Whoa...12 Years Without Sex?
August 20, 2013

Whoa…12 Years Without Sex?

And one writer chose that. In fact, she made the conscious decision for celibacy for 12 years, as the Huffington Post recently reported. Just who is this writer? Her name is Sophie Fontanel, and she is the senior fashion editor of French Elle and a writer of 12 books.

So, why did Fontanel opt for celibacy over the joys of sex? Well, simply because she was not experiencing the joys of sex as much as she experienced sexual disappointment. In fact, her experience with celibacy has taught her that women should resist the societal pressures to have sex if they do not want to. She wants women to feel comfortable choosing celibacy if that is what they want. In fact, she would likely support that men do the same…if they want to.

Fontanel spent her early 20s having disappointing sex, so one day she chose to become celibate rather than suffer with more bad sex. Her 12 years of celibacy brought her much happiness. As she says, “I recommend being true to yourself. If you are making love and you’re disappointed, then stop. Recover your freedom. Don’t be afraid of being single, and don’t be afraid of being single for a long time. I don’t believe that the more you have having sex, the more you want to have sex, or the more you are having sex, the better you are at it. I think it’s the more you want to do it, the better you will be. You’re not going to forget how to make love, you know? You never forget it. But when you have waited a long time and you return to sexual activity, it’s very amazing because everything is new.”

The French writer found freedom in her celibacy, and she advocates that others who feel the same disappointment, frustration, and otherwise yuck of sex try the celibate life. She does say that it will not be easy. In fact, many people in her own life tried to justify her choice, rationalize it as necessity. For them, she did not choose celibacy; rather, she was imperfect thus no one wanted to sleep with her. But that was not the case. Fontanel simply did not want to sleep with anyone else. It was easier for people to think she could not have sex than that she did not want to do the dirty.

I applaud her choice. I think that if we want to promote sexual liberation, then we must also promote people’s choice to not have sex. Just because we can do it does not mean we must. We should take responsibility for our sexual choices whether they are celibacy, abstinence (which is a type of celibacy, but different), promiscuity, or monogamy. And we should not have to explain our choices to anyone. If Samantha on “Sex in the City” could have casual sex and that be considered sexually liberated, then one who choses celibacy should be as well.

Fontanel wrote a memoir titled “L’Envie” in French, but called “The Art of Sleeping Alone” in English about her experiences as celibate. Through her book, she found that many other people (women and men alike) have had similar experiences in finding the liberation of celibacy. With such an interesting subject, I can’t wait to read her memoir. We live in a hyper-sexualized world, so it will be fascinating to read about the other side of sex…the non-sex side, if you will.

Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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