7 Reasons Why a Sex Act Won’t Soothe a Love Ache: Part I
“I’m not going to stop having sex,” a friend said confidently. She, being a sexually active female with a don’t-challenge-me-on-this-issue-attitude. And in that moment, I realized the much needed pedicure and estrogen connection had taken a detour we would not easily rebound from.
Our relationship had been birthed in confrontation. Honestly, I prefer to avoid difficult conversations like a bad stink, however, I tend to speak first, think later, and then deal with the consequences. That is exactly what happened the day we became friends.
“Are you shacking?” I questioned about a year earlier. To which she replied, “Yes,” and before I knew it,we began to engage in a discussion about her lifestyle choices. Surprisingly, the bridge between us wasn’t severed and a friendship was born.
So on the day of her what-you-gonna-do-about-it declaration it wasn’t like we had never talked about sex before. We both knew where the other stood on the issue. She was simply daring me to step across the line towards combative communication.
I tried to respond gingerly but then she pulled out some surprise ammunition. The basic tenor was that since I had not been sexually active prior to marriage I did not have grounds to speak. My passion for purity did not resonate with her because it was not validated by a promiscuous past.
In the midst of thinking, “I know she didn’t just say that!,” I had a thought and I said it. “Jesus didn’t have to have sex in order to speak to women who did,” I responded as an awkward silence followed. Needless to say, there were no warm fuzzies when we said goodbye. In fact, our parting gifts were battle scars from the heated verbal swap meet. After that day I thought often about the words she said and the ones I didn’t.
I wish I had said it is not the act that qualifies me to speak but the ache – for I know it well. The ache to be: loved, touched, held, affirmed, cherished, and valued. I get it. And though I did not cross the threshold of virginity prior to marriage, I had a string of regrets and bad decisions regarding male relationships, that stem (in part) from a longing I had for my father. She had it too, but at that time she failed to make the connection between the act and the ache for her father’s affection.
So this series of blog posts is my best shoulda, woulda, coulda reply three years later. I want you to know this response is not a harsh “thou shalt not fornicate” message with a pointed finger. It is my attempt to counter (what I believe is) a potential root cause of unwanted pregnancies, STDs, a generation of fatherless men and women, and overwhelming heartache. A sex act won’t soothe a love ache because:
- Reason 1: Multiple Sexual Partners is a Symptom Not a Cure
- Reason 2: Feelings Often Camouflage as Truth
- Reason 3: Sex is Not Love
- Reason 4: Sex Was Never Intended To Soothe A Love Ache
- Reason 5: Sex is Not Just Physical
- Reason 6: Temporary Pleasure in the present Can Yield Negative Consequences in the Future
- Reason 7: Premarital Sex Creates Barriers to Commitment
Reason 1: Multiple Sexual Partners is a Symptom Not a Cure
In the March 2014 edition of Ebony Magazine, Annie Daly published an article about female sexual addiction. The findings in this article were numbing. Daly said,
“. . . the thrill that surrounds sex, not the act itself, which may not even be pleasurable, serves as a short-term fix that masks the bigger problem: an inability to connect, both with themselves and with others.”
The article went on to highlight African American women specifically because there are many absentee mothers and fathers and a lack of healthy relationship role models.
This is not always the case but for my friend it was true. Her father had neglected and abandoned her and their relationship was severely damaged as a result. Bill Gillham describes this behavior in his book Lifetime Guarantee.
“If overt affection from her dad is missing, she has a good chance of developing into an adult who has hang-ups about relating to males in a physical love relationship, either being sexually promiscuous or perhaps finding it difficult to relate easily to a husband, sons, or male friends.”
Again, I want to reiterate that this is not always the case but I have seen it played out in my own life. Especially in my adolescent years. I found myself in and out of relationships, often compromising who I was to gain (what I thought was) love from males who were incapable of giving it. In an effort to break this detrimental cycle in my own life I had to begin to identify the lie backing my behavior.
- I must be in a relationship to be satisfied, secure, significant and loved.
Embedded in this lie I found commonality with my friend. The root cause of our actions was a desire to be loved. Both of us had compromised physically to garner the love of a man; but it wasn’t love at all. Love desires to give and not get, wait and not rush, and sacrifice rather than indulge. Love looks, sounds, and feels like God.
His love alone is enough.
Though it is sometimes difficult to grasp, God’s love can soothe our ache if we choose to continually abide in Him. When talking with the woman at the well, who had been married 5 times and in a relationship with a man who was not her husband, Jesus zeroed in on the ache in her soul. He said,
“but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4: 14 (NIV)
His words compel us to choose a love solution and not a sex fix to satisfy the ache in our soul.
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