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Friday 19 January 2018

Pennies

We've all heard of women that are man-mad . . . but such is the sorry state of man-free affairs round Sinead O'Connor's way that she has admitted having a secret crush on Ryan Tubridy, propositioning Taoiseach Enda Kenny online and has -- wait for it -- even contemplated an amorous relationship with vegetables.

This dry spell has gone straight to Sinead's head. And with all the time in the world to ruminate about her man-free lot in life, Sinead's Twitter became the gift that kept on giving. Not only did she use the social networking site to canvass for hairy, dirty, sexy men . . . she also confessed to having something of a weakness for the aforementioned Enda Kenny and Ryan Tubridy.

I feel for Sinead and her involuntary man detox; I really do. Yet even in the midst of a sexual Sahara, with nary a drop to drink, there is cold comfort to be found.

It may not feel like it, but there are many upsides to a lengthy man-ban. First up; the freedom factor. Pedalling through life solo might seem tough, but it's certainly no tougher than doing so with a plus one.

Do you know how much brainspace you are left with when you're not worrying/thinking/ fantasising about a significant other?

Gone too are the weekends of recovering from dates and cyberstalking. Sunday mornings are gentle affairs free of panic, awkwardness or inane small talk.

Those in their own sexual desert can avoid Brazilian waxes and 'go retro' with complete impunity. And, when you're not buying drinks/ dinner/contraception/Spanx, those pennies start to add up. It's much the same with anyone who has had a detox; there's a good chance they feel enlivened, empowered and full of vim afterwards.

Here's the thing, not even a legendary arse like Sinead's (her words, not mine) can render you impervious to a dry spell. Even Lady Gaga walked away from the dating scene just as her career reached fever pitch last year.: "I'm lonely when I'm in relationships," she said at the time. "It's my condition as an artist. I'm quite celibate now; I have this weird thing that if I sleep with someone they're going to take my creativity from me. So it's okay not to have sex, it's okay to get to know people. I'm celibate, celibacy's fine."

Back in the land of civilians, several of my acquaintances have been complaining of the same thing. With one difference -- longevity.

Sinead's dry spell puts her in the ha'penny place compared to some women I know. By my reckoning, she has been less than four months sans sex, after splitting with husband Steve Cooney in April. Try a few years, as several of my acquaintances have, and get back to me.

And as with any period of grief, there are several stages one must endure.

And so it begins with shock and denial ("I can get him if I want, I just don't want to"), then confusion ("damn, I seem to be paying a lot of these cab fares home on my own all of a sudden"), anger ("all men are pure pigs!"), reflection ("the loneliness is truly palpable now"), acceptance and hope ("it won't be like this forever . . . will it?") and the upward turn ("I'm genuinely fine on my own"). This last stage is, of course, the point at which the pendulum swings upward. And in theory, it's the point at which you feel most self-sufficient, and therefore more attractive.

Yet choose your rescuer from the deep freeze carefully, people. Sinead is playing with fire, issuing an open invite to all-comers (complete with her own email address).

Everyone believes that their dry spell will end with a white knight, but this isn't always true.

A friend ended a three-year dry spell not with a dashing Prince Charming -- or even an excavation team -- but with a randomer picked up in a club. And far from swinging from the chandeliers as she had imagined many times over in her mind's eye, the entire encounter was fumbling and extremely awkward.



attractive

The wait, in short, wasn't even worth it. She didn't feel attractive; she felt out of practice.

Instead, it's perhaps best not to focus on the end point of a dry spell, but the precious time you get to spend with yourself.

Someone wise once said that a person can live without sex, but will almost surely die without love.

I have no doubt that Sinead can find the latter time and time again.

But somehow I don't think putting out a public shout-out for a man who is over 44 and has a pulse -- but doesn't use hairdryers, hair gel, or is named Brian or Nigel -- is really the right way to go about it.

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