Sex is not compulsory: giving up sex for better health and greater happiness


Sex is not compulsory:   giving up sex for better health and greater happiness

Liz Hodgkinson maintains that sex is not, as many have assumed, absolutely central to our lives. Her own long-lasting and happy marriage has been sexless from choice for many years. In addition, she claims that celibacy has many benefits and can be a positive, life-enhancing decision for people. Her views have stimulated a hornets’ nest of argument that will rage for many years to come.

From the preface “I decided to write this book because the evidence that sex was adding to, rather than reducing, the world’s problems, was increasingly staring me in the face. I’m not so arrogant as to believe that one little book will, overnight, change the way we have been thinking about sex. But from the interest the subject has generated, and the discussions it has provoked, I believe that many people may now start to see sex in a way they did not before. What I am really saying is that the emperor has no clothes, and simply voicing what so many have already suspected, but may not have liked to face.

If I’ve achieved nothing else, at least I can feel sure that this book has allowed debate to be opened up on a previously taboo subject — celibacy, or abstention from sex by positive choice. Long may the debate continue.” June 1987


“Her startling views have struck a nerve” The People

“She’s a brave woman to own up. There are bound to be sneers, but there are numerous cheers as well once the idea is waved about. There are hordes of closet celibates nearly ready to own up. Perhaps now they might even be able to brag” Guardian

“I welcome this bold crusade to rescue celibacy from the scorn into which it has fallen. Her championship of chastity will be welcomed by many” Mary Kenny, Sunday Telegraph

“I believe that many other men, as well as women, could benefit greatly from choosing to allow sexual activity to disappear from their lives” Neville Hodgkinson, Sunday Times

“Bedroom secrets ought to remain right there - in the bedroom” Daily Mail

“There will be those who think Hodgkinson has gone off her head” Val Hennessy, The Times

“It is at once fat-headed and pernicious” Catholic Herald

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