Single women: Would you date a man who is absolutely committed to celibacy?

No sex until marriage. Not even once. And it’s not negotiable.

Kenny Pugh, author, financial professional, motivational speaker, is taking an unconventional approach to life as a black man in 2013: Sexual abstinence.

At 38 years old, Pugh is black, male and heterosexual, and hasn’t had sex in more than seven years. And he doesn’t plan to be sexually intimate with a woman until he gets married.

“I’ve been celibate for seven years and I’m an advocate for a lifestyle that empowers people to make good decisions about relationships moving forward,” Pugh said in a recent interview with

It’s an old-school philosophy in a new-age era because sex, Pugh says, clouds good judgment. But some women aren’t down for celibacy, Pugh said, and some openly question if he’s really heterosexual.

Pugh, a contributing writer with Black Enterprise magazine, is promoting his new book: “Can You Do It Standing Up: A Different Position On Relationships.”

The book, Pugh said, challenges readers to abstain from sex and focus of building substantial relationships that are deeper, more spiritual, and ultimately more rewarding. Pugh said we all live in a sexually-driven society and his new book offers an alternative.

“Can we communicate standing up? Can we pray standing up? Can you support me standing up? Can we have an effective relationship standing up?” Pugh asked.

How many straight brothers would actually voluntarily give up sex for seven years? It would probably be a very short list.

“Sex doesn’t mean commitment,” Pugh said. “It may be a fun time but it does not mean commitment. We have to realize there is a communication gap between men and women and we have to work on ourselves.”

Pugh is challenging single people to work on their spiritual and financial lives, pursue their dreams, and plan a productive life without sex.

So why is Pugh living a life of sexual abstinence?

Because after reflecting on his previous relationships with women over the years, women he hurt, women he wasn’t honest with, Pugh said he decided to live a more truthful life.

“I thought that if it was my sister, would I want her to have the same experiences and the answer was no,” Pugh said. “If my intentions are not serious, then I need to show some restraint in my life and not be distracted by sex.”

Pugh admits that his deliberate lifestyle of sexual abstinence is confounding because not all women want to date a man who is celibate.

Some women, Pugh said, even wonder if he’s gay.

“This journey is challenging,” Pugh said. “I have to deal with rejection because I won’t have sex with them. Some women have told  me they can’t operate like this and we’ve gone our separate ways.”

But sex before marriage, Pugh says, “has created a cycle of failed relationships.”

Meanwhile, Pugh says the response to his new book has been “overwhelmingly positive” because he believes that people generally want to do the right thing.

“I realize that everyone will not align themselves with my way of thinking, but I’m just putting the message out there,” he said.

So single women: How important is sex in your relationships? And single men: Would you adopt Pugh’s philosophy and abstain from sex until marriage?

For more information about Kenny Pugh, visit his website:

Also On Black America Web:

44 thoughts on “Seven Years Without Sex: Author Kenny Pugh Tells Why He Says ‘No’ to Sex

  1. FIFTY AND PHUNE on said:

    Now if a person ain’t getting married while they are having sex then they go celibate and are still not getting married without having sex it ain’t working for them either way. There is something going on with you besides the sex or some people are never gonna get married. I wanna also talk to the women who are in their 40’sand 50’s who have never had sex but are bitter because they have never been married, who want to have children but have had surgery to stop them from having the kids that they want. They have come to the realization at their age to be a virgin and in your 50’s the odds of you getting married is zero. The pickings have gone way down and all of a sudden to be celibate don’t look so good. I want to talk to the ones who are bitter and can be honest about the process and think that it is overrated and say that it is not what all it is cracked up to be but blames religion for their vacant sex lives. Now if he is on a celibate crusade for folks to wait until they are married why is it taking him over 8 years to get married? He has gone through 2 Presidential elections. That is not attractive at all for a GROWN person close to 40 and over 40 to be celibate for almost 10 years or more. How does a person keep count of the years. Shouldn’t it get somewhat depressing to keep marking the calendar and say “Well it’s been 12 years, I’m not married yet nor I haven’t had sex” and you are 47 years old.

  2. FIFTY AND PHUNE on said:

    Wow ,why is the media constantly validating about this topic. I was reading Dear Abby today for my annual Sunday read and this this lady was talking about WITHOLDING SEX from her husband because she DIDN’T LIKE his beard and she WASN’T gonna have sex with him until he cut it and she was serious. HE liked his beard and everyone like his beard but she doesn’t like it. This is exactly what I said earlier sometimes people feel like well we didn’t have sex several months or years before we got married so I will withhold it again during the marriage to control the situation until I get what I want. Nobody doesn’t want to talk about that. This topic is fun and I am loving it. I also wanna see what Mr. Pugh’s ex-girlfriends got to say about him. If they was to say nothing folks deemed negative folks will be all over them saying they are just mad because he didn’t marry them. We know that everyone woman is not pissed because they didn’t get married.

  3. FIFTY AND PHUNE on said:

    One can become emotionally attached a person without the actual act of sex. Yall have never had a man that you felt like he touched you in the right places and he has never touched you. Yeah right. I have celibate girlfriends right now that I see doing it all of the time and constantly getting their feelings hurt. They think if man said hello to them he is a future husband. They will have a conversation on the telephone Friday and Monday she will call him her “sweetie” and they only talked for 3 days. I be thinking to myself are they for real. Then they go all out talking about he is gonna be my future husband, etc, etc. I am sexually active and I don’t act like that. They stake claim on a man right away put his picture all on Facebook the whole 9 yards. It’s toooo much to see them get so emotionally attached to these men and I tell them you are gonna come across a man and he gonna see how eager you are to get married just to have sex and he is gonna go right along with your game plan and then he gives you what you want such as marriage you gotta give him what he wants such as sex. Now his idea of sex may not be your idea he might want a threesome or want you to do some acts you may not want to do but because you said “no sex until marriage” and you wasn’t specific about the kind of sex you will not do if he wants the threesome you have to give it to him. We have emotion relationships with our mothers, father, friends and co workers why is it impossible for us to think that we can’t have emotional attachments for the opposite sex unless we are doing the physical act of sex. Our emotional attachments to the opposite sex will be stronger than our relationships with our families because it is more personal and the anticipation to take the relationship to another level and when it doesn’t go there we are disappointed and get our feelings hurt. Look at the show call the Bachelor and see these women get so emotionally worked up on the anticipation of a sexual relationship to be somebody’s wife.

    • Rachel-Independent on said:

      Uh.. you sound silly. Because he chooses to take time to get to know a woman before seeing her naked you see him as LESS THAN? He said no sex that does not mean lack of intimacy. Too many woman and young girls are convinced that their panties will get then the perfect man – only to find the string of disappointment when it doesn’t. It only opens them to emotionally betray themselves and share too much with too many. I too reviewed my past relationships and decided in 2007 that I was not having sex until I am in a committed relationship with the right man. Yes I was married and have children. Yes I have been engaged since married, but all of it was confused by sex too soon, which gives a false since of trust. People spend more time and effort trying to find the right pair of shoes than they do finding an actual mate- not a bunkmate- a life partner. People don’t “court” anymore, they just go by some lame schedule- second date = put your tongue in her mouth and try to hunch her then decide if you like her- WTF. I don’t know where your mouth has been and I don’t know where your other body parts have been either. Remember when you were 15 and love was an emotional connection and you were so close.

  4. La Keisha on said:

    I’m a 39 year old female and I totally in agreement with Mr. Pugh I have been celibate for nine years now and there’s nothing wrong with it. Why, is it a crime to want to wait until you are married? It’s true I know from some past relationship how just being committee sexual and somewhat interest in a relationship does not work. Often, getting involve in relationships based on sex and not building a friendship or foundation is a waste of time. Sex, can cloud the mind and emotions are all over the placed.

    If, you know that you are worth more than being a girlfriend or boyfriend you have the right to be a husband or wife then take your stand and don’t settle.

  5. FIFTY AND PHUNE on said:

    Where did the word “slow down” come from. I enjoy life to the fullest and live it like it golden and any man that I am with has to do the same thing. Just like I am having a “good time” single if I should ever get married I plan on having a good time with my husband. Yes I like putting on my red dress and high heel shoes you act as if I was to get married I gotta put all of that in the back burner and me and my husband just sit on the front porch in a rocking chair. Stop the madness please. There is a theory going around and a lie that you don’t get emotionally involved with a person until you have the actual act of sex. That’s a lie because you get your emotions involved in the anticipation of the actual act and if it doesn’t happen your mind is all messed up. Do you know how many women are emotionally tied to this man in the ANTICIPATION of being “the one” and then get let down when they are not. If he chooses a wife believe me it will not be a 44 year old virgin she will probably be in her early 20’s. Trust me on that on. Women will be crying all over the place because they have become emotionally attached to him thinking that they would have been the one. For this chick here GAME OVER

  6. Everyone has their own opinions on this subject. What works for you may not work for another. It all depends on what an individual values and knows what they want, as far as relationships. Nobody has the right to point fingers and judge because of someone’s choice on sex. If your looking for a good time and serious commitment and marriage aren’t a priority-then of course you won’t be interested in slowing down and getting to know a potential partner, deeper than sex but for marriage and what comes with it.

  7. FIFTY AND PHUNE on said:

    Well Ms Brittany why did I just finish watching an episode of Dateline and it talks about a WIFE and her YOUNG LOVER killed her husband. 99% of the shows on Dateline and 48 hours are about MARRIED couples killing each other or someone living a double life the other person didn’t know about. Let’s not forget how Arnold got the maid pregnant and and she paraded around Maria until she got her retirement check and she found out they were having an affair which produced a son. The CDC put out a statistic to show that the rate of MARRIED women getting STD’s is on the rise. Go to the website and it will show you. A lot of them are going to the doctor for a physical and learning that their husbands are cheating. I will never forget an article I read in Essence magazine a while back and it talks about a couple who had been married for over 50 years. Everyone was always talking about they admired their marriage and they giving advice to newlyweds on how to stay married and all that stuff. The wife was going blind and they thought it was old age until they discovered that her husband had GIVEN her syphilis. Do I need to talk about Tiger Wood and his 14 mistresses. When was the last time you went to a shelter to see women with their kids leaving their abusive husbands. I could go on and on but I don’t have all night. So it appears that marriages are not working either and these women are being mistreated and treated like dogs. Where they expecting this. NO. Did they deserve such treatment no. These wives gave themselves to their husbands physically and emotionally. None of us are not safe whether we are married or single. What are you bringing to the table besides sex. Because if you are just using “I am not having sex” to appeal to someone sexually you are no better than a prostitute. I bet ole boy is having fun to see the women lined up to get him and say “I am the one”. It’s like a cattle roundup with someone waiting to be picked.

  8. Brittany on said:

    I have to say it was a pleasant surprise to come across this article. As a, wait for it….31 year old virgin, I can understand, appreciate, and respect Mr. Pugh’s decision. As a society, we have clearly demonstrated that sex outside of marriage does not work, as evidenced by the prevalence of teen mother and poor single parent families, high instances of sexually transmitted diseases, and the hurt and bitterness that stems from giving yourself physically to someone who in turn treats you like garbage. There is no way to improve on God’s word – He should be the first we turn to when making decisions, especially those of significance. We’ve proven we can’t to better than what the Bible teaches us and I refuse to compromise and play Russian roulette with my heart and body. Virgin until I say I do!

  9. FIFTY AND PHUNE on said:

    Well Ms. Someone’s Wife I am ROTFLMAO when you say that I am acting like a teenager by having sex in my fifties. You better hope when you live to get my age that you are willing and able to enjoy a healthy sex life. So I guess after 30 women should forget about it. You are tooooo funny. I guess I am suppose to sit down somewhere while ole dap daddy in his 70’s still try to score with the ladies. If men don’t like garden tools they need to stop creating them. Men ain’t marrying those pew-sitting women in the church by the boatloads either. Be careful of a man who is too critical of a garden tool because the first chance he gets to be with one he will take advantage of it. Just because I say I know what I want makes me a garden tool. It goes both ways. If he knows I want to have sex and he doesn’t want to have sex we both have a choice in the matter. Did your husband have sex with anyone else while he was dating you? Of course he’s gonna deny it. There are a lot of couples you had sex before marriage and they have happy successful marriages. So to pit one against the other is wrong and I stand by that. People have committed marriages because BOTH want to be there. Having sex or waiting before marriage has nothing to do with it.

    • Proverbs 31 Woman on said:

      You’re still arguing with folks about this? You did this same foolishness on the Essence Community Network and here you are still up on here … GIRL JUST SHUT THE HELL UP!!!

  10. FIFTY AND PHUNE on said:

    Why do people who are not having sex always think that someone is hating on them for making their decisions but yet they always criticize the ones who are having sex. You could be rejected because you have a “STANK” attitude but you are quick to say I wasn’t gonna put out is the reason why they left. When you are dating you will be rejected more times that you will be accepted because that is the nature of the beast whether you have sex or not. Everybody you met doesn’t want you nor are they relationship material. You make that decision with what is between your head and not what is between your legs.Celibacy is a notion that if I wait we won’t have any relationship problems because we waited. That is a problem right there because you are basing a relationship again on what is between your legs. Then when you have some problems the first thing that will come out of your mouth is “I waited on you”. Problems in a relationship is part of the relationship and LIFE. Not having sex is no guarantee that you won’t have any more problems than the couple who had sex before marriage.

    • My Husband's Wife on said:

      I’m so glad that I am NOT like you. I am happily married to a man who loves ME, in love with ME, and makes love to ME every day and night! My husband chose ME over all the others because he didn’t want no garden tool, a door knob, a wash cloth, or a doormat for a Wife. Like this Sister you’re trying to rag on, I stopped having sex for several years until I got married.

      It’s sisters like you who give the rest of us a bad name. You need to grow up and stop acting like a wanna be teenager. Ain’t nobody up on here hating ot have a stank attitude except YOU … Miss I wanna know what I’m getting! This is what men say, and no man wants a woman like THAT and you know what THAT is. This so-called keyboard thugging you’re doing is so childish. Grow up. You’re getting older not younger.

  11. DrLCJ on said:

    Praise God for Kenneth Pugh!!! I’m 44 years old and I have stopped having premartial sex since May 1997. And in spite of all the rejection, abandonment, criticism, etc., that I faced, I know I made the right decision. I am on RSVP for my Husband only. Whoever has a problem with it can kick rocks.

  12. FIFTY AND PHUNE on said:

    I wanna know what I am getting because on the wedding night I don’t what no surprises when I pull the covers back. Yes I am a woman. Yes he is in is 30’s now and I am gonna see will he keep this up in his 40’s and 50’s. For a lot of men it starts going downhill at that age. I wanna know how and where is lives. Is he nasty and has dirty dishes and clothes all over the place. Is he cheap, what is his credit score. I don’t want a person to be playing “sexual games” with me by marking the calendar to see how long I stick around without having sex with them to see if I love them Then they sometimes bring that into the marriage by cutting me off and saying well we didn’t do it for so many years while we were dating so Imma cut her off again. See I will tell him to go back to the car lot because this woman ain’t buying nothing she gonna spend the rest of her life with without a test drive.

    • If you think (sex) is not important in a relationship then the celibacy thing will probably work for you. But if sex is important to you than the only way to find out is by doing it. Unfortunately since people don’t walk around with a manual telling you what kind of options they come with, the only way you find out is by experience. So get on out there and test drive those cars. And try to enjoy the experience along the way. It’s part of life..

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    • DrLCJ on said:

      LOL … You have to ask that question: Why do people find fault in persons with standards … Who don’t use or want to be used?

      Answer: it’s because they don’t have any standards themselves. Otherwise they wouldn’t anything to say or even think about it.

      Remember that old saying, “When you throw a rock in a pack of dogs, the one who barks the loudest is the one that got hit”.

      This blog is no different.

  22. E.O.E. on said:

    I think there should be a website or some kind of talk show/program that relates to “Celibacy” being that there is so many other that show the opposite. It would help those of us who are practicing it so find someone on the same level. I personally think there will be more women than men, but at the same time at least its a start. And if we continue to push the issue how important it is, then maybe there will be more men as well..

  23. I can totally relate to what Kenny Pugh is preaching. I am a 37 y.o. single mother who has been celibate for 8 yrs. He is RIGHT! Our society has forgotten about commitment, integrity, family, etc.. We need more men in this day and age who are like this. I thank him for walking in the grace that God has blessed him with. May the woman from God’s thrown room present herself and may he be ready for her.

  24. Ronnie on said:

    Well, I know the feeling, at least I know that I’m not the only one out there. I’m 35 and still a virgin. So I see where the brother is coming from. I’m a heterosexual man as well, and I do want the same thing.

  25. I most certainly would date a man like this. Matter fact are there any other men like him out here. We as Christians should uphold to no sex until marriage but how many men and women just can’t wait. That is why I am saved, single, and waiting for a man that has the same values as myself. Marriages break up over no real substance after the bedroom and no true friendship in the relationship.

  26. sp8grl on said:

    I applaud this guy for sticking to his convictions. However, I don’t believe you have to remain celibate to get to know a potential life partner on deeper levels.

  27. Monique on said:

    There you have it!! girls/women, as you can see from the above statement; we are being used! A USED car! Once they ‘use’ the car-you, they get another ‘used car!’ Now we know why we have highest sexual transmitted diseases! My people upset me, at times! And we wonder why we can’t get a break!

  28. To use your car logic…most people will avoid purchasing a car when it has too many miles on it. Usually the owner has to lower the price in order to get rid of it or they remain stuck with it. Unfortunately too many people today are racking up mileage but not connecting with an owner. We are creating a fleet of rental cars who have trouble finding buyers.

    • Monique on said:

      Don’t forget if you get a new car, it immediately depreciates off the lot! And if you drive too fast, you can ruin the engine and you have to charge to get it up and running again! And don’t forget men, you are having your body used too. You either run out of gas, can’t keep it running!

      Don’t forget a used car can go extra miles, when taken care of and not used [celibancy] often! Go see a mechanic!

    • Can we not compare women to cars and sex to driving one? Sex has a much deeper meaning and connection than starting a car and putting it in drive. If that’s all it means to you there’s a problem. I am wonderfully made so I don’t need someone to “test drive” me to know I work. I completely agree with him. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost three years and have not had sex. This is possible and love waits.

      • DrLCJ on said:

        Exactly. Sex aka love making is sacred and precious between Husband and Wife. It’s interesting that this topic is the most argued and debated one if I must say so myself.

      • afrique on said:

        uhm liz, YOU may not be having sex with your boyfriend but some other woman is…i speak from experience. if its been 3 years and he is not proposing and is fine with the celibacy, be wary girlfriend, just sayin.

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