All Articles Tagged "sex"
Millennials make dating a group activity. From helping friends swipe left or right to sharing post-date details and advice in group chats, close friends pretty much know everything about each other’s dating history, habits, and partners. So, to help your friend meet someone new while at the same time possibly scoring your own romantic connection, Tinder has launched Tinder Social. This new app feature allows people to arrange nights out between groups of friends.
In a blog post describing the new platform, a Tinder rep stated the following:
Tinder has always been about getting you out of the house to meet someone new. But sometimes you want more than a party of two. Often your best nights are when you’re hanging with friends, someone makes an unexpected connection with someone in another crew, and your two crews have an amazing time together. Maybe you spark a romantic connection. Maybe you make new friends. Either way, a good night out with your friends becomes something better. That’s why we’re launching Tinder Social, a new platform that helps you plan your night out. For this launch, we’ve made changes to the feature to deliver a more real-time experience. People can see who’s going out tonight, what they’re up to, and plan their night, easily and efficiently—all on Tinder Social. if you want to go out, invite friends to join your group, then swipe and match with other groups nearby who are also going out.
The post goes on to explain that if you’re looking for plans (and potential dates), you can invite friends to join the group you create. Once you’ve done that, you swipe to match with other groups who are planning to hang out nearby.
But first things first: In order to use Tinder Social, you have to unlock it in the Tinder app. Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to see which friends have unlocked it as well. Afterward, you can create said group, and together, explore other groups to be matched with. An example of this can be seen below:
Just remember, at noon the next day, your group and matches will disappear. (Tinder even claims that your Uber may also turn into a pumpkin. #Jokes) But before it does, be sure to plan another night out with your friends and those new potential boo thangs. Or better yet, start scoping the Tinder scene for a new group to hang with.
Tinder Social is only available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India.
Will you be trying Tinder Social ?
A few years ago, my best friend Naya got engaged to her current husband and a friend of mine had a complete meltdown. Instead of saying she was happy for Naya, she instead said that it wasn’t fair and that she couldn’t be happy for Naya because she hadn’t been proposed to, yet.
During this brief conversation, several red flags were raised and I side-eyed her ’til my eyes hurt. And although I understand engagements, weddings and babies can trigger people to become depressed or grief-stricken, these events happen constantly in my family and circle of friends, so I never understood people who remain in a rut or angry at others for their life milestones. Until now.
New York City Psychotherapist Katherine Schafler told Glamour : “It’s very common, not just with an engagement, but with seeing a baby—even if you’re not in a relationship—or seeing somebody who just landed some sort of milestone. I call them ‘adulthood stamps.’ They trigger the desires and the wants that you have but, for whatever reason, might not have realized yet.”
Schafler also noted that people, especially women, shouldn’t judge themselves for feeling initial emotions of jealousy. “Reactions are emotionally reflexive things that we don’t do on purpose. If someone threw something at you, you’d have a physical reflex of dodging it,” she explained. So to work through your emotions when you learn someone has reached a milestone, Schafler recommends you “give yourself some space” before criticizing your thoughts. She also also notes that your reaction serves as a personal reminder that you want to achieve similar goals and that’s a good thing. Your reaction may also be a sign to you to make changes in your own life. This may mean that you need to end the relationship with your current partner, go back to school or stop holding off from family planning.
Although I do agree with Dr. Schafler’s advice, I believe some Miserable Marys may skew it to justify being selfish haters.
Do you agree and how have you handled friends getting engaged (or reaching any other milestone) before you?
Months before the temperature drops and cuffing season begins, Netflix has launched a new feature called Flixtape, with just enough time for it to catch on by fall.
Instead of searching for television shows, movies or documentaries, Flixtape allows users to pick already made playlists of the aforementioned to enhance your nightly binge watching. And if you’re not satisfied with the playlists other Netflix users have curated, you can create and title your own. When opting for the latter, you first create a title for your Flixtape and Netflix will try to “decipher what mood you’re in,” according to Glamour. Netflix will then suggest viewing options to you but you can pass on what they’ve selected and include your own favorites.
For example, I created “The Dancehall Flex” Flixtape and received the following suggestions: Narcos, Ip Man, and Scandal. (Yeah, I’m laughing too) I then added Marley, the documentary on Bob Marley’s life and Save The Last Dance. If you’re looking for a particular title, you need to be certain that Netflix still streams it. To be fair, I knew Netflix no longer streamed the Jamaican classics Shottas and Queen Of The Dancehall but I wanted to see if the titles they recommended fit the same thrillers/ drama genre field as those films and they delivered.
Despite the intuitive nature of Flixtapes, once you exit the site, all of your Flixtapes are erased unless you share them via social media. Also, only six titles can be featured in one Flixtape, so get your creative juices flowing because you
may will be creating numerous Flixtapes.
Author Daniel Bergner’s book “What Do Women Want” became a hot topic when he revealed, “women’s desire – its inherent range and innate power – is an underestimated and constrained force.” His research uncovered that, “despite the notions our culture continues to imbue, this force is not, for the most part, sparked or sustained by emotional intimacy and safety.” He brings the point home with, “one of our most comforting assumptions – soothing perhaps above all to men, but clung to by both sexes – that female eros is much better made for monogamy than the male libido, is scarcely more than a fairytale.” Really?
It’s taken for granted that men have sexual needs but for some reason it is still shocking in our society that women are sexual creatures. That’s what all of the articles on hook up rules, culture and BET’s “Being Mary Jane”(BET says season 4 is coming soon!) are saying between the lines – wow, look, women want and need sex. On the other hand, you are probably having the same reaction I that had when I read that quote. Obviously, sir.
Let’s all breathe a collective “duh” into the ether and move forward. After all, we women have the only body part that exists solely for the purpose of pleasure. The beatific miracle called the clitoris has about 8,000 nerve endings. Eight thousand! Yes, desire is a part of our domain.
Desire is defined by dictionary.com as “a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.” I define desire as a force of passion. When we are passionate about our families, our careers, our health and our bodies, we are clear with ourselves about our desires in these areas.
Let’s discuss sexual desire and the single woman.
You are single. Your name is neither Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte nor Miranda but you are an unattached woman in a city, village or town somewhere. You are an adult woman (maybe a mama) with physical needs. What’s a consenting and desiring goddess to do?
Forget a fish out of water; when I became suddenly single after a 10-year relationship I felt like a fish tossed into a restaurant. I was flip flopping around without a leg to stand on. From flirting signals to dating rules, everything was new and confusing to me. When I finally got my sea legs I realized that I had no significant other to make decisions about my life. I never felt more free; free to say yes, no, maybe and next.
Singlistas, take the opportunity of your current unattached status to live for you, without apology. We’re all used to being the sexual object of men. It’s an entirely different stance altogether to think of yourself as the subject, the leading lady of the story, not just the supporting the wife, girlfriend or mother role. You are not the image in someone else’s gaze.
Can we retire the whole virgin-whore concept already?
It’s not about “slut shaming” or “prude shaming.” The sexuality of real, full-blooded women is usually much less extreme.
I always have been a monogamy kind of girl. To each her own but casual sex just does not interest me. I enjoy gourmet intimacy, not fast food hookups. I also hold what I’m working with in high esteem. If I had a bounty of rubies and pearls would I offer them as a party favor? Probably not. A counter argument, though, is that one abundant in precious jewels might gain pleasure from sharing them. Your call.
Don’t get me wrong. I am far from a sexual snob. I’ve just never had a one night stand but then again that’s just semantics. Have I “made out” with someone and then opted not to see him again? Sure. The first, second, third base stuff from grade school is ridiculous. We use this supposed hierarchy of sex to make some encounters more or less egregious than others.
“I did not have sex with that woman.” Sure he did. You may not have had intercourse but you had sex. You exchanged sweat and sexual energy. You had sex. The same is true for all of us. Deal with it.
I speak to teen girls about discovering the strength to stand firmly in their own choices. I tell them that the decision of whether to have sex has nothing to do with being pure, chaste or untouchable but knowing instead that their bodies belong to them. You can’t “lose your virginity” like you lost your favorite locket.
I also add, when speaking to women no matter the age, that it is about having a sense of self-worth. You are not some dainty, weeping willow but what you are is more divine than anything on the planet. You are a succulent and juicy creator who deserves to be selective about who she allows into her heart, mind, spirit, womb and panties.
When it comes to being sexually empowered, two people could be taking what looks like the same actions with completely different intentions. Self-worth is the difference between a girl flashing her boobies in a “Girls Gone Wild” video for 10 seconds of peer-pressured infamy and an empowered woman who truly knows and values herself choosing to be a burlesque performer on a pole. The second woman seemingly has more agency in her life although we hold no judgments against the choices of the first.
If you are sleeping your way across the Garden State because it’s the only way you can feel loved, then you have an issue with self-loathing. If you decide like “A Year of Sex” author Mia Martina to be a sexual explorer because you want to know more about who you are, then have at it. As Brown Girls Burlesque star and “Prose & Lore” writer Essence Revealed says, “One of the biggest steps was when I stopped putting more value on other’s opinions of me than I did on how I feel about me. Once you stop caring about what ‘they’ will think, life gets so much better.” Indeed.
So, you find yourself unattached & horny.
This is where the Afrodite Encounter comes in. What’s an Afrodite Encounter? You may also know it as a Booty Call, No Strings Attached Sex, a Casual Encounter, One Night Stand, F*ck Buddy or Friends With Benefits arrangement. Aphrodite, of course, is the Greek goddess of love, pleasure and beauty. Her Egyptian contemporary is Hathor, the goddess of feminine love and joy.
Here are the “official” self-loving hook up rules. Remember, whomever you’re sleeping with, you still have to wake up with yourself. No matter how quick, short, small or whatever, it’s a sacred energy exchange. Treat yourself with care and respect your partner as well.
1- Be honest.
Tell the truth to yourself and to your lover. Ask yourself, why am I doing this? The correct answer should be, because I want to I had a client who felt that she was punishing your ex by being promiscuous.
Sexual repression forces people to feel that they have to be underground with the fact that they are a sexual being. Own your needs. Don’t lead anyone on. Be clear about what is happening. If you don’t want things to lead to a relationship, say so.
2- No Expectations.
Don’t feel a need to make it what it is. A booty call or one night stand is not a binding social contract. You know how many letters I get from women saying that they’re secretly in love with their hook up buddy and don’t know what to do about it?
Know what you can handle. You are signing up for an “it is what it is” status. Don’t try to turn it into “it’s complicated.” “It is what it is” does not include: being upset that he didn’t call or text, wanting breakfast in the morning, expecting that he will be an amazing lover or wanting him to give you money or presents. Those things would be great but if they weren’t a part of the deal so be it.
3- Use protection.
When I heard the stats of African American women contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases I had to create a Safe Sex Initiative. Safety comes first. Pretty penises spread diseases, too. Subscribe to the B.Y.O.C. school of dating.
If you think that there’s a chance that you will be naked together, Bring Your Own Condom. If the man thinks that you’re a slut because you want to be safe, keep it moving. He’s not worth your time anyway – and probably has a small wenus.
Safe sex also means sex that is emotionally safe. Make sure that your partner is reasonably sane before being alone with him. You always have the right to be treated with dignity. You’re not the jerk whisperer. Make your bedroom a toad-free zone.
4- Easy on the booze.
I know, I know. Liquor has been getting people laid since the beginning of time. One could certainly theorize that there might be little hookup culture without this social-sexual lubricant.
The fact is that we are more likely to have regrets if we’re blinded by wine goggles. On the more dangerous side of things, it’s easier for boundaries to be crossed when you’re drinking. Of course, you have the right to say no at any time. When we don’t have our faculties clear, we can easily place ourselves in harm’s way.
5- The Girlfriend Protection Club.
Always text your girlfriends the name and address of the person you’re meeting. I ask my friends to also send me quick license plate and photo face shots or any “stranger” they’re going out with. Paranoid? I think not. Have your fully charged phone with you at all times. (No, don’t answer it during.)
6- Be wary of the social media trail.
Have you ever laughed with friends over a photo of some man in a compromising position? You do know that they do the same, right? There are whole listservs dedicated to dudes trading photos and stats on hookups.
Is he tweeting, facebooking or instagramming about you? Be informed. This ain’t your grandma’s hook up days. The trail of your time together could last longer than the actual interaction.
7- Don’t linger.
Unless invited to stay longer, when your partner leaves the bed you should too. This guy told me that he often pretended he had to go somewhere and would actually get on the subway to get rid of women after a one night stand. Need clarification? Reread the section on “No expectations.”
Don’t “accidentally forget” your sweater. Give a hug and say goodbye. Know that lounging around with someone you’re not connected to won’t help you be less lonely or heal a broken heart. Letting the other party know that you’re open to a daytime date is a more honest way to go.
8- You can always change your mind.
You invited him over or went home with him and now you’re having second thoughts. You’re not obligated to do anything with him! At any point you have the right to change your mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re both completely naked. Your body, your choice.
As I have said often, someone buying you dinner (or anything) does not obligate you to have sex with him. Know your worth. No monetary scale exists to calculate your “P power.” Within you exists the power that creates worlds. Don’t barter that for the skirt steak.
Feel free to step out of the box. Have fun! That’s why you’re there, right?
10- Practice being shameless.
A popular Guyanese insult via my mother and aunts is, “You got no shame?!” This could apply to anything from a wrinkled shirt to a failed grade. Guilt says ‘I did a bad thing’ and shame says ‘I am a bad person.’ Release them both. Shame and guilt are useless emotions.
Own your behavior. Take full responsibility for your actions as an adult.
You make choices. Some of them are great and others not so much. So what if it wasn’t your shining hour. Big deal. Welcome to the club of being human. You’ll make better choices tomorrow. Beating yourself up after the fact changes nothing.
Enjoy. You came, you saw, you conquered; not necessarily in that order. Lucky you.
Passionate Living Coach Abiola Abrams gives extraordinary women inspiring advice on healthy relationships, evolved sexuality and getting the love we deserve. You’ve seen her love interventions in magazines from Essence to JET and on shows from MTV’s “Made” to the CW Network’s “Bill Cunningham Show.” Find love class worksheets, advice videos, coaching, and more at “Abiola’s Love University.” Tweet @abiolaTV or #loveclass.
While it was believed for some time that the Zika virus, which is typically spread by the bite of an infected mosquito (particularly, the Aedes aegypti mosquito), could only be spread from men to women or men to men, according to The New York Times, the first reported incident of a woman passing the disease on to a man through sexual intercourse has health officials confused (and scrambling). It’s happened in New York City.
While all cases reported prior to this one have been through men spreading the virus to their sexual partners, the CDC and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued a report on Friday stating that “This represents the first reported occurrence of female-to-male sexual transmission of Zika virus.”
According to The Huffington Post, the woman, who is in her 20s, returned from travels in a place currently active with Zika transmission. She had unprotected vaginal sex with her male partner, also in his 20s, that same evening, and the next day she found herself dealing with symptoms of a rash, fatigue, body aches and a fever. She was diagnosed with the Zika virus after seeking treatment.
Seven days later, her sexual partner came down with similar symptoms. The woman’s same medical provider also diagnosed him with the virus. Considering that the man hadn’t traveled in a whole year before he was diagnosed, and said he hadn’t been bitten by a mosquito within the week before falling ill or had any other sexual partners, all signs pointed to her. The specific country she visited was not named.
According to The New York Times, the woman actually “reported having headache and abdominal cramping while in the airport before returning to N.Y.C.” It was also shared via the CDC’s report that she started her period that same day, and it was much heavier than usual. “It is unclear if the virus was transmitted to the man by the woman’s menstrual blood or by vaginal fluids,” the Times stated. “If the virus was passed along through vaginal fluid, there is very little information on how long it might persist there or how great the risk of transmission during intercourse is.”
The CDC has for quite some time recommended that pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant forgo sex with a partner who has returned from travel to or lives in a place with active Zika transmission, or at least use a condom every time. This has been stated in hopes of curbing the possibility of microcephaly in babies. Now that it’s known that women can spread it as well, officials say these recommendations should also apply to women with female sex partners.
Since news of this transmission came out on Friday, New York City officials are reportedly increasing their surveillance of mosquitoes and mosquito control, but will still keep a majority of the focus on sexual transmission in new campaigns to educate people about the virus.
Women are known to fake orgasms so their partners’ egos aren’t bruised during unsatisfying romps in the hay. But one study has found women also fake orgasms for another not so innocent reason: to get out of unwanted sex they didn’t necessarily consent to.
In a study created by the British Psychological Society, 15 women between the ages of 19 to 28 who had been sexually active for at least one year were interviewed to discuss why they fake the Big-O in the first place. The researchers found that “despite being recruited to talk about consensual sex, all women spoke explicitly of a problematic sexual experience,” a press release noted. Although the participants never used the terms “sexual assault” or “rape,” they described their sexual experiences as unwanted and explained the need to get out of them. “[F]aking orgasm provided a solution for ending sex where, culturally, not many options are available.”
Study author Emily Thomas of Ryerson University in Canada explained, “While some women spoke about faking orgasm in positive ways, for instance, as a pleasurable experience that heightened their own arousal, many talked about feigning pleasure in the context of unwanted and unpleasurable sexual experiences. Within these accounts, we were struck by the degree to which women were connecting the practice of faking orgasm to accounts of unwanted sex.”
By faking orgasms, the women believed they were able to exert more control over their sexual circumstances, especially when other alternatives solutions were not made available to them.
Although the entire study wasn’t released to the public, its general theme sheds light on the need to understand what consent is and how to offer or deny it.
“It appears that faking orgasm is both problematic and helpful at the same time,” the authors wrote. “On one level faking an orgasm may be a useful strategy as it affords some control over ending a sexual encounter. We are not criticizing faking practice on an individual level. We want to focus on the problems with our current lack of available language to describe women’s experiences that acknowledges, names and confronts the issues women spoke of in our interviews.”
Not every relationship issue is easy to get to the bottom of. Sometimes it’s easy to point to someone’s behavior as the reason for friction. Other times, bickering and distance seem to multiply and be the issue. And sometimes, it’s something deeper. When emotions are involved, we don’t always want to point to sex as the issue that’s coming between us. But if these problems are your main ones, it might be a sign that you and your partner get along everywhere but the bedroom.
Sexual compatibility is important. Every relationship needs a spark to get going, and that spark can die down to some degree when you’re in a long-term relationship. But if it goes out completely, it can put a relationship in serious trouble — especially if neither of you are interested in getting the heat going again. Is a lack of sexual compatibility holding you and your partner back? Can a relationship work without it?
Traveling soon and ready to find the love of your life — or at least have a mind-blowing hookup? Look no further because Tinder has some vital information for you.
According to Tinder Passport, a subdivision of the dating app, the top cities in the world to find that special someone are: London, New York and Paris. It also noted that the 12 other cities listed in the picture below are becoming popular destinations for users to match and meet potential dates.
Aside from romance (and sex), Tinder Passport also allows users to get to know other members so that they may create friendships or exchange tourist information. For example, despite Rio de Janeiro ranking as the seventh city to find romantic trysts, Tinder reports that they’re seeing a 10 percent surge in swipes and matches as people prepare to travel to the Brazilian city for the Olympics.
International cities like Bali and Indonesia have also revved up in user interest since 2015 with a 60 percent increase. Drake’s beloved hometown of Toronto also saw a 44 percent increase in user swipes — no surprise there, who wouldn’t want to find a Champagne Papi for herself?
Have you found love during your travels to any of these top cities? Share your experiences below.
h/t Travel Pulse
This post is about penises. Specifically, are women really worthy of their attention?
Yeah, I know: What kind of NO MA’AM (National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood) post is this?
Well, that’s what I said when I read a post on the blog The Game Is Sold Not Told entitled, “No More Easy D-ck ‘Women Must Pay Dues.'”
Yeah girl, the shenanigans…
The post is by blogger Ken Brisbon, and as the title suggests, he is sick and tired of being community ding-a-ling. More specifically, he became despondent after a lady friend of his made the flippant remark about how d-ck is free and she could get it anytime.
This upset Brisbon, who was under the impression that women were put on this earth for the sole purpose of fawning over his man parts. The sheer shock that there was at least one woman around who didn’t give a hot damn about his peter made him get all sorts of introspective. And then he got philosophical.
The thought of this doesn’t really sit well with me because I think about all the free d-ck that I gave away. I think about how many women had access to my d*ck, but they didn’t earn it. They didn’t prove themselves worthy to be in the bed with me, but I wasn’t thinking that at the time, because I was operating in thirst.
Operating in thirst clouds a man’s judgement. If a man is unable to master his sexual desire, he will never be able to totally access his human capital. A man’s human capital is his worth, it’s his essence, it’s a price tag that isn’t associated with money, however money is a byproduct of that man’s human capital.
As Brisbon would go on to say, there are four types of human capital a man has:
- Experience (“He paid for it with trial and error, or he paid for it with his money, either way he paid for it, and since he paid for these experiences, women should pay him for his time.”)
- Connections (“The relationships that this guy made will bleed over into the life of the woman he is dating, so now his connections become her connections.”)
- Knowledge (“Men that have great knowledge should never dumb themselves down just to entertain women, the women must pay significant dues, because the acquisition of his knowledge cost him.”)
- Health (“This man works too hard to allow himself to be in the company of a woman who is a slob.”)
As Brisbon would note, a man who doesn’t understand his human capital finds himself in plenty of trouble, including unwanted pregnancies and poor financial straits. As such, “Men have no value in the world, and even though this world is built on patriarchy, still some way somehow men are valueless. Women don’t value a man’s d-ck, that means she doesn’t value the man. A woman can be a low life and still get d-ck offers from a thousand men even though she isn’t even worth it.”
You know, why can’t men be emotionally mature enough to write a first-person post like, “How I learn to value and love myself”? Wouldn’t that be more honest than all of this penis and vagina talk?
But for real though, I don’t think it is actually a bad idea for men to think less with their penises and more with their actual heads. Far too often, the fellas define themselves by how promiscuous they can be, particularly with the opposite sex. And a little soul-searching to find out what they have to offer a woman beyond some strokes might do more to tear down patriarchy than all of the Susan B. Anthony commemorative marches combined.
However, I’m still not certain if Brisbon gets it all the of the way. In his essay, there is not talk about the importance of maintaining good emotional and mental health. There is not a single point made about holding other brothers accountable for the way in which their “human capital” is spent (men put just as much pressure on other men to be “easy” as women supposedly do). And he is still defining his worth by how women feel about his penis. This is most apparent in the line, “Women don’t value a man’s d-ck, that means she doesn’t value the man.” Newsflash: We are not supposed to value a man’s d-ck. We are supposed to value men, much in the same respects that we want them to value us (as something more than our vaginas).
But hey, the work has to start somewhere. I will say though, Brisbon has a long uphill battle with this one. There are p-rn shops and strip clubs in just about every major and minor town in America. Not to mention mainstream advertising as well as film and television that often plays into the animalistic lust of men. Brisbon may feel it is the fault of women for the reasons men come off so easy, but the reality is that it is society, which they created, that doesn’t really allow them to be anything else.
Charing Ball is a writer, cultural critic, free-thinker, slick-mouth feminist and queen of unpopular opinions from Philadelphia. To learn more, visit NineteenSeventy-Seven.com.
You don’t have to go to church to learn the rewards of celibacy. Migrate on over to your social media world and you’ll find couples like Ciara and Russell and Meagan and DeVon promoting the power of “the wait,” while showcasing their happily ever afters to their millions of followers. From afar you can’t help but to admire – but from the inside looking in, it ain’t as easy as it looks. Most celibacy stories (or the ones I know) hold the same narrative. Two people with differing pasts, come together, fall in love, and stay true to their devotion of saving sex for marriage. Though they proclaim it’s a struggle, temptation never seems to successfully sway them from their path.
For some, particularly my friends, abstinence is a foggy concept. In a sex-driven society, it’s hard to envision the benefits of holding out, especially when you’ve found Mr. Right. Before pledging celibacy, I succumbed to years of running away from the sexual restrictions I felt Christianity had on me. Run as far as I might, guilt was always trailing one step behind. It was like a nagging mother screaming at me to do right, when I clearly wanted to do wrong. I had relations and relationships that didn’t survive due to this guilt, and it continued to follow me right on into my current relationship.
I entered this relationship with the same sexual momentum and freedom, only to consistently cry myself to sleep at night. Though I tried to disguise it, I couldn’t help but feel like I was living a double life — glorifying God by day but battling the devil by night. When I confessed this to my boyfriend, he comforted my internal battles but didn’t quite understand them. He was re-establishing his own relationship with God, starting to develop a healthy prayer life and become more active in church, so I didn’t want to lay any additional pressures on him. It was important that I allowed him to grow on his own terms, even if it required me to silently suffer. Many open conversations and prayers led up to what I call, Revelation Day. One early morning at work, distracted by my spirit, I called him.
“Listen Damion, I love you and you know that but either we both work on refraining from sex, or I have to be okay with letting you go,” were the exact words that came tumbling boldly out of my mouth.
Immediately, post ultimatum, I was set free and no longer swallowed whole in fear – that crippling fear of potentially losing someone you love. After just seven months together, I questioned and prayed for my boyfriend to one day be open to this drastic lifestyle change. More than anything, I wanted this for us, and to plant our feet on solid ground. After prior attempts at taking relationships into my own hands, it was time to one in the hands of God. It was time for me to start trying to take my Christianity seriously with the man that my soul grew to love.
On the other end of that phone call, I held my breathe. I was certain that his response would only ache and break me deeper, though I was prepared. This wasn’t the first time I’ve hinted at halting our sex life, but it was the very first time that I meant it.
“I’ve been praying about this, and Nikki… I’m ready,” he responded. Those words. Those freaking words. See, that’s the thing about those storybook celibacy stories – God can shift your relationship at any time. When I thought my relationship could be potentially tainted and “unequally yoked,” God moved us to the next level together. We just don’t hear enough about the relationships that start fresh mid-way; the ones who have already dabbled in sexual sin but together make a beautiful sacrifice for their faith; or even the relationships that occasionally backslide but are committed to overcoming.
To abruptly shift gears and set a new tone in a relationship is an obstacle that requires a higher level of faith and discipline that a year later, we still occasionally struggle with. To be honest, we’ve messed up a few times over the course of our commitment. What keeps us aiming to get it right is our belief in God’s forgiveness, love and mercy. I no longer condemn myself for my mistakes. I just choose not to, but I’m not settling in them either.
My story hasn’t ended yet and I don’t know where this road will take us. It’s possible that temptation can one day consume us (again), but it’s also possible that I can be happily married a year from now having successfully fulfilled our commitment to God. There’s power in trying no matter the hiccups. What I’ve learned from my experience is that it’s never too late to start over, pick up the pieces or redirect the path of your relationship. Never.