Saturday, March 31, 2007

'Celibate Gets His Groove On'

Check out this interesting article about a man who'd been celibate for 3 years, only to give it up for a one-night stand. What do you think about that? (Don't get me started...)

Had it with the sex lives of celebrities?

Here's an interesting article in about celibacy, virginity, and celebrity titled "Celibate celebs: some aren't promiscuous." Check it out!

'Man's worst nightmare' -- Playboy

Several years ago, Playboy magazine reviewed my book, Sensual Celibacy, along with A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit and Cult of the Born Again Virgin by Wendy Keller. The writer declared that our books were a "man's worst nightmare." The review was written tongue-in-cheek, but it begs the question, is celibacy really men's worst nightmare?

For some men, yes it is; for others, no it isn't.

Let's say you're beginning to date, and you want to stick to your celibacy commitment. What can you expect in the meet market out there? Here's how I categorized men's various possible reactions to your declaration in Sensual Celibacy:

1. The See Ya Man. The moment you say no to sex is the moment he excuses himself from the table and bolts for the door. This man is frankly interested in sexual relationships, and that's his prerogative. Just be thankful that he had the decency to leave right away.

2. Casanova. Tell this man no to sex, and suddenly, you're the object of his most ardent attentions. You'll receive flowers, cards, and daily calls. If he's rich you might even get a blue box from Tiffany's. This guy's a real charmer, and if you don't keep your wits about you, you could fall hard. Casanovas are masters at identifying and playing women's sexual triggers....Trust your gut. If the guy seems too good to be true, he probably is.

3. The Scholar. Now here's a man worth considering. The Scholar has never seriously thought about celibacy in the past because he never had to. But now that you've brought it up, he's intrigued. And if he's interested in you, he could be convinced to share your celibacy experience....Don't be surprised, however, if he tries, from time to time, to get you to change your mind. Stand firm until you are ready to have sex with him.

4. The Renaissance Man. This man is a rare and precious jewel. The Renaissance Man is already a believer in, and maybe even a practitioner of, celibacy. There aren't many of him around, but this type of man does exist. I even talked to a couple of them for this chapter. They have strongly held convictions about honoring their bodies and the women they become involved with. One man I spoke to was a committed Ten Commandments Celibate. As you become stronger in your convictions about your celibacy practice, you'll be amazed at the quality of people who will cross your path. Don't be surprised if you begin to meet Renaissance Men. If you have the good fortune to become romantically involved with one, you start out with trust on certain issues, like fidelity. This guy is big on friendship and getting to know each other first, rather than trying to achieve instant intimacy through sex--and that's refreshing....The shadow side of the Renaissance Man is that he may be hard to get close to. He may be judgmental and intolerant of your sexual history. He may or may not be practicing a self-loving approach to celibacy, in which case you might want to run. If he is celibate because of religious reasons, then his practice may be colored by a lot of dogma. You'll have to decide whether you can handle that or not. If you really like this man, however, give him a chance.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The case for 'saving yourself' until marriage

Now that we're so enlightened and liberated, 'saving yourself until marriage' seems such a quaint phrase, even amusing. But I'd like to make the case for waiting until marriage to have sex. Or at the very least, I'll present to you my own rationales, and you see what you think.

This issue arises for me because last night, I got yet another call from a man who's been pursuing me sexually for a LONG time. I mean years. It's gotten to be a joke between us, but every once in a while he's serious. I tell him the same thing I've been saying since I met him: not until marriage. I've played no games with him, and I've been very consistent, which he admits.

Last night he jokingly proposed drawing up a contract that promised I wouldn't be hurt if we had sex. I told him there's already a contract out there and it's called a marriage certificate (not that you can't get hurt, but it was a good punchline).

During the beginning of my celibacy practice, I toyed with the idea of having sex before marriage. Just as long as the guy was good and faithful to me, that could be enough.

But that's not enough. I want everything. If I've got to wait this long, I want it all. That's rationale #1.

Rationale #2: The couple of times I jumped off the celibacy wagon, I had to climb right back on. Why? Because I'm not always the best judge of character. I can still be swayed by a handsome face, nice body, and slick words. But if a man actually marries me after going through celibacy with me, going to church with me, dealing with my kids, allowing me fully into his life, and submitting to the 3rd degree from my family, then I'll have a keeper. The man who can endure all that would be pretty special. I'll admit, this kind of a good man is hard to find (though some women tell me, not impossible). So celibacy provides a self-imposed boundary for me that helps me accept nothing less than what I want.

Rationale #3: Protection. I know the divorce rate is high because of infidelity, but I'd like to believe it's still possible to have love, devotion, passionate sex, and monogamy in a marriage. That's what I'm going for. For me, having sex outside of marriage is too risky to the heart. A dear friend has been crying her eyes out day and night because a 4-year relationship wasn't what she thought it was. Yes, betrayal can and does occur in marriage, but at least, if you've played your prenup right, you can take the scum to the cleaners. Without marriage, you have no recourse but to key his car.

Rationale #4: Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free? Yes, it's 2007, but men still believe this mess. We women want things to be different, which is why there's so much 'hooking up' and 'kicking it' going on. But wishing don't make it so. In this day of AIDS and STDs and unplanned pregnancies, this is foolish behavior for women. There's no free milk here!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dating Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

Here's an oldie but goodie from Sensual Celibacy (pp. 156-162):

Dating Bill of Rights and Responsibilities
1. Every woman has the right to pursue love, liberty, and happiness.
2. Every woman has the right to say no to sex if she’s not ready.
3. Every woman practicing celibacy must have the courage of her convictions.
4. Every woman must have a strong sense of her own boundaries.
5. Every woman must respect a man’s decision to move on if he doesn’t want to abstain from sex.
6. Every woman has the right to forgiveness if she falls off the wagon.
7. Every woman has the right to date as many men as she can manage.
8. Every woman has the duty to continue her self-improvement program whether or not she is in a relationship with a man.

These rights and responsibilities are good for anyone who's dating. Refer to them often. They can cut down on a whole lot of drama!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Men in luuuuv (ooo weee!)

I love this quote from David Zinczenko, columnist for

"When a man falls for a woman, he falls hard. Men love to be in love. While men often get stereotyped as single-minded sex-seekers, the truth is that a man's stomach churns like a slushy machine when he's in those initial stages of the perfect relationship.

"When you consider that half of men say that they're currently not with their soul mates, that means a heck of a lot of slushy machines are waiting to be turned on. What are they waiting for? What makes a man fall in love? After you rule out the obvious intangible laws of chemistry, attraction, and being in the right place at the right time that kick-start many a relationship, I think the question really becomes this: What makes a man fall -- and stay -- in love?

"About 60 percent of men deem friendship the most important thing in a relationship (sex comes in at a skimpy 8 percent, according to a national Harris Interactive poll)."

As we say in SC, "abstinence makes the heart grow stronger." Think about it!

Pamela Anderson, sensible single mom???

"Like any other single mom I've tried to create a healthy example for my kids always...I have faith that we're heading in the right direction. I'm really not interested in bringing any men into our lives."--Pamela Anderson (

One of my more controversial opinions is that when a single parent's sexual relationship comes into conflict with her children's needs, the relationship should be sacrificed until she can get it together. Some possible conflicts are:

1. Your man demands too much of your time.
2. You're always anxious because you don't know what he's doing when he's not with you, leaving you few emotional reserves to deal with your children's needs.
3. You're having unprotected sex, putting your health (and life) at risk. You're also risking an unwanted pregnancy.
4. Although you're attracted to the guy, you don't really know a lot about him -- yet you're bringing him around your children, putting them at risk.

Single parents deserve love just as much as anyone else, but your children need you more.

I'm not saying that you should never accept love into your life. If you're ready, go for it, just not at the expense of your children.

Understand that your children are watching you. They're watching how you conduct yourself with the man in your life. If you're in a loving, monogamous relationship that could lead to marriage or at least a strong commitment -- and your man is good with the kids -- then you have a keeper. My issue is with women who allow their sexual needs to come before their responsibilities to their kids. Enough said.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sexual triggers in the springtime

As the snow begins to thaw here in the Midwest, my thoughts turn like clockwork to men. Both of my children were conceived during the spring. There's something about that first warm breeze after months of snow and ice that makes me want to run wild. Celibacy be damned!

After a few springtimes of going solo I still have the crazy feelings, but now I can just smile wisely at them. My senses are still heightened when a man holds a door open for me or tells me I'm beautiful or smart, but now I just say thanks rather than having accidental sex with someone I don't know.

What turns you on? Do you have any idea?

Sticking to your sensual celibacy commitment ESPECIALLY when you don't want to is great because you learn so much about yourself. If you're anything like me and had a man around, you wouldn't be thinking about self-discovery because you'd be too busy, well, getting busy.

Right now, some man is strategizing on ways to get you into bed. This is how men get to know us better than we sometimes know ourselves. Man's sexual pursuit of us is not a negative. In fact, it can be very nice. After all, God told him to be fruitful and multiply. He's under a divine mandate to populate.

Men need us to help them direct that powerful urge. That means assessing your options carefully via alone time, dating, and communication -- and saying no when the time is not right.

The first time I assessed all the possible ways I could get turned on, I was surprised. They had been dictating my behavior at the subconscious level for a long time. I had sensed the triggers but I hadn't been fully aware of them.

Who knows how these triggers are developed? Probably nature and nuture. The point is, get to know what they are so that the next time a man tells you, "Ooo baby, you sure are fine," you can admit the truth of that statement, then keep on stepping.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Hooking up: a symptom of sadness

Hooking up for women isn't just a bad idea; it's a symptom of a deep inner sadness.

Several years ago, a friend of mine told me something that rocked my world. Before taking me into her confidence, her eyes darted around the room as if to make sure no one was listening. Her tone was hushed.

She said that during the last month, she had slept with a different guy every night.

That was around 15-20 years ago, but I have never forgotten the desperate look in her eyes. She talked to me because she knew I would try my best to not judge her. Who am I to judge anyone? Lord knows I've done my share of desperate behaviors.

So I didn't say much. Just gave her my full attention. She said she wanted to see if she could do it. Seducing all those men gave her a sense of power. And then she said what so many women say after a season (or a life-time) of hooking up:

"I regret it."

If you or a sista you know is engaged in this behavior, consider taking a vacation from sex for a short period of time--say, a month, even a week. I'm not a psychologist, but I do know that as you're withdrawing from an addiction (and hooking up may be just that) for even a short period of time, all kinds of troubling thoughts, memories, emotions, and physical feelings will arise. That's the purpose of the addiction: to help you escape from the things that are bothering you.

The problem with addictions is that they spiral you down into deeper layers of depression and dangerous behavior.

Taking a vacation from sex may be the most courageous thing you've ever done. You'll probably need support or counseling. During this time, don't go it alone. Get help--not from your peers who are also engaged in this behavior. They'll draw you back into the game. Talk to a counselor with expertise in this area.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Beyond cold showers

Abstaining from sex for awhile doesn't mean that horniness will disappear. In fact, desire can become stronger. So what's a lusty woman to do?

I would love to hear your tips for keeping your sanity during hormonal surges. One of my favorites from SC is the isometric thigh exercise (a.k.a. "keeping your legs closed"). Any time you feel like you want to jump off the celibacy wagon, do the following:
1. Sit in a comfortable chair, legs slightly apart, feet flat on the floor with determination. If you're in bed, you can also lie on your back.
2. Inhale deeply.
3. Tighten the big muscles in your thighs.
4. Now slowly, close your legs while keeping your thigh muscles tight.
5. Exhale luxuriously to 10 counts while holding your legs together.
6. Relax.
7. Repeat as many times as necessary.

This is a great exercise. Not only are you keeping your legs closed to prevent penile penetration (smile), you're toning your thighs in the process!

Monday, March 5, 2007

'Hooking up': a really bad idea

The NBC Today Show asked the question, "Can 'hooking up' lead to love?"

Hooking up is defined as having casual sex with no love, no emotional attachment. During the segment, young college women who were interviewed said things like:

"Men do it. Why can't I with no shame or stigma?"

"Hooking up puts me in control of the situation." (Yeah, and if you keep your legs closed, how much more in control of your life will you be?)

"Hooking up validates a woman's attractiveness and sexiness."

Clearly, this movement can come to no good. Any time you need someone else to validate your worth, you're a psychological disaster waiting to happen. You make really bad decisions when you don't know for yourself that you're beautiful and sexy--and that your self-worth is not completely based on your external attributes.

Laura Sessions Stepp, author of Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love, and Lose at Both, said the 1960s free love movement was part of a greater political movement. Not that it was right, but LOVE was still part of the romantic equation. Hooking up, on the other hand, is only about sex without the commitment.

How unfulfilling is that!

As I listened to the women speak, I suspected the motivations of all those who act like hooking up is so much fun. Women who regularly have uncommitted sex are often acting out of left-over pain from past relationships (among other things).

In fact, one woman said that women who hook up are afraid of relationships. They don't trust men. Or they may not have time for relationships because of their focus on education or career.

Bull! I didn't buy it when men said that crap, and I don't believe it now. Hooking up sounds like revenge sex to me. Men are notorious for being afraid to commit, and now women are saying, "Me too!" Men love to say they want to focus on their career, and now women are saying, "Me too!"

Speaking of men, I believe they need us to stay the course of love, relationship, marriage, and family. They don't need us acting like them. Half the time they don't even want to act like them. They need us to give them direction and balance in matters of the heart. Over the years I've heard so many men say that even though they can have sex with no love or emotional attachment, they much prefer sex with women they love. It's much more deeply satisfying. Also, studies report that men who marry are healthier in the long-run than men who simply hook up.

I'm going to stick my neck out and make a prediction: women who have the courage to say no to hooking up will stand a better chance of attracting quality men for love, romance, relationships, marriage, and family.

After all, isn't that what we really want?

Hooking up is self-destructive behavior. Young women who sleep around with men they barely know will end up regretting it. Ask women in their late 30s and 40s who hooked up during their 20s how they feel now. Many will tell you there's no substitute for sex within the context of love and companionship. They regret they waited so long to see the light.

LOVE is the real deal. Laura Sessions Stepp suggested that parents talk about sex within the context of LOVE to their children. I couldn't agree more.

If love hasn't come along yet, then wait to have sex. Waiting is not going to kill you. People think they will die or explode if they don't have sex. You won't die. In fact, abstaining from sex with people you don't know may end up saving your life. Think about it.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Thought for the day

This was my day to receive email jokes:

There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research.

This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.

Keeping everything in perspective

My sister sent me this email, so I guess it's making the rounds. Too cute:

3-year-old Reese:
Our Father, Who does art in heaven,
Harold is His name.
A little boy was overheard praying:
"Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.
I'm having a real good time like I am."
After the christening of his baby brother in church,
Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car.
His father asked him three times what was wrong.
Finally, the boy replied,
"That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home,
and I wanted to stay with you guys."
One particular four-year-old prayed,
"And forgive us our trash baskets
as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."
A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they
were on the way to church service,
"And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"
One bright little girl replied,
"Because people are sleeping."
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3.
The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.
Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.
"If Jesus were sitting here, He would say,
'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said,
"Ryan, you be Jesus!"
A father was at the beach with his children
when the four-year-old son ran up to him,
grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore
where a seagull lay dead in the sand.
"Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked.
"He died and went to Heaven," the Dad replied.
The boy thought a moment and then said,
"Did God throw him back down?"
A wife invited some people to dinner.
At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said,
"Would you like to say the blessing?"
"I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied.
"Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said,
"Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1-2