The forbidden word

Perri | goldthelabel.com

The forbidden word?

Are you ready? It’s celibacy!

In this over-sexualized and easy access culture, celibacy is a HIGHLY forbidden word.

My journey with this word has been on-going for quite some time now, unfortunately, with many restarts. I include this to say that it’s never, ever too late to jump back on the horse, or not– if you catch my drift.

My first bout with this was more of an experiment back in 2010. I had just fake ended things with the person I was cool with and I had concluded and declared for the first time that would be the last time. Wrong.

To be clear, “fake ended” is one of those things we as women do prematurely before we actually checkout for real. Most times, it’s an enraged emotional high that is quite short lived, and if you’re not careful, the cycle will perpetuate until the breaking point hauls in full force- taking every last prisoner! I digress. 

With all humour aside, my journey with celibacy has been both liberating as well as trying. Due to the fact that my decision to walk in this has always been spiritually based, even before I knew it was, hitting the restart always felt like a loss.

Wouldn’t that feel like a gain?

It should’ve, but to me it was a reminder that I had come so far, only to have to dust myself off and start all over again. This was something that secretly weighed me down for a really long time.

My most recent reset was actually 6 months into my last relationship. Which is very shocking to many. I felt as though I was living a double life and I owed it to myself, my then boyfriend and above all God, to get my life all the way together. We set boundaries and we stuck to them. Through this we were not only able to navigate through problems easier and more effectively, but we actually had more time to focus on us, all of us. After 1 year and 6 months we did call it quits but I’m grateful that we allowed ourselves to take the blinders of sex off; to fully be naked to each other with our shortcomings. Once sex was no longer a crutch we were able to see how incompatible we really were. Prior to this decision, I was well aware of how dangerous relationships rooted in just physicality were and although this wasn’t that entirely, I can honestly say this was the very last straw for me. While this particular connection had seemingly real affection, longevity and substance, I can’t help but question, if we never took it there, would we have even made it as far as we did?

The analogy I often use associated with this is cake.  Fitting, right? 😉

Before we can icing a cake, there needs to be certain ingredients added and mixed, as well as time allotted for the baking process. The tricky thing with icing is, it makes everything taste and look better. Consequently, if ever there’s an undercooked cake or even a burnt one, from just one glance of perfectly placed icing you’d never know. It’s only when we get passed the icing that we notice the problem.

Sex is the icing. It makes things appear better than they are, but the issue is, no matter how good the cake may seem with the pretty and tasty icing, problems can still exist under it’s sweet layer.

In a relationship, these problems can range from personal insecurities all the way to dysfunction with the actual connection.

[I could also go into the importance of the ingredients and the precious time needed to bake a good cake, but I’ll save that for another post.]

See, the thing with sex is, it always connects you to another person in ways that are beyond you. This is why feelings seem to come out of nowhere very early in an interaction, as well as why it seems so hard to leave a person that gets on every last nerve you have. However, given the right context, this connection can be amazing. For me, this context is after marriage.

This kind of interaction creates a very strong connection that sometimes takes years to break, or for some, it never dissipates. This could answer why so many fights break out between individuals who feel compelled to attack an ex’s new love interest. Have you or someone you know ever uttered the words, “I don’t like her, and I don’t know why?” I can tell you why. It could be, somewhere down the line, you two have been connected. Truthfully, the way this generation swaps and shares that shouldn’t be too hard to digest. But again, I digress.

The reason why some flames never seem to die out, is because in the moment of passion we become one with our chosen partner. The strength of the connection or even the dependancy of it is never apparent until you try to give it up.

The science for this is as follows:

A key hormone released during sex is oxytocin, also known as the ‘cuddle hormone’. This lowers our defences and makes us trust people more, says Dr Arun Ghosh, a GP specialising in sexual health at the Spire Liverpool Hospital.

It’s also the key to bonding, as it increases levels of empathy. Women produce more of this hormone, although it’s not clear why, and this means they are more likely to let their guard down and fall in love with a man after sex.

However, the problem is that the body can’t distinguish whether the person we’re with is a casual fling or marriage material — oxytocin is released either way. So while it might help you bond with the love of your life, it’s also the reason you may feel so miserable when a short-term relationship ends.

Men, on the other hand, instead of getting a surge of bonding hormone receive a surge of simple pleasure.

‘The problem is that when a man has an orgasm, the main hormone released is dopamine — the pleasure hormone. And this surge can be addictive,’ says Dr Ghosh.

That’s why so many more men tend to suffer from sex addiction.

-More here

For me, I’ve chosen to stick on this path because I do believe in the sanctity of marriage. Along with honouring God with my body, I’d also like to give the future Mr. Gold all of me, not just what’s left. The danger in connecting yourself with soul after soul is you don’t know how you’ll end up on the other side of it. I’m not saying you should live your life in fear, but there are many jaded, lost, confused and disappointed souls out there who, by way of these connections, have lost hope in love. Real love. Love that’s rooted in real intimacy and genuine compassion. Love that understands real intimacy is more of “in-to-me-see,” and less of “come, let me see.”

Celibacy is a journey. I would never deceive you into thinking it’s an easy one either. But, after almost 2 years straight, I can say that’s its been an amazing journey of personal growth. Learning to not appease your flesh and its desires in this manner helps you grow stronger in other areas of your life, not just relationships. However, in taking this act off the table completely, you’re more alert to those who are around for just that and can swiftly send them from whence they came, okay?! On a personal note for some, removing this element can also reveal how deceptive the act really is, allowing feelings of false empowerment to be addressed at the root.

I’ve come to enjoy pure connections based in pure intentions. Let’s face it though, we’re human! So those desires and tendencies will always be present, but I’ve learned with these momentary feelings, exercising self control saves an enumerable amount of stress in the future.

For now, I’m cool with adding in all the right ingredients, working out the right baking time and temperature (you know, when things get too hot too fast, they burn *sips tea*). When the time is right, and by right I mean after marriage, we’ll apply that icing on THICK!

Bible Verses:
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge
Heb 13:4

Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Cor 6:18-20

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