Going into it did you have a goal of remaining abstinent for a certain number of years?
I hadn’t decided anything. I remember I was 27 years old, and I had begun sexual activity very young, and I said to myself, “Am I happy, sexually?” And my answer was “no,” even when I took pleasure. I decided to wait for something better, and for me something better was supposed to come very soon, you know? It was impossible to imagine such a long time. But now, when I’m looking back, it was nothing, those 12 years.
What were you waiting for?
I was not waiting for love. I think it’s a mistake to think that women are always expecting love. We are expecting to be in good hands, even if these good hands are just for two nights or one week. We’re waiting as in the movie “Out of Africa.” We are waiting for a man, maybe his presence will be rare, but it will be a high quality of presence. So I was waiting for something ecstatic.
What place does sex have in your life now?
After my long-time [celibacy], I met a man and I had a boyfriend for years, but now I’m alone. For me, being alone is not a question. For me, I’m not thinking, “Oh, I am 50 years old, am I young enough to meet a man?” I don’t know what it is to think this way. For me, being in love is being free. It’s not as if I was walking in the streets and looking at all these handsome men and thinking, “Oh no, they don’t look at me!” I don’t see handsome men. Charming men I don’t see, where are they? It’s very, very rare, so I have made up my mind. I’m sure that because it’s rare you have to live between the love stories.
What did your sexlessness change for you? How did it change you?
It was very important. It has opened my eyes. At the beginning I thought that married people were happy together having sex. I was considering my celibacy as an illness. During all those years I talked to a lot of people and I learned that sometimes when you’re in a couple you don’t make love at all. Sometimes when you’re alone you have a very big libido in your mind; sometimes it’s more rich in your mind than in the real-life bedrooms of married couples. Sometimes my friends with boyfriends were less happy than me. Of course they had someone in their bed, but there was a price to pay, you know? My mother used to say that there’s a price to pay for everything. You don’t want to be with a boring man, so the price to pay is to be alone. I think that married people are very big liars, because if they don’t lie to say that they are happy sexually then they are ridiculous. So when a married couple is next to a single person, it seems that it is the single person who is the more pitiful, but maybe that’s not the case.