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Celibacy: Is That What’s Hot In The Streets?

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Essence Magazine interview with Black Celibacy

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by Maria Lloyd

Although many people attribute their religious and/or spiritual beliefs to the decision to practice celibacy, a global study has proven that it works in attracting men.

The study, reported in the European Journal of Personality, researched the impact of “playing hard to get” tactics on 1,500 men and women to see which ones work best. Some of the tactics tested were flirting with others and diverting a love interest’s phone call to voicemail.
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The results indicated that the most effective tactics for women are appearing highly self-confident, talking to other people, withholding sεx, being sarcastic, appearing busy, teasing and flirting with other people, and turning down the first few dates.

Then you have the story of Lakita Garth, an attractive woman who kept her virgínity until she was married at the age of 36. Although she attributes her family’s strong Christian upbringing to her decision to withhold from intimacy until she was married, she also said she kept her options opened and encouraged other Christians to do the same. “To be single was to be undistracted in my devotion to God. Keep your options open. God’s perfect mate for you may not look or sound like your ‘fantasy mate’.” Some people believe celibacy is the best way to combat the staggering STD/HIV/AIDS infections in the Black community, as well as the alarming percentage of African-American children born out-of-wedlock. This is the case for BlackCelibacy.com owner Jeremy Billingsley. “I’m married with three kids. One of the reasons I did this is because over 70 percent of Black kids are born into single-family households and the HIV and AIDs crisis,” Billingsley told Essence. “I wanted to do something different that would make a difference in the future but we’ve been deeply embraced within the Black community.”

Not everyone believes celibacy is the key to success in a relationship or in life. One man commented on Garth’s interview stating: “The Bible does not make any of the claims that this article makes about sεxual purity before marriage. The abstinence model of Christianity is an inherited tradition and not a hard and fast line which the Bible draws. ‘Don’t have sεx before marriage!’ they say. Why? The Bible says we should abstain from ‘sεxual immorality.’ What is sεxual immorality? ‘Sεx before marriage,’ they say. Says who? It is a tradition, not an inviolable maxim — a tradition which made sense in earlier cultures where everyone married AND they did so at a young age. Sεx before marriage is certainly a risky venture, but articles like these unnecessarily shame devoted lovers who have not yet overcome the logistical hurdles of holding a wedding. In all honesty, the girl in this article sounds totally self-absorbed/self-righteous, some of the most disgusting traits for a Christian to have. We should NOT be holding her up as a model for Christian women.”

What are your thoughts on celibacy/abstinence?

Maria Lloyd (@WritingsByMaria) is the Business Manager for the Your Black World Network. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and an advocate of dismantling the prison industrial complex, increasing entrepreneurship, reforming education, and eradicating poverty.