Last week, R&B singer Brandy revealed to Life & Style Magazine that she has been celibate for the past few years, stating:

“I haven’t been with a man seriously and in love in six years . . . and honestly, I tend to abstain if I’m not in a relationship. . . . But it’s been a long time. We’re talking years.”

After her interview hit stands, Brandy’s celibacy became the subject of countless headlines and jokes. Her revelation was met with shock and disbelief; bloggers and commenters either questioned the truth of her statements, her reasoning, or they grappled over how she could hold out so long. Necole Bitchie even teased that she was handing her “Cob Web Club Gold membership” over to the R&B singer.

I take issue with these types of reactions. Why is it strange, unheard of, or comical for a woman who is not in a committed relationship to choose not to have sex during that time? Have we become so consumed with sex that if someone is not “getting some” constantly we think that something is wrong with them? If so, I beg to differ.  Moreover, who created the time table that dictates socially acceptable periods of abstinence from sex?  Today, women can have sex when they choose, as much as they choose, and with whom they choose, without being judged.  But, if it’s not ok to judge a woman for being very sexually active, then why is it cool to belittle or mock others who choose not to be?  Does that not go against the idea of a woman being empowered to make her own decisions as it pertains to her body?

The truth is, many women abstain from sex, and for various reasons. It could be because of religious or spiritual beliefs. It could be because said woman is not in a committed relationship. Or it could be that she is focused on some goal or dream, and is not worried about it. It’s not that deep.

Often times, I feel society in general focuses way too much on sex. Between radio, television, and the internet, people are constantly bombarded with sex and/or sexual innuendo.  And as illustrated in the case of Brandy, it seems that many people have become so consumed with sex that the idea of someone not having sex is for any prolonged amount of time is just, crazy.

My personal opinion is that it’s smart to abstain from sex when one is not in a committed relationship. To me, sex is very powerful, and the act is taken far too lightly. I believe that many people fool themselves into thinking that they can engage in casual sex without the emotional attachment that can come along with it; complicating what was supposed to simply be a mutually satisfying experience, among other things. However, we each have our own mind which empowers us to make our own decisions and determine what we think is best or appropriate.

With that being said, the next time a woman shares that she is celibate, let’s not think “lady sings the blues.” Being celibate should not be synonymous with being depressed, crazed or weird. I commend any woman who is willing to take power over her body and lifestyle and decide what’s best for her, without assimilating to what society dictates as the norm.  And if we’re not going to judge the women on the prowl for Mr. Right-Now, let’s not put down women who are holding tight for Mr. Right.

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