Why I Think a Sex Strike is Dumb Way to Protest Attacks on Contraception

I love access to birth control almost as much as I love using it (read: doin’ it). So when my access to contraception is impeded or threatened, I get as angry as the best of us. I applaud all attempts to end the attack on women’s right to make decisions about her own body and about her access to birth control. Well, almost all attempts.

(c) 2012 Liberal Ladies Who Lunchâ„¢

A group called Liberal Ladies Who Lunchâ„¢ organized something called Access Denied: Sex Strike. Their Facebook wall reads:

Younger men and women may not remember the “good old days” when the only reproductive choice we had was to deny men access to sex. In truth, if we lose our hard won rights to medical care, birth control and pregnancy choice, it won’t only affect women. Men will have to go back to the days when they waited for or paid for sex. This issue impacts all of us. This strike is designed to make that point. Ask your man to speak up for your rights, because when we lose our reproductive choices, so do they.

They continue to cite other instances of sex strikes throughout history. The strike is slated to take place April 28 to May 5 (thank god we can break on Cinco De Mayo, amirite? Tequila and sex strikes do not mix).


Here’s some reasons I think this idea is dumb:

  1. This isn’t about sex. Let’s be real.
    This whole thing has nothing to do with women actually being sluts, but is instead about a much greater power struggle, and withholding sex does not get to the heart of the matter. In many ways, I think it actually reinforces negative aspects of patriarchy, the idea that women are sexual objects. If you take away the men’s toys, they will do what we ask. That is a dumb way to frame this discussion. The whole point is that women are Full Human Beings capable of making decisions and deserve Full Human Being Rights to do so. Belittling the issue to just sex misses the point entirely, in that I think the point is something that transcends sex.
  2. Liberals tend to bone other liberals.
    I don’t have a citation to prove this, but if you do, please share it. All I know is I do not let guys who are conservative on birth control issues get anywhere near my vagina. For real, discussing my IUD is like the sexiest form of foreplay for me. I know most of my lady friends have similar requirements–only pro-choice may pass. So if we’re all fucking liberal dudes and ladies, and we’re withholding sex”¦ then we’re withholding sex from liberal dudes and ladies. This means the only people this is ultimately hurting are liberal partners of women. I feel like this is a staged right wing conspiracy to keep liberals from getting laid. Do not like.
  3. I don’t want to deny myself pleasure for a week because of Rush Limbaugh.
    Seriously, I do not have sex just to please men. Believe it or not. So, while I understand that theoretically men will be driven wild by not having a piece of this for a week (it has been known to happen), it ultimately will probably mostly drive me wild in a bad way. I feel like I should be slutting it up 10x as often because of Rush Limbaugh’s dumb comments, not stopping my sexual habits. I already feel like every second I go without banging an adorable sex-positive kitten angel loses its wings.
  4. Negative reinforcement doesn’t work.
    But positive reinforcement does. So I suggest instead of a Sex Strike we have a Sex Fest wherein we reward our good, feminist partners with extra sex for a week, putting the birth control we still have to good fucking use. That might win over a few conservatives more easily than being denied sex, which I think, only makes people grumpier rather than willing to listen to reason.

So I think the idea is well meaning and well intended, but I will not be participating. I’m not gonna let this bullshit interfere with my sex life anymore than they are already trying to, know what I mean?

P.S. Spare yourself the misery and do not read the wall of the event. It’s mostly conservative nut jobs who are only on there to say “Good, we don’t want you procreating!” and body shaming the thighs in the flyer. I hate people.

P.P.S. If you plan on participating in the strike, bless your soul, and I hope you stock up on batteries.

Crossposted at New York Journal

By awkwardette

Michelle M. aka awkwardette is a multi-disciplinarian. She moonlights as an activist while earning her big bucks making the internet easier to use. She also writes about pop music on and aspires to be Amelia Fletcher when she grows up. She prefers listening to The Jesus and Mary Chain when doin' it.

14 replies on “Why I Think a Sex Strike is Dumb Way to Protest Attacks on Contraception”

Tequila and sex strikes do not mix


This.  All this.  Plus, dude– agree.  Plus I think this violates what I believe is the whole point of our fight: leave our bedroom business alone.  So in order to prove to someone that I deserve my bedroom privacy I’m going to make my bedroom business public?  Silliness.

As much as this classics nerd admires a good nod-and-wink to Lysistrata, I don’t think this will be effective, because surely it’s not liberals who are the  problem for contraceptive access in the US right now, it’s conservatives?

I don’t necessarily agree with the idea of a sex strike, however, I think the Liberal Ladies make an interesting point. If things do get to the point where contraception is heavily restricted or simply unavailable, then sex isn’t going to be something that can simply be a pleasurable activity.

Having said that, with a sex strike, whilst it may not be targetting those who wish to reduce the availability of contraception, it may be what men and women need to increase their awareness of how they may be affected if contraception wasn’t available. It’s one thing to consider not having access to contraception, it’s another to have to go without. As such, perhaps a sex strike would help spur on some men and women into taking more action about what’s going on, instead of simply watching what happens.

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