All Articles Tagged "abstinence"
Anyone who has ever attempted to date while practicing abstinence can tell you that it’s not an easy task. Navigating through the dating world can be challenging enough, but making the life-changing decision to close the shop and hold out on the goods in some ways makes things even more complicated. Entrepreneur and founder of Blackcelibacy.com, Jeremy Billingsley, however, is seeking to make things a bit easier for abstinent singles with his new site. According to the company’s vision statement, the goal of the site is not only to connect celibate singles, but to dispel untruths and stereotypes placed on people who practice celibacy.
“At BlackCelibacy we are dispelling the antiquated notions about celibacy for Black Singles, such as celibate people are unattractive, celibate singles are scarred emotionally, or if you are celibate you can’t date. Black Celibate Singles and Black Singles are joining at an alarming rate and finding love. Black Singles practice Celibacy for a number of reasons, such as: Spiritual, Ethical, avoiding STD’s, Self Discipline, Self Discovery, or just simply trying to avoid Premature Relationships. BlackCelibacy is more than a dating site with a niche of celibacy for Black Singles. Our dating site connects with Black Singles from a Spiritual, Ethical, and Social stand point.”
During a recent interview with Essence.com, Billingsley revealed that he’d actually received inspiration for the site while listening to a sermon one Sunday.
“I was in church and the pastor was preaching about love and and he was really trying to direct the sermon to the singles there, and I though to myself, outside of the church there really aren’t that many places where celibate singles can go that embraces that lifestyle and meet others on the same accord as them. When like-minded singles can get together you’re going to get better results.”
He went on to say that the alarming percentage of Black children being born into single-parent homes and people being plagued by STD’s serves as a driving force in his efforts to promote celibacy awareness as well.
“I’m married with three kids. One of the reasons I did this is because over 70 percent of Black kids are born into single-family households and the HIV and AIDs crisis. I wanted to do something different that would make a difference in the future but we’ve been deeply embraced within the Black community.”
Billingsley was also sure to communicate that although Black Celibacy is faith-based, the site is open to anyone who practices or is considering practicing celibacy.
“We are a faith-based site but our mission is celibacy. BlackCelibacy.com is for anyone who is celibate or considering celibacy. And it’s for those looking to meet others with the same values. We’re growing now. There aren’t just Black people on there. We actually have people of all races on the site.”
What do you think? Would you try out a site like Black Celibacy?
I Used To Be A Hypocrite! DeVon Franklin Says He Was A Backsliding Preacher Who Engaged In Premarital Sex
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard at least a tiny tidbit about Meagan Good’s courtship and marriage to her Hollywood executive hubby DeVon Franklin. What made their relationship stand out so much in the sea of other Hollywood unions was how openly they discussed their decision to practice celibacy before tying the knot. During a recent interview with Let’s Pray TV, the newlyweds were asked about how they were able to discipline themselves to refrain from having sex before their wedding night.
“I had made a commitment of celibacy a long time before her [Meagan] and I had started dating. What motivated the commitment is also what helped me to keep it once we started dating. As you all know I preach and what happened was, I was kind of living a double life. I was preaching one Gospel, but then not living it. Trying to be two people started tearing me apart. I was like ‘Man, this just does not feel good in my spirit.’ So here I am doing this with this one woman and I’m going out preaching something different. Once I got out of that relationship, I made a commitment to God, ‘Once I’m out Lord, I’m done and I’m not going to do this until I’m married.’ I need to live in peace and I can’t live as two different people. So the desire for peace and harmony was the motivator. The other thing was the thought that if for some reason my disobedience were to disqualify me from God’s purpose for my life, would the activity that I was engaging in be worth it?” DeVon expressed.
“When Meagan and I got together I was already pretty strong in my walk and my commitment. Now this is Meagan Good so I had to do some prayer. I had to know myself and say ‘Alright, we just gonna hug right now and maybe kiss ya on the cheek.’ You have to know yourself. You have to be honest with your triggers. You also have to be vocal about your commitment. We talked about it. I didn’t know she was on that page, but I was blessed to learn that she was and it was just a matter of helping her stay strong in it,” he continued.
His honesty is refreshing, especially since some church folk like to pretend that they’ve been saved, sanctified, holy ghost-filled and baptized in the blood of the lamb since they left their mama’s womb!
Turn the page for footage of their chat and to hear Meagan share how she stuck with her commitment. Thoughts?
It seems that being close friends with power couple Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin, in addition to his role in the 2011 rom-com Jumping The Broom could have possibly be rubbed off on Laz Alonso. In a recent interview with Sister 2 Sister, the Deception actor discussed the success of the Franklins’ courtship and commitment to celibacy and how they’ve inspired him. He also shared his own views on celibacy and entertained possibly even practicing himself. Check out some of what he had to say.
On the decision to become celibate:
“I think it’s everybody’s choice. You know, people have different ways of going about their emotional and their personal lives. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer. It’s all opinion and what works for you. I think what worked for Meagan and DeVon has obviously worked very well because they’re madly in love with each other and they are a role model couple for me. I can’t really force feed my opinion down anybody’s throat. I just think whatever works for you works,” expressed the 38-year-old actor.
On the possibility of practicing abstinence:
“I mean they [Meagan and DeVon] got married. So maybe I need to try that approach.
I think that it is absolutely beautiful how Meagan and DeVon can inspire those around them. Whether by merely provoking people to consider celibacy; which is something they may have never even considered before or making the decision to become celibate. We can’t say for sure whether or not Laz will be hopping the abstinence train anytime soon, but it’s cool that he’s open enough to consider it.
Check out footage of Laz talking celibacy on the next page. Have you ever practiced or considered practicing abstinence before?
For some women, there is nothing they wouldn’t do for their man. Although love should be unconditional, many women feel the need to prove their love to a man, even if it means compromising their beliefs, safety or even their freedom to show them what a “down A$$ chick” they are. However, a man who truly loves you will never ask you to do anything you’re uncomfortable doing in order to prove your love to him. Your love and devotion should simply be enough, and couples who share true love will never have to prove anything to each other. However, if your man begins a sentence with, “If you loved me, you’d…,” run because most likely, nothing good can come of it. Showing your love shouldn’t be shameful, painful, humiliating or illegal, and while you may think you’re assuaging his insecurities, you’re actually just allowing him to manipulate you. Think there is no limit to showing him how far you’ll go to prove your love? Think again. Here are 10 things no woman should do for a man, simply because he asks her to.
There’s a certain level of tackiness that is to be expected when one accepts an invitation to appear on Howard Stern’s radio show, but I’m sure most of us really could have done without the intimate details Nick Cannon spilled on his wife, Mariah Carey, and their sex life.
On the show, the “America’s Got Talent” host was asked about the couple’s abstinence period before they got married. Just to be clear, there were only six weeks between the time the pair met and jumped the broom April 30 of 2008, but during that month-and-a-half, they didn’t engage in any type of sexual activity at all. For most women, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but you know how men are, so Nick was asked if he was worried about Mariah’s bedroom skills at all before tying the knot. He gave Howard this graphic answer:
“It was Mariah Carey. If Mariah Carey gave a bad b**w job, I’m still going in. In my mind, I’m wit it,” he said. “Either way she’s still one of the most beautiful women on the planet.”
Nice save on the last part, but unfortunately Nick’s responses got gradually worse. It appears to be the thing these days to ask celebrities whether they get it in to their own music, and Mimi’s husband admitted that they do. But what’s a little more over-the-top, is Nick saying that he pleases himself to Mariah Carey tunes, and that “Hero,” of all songs, happens to be his favorite to get off too. I know the bridge in that song is pretty powerful, but c’mon Nick, really? “Hero?”
I’m curious what Mariah thinks about her husband’s recent late-night interview. While it may be flattering that he handles his business to the tune of her voice, I would not want, not just my man, but my husband and the father of our children, talking about our sex life and how he felt me up like a sixth grade virgin on national radio, especially a kinky show like Howard Stern. Being the diva that Mariah is, I would’ve thought she’d feel the same, but she also likes attention and this is definitely giving her a lot of that.
Check out the bleeped up video of the convo on the next page if you so please. How are you feeling about Nick’s interview and these TMI details?
We can all make a compelling argument for why we SHOULD have sex. After all, it’s fun, it feels good and is good for you, and it’s the most intimate way you can share yourself and your love with your partner. But there is a flip side to that frisky coin, and varying attitudes towards sex show that there are plenty of reasons why you should hold off on doing the do. If you’re on the fence on whether or not you should have sex with a new guy, or for the first time ever, here are some things to consider before going all the way.
When I share with other women that I practice abstinence, it is usually followed by an inquisitive look. Most want to know how long I’ve been refraining from getting busy and how long much longer I plan on continuing with it. How long? Almost three years. Until when do I plan to hold out? My wedding night. The responses that I usually receive following my answers vary. Sometimes I get the eye roll, which is usually followed by girl-bye-no-one-abstains-in-2012 look. Sometimes I get a “good for you.” Other times I get a response that goes something like, “That’s great, I tried that once, but it didn’t work out,” or the infamous “That’s sweet, but get a little older honey and see if you’re singing that same tune.” However, the most frequent response that I get is “I always thought about it, but I could never do that,” which is probably somewhat true. By telling yourself that you can’t, you’ve already sabotaged yourself.
What many don’t realize is that celibacy isn’t something that is merely physical. From my own personal journey, I’ve come to realize that it is more of a mental battle than anything else. It is about making up your mind that you are going to refrain from sex and wanting it bad enough to truly stick with it, regardless of what opportunity presents itself and who comes along looking to change your mind. While there are plenty of people out there who will preach why you should become or remain celibate, not many are providing enough insight as to how. So, I’ve provided some of the tips that have helped me in my own personal journey, as well as some lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Recognize why you’ve chosen or are considering celibacy - Not knowing the reason why you’re doing something can greatly hinder your progress and success. I personally decided to abstain from sex for religious reasons. As a Christian, the Bible advises against participating in premarital sex. While I had already made the mistake of engaging in sex outside of marriage, I didn’t wish to continue with it. I no longer have the gift of virginity to give to my future husband; however, I didn’t wish to continue giving away what I did have to a guy that was undeserving of it.
Inform your current sexual partner (if you have one) that you’ve kissed that life goodbye – Unless you plan on cutting all ties with the current boyfriend or friend with benefits that you’ve been engaging with, then you should probably inform them that you will no longer be taking part in the festivities. Now, I can’t guarantee you that their response will be the most encouraging, because realistically speaking, it probably won’t, but verbally putting it out there takes pressure off of you and it decreases expectations.
Refrain from putting yourself in compromising situations – Just because you’ve chosen to take on the challenging task of locking down the goods, that doesn’t mean you’re superwoman. You are still human. With that in mind, try to avoid putting yourself in situations that might tempt you to give in to your desires. We’re sexual beings and to think that because you’ve decided to be celibate you are somehow exempt from getting “turned on” is foolish.
Don’t lead him on – Participating in 4-play knowing that you don’t have any intentions of going all the way is crazy. Besides, celibacy means abstaining from all sexual activities, not just the main attraction. By doing this you also make things more difficult (tempting) for yourself. It is unfair to him as well.
Inform anyone that you are seriously dating or considering seriously dating of your decision - This just helps you to avoid headaches in the long run, it always shows you where your love interest’s head is at. First, it puts everything on the table. You are letting it be known upfront that sex is not on your agenda. Allow them to then make the decision from there whether or not they wish to continue a relationship with you.
Align yourself with other women like you – The decision to be celibate can be challenging at times. Having support from people that have embarked on similar journeys can be really helpful and encouraging, especially on those rough days.
Be selective with the men you choose to date – Practicing celibacy while dating a sexually active man is really difficult, some would even call it impossible. Practicing celibacy while dating a sexually active man who doesn’t respect your decision to be celibate is a recipe for disaster. It’s probably in your best interest to date those who have also made a decision to practice abstinence.
Control your thoughts – There will be times where your mind wants to wander back to how it used to be. You’d be surprised at how vivid and accurate your memory can be sometimes. You have the ability to be in control of your thoughts. While you may not be able to completely filter the thoughts that pop into your head, you can definitely decide what you choose to dwell on.
What are some things that you found helpful during your journey with celibacy?
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The last image a young woman wants to have when losing her virginity is a vision of her father. But for the hundreds of young girls who participate in purity balls each year, decisions about sexuality are heavily influenced by the protective presence of their fathers.
Recently, the popular National Geographic Channel show Taboo featured a segment on the episode “Teen Sex” about the practice of purity balls. A purity ball is a formal dance or ceremony attended by fathers and their daughters where the young women pledge their virginity to the protection of their fathers until they are married. The fathers then pledge to safe keep what they see as their young daughters’ “purity of mind, body and soul.” The practice is closely associated with evangelical Christian churches and originated by Randy Wilson in Colorado Springs in 1998. A field director for the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization, Wilson promotes purity balls across the country and his website boasts that they have been held in 48 states.
Before I get into how purity balls can easily take a left turn down a double-standard dead end, in their defense, purity balls send a lot of positive messages. I could never imagine being able to come to my father and have an honest, un-awkward conversation about sexuality and relationships. In fact, for most young American girls, their father’s reaction to them being sexually active is one of two extremes: Your crazy daddy chasing boys out your bedroom window with his sawed off Smith and Wesson not far off; or what is an even worse reality for many girls: Daddy not being there at all to care. The purity balls on this episode featured fathers taking a very active involvement in their daughter’s honor and well-being and treating them as the treasures that every little girl should feel like she is to the first man in her life that defines to her what a man should be for a woman. As one of the fathers on the episode stated, “The man sets the moral compass for the entire family.” Wilson goes even further emphasizing that purity balls are more about the fathers than they are the daughters. “The idea was to model what the relationship can be as a daughter grows from a child to an adult. You come in closer, become available to answer whatever questions she has,” Wilson offers to fathers struggling to find a place in the lives of their maturing daughters.
But even with the best intentions in the world, the whole purity ball ceremony is honestly kind of creepy when played out. The girls march to an altar in a procession of mini child brides alongside their fathers dressed in somber suits. The dads then descend on bended knee placing purity rings on their daughter’s left hands. The compliant girls adoringly gaze down in white dresses promising to remain abstinent until marriage. What was also slightly unnerving for me is how young the girls appeared to be. The youngest girls appeared to be all of 9 or 10 years old and I’m still not convinced that they are 100 percent sure of what they are actually signing up for. As they slow-dragged their feet in tune with their fathers, their expressions were vacant and apathetic, not passionate and empowered like young women convinced of their moral path. Some guidelines state that girls can be as young as four years old and as old as college age, but the majority of young girls who participate do so once they’ve entered puberty. At an age where young girls are debating the decision of tampon or pad, making a semi-permanent pledge about virginity could be seen as an unnecessary amount of pressure.
“Oh, you go to church? You know what they say about church girls…” is a phrase that I’ve come to despise over the years. Church girls have unfairly been given (and have sometimes earned) some of the worst reputations around town. “Hypocrite” “Holy Hoes” and “Frauds” are only the tip of the iceberg. What many fail to realize about church girls is just because many of us were born into the church does not mean that we were born saints. And just because we’ve been around long enough to learn how to quote scriptures or shout on cue does not mean we’re perfect. For many of us, church has become a way of life, almost like a part of our culture, something that we “do” as opposed to something that we are. From birth church wasn’t actually a choice for us, it was a rule. We had no choice, if our parents were churchgoers by default we were as well. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with this. I personally believe that children should be raised in church. However, I also believe that if you are doing something out of obligation, chances are your heart probably won’t be in it, which is why you have some girls who seem to suffer from bi polar disorder, they profess salvation on Sunday and profess everything else Monday through Saturday. I remember being one of those girls.
I was raised in church. I was taught right from wrong. I was told which lifestyles were pleasing to God and which were not. It was easy to do the right thing when I didn’t have much freedom. The challenge came around the time I was given more leeway from my parents. You know, when I was allowed to have a boyfriend, given my own car, started college and all of that good stuff. It was the time when I didn’t have my parents over my shoulder telling me right from wrong. I had always vowed to remain a virgin until marriage but as my new found freedom came rolling around, my virginity became a thing of the past. Yes, I was taught that sex was designed for procreation and enjoyment between married couples , but when it all came down to it, I had made a decision to do what I wanted to do. I remember when my mother came to me to tell me about these new abstinence classes that my church began implementing for teens and young adults. Outwardly I smiled, inwardly scowled at the thought of taking abstinence classes. Ironically, I prayed she didn’t try to make me sit through those classes. I was far gone. There I was sitting on the second pew of my church on Sunday’s and doing me the rest of the week, fitting into the typical church girl stereotype.
I remember when it hit me that I had made a terrible mistake. It didn’t happen as I was sitting in front of a preacher speaking damnation over my soul because I’d sinned against God. It didn’t happen at some revival or shut in. I was actually alone, driving to class. It was personal. I was genuinely sorry and not merely because someone told me that I should be. It was in that moment that I began to see God for who he truly was. I vowed that although I had made the mistake of giving someone my virginity who wasn’t my husband, I would remain abstinent until I was married. It wasn’t easy, it probably took me about six months from the time that I made this proclamation to actually begin living it, but it was possible. It took a conscious decision from me, myself, not anyone else. I remember when abstinence classes rolled around again. I had been abstinent for one whole year by then. No one had to even have to mention the classes to me. I was the first one signed up. When the classes came to an end and I was presented with my abstinence ring, it actually meant something to me and again, it was personal. On the ring was engraved “I’ll Wait.” Every time I glance down at it I am not only reminded of my commitment to God and my future husband, but also of God’s unchanging love. It wasn’t just something that I did because I had to do it. It was a conscious decision that I made, which made the ring mean so much more.
Church girls are just like anyone else looking to find their way. Yeah, we may have been raised around biblical teaching, but accepting Jesus and submitting to a life which would be found pleasing unto him has to be a personal decision, just as someone who was never raised around these teachings. There are some of us who get it ingrained in us very early and then there are some of us who may need to go out and experience “life” before we come back with genuinely repenting hearts. This is not to justify the lives of those that live like hell during the week and can preach the kingdom down on Sunday, just to tell the story from the point-of-view of a group of women who are often misunderstood. Christian doesn’t mean perfect, it just means that we are striving to be more like Christ.
Jazmine Denise is a New York City based Lifestyle & Relationship writer. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
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By Jazmine Rogers
Dear Husband of My Future,
Although I have yet to lay eyes on you, I have faith that you are worth the wait. Contrary to what I used to believe, you will not complete me, but you will compliment the whole person that I already I am. With that said, I have been and will continue to take advantage of my time of singleness because I realize that singleness is not the plague, but a time for me to work on myself and evolve into the woman that I was destined to be. This is why I will not waste this great season of my life sulking and complaining about not having a man. I was taught that patience is a virtue and great things come to those who wait. So instead of doing all that, I am using this time to attain multiple degrees, pursue the career of my dreams, travel the world, learn more about myself as a person and even learn what it means to be a wife as opposed to a girlfriend.
It is in this time of singleness, I have chosen to refrain from certain activities in which most single young adults in my age group engage in, such as sex. On August 8, 2010, which was my 20th birthday, I made a public vow in front of my entire congregation that I would refrain from sexual activity until the day that you and I exchange our vows in front of our loving family and friends, sealing our promises with an “I do.” Most would see this decision as absurd and unrealistic, but I believe that with God all things are possible. I wish to fully commit myself to you as well as our marriage well before we even cross paths. Although I am in no way perfect, experiencing things the way that God truly intended for them to be done is extremely important to me. I realize that sex is not merely for pleasure but it is a responsibility and a bond that should be shared between a husband and wife. I have also been a witness of the detriment that sex before marriage can bring and I wish to give our marriage a fair chance. Sexual intercourse can spiritually and emotionally tie you to a person and I wish to walk with as little baggage as humanly possible in your direction. No disrespect to anyone else and their choices.
With baggage in mind I have also made the conscious decision to refrain from recreational dating because along with physical purity, I wish to enter our covenant of marriage emotionally and mentally pure as well. I will not date guy after guy just because, acquiring broken heart after broken heart just to appease my boredom or to satisfy my temporary loneliness. I don’t wish to come to you with a shattered heart covered in scars and bruises seeking for you to put the pieces back together. I refuse to enter our relationship not trusting you because of something some other guy did or did not do in the past that I could’ve completely avoided had I just waited for you. I will not jump at the first guy who smiles at me. I have been a witness to church hook-ups gone wrong that have even evolved into church marriages gone wrong and have made the decision not to partake in all that. I’ve been the church girl devastated to find out that the church boy she had been dating had been dating every church girl in and within a 25-block radius of said church. That is why I will stay single instead of calling Tyrone as one Madame Noire writer stated. Engaging in frivolous relationships to merely cure singleness as if it some devastating disease is pointless and not worth the trouble that it brings. I will guard my heart as Proverbs 4:23 instructs me to and I will follow the instructions of Song of Solomon by “not awakening love until its time” and setting my affections on no one other than you. Whoever you are.
I’ve been called a dreamer for believing that a man like you exists. I’ve been called unrealistic and impossible. I’ve even been told that I believe that I am living out a Tyler Perry movie, but despite the naysayers, something deep down in the pit of my stomach tells me otherwise. I don’t believe that I am unrealistic for not settling for any old Johnny or Tyrone for that matter. I don’t believe you to be perfect, no one walking this earth is; however, I do believe that we will perfectly balance out one another. Call it picky, but I only wish to be with the one that God designed specifically for me instead of the man who alters himself to fit the mold of what he believes that I want. We may not cross paths for another five years, five months or five weeks, but once again, I have been convinced that patience is a virtue and I am willing to wait.
See you soon,
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