Students cut sex from lifestyle

What was once considered taboo to even talk about is now blaring through the speakers of headphones and glorified on the covers of magazines. It is a steamy scene in the new R-rated blockbuster and a trending topic on twitter. It’s the plan for Friday night and the idea for Saturday morning. Sex.

For some, sex is just that… sex. For others, it is a sacred act that should be saved for the right person.

Branden Murphy, 21, a third year public relations student from Tucson, Ariz., has been celibate for three and a half years. His reason for celibacy is honoring his relationship with God and putting value back in his relationships.

“If you sleep with the person before you get married and all these other things, it’s like the only thing that changes when you get married is mainly living with the person and a signed paper,” said Murphy. “There’s nothing else to cherish because you’ve been doing everything else.”

Not being able to participate in sexual acts can put one in a “celibate rage.” For those who have been sexually active, the need to satiate sexual desires can be a huge conflict.

“I’d say the most difficult part is being in a relationship and still having hormones,” said Murphy. “Being that I had sexual experience before I became celibate, it makes it tough because you know what you’re ‘missing’ and your hormones tell you to go get it right then.”

Christiane Caldwell, 20, a political science student from Quincy, has remained a virgin regardless of all the temptations that may present itself on a college campus.

“I think part of it has to do with my upbringing,” said Caldwell. “I believe that sex is not just a physical act but one that intertwines the body, mind, and maybe even the soul. That’s not something I want to share with just anybody.”

The reason students decide to pursue celibacy varies. For Dorlande Charles, 21, a fourth year political science student from Orlando it is the scare factor that keeps her celibate.

“Far too common, a young black woman hears the news she has HIV or genital herpes,” said Charles. “It scares the living day lights out of me. Not to even mention the alarming rate of pregnancy.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, blacks continue to experience higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) than any other race/ethnicity in the US.

“The biggest thing was I had to start respecting women and respecting their bodies,” said Murphy as he spoke on what lifestyle changes he had to make in order to stay celibate.

Charles, who has been celibate for two and a half years, has two simple rules.

“Thinking twice about giving out my number is rule number one,” Charles said. “Not letting boys come in my room once they do come over is rule number two. That’s the most critical rule because it sets the nature of the visit as well as the tone.”

Murphy has advice for students struggling with the idea of avoiding premarital sex, making celibacy and abstinence seem like an impossible task.

“Rid yourself from selfishness,” said Murphy. “If you have true compassion [and] true love for God, that can help you really break a lot of cultural standards that may cause you to go the other way.”