I Am So Tired Of Not Having Sex
I’m 33 years old and I’ve never had an active sex life. It’s not because anything is wrong with me physically or because of a traumatic experience (even though there were some of those). It’s because I’m a Christian.
Now I know by today’s standards being a single Christian doesn’t automatically mean your sex life is nonexistent but I grew up in the C.O.G.I.C. (Church of God in Christ) where “holiness is right” and amidst the long list of things considered “holy”, having sex before marriage was definitely not one of them Ephesians 5:3 (Trust me, I checked).
So what’s a good girl to do but hang on to her virginity for as long as she possibly can, right? Sounded like a grand plan to me. Meet a boy, marry the boy, give him something no one has ever had, have a family and make God proud because you did it the right way. Well that plan got a little distorted when I met Kendrick in 2008. I had just moved to DC to attend college at the illustrious Howard University but was on a home visit back to Cali for the summer. I met him in a comedy club and he was handsome and saved, not to mention funny. We quickly became “an item”. Although I was in my mid-twenties, this was the first time I was fighting temptation forreal in an adult relationship because truth be told the celibacy journey is much easier when you’re alone. #Note2Self- If you ever meet someone who is bragging about their ability to keep themselves, they are probably not in a relationship. Because when you are in a relationship you know it’s actually one of the hardest things you ever had to do.
Anyways, we became more and more physical over the next few months because guess what, that’s what people are naturally wired to do. Despite our God consciousness, it wasn’t enough to make us immune to our craving for physical affection from each other. Then, one day during another visit home for the holidays I lost the thing I had prized keeping for so long. It happened so fast I barely saw it coming or felt it for that matter (so I was even more annoyed with myself) but that’s a different story.
The point is at 24 years old, I wasn’t a virgin anymore. I had failed at keeping myself until marriage. But after some healing and some humbling, I regained my footing as a woman committed to honoring God, physically. That was the only time Kendrick and I had intercourse because by the time it happened, we were at the end of our relationship. It also helped that my school was 3,000 miles away- the distance further crippled our efforts to salvage the little bit of relationship we had left. Come through, Jesus!
I learned a lot from that experience but fast forward to now, 10 long celibate years later when I still have no idea what it feels like to experience a loving sex life or even just an all out fun one, it’s easy to sometimes lose sight of why this is necessary. Why is celibacy important in the first place? If you’re like me, you’ve had enough affectionate experiences to know that sex is natural, beautiful and even has a bunch of emotional health benefits. Plus there are so many couples plastered all over social media smiling, holding hands, booty-grabbing and posing in pictures with their family taunting all of us single folks with their implied happiness. It’s revolting! (I kid).
It isn’t that being single doesn’t have a bunch of beautiful benefits because by golly it absolutely does! But some days you just gotta be honest with yourself and say, “you know what Lord, I’m tired of not having sex.” Even if that’s all it is - It’s ok to be shallow. It’s ok to be human. But chances are, what you are probably really saying is, "I’m tired of being left out." "I’m tired of not experiencing the fullness of what you, Yourself created and called good." After all, sex is good. Affection is good. I don’t even really have to be in the game to know that much. And as much as the church is uncomfortable with lamenting over some very real struggles we all have, God honors our honesty.
Like I said, I’m 33 years old and I’ve had sex once in my life. But Jesus was 33 when He died and never committed any sin. I’m quite sure He understands what it is like to want and not have that want fulfilled. So if you woke up this morning and felt like you were tired of not having sex. If you woke up and felt slighted in any way, just remember what you don’t have to be tired of. As for me- I’m not tired of God’s many continued blessings in my life. I’m not tired of Holy Spirit comforting me whenever I feel discouraged. I’m not tired of not being anyone’s mama before I was ready to (shout out to all the moms, y’all work hard)! I’m also not tired of STD’s. I’m not tired of the confusion of being in a casual sexual relationship. I’m not tired of God’s renewed strength to continue to strive for the things I know are coming to me. And I’m not tired of loving a God who loves me so thoroughly that He died on the cross to save me from what I can’t keep myself from doing. There’s no condemnation in Him so whether you’ve been celibate for 10 years or 10 minutes, you’re covered! But if you have been running with Jesus a long time, it's ok to be tired. If anyone feels you, I do. And I am praying for you because I also know that Jesus can and will give you rest. Chances are you will probably need it in preparation for the next (coupled up) season of your life.
In the meantime, here are some things that will help you keep your purity and your sanity:
1. Do not let social media convince you that everyone is living in an alternate happily-ever-after universe. Remember that comparison is the thief of joy. If your timeline makes you feel discouraged, take a break! You know how us Christians will go on a social media fast in a heartbeat? Good! Do that! This is not obsessive, it is healthy.
2. Confess your temptations. Find a person who identifies with your values on abstinence that you can trust and actively confess your short-comings. Sin will eat you alive if you are the only one who knows about your struggle. You need a friend who can pray for you, listen to you and encourage you in your spiritual goals, including abstinence!
3. Tell the truth. Some of us are in denial about how much we need to be honest with God. Sex itself is not demonic, it is holy and wanting it does not make you wrong. So talking to God about it should be a healthy experience. But we have become really great at being at either end of the spectrum in our spiritual life- doing these joyous, mighty over the top declarations and prayers or not praying at all because we are mad at God or feel unmotivated or discouraged. Give God your discouraged prayers too. Talk to Him even right after your shortcomings. Talk to Him when you are angry. And when you do feel lost, confess to Him. He hears and you will feel more free and happier not keeping your feelings to yourself.
4. Stay close to God. Pray, worship and be intimate with Him when no one is watching. A lot of us in church are living double lives- applauding purity in public but living very single, sexual lives behind the scenes. The reason some of us don't abstain from sexual relationships is because we have allowed our desires to overpower us so long that now we no longer feel convicted about them. But the more time alone you spend with God, the less you will feel inclined to break His heart. Sin hurts God because He wants to see you live abundantly and be more than a conqueror in every area of your life.
Lastly, remember that doing all of the above will not make you perfect. Jesus Himself is the only person who has the power to be that! Sometimes, in spite of all our planning and strategizing we cannot keep ourselves from falling. That is why the bible says, for every temptation, The Lord will provide a way of escape 1 Corinthians 10:13. Pray that God allows you to see them quickly. Always take it and if you fall, don't stay there just because "what's done is done." It baffles me how people believe that salvation can save them from everything they've ever done but will fall sexually one time and stay there believing their purity is gone forever.
In my 10 years of celibacy, I have definitely not been perfect. There were many times where I "tried it" putting myself in positions that I knew fed my appetite for sex and affection because I was "tired of not having sex". I was definitely tired of fighting something that came so naturally to me. But thank God that He's not tired of forgiving us. The struggle is real! But it won't last always. God gives His children good things and best believe when I get the "good thing" in question, ya'll will be getting a whole new "otha kind of book" of lit poems.
"Your sexuality paints a vivid living picture of the gospel message. You were made for love, for deep knowing and for the safety of a promise that can't be broken."
- Sex and the Single Girl | Juli Slattery
*Some name(s) in this blog have been changed to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent parties - thanks for reading