The Black Woman, Celibacy/Abstinence, and Sexual Freedom
When you hear a woman say she is celibate or abstaining from sex, what comes to mind? Does your mind churn such statements as, "What's wrong with her?" "She must have been sexually abused." "She's uptight." "She'll never get a man with that attitude." "Who is she to be celibate? She's not a virgin."
These are some of the negative comments I have heard when sharing that I am celibate. When did freedom of choice become a crime against sexual freedom? Some ask why I have chosen celibacy at 48 years of age. My response, why not? Some wonder if I date. Yes, I do; and sex is not in the equation. Will men want to have a relationship with me knowing I'm not going to let them bed me? Some have decided I was not worth their time; but guess what? They were not worth me. These are questions to ponder in depth.
This topic is quite sensitive and very personal for me. There has been a very long and heated dialogue about celibacy/abstinence and intimate relationships. I believe that we are free to choose how we live out our sexuality. This is called FREEDOM OF CHOICE. However, there are some who think that my CHOICE of celibacy/abstinence has everything to do with past sexual damage. This is far from the truth. My decision to be celibate/abstinent has everything to do with me taking responsibility of my sexuality; but most of all my overall health.
There are too many life-threatening sexual diseases out there. One woman shared what she heard on a recent radio program:
“Catching up on some podcasts and this man called into a show and talks about how he's depressed. Comes out he was in the military, in the Middle East... contracted AIDs... then came home and infected his wife, who has since died from the disease and he's still living.”
According to Women's Health, AIDS is the number one killer of African-American women between the ages of 25–34. These same women are more likely to die from HIV/AIDS than any other ethnic group of women. Why is this so? This study blames it on poverty, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), the incarceration of Black men who use the penial system as a revolving door, which increases their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS; and lastly, Black men who are 'on the down low', yet they do not consider themselves bisexual and not disclosing their bisexuality to the Black women they have sexual contact with.
I have raised my children; and I want to enjoy the second half of my life. I do not want to spend it wondering whether or not the man I have sex with after a few dates has given me a life sentence. As one Black woman said, “. . . a great relationship is predicated on great communication.” I agree 100%. I also would like to add that a great relationship is predicated on honesty, integrity, loyalty, respect, and fidelity. There are too many men and women who are great communicators; but are dishonest, conniving con-artists, and selfish. I want to know that a man truly cares for me – inside and outside.
Whether you choose to live a sexually active or celibate/abstinent lifestyle, it’s called FREEDOM OF CHOICE. What others may think is their business. However, you have to live with the consequences of your CHOICE. I choose to live a life that is not predicated on sex. I am worth what I say I am worth. No one except me can determine my value. The same goes for you, especially for our youth. For whatever reason you choose to live out your sexual life, it is YOUR CHOICE. Celibacy and abstinence prevents pregnancy and STDs 100%. All I desire for you is good health and true love. Do not put your life or another person’s life at risk. Love yourself and you will love others.
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