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JENNIFER'S GEMS
by Jennifer Brown Banks

"Born Again" Virgins
Why Many People Are Saying "Yes" to Celibacy

“The most exciting men in my life are those who have never taken me to bed.” ~Eartha Kitt

The reasons are as diverse as the faces. Men and women, Blacks and Whites, old and young, in record numbers, across the country are practicing celibacy as a lifestyle choice.

 

Some are “born-again” virgins, choosing to abstain from sex due to bad choices and emotional burnout from the past. Others see it as a protective measure due to the AIDS incline and the fear of unwanted pregnancies.
Religion also plays a factor, for those feeling that premarital sex goes against biblical dictates.

Because “sex sells,” many would be led to believe through all the girly magazines, movies, and media hype, that singles everywhere are out feverishly “doing the do.”

Not true.

Here’s the 411 on this widespread phenomenon.

There used to be a time that celibacy branded you as a “loser” or freak of nature. Not anymore.

In my own circle of friends, (and I’m talking about very attractive, straight, successful women), some sisters are simply saying no to consummated relationships.

Take for instance, my friend “Connie.” Connie’s a 39 year old, very attractive teacher. After a divorce and a few drama-filled dealings on the dating scene years later, she decided to hold out “until God sends the right man along.”

For her, sex complicates relationships and makes it more difficult to determine long-term compatibility and sincere motives in men.

Connie also believes that a couple can share intimacy without sharing body fluids.

She’s been “on the wagon” for 3 years.

It’s been challenging for her to keep a positive perspective, but she’s convinced that some man, somewhere, will realize the gem that she is and be willing to wait.

And joining the ranks is my friend ‘Annette,” who is a brilliant computer technician. Annette got pregnant twice, unexpectedly. She’s never been married before and finds single parenting enjoyable but exhausting. Having been “burned” before, there’s just no way she’s going to take a chance on getting knocked up again, so she stopped dating altogether about 5 years ago and immerses herself into her work.

Then there’s “Gloria”, my “homegirl” who’s been a veteran cop for more than a decade. She simply believes that sex without marriage is wrong. At least according to her religious teachings. Though she wants to be married, and believes that she will be one day, she’s content to casually date until she finds her “divine” connection.

According to Donna Marie Williams, author of SENSUAL CELIBACY,
Celibacy comes in different forms. Here’s a breakdown of some of the different types of celibacy and related practices.

PROFESSIONAL CELIBATES
Include nuns, monks, and priests. Sexual abstinence is dictated as part of their vows and vocation.

RETIRED CELIBATES
Are individuals who have enjoyed sex in the past (or maybe not) and are now quite content to live without it. Some widows and seniors might fall into this category.

TEN COMMANDMENT CELIBATES
Are committed to abstaining from sex until marriage.

TECHNICAL CELIBATES
Are women who are involved in passionate love affairs. They consider themselves celibate because they are not indulging in intercourse, but come pretty darned close.

MODERATE CELIBATES
Remain celibate until involved in a monogamous, committed relationship that may or may not lead to marriage.

HEALING CELIBATES
Deliberately excuse themselves from the dating arena in order to heal from emotional or physical trauma. Some women in this category have been victims of domestic violence, rape, or the death of a spouse.

Is celibacy natural or realistic in today’s dating environment? I polled a few singles and these are their responses.

“Given the high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, not only is it possible, it’s probably wise!” ~ Elaine. 35 yr. old entertainer

“It depends on one’s values and comfort zone.” ~ Daryl. 59 yr. old arts activist

“Men of mature age (over 40) won’t be accepting of it. They need intimate relief.” ~ C.B. 45 yr. old nurse

What’s your take on the topic? Is it possible? Is it practical?

Drop me a line and give your views and verdict at
Gemsjen@yahoo.com.

Be safe and savvy! Until next time...



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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.


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