(The Root) —
“I have had sex before, but — and I know this is going to shock you — I have decided celibacy is best for me now, at least until I am married or at least in a committed relationship. Do you think this will affect my chance to get into a relationship? Also, when is the best time to tell a guy I’m dating that I am not having sex?” –D.B.
Actually, I’m not shocked at all. I can’t find any recent statistics on the number of women currently practicing celibacy, but I get questions about it often enough to tell you that you’re far from alone on this one. I also want to applaud you for having the courage to go against the grain and do what is best for you. I wish more people would. They would be a lot happier.
Let’s start with the easy part, which everyone overcomplicates: how to tell a guy that you’re celibate. Inevitably when a man and a woman are around each other long enough, the topic of sex comes up. Since you’re not having sex, there’s no use in talking about it and misleading anyone to think what won’t happen will.
Let him bring it up, and when he does, just let him know what you require in order to have sex. It’s not that you’re “not having sex” ever, as you imply in your email; it’s that you want to get to know him and be in a committed relationship — with titles and everything — before you have sex.
Understand, you’re not really asking for anything exceptional here. You’re a woman, not a Chevy. There’s no need for some guy to test-drive you just to call you his girlfriend.
That said, many folks will make you think you’re crazy for not having sex. Put this in perspective: There are a lot of women who are having sex — wild, swing-from-the-chandelier, they-only-do-that-in-pornos kind of sex — and they are just as single as you are. Sex doesn’t guarantee you any sort of relationship, much less a marriage.