Jane Brewin, Tommys chief executive officer, said fear that the issue will be trivialised by those ignorant of the facts leaves many women too ashamed to talk about it.

QUESTION: I am 53 and haven’t had sex since I parted from my cheating ex ten years ago. I eventually found life is easier without chasing passion. The problem is my friends, who can’t accept I’m fine the way I am and keep urging me to join dating websites. Why can’t they accept a celibate woman?


ANSWER: The sexologist Alfred Kinsey once said “the only unnatural sex act is that which you can’t perform”.

Sixty years later, it seems most people believe the only unnatural form of sexual behaviour is refraining from coupling altogether.

Yet many people are not driven by lust and happily divert their energies into other pursuits.

However, I wonder whether you’ve chosen celibacy so much as rejected relationships. Having your heart broken to the point you don’t want to feel vulnerable again is not the same thing as disliking romance or passion.

It’s understandable to take refuge in single life, but this can become self-deprivation if taken to extremes.

Isn’t it possible your friends aren’t interfering busybodies, but have higher aspirations for your wellbeing than you do? You say you are “fine”, but that’s not the same as feeling contented or, dare I say it, happy.

Your pals are being clumsy with their talk of dating websites, but it’s also true you can get so accustomed to a solo life that it’s hard to share anything again, let alone your bed.

The real question here is not so much one of sex, as intimacy. The prospect of letting a man into your life again appears to be what frightens you.

It is possible to have fulfilling, intimate relationships that don’t involve sex. There are even dating sites for romantically inclined people who prefer to remain sexless (see platonic partners.co.uk). Having said all that, this is your life and no one else can make choices for you. - Daily Mail