Is the idea of fornication killing the dating scene for Black women?
WARNING. This post will trigger you.
In fact, I’m not sure if you’re ready to even read it. Not because you’re not a grown woman, but because what I’m about to share with you will step on toes. And not just your toes, but the toes of your Big Momma, current Bishop, father and almost the entire culture of Black folk traditions.
In short, the legacy of your belief is going to be challenged.
But if you take a deep breath, and remember that your beliefs about sex, sensuality, desire and relationships have been borrowed from folks who loved you, wanted to protect you, but who were also living in an 1942 era where many women married at the age of 15, you’ll be happy I’m bringing this conversation into 2018.
I’m going to assume that since you’re still here, you want to be, and you’re giving me permission to call you into a greater, more liberating sense of your sexuality.
Living by the idea that sex outside of marriage is shameful has created myths that have become roadblocks for singles who want to be married. Women don’t feel comfortable flirting with a man they like because they don’t want him to think she’s desperate or a thirst trap. Men run away when a sista blurts out “I’m CELIBATE!!” during a first date, because they assume you’re sexually inexperienced (when the reality may be you’re celibate because you’re learning to make better choices in romantic partners).
And when a sista does decide she wants to enjoy casual sex, she calls it a “Ho-Tation Phase.” The idea is that having lots of sex makes one a “Ho” and that it should just be a phase.
I can hear you now: But Dr. Aesha…If I fornicate, men will take advantage of me. If I sleep with him outside of marriage, I’ll be punished and called a Ho, Jezebel, Slut, Fast, and whatever else I remember Mama ‘nem saying on the porch as they gossiped about other girls. God will keep my true husband away from me because I sinned!”
Who said believing good sex was a part of God’s good creation meant you needed to go out and sleep with the next man you see? I’m not telling what you should or shouldn’t do.
I’m inviting you into a more empowered way of thinking and believing.
Case in point:
I was a guest speaker at a Bible study called “The Truth about Fornication.” The pastor challenged the congregation to find the scripture that says “an unmarried man and an unmarried woman shall not have sex.” They were unable to because the scripture with those exact words, doesn’t exist.
However, Christian singles have been told if they “fornicate” they are condemned to hell or a life of loneliness. They are told to do purity ceremonies , to declare “No More Sheets,” to tell a man “no ringy no dingy” and to take life-long vows of celibacy which they won’t break, even if it looks like marriage isn’t an option for them.
Yet, survey after survey reveals that over 80% of Christians are sexually active!
Somebody’s going for a romp in the sheets, yet doing it in the shadows of shame, causes many sisters to believe marriage is out of their reach because they’ve “sinned” and are now eternally defiled.
Here’s why it matters:
Having sex from a place of “oops, it just happened! I was celibate for 5 years and then his cologne overtook me and I couldn’t help myself,” exposes you to unsafe sex.
And I don’t just mean physically unsafe. I mean sex that is emotionally unsafe because you didn’t have the Grown Folks conversations with a potential partner about
- what you need to feel safe (Did you get tested? Are you involved with anyone else? )
- why you’re choosing him (I’m attracted to you…I want it…I desire a parter who is sexually compatible with me…)
- what will happen afterward (Will you disappear after we make love? Are you expecting a relationship with me?)
This is serious, sisters. I once coached a client who told him she wanted to wait until marriage. He was on board with it, and started making plans for them to marry within the next 6 months. She freaked out and told him he was moving too fast and she needed a break. He was confused to say the least. When they got back together, the eventually had sex. She started to feel like God was going to punish her somehow, and eventually ended the relationship with the man who wanted to MARRY her! Her guilt and shame sabotaged the relationship, not sex.
Look, none of the people in your family, church or inner circle may have taught you to spit and not swallow your words. (pun intended) Speaking up–whether it’s to tell him why you’re choosing to be celibate or to tell him you’re open to a casual relationship–is a more empowered way to make decisions about your sex life. But to be effective and not miss out on the relationship you want, you need to communicate without the guilt, fear and shame.
Can you imagine what your life would look like if you ditched the idea of fornication and instead embraced sexual liberation?
Black women were born to be loved, just like everyone else.
You need tenderness, affection, attention, ORGASMS, pillow talk, fun, passion and everything that comes with a healthy sex life. These desires are NOT sinful. They are natural. In fact they were God-given and divine!
As Reverend Marcia Dyson said, “The Bible teaches that we are designed to be a “complement, helpmate and supplement’ to a man [Genes 2:18]. And yet now we are telling black women to live without a man. This doesn’t work on a number of levels.”
Give yourself permission to own your desires–all of them–and to have an empowered plan in place to fulfill those desires.
Did this post make you think? Share your thoughts with me below…and then share this post with your girlfriends!