My life in sex: ‘I am a female incel. I am desperate for a touch’

My ex husband was repeatedly unfaithful. I always forgave him, blaming my own failings, until he eventually left me for his mistress while I was pregnant with our third child. That was 13 years ago, and I have been celibate, against my wishes, ever since. I suppose I am a female incel.

At first, being a single parent of a newborn and two distraught children didn’t leave me time to even consider dating. These days, the thought of even trying to talk to a man brings on a panic attack. I’m a good mother, but that’s all I am. I work in a job that I don’t particularly like, and I wonder how I went from being 33 and relatively happily married, to 46 and peri‑menopausal. I feel like I’m watching my life vanish behind me.

My husband was my first and only boyfriend. I have been single ever since he left. No dates, no kisses, nothing. I was always unattractive, and now I have a three-baby, gravity-and-comfort-eating shaped body. More bits sag and wobble than anyone could want to touch, but I am desperate for a touch, especially now that hugs from the children are more to humour me than anything else.

It is incredibly lonely and I miss sex desperately, but I am ageing, unconfident, unloved. I fantasise about being loved and desired, although I rarely masturbate as it’s just a depressing reminder of what I’ll never have. I don’t have any connections where I could meet someone, but even if I did, I wouldn’t try. The future feels very long and very empty.

Each week, a reader tells us about their sex life. Want to share yours? Email


Leave a Reply