Can you live without sex?
Despite not having had any for years, I’m still alive and kicking so the answer is obviously yes although I’d hesitate to call the five years I lost to major depressive disorder “life” in any way, shape, or form.
During the time I spent incapacitated by illness, I didn’t live I existed, often against my will. My body did what did bodies do to survive — breathe, drink, eat, sleep — while my mind tried to figure out how to stop this farce once and for all. In this context, sex certainly wasn’t part of the basic functions that kept me alive. Had it been, it stands to reason depression wouldn’t have tightened its grip on my psyche until all I could think about what how to put an end to the pain of living.
If sex was absent from my existence, human warmth and connection were also in short supply but my life wasn’t entirely devoid of love or comfort. I have two cats and although this sounds amusing and cliché (especially when your name is Kitty, hi!), they held me up when no one else did.
Animals do not judge, they operate on instinct. Unconditional love begets unconditional love, sometimes to the point when your cat mistakes your leg for a mate and attempts to shag it. My tuxedo does, even though he had the snip, and no, I do not humor him despite the lustful look in his eyes.
Whether I needed sex in the years since my sex life died sometime around the summer of 2013 is something I can only try and figure out with hindsight. At the time, I had no desire whatsoever for it and libido became a word without meaning, a concept as lofty as, say, quantum mechanics is to a linguist. Sex no longer applied to me yet it was something I had always enjoyed.
Despite not being my body’s greatest fan, I’m quite comfortable in my own skin and grew into a sexually confident woman despite a history of abuse. I know what I like, have no problem communicating this to a partner, and am curious to a fault. Of course, consent is paramount but as long as pain isn’t involved, I remain open to experimentation but it is by no means a requirement.
For me, orgasm has never been contingent on epic gymnastics but on connection.