“We think we want sex, but it’s not always about sex. It’s intimacy we want. To be touched. Looked at. Admired. Smiled at. Laugh with someone. Feel safe. Feel like someone’s really got you. That’s what we crave.” ~Anonymous
I have not had sex in years. I was meditating one day, and my mind was silent (an extremely rare event), then I heard “Do not have sex until you are married.” Something I heard often growing up as a southern Baptist.
I started breathing fast, and my thoughts immediately started racing. I am pretty sure I cried, if not in that moment, later on. I felt I had been given clear instructions on what to do to take my life to another level.
The problem was that marriage was not on my to-do list. I do like the idea of monogamy, but I don’t like the idea of being legally bonded to someone for life. Then, if for whatever reason that does not work out, I have to go through the legal system for my breakup.
I also thought that would mean I would never have sex again, so my mind was all over the place. Fear had taken over. But then I actually listened to that message.
The first thing I became clear about was how, on a subconscious level, I was having sex with men before I was ready because I lacked the confidence to say no. I had a fear that if I did not have sex with them, they would not like me or stick around.
I also learned that I was using sex to get my needs met. Sometimes I was just lonely and wanted to cuddle or be held, but I would not communicate that. I felt that no one would give me that, so ultimately, I would end up knocking boots with someone.
I learned that I had a belief that my value was tied to my sexuality. I also learned that when I have sex with someone, I develop a strong attachment to them. I was not able to think clearly. It no longer became about growth or love but about ego. Are they going to call me? Do they like me? I never asked myself if I liked them.
Although I have no clue as to when I will be sexually active again, I do know this: I have redefined my definition of marriage to one of a spiritual partnership. A union, not legally bound but soulfully bound for whatever time period it flows. And that’s what I’m waiting for now.
To me, this non-legal marriage is about growth. It is a safe space to evaluate whether or not the relationship should continue. Maybe with a weekly or monthly check in. If it feels right, you keep going forward; if someone decides it’s not working for whatever reason, you move on. People grow and change. Sometimes you grow together, sometimes you grow apart. There is not this underlining pressure to stay bonded to someone your twenty-year-old self attracted.
A spiritual partnership is a place where it is safe for us to be our authentic selves. We encourage each other, support one another. Explore our sexuality. There is a comfort in telling the other person what feels good and what does not. It is safe to say and share what we think and feel. I think we may find this type of spiritual partnership ends up lasting much longer than most marriages.
Another lesson I have learned since I received the message about not having sex is that I always thought sex was something that you had to do. I didn’t think a person could function without it. Turns out you can. I have become more familiar with my body and what I like and what feels good to me. I have become more confident and learned that my worth and value is not at all related to my sexuality.
I have also learned patience, trust, and surrender. We have a tendency to settle because of fear. This is something I want to challenge.
I want to see what it is like to wait. To be patient and trust that I will form a meaningful relationship in time if I don’t jump on anyone who shows interest in me because I’m afraid of being alone. I have a feeling it will be much more rewarding than I can imagine.
I have learned that my body is sacred, that I want to share this with one person and give this to them as gift. I want to wait to have sex until I am in a spiritual partnership not because someone told me to but because that feels right for me. Not having sex helped me learn to love my self, develop my own set of beliefs outside the religion I was raised in, and flourish into someone that I like and respect.
If you find yourself having thoughts like “Men are always taking advantage of me” or “There are no good men out there” or maybe “I feel like I am being used,” I highly recommend getting quiet with yourself and asking yourself: What role am I playing in this? What am I doing to create this reality for myself? What can I do differently to get different results?