safe to say that at 24-years-old I’m old and mature enough to have open discussions about sex. I also thinks it’s important that as a society we discuss sex to erase the stigmas associated around sex to reduce the high volume of STD, HIV and AIDs cases. By the end of 2012 1.2 million people were living with HIV and in 2014 over forty-four thousand Americans were diagnosed. So yes, we should talk about sex. Not just for pleasure but just as much for protection of mental, emotional and physical health.
Last week during a lunch break with my fellow co-workers–all who are in my age cohort–we touched on the topic of celibacy. One of the guys currently in a long-term relationship revealed he’s been celibate for five years. Yes, my eyebrow raised for a bit as I asked if that included any and all things sexual, which he answered yes. I even suggested that he do things for himself (y’all know what I’m talking about) to release the tension as it’s something women do often. He disagreed.
Christopher* admitted practicing celibacy and how he and his girlfriend are considering a ban on kissing. Although I too agreed with their vow to wait until marriage for sex, I thought a kissing ban was a bit extreme. However, kissing can and does take things to the next level and if it’s important for them to not cave to the flesh’s weakness, nix lip locking. I suggested they substitute in a solid fist bump.
Stay strong Christopher*, stay strong.
But our small discussion made me think about whether I’m practicing celibacy at the moment or if I just ain’t doing IT. I decided to take the celibacy pledge over a year ago when I promised myself to build a better relationship with God. Not because I wanted to hold myself to a higher degree of sanctification than others but because there is no value or purpose in meaningless sex. It’s not that I just want to wait until marriage, but for the right person and the right time. If that happens to be marriage or even a bit sooner than I’ll be okay with that as long as I know the time is right. Basically, what’s the rush? Sex is not the only thing that changes the dynamic of a relationship or marriage. But sex is rushed. If you aren’t firm on your stance of premarital sex the message you receive will most likely be the wrong one.
Practicing celibacy isn’t uncommon or abnormal as people make it seem. It’s no different than acknowledging for health purposes you need to go on a diet. If you don’t like your body image or on the brink of high blood pressure, you need a change. I’m not saying my sex life was that full but you have to know whether what you’re doing is even right for your body.Who cares if everyone is doing it. Just because everyone is grubbing on McRib sandwiches (that may or may not be made of real pork) doesn’t mean you have to, too. It’s something that honestly shouldn’t even be questioned but when it’s brought to attention should be just as accepted than a heavy sex life. Why is it so hard to believe in celibacy?
It’s something I wondered when engaged Russell Wilson and Ciara admitted they were celibate. Let us know it’s okay to wait and you don’t have to rush into having sex for a relationship to feel like a relationship. Let us know we can seek intimacy in other ways and get to know as much as we can about someone before the condom (or lack thereof) is ripped open. It’s your private business why, but thank you.
*- names have been changed