Mary Sullivan

Joys of No Sex

Sex Is Not Compulsory

By Liz Hodgkinson

Colombus Books 192pp £4.95 order from our bookshop

Take a simple idea based on personal experience; write a book asserting that this personal experience is actually the universal one; illustrate this assertion from the lives of a few famous people, and with plentiful quotations from ‘ recent research’. Before publication, see that numberless interviews and articles appear about yourself and your idea, with long extracts from the book: such is the extraordinary guzzling and vomiting character of the media when dealing with ideas, your small, unremarkable thought will, for a while, be everywhere.

Liz and Neville Hodgkinson, both journalists, have been married for twenty-one years and have two teen-aged sons. Five years ago, led by Mrs Hodgkinson, they decided to recognise that they were terminally bored with each other in bed; to sleep apart, and to abstain temporarily from even the casual hugs and touchings of everyday life while they were getting physically clear of each other. The experiment became a settled way of life; both now report themselves happier, healthier, calmer, more mentally independent, and without either having taken a lover, each more open to richer and deeper friendships, while their own relationship flourishes in a new way. (‘More like brother and sister’, according to Mr Hodgkinson in a rather unwise newspaper interview of his own).

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