Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Brain freeze

"Celibacy is hereditary. If your parents didn't have sex, chances are you won't have sex." Anonymous

Booty calls

Don't get suckered by the booty calls!

There's something about the moon rising on another day that's so relaxing. This is the time when we put the kids to bed and relax. In this calm state of being, there's no reason for your guard to be up. So inhibitions are lowered and we're open to feel and think the secret and most honest things of the heart. In this state we are at our most vulnerable.

And then he calls, with that deep, sexy voice of his. It's late. You just took a relaxing bath, and now you're all warm and toasty under the covers. The conversation goes something like this:

"Hey, babe, how you doin? Haven't heard from you in awhile."

"I'm doing okay. What's up?" you say, trying to act nonchelant, trying not to smile.

"Just thinking about you. What you wearing?"


Don't ever say I didn't warn you. SC is not only about abstaining from sex at a time and duration of your choosing, it's also about being aware of the many ways you can be seduced out of your commitment.

In SC, I introduce the idea of the "sexual trigger." A sexual trigger is anything that makes you want to do the wild thang. A man's walk, his talk, his dress. Music, cologne, fine dining, dancing, flowers. It can be anything. Sexual triggers usually operate on the level of the subconscious, which is why so many people have accidental sex ("I don't know what happened, it just happened! See, what had happened was...").

Use this precious time alone to discover yourself. Identify your sexual triggers. Have fun with this exercise, but also become conscious and aware about the hundred and one things that have the power to turn you on.

Information is power. As you become aware of your sexual triggers, red flags should go up when you're being strategically seduced. You will probably continue to feel stimulated, and that's okay. You're not a stone. But now you can say "no thanks" and keep on stepping.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lingerie and celibacy

If you're committed to having it all, then the wait in between relationships can sometimes take awhile. It is so important to remember that you're a vivacious woman (I'm preaching to myself here) with or without a man. That part of you never stops.

With no man around to motivate you, though, it's easy to slip into sweat suits and forget to put on make-up.

You've got to feel girly and lovely for you. Sensual celibacy is about self-confidence, self-love, and self-acceptance.

Here's an exercise that's absolutely critical to practicing celibacy with sensuality. The next time you get a little extra money, go buy yourself some sexy lingerie. A silky teddy or sexy panty and bra set underneath your clothes will help remind you just what the stakes are. And the stakes are high. Never again give yourself away to someone who doesn't cherish you and love you. Never apologize for demanding the best that love and life have to offer.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Media pedophilia & psychomedia perpetrator disorder

The American Psychological Association released a report yesterday that analyzed 300 studies over the past 18 months dealing with media's packaging of girls as sex objects. Over the next few days I'm going to review the findings and report back to you.

First, let me explain today's headline. Media pedophilia is the low down, lecherous use of girls as sexual commodities. Media is that sociopathic pimp that packages and markets highly inappropriate sexual images of girls to viewers, consumers, and the girls themselves. The sexy girl is so ubiquitous in media we now think she's normal. So do our girls.

Psychomedia perpetrator disorder is a term created by Alfred "Coach" Powell, author of Hip Hop Hypocrisy: When Lies Sound Like the Truth. It means "media copycatting" or imitating behaviors promoted in media. Media pedophilia and psychomedia perpetrator disorder go hand in hand. Hip Hop Hypocrisy exposes the devasting impact of 'gangsta' rap on youth development, academic performance, and behavior. I edited and co-wrote Coach Powell's disturbing manifesto, and I must admit, it kept me up at nights, thinking about the world that my daughter and nieces will have to negotiate.

When my own book, Sensual Celibacy, first came out in 1999, the reception was lukewarm. Reviews were positive, but my target audience, single women, had mixed feelings about the issue. In fact, unless they were of faith, they really didn't want to discuss it. Naively, I was shocked.

Whenever and wherever I spoke, women unleashed their anxiety, anger, depression, and irritation on me because I had the nerve to suggest that if you keep doing what you're doing, you're going to keep getting the same result (definition of insanity). A message board suggested that something was wrong with me for practicing celibacy. I agree! I was miserable in "relationships" that were going nowhere but to bed.

Looking back I realize my sistas were mad but not necessarily at me. I was just the messenger, and you know what happens to the messenger. The celibacy message is hard to take because it puts responsibility for your love life in your own hands. Can't blame the man anymore.

Interestingly, the group that really hungers for guidance is teen girls. Whenever I speak to girls about relationships, celibacy, and virginity, I have a rapt audience. ESPECIALLY if they've had sex!

From what sexually active girls tell me, and the studies are providing evidence, they regret having had sex. Yet, nowhere in the media will you see commercials or sitcom characters express this sad revelation.

If adults find sexual responsibility a challenge, why would we think our girls (and boys) would know what to do with their raging hormones? It's up to us to teach them and protect them from harmful images and themes. If we don't, we'll have only ourselves to blame for losing an entire generation.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

How to stay positive during a trip to the welfare office

Sistas, poverty is a bitch. Being broke and in debt are close behind. As a self-employed writer/editor, I've seen both. (Not for too much longer, thank you God.)

From time to time I have to make the trek to Human Services to deal with my medical benefit. Even though it's not as chic as, say, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, it has helped me tremendously with a past surgery and medicine. So I'm thankful for it.

Yesterday I went to take care of some business. Usually I keep my head in a book until my name is called, but instead I decided to do some people watching.

One woman's cell phone went off and the security guard barked, "No talking on cell phones!"

A gentleman ate sweets and candy while standing in line. He moaned and groaned with every bite. He offered an elderly man some of his food, and the 2 ate and moaned with pleasure.

A young mother took her 2 young children to the rest room. The boy was screaming for attention.

A staff member came into the building and said "Good morning" to everyone, clients included.

A client around my age came in, hobbling on a cane. She seemed to be in a lot of pain. The first person in line let her go in front.

There was a lot of noise in the area behind closed doors, a lot of talking and laughing. It made you wonder if any work was getting done while we waited and waited. A client kept saying, "Tell them to be quiet back there. Get to work!" Then she turned around to me and apologized. "It's just that they were so loud," she said.

How do you stay positive amidst all this humanity? How did some Jews survive the camps with their sanity in tact? How were some African slaves able to smile and love during horrendous conditions?

How do we, as single, trying-to-be celibate women, keep the loneliness at bay?

There are millions of nightmare scenarios that can boil down to just one question: how do we stay positive in the midst of the storm?

We make a decision to stay positive, and then we take one positive action. This will make you strong and you'll feel so much better about your circumstances.

For example, after I left the welfare office, I went home and did some writing. Did more research on my business activities.

Your greatest leaps forward will be made in the midst of life's greatest challenges -- IF you can remember to not give into hopelessness and IF you take one positive action. Make this a habit.

Every time you take one positive action in the midst of a negative situation, you literally propel yourself into the future that you desire.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

V-Day dedication

Today's Valentine's Day posts are dedicated to my sistas who are sacrificing short-term sexual pleasure for long-term love. Be proud of yourselves, because it ain't easy. Just know that it will be SO worth it in the long run.

Helping teens wait

As parents, we've got to do all we can to help our teens wait for sex. In the spirit of "it takes a village," Bangkok police are helping parents out.

A Reuters article headlined "Thai teens keen for Valentine's Day sex" explores how Bangkok is dealing with their horny youth.

In a poll of 1,578 teenagers by Assumption University, 1/3 of the girls said they'd have sex on Valentine's Day if their boyfriends asked. Another survey of 1,222 teens (University of Thai Chamber of Commerce) found that 11% planned to lose their virginity on V-Day. Only 51% said they would not have sex.

I agree with Bangkok Deputy Police Chief Kamol Kaewsuwan who said, "Love is nice and beautiful, but it does not necessarily involve sexual engagement. Teenagers would do better focusing on school."

I don't agree with his approach to dealing with the problem, however. The kids are under a V-Day 10:00 pm curfew and decency watch. If they break curfew and are seen hugging and kissing, they'll be taken to the police station to wait for their parents to pick them up.

I may be old school, but even I think this is a bit harsh.

Thank God for this week's blizzard and freezing temperatures that are keeping horny Chicago teens at home.

Spring on the runway

I found the coolest site. New York Magazine provides extensive coverage of the spring 2007 collections, as well as previous seasons. There are articles, videos, blogs, and lots and lots of runway photos. If you've got some time to goof off and if you love fashion, this is a great place to peruse and indulge in fantasies.


One of my favorites: Jeremy Scott's fall 2006 fusion of food and fashion are hilarious and refreshingly self-deprecating. It's great to see pizza and french fries on those model bodies instead of my own hips and thighs.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Like mother like daughter?

A serious generation gap exists between mothers and daughters, especially in the area of sexuality. Baby boomer mothers came of age during the free love era. We explored our sexual powers openly. We thought we could have sex like men—with no emotional consequences.

We discovered the hard way that sex without love, monogamy, and commitment is a disaster waiting to happen. So we try to teach our daughters about being careful and protecting the heart.

Thanks to the slippery slope of free love and today’s pornographic society, our daughters aren’t buying it. Just as we refused to listen to our mothers, they refuse to listen to us. Peers and teen celebrity idols command their attention--the blind leading the blind.

The mixed messages are so confusing. In pop star Fergie’s song “Fergalicious,” she says she’s not promiscuous, but have you seen the video? I guess she just needed a word to rhyme with Fergalicious.

Back in the day, if you dressed explicitly, you were a slut. Today, dressing explicitly is high fashion. For a minute, X-rated rapper Lil’ Kim seemed to be featured in every other issue of Vogue magazine wearing her pasties and little else. This is high fashion? The editors couldn’t find any another young African American celebrity with her clothes on?

GQ anointed gangsta rapper 50 Cent as one of their men of the year. They couldn’t find a celebrity who believed in family and not killing one another?

A pimp used to be a guy who sold prostitutes on the street for money. Today, a pimp is anyone who has sexual power over others. It’s nothing for teens to call each other pimps, bitches, and hos.

Is this just youth culture sowing wild oats? Or have our children been so infected by pornography smeared on their cell phones, iPods, TV ads, music videos, video games, and fashions that we are helplessly witnessing a generation-wide death of the spirit?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pain-free V Day

3 days to Valentine's Day and counting. Yesterday I was in a lazy mood, so with remote control in hand, I scanned the networks for something mindless to watch.

Nothing but love stories. I felt myself getting depressed, but then I reminded myself that these stories were Hollywood's version of love. Totally fake.

That realization didn't make me feel better, so I headed toward the kitchen to load up on cookies and milk. Then, just like a Hollywood movie, I was rescued. A friend called and invited me to a pow wow over at his house. I knew everyone there, and as we got to talking about our hopes and dreams for the future, I felt SO much better.

The moral of the story? Being with real people you care about is much more satisfying than sitting in front of the TV and eating to medicate pain.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Love didn’t wait on Dirt

My latest TV obsession is Dirt, starring Courteney Cox as the ruthless tabloid editor. In this week’s episode, reporters went to a small town to investigate the murder of a high school teenager.

Although this good girl and her boyfriend had made the abstinence pledge at church, turns out she was pregnant when she died. I half expected an immaculate conception theme, but thank God they didn't go there.

Her boyfriend is questioned and he insists she couldn’t have been pregnant. They had only done it, er, where the sun don't shine. Gross. Teens invented the idea of technical virginity. They will have oral sex, anal sex, and everything in between and still call themselves virgins. That’s bull!

Anyway, after I got over the shock of this admission on TV (thank God it wasn’t prime time), it made me think of all the ways women try to shortcut their celibacy.

We want to know what we can and can’t do. Whenever I’m asked what’s allowable during celibacy, I start getting very suspicious. This is a woman who wants to have her celibacy cake and eat it too. Not the best metaphor but hopefully you get the point.

Being sexual on a date is dangerous to your celibacy commitment and unfair to the man. No matter if you’ve told him of your decision to abstain from sex, he’s not going to believe it if you’re rubbing up against him and ooo’ing and ahh’ing. Think he’s going to stop when you say “now stop?” (If you can find the strength to say it, that is.)

In SC, I present what I call the Passionmeter. It helps you see how innocent behaviors can build up and lead to falling off the wagon.

talking → holding hands → eye gazing → sweet talk → kissing → tongue kissing → dancing → grinding → clothes coming off → clothes off → doing the deed (p. 159)

Sistas, you’re not made of stone so don’t lie to yourself that you can engage in sex play but not have sex. If you’re truly committed to abstaining from sex for awhile, then protect yourself, and I’m not talking condoms (although, just in case, have a few around). Don’t do the things or put yourself in situations that will inevitably lead to accidental sex (“I don’t know how it happened, it just happened!”).

Friday, February 9, 2007

Crazy studies for singles

A couple of new studies to report.

The first seems like a rerun of past research into pheromones and sexual arousal. (Remember when they were putting pheromones in perfume? Maybe they still are?)

The recent study found that there are pheromones in male sweat and they cause women to get tingly.

When I used to go to the health club, I stared at men a lot. Little did I know it was their sweat turning me on. I thought it was grossing me out.

So put sweaty gyms on your list of sexual triggers. Stay away! Beware!

Study #2 is way more interesting and a joke for those of us who've been single for awhile. Question: Would you give up 15 months of sex in exchange for a full closet of new clothes?

All I've got to say is point me to Nordstrom's! Then in 15 months, I'll have new, pretty clothes to go out on dates in.

(If I find the sources of these studies I'll give full attribution.)

Mixed messages

Several years ago, Toni Braxton appeared on the cover of Vibe magazine near butt naked. She claimed she wasn’t going to have sex until marriage. Many found this claim hard to believe considering that she was, well, butt naked.

Britney Spears claimed she was a virgin, and she was with Mr. Sexy Back when she said it. Justin outted her and told the world that Britney wasn’t a virgin and that he should know! Oddly, the more she claimed virginity the more clothes she took off. What’s up with that?

I actually sent Britney a copy of Sensual Celibacy, but I never heard from her. As Britney events have unfolded over the years, I realize she never read my book. If she had practiced even a couple of the abstinence strengthening strategies presented in SC she might have avoided marriage to Kevin. Oh well. I tried to help the girl!

Even Paris Hilton says she’s going without sex for a year. Then what? Nail every guy who comes to town?

Do we believe these overtly sexual women? Can you wear your sexiness on your sleeve and still claim to be practicing celibacy?

Technically yes. My definition of celibacy is “abstention from sexual intercourse” (SC, p. 19). Beyond that technicality, however, there’s a deeper emotional commitment that goes with being alone for awhile. This involves withdrawing from as many things as possible that trigger uncontrollable sexual desire and dangerous situations that make you vulnerable.

Can you still party (sexual dancing, crunking) and drink Cristal (removal of inhibitions) and stay strong in your commitment? Just something to think about…

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Abstain and bring sexy back?

Yesterday I talked about flooding your senses with beautiful music. Today I’m remembering how much I LOVE Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake. (Although I hate that part about the shackles and being a slave and whipping. Okay, I try to not listen to the words, which is why I end up listening to instrumental music most of the time.)

The point of today’s post is that sometimes we need to remember that we’re still sexy and sexual even though we’re not with our soul mates at the moment.

Beware: A song like Sexy Back is only for advanced abstainers! By advanced, I don’t necessarily mean how long you haven’t had sex but how strong you feel in your decision to abstain. You know you’re strong if you feel aroused but are not inclined to do something crazy about it. NOW you’re probably ready to start dating and flirting again.

If you’ve just made the decision to abstain from sex for awhile or if you’re feeling extremely vulnerable right now, change the station when Sexy Back comes on.

But if you’re feeling okay, turn it on, turn it up, sing along, and dance ‘til your feet hurt!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Music for the soul

Sensual Celibacy is all about flooding the senses with so much joy and ecstacy that you don't have time to whine and cry about not having a man. For bringing beautiful music back into my life, I must thank the talented girls of SugarStrings (www.sugarstrings.com): my daughter, Ayanna (14, cello), and my nieces Mira (9, viola/violin) and Adé (9, violin).

Music can help you stay sane while you're going it alone. Just make sure you're listening to music that uplifts you and doesn't constantly remind you that you're by yourself. Pop music is probably the worse type of music to listen to while you're single. It's designed to stimulate sexual feelings. In our situation, that's the worse possible thing. It can take you off your plan if you listen to too much of it.

It can be difficult to withdraw from certain types of music. I say withdraw because you can become addicted to music. I told a friend once who was having a hard time being single that she should stop listening to slow jams. If she could have, she would have hit me. She said, "Don't ask me to give up my slow jams." Well, then, you're always going to be stimulated and longing for something you don't have right now.

I would even go so far to say that you could get so stimulated that you might end up making some bad decisions, like having one night stands and accidental sex (the "I don't know how it happened" kind).

My daughter and I constantly talk about her favorite rap tunes because they are full of gratuitous sex. There's nothing in that music that promotes healthy relationships, love, marriage, or monogamy. In fact, it's just the opposite.

I listen to a lot of instrumental music--jazz, classical, and Old School because I don't want music to talk to me about having sex when I ain't getting none (you know what I mean?). Remember Barry White and the Love Unlimited Orchestra? Pop groups don't make instrumental tunes anymore. How come?

My latest musical passion is for a classical concerto by Brahms: the Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34 performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Octet (Amazon.com). Although it's in a minor key, it doesn't feel morbid or scary, like the theme from Psycho. It feels majestic. I've listened to this concerto so much that it's now ringing in my ears! But I dare you to listen and not feel uplifted and royal.

This kind of music reminds me that I'm a queen and just because I'm not with a man doesn't mean that I can't enjoy life to the fullest. If your music doesn't make you feel that way, maybe you should change your tunes!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Goal setting during the fast

A vacation from sex is a great time to do some goal setting, life planning, and following through. After all, there's no one around to stop you, is there?

How do you want to live your life? Don't go small here. Dream big.

Can I make a suggestion here: try not to focus so much on the man thing. Get yourself together first.

Next, write down your goals. Write activities for accomplishing those goals and then a reasonable timeline for completion.

That's it. If you've got a long list of goals, you might want to pick the top one or two so that you can focus on getting the activities done. You don't want to spread your energies too thin.

Let me know how your 'vacation' is going!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Warmth for the single soul

Global warming is in hibernation here in the Midwest. It's FREEZING outside today. There's something about cold weather that makes you want to snuggle up with another warm body. If you're single, you may not have that option. I hate to point you to food again, but wrap yourself in your favorite blanky and sip a cup of hot chocolate. Not only will only will the liquid warm your bones, you'll get your chocolate fix as well!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Orango Island, women propose marriage with fish dinner

I have the answer to all of our male-female relationship problems. The people of Orango Island off the western coast of Africa believe that love comes to the woman first, so it only makes sense for the woman to propose marriage to the man. Instead of a diamond ring, the woman lays a plate of fish before her intended. Eating the fish means he accepts the proposal, and immediately he falls in love with the woman. With this system, divorce is almost unheard of.

Isn't that beautiful?

Some young men, seeking work off the island, returned with the stupid idea of proposing to the woman. Missionaries are telling young women to wait for a man to propose. As a result, divorces are now occuring at a higher rate.

Instead of western ideas turning their world upside down, they should be teaching us the ways of love. With our divorce rate at 50%, we have a lot to learn.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Sweet sleep

One of the nicest things you can do for yourself is get a good night's sleep. I've noticed that if I don't get enough sleep, I eat more. I guess that's my body's attempt to get more energy. Lately I've been existing on about 4 hours sleep a night, but last night my body rebelled. I slept so hard and so long that I woke up late. But I sure felt better for it.