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'Questioning sex makes people very uneasy and there's a lot of stigma about not having sex,' says Hephzibah Anderson, who wrote the memoir Chastened (Vintage, £7.99) after choosing to be celibate for a year.'But most of us will go through a dry spell at some point, and some people just aren't that into it. One of the reasons I wrote the book was to try to bring celibacy back as an option.' While people may dip in and out of celibacy, asexuality tends to be a permanent state.The best man was very attractive and, after a lot to drink, I went to bed with him. I married him the next week, gave up my business, sold my house, put all my money into stocks and moved to LA.But in 2000 the stock market crashed and I lost pretty much everything within a couple of weeks.Why, then, is not wanting sex still seen as the oddball option?At a time when teenagers face increasing peer pressure to lose their virginity and couples are expected to enjoy sex well into retirement – aided by the twin gods of Viagra and hormone replacement therapy – could celibacy and asexuality be the last sexual taboos?We tend to use terms like 'a-romantic', 'bi-romantic' and 'hetero-romantic'.Someone like me who's a-romantic will generally have no desire for a romantic relationship (or a physical relationship, at least).
Now I run a website for women, venuscow.com, and do workshops where I talk about celibacy.
Someone who's bi-romantic is interested in romantic relationships but has no preference as to gender.
Homo-romantic and hetero-romantic work like homosexual or heterosexual but without the sexual attraction element.
I was in a relationship briefly with a man who is also asexual, but there was nothing in it that I couldn't get from friends.
We spent most evenings together, going for walks, going out to dinner, playing games or watching TV, during which we would hold hands or cuddle on the sofa.
We'd go to the cinema and I'd think we were there to watch a movie and they thought we were there to cuddle and kiss.