No More Sex in the City
The New York Post
By Mandy Stadtmiller
May 11, 2010
Two weeks ago, Katie Jean Arnold had her celibacy wake-up call. After hooking up with a stranger on the L train platform and going back to his place, she woke up at his apartment and decided to leave. On her way out the door, he came up to her, naked, and said the words she’ll never forget: “What’s your name?”
It was then that she made her Big Decision.
No. More. Sex.
She’s led a sex-free life ever since. It’s not a long time to remain chaste, you might argue, but the 29-year-old musician did a “celibacy cleanse” back in 2003 for eight months and says it made her feel fantastic. This time, she says she’s going to wait until she gets a record deal and puts out her first album before succumbing to temptation.
“Not having sex is like giving up junk food,” says Arnold. “Sex in New York for me had become like the 99-cent package of Ding Dongs on the corner.”
Arnold is more of a trendsetter than she realizes. In this month’s Playboy, Ashley Dupre says of sex: “I’m very good at it, but I’m saving that.” In April, Lady Gaga said, “I’m celibate, celibacy’s fine,” adding that it was something she wanted to “celebrate” with fans. Courtney Love is also on the no-sex bandwagon, declaring she’s been celibate for four years — adding that without it she never could have finished her new record, “Nobody’s Daughter.”
Less — when it comes to sex — is definitely more, argues Hephzibah Anderson, the author of “Chastened,” a new tome touting the lessons she learned during a sex-free year, from August 2006 to August 2007, a quarter of which she spent in New York.
“By tuning out some of that hyper-sexualized, porn-y clamor, you find yourself tuning into a sort of a subtler romance and being attracted to a different kind of guy,” says the 34-year-old London resident who frequents Manhattan. She was inspired to give up sex right before turning 30 when she saw her college boyfriend walking out of De Beers on Fifth Avenue with a smiling blonde.
“It broadens the erotic spectrum having a contrast,” says Anderson. “Otherwise it’s all full-on the whole time.”
Nowhere is it more full-on all the time than in New York, where men declare frustration over having to wait more than one date for sex and — as Arnold proved — hooking up is as simple as waiting for a train.
Or showing up for a job interview.
When Miss Teen Alabama 2007 Canden Bliss Jackson moved to Manhattan in August at the age of 19, she was excited about making it in the big city.
She quickly landed an interview for a job as a personal assistant to an international businessman. Soon after, he asked what would happen if they “started to like each other,” offering to put her up in a flat in SoHo, pay for travel expenses and talking about a salary of $120,000. The now 20-year-old asked him, “What — if I sleep with you?” His response: “Well, let’s not say it like that.”
Jackson explained that she was celibate and planned to be so until marriage. He took this as a negotiating technique, responding, “I like that even better. I’ll make it $150,000.”
Jackson quickly asked for a taxi.
“I feel like society has become more sex-focused,” says the Long Islander and Stony Brook University student. “Whatever happened to appreciating somebody holding your hand or giving you a sweet kiss? I love cuddling. The little things can be so much more intimate.”
Even former dating columnists are saying no to the carnal deed. When 29-year-old media personality Julia Allison went through a very public online breakup in March, she found herself canceling date after date until something finally clicked.
Celibacy was the answer to her problems — and may be the answer for quite a while.
“I had man whiplash,” she says. “I needed to put my neck in a brace.”
She issued a proclamation, writing on her Web site last week, “I decided to codify my unofficial gut reaction of ‘I really don’t feel like dating’ into an official ‘No Dating, No Sex’ stance, at least for the next month, and perhaps beyond that.”
She’s at the point, she says, where she doesn’t want to seek intimacy without the potential for a serious relationship. “I’ve always been against the New York version of fast-food sex. Believe me, come on, please, I’ve slept with guys I don’t love before, but I’ve frankly reached the age where I don’t want to do that anymore. I’ve dipped my toes in those waters, and it’s cold.”
Currently redirecting her passions into her writing, Allison is not the only one who’s refocused all that unused sexual tension into a creative pursuit.
“I totally sublimate all of my sexual energy into making wedding dresses because I feel like I need something constructive to channel my energy into,” says Colette Komm, a 28-year-old couture designer who lives on the Upper West Side.
“I’ve seen how people treat sex: like a crutch, like a weapon, like a temporary fix to their problems,” she says. “I’ve seen how some girls think they’re protecting their sexuality by giving it away. Like, ‘This means nothing to me if I take away all the emotional significance of sex.’”
Interestingly, Komm actually says she identifies more with porn star Jenna Jameson as being someone who lives an extreme sexual lifestyle — by having no sex at all.
And what better way to find out what a true porn star thinks of celibacy than to ask one?
Newly celibate musician Katie Jean Arnold actually lives with an X-rated model: her little sister, Crystal. Living in the same Bushwick railroad apartment, Crystal pulls in about $10,000 a month as an adult Web video star, traveling frequently to LA for Internet-only shoots. Going by the stage name “Erin Chase,” she’s also collaborated with her sister on a song called “Can I Get My Underwear Back?”
The 20-year-old blonde says when Katie Jean gave up sex, she also thought about doing it — momentarily.
“I considered celibacy,” Crystal says in a light, breathy voice.
“But I think it’s harder to not have sex than to have sex.”