For the first time, there are more single women in the United States than married ones.
Lots of these women are out there, going on dates, hooking up on dating apps, and maintaining an active sex life.
But some aren’t.
Some of them, despite liking sex, and perhaps wanting it on occasion, are perfectly happy to forgo it in the short-, medium-, and long-term.
They are voluntarily celibate, and not for religious reasons. They are not asexual. Although there are plenty of women who are not now, and never have been, into sex, it’s not the case that every woman who decides to forego is doing so because she has no interest or doesn’t like it.
Sophie Fontanel, a novelist and fashion writer, was celibate for 12 years, from the age of 27 to 39. She wrote a memoir about it that was published in France in 2012, and the United States the next year, called The Art of Sleeping Alone.
“I wanted to recover my body. My real desire was to re-want having sex. When I stopped, I was so excited to be alone in my bed. I immediately bought a bigger bed, and for me, it was freedom,” Fontanel told The Cut.
Fontanel is not alone.
“As soon as my book came out in France, a lot of people—a huge amount of people—began to say that they had the same experience. A lot of women, but a lot of men as well. I had a lot of people tell me that they’ve had the same experience as me, but they haven’t been able to tell anyone.”
She’s right, there’s plenty of women out there abstaining, and for many reasons.
Here are just a few.
“When I made the decision to take a break from sex I had come to the end of a difficult four-year relationship—I was trying to be a stepmother and it wasn’t working. I had compassion burnout. The compassion and creativity I did have left I decided to put into new businesses,” Suzie King told The Telegraph about her decision to go celibate.