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Melrose Avenue
Melrose Avenue

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* Three interior compartments, including One zipped with padlock
* large enough to contain a small laptop
* Can be carried by hand or at the elbow
* Embossed calf leather
* Comfortable rounded handles
* Sturdy press lock
* large enough for makeup, keys and c...

is it possible to stay celibate For 12 years, starting when she was 27, Sophie Fontanel had no sex.

After years of being 'taken and shaken', Fontanel, an editor at French Elle, decided she was 'through with being had'. So she embarked on a period of self imposed celibacy and decided to be an individual in today's over sexualised society. She says she immediately began to glow. 'My backbone was much straighter and my friends asked me if I was in love,' she says. There hasn't been a huge amount of research on sexual abstinence but sporadic reports have suggested women, in particular, are choosing celibacy because they're happier on their own, while other studies have louis vuitton shoes online india found up to 15 per cent of married couples enjoy sex free relationships. Can you really have a fulfilling life without gasp having lots of sex? Whatever the answer, Fontanel's experience has struck a chord. When her book about her 12 years of celibacy was released in her native France, it sold 150,000 copies within weeks. It also provoked an emotional reaction from a nation 99 of louis vuitton bags are fake famous for its sex appeal. Some suggested Fontanel was religious, not beautiful or young enough to find a man. But all she did, she says, was listen to her body. Her memoir travels back to her first sexual experience at 13, which took place in a hotel room, and her first serious relationship when she was 20, where she describes feeling like a pet: 'He patted the bed where I was to join him.' But it was only when she went on a skiing trip alone that she realised she liked having a bed to herself. 'They could have had my life,' she says, 'but they were afraid of my solitude because it could have been louis vuitton bags harrods theirs. Sometimes you are alone even when you are married.' Instead, she put her energy into her career. She travelled, socialised and got a cat. 'It was never meant to be 12 years,' she says. 'Suddenly one year passed, then another.' At the end of her book, she meets a man, a friend's brother, who found Fontanel, now 50, and her journey fascinating. She is still perplexed by today's obsession with sex and marriage. 'Young, beautiful girls complain about being single but they are alone because their dreams are better than reality. They are free.' Audrey Bellis (Picture: supplied) 'You must masturbatea lot.' That was pretty much everyone's response when I announced my year of celibacy and no dating. Following a miserable broken engagement, I did what most people do to numb their feelings: I drank too much gin and tonic, I dated men I didn't really like and I had drunken, empty sex. Each time would be filled with regret. One night, while lying on my stomach,I buried my face into my crossed arms, smelling the stench of sweat and booze. My skin crawled under a guy's touch. He mistook my shivers louis vuitton scarf amazon for excitement rather than disgust. That's when I decided: no more sex. It was hard at first. It was all I could think about, much the way a dieter fantasises over chocolate. But it got easier. I found strength in resisting rather than giving into temptation. I noticed men wanted me more the idea of being the one who might make me give it up tantalisedtheir alpha egos. I eventually abstained for 18 months, during which time I rebuilt my confidence. I oozed my own kind of sexual appeal. Satisfaction came not from orgasm but from total physical control. I began to explore yoga and dabbled in meditation. Aside from assuming I was a masturbating fiend, my friends and family were concerned I was becoming withdrawn and isolated. However, the opposite was true. No longer bound by a fianc or boyfriend, I explored the world on my terms. I wasn't scared to eat alone in a restaurant or do date like activities such as going to a museum or a show by myself. I also attracted other people who were focused on expanding their personal horizons. Eventually, I craved physical contact again and I met a guy who I was genuinely attracted to on all levels. I wasn't swept off my feet but it did mean I was ready to attempt intimacy again and in a healthier way. I no longer have sex simply to feel desirable but my 18 months without it gave me the foundation of my sex appeal today. Metro's agony uncle James McConnachie thinks we should heed our appetite Metro agony uncle James McConnachie I'm all for saying no to bad sex. And if you want to give up partner sex for 12 years, then more power to your elbow. What I have a problem with is turning your own preferences into rules and recommendations for other people. Sex is like a diet: it's driven by appetite, and different regimes work best for different people. Some of us thrive on shovel loads of late night carbs, others go for light protein and fruit snacks, others still are chocolate guzzlers. Similarly, some people like lots of masturbation and partner sex every other Sunday, others insist on sex with love only, and a few sg themselves silly at every opportunity. Unless you're asexual, meaning you never want sex, celibacy is a problem for the same reason that diets are a problem: you're taking a natural pleasure and rewarding yourself emotionally if you defeat it. It's been proven time and again that diets based on rules and restrictions don't work in the long term. What does work with both diet and sex is understanding your body and learning to love what's healthy, not what's prohibited. And good sex sex that results in positive emotions, and sex that results in orgasm is good for you. Orgasm has been linked with cardiac fitness, lower rates of stress and depression, and even protection from some cancers (how often men ejaculate may even be linked with prostate health). Orgasm also relieves pain, induces relaxation and, according to one study, makes you look younger. And sex with a partner, when it's positive, strengthens relationships and can trigger feelings of love. Of course, the self deniers won't have any of this. They recycle the old myths that if you hold back from orgasm you preserve your 'energy' or life force. Sportspeople, especially, believe this rubbish. But the truth is that we get energy from expending energy. And we learn good sex sex that's good for us, as well as whoever we're having sex with by having sex. If I was recommending a sex diet to anyone, I'd say listen to your body and your mind. Find your own balance of health and pleasure.

However, be open to change. And say no to other people's rules and restrictions. The Art Of Sleeping Alone: Why One French Woman Gave Up Sex by Sophie Fontanel (Simon Schuster) is out now.


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