(The Root) —
"I've been celibate for almost five years. Yeah, I know — 'Man down! Code 10!' I am trying to wait until I am married to have sex again. Lord knows I am. But it's becoming extremely hard. My male and female friends tell me to just 'get it in,' but I follow a male relationship expert, and he says, 'Wait until marriage.' Is it ever OK for a woman to just 'get it in' with no strings attached and still be considered a lady and not a 'ho'? I don't want a list of men, but this celibacy thing is wearing me down, especially since I haven't had a date since Jesus parted the Red Sea. Sigh." —C.N.
Huh? It's 2013. If you want to "get it in" with no strings attached, then that's your business. You can be called a "ho" whether you've had sex with one person or 100. The label, one largely applied only to women, is just about controlling your sexuality, not a genuine concern for your well-being or soul.
You're wondering what people will say if they find out. I'm wondering why you are telling others about what goes on in your bedroom or who goes in you. It's none of their business.
As for your current celibacy, I don't know whether to congratulate you or console you. It's fine not to have sex, even if it seems as if everybody else is doing it. But your reasons for not engaging concern me. It seems that you're sticking to this choice only because of the rantings of an arbitrary male relationship expert and because you don't want to be judged by society's double standard about women who have sex. Those aren't good reasons to be celibate, especially when it doesn't seem that you want to be.
I'm less concerned about what the relationship expert thinks and more concerned about what you think. Do you think you'll regret it or feel guilty if you have sex? Then don't do it. If you think you'll be just fine, do it. It's your body. You can do what you want or not with it, as long as it isn't harming anyone else.
If you give it some thought and decide that you do want to remain celibate for whatever reasons you decide are best for you, I suggest that you join a support group like Worth the Wait Revolution, where you'll find like-minded women (and men) who are also waiting for marriage to have sex and will support you in your struggle to stick to your beliefs, which clearly isn't so easy.
Also, I know your friends like to tease you about your decision, but have a heart-to-heart with them about being more supportive of your choice. Celibacy is a really hard choice, and it's so much harder if you don't have friends who respect your decision.
Whatever you decide, I recommend that you set up an account on an online dating site for the obvious reason that you can begin dating again. I find that a lot of celibate women who are waiting until marriage to have sex are not actively dating, which makes me wonder how they ever expect to find a husband and have sex. For many, dating and sex are one and the same, but they don't have to be. You can set your limits where you see fit.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor for The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.