Could You Go 12 Years Without Sex?by Chiara Atik on August 15, 2013
A dry-spell is nothing to freak out about (even a seemingly long one), but the Editor of French Elle is really gunning for a record. Sophie Fontanel recently published a book, “The Art of Sleeping Alone,” in which she chronicles her decision to refrain from sex for over a decade.
Judging from an early review of the book, it seems like there might be a hint of the lady protesting a bit too much about how happy she was without sex, and how jealous her friends were of her singleness — perhaps even a hint of narcissism (in the most classic sense of the word) when she describes finding joy and solace in her “breasts upthrust like buoys,” etc, etc, etc.
Some parts of her book seem pretty self-satisfied and judgmental:
“As she retreats further into celibacy, her writing becomes increasingly gauzy and callous. Watching people emerge from le Métro, she wonders how ‘the shabby ones, the short fatties, the old wrinklies, the blubber-lippers, the dreadful dressers” and so on could possibly be seen as sexual beings.’”
Geez! It’s one thing to be abstinent, it’s another to be so mean and sanctimonious about it!
But this is not to dismiss Fontanel’s celibacy, and her (frankly brave) decision to write about it so openly. People have wildly different sex drives, and to assume that celibacy isn’t preferable to sex for some people is close minded. It’s too bad that we are all, consciously or not, subjected to the idea of norms when it comes to sex, as if there’s a magic number of partners and frequency that works for everyone, and anyone who strays from this median (in either direction) is often left feeling abnormal.
Sex! Have it or don’t. But also don’t be annoying about it, you know?
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