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Chastened: The Unexpected Story of My Year Without Sex
     

Chastened: The Unexpected Story of My Year Without Sex

by Hephzibah Anderson, Justine Eyre (Narrated by)
 

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Seeking love in an age obsessed with sex, a journalist chronicles her year without

On the eve of her thirtieth birthday, Hephzibah Anderson glimpsed her college boyfriend going into a jewelry store with a smiling blonde-and in that moment realized it had been years since a man told her he loved her. This discovery led her to question a decade of

Overview

Seeking love in an age obsessed with sex, a journalist chronicles her year without

On the eve of her thirtieth birthday, Hephzibah Anderson glimpsed her college boyfriend going into a jewelry store with a smiling blonde-and in that moment realized it had been years since a man told her he loved her. This discovery led her to question a decade of emotionally frustrating relationships with commitment phobes. As she examined her past, she recognized that most of these relationships went off course at the precise moment sex was involved. Anderson decided it was time to spend a full year without sex to rediscover its meaning and purpose in her life. In this confessional account, Anderson shares the results of that year, narrating each month as she flirts, dates, and swoons but doesn't have sex. The results-her feelings about femininity, her body, and romance-are illuminating.

Told with Elizabeth Gilbertesque candor, Chastened reveals much about our contradictory cultural attitudes towards sex and the ways intercourse has been used as a shortcut to deeper intimacies. An antidote to the growing genre of another-notch-in-the-bedpost memoirs, Chastened is a refreshing look at what's to be gained by going without.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Everything but the sex seems to be the theme of this fluffy dating chronicle by British journalist Anderson. Having recently turned 30 and being determined to break a baffling, bruising cycle of “consistently mistak[ing] casual hookups for rose-tinted beginnings,” Anderson decided that she'd had enough sex without love; it was time to try love without sex. The purpose? Not, as she hints with feminist bravado, to become “faithful to my instincts” nor even to achieve “emotional self-sufficiency” (as she enjoyed some playful banter with potential boyfriends like Dan, Jake, Quiet Guy, the Beau, N, Rafiq, and so on), but to snare a mate—and that sadly didn't happen at the end of this year. Using an unwieldy chronological structure by month, Anderson moves from her resolve to embark on a year of chastity after a final emotional disappointment with Jake in late summer (“You sleep with these men too soon,” her mother had warned her), through numerous travels and dissatisfying encounters between London and New York. Along with way, Anderson lards each chapter with ponderous emotional reflections, injecting just enough research and quotes from heavies to keep the reader engaged, such as brief mentions of psychotherapist Brett Kahr, a Hepburn-Tracy movie, chastity rites in ancient times, and Samuel Richardson's Pamela.(June)
From the Publisher
"[Anderson] provides a vivid portrait of the currently pervasive culture of casual sex." ---Kirkus
Kirkus Reviews
A journalist's account of her voluntary chastity. Anderson, a 30ish, single woman about town in London and New York, had always found sex easy but love elusive. She was spurred to rethink her approach to relationships with men after seeing an ex-boyfriend escorting his girlfriend into a jewelry store. Saying no to sex would, she hoped, help her find love. The story of her venture into a flirty sort of chastity began in July and ended in August of the following year, with most chapters dealing with a single month. While recounting her adventures and misadventures, she philosophizes about sex, dipping into feminist history, psychology and sociology. While shopping for a chaste wardrobe, she muses on what women communicate by what they wear, and a movie date launches her into a discussion of the depiction of sex on the screen, from Hepburn and Tracy in Adam's Rib to Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn in The Break-Up. Men abound in this memoir, some alive and present, others as colorful memories. The author asserts that "while closing myself off physically, I've opened up more psychologically," and that her year without taught her many things about relationships. However, a disastrous sexual liaison at the year's end indicates that may not have been quite the case. Though her experience didn't bring her true love, it provided her with some titillating journalistic material. The author's romantic entanglements may fail to engage the reader, but she provides a vivid portrait of the currently pervasive culture of casual sex. Agent: Elizabeth Sheinkman/Curtis Brown

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400147823
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
06/30/2010
Edition description:
Library - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.00(d)

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From the Publisher
"[Anderson] provides a vivid portrait of the currently pervasive culture of casual sex." —-Kirkus

Meet the Author

Hephzibah Anderson works freelance as a critic, feature writer, and broadcaster for various British and international outlets, including Vogue, Bloomberg Muse, and BBC Radio Five Live.

Justine Eyre is a classically trained actress who has narrated over three hundred audiobooks. With a prestigious Audie Award and four AudioFile Earphones Awards under her belt, Justine is multilingual and is known for her great facility with accents.

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