Piece previously published on The Good Men Project on March 18, 2012.
I think we have this sex strike/political theater thing all wrong.
First of all, I’m exceptionally pissed off about the attacks on reproductive rights in this country, the transvaginal sonogram laws in several states, including my own, and the absolute dearth of sex education that I see. Or don’t see. You know what I mean.
Given my background in theater producing and an interest in actual advocacy for change, I came up with another angle on the idea. A fun one!
I think we need to have a Sex In. Or, as Charlie Capen eloquently put it, a Sit-On.
Either name, I don’t care, I just want to see political activism that is fun, over the top, memorable and provocative, and might actually make an impact.
Imagine-Twitter and FB filled with hashtags of something like #letsgetiton or #SitOnSexIn with 140 TMI moments of the sex you just had. Or are about to have! (Or want to try, if you’ve not tried it.) Or the BC you are going to use! In the case of Foursquare? Where you just had it! Talk about being the Mayor!
Imagine-Sending thousands of letters, faxes and emails to your Congress people en masse with TMI descriptions of all the wonderful, connecting, healthy, happy fun you’ve just had!
Imagine-Gathering to take our pills together, making Etsy-esque condom wrapper art, shipped via FedEx or Instagramed via email to our Houses of Legislature, calling and faxing the Pharmastries to push for more male oriented contraception options!
Imagine-fun old school/new school protest/flashmobs with provocative clothing, sultry poses, making out, and Sexy Guy Fawkes masks whilst sexytime music plays in the background!
(note to self, investigate sexy Guy Fawkes masks)
See, here’s the thing about a Sex Strike in America, in this day and age. I think it sends the wrong message altogether. As so many of us have already mentioned in the comments:
1) It continues a gender essentialist view of sex and relationships in the US (that men are horny dogs and women are gatekeepers). Men and women do and can enjoy physical intimacy with each other. We have enough old stereotypes in place about both genders. Let’s get with the 21st century.
2) It gives in to a narrative that the right is creating that people (women? men? straights? gays?) shouldn’t be having sex anyway (thus not needing BC). We do have sex and we do want ample options for men and women to prevent unplanned pregnancies. We especially need more options for men, and good ones.
3) People are so busy and overworked that a week without sex won’t even be noticed.
I mean really. A week?
Not to mention….4) While oral BC isn’t necessarily an issue for our LGBT friends and family (though it sure as hell can be), the current wave of push-back on sexuality as a non-reproductive form of bonding creates an environment that isn’t friendly to anyone, gay or straight. And all of us need good STD prevention and screening. Ignoring all that? Not cool at all.
So this SitOnSexIn Campaign…I know, I know…it’s easier to consider a strike as something you DON’T do. And surely telling folks about your sexytimes is a strange thing to consider (Pssst! It could be anonymous, just like we do at Bedpost Confessions). But it sure seems like some folks on the Right already don’t want us to have sex. Why give them what they want, when we should be really, really annoying them!
So if, like me, you’ve been really trying, trying to hold back….if you’ve been feeling like I feel and if you are a sensitive person with so much to give, that knows how sweet and wonderful this life can be…..giving yourself to each other can never be wrong if the love is true.***
Shouldn’t we all (with access to a variety of affordable birth control options and STI prevention, an thorough and educated understanding of reproductive issues, and a consensual, friendly and respectful attitude towards our partners AND ourselves) start getting it on?
***with many thanks to the most fabulous Marvin Gaye
–Looking for one-on-one coaching on relationships, sexuality, life passages, or need support with personal or career goals? Seeking seeking a facilitator for your group or team to help promote healthy group dynamics and effective communication? Contact me here!