Sex was always something I deemed for marriage. I grew up in the church where topics like these were often discussed, and abstinence of course was always encouraged.
In high school, sex wasn’t very tempting. I was a nerd who was so busy being the black poster child that I didn’t really think about it. I masturbated out of curiosity, but other than that I wasn’t physically needing of anything. It wasn’t until I came to Howard and started getting all this male attention, that the battle between sex and no sex really began. I had a conversation with my mom before college and the plan was to try my best to hold out until marriage. But as the trips to male dormitories feat. neck kisses continued, my goals quickly evolved.
Freshman Year, FALL 2014
Personally, the most challenging and controversial part of the college “relationship” is sex. Please note that I put relationship in parenthesis. For some reason, having sex with an individual while not being in what I consider a real relationship is now a common practice. Howard University is one of those locations where even if you’re not in an established relationship, sex is almost expected by many males and telling a guy that you’re not having sex with them… anytime soon, is probably one of the most awkward and unfortunate, but necessary things I have had to do with all of the guys I’ve talked to. Celibacy, not having sex, waiting to have sex, whatever I’m doing, has been a hard thing to deal with freshman year, but I know that with this decision, my romantic relationships can grow and develop with tenderness and stability.
I somehow actually bagged an upperclassman my freshman year. Now I know this sounds sketch, and from the beginning it definitely was. He even saved my number as “Imani — Freshman Quad Jawn” proving his intentions. But after giving him the classic virgin’s “I’m not having sex” speech a couple times, we ended up developing a strong relationship. One that even led to a candlelight dinner featuring homemade steak and potatoes, mimosas, and Usher in the background. One that made me get in his bed and (almost) give up the thing most precious to me. I mean I was the definition of green that night. But I distinctly remember us making out, him looking over to his nightstand, and the Bible being open. I’m not sure if that was a reminder of my mindset or his new mindset, but next thing you know he’s explaining that he doesn’t want to have sex and how much he respects me for waiting. So we would continue waiting together. (See ladies! All niggas ain’t shitty!) Turns out he had stopped having sex since seriously pursuing me and it was strengthening his relationship with God.
Sophomore Year, FALL 2015
The whole time we’re hanging out and you’re staring at me like a piece of meat, I have to sit there and remind myself to be on good behavior, despite wanting to fall back and be pounced upon. The difficulty of being the bigger person and sticking to your guns, smh.
“A real woman shows her discipline by her actions, not by her words.” These were the words of Steak + Mimosa boy after explaining that I can’t do certain things that essentially put us in these hot teasing situations. I knew that I had to learn to control my mind, body, and emotions. To not make bad decisions for temporary pleasure. But the curiosity of sex was eating me alive. All my active friends knew to come back with reports and I would listen instinctively to all their stories. “I just want to suck a dick,” I told my best friend. “It literally seems so interesting to me.” I had already expressed to my mother that “Actually, I’m not waiting until marriage. I’m going to have sex when I get into a committed relationship. When he cuffs me, that’s when I’ll give it up!” Those were my new rules.
Sophomore Year, SPRING 2016
My mind says sex but my heart also says sex lol. Jesus is what I need. Because when I tell you my vagina is taking over my brain. And I don’t know how to solve this problem, without having sex. And I know it’s gonna suck. I know it’s not gonna be worth it. I know there’s a high chance of regret. I know. But I’m legit the only one standing on this side. I’m tired of being “the better person,” the one who hasn’t committed the sin, the one who hasn’t experienced this. The one who can’t speak on the subject, who can’t share their story, despite how good or bad it is.
“But I legit can’t even do the deed. I’ve set myself up for success. My mind is too strong to just do some reckless shit. I want to, but my fucking mind will not allow that shit. Because essentially, I know what I want. I don’t want to just do it with anybody. I want emotion and care. That’s my problem. I’m expecting a certain type of treatment that my options are not trying to give. So essentially I’m fucked.”
I wrote this drunk off a Rita at 12:46AM on my bathroom floor listening to Boogie “Save You” from Thirst 48 lol. As you can see the internal battle between my body and spirit was in full motion here.
Am I supposed to just settle for the stoners and possible fuckboys? Cause I don’t wanna get fucked over… just fucked. Or just be alone? I feel like these are times where I’m supposed to pray and wait for what God has for me. (and watch porn, which I think is a sin as well, but at least it’s not the real thing.) But then again do any sins outweigh another. We’re all sinners here.
I was the last virgin of the group and my new man and I were both extremely sexually frustrated. I’m talking, “Honestly though, can I blow your back out? I feel like I’ve been a good boy…” sexually frustrated. I still didn’t have the title, but I was tired of living with limits. I wanted to go all the way. So one day I pulled up to the crib and literally said “Let’s do it.” In my defense, we were damn near dating, he was my first love, he made my heart do the !!!!!!! thing and it had never done that before. So no regrets. It was close to ideal, but I knew deep down it wasn’t what I wanted for myself.
I’m really close with my mom and I knew this was gonna be a disappointment. Spring break was coming up and I was stopping home for a couple days, so I figured I’d spill the beans in person (as I got my birth control prescription lol). We’d talked about the whole no sex, unless I was cuffed rule and she knew this nigga wasn’t my boyfriend. “Did you pray about it?” was the first thing she asked.
LESSONS FROM MAMA LU
See my mom is the smartest person I know. I write down quotes from our conversations cause she’s constantly dropping gems. She’s a prayer warrior, a certified psychologist and for lack of better words just a strong black woman whose been through a lot in life. I’m honored and very excited to introduce her knowledge to you guys. Here’s what she had to say.
- Sex is a physical part of our human being. God created it, our drive, and the very communication amongst our bodies. Once you begin having sex you’re opening yourself up to a very difficult battle. I used to think I was missing out on so much and it was so difficult holding my virginity. Turns out it’s more difficult deciding to not have sex, once you’ve been active than the other way around.
- God doesn’t encourage us to restrain from sex because he wants us to be miserable. It can feel that way. Like why would God make instructions to restrict us from something so sensational, but he’s doing it as a form of protection. Sex is amazing, like literally one of the best things ever created I think. But it was created for holy unions. Every time you have sex, whether you like it or not, you are sharing something deeper with that person.
- Sex acts as a barrier between us and God, establishing distance in your relationship. See the reason why Sophomore year I was really having an internal battle, was because I knew this was a choice to stay or distance myself from God. I knew God wanted one thing and me choosing to have sex was me willingly saying “Fuck it” to his face. I was dubbing the creators laid out plan for success.
I expressed to mi madre that I had lost my virginity and would continue having sex routinely. She asked about the seriousness of our relationship. (As a psychologist, she looks at everything as a relationship. Whether you’re dating, friends, or just having sex. It’s still a relationship.)
I told her that I was scared. Everyone seems to have that “falling too hard” story and I hadn’t had mine yet. I didn’t want this to be it, and I look stupid in the ending. “Imani, if you’re going to love, love deeply and to the fullest, because that’s how it should be. He could be the one you marry, start a family and live happily ever after with, and there will still be some hurt, pain, and tears involved. You don’t know. But don’t worry about that right now. Have sex in the A building if you like!”
What Mama Lu went on to say was that having sex was a choice God would forgive. Our God is an extremely, incredibly forgiving man who watches us do all sorts of dumb shit only to greet us with open arms. But when we choose to disobey, we’re choosing to not live a Christ-like life and whatever happens as a result, are the consequences we must bear.
Now immediately my mind went to pregnancies and STD’s. Don’t be silly, wrap the willy. I had told ol’ boy that we weren’t having any more sex until I was on birth control, so I felt I had that handled. But I realize, two years later, those aren’t the things my mom was talking about. See I truly believe that sex is deeper than physical connection. I feel like I’ve expressed within this blog time and time again, that it’s more than just a penis and vagina experiencing a lot of friction. To this day, I would be lying if I said I have EVER had sex without emotion. Though the emotion may not be a strong connection between the partner… there’s been emotion related to why I’m having sex in the first place. People often joke that the vagina has strings attached to the heart, but I truly believe that shit is connected to the soul.
The reason why I was so adamant on having sex only in relationships, is because I knew it would (hopefully) resemble what God would want for me. See to me a relationship though far from it, would include many of the qualities deemed necessary for a successful marriage. In the words of my mother: “It is a frighteningly vulnerable journey to become one revealing all, but God has created a three-fold cord that has no desire to be broken.” That’s the type of relationship I wanted to introduce sex into, not this fufu lame shit we have around campus.
I said that if I was gonna disobey God, I wanted it to be someone who was worth it. Someone who compared. Someone who I loved just as much, so God wouldn’t look down and feel uber disrespected. Like really Imani, you chose this nigga over me.
“You can get sexual satisfaction from those other than your soulmate. Sex is the last things it’s about, because it’s the easiest thing you can give. What about the ability to communicate, desire, provide and support? That’s when you get superior sex, because you’ve fulfilled me in other ways.” —Mum, The Birthgiver
Even my Aunt once said, “I’ve had a lot of sex. But I’m telling you, there’s no better sex than that with your husband. It’s on a wholeeee different level.” (Y’all see where I get my openness from. It’s in my genes. We all be chatting.)
And when you think about it, that is what makes sex better. I’ve had sex where the base of our relationship was not grounded in trust, friendship, and definitely not love. It was grounded in “I want to have sex. You want to have sex. Let’s have sex together and we can possibly build something on the way.” I’ve even complained about getting sub-par dick, only for a male friend to explain the circumstances of my situation. “You’re not his girl… the interaction isn’t always about having the best experience together, but instead getting a nut off, which means you might not get wifey, love of my life, really tryna make you cum, stellar D. Niggas just tryna have a consistent fuck.”
Junior Year, Spring 2017
I have to make a serious shout out to anyone who is abstinent until marriage, because they deserve several rounds of applause. That is crazy. Like no sex. For years. Can you imagine how many struggling nights one had. Imagine dating, really liking someone, hell, loving a person and still abstaining from sex.
Personally I know my relationship weakened between God and I, because not having sex was keeping me close to God. Not having sex was one of my biggest struggles in life and it required me to constantly pray, read my bible, and express to God that I’m trying to follow his path.
People always say to “Talk to God during your blessings, not just during your storm.” And despite me saying AMEN and clapping my hands in church, I wasn’t talking to God anymore, because I was having sex and that “need” was filled. I was talking to him in my pain when my heart was broken, niggas were getting disrespectful, or I needed those blessings before a big test, but that was every once in a while.
I distinctly remember getting some backshots and yelling out Jesus, only to stop and think Oh my gosh! How could I call out his name in a time such as this! Especially when I hadn’t called his name in such a long time.
Psalms 38:15, 17–18 reads, “I am waiting for you, O LORD. You must answer for me, O Lord my God… I am on the verge of collapse, facing constant pain. But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done.”
See those consequences my mom was worried about were indeed not pregnancies. It wasn’t HIV or AIDS, chlamydia or Herpes. It was heartbreak. God is awesome in a sense that he allows us to make decisions for ourselves and even when we choose to disobey, he still loves and accepts.
But what I think most of us fail to realize, is that these “suggestions,” which are really rules God just chooses not to enforce are God’s way of protecting your mind, body, and spirit from trials and tribulations that aren’t always necessary.
I’ve had an STD scare that had me acting crazy in distress. I’ve made a trip to Walmart crying at the self checkout, as I bought a Plan B. I’ve had sex with a friend out of lust, that changed our relationship forever. Uber even sent me one of those 2017 year in reviews saying, “most of your rides were between 11pm–4am” and I laughed cause Uber was definitely right. I used to be the girl who didn’t have a story and now I’ve got plenty.
But the point is. All of that was unnecessary. It helped me learn lessons and made me the person I am today. But were these experiences I couldn’t live without? I don’t think so. I could’ve saved probably $300+ these last couple years not indulging in the act. Regardless, the Lord got me through it all. Now I’m not here to preach y’all back to abstinence. I just wrote all that and I’m still not abstinent. But when someone asked me to write about sex + spirituality, this is genuinely what came to my heart.
Sex affects you. Which means it affects your relationship with God.