Harder, deeper … futile: what celibacy taught me about all those ...

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Harder, deeper … futile: what celibacy taught me about all those hook-ups

Like actor Orlando Bloom, I turned my love life around after a year-long, self-imposed sex ban

James Innes-Smith

Orlando Bloom admitting to having taken a vow of celibacy for six months is something we might all want to consider, especially if self-isolation becomes the new norm.

Like him, I was in my late 30s when I decided to take a year off – his decision having been reached, he said in an interview last weekend, because he “wasn’t happy” bouncing around from partner to partner in search of a meaningful connection that never came. I, too, had grown weary of the dating scene and the anxieties that come with extended bouts of singledom.

The parties I attended felt like hunting grounds for midlifers who still treated casual sex as a shortcut to intimacy. At the same time, I found the sexualisation of pretty much everything from perfume adverts to music videos depressing. Sex seemed to be nothing more than a seedy sideshow designed to leave anxious consumers like me frustrated and inadequate. It now came with the added burden of expectation driven by airbrushed ideals and porn-star gymnastics. The joyless ubiquity of intimate relations left me with a permanent headache, and I desperately needed some time out to try to regain a sense of perspective...

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