Friday, November 14, 2008
In fact, Sensual Celibacy was mentioned in The Times (UK) in the article, "Sex advice: ten things you need to know before you become celibate." Suzi Godson says that although my book is aimed at women, it's "relevant for men too."
On the other hand, I can totally understand born again virginity if the woman was raped or a victim of incest. If anyone deserves a fresh slate, these women do.
Anyway, the women of The View had an interesting discussion about the movement. You be the judge.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Can you believe this new product ~ high tech chastity belts! The line, by Lucia Lorio, is called "Find Me If You Can." The underwear has embedded GPS uplinking units that a partner can track.
"'It is outrageous to think that men can buy this, programme it and give it to their partners and then monitor them,'" said Claudia Burghart, leader of a Berlin feminist group.
Oooo, how sexy. You've got a big hunk of machinery in your drawers!
Who would be fool enough to give a man that much power over them?
At $800 to $1100 and with the current economic crisis, that's sure some overpriced kinkiness!
Look, Amazon.com is selling my book Sensual Celibacy for a whole lot cheaper than some stupid mechanical underwear. Buy a copy today for a nice, sensual, no tech prevention aid!
Charlotte says she's taking a moral stand, and maybe I should accept her at face value. But I have to wonder if this is morality or sexual anorexia talking.
Some people just have a low (very low) sex drive. Some are asexual. Some could care less.
If Charlotte falls into any of those categories, then not having sex isn't a big deal. It's those of us who want a sexual relationship but make a decision to table sex until the situation is right that's making the courageous stand.
In the article, Charlotte discusses the idea of "preserving" herself until marriage. When I think of preserving, I think of pickling fruits and vegetables so they don't spoil. For some reason, I also think about trees in a petrified forest.
Maybe it's me. I admit I have strange notions sometimes.
At 50 years, I don't feel the need to preserve myself. I don't see my sex as being all that precious. During my childbearing years, it was, but now my heart is precious. I have a huge capacity to love and that has gotten me into trouble more times than I can count. My sex just happens to be connected to my heart, so celibacy works for someone strange like me.
I wonder how deeply a love can go when sex is not in the picture. That may sound strange coming from someone who practices celibacy, but I must admit, sex is always somewhere in my consciousness, especially if I'm talking to a man, out with a man, or thinking about a man. I wonder about him, what he looks like (down there) and how he kisses and makes love. I can't help it. I've wondered that about preachers from the pulpit and certain political figures. Maybe it's the old "don't think about elephants" and then all you can do is think about elephants. You want what you feel deprived of.
I don't like to knock anyone. I try and practice tolerance in all things. So I'll just say that I don't get being fully grown and a committed virgin. I do understand being grown, having sex with men who are no good for you, and then becoming wise through sensual celibacy!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Over the past 8 years, I've stood idly by as our freedoms eroded under the Bush & Co. cabal. No more. Sometimes you've got to take a stand and state what you believe.
My sister sent the following video to me, and I nearly cried. As an African American woman of now 50 years, I've watched the tide of racism crest and fall over the years. But never have I seen such a blatant profusion of racism as now, during the presidential campaign of a bi-racial man named Barack Obama.
Just when I thought all was lost and there was no hope for peace between blacks and whites, this video came along to restore my hope. Some are predicting blood in the streets after the election because no matter what, some group will be pissed off with the outcome. But if Richard Trumka speaks for many, then we may be okay. My prayer is that no matter who wins, we can behave like civilized people and get busy with cleaning up the mess created by that Bush guy.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I have searched for more information about the minister, but so far, I haven't found anything. I don't know if the man is real or made up. I don't know if the letter reveals truth or myth. But it's a cautionary tale for our times, so true or not, I made the decision to post on this blog. Given my focus on abstinence, I thought it was worth the space, and I still do.
Ironically, years ago I came across a story (one that I can vouch for) about another minister who contracted AIDS. My mother's pastor, JoAnn Long of New Covenant Life Church in Chicago, openly shares the sad tale of her husband contracting and dying of the disease. It's such an amazing story of love, forgiveness, and believe it or not, happy endings, that I just had to include it in my book, Black-Eyed Peas for the Soul. It's one of the most popular stories in the book.
So as I attempt to locate the elusive Minister Anthony J. Cox, I'd like to share an excerpt of Pastor Long's story, "A Miracle of Love." For the complete story and other great inspirational tales, buy a copy of Black-Eyed Peas for the Soul at Amazon.com!
It was the 1980s and the AIDS virus discovery and exposure were yet new in our community and I was walking through my valley of the shadow of death and fearing the evil. Truthfully speaking, I felt more like I was crawling through it. Nevertheless, I was moving, determined to get through.
My husband, Tracy, was in the hospital fighting for his life and the doctor's report of his condition was resounding over and over again in my mind. It was not good: HIV positive and its possible/likely fatal outcome -- the statistics! The specialists in his field could not offer us any hope and expressed grave concern for me.
Hurting and angry, I questioned how I could be confronted with such a monumental situation which was bigger than life, an intrusion, an invasion of my private world, my home, marriage, and family. I thought, surely not my husband -- not me! Why me?
I was filled with shock and grief. I waited for something more to be said -- some explanation, perhaps. Something! It did not come. I was not really prepared for this, I thought. Then, as if someone had pushed a video replay button, I began to hear words of advice that had been spoken to my parents approximately 20 years ago as I was coming of age. It was a different time, a different setting, but those words began to replay in my mind even louder than the hopelessness of the doctor's words and the fear of the situation -- what I was feeling.
This is the wise counsel of that individual. She said that as my parents let go, I would develop and mature as a beautiful woman. She perceived that even as a child, I flourished under pressure best when I was not petted, pampered, or smothered with needless pity or sympathy. Through difficulties, I would draw from my own resources and make it.
As I remembered these words, I not only drew strength from within, but I discovered I had the courage to embrace my destiny. What I encountered, experienced, and lived through leaves me awestruck even to this day.
November 1986, Tracy LaMar Allen died. After his death, I experienced loneliness such as one could never even imagine. Our courtship and marriage was a sum total of twenty-five years filled with joys and trials; struggles and successes, good days and bad (so many of the bad days toward the end). He had chosen to live part of his life anonymously as a bisexual (functioning as both and with both: male and female). The confirmed news of this, as well as the consequences thereof was devastating to him, our families, and me.
My husband was a minister -- double jeopardy! After discovering the truth, learning of his life of anonymity during his illness, I acquiesced to his request not to share what was happening with family and others for the sake of the children and the church, and to avoid further embarrassment and ridicule. I loved him. I respected his individuality and privacy. He made a futile attempt to protect me and our children by choosing to die incognito, but the news got out and I was accused of not turning state's evidence and supporting him in a lifestyle that constituted double standards. I lost much physically, socially, materially. And, oh, the pain!
During that time of aloneness and loneliness, once again the video replay button was pushed and I remembered during meditation that prior to all of this happening, I had been given the assurances of marriage -- a good marriage. A whole marriage was part of my great destiny.
I was back and I was ready to make a comeback. The only way I knew to make a comeback was to go on. Slowly but surely, I began to accept speaking engagements, seminars, workshops, etc.
Then it happened! One Saturday afternoon in 1989 while speaking to the Midwest Clergy Association, I met the man I was to marry -- my future husband, though I did not know it at the time. He had observed and admired me, asking for an introduction. From our first meeting, which was so coincidental to me, and during the occasional times of our being together, I found myself filled with a whole succession of emotions -- amazement (more at myself than him), excitement, fear, joy, love.
We were married June 1990, and one of the most endearing gifts that John gave to me at our wedding ceremony was tears. His impassioned, genuine tears flowed unabashedly from his eyes and down his face as I walked down the aisle and into his arms at the altar as his bride. Later, in our honeymoon suite, he told me that his heart was overwhelmed with love and joy to find such a virtuous woman, that I was so beautiful as his bride, and how much he loved me.
Often I hear, "How did you meet him?" "You are married to such a good man." "Where did he come from?"
In the Gospel according to St. John, chapter one, verse six, you will read these words: "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John."
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The guy was decent. He wasn't the problem. It was the culture of the club.
It's been a long time since I went to a club, much less to hear some comedy. I was actually looking forward to it.
While we were waiting for the show to begin, I noticed that on the table next to us, a vendor was selling her wares. So to kill time, I went over to look. Guess what...
Sex toys. Uh huh.
I had to laugh, but I was so embarrassed. My date said something like, "See anything over there you want?" I looked at him like he was crazy.
Then the comedy show began. Oh Lord. From the first comic to the last, it was all about sex. There was even a special needs guy with MS or MD or something. Anyway, he disclosed way too much information about bodily functions while in the bed with "normal" women. (Although the bit about inviting women to date him because he gets disability checks was funny in a sad way.)
I actually like a good sex joke, but it's got to have some intelligence to it. There's got to be more than just, well, sex. There's got to be some deep (but funny) philosophical insights about the way men and women relate.
The next day, my date called and asked what I thought. I was honest. I told him I had expected more from African American comics. I wanted Dave Chappelle or DL Hughley or Chris Rock. People are hurting from the economic mess. I wanted to laugh about that.
I need comics to help me put the bad stuff into perspective. In fact, I love a man with a good sense of humor, someone who can be deep and philosophical but crazy, too. Hey, that's going on my wish list. Is that too much to ask?
When I was younger, I'm not going to lie, I was a low self-esteem mess. I didn't believe in myself at all, and I surely didn't think I was lovable.
Well today I crossed a threshold, and I must credit my belief in God and my practice in celibacy for having the courage to do so.
There was a time when, if I didn't have a man, I felt completely ashamed. I grew up just when the minds of women where changing. Let's say, we were in transition. We were saying things like, "I'm an independent woman," but deep inside we were terrified to be caught at a restaurant or movie alone.
That fear caused us to make really bad decisions about our love lives. Word to the wise: never make a decision when you're feeling desperate. More accidental sex has occurred during moments of fear and desperation.
Anyway, I must be honest and admit to some residue angst about being alone. I think that residue motivated me to keep a certain man around. Or maybe it was because I needed my feminine ego to be stroked from time to time.
Whatever the reason, something snapped within me today. After just one too many attempts to seduce me despite my consistent declines, I'd had it. I forced him into a deeper conversation about the whole thing. I was rational. I didn't get too emotional. In fact, he was the one who got emotional.
Long story short, he hung up the phone on me. Now he'll probably say, "You know how cell phones are," but I won't believe that bull for a minute. He hung up on me.
And I'm so glad he did.
It's like we always tell our daughters. If the guy really loves you, he'll honor your decision to abstain from sex. I didn't take that advice. I kept trying to have rational discussions with the man about why I chose to abstain, but he'd keep trying to get me into bed. I think I felt flattered.
But not today. Enough was enough.
One day I'll say yes, but this guy wasn't the one.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
First, let me say that Pavlina’s book is one of the most thoughtful, meditative self-help books I’ve ever read. That’s saying a lot given that I’ve read a ton of self-help books over the years. I’m usually disappointed by the lack of creativity and innovation that goes into most of these books. Mostly they just repeat what others have said before.
I want to read thoughts I’ve never thought before. I want my socks to be knocked off. I love reading books that open up totally new areas of interest in me. Have you ever had a thought that was so daring and new that you just knew it came from the mind of God? That’s what I’m looking for. Unfortunately, those types of books are rare.
However, Personal Development for Smart People comes close. As you read you find yourself having aha! moments along the way. Pavlina’s writing style is easy, but the book is dense with ideas. You can’t skim through this book because every sentence has something different to say. There’s no fluff.
So back to the power of celibacy. Pavlina frames the self development process with three main principles: truth, love, and power. There are more principles (oneness, intelligence, authority, and courage), but my bursts of insight came about when reading about the three principles, specifically power.
Not having sex is powerful because it enables us to reclaim our personal power. When I started having sex as a young woman, I got caught up in the man’s dreams, the man’s demands, the man’s time. I totally lost myself.
Sex is a powerful force, and at the time I couldn’t imagine my life without it. As a result, I made bad decisions around relationships. Because I couldn’t imagine life as a single woman, I settled for less on many occasions.
I remember as clear as day the moment I made the decision to stop the madness. I was in a relationship with a man who was actually decent, but there was too much distance emotionally (partly my fault) and we didn’t click sexually. Well, let’s say he clicked and I didn’t.
After one too many unsatisfying sexual encounters, I snapped. Why was I putting myself through this? I assessed the pros and cons of the relationship. I could only conclude that I was in it just to be with a man. Was that a good enough reason? Shouldn’t there be more?
I mean, I cared about him, but I wasn’t in love with him. We didn’t have children together. We weren’t married. He was chronically broke. He was a decent man, but was that enough?
In a flash I realized it wasn’t. Not only did I not want to be with him, I didn’t want to be with anyone if they couldn’t treat me the way I deserved to be treated. I decided then and there that I was going to practice celibacy until such time that I met a man who cherished me and complimented me.
This was a new and powerful thought for me, because up until then, I’d always allowed my emotions to dictate my relationships. Even just making the decision to practice celibacy opened the door to a long dormant part of me: Donna Marie, meet your personal power.
Since then, celibacy has been a tremendous force for good in my life. As Pavlina says, power is
“…your ability to consciously and deliberately create the world around you. When your power is weak, you can’t effectively satisfy your needs and desires, and you become a victim of your environment. When your power is strong, you successfully cultivate a life of your own choosing, and your environment reflects it.”
Whenever I practice celibacy, my power grows. When you’re in a sexual relationship, it's the power of 2 that dominates. That intimate communication with the other can take you over if you don’t have a clear sense of your own identity (power of 1). When you practice celibacy, you become really clear because you’re on your own.
Ultimately, personal power leads to a strong sense of identity. A strong sense of identity will empower you to have better relationships, more loving, more authentic, and definitely sexier -- and that's what we want, right?
Pavlina says that some of the blocks to personal power are timidity, cowardice, and negative conditioning. So true. This is why so many people end up having accidental sex and saying, “I don’t know what happened. It just happened! See, what had happened was…”
How to build power during celibacy? Pavlina suggests, among other things, mastering the first hour. I remember when I first started Weight Watchers, I created a habit of praying, eating a good breakfast, taking my vitamins, and exercising during the first part of the morning. It laid a good foundation for the rest of the day.
For people practicing celibacy, mastering the last hour might make more sense. For it’s bed time that’s the most challenging. When you’re in a sexual relationship, the bed is where all the action takes place. I’ll never forget in one of my workshops a woman asked, “But how do I deal with going to bed at night?” We all knew what she was talking about.
If you're not working with your inner power, it will be too tempting to make booty calls, calls of desperation. You'll be snacking on ice cream all night, or worse, drinking too much and/or doing drugs.
Dealing with loneliness and physical desire is challenging, but this is when your courage and self-discipline must kick in. There are no shortcuts to the process. To help you through it, read my book Sensual Celibacy and definitely Pavlina's Personal Development for Smart People. Put them on your nightstand.
Friday, October 10, 2008
We're seeing a similar split in our society, as reflected in the national campaign for president. Regardless of what the polls may say about who's in the lead, the reality is, the country is split on how to handle the economic mess.
So lately I've been thinking about what I would do if presented a choice between 2 men. Man #1 makes a decent living, and Man #2 is a multi-millionaire.
Let's say I like them both equally, more or less. What would be the deciding factor? Would I chose the multi-millionaire or the middle-class guy? Would it make a difference if I'm making my own money? Would I chose differently during better economic times?
An even better question: Not that I want to be single forever, but I kind of like my single life. Up until now, I've felt that unless a man can offer me a better life than my single one, what's the point?
Would I chose to marry because I was uncertain about my own economic future and I thought one of the men could provide more security and safety for myself and my children?
Is this a moral or practical issue? As a practical issue, can a woman make a decision about love and finances without feeling like a prostitute?
Don't men choose mates based on their belief that a woman will help them build their empire? What's the difference?
Whether wealthy, middle-class, or poor, in a capitalistic society, love and money are intertwined. Back in the day, a woman had few options. She married the man her father told her to marry. Today, we make our own decisions, but are we any smarter about how we go about choosing a mate?
Why is it wrong to consider financial issues along with love and romance? Does that make a woman a gold digger or just smart?
I just made 50 yesterday, and I guess in my older age I'm getting more and more practical, because in my 20's, I would have thought this line of reasoning was an abomination.
Today, I know better. I know how medical issues can make going it alone extremely difficult. Or how the loss of a job can devastate a family if there's no second income to rely on.
One of my suitors and I talked this morning, and he got perturbed because I'm adamant about 2 things in my older age: no sex until marriage (or at the very least a solid contract) and no more broke relationships. I know that sounds cold and calculating, but having married for love and having had sex for love in my younger years I learned that love (or what passes for it) doesn't guarantee that a couple will stay together. But if they have a nest egg and are united in their financial vision (plus love), they stand a good chance.
I wonder, with the economic mess reducing the cash values of pension plans and salaries, how couples will fare.
And I wonder if single women like me will, because of economic hard times, begin to change their approach to love in the future.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I can't believe I'm actually writing these words, but Wayne Brady's new CD A Long Time Coming is, well, simply spectacular and aptly named.
I'm in shock because Wayne's public persona isn't all that soulful, but this CD lays to rest the idea that he doesn't have a brother bone in his body. It's there, and it has come out in full masculine R&B lusciousness in the songs on this CD.
There was a hint of the brother within, albeit a gangsta version, on the Dave Chappelle show, when he played a really bad guy. Even Dave was scared of him. It's the juxtaposition of that nerdy smile against the villain that grabbed you in that skit.
But in A Long Time Coming, Wayne is a good guy with a voice like butter. Sexy, but not trying to lick me up and down. Just really nice. The tunes have a smooth, retro R&B feel to them. Very musical, unlike most so-called, alleged "tunes" today. My favorite so far is the remake of Stevie Wonder's "All I Do." Makes me feel happy.
In my book Sensual Celibacy, I urge women to take care about the music they listen to when practicing celibacy. Music is a power. Seductive beats combined with sexually explicit lyrics have probably led to more accidental sex and babies than anything.
While this CD is definitely romantic, it's full of joy, something that's definitely lacking in most modern so-called "music."
Wayne, who knew you had it in you?
Monday, October 6, 2008
So if you're struggling with with your celibacy practice and need a stronger dose of sanity than even Sensual Celibacy can provide, try this bit of fearful Argentinian history.
Might Argentina have been the poor canary in the coal mine whose economic song took a decidedly Psycho (scary violins) turn and predicted things to come for the rest of the world?
Instead of worrying about sex today, let's pray.
In fact, have you noticed how, in reporting about the economic mess, the media increasingly uses words like "faith," "confidence," and "fear?" All those technical terms like "derivatives" etc. don't stand a chance against faith, confidence, and fear.
These words tell me that we're the economy. How things go depends on us.
So what will we choose: disaster or a brand new economy that has justice, forgiveness, and mercy baked in?
I began today's entry talking about panic attacks over money, but fear will only reduce the effectiveness of our decision making. More than ever, we need courage.
Just like celibacy must be a choice, we can choose to create a better economy because we are the economy.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Memo to President Bush, the Presidential Candidates, and Members of Congress
From: Citizen Donna Marie Williams
RE: My Taxpayer Rescue Plan
When it comes to the current economic crisis, there is no such thing as a democrat, republican, or independent. As you know, many democrats agree with republicans and vice versa on the best way to resolve this matter.
Partisan politics makes me sick. It's fake. It's about winning the rhetorical debate, not telling the truth. Cut it out.
The Taxpayer Rescue Plan
I'm not an economist or accountant, so I don't know enough to go into a lot of detail about the current economic mess. I do know, though, that the framing of the debate has been all wrong.
You call it a bailout plan when it really should be a taxpayer rescue plan. Only lip service has been paid about the taxpayer (a.k.a. Main Street), when it's the taxpayer who should be the focus of this recovery since it’s taxpayer dollars that’s coming to the rescue.
The taxpayer/consumer is the heart and soul of the economy.
The hell with Wall Street. The hell with Fannie, Freddie, AIG, WaMu, Wachovia, and the others to come down the road. Let them fold or be bought out. It's clear that we're witnessing the greatest flea market in history, and the result will be a consolidation of power. Fewer banks, investment firms, etc. will hold more of our money. I don’t like it, but I get it.
For once, since it's our money, let taxpayers get in on the action. In my plan, the taxpayer is the centerpiece of the recovery. Not the companies, not the banks. Not the privately held Federal Reserve. And definitely not the CEOs and their political cronies. Put them under the jail.
The following are the broad strokes of my taxpayer rescue plan. I’m sure I’ve left some things out, but you guys can sort through the details upon agreement that the premise is sound.
1. Taxpayer dollars must strengthen the following pots: FDIC, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and public education. I like the idea of raising the FDIC limit on protected accounts to $200,000. The taxpayer must come first.
2. Accountants must go through the books of the failed companies line by line. The purpose of this exercise is to locate and rescue all the pension funds. We must make sure that the pension promises that were made to our parents, grandparents, and future retired selves are kept. No compromise. Allow financial institutions that have been excellent stewards to bid for and take over these pension accounts.
3. If we bail out the failed, corrupt companies (which I don't want to do), then the taxpayer must become a voting shareholder (via referendums?) of the corporations. After a reasonable amount of time, taxpayers will begin to receive dividend checks. For the first time in the history of this country, the wealth will be spread out among the taxpayers as it should be. This is not welfare, socialism, or communism. This is economic reciprocity. If we have to pay, then in due time we must receive a return on our investment.
My approach will take time, but better that than to hurry up and sign a bill that will put future generations in further back-breaking debt. Better that than to pull an arbitrary number ($700 billion) out of thin air. Under my plan, we'll get a handle on how much is truly at risk first, then disburse the funds to minimize taxpayer risk.
4. There must be meticulous oversight of the process. One man cannot be allowed to allocate dollars as he sees fit. Too much money makes psychopaths of us all. Instead, I strongly recommend that a consortium of independent accounting firms takes over the process of assessment, disbursement, oversight, and shareholder/taxpayer payouts. It’s not a perfect system because we know how Arthur Anderson was a player in the Enron mess, but we’ve got to start somewhere. Maybe also include an ethics advising committee of some sort.
5. Yes, predatory subprime lending was a factor in the collapse. It's so easy to blame the working poor and middle class, but what about the fact that housing prices have been overinflated for years? Home ownership is part of the American dream, yet with sky high prices, the working poor and middle class didn't stand a chance until subprime. Take a holistic look at the industry—for example, redlining and the over inflation of property assessments. Many factors go into establishing housing prices, and it's not an exact science. There's a lot of room for creativity, if you know what I mean. Anyone who has attempted to purchase a home knows this to be true. Look into the myriad of practices, not just subprime lending, that has corrupted the entire industry.
6. And another thing: the rules and regulations of the credit industry suck. I hate how, when you're applying for a loan, the mere inquiry goes against your credit rating. You need to fix all those laws that hurt the taxpayer. Also, your corporate benefactors exported most of our manufacturing base overseas. That really didn’t help the situation at all. Not only are they exploiting people in developing nations with slave wages, you let our own people down. And stop selling off our highways and ports. Are you crazy? And why can’t Ford sell their 65 mpg car to
I'm acutely aware that my plan will bring more pain and suffering in the short term. Thousands, maybe millions, will lose their jobs. I'm so sorry about that, but that's what happens when a nation makes mammon its god and when we trust psychopaths to handle our money for us.
I truly doubt if the plan Congress is mashing together will save jobs or rescue taxpayer dollars. Why? Because the taxpayer is not the focus. Facilitating the consolidation of corporate power is the focus. At least my plan stands a chance of true economic recovery because the rescue mission is targeted where the true danger lies: within the solvency of the American taxpayer.
As a communications strategist, I've been downsized, laid off, and let go more times than I can count. When it first happened, I was terrified. The last time it happened, I was a homeowner with major surgery pending. I went into foreclosure, then filed chapter 7, which went completely against my moral code, my sense of personal responsibility. As a single mother with two children to take care of, I felt at the time that I had no choice.
I learned in my own personal Great Depression that you can’t keep pouring money down the black hole. Recovery takes great discipline and sacrifice, and it is painful. But I’m a witness, you do come out better and unencumbered on the other side. You begin to enjoy a freedom you’ve never felt before.
That's it. That's my plan. Again, I'm no financial expert, but that's the taxpayer focus upon which the recovery must be based.
Thank you for your time.
Donna Marie Williams
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
"Why?" I asked, incredulous.
"Because," said my sister, "so many teen girls had been coming in with not just one STD, but multiple STDs to be treated in one visit. She said it was nasty."
Nasty? Is that a term they learn in medical school?
I knew that the STD rate had been increasing in some youth populations, but I'd never heard about this issue with doctors refusing to see certain patients. Was this a trend among doctors?
I called my business partner, Alfred "Coach" Powell, and told him what I'd heard. He called a contact at a college clinic. What he found confirmed at least part of what I'd heard.
While this particular clinic isn't turning patients away, young women as well as gay men are seeking treatment for multiple STDs in one visit.
This is the most educated, informed generation around sexual issues, but behaviors are slow to change.
College campuses should purchase copies of my book Sensual Celibacy in bulk and give them away for free to young women. And I've known one or two gays who benefited from the wisdom included in its pages.
If you have teen children or work with them, don't give up on them. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase our latest books: Girlfriends Journal #1 and Journal for Young Men #1 (Real Talk, Real Thoughts about Love, Relationships, and Sex).
These guided, abstinence- based journals are powerful eye openers for teens who are trying to work through turbulent emotions. In our workshops, there's never a dry eye in the house. Get these life-changing books today for yourself or someone you love. They may heal a heart or save a life!
In my book Sensual Celibacy, I wondered how celibacy impacts the GNP (gross national product). After all, if you're not having sex, chances are you're buying copious amounts of chocolate and Kleenex, renting tons of DVDs for those Friday and Saturday nights home alone, and shopping way too much for shoes.
Come to think of it, shoe shopping is the one thing celibate and sexually active women agree on.
The point is, when you're suddenly single or single by force not choice or even willingly single, there are times when the aloneness seems unbearable. What to do?
In a capitalistic society, instead of meditating or praying, we spend money. Spending money is the way we escape from the pressures of life – although spending money often creates new pressures. We've been trained to whip out the plastic to buy things we don't really need, and at least for a moment we feel better, even ecstatic.
A few years ago, I lost everything – my job, my house, my knees (double knee replacement surgery). I thought I was losing my mind.
I read the heartfelt stories about women who had endured a crisis with their husbands at their side.
Well, hell, I didn't have one of those. Made me feel worse.
Normally, I would go to the bookstore and buy tons of books and books-on-tape to self-medicate, but with no money, I couldn't depend on the old shopping therapy to soothe my battered soul. At least not in the way I had before.
Somehow I got through my dark night of the soul, and I've learned to live on a lot less. A lot less. In fact, it's become a game to see how much I can save and still receive a modicum of enjoyment from life.
The country's going to have to learn to live on a lot less to get through this crisis. We also need to reestablish our manufacturing base. Not only did these guys have sticky fingers, they exported practically our entire manufacturing base overseas. Just plain evil.
Don't wait for someone else to create a company that actually makes something useful. Do It Yourself! Check out Etsy.com for a model of an online DIY community. The DIY revolution could very well turn out to be our economic salvation.
It will also give you something to do while not having sex.
So when I hear all the moaning and groaning on Wall Street and all the finger pointing in Washington, I point my own finger at all of them.
When I needed a bailout, only my family was there. Why should my taxes go to helping these rich guys when, in their insatiable quest for money, they never cared about building in safeguards for their employees and the society as a whole?
How can these CEOs, who ran their companies into the ground, get more money than a developing nation? Or was it the plan all along, to drop a bomb on the economy? Follow the money. I mean, either there's widespread incompetence or obedience on Wall Street and in Washington.
And if we must bail out these fools, then I want part ownership in the companies. I want to see dividend checks from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, and Iraqi oil (don't get me started on that).
The problem with capitalism is that money can become your god. As we've seen recently, money is a piss poor excuse for a god.
I'm still trying to sort through fact from fiction, but I'm beginning to suspect that the meltdown was calculated. Corruption and greed were the usual culprits, but there's a bigger agenda, as there always is with these things.
Follow the money. It's all about the consolidation of power. Fewer and fewer corporations are setting up to run more and more of our lives.
So I'm no different from anyone. I like to spend money, and in my more honest moments, I'll even admit to using money spending to self-medicate. But as I mentioned, I've learned how to live with a lot less. I pray and meditate a lot more.
How do I get my money spending fix during hard times? I go to the thrift shop.
More on a celibate woman's adventures at the thrift in later posts!!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
He talks about himself all the time. Like Suede on this season's Project Runway, he refers to himself in the third person. A woman can't get a word in edgewise.
Believe it or not, such men can be charming, and I admit to keeping him around for entertainment purposes. But I can only take him in small doses. I've told him more than once that while he may be brilliant, he knows nothing about women.
Which brings me to the purpose of today's post. How would you feel if you discovered that a guy you were interested in had attended a "school" that teaches men how to pick up women?
Remember that VH1 reality show, The Pick-Up Artist?
Let's say you're going out to a club, a book store, or church social. You'll probably spend some time making yourself attractive before you go. You may read a few lines from my book Sensual Celibacy or team up with a friend to make sure you don't have accidental sex.
So can we be mad at guys for wanting to develop their skills? Aren't we both, women and men, preparing ourselves to make a connection? Aren't these preparations designed to ensure that things go the way we want?
Radaronline posts an interesting article about a school that teaches guys pick-up techniques. Yes, there are probably many sleazeballs that use the approach for evil and not good. But there are some men out there, good men, who are shy. They never get a break because their more verbose brethren have bedazzled all the women.
Read the article and decide for yourself. I think learning social skills is not a bad thing. Especially if it makes me stop and listen to a man, a good man, I might not have considered before.
How do you know if the man is good or not? Only time will tell, which is why abstaining from sex is critical. The beauty of sensual celibacy is that this mental mindset will help you discern the toads from the princes.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Which American family has the most interesting names in the country? The prize goes to a family in Alaska. That's right, the Palins.
So what would your name have been if Sarah Palin had been your mother? Check out this cool Sarah Palin name generator.
By the way, mine would have been Flag Cobra Palin.
I think I'll stick to Donna Marie.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
That took courage!
It never ceases to amaze me what an easy target you become if you make a decision to not have casual sex. What ever happened to freedom and personal choice? Bigotry in any guise and against any group of people is just plain unacceptable and ignorant.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Well, since they brought up Sarah Palin's pregnant 17 year-old daughter, and since I write a blog called "Sensual Celibacy," I figure I have as much right to crash the debate party raging on blogs, both liberal and conservative, as anyone.
First, let's get this straight: neither democrats nor republicans have cornered the market on sexual irresponsibility. As the Good Book says, we have all fallen short (especially me).
The goal of any presidential campaign is, of course, to win. Unfortunately, truth and integrity are the greatest casualties of the war.
When I heard about the teen pregnancy, I immediately thought, now if one of Barack Obama's African American daughters was 17 and had gotten pregnant (God forbid), what would be the response?
We know. Oh, we know.
"Yet another black girl got herself pregnant. Typical. Who's the baby daddy? Does she even know?" Blah blah.
All is not fair in America, so the hypocritical response of the republicans wasn't a surprise, but it still pissed me off. There has been nothing but glowing praise for Palin and her pregnant daughter.
"At least she's not going to have an abortion, although the situation is difficult."
"At least she's going to get married."
What kind of message does this send to youth? And, do republicans even believe what they're saying?
Rather than being apologists for the Palins, be real, republicans. Don't throw the child under the bus, but on the other hand, don't be hypocrites. Stay true to your conservative agenda, even when there's a lot at stake.
Isn't that what integrity's all about?
What happened to the conservative agenda – abstinence education, no sex before marriage, etc.? What happened to the national campaign to reduce teen pregnancy rates? What happened to the discussion about the girl's education? How will this pregnancy affect her academic performance? Will she graduate on time?
Did you throw all that out the window because of political expediency?
I thought about Britney's sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, and the flak she took when her pregnancy was revealed to the world. She was a bad influence on youth, they said. Jamie's mother was called the worst mother in the world.
Yet I only hear glowing praise for Sarah Palin.
I'm just saying, be consistent, be fair.
Here are some teen pregnancy statistics to put this issue in perspective. According to the Centers for Disease Control:
- About one-third of girls in the U.S. get pregnant before age 20.
- More than 80% of teen births are unintended.
- "Despite the continuous declines, the US teenage pregnancy rate is still among the highest among industrialized nations."
- "$9.1bn in public funding was expended on teenage childbearing in 2004. These costs include public assistance, healthcare, child welfare and other expenses." (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy)
I have a teen aged daughter, so I know firsthand about the perils of parenting and growing up in this age of sexual irresponsibility. In fact, if I had been in Sarah Palin's place (God forbid), I wouldn't have taken McCain up on his offer. I wouldn't have wanted my daughter to endure the kind of public scrutiny Palin's daughter is now facing.
Sarah Palin, for my daughter's sake and all other teen males and females, don't hide behind the old "give our family privacy" bit. Use your great platform to talk about the need for abstinence education. Revive the discussion about how sexual themes and images in youth music, media, the Internet, video games, and comic books are deliberately promoted to children.
Sarah Palin, your daughter has launched a national debate. Your family is now part of all families. When it comes to our children, we can forgive just about anything. We know how your kids can break your heart. So be real, and don't hide behind politics, just this once. This is really important.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Now that my Estrogen tank is running on near empty, I got to thinking about how nice it would be to have some Oxicotyn (the natural variety) flowing through my veins.
I thought, Maybe it's time to give up sensual celibacy?
Later that evening, I went to the grocery store, and who did I see but the finest man I've laid eyes on in a looong time. Absolutely gorgeous.
I promptly called my sister and told her I'd had it with sensual celibacy. I mean, enough was enough.
In the book I talk about the need for a support team to help when the no-sex times get tough. Thank God I called the right person. She told me to read my blog. Ha!
I'm better today, but yesterday's experience taught me to stay humble. Over time it does get easier, but we're not made of stone. Sometimes you've got to take things one day at a time.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Yes, that's crazy, and even Mohammed Bello Abubakar doesn't recommend anyone following his example.
Abubakar is interesting, but the wives really caught my attention. I mean, what woman in her right mind would agree to join a harem of 86 women?
One woman said, "I am now the happiest woman on earth. When you marry a man with 86 wives you know he knows how to look after them."
Maybe it's me, but do you detect a bit of the Stepford wife in her comment?
Another said that she married Abubakar when he healed her of a headache. I mean, don't they have aspirin in Nigeria?
Can you imagine having this man as a father? If you're one of 170 kids, when do you get to spend quality time with dad?
170 kids?? That's a lot of sex going on. Do the wives get jealous? When does Abubakar have time to do anything else? I bet there's a lot of wifely celibacy going on. (Maybe they'd be interested in my book, Sensual Celibacy??)
How do you feed such a large family?
What about relations among siblings? My two children fought like crazy when they were growing up. I can't imagine the sibling rivalry in a family where "at least" 169 of your brothers and sisters are vying for dad's limited, elderly attention.
I really am for cultural respect and understanding, but on this one, I fold. I just don't get it.
Friday, August 8, 2008
To those of you who are single or married, saved or not saved, this is for you. I am a 35-year-old African American or Black brother dying of Aids. I would like to share my testimony with you.
I am an owner of a Mortgage Company in Atlanta , GA. I own a 2007 Jaguar and I also own a $350,000 beautiful home in Cobb County .
I have a beautiful Lady who is deeply in love with me and a loving family. But most important, I have Jesus, this is just a wake up call to all single brothers and sisters who are professing to be Christians, but don't want to be complete.
Brothers, I had a beautiful young lady who loves the Lord and worships the ground I walk on. But I still wasn't quite happy because sometimes I would see another sister with a Coca-Cola bottle shape and just wanted to hit it. Because I was using a condom, I thought that I wouldn't catch the killer 'AIDS' but guess what? I did..
And the person I caught it from was a girl that I knew well.
But the condom came off and now I am dying of AIDS. Yes, I wore a condom. But yes it did happen.
God gives us time after time to straighten our lives up. I do know the Lord in the pardon of my sins. I've been saved now for 7 years.
I found out 7 months ago that I had the virus, and now I have full-blown Aids. I really didn't think that I was doing anything wrong, because I would tell the women who I would deal with about the woman I love. I thought that was good enough. But it wasn't.
I am a good man and also a God-fearing man; but my weakness was women... I really wasn't out there like you may think I was, but every once and a while I would see something I wanted to try. My girlfriend is a praying woman. I know now that she was intimate with me because she loved me and she wanted to make me happy.
Now I've given AIDS to the woman I love (who has been faithful to me) because of lust.
Brothers and sisters, what I am telling you is that God is tired of us hurting each other and using each other for self-gratification.
God has given me my home, my dream car and a beautiful woman and I took it all for granted. I've been tithing for 7 years. I am the chairman of my Deacon Board. But when I told my Pastor I had AIDS, he could not believe it because of the way I would carry myself.
Brothers, if you have a sister who loves the Lord and who loves you for who you are and not for what you look like and not for what you have, cherish her.
Sisters. If you have a brother who loves the Lord, love him and cherish him.
My life has been altered. I've been with my lady since I was 20, and I've always used my young age as an excuse for not being loyal and not settling down with the woman I loved. I was being a hypocrite thinking that I was missing something, and not realizing that I had a good woman who loved and adored me.
I wish I had been a real man and had appreciated the good woman God had sent me by not making excuses and dedicating my life to her. I would love to travel and marry this beautiful young Lady, but now I can't.
I've embarrassed my family, my church and my friends. But I was hardheaded and now I must suffer.
God is cleaning up. Stop playing with God. God is revealing the secrets of us Christians. Brothers and sisters, we don't have to have so many 'friends,' you know what we call them. The ones we are planning to sleep with but haven't yet.' We often say that we don't want anyone to know our business, but God is about to reveal something. Especially to us young people.
We think so carnal. But we say that we have been transformed. We have been transformed from what we want to be transformed from. Let's be real. God knows that the opposite sex attracts us. And he knows the desires we have for each other, but we don't have to have multiple partners.
If I could do it all over again, I would marry the woman I love and live happy forever. But now I can't! But you can!
Singles...I gotta tell you, it's not worth it. I love you all!
This is really deep. After you've read this, think about yourself. Could this have been you? Some of you may not relate, but think about anything you are doing right now that is not of God.
We are living in the last and final days, and pretending to be saved is not going to cut it. Professing that He is Lord, and yet worshiping the devil every chance you get will lead you to the same path as me. Get your mind out of the gutter and put it in the Word of God and you'll have great success. Don't and you'll have great woe.
I love the LORD and thank Him for all that He does in my life; therefore, I'm passing this on. Yes, I do love Jesus who has forgiven me of the repeated sins. That forgiveness does not cancel out the consequences, at least not so far. But that's on me. Still, the Lord is my source of existence and Savior. He keeps me functioning each day and is letting me share my story with you.
I'm telling it like it is. THIS REALLY is to help somebody. Without Him, I will be nothing. Without Him, I am nothing but with Him I can do all things. Phil 4:13
If you love Jesus, send this to lots of people!!!!!! Be Positive - Be Progressive...Take the time to make a positive difference in someone's life.
Minister Anthony J. Cox
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I think it helps if you don't have to see your ex on a daily basis. Unfortunately, with situations like office romances or parenting, no such luck.
I've always said that I'm not mature enough to have a friendship with an ex. I'd rather a clean break.
Many years ago, when I broke up with an ex, I had to continue dealing with him because of our child. I couldn't run away, although I wanted to. To make matters worse, he soon got married. I wasn't really dating, so you know how hard it is when your ex seems to move on without skipping a beat.
That's what's going on with my friend. Not only is the guy dealing with someone new already, she's young plus my friend sees them together a lot. She feels like he's flaunting his new fling in her face. My friend's a basket case.
I've learned a couple of things from this situation.
1. Breaking up doesn't get any easier as you get older.
2. I knew this already, but my friend's situation has really convinced me that there are no shortcuts to healing a broken heart. It's not an easy message to hear, and for years I wouldn't listen. Not surprisingly I kept repeating the past because I refused to deal with it. If you try and bury the thoughts, memories, and feelings, they'll resurface sooner or later.
3. Although sensual celibacy is the road less traveled, it really is an effective antidote to the heartbreak that often follows breakups and rebounding. I know, I know. Rebounding can be tempting, especially if the guy's some serious eye candy or he's paying you attention, but you and I both know this is a short-term fix. Plus, if this "relationship" ends badly, that's even more bad karma, more bad feelings.
If you're feeling the fresh, painful wounds of a breakup, take a few deep breaths. Having gone through this a few times I'm convinced that this rite of passage separates the girls from the women. If you can endure all the confusion and pain of the moment, you'll begin to see a light at the end of that long, dark tunnel. That light leads to a much more joyful place. Just trust the process, and pray a lot.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Need I mention that Sensual Celibacy is the answer?
Friday, August 1, 2008
The designer vagina craze has some women spending their money (on average, $9,500 US) on "dangerous" vaginal surgical procedures, including "vaginal rejuvenation, revirgination, designer vaginoplasty and G-spot amplification," says the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
"The real risks of potential complications such as scarring, permanent disfigurement, infection, dyspareunia and altered sexual sensations should be discussed in detail with women seeking such treatments." The college says that the surgeries may exploit "vulnerable" women.
The risks are real, but the fact that women are willing to spend the cash and take the chance on their health suggests a complex range of desires, hopes, and fears that are motivating them. Just saying, "Don't get the surgeries" isn't going to solve anything. Just like in the days of back alley abortions, women will find a way, even upon threat of death.
The red flag for me was the mention of revirgination. Virginity is still highly prized, so this procedure would be desired among young women who may have been raped or engaged in premarital sex.
And what about women who were forced to endure female castration? These women are surely justified in their desire for vaginal restoration.
I can understand the reasons why women are willing to risk these procedures, but until they are safe, maybe our cultural values need rethinking.
Ladies, please get your copy of Sensual Celibacy today. I know it may sound paradoxical, but celibacy is a powerful path to feeling healthy and whole about ourselves as sexual beings.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Here's where a little sexual anorexia could creep in if you're not careful. If you forget about being sensually celibate, your sexuality might slip into a deep freeze. That's not good.
Let's say you're no longer feeling desperate about being single. You've done all the hard heart work, and you're feeling pretty peaceful. With casualties of love falling all around you, you're feeling pleased with yourself. At least you're no longer riding that love roller coaster, thank God.
Then one day, a really good looking man walks by. You do a double take. Your heart skips a beat (forgot that was even there). Oooo, he's cute. No, not cute. He's fine in that mature, confident, manly man kind of way. What do you do? Hope he strikes up a conversation? Or do you simply remember that you're not made of stone after all and keep stepping?
This happened to me recently. I'm sorry to say, I let the brother walk on by. Shy by nature, I at least mustered the courage to return his smile and say "good morning."
Preaching to myself: never never get so comfortable that you close your heart to the possibilities that life offers. Never never view the present with the eyes of the past. What happened is dead and gone. Bless it, release it, and learn from it. Be wise, but let your heart open, let it blossom like a flower. Be joyful. And by all means, girl, learn how to flirt again :)
Friday, July 25, 2008
It's also tempting for sexually active women to look down on women who make the celibacy choice.
Can't we all just get along? Isn't it really about making the right choice for you?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The story is about Christine's serious attraction to the gorgeous Daniel Harris (a.k.a. Blair Underwood, sigh). Not wanting to blow a good thing, they decide to develop a friendship before having sex.
Christine's alternative to cold showers? The "hair chastity belt." Basically, this involves not shaving. If you don't shave, you don't want anyone to see you naked, that's for sure.
You've gotta admit, that's pretty creative.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
That man would accept his responsibilities as a father, regardless of whether he was with the mother of the child. Men will leave a situation for several reasons. One, it's not comfortable. It may be violent. The two of you may grow apart. But you should never abandon that responsibility, which is to be there, reading with your child, being supportive of your child's growth. That is communicating. That is making the choice to put your child before your own vanity.
I was raised by a great father, a true Southern gentleman. In fact, I wrote a story about us cooking a pot of black-eyed peas in my book Black-Eyed Peas for the Soul.
I know many good men who, whether married or single, have been great fathers to their children. My business partner, Alfred "Coach" Powell, is not only a great father to his own children, but he's been like a father to my daughter and other children in the community who haven't been blessed to have dad around. My brother-in-law, Reuben Miller, is another father at-large to my daughter, my niece, children at his church, and many incarcerated young men.
I could go on and on with examples.
These are the real men of the community and nation. They are unsung but heroes nonetheless. They receive no praise, no recognition in the media, yet they keep on keeping on. No, it sometimes doesn't work out with the mother, but a real man stays connected with his children in a real way. (Source)
Friday, July 11, 2008
15 year-old Selena says, "I'm going to keep my promise to myself, to my family and to God."
The Jonas Brothers (Kevin-20, Joe-18, and Nick-15) wear promise rings to prove their virginity and intention to wait. Joe says the rings signify their "promises to ourselves and to God that we'll stay pure till marriage."
I'm not crazy about the word "pure." It puts down victims of sexual molestation and those who have not made the choice to abstain. But I love what these teens are doing. I hope their millions of tween and teen fans are paying attention.
And yes, dear skeptics, I know other teen stars have broken their pledges in the past, but give the kids a break! They may slip, or maybe they'll achieve their goal. Celebrity kids should be allowed to make their life choices and mistakes like everyone else.
By the way, are your tweens and teens dealing with some heavy relationship issues? Contact me at email@example.com to get your copies of Girlfriends Diary #1 and Journal for Young Men #1 (Real Talk, Real Thoughts About Love, Relationships & Sex). These guided journals are abstinence based. If you have teens and tweens at home, if you're a teacher, a minister, a guidance counselor, or someone who works with kids in the community, these books will help make your job much easier. Teachers: they're also great for writing exercises.
Soon I'm going to put a cart on the site to make it simple and easy to purchase the journals and Sensual Celibacy. Thanks for your patience!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The inability of so many couples to last has caused a pandemic of single motherhood. I'm surely a statistic.
Need I mention that sensual celibacy could go a long way in preventing single parenting, being a responsible single parent, and being a great role model for your children?
Now I know single fathers who had full custody and did a tremendous job with their children. But for the most part, the mother is usually responsible.
If the breakup was hostile, some fathers stop participating in their children's lives altogether. They just drop out. Apparently the bad feelings the father has for the mother extends to the children. So the children feel abandoned, and the mothers have the difficult task of raising children alone.
I've long struggled to understand how a man can do this to his children.
The Jesse-Barack confrontation is symbolic of how divided men also feel about the issue. Barack feels men need to step up to the plate and be responsible fathers.
Jesse, on the other hand -- well, I really don't know what he thinks, except he'd like to castrate Barack for challenging men to be responsible fathers. What seems like a no brainer to me and Barack is not so with Jesse and other men like him.
Thank God for the good men out there who are great fathers and role models to their children, regardless of the situation with the mother. That's what fatherhood is all about.
R.I.P. Mak Erot.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Matt Lauer asked her, "So what's your secret?"
I thought she was going to say the usual stuff, but she said 2 things that surprised me.
She said, "I know how to recover, and that's important at my age." She was talking physically, but what great words of wisdom for anyone dealing with stressful situations. If you master the art of recovery, you're going to be okay. (Hear that, single folks?)
The second thing she said was even deeper. She said, "The water doesn't know how old you are." Wow!
I really needed to hear that because in 3 months I'm turning 50, and I'm a little nervous. I'm beginning to feel my mortality.
But if you think of the water as a metaphor for life, it really doesn't matter how old you are. You can do anything you want to do as long as you're willing to dedicate the necessary time and effort.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
First, let’s state where she shouldn’t be looking. The untold story of single moms is that they often look to their children, specifically their sons, for attention. No, it’s not consciously sexual (at least it shouldn’t be, sicko), but the need for attention can cross over into unacceptable realms
- If you’ve ever told your son that his truly lovely girlfriend wasn’t good enough for him, you may need to detach and get a life.
- If you’re constantly flirting with your teen son’s friends, you need a new circle of friends. That’s inappropriate.
- If you find yourself sharing intimate details of your former sexual relationships with your children, quit it. You’re grossing them out.
So what about that inner sex kitten? Well, in a perfect world, a smoky look across a crowded room can activate that inner sexy. But if you’re not in a consistent, dependable relationship, relying on casual hook-ups is too much of a distraction from parenting. So, until someone serious comes along, you must look to yourself.
Don’t feel bad. Actually, the more your sexiness comes from within, the stronger your self-esteem. The stronger your self-esteem, the more likely you’ll be able to tell the predators from those truly worthy of your time and attention.
I know I say this all the time, but pampering is an absolute must. Time out for self and adult relationships is critical to sanity. You need to get away from those kids every once in a while!
If sexy is too strong a word for you right now, think sensual. Don’t neglect the things in life that give you sensual pleasure. For example, every once in a while I buy myself flowers. Every time I look at them, I feel a rush of pleasure and satisfaction. Adding touches of sensual beauty in our homes, offices, even cars can go a long way.
How about wearing sexy lingerie or making your bed with soft, satin sheets?
I’ve recently rediscovered Fannie Mae candies, and let me tell you, there are few things on earth more delightful (and medicating) than a walnut covered in dark chocolate. With a glass of wine, that's heaven.
If you’ve forgotten what sex is even about, a lightweight trashy novel might be fun. But this is only for advanced celibates who can handle it and won’t be tempted to go out and have accidental sex.
I’m always looking for fun, sensual ways to keep the inner sexy purring. If you have any creative ideas, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Yesterday my sister and I went to a fashion show benefiting breast cancer research. The presentations from various survivors were truly moving, but it was the fashion show that put me to shame. The clothes! The shoes! In the words of Carrie, “Come here, lover!”
To be honest, at my age and luscious full figuredness I couldn’t wear any of the clothes that floated dream-like down the makeshift catwalk. They were all so slinky and tight that every bump and grind on my body would show the world what I’m really made of. We can’t have that.
The shoes were awesome, but the heels were so high I feared for the ankles and knees of the models wearing them. That’s when you know you’re getting older, when your major concern is for comfort, not femme fatale.
Still, we can’t get so comfortable in our sweats and jeans that we forget to be sexy. So what if we’re not having sex! So let’s not forget to wear our mini skirts, plunging necklines, and kitten heels with pride. It’s amazing how the right outfit can make you feel fabulous!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The term comes from anorexia nervosa, which of course is the absence or extreme loss of appetite and the resulting deathly weight loss and skeletal appearance.
Some researchers define sexual anorexia as the lack of sexual “appetite” or the extreme fear of sex. Another school of thought says that sexual anorexics may be able to have sex but without the intimacy. So they may indulge in pornography, paid sex, and strip clubs, but they can’t connect one-on-one. Tina Turner’s wail, “What’s love got to do with it?” might be the anthem of this type of sexual anorexic.
In my opinion, sexual anorexia is a misnomer or at the very least comparing apples (fear of sex/intimacy) to oranges (fear of food). The issues that create each of these disorders may be very different. I’m no expert in either of these fields, but even I can see how anorexia nervosa can lead to starvation and death while sexual anorexia does not. We can’t live without food. Contrary to popular belief, we can live without sex. The quality of life may be dimmed at times, but we can still function and even have joy and happiness in life.
Clearly, both anorexics – sexual and dietary – need clinical help. My concern is that those of us practicing celibacy are not mindlessly lumped into this group just because, like some sexual anorexics, we're not having sex.
Practicing celibacy, especially my sensual celibacy, is a choice, not a disorder. Compared to having casual sex with people you don’t even know, sensual celibacy will always be a wise, sane choice. I keep thinking about Matt Drudge’s screaming headline, “Sex in the city: 1 in 4 NYC adults has herpes.” In light of widespread STDs and broken hearts, sensual celibacy is still the best way to go when facing solo times.
To me, the difference between sensual celibacy and sexual anorexia is intent. As sexual beings having a celibate lifestyle (temporarily, hopefully!), we make the decision to table casual sex. Sexual anorexia is a disorder; sensual celibacy is a clearly thought out approach to managing our sexual behavior.
That said, I believe that the old-fashioned, judgmental, unforgiving, harsh style of celibacy can lead to sexual anorexia. If there's no spirituality or sensuality in your celibacy, you run the risk of detouring down some very dark alleys. Celibate beware!
Which is why I so strongly advocate the sensual approach. Never let go of your femininity (or masculinity). Get your 10 hugs every day. Stimulate your senses with the sights and sounds you love. Most importantly, maintain healthy, intimate, loving relationships.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
For the past 22 years, New Covenant Life Church in Chicago (Pastors John and Jo Ann Long) have held a virtual prayer marathon for men. It goes on for hours and hours. It's like an aerobic prayer workout. It's like going to the wailing wall and just letting it all out. Praying like that is extremely cathartic and therapeutic. It heals the soul.
If you have any bitterness, unforgiveness, and pain lingering in your heart from a failed love relationship, praying for your ex is one of the best ways to heal. It's a great way to just let the thing go.
If you're still mad at your father, uncle, or brother for whatever happened in the past, pray for them.
At first you'll be like, "Okay, God, here I am. I don't know what to say about that low down, dirty so and so...." It may go on like that for a couple of minutes. But soon a warmth, a sweetness washes over you and you'll find yourself praying things that never occurred to you before. Kinder things. Insightful things about the person that couldn't have come to mind while you were mad. You become more compassionate. That's when you know you're in the spirit and an All-Knowing Intelligence has taken over (thank God!).
It's actually a relief to let the hurt and anger go. It takes a lot of energy to stay mad at someone. Do you really want to meet your soul mate while you're still pissed off at your ex? You don't want to taint your new relationship with pain from the past. Pray for your ex. That's the best way to let him go.
I know. He did you wrong. So what. Pray for him. I don't care what he did. Pray and forgive him. It goes against the grain, especially if you're right and he was wrong. Still, pray for him. There's no short cut to sanity and a joyful heart.
Ultimately, you begin to realize that the prayers are also about your peace of mind, sanity, and emotional health.
I went to one of Pastor Jo Ann's first prayers for men years ago. It was held at Morgan Park High School, and nearly 1,000 women showed up to pray.
That was a powerful experience for me. If you really get into the spirit of the event, there's no way you can continue to be mad at men.
I didn't know it then, but years later, when I began to practice celibacy, the lessons from that prayer set a powerful tone for living a life without casual sex. I remember praying as if I personally was carrying the burdens of all men on my shoulders. It was crazy praying, but I just couldn't stay mad at the ones who had done me wrong after that experience.
That's not to say I never get mad at men. After all, I'm still single parenting. ('Nough said about that.) But whenever I'm in a funk about something that was said or not done, I practice prayer and forgiveness. I'm ruthless with myself about it. I don't want to set up any more karmic debts with anyone else in this lifetime, thank you very much!
Pray alone, but it's even more powerful when you pray with others. I remember how the atmosphere in the auditorium was literally throbbing with the urgency of our prayers. While praying for our fathers, husbands, sons, and loves, we women experienced a rare moment of unity. No doubt, there was a lot of pain in that auditorium. But when you pray for men, not with perfection but with honesty, you begin to realize how much pain they're in. Some of our men are really suffering -- unemployment, unacknowledged depression, incarceration, addictions. The list goes on and on.
I didn't go this year, but I was there with those women in spirit. I know the power of prayer and forgiveness. There's no way you can stay mad at someone when you pray for him. No way.