We Do Need A Sex Strike

Just not the one Alyssa Milano called for.

Stark Raving
3 min readMay 12, 2019

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Photo by Lexie Barnhorn on Unsplash

Leymah Gbowee was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for convincing warlords in Liberia to stop fighting, putting an end to the country’s brutal civil war.

How did she do it? By organising a sex strike.

Historically, mass movements of women refusing to have sex have had a lot of success in obtaining political gains. In 411 BC, the playwright Aristophanes wrote Lysistrata, a Greek comedy in which women boycotted sex to force the men to end the Peloponnesian war. Real-world women mimicked their fictional counterparts, and the “Lysistratic non-action protests” as they are now called brought an end to the war.

More recently, Polish women held a Sex-Strike when abortion was almost banned in 2016, and in 2006, female partners of gang members in the Colombian city of Pereira held back sex to demand a reduction in violence and civilian disarmament. According to the Global Nonviolent Action Database, the strike led to a drop of 26.5% of the murder rate in Pereira by 2010 — impressive in a city that had a homicide rate twice the national average when the sex strike began.

Their long history shows that sex strikes work, which may have been what actress and #MeToo activist Alyssa Milano was thinking when she called for a Sex Strike to protest…

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Stark Raving

Intersectional feminism and environmental issues. Let’s make the world a kinder, more sustainable place. Support my work! https://starkraving.medium.com/members