Russell Wilson and Ciara: The Curse of Being a Born-Again Virgin
Does abstinence affect your athletic performance? Yes, and the results aren’t pretty.
On any given Sunday, the name “Ciara” will trend on Twitter.
No, the pop star with the killer dance moves has sadly not blessed us with a single on a par with her low-riding aughts classic “Goodies” (what happened to Petey Pablo?!) or the terribly infectious “1, 2 Step”—her last album Jackie, which dropped in May, moved a paltry 25,000 units in its first week. The musician’s name is on everyone’s Twitter fingers because Sunday in America is Football Day, which means the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks are playing.
And they’re playing terribly.
You see, Ciara has been dating the Seahawks’ star quarterback, Russell Wilson, since around the time Jackie landed with a thud. This would not be all that newsworthy—is there a blander sports personality than Russell Wilson?—if not for the fact that on July 5, the NFLer took the stage at The Rock Church in San Diego, California, and declared his love for Jesus (and Ciara, too). Specifically, he announced to an entire congregation that they were born-again virgins.
“I asked her, ‘What would you do if we took all that other stuff off the table and did it Jesus’ way, no sex?’” Wilson recalled asking the singer.
Ciara agreed, and later told Access Hollywood, “It’s until the deal is sealed! Absolutely,” adding, “It was an organic thing for him and I think he was just being honest about where we are.”
It should be noted that prior to not sexing Wilson, Ciara was in a relationship with the rapper Future. And the two have a 1-year-old son, also named Future. And this troika needs a reality show, ASAP. Potential Drake cameos aside, the auto-tune MC took it upon himself to overshare in the wake of the no-sex revelation, telling HuffPost Live, “God didn’t tell me [that]… God told me something else. We prayed afterwards, though. After we did it, we prayed,” said a laughing Future.
As payback, Ciara subtweeted the crap out of Future, as one does. But in late July, when photographers snapped Ciara and Future Jr. palling around with Wilson on the Seahawks practice field, the rapper went after his celibate ex via Twitter, as one does: “Never make a permanent decision over a temporary circumstance #umtoobossedup,” he wrote. “Don’t direct my tweets to kno punk ass hoe… The devil gone com Frm all angles but I’m cover wit Angels...” Ciara alluded to infidelity on Future’s part in her song “I Bet,” and just this week, Blac Chyna inexplicably got Future’s name tattooed on her hand—only to have him announce to the world (via Twitter) that he is a single man. So this fella doesn’t exactly seem aboveboard when it comes to the ladies. And Wilson’s team, the Seahawks, have even taken to muting Future songs at their stadium during games as a courtesy to the newfangled couple.
And when it comes to the Seahawks, well, despite back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, and despite the holdout absence of stud safety Kam Chancellor, the team is drastically underperforming. They have a record of 3-4, already equaling their regular season loss total from ’14, and making for third-best in the NFC Western Division. This is in no small part due to Wilson’s lackluster campaign, with the QB throwing for just eight touchdowns and five interceptions through seven games (he threw a grand total of seven INTs last season).
So, as is Twitter’s wont, every Sunday the trolls come out to drag Ciara, talking smack about Ciara and Wilson’s abstinence pledge while highlighting the QB’s piss-poor performance compared to Future’s mammoth post-split ’15, which includes not one, but two No. 1 albums.
The soap opera notwithstanding, abstinence in sports is an age-old argument. It’s no secret that the ancient Greeks believed in avoiding sex altogether before sporting events, and boxing legend Muhammad Ali would reportedly go celibate for up to six weeks before a big fight—echoing that sequence in Raging Bull where Jake LaMotta has his wife get him worked up before a big fight, only to retreat to the bathroom and poor ice-cold water down his pants. Superstitious male athletes have long bought into the notion that sex before the big game is a no-no, sapping you of your energy and lowering your testosterone levels.
This is, of course, completely bogus.
In 2006, National Geographic ran an eye-opening piece about sports and abstinence. In it, they cited Ian Shrier, a sports medicine specialist at McGill University, who published a paper in 2000 titled, “Does Sex the Night Before Competition Decrease Performance?” In it, Dr. Shrier wrote the “long-standing myth that athletes should practice abstinence before important competitions may stem from the theory that sexual frustration leads to increased aggression.” Later in the editorial, he added, “If athletes are too anxious and restless the night before an event, then sex may be a relaxing distraction.”
NatGeo also interviewed Emmanuele A. Jannini, a professor of endocrinology at the University of L’Aquila in Italy who’s extensively studied the link between sex and athletic performance.
“After three months without sex, which is not so uncommon for some athletes, testosterone dramatically drops to levels close to children’s levels,” he told NatGeo. “Do you think this may be useful for a boxer?”“A bit of extra aggression could be the difference” between winning and losing, Jannini added. “In this case I would suggest a complete and satisfactory sexual intercourse the evening before the game.”
Well, there you have it.