This month, I was featured on a panel helmed by King Kevin Dorival, author of 7 Types of Queens Kings Desire, where I was challenged about my choice to live a celibate lifestyle. After I outed myself, I knew there were loads of audience members whose wheels were turning, wondering how I could successfully live as a 30-something in the 21st century without having an active sex life. Well, folks, there are a few keys to my success, the biggest being the Holy Spiritís help.
Nevertheless, there are some practices within my day-to-day, natural living that I have intentionally built in to help keep me celibate until the day I take the greatly anticipated plunge with my husband.
Iíll let you in on one of my best-kept secrets, ladies. Dancing kizomba (or any other partner-style social dance) on a regular basis. Yep, thatís it.
Soooooo, how can dancing what many perceive to be a sexually-charged dance style keep me abstinent?
I know this is a controversial point of view but hear me out for a bit. Here are the four reasons I and every Christian women need to dance Kizomba.
1. Weíre sexually deprived
Kizomba, a sensual dance originating in Angola, is characterized by exaggerated hip motions and close partner connection. Itís what tango is to Argentina or what kompa is to Haiti. Kizomba means "party" in the Angolan language of Kimbundu and is Southern Africaís newest dance phenomenon.
As a Christian woman who has made a deliberate choice to stave off sexual intercourse until marriage, letís just be honest, Iím sexually deprived. I live in a society where every TV show, movie billboard and bus bench is dripping with sexually-charged messages. If I just cross the street, Iím bombarded by the image of a woman straddling a man for the mere aim of selling a watch.
Thus, how do I live in this world without being dragged into the mire of one-night stands or sexual immorality?
I dance. I dance in the most sensual way possible without disrespecting my (Godís) temple.
One of my friends once told me that in the safety of friends and family, a Christian girl should feel free to explore her sexuality without sinning. Dancing kizomba helps you do just that.
Youíre blowing off any sexual energy that is pent up in you all day. After swinging your hips, turning, twirling and dancing to a syncopated beat, the exact same endorphins you generate while having sex are generated on the dance floor.
Armed with warm, fuzzy, happy feelings, you leave the dance floor regenerated and ready to conquer this world for Christ yet without the gnawing feeling of sexual deprivation.
2. We can get over our fear of dating
So many Christian women arenít married for fear of dating around, kissing around then sleeping around. So, they just donít date.
So, how can you find a nice guy who exists outside the walls of the church (since we all know that the chances of finding your hubby at your church are slim to none with the 8 to 1 ratio of women to men)?
You need to go out to public places where you can let your hair down and connect with men in a safe, social atmosphere.
The club? Nope. Too loose.
Double-date? Nope. Too much pressure.
Other churches? Nope. It can make you look desperate.
Instead, find a local kizomba dance class where you can tackle a new skill amidst the safety of other single men and women who are doing the same.
Iíll tell you this Ė at almost every kizomba class, social, workshop and festival Iíve been to from New York to Florida, Iíve never been disrespected or inappropriately touched by a man.
3. We need to get used to a manís touch
While on Hot 105 with Jill Tracy alongside Dorival, Mandy Fresh and Caprio Jackson Ė fellow panelists from the Golden Love and Relationship event Ė Jennifer the sex therapist asked me if I would attend her ďWhat That Mouth DoĒ fellatio class. I had to decline. Thatís a bit too much education for my holy mind at this juncture.
But, I do get asked this all the time. How are you going to enjoy sex in marriage when youíve quarantined yourself from the physical touch of a man?
Kizomba, bachata, salsa and kompa have been my responses. All of those dance styles require close physical contact with a man. Therefore, just because you arenít having sex doesnít mean you arenít aware of what a manís hand feels like on the small of your back, with your hand in his or your hand draped across his broad shoulder.
Getting used to being touched by a man or yourself touching a man (in a non-sexual way) is a big deal and the ice has to be broken some time. Otherwise, a Christian woman may end up being too afraid to open up, pun
intended, on her wedding night.
4. You learn to submit to a man
I remember when I first hired Kizomba Heart2Heart co-founder and instructor Marc Supreme to teach a class at my friendís bridal party. He knew the audience would be predominantly church girls and he prefaced his workshop co-led by Alize by saying, ďLadies, kizomba is just like marriage. You must be willing to surrender to a manís lead.Ē
I was particularly blown away at how this dance carried with it such a metaphor for the lead and follow that one should expect in a God-ordained marriage.
Your husband receives the vision for the ďdanceĒ from God and his wife - his helpmate - must follow his lead, helping to carry out the vision, making the overall ďdanceĒ appear flawless, beautiful, covering even his slightest mistake.
So, take it or leave it, this is my advice. Dance kizomba. Go wild on the dance floor.
But, preserve your virtue for the man who is ready to lead you onto the forever dance floor of life in marriage.
For more information on this dance form, Kizomba Heart2Heart dance classes and socials, visit our Facebook group and the soon-to-come website www.kizombaheart.com
TIffani Knowles is the managing editor and founder of NEWD Magazine. Her hope is to become as "newd" as possible on a daily by embracing truth, authenticity and socio-spiritual awareness. She is bi-vocational as she is the owner of two businesses and a professor of Communication at Barry University in Miami, Florida. She is also the co-author of HOLA America: Guts, Grit, Grind and Further Traits in the Successful American Immigrant.