In The Weekend Australian in the article Sexual Restraint in Paris Emma-Kate Symons writes gushingly about Sophie Fontanel’s brave stand. A brave stand that opens up a new frontier in sexual relationships. It is all explored in Fontanel’s new book Desire.
What is this brave new stand? What is this last taboo that Sophie breaks? Sexual abstinence. In the words of Emma-Kate, Sophie Fontanel is ‘deliberately abstinent.'
Now, it isn’t because Fontanel is strange, oh no. Emma-Kate Symons showers us with adjectives to show Sophie Fontanel’s qualifications. Sophie is apparently ‘powerful, successful and an object of desire for the opposite sex’, no prude, and nor is she anti porn but is a ‘healthy heterosexual’ and an ‘outspoken feminist’.
What has taken Sophie Fontanel to this new stance? It seems that her desire died before the physical act. She is sick of being taken and shaken and the banality of sex. In other words sex has become so very ‘ho hum’ or worse. ‘The message of Desire is that sex isn’t worth it if it doesn’t have much meaning, and isn’t even that enjoyable.’
I kind of agree with Emma-Kate comment that Fontanel’s ‘frankness and courage in going against the numbing sexual conformity of our age should be applauded.' But this is apparently, ‘a whole new approach to sexuality’.
Really? I mean really? A whole new approach? I know I should get the smug tone out of my voice but I can hardly help it. Surely Emma-Kate you must be joking. The idea that sex has meaning beyond the biological act has been trumpeted by the Bible for thousands of years. In Song of Songs, for instance, sexual desire is understood to be so powerful that it must not be awaken until the right time with the right lover. ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.'
Christians have been banging on (pun intended) that sex is sexy and meaningful when it is part of a deeply giving, loving and committed relationship - a relationship we often call marriage. They keep saying that ‘no-strings-attached “mechanical”’ sex is not only ‘not worth it’ but worse, as Fontanel has discovered, it robs sex of its sexiness and meaning.
But if you won’t take my word for it, read Nikki Gemell’s article, Nothing Compares, in The Weekend Australian Magazine October 22-23. She discovered that sex found great meaning for her when she found a man who loved her.