Sex strike

A sex strike is a strike, a method of non-violent resistance in which one or multiple persons refrain from sex with their partner(s) to achieve certain goals. It's a form of temporary sexual abstinence.

In October 1997 the chief of the Military of Colombia General Ma˝uel Bonnet publicly called for a sex strike among the wives and girlfriends of the Colombian left-wing guerrillas, drug traffickers, and paramilitaries as part of a strategy - along with diplomacy - to achieve a cease fire. Also the mayor of Bogota, Antanas Mockus Civicas, declared the capital a women-only zone for one night, suggesting men to stay at home to reflect on violence. The guerillas ridiculed the initiatives, pointing at the fact that there were more than 2000 women in their army. In the end the cease fire was achieved but lasted shortly.

In September 2006 several wives and girlfriends of gang members from Pereira (Colombia), started a sex strike called "La huelga de las piernas cruzadas" (the strike of crossed legs) to curb gang violence.

Recently, the Marriage strike has also begun to incorporate a "sex strike." Participating men hold that it is dangerous to be married to and/or sexually involved with a woman, due to anti-male bias in popular culture. Many women have reacted negatively to the Marriage/Sex Strike claiming that "men just want to dodge responsibility." This claim -- addressed to men who adhere to the strike -- is considered by some to be flawed, as they claim that men should not have to 'be responsible for' women.

Sex strikes have been used to protest many issues, from water resources to immigration policy to employment equity.

In the arts

The most famous example of a sex strike in the arts is the Greek playwright Aristophanes' comedy Lysistrata, an anti-war comedy. The female characters in the play, led by the eponymous Lysistrata, withhold sex from their husbands as part of their strategy to secure peace and end the Peloponnesian War.


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