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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

From The Archives: My Virginity Is Ruining My Sex Life

Vivian Elebiyo, author of My Virginity is Ruining My Sex Life, is real, and unflinching. She speaks bluntly about the issues single women deal with in today’s society. Whether dealing with lack of self-control, or hurt from participating in sexual activities, or with emotional and out of control relationships, My Virginity is Ruining My Sex Life encourages and challenges readers to make better dating choices. Vivian also shares her own journey of transformation from wanting physical satisfaction to spiritual contentment. “I wanted to stay a virgin until I got married, this is the belief of my heart, but it is a belief that I have let become tattered and soiled. Temptation is like a whirlwind, and it fills up the world when you are not taking shelter from it. Like so many others, I got tired of holding back; I began to give myself away in bits and in pieces…”

Here is an excerpt from My Virginity is Ruining My Sex Life which was originally published in MIMI's December 2007 issue.
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Everyone can remember the first time they fell in love, the feelings that somehow shaped our existence and attitudes. To feel the warm fuzzy feelings of one’s first kiss, and believing that their new love was the greatest of all things. Toes curling up, that tingling sensation, the flopping wings of a thousand butterflies in the pit of your stomach, the starry eyed innocence of your first kiss.

For some it was the best time in their lives and for some the worst: first kiss, first love letter, and for some, first time they had sex or at least wished they had or had not. I found love in my English class in eighth grade. We were to write letters to someone in a nearby town as a part of the class’s lessons on letter-writing. I was given a boy to write to, and at first I was embarrassed, but soon I was thrilled. His name was Kenneth and his letters were breathtaking. Very soon thoughts of what he was like and the beautiful things he said filled my mind and he was the center of my day. I imagined and wished above all else that he would kiss me when and if we eventually met. After several months of writing, we were finally able to meet.

It was magical. We were so innocent and full of words to share. We talked about everything and nothing during our brief time together. I could not imagine anything being better than to just be with him, walking in the warm sunshine, our hands occasionally brushing against each other’s hands. Far too soon, it was time for us to go. In the shade of a spreading tree, Kenneth took me into his arms and embraced me.

We held each other close like the movies showed it; I closed my eyes and tilted my head just enough. He moved so close I could hear his heart beat, my heart stopped for a brief second as I gently caressed my lips with his. I did not want more than just that one kiss. It was perfect, sweet and innocent. The memory of that one kiss fills my heart with happiness, even now after all this time.

That was the first and last time I ever saw Kenneth. We were children, really, and our lives and hearts quickly moved on. My heart never wished I slept with him. Once in while he runs across my mind and I think about how kissing him was such a big deal for me then, how I left town to go to another state just to get one, sweet kiss from him. How I wish all of my experiences were so innocent.

Now times have changed and I have bigger demons to deal with; the cravings that bring about discontentment, the choice between my sexuality or sexual cravings and my spirituality. So many of my prayers are geared towards purity, and fleeing youthful lust and desires; that I sometimes do not have time to pray for the world. I am filled with outrage and disgust at myself, and my prayers are full of grief for my lost innocence.

I plead with God, “You just have to heal me now, deliver me from this bondage or else…..” and I don’t know what to pray after that. I am not an addict who has to have sex; I am definitely far from that, but I get lost in the fear of my cravings and the helpless feelings I have when my desire overtakes me. The idea of losing myself to the clutches of lust and sexual desires scares me, the fear that what I hate the most can someday be my downfall.

For me, chastity and my person go together, or should go together; if I lose my virginity, I lose myself. I will lose myself to someone else, and not knowing if that person is ready to take all of me, my dreams, my laughter, my tears, leaves me uncertain whether having sex is a good idea. To give myself to someone I am not married to is a great injustice to that person. He will have to love me, keep me and never leave me, and that is too much to ask just anyone. It is enough to ask of true love. It is exactly what true love asks, “Take all of me, take all of me.”

This is the belief of my heart, but it is a belief that I have let become tattered and soiled. Temptation is like a whirlwind, and it fills up the world when you are not taking shelter from it. Like so many others, I got tired of holding back; I began to give myself away in bits and in pieces. First it was just staying a little longer than I should; then it was allowing the touches that danced like fire across my skin. For that moment, when caresses flowed across my skin and I lost myself in the breath and body of a man, I felt so alive. How could this be wrong? Surely the man felt his heart and soul move in him like a great force, like a wonderful possibility of love and faithfulness when he touched me. Apparently not. Finally I got lost in the hands of an undeserving man who wanted to take it all away. Though I won the battle over my virginity, I lost the fight over my virtue, integrity, and purity.

I dove into other sexual habits that I felt were without consequence; all my belief system failed me and I was once again looking for love in places where there was no love. My virtue shriveled up and died slowly and painfully as I began to define what virginity really was and how that defines me; who or what I really am and how all my life, at least my dating life, had revolved around the hymen tissue and its validity.

Handicapped by the same standard I had set for myself, I set out to rebel against my own standards. It was like fighting against oneself, beating the air and losing. The very thing I was proud of being began to irritate me. How could it be important, this thin veil of flesh? I tried hard to get rid of it, pushing the limits of my own morality, but when the time came to cross into the unknown, I could not bring myself to lose it. Before I had thought that what was between my legs was what made me a virgin, but I now realized that it was so much more than any tissue or bleeding, it is a state of mind.

“Most young women cannot remember exactly when they began their journey to womanhood, but the transition from adolescence to womanhood is often muddled in a smooth procession of events and activities that make it difficult to visibly distinguish the chances of survival. My sexual transition was not so smooth. I did things because I wanted to experiment; I did things because of the messages on television and in magazines that had power over me. The allure of the images and the way they inspired me to look at myself were powerful. It wasn’t simply about being well-groomed; it was about being devastating to a man’s senses. It was about centering my focus on the one aspect of my self that I knew was powerful to not just me, but to a man. Although I saw my virginity as some type of trophy I should present to my husband when I got married, I never thought about what it really meant. I had to deal with my inability to contain my lustful desires. There were things I did, and I could not understand why I did them. There were things I watched on television that I could not understand. Memories of two naked bodies having sex right on my television would haunt me for days, maybe even weeks. I walked away from hard-earned principles and dabbled in things that were not pure, and somehow I yearned for more. Nothing satisfied me.

“I have to admit; the pressure to define myself by exhibiting my sexuality through my clothing, my make-up, and my movements is intense. It feels good to turn heads, it feels good to have men appreciate me and desire me, it feels good to look in the mirror and see that I can compete with other women for attention. The ways men make me feel when they flirt and pursue me with gifts and attentions are gratifying. I feel strong and powerful for a moment, when the man I am attracted to is caught up in my youth and beauty. For a moment, I believe that, maybe, he might love me. It is a frail dream, built on my most fleeting quality, yet I want to believe it will last forever. This is not of God and I know it.

I put the essay down, and sighed. In the morning, I would share it with my friend that was in so much pain. That is the result of sin, pain and regret. As a girl brought up in a Christian home, my morals were set by the standards my parents taught and lived. But by the age of 18, I had learned all my ideals about purity, sex, and virginity had been altered by my peers and through the media. Like so many others, I began to reconstruct my idea of what the creation of my mortal body was about in order to deal with the guilt I felt for not living by the standards I knew to be the best for me. It has been a painful experience, healing from the past. Now I have come back to where I started morally. I have returned to the place of innocence, altered by my memories, but pure and firmly held in God’s hand, prayerfully trusting that He will guide me to my marriage bed.

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To read the rest of the Vivian's article, take a look at My First Time: Excerpt From My Virginity Is Ruining My Sex Life.

(Photo Credits: © Zulufoto (Models Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes)


AMINA said...