Navigating Sex As A Church Girl

Sinawo Bukani, Lonwabo Zimela, Lonwabo Zimela Photography, Female Bloggers, South African Bloggers, WordPress Bloggers, African Bloggers, Black Bloggers, South African Photogrpahe

A year ago, I moved to Johannesburg as a 27 year old woman who’d never had penetrative sex with a man.  

A decision that was first prompted by being brought up in a Christian home.

However, as I grew older, the decision to wait for marriage eventually became my own, a personal decision that defined how I chose to navigate the intimacy aspect of my life.

I abstained because sex with any other man besides my husband was considered sinful, against God’s principles and those of my church doctrine, and I agreed.

I willfully obliged…

Until of course I started dating in my early twenties, and that new chapter quickly served as an introduction to a side of myself I never knew existed.

It was all unfamiliar and I was quite unprepared for the sudden eruption of the sexual desires that come with falling in love with a man.

I expected to feel impure for most of it but instead I was excited and enjoyed exploring this advanced phase of kissing first and unbuttoning zips to touch and suck.

With my first boyfriend, the intense lust for each others bodies quickly became stronger than that of spending the rest of our lives together.

We were going against everything we were taught and believed in.

So at 22 & 23, marriage became a heart desire we were both incapable of fully realizing, we eventually had to let go of our love.

We couldn’t take the chance of losing ourselves to the unknown perils of premarital sex if we continued seeing each other.

Then there were other men after him. Even with them, I kept walking out whenever things got too risque.

I always made sure to hold back the parts I believed still kept me pure enough in God’s eyes.

After each relationship ended, I’d find myself grieving out loud on the one social media platform that kept urging me to share what was on my mind.

Facebook became a keeper of all of my erratic unedited journal entries.

In the posts I reiterated my repentance for straying away from what I believed was right, I grieved dwarfing my spiritual growth and delaying God’s purpose with my life.

Mostly I used the posts to loudly declare that I didn’t believe falling in love was ever the devil’s plan to devour my faith. All the moments that I shared with the men were special and beautiful and I still had days I mourned the loss of our companionship.

Writing and sharing my testimony was my way of owning my truth.

By speaking publicly about my own in-disciplines against my beliefs, I hoped to denounce the expectation that we don’t struggle with our convictions in the great pursuit of perfectionism as Christians.

In those first few months of my status updates, my inbox almost drowned from confessions of other young women who had similar experiences as me. 

From all those conversations, I realized that men don’t carry the same burden as women do when it comes to premarital sex.

For church women, abstaining has always been overemphasized and more blame allocated to them as the Delilahs (provocateurs and instigators of sex). With how we dress and how we behaved always cautioned to influence and impact the weaknesses of men as sexual beings. This seemed to excuse them of any real responsibility as co-sinners.

Even preserving their abstinence was a responsibility that we had to bear. Regardless of which bible verse that involved two adults consenting in sex or the woman being raped, it seemed the woman was always at fault.

I found it ridiculous that women had to forgive themselves for being alluring, for exploring their sexuality and for enjoying every minute of it. 

In all those conversations, I finally saw women finding a place to question and challenge the status quo. To transform their thoughts about themselves, to clearly introspect and reallocate some of the blame.

It made me happy to know that they’d found a space to heal and speak out, and to not hide in shame. 

I still cringe at some of the things church women believe about themselves where men and sex are concerned but I do hope we keep creating healthy spaces for us to talk openly and without judgement.

Photo By: Lonwabo Zimela

19 thoughts on “Navigating Sex As A Church Girl

  1. Pingback: Navigating Sex As A Church Girl — Sinawo Bukani – And the rest of the numbers

  2. The way I love your mind my Xhosa Girl.
    I am unlearning feeling sinful about sex as a full time all life Christian girl.
    I have so much to say about this brilliant piece and yet so little.
    Here is to creating judgement free spaces.
    Here here.
    I love you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well first of all, I miss you. I’ve been saving your beautiful pictures left and right on Facebook ❤

      I am so happy you have started the journey of unlearning. It is crucial for us all as Christian girls.

      I Love You Always ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally relate to this, I am also one victim with a lot to tell but this I relate to completely. I also have grown to understand that not sex in general is a transgression of law, but sex out of wedlock. HoweverI dont like how most Christians view sex as a sin, I have dated many Church girls and believe me, their cravings for sex were so high although they didnt want to let it out that easy, I am a man, I made a way to take their “whore” side out of them. From my experience and knowledge, sex out of wedlock is the transgression of law and nobody likes being a sinner, however, sex is a form of worship. In the church of corinth, they had sex gods and they also had sex temples filled with “prostitutes” who were there to help with the worship ceremony. This was for the married people though and the widowed. Sex, besides the “fun” of it, it helps mentally, physically and spiritually. When executed with the perfect aim, the intercourse can help both parties enjoy and want more.


  4. Always nice to read Christian feminist perspectives + of course, that honest way you write about stuff.

    I’m constantly trying to have this conversation with my Christian friends(handling/exploring sexuality et al) but it’s like the only ‘acceptable’ way to have it is in the ‘don’t do this or the other’ way.

    I’m uncomfortable with the idea of ‘keeping yourself for a man’ who may or may not exist. Like I thought this was about God…? And I keep wondering how we lie, cheat, and sin in all sorts of ways but somehow, your ‘purity’ is between your legs lol.

    Thank you for sharing this. I feel like there should be a part 2 and 3 somewhere.

    Liked by 2 people

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