How Important Is Having Sex?


“Sex isn’t everything,”

Nicole Hardy’s mother cautions her in the prologue of her memoir Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin, as the author battles between her strict Mormon upbringing and her increasing longing as a single 30-something for raw human intimacy of the erotic kind.

Her memoir, along with French Elle editor Sophie Fontanel’s The Art of Sleeping Alone, both seek to seriously respond to the question asked, albeit satirically, by E.B. White and James Thurber in 1929: Is sex necessary? Their conclusions? Yes–and no, and each answer is equally compelling.

The two books approach the lack of sex from opposite ends — Fontanel overwhelmed by sex’s demands, Hardy burdened by her church’s dictates. Together, they speak to the desire to forge our own sexual (and social) path, as free as possible from the pressures placed on us by society. Reading the two very different memoirs makes it clear that whether that pressure is to have more sex, or less of it, it’s still oppressive when it doesn’t take into account an individual’s wants and needs. For Fontanel, pursuing her own path means breaking away from the libertine culture of her peers (“Not one of them could stand my singleness, because it could have been theirs”), even if it means offending them.

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Categories: Sex

4 Comments on “How Important Is Having Sex?”

  1. Bernie
    September 16, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    God! I couldn’t imagine life without sex.


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