A 51-YEAR-OLD MAN known only as Jean-Louis B. of France has been fined an equivalent of $13,965 under article 215 of France’s civil code for failing to have enough sex with his ex-wife over the course of their 21-year marriage. The couple filed for divorce two years ago on the grounds of Jean-Louis B.’s lack of conjugal activity. He was held solely responsible for the split.
According to article 215 of France’s civil code, married couples must agree to a shared communal life. In this rare legal decision, the judge in the south of France’s highest court in Aix-en-Provence ruled that this law “implies they will have sex with each other” and that “sexual relations must form part of a marriage.”
Though Jean-Louis B. said persistent health problems prevented him from having frequent sex with his former wife, a judge ruled that “a sexual relationship between husband and wife is the expression of affection they have for each other, and in this case it was absent,” as reported by the Telegraph.
Chronic illness can often affect couples’ sex lives. But despite Jean-Louis B.’s claims of “tiredness and health problems” might have been considered a plea for compassion, he was nevertheless viewed in breach of an implied marital contract.
The medical and social science communities have long faced the difficulty of defining what is “enough,” “not enough,” and “too much” sex, but what is clear from this landmark case is that it is an individual’s dissatisfaction with the amount of sex that matters most.