Monday, July 5, 2010

Black Women and Grown-up Sex(ual Responsibility)

The Comment
I wrote the comment below in response to a post on Sojourner’s Passport regarding the magical thinking some black women employ with regard to their sexuality.

“I think some of this behavior is based on the good-girl/bad-girl dynamic.

The good-girl dynamic: good-girls don't PLAN to have sex; sex just HAPPENS. If a good-girl gets pregnant (or STD/AIDS) then it's not her fault, the good-girl declares herself to be a victim of: the guy because he refused to use/didn't have protection; the hand of fate because she didn't plan on having sex that night; or the pharmaceutical industry because she tried to take the Pill, but it made sick/fat/crazy. In her mind she retains the good-girl status and is not to blame, she is instead a victim deserving of pity/government&family assistance/free babysitting services.

The bad-girl dynamic: bad-girls have sex on purpose. They PLAN to have sex. They take birth control and buy their own condoms. They get tested and require their perspective partners get tested. They share the test results and require the same from their perspective partners. They are knowledgeable about their bodies and their sexuality (not homo/hetero, but what they like, what feels good to them). Bad-girls ENJOY sex.

Sadly the majority of BW want to perpetrate the good-girl image, even if it comes at the expense of their health/life or the diminished lives of their children.

To my mind an informed/empowered woman is knowledgeable about and comfortable with her sexuality. This knowledge does not come from what someone else tells her (family, church, partner), rather in comes from intense and honest reflection about who she is and who she wants to be.

It may mean taking a look at her family history and consciously deciding not to repeat the behaviors and actions in her own family. It may mean removing herself from her current (toxic) environment. It definitely means assessing herself, her relationship (if partnered), and what she really wants from an intimate (and sexual) relationship (if she has decided a relationship is want she wants).”

Believing you, as a grown woman, are not responsible for your choices with regard to your sex life is breathtaking self-destructive.

I have always wondered why, or better yet, how a woman could have a second ‘unplanned’ pregnancy. I mean, were they not sure how the got pregnant the first time around? Willful ignorance is never a good look.

Is Sex Mandatory?
Women jump into purely sexual relationships all the time. Women fall into primarily sexual relationships (mistaking them for an actual emotional connection) all the time. Women often have sex with someone they desire to have as a boyfriend with the hope that the sexual relations will turn into a real relationship (rarely to never). Frequently women have sex with men thinking that it’s just sex and since they are dating and acting like men; no emotional connection attaches.

And since all of this happens, why all the willful ignorance surrounding sex, out-of-wedlock children, and the proliferation of STDs?

Let’s say you are an adult woman living in her own apartment. If you fail to pay your rent, you are fairly certain of the consequences of your actions. If you continue not to pay the rent; you will be evicted.

Let’s say you are an adult woman living on her own. Let’s say you meet this guy who from outward appearances is not only attractive, but successful and educated. You want him. He wants you. He wants to sleep with you after three dates. You decide to have unprotected sex with him because he prefers it that way. You do this because you want him to be your boyfriend. You do this with a man whose sexual history you have absolutely no knowledge of….well except for the fact that he likes to have unprotected sex. What do you think you can be certain of?

An unplanned pregnancy?


Being a single mother?


This life is real ladies and the only one you get. In this day and age, you cannot say you don’t know ‘how’ you got pregnant/STD/HIV. You know ‘how’ they question you have to ask yourself is ‘why’?

Why are you so careless with your own life?

Why are you so desperate for someone to love you?

Why don’t you think you are responsible for your choices (not making a choice is also a choice)?

Why do you accept sex as a substitute for deep emotional commitment?

Why do you want to behave like an irresponsible damaged-beyond-repair man!?!?

Celibacy as a Responsible Choice
I am puzzled as to why celibacy isn’t discussed more often than it is. Or maybe it is discussed and I am missing the conversations. In my experience, people (full disclosure, I live in the South so…..) tend to have strange concepts about celibacy. Some think it’s weird. Others think there must be something wrong with you if you choose not to have sex. Still others believe if a person isn’t having sex it’s because they are unattractive.

Celibacy is seen as un-natural and that is weird considering a lot of women don’t want to be seen as someone who either enjoys sex or is in possession of her sexuality. You’ll be seen as the bad-girl if you want/plan to have sex and practice safer. And you’ll be viewed as if you decide not to have sex at all, for whatever motivations.

For men, again in my experience, tend to believe it is rarely to never desirable to go for long periods of time without sexual interaction. I imagine this is why some men utilize the services of sex workers. Going without sex, unless you are a priest of some sort, has been deemed unmanly.

There are myriad people choose celibacy. It can be the lack of viable/desirable mate, spiritual reasons, illness, psychological issues, religious reasons, emotional issues, health reasons, self-discipline, etc. Whatever the reasons may be, celibacy or abstinence pretty much insures a person will not be infected with an STD through sexual contact. If you have ever ended a relationship, especially if the relationship ended badly, wasn’t there a period of time; the post mortem; where you examined, reflected, healed from, and learned from the experience? In that time of self-reflection and healing, were you concerned about having sex or were you more concerned about healing and learning and letting go?

Celibacy is not for the weak. It is not a game. Ultimately voluntary celibacy is (or can be) about self-love, self-acceptance, and self-discipline. Clearly celibacy deserves a post unto itself and it will be forthcoming. In the meantime, with all the sexual lawlessness, foolishness, and insanity you really must take control of and be responsible for your sexuality.

We are here. The time is now.