A court in France has ordered a man to pay 10,000 euros (Rs 7 lakh) in damages to his long-frustrated ex-wife after he failed in his marriage "duties" by withholding sex from her for years.

In the ruling, an appeals court in the southern city of Aix-en-Provence upheld an earlier decision to award the damages for "absence of sexual relations".

In its ruling, the court said the man's wife deserved the damages due to the suffering she endured because of her sexless marriage.

"The wife's expectations were legitimate in the sense that sexual relations between married people are an expression of their mutual affection and part of the duties that proceed from marriage," the court said.

It dismissed the husband's argument that health problems and long working hours had simply reduced the opportunities for the couple to have sex.