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‘I’m marrying my fiancé even though it's 18 months since we last had sex’

You might think sex is the bedrock of any healthy partnership but research suggests we're officially Generation Sex Recessionistas. Rosie Mullender reports on the crisis in our bedrooms and meets a bride-to-be who believes relationships can thrive minus the sex. And it seems the experts agree Amy can’t really remember the last time she had sex with her fiancé, Ben. She just knows it was at least 18 months ago – and that, despite the lack of sexual intimacy, she’s looking forward to marrying him as much as ever. ‘I’ve been with Ben* for four years, and we’re getting married later this year,’ she says. ‘But even though we haven’t had sex for the past 18 months, I don’t have any doubts at all about marrying him, which a lot of people simply wouldn’t understand. ‘At first, we were like any oth...

#useyourvoice BBC presenter Kat Hawkins: ‘Disabled people are not your inspiration porn’

Director, journalist and dance artist Kat Hawkins (aka @kats.bailed) lost both legs to meningitis at university, and uses her platform to show what life with a disability is like. Here Kat explains why she’s had enough of being pitied, and how we can change the way we talk about disability ‘You’ve seen the posts. A disabled child using a wheelchair or another assistive device and the text. ‘What’s your excuse?’ or ‘The only disability in life is a bad attitude!’ In the disability community we call this inspiration porn – being inspired by a disabled person who is just existing, or non-disabled people using disabled people to make them feel guilty about what they’re not doing, and to try harder. Because if I can leave my house in my body, surely you can do anything you put your mind to! So ...

#useyourvoice Writer Marisa Bate: 'I’m turning 35 this year. Things aren’t how I imagined they’d be’

By now Marisa thought she’d have a dream house, high-powered career, perhaps a polished new car and designer wardrobe to boot. The reality? Not so much. Here she reveals how being part of the ‘lost generation’ has forced her to confront the future Yes, 2020 chimed in a new year and a new decade. For me, though, it also delivers a new box to tick. This year, I say goodbye to the reassuring ‘18-34’ category on random forms – a category I have spent so long nesting in; hiding behind being ‘young’ as an excuse for, well, just about anything. This year, I will turn 35. This is momentous, and not just because I will now tick a different box (hello,‘35 -55’). It is momentous because, in my head, 35 was the Age Of Achievement. At 35, you’d got shit done. While in the 18-34 category, I’ve assumed 3...

'I’m super tough, I’m really blunt!' What happened when Neelam Gill's psychic life coach met writer Daisy Buchanan

Many celebs are including a 'spiritual' life coach in their self-care entourage and the psychic services industry is booming. Daisy Buchanan, author and podcast host of You're Booked talks to Psychic Kesa, Neelam's go-to life coach to find out how she helps her tackle depression and anxiety ‘I’m not super into spirituality,’ explains the mysterious Psychic Kesa, immediately after she has given me a reading using her special, customised tarot style cards, and a crystal ball. ‘It’s just what helps me connect with people. I believe in creating futures by making events happen.’ Strangely, it makes sense. Kesa, whose glittering client roster includes Marie Claire’s first-ever digital cover star supermodel Neelam Gill, bills herself as a ‘Celebrity Life Coach & Mind Reader’, and at first, th...

#useyourvoice Anti-racism activist Layla F Saad asks: 'Why do we still have a problem with race?'

Between Brexit, Megxit and being too ‘woke’, we're finally waking up to the fact that racism still exists in the UK. And whether you realise it or not, Me And White Supremacy author Layla F Saad says if you’re white and privileged you’re probably helping to uphold an oppressive system Interview by Marisa Bates In June 2018, Layla F Saad, a life coach, writer and speaker, launched a 28-day Instagram challenge that invited people with white privilege to examine – really examine – the myriad ways in which they’re complicit in upholding a system that oppresses people of colour. Within days, #meandwhitesupremacy had gone viral and 90,0000 people went on to download her digital book, Me and White Supremacy Workbook. Two years on and Saad’s work seems more timely than ever. Brexit (race-related h...

'My pangs of extreme loneliness felt like an embarrassing secret'

We're living in an age of 24/7 connectivity, so why are young women the loneliest of all? Kate Wills investigates this silent epidemic wrecking our health and mental wellbeing When I found myself newly-single at 33 and working from home, something strange happened. I had a weird sense of unease, a deep ache of things just not being right. It didn’t feel like the stomach-in-knots dread of anxiety, or the not-wanting-to-get-out of bed of depression. I was lying in the bath – often the highlight of my day at that point – when it hit me. I was lonely. Ironically, it turns out I’m not alone. Although we associate loneliness with the elderly in care-homes staring at turned-off TVs, or bullied teenagers spending hours alone in their bedrooms with only the glow of their phones for company, lonelin...

#useyourvoice Laxmi Agarwal: ‘He destroyed my face with acid so nobody would love me… but now I'm making my country a safer place ’

Laxmi was 15 when she was brutally attacked by a man furious she had rejected his advances. Her subsequent fight to change the law on acid violence in India made her a global women’s rights advocate and now a new film, Chhapaak, charts her astonishing life story Words by Alia Waheed ‘I thought when I lost my looks, I was nothing. But I have spent half my life looking like this and realise beauty means nothing. What’s important is what you do and who you are. Now when people see me, they don’t see my scars, they see my bravery and determination.’ As Laxmi utters these words she reaches up and tentatively strokes the map of scars on her cheek. It’s a face ravaged by acid but you get a glimpse of the beauty Laxmi, now 29, possessed before a brutal attack in 2005. However, this fleeting moment...

SUSANNA REID: How my fake tan disaster nearly ruined my night at the Oscars

Last Friday morning, my three teenage boys, all film buffs, sat around talking over Weetabix and toast about who they thought would win at the Oscars.We don’t often get the chance to sit and enjoy films together anymore — like most parents, I have lost them to their friends and phones — but we had watched Joker the night before. My eldest tipped Parasite to win. Good call, as it turned out.They were all feeling jealous because I was off to Los Angeles to present a live show as the stars walked the red carpet. Spruced up to the eyeballs in a sequined gown and borrowed diamonds from Martin Katz worth £300,000, it was a world away from our daily domestic life in London.That’s not to say it’s all glamour. In fact, what with microphones not working, Dame Joan Collins leaving early because she w...

Would YOU use a DNA kit to catch a cheating man?

Kate Mulvey (pictured) argues infidelity DNA kits are no different to an old-fashioned private detectiveYESby Kate MulveySeveral years ago, I started to suspect my then-fiance was cheating on me. The sudden nights away on business, the constantly guarded phone, the shifty looks he gave me after a night out with ‘friends’. It was a gut feeling, but I didn’t have any proof.There is simply nothing worse than the feeling you are being lied to by someone you love.So, yes, I would use one of the newly available infidelity DNA testing kits in a heartbeat if I ever found myself in that agonising position again.For £90, anyone who suspects their partner of having an affair can now send off a sample, such as underwear or bedsheets, to be tested for rogue DNA, thus determining if cheating has taken p...

The not so polished love life of TV's queen of clean

At a supper held by a friend last year, I sat next to Ros, a woman I had never met before. Within minutes we were chatting about our lives, children and wider families.Her elderly mother had died recently and she began to talk about her beloved brother, a few years older than me who was divorced with two grown sons. He was in a ‘sort of’ relationship that was going nowhere and lived alone.My ears pricked up. I was divorced, also in an on-off relationship, and always quietly on the lookout for someone special.Ros seemed lovely, funny and sane, and when she told me her brother was a senior newspaper executive, a light went on in my head. In the 1970s I was secretary to a man called Fin who ran a press office for a charity. I didn’t stay very long, but I knew he later became a deputy editor a...

House prices finally start to climb as ‘Boris bounce’ boosts confidence

House prices finally start to climb as 'Boris bounce' boosts buyers following Tories' thumping election winIndustry insiders said it's the first time they've seen price rises since July 2018Buyer inquiries, agreed sales and new instructions all picked up over January‘Buyers and sellers are mobilising across the country and we’ve been bowled over by the wave of new instructions,' said estate agent, Lucy Pendleton By Lucy White City Correspondent For The Daily Mail Published: 00:00, 13 February 2020 | Updated: 00:08, 13 February 2020 House prices have risen across the country for the first time in 18 months amid a surge in confidence among buyers and sellers following the Tory election triumph.There has been ‘a noticeable pick-up’ in the housing market since Boris Johnson defeated Labour’s J...

Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas Are Reportedly Expecting Their First Child

George PimentelGetty Images Here’s some exciting news to start your Wednesday: JustJared reports that Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas are expecting their first child together. Multiple sources confirmed Turner’s pregnancy to the outlet. One said the two have been keeping it quiet. “The couple is keeping things very hush hush but their friends and family are super excited for them,” the source said.A second explained that “Sophie has decidedly been choosing outfits to wear on and off the carpet to accommodate her changing body.” Jonas and Turner were last photographed out together in London on January 30: Neil MockfordGetty Images Jonas and Turner have not publicly commented on the report yet. The pregnancy comes almost one year after they got married legally in Las Vegas in May 2019. They had ...