DO or DON'T: Holding a Sex Strike


By Gena Kaufman,Glamour magazine

This movement is less "Occupy Wall Street", more "Occupy yourself, because I'm not going to have sex with you."

In support of health care coverage for contraception, a group called Liberal Ladies Who Lunch is calling for women to strike, by withholding sex from their partners between April 28 and May 5. Leaving aside the particular political issue of this proposed strike, let's focus on the idea of a sex strike: Would you do it to stand up for something?

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While I like the idea of a big statement like this to get conversations started about important topics, I'm not that into the idea of a sex strike. For starters, it perpetuates the stereotype that men are completely motivated by sex whereas women can go without it easily; thereby setting up an outdated double standard that results in women who like sex being called sluts (oops, I said I wouldn't focus on the birth control debates). Plus, I just hate when sex is presented as something that women "give" to men, as opposed to an action taken together and enjoyed equally by both parties. On a more practical note, I'm just not sure a week of no sex would really motivate men, and in particular, men who are lawmakers, to make any significant changes.

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But maybe you guys disagree. The Liberal Ladies Who Lunch, according to their Facebook page, claim there is a long history of effective sex strikes. And I will say that in this instance, I do think the idea of a sex strike is at least incredibly relevant to the point that the issue of contraceptives affects women AND men, even if I don't think it's the most effective manner of protest.

So sound off, Smitten Ladies Who May or May Not Lunch: Is withholding sex to make a political point a DO or a DON'T? Have you ever done this to make a personal point? Why is or isn't this a good idea?

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