I saw the snowflakes falling on my windshield that late evening last February. I even felt the frightening slippage of my tires as my car almost veered off the road on the Baltimore/Washington Parkway. But I was on a mission. And unlike Tom Cruise, this mission was anything but impossible. I needed to make it home, in one piece, to accomplish this goal. But I wasn’t alone. The handsome subject relaxing in my passenger seat, eyes slightly closed, listening to Young Jeezy, shared my thoughts and agreed with my plan. He had no intentions of standing in my way. I was racing to get some.
Fast-forward two hours later as I traveled that same road again to drop my lover off at his home. I use the term ‘lover’ loosely: our association was as loose as the change roaming through my purse. He was not my boyfriend. He wasn’t even the man I was dating. He was the guy I met while visiting a friend. I found it hard to resist his street-corner swag and smooth words. We didn’t speak over the phone every day. We had only been meeting for our quarterly appointments for the last three years. These meetings almost always occurred at my apartment because not only did he live in his mother’s basement, he also shared that tiny space with his “son’s mother.” There were no ties that bound us together; only discussions of who would purchase the 3-pack of condoms each time we hooked up. While I had indeed developed feelings for him, it was clear that his allegiance and love did not lie with me, no matter how many times we laid down with one another.
After returning to my apartment, I quickly bypassed the bathroom mirror while heading to the shower. I couldn’t bear to look at myself – again. I just wanted the hottest water I could stand to scour this feeling of hatred and abandonment from my body. Tears rolled as I realized that I had done ‘it’ again with a man who I didn’t love. For him, it was ok to sleep with me but he didn’t want to invest in the whole of me. The overwhelming guilt of what I allowed to occur, when I knew better, nearly swallowed me whole. I was so desperate to feel a man’s touch that I nearly crashed my car and caused harm to myself only to end up alone – again. Furthermore, the experience wasn’t even worth the danger I faced or the gas I burned. I vowed then, as I had after every experience with this man, not to have sex until I was in a healthy, loving, and committed relationship. Although I didn’t quite take my vow seriously that night, I knew it sounded and felt good to make a promise that I would try my best to keep.
I’m proud to say that nearly two years later, I’m holding on to that vow by the seams of my heart; not the seat of my pants.
But boy, do the nights get cold. And lonely. I can’t even watch my favorite movie, ‘Friends with Benefits’ without fear that I’m going to break out in convulsions. (Check out the last love scene between Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis: you’ll totally get what I mean.) Attractive men who pass me on the streets are lucky thoughts don’t kill – or chain people to beds. Sex is usually on my mind in some shape, way, or form – mostly the fact that I’m not having any. And nothing beats the flabbergasted reactions from my friends. If I hear, “Girl, are you crazy?!” one more time, I’m going to commit myself to the local mental institution. I’m the laughingstock of my friendship circle. Who can blame them? I’m even laughing at myself as of late.
As a Christian, I’ve read every Scripture on sexual immorality (as fornication is often labeled) and I totally understand the message behind each passage. But as a woman, I find myself battling with my flesh over my decision simply because I’m making a heart choice instead of letting my body talk. For me, my celibacy is more about protecting my sanity (and health) than shoving Bible literature down each person’s throat who inquires about my personal decision. I simply can’t have sex with another man without love being at the epicenter of my desires. And with no prospects lined up, it looks like that sexy lingerie in my closet will be holding off until some handsome, smart, good-natured man is bold enough to make a commitment to me that doesn’t require us to decide whether we’re doing it at his place or mine.
I’m not the guru on celibacy. From day-to-day, I struggle with the heaviness of such a monstrous choice. Here I am: smart, cute, and single. I should be living life better than Carrie ever did in ‘Sex in the City,’ but there’s something to be said about the way my heart is feeling. I’m more secure, sexy, and in complete control of myself and sex life. And that’s a part of my judgment that sex with the wrong person can sometimes cloud. I’m also not blaming someone else for my poor choices. I recognize that sleeping with this guy was a choice I made because I thought I couldn’t do better. My vow of celibacy is the coursework I needed to pursue for my soul; a random orgasm simply couldn’t cure what was wrong there.
Every few months, the guy I nearly risked my life for sends a text to ‘just check on me,’ which is booty-call speak for, “Shorty, it’s been a minute. When can we get it in?” But the longer I refuse to respond, as difficult as it sometimes is, the better I feel about me. And I’m proud of that. Hopefully, God and some of you will be proud of me (and you, too.)