Photo Credit: She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
Whilst Shonda Rhimes basked in her Year of Yes, I endured a Year of No Sex. I cannot believe I actually typed that. I am not fearful of my sexuality, just uninterested in my parents reading about it. Just the other day, my dad said, “Baby, if I tell people to go to GirlTyler.com, is that where they’ll find your work?”. I responded as honest as a good daughter would by saying, “Yeah, that’s it. But, unless you want your buddies to read my cuss words and other dirty laundry, I wouldn’t send them there.” I say all that to say, I’ve put off writing this blog because I don’t want my parents to see it. But…my creative spirit won’t let me rest until I transcribe this phase of my life.
So, what was it like not having sex for 400 days (and counting).
The above gif sums it up. I am fat and happy. If my math serves me correctly, I’ve gained 20 pounds over the last year all thanks to a lack of testosterone. Chick-fil-a became my sex substitute. There are so many inappropriate references I want to make regarding the chicken patty and the vanilla milkshake, but I’ll keep it classy here. I’ve always had a skewed outlook on romance and sex, I mean I was watching films like Dirty Dancing and The Color Purple at age four, obliterating any chance for Disney to impregnate my mind with fairy tale love and nonsense. I wasn’t a princess then and I wear no crown now.
Someone is probably reading this thinking, “man she put all her business out there.” One thousand words couldn’t possibly capture my struggles or lifestyle.
After graduating college, I said I would pump the brakes on my overactive sex drive and in most cases I did. Seriously, what I did at 20 was no longer acceptable at 24. However, I have plenty of tawdry stories that I’d love to swap with Being Mary Jane. I went from three times a week to a couple of times every three months, which was like a world record in Girl Tyler land. My speed eventually slowed to once every eight months (weird number). Then it happened. I began feeling convicted about meaningless sex. Every time I thought of doing it, I felt like God was shaking his head at me. Even during the act, a broken record kept spinning and the sound said, “What would Jesus do?”.
Sex became menial labor.
In 2014, after I found out the guy I was dating had a pregnant girlfriend, you know I chilled all the way down. Pimp down. I took a dagger straight to the heart on that one. She knew about me, but I didn’t know about her. Life is such a crazy thing, so I bowed out gracefully. A harsh reality hit me. I had poor taste in men. Not only that, I attracted dirty scoundrels. I exuded sex and that’s about all the relationships were good for. I had no intention of loving these men. Subsequently, I made mental amends with the situation and moved on. Even another relationship that I had tried to hold onto for five years was dying a slow death, it was time to move on. I began to go to church more, eventually praying for God to fix my wildly odd obsession with jumping in the sack. For reasons I cannot list here, I was given the spiritual healing that I needed but something was missing. I was so very close to a year of no sex. But you know how Satan works.
By late December 2014, I met this AMAZING guy. Like, I really really liked him and Tyler never really, really likes anyone. After our first date, I told my best friend, “Please don’t let me mess this up and sleep with this man.” Everything felt so right until …. I messed up and slept with this man. Things turned physical way too soon. I remember when I went home that night, I cried and prayed that God would forgive me for dishonoring my repentance. It’s like I was adopting my old ways again, and in turn, I know this guy was slowing becoming turned off by my aggressive attitude. He wanted to chill, and I’m like, “Bruh, take your pants off.” Did I just write that? God, yes, I just wrote that. It’s like I wanted to quickly make things official with him so that I could ease my mind about my raging hormones. In my mind, I rationalized it as though, “If he were my boyfriend, it wouldn’t be so bad for me wanting to jump his bones every breaking moment.”
By this point, I was no longer listening to God, I was doing my own thing. Then, January 17th, 2015, I had this enlightening moment: You don’t have to be naked for a man to see you in the flesh. The lady my grandmother and mother damn near beat me into becoming finally showed up to the party. It took me 26 years to realize it is possible to be attracted to someone of the opposite sex and not commence a sexual relationship.
I didn’t know how to communicate what I was feeling or thinking at the time, but I just asked him to leave my apartment, never to see him again for six months. I was ready for monogamy and I could no longer risk my health for a night of passion. Life presents no guarantees and I vowed in that moment I owed myself a right to life. Sex is pleasure and can translate into a lethal weapon when done in jest. I could no longer play Russian roulette with my life or my youth.
I chose my life. Even now with us back on speaking terms, he still is unaware of why I cut our night, and potential relationship so short.
The longest duration I had gone without sex was 11 months, or was it 8? Hell, I don’t remember. I knew one year was a challenge that I needed to elevate my spiritual growth.
I had dates with the opposite sex, plenty of them. But, my new outlook on the sex allowed me to go into every situation with a clear mind. If I knew I couldn’t trust myself, I would decline an invite. Even guys that tried to kiss me on dates, I would go all matrix on them and avoid our lips from locking at all costs. I had invitations to nice places..I’d take the free meal, but I couldn’t do the after party. I owed it to myself to do this. Even when I had a chance with what appeared to be the finest man, an NFL player (that’s all I’ll say), I knew he wouldn’t value my body, so I held my treasure to a high regard that night and went home. I began to say a little prayer during these weak moments, “God, deliver me from my sexuality.” And he did. As the months raged on, I told guys on the first date, “I haven’t had sex in almost a year..and tonight will be no different..fyi”. There were times I didn’t get a call back and other times when I set off intrigue.
I love the innocence of my relationships with the opposite sex, I haven’t felt this way in years. No expectations.
To substitute my old habits, I have found myself utilizing my time in other ways. I religiously read my Bible, visit a local coffee shop to clear my head and write, take a 5-mile walk on Sundays listening to my favorite books on Audible or I go home to be with family. There’s plenty of recreation outside of the bedroom. You must first readjust your focus in order to find them..
I say all that to say, “I survived 400 days of no sex.”
So what did I take away from this dry season?
5. Yes, it is possible to go an extended period of time without sex.
4. Even in your weak moments, God still loves you.
3. Distance yourself from bad influences.
I stopped listening to R. Kelly music. OG panty dropper.
2. Regret is silly. You did what you wanted because it felt good at the time.
1. Prayer is the best weapon in any battle, be it physical or mental.
Before, during and after sex, you can never foreshadow how things will turn out…one, two or even three years after the fact, things can go sour. I have no regrets, only a faint desire to have slowed down and first had an in-depth discussion with the three guys I wrote this blog about, before we embarked on foolish pleasures. Your body is a temple, and your mind is a precious gift. Be mindful of who you unwrap it for.
“The beautiful sex organ isn’t between your legs, but between your ears.”
–She’s Gotta Have It