From 1998 – 2004, female fans fervently followed the sexual exploits of 4 chic women in their 30’s on the HBO series ”Sex and the City” as if the characters were preaching a new single girl’s gospel.  And just eight years and two movie sequels later, single women and men from all walks of life have actually begun considering celibacy as their sexual (non)-practice of choice.


In her new book, Sex Free: A (not so) Modern Approach to Dating and Relationships, author Monique N. Matthews espouses the many virtues and, dare we say benefits, of abstaining from sexual intercourse. While much of modern society would argue that a commitment to abstinence is a dating deal-breaker, Matthews suggest that pledging to lead a sex-free lifestyle can actually help men and women “re-enter the world of physical intimacy refreshed, renewed and ready to take their lives and relationships to the next level.”

At the heart of Matthews argument is, interestingly, the notion that refraining from sex can actually be liberating and empowering.  In fact, Matthews says, becoming sex free should actually make you sexier.”   Her argument is that ”…humans have a tendency to want what we cannot have. We are drawn to others who are confident, open, loving, smart and physically attractive. We like people with goals, who are focused, who not only know what they want, but also pursue it. We also admire those who don’t

easily bend to pressure or let circumstances keep them down.  And, all these traits are apparent or further developed in anyone choosing to be sex free in today’s world.”

The idea that a woman may abstain from sex may not seem very revolutionary, but, refreshingly, Matthews begins her discussion by appealing to men and assuring them that, despite the many sexually-charged messages directed at them in the media, a voluntary sex sabbatical is both possible and pleasurable for them, too. In addition to citing examples, such as professional athletes, who may voluntarily refrain from sex in preparation for a major contest, the author cites examples when any man may choose to abstain.

“I’ve heard when you [men] have confessed that sometimes you didn’t even feel like having sex when your money wasn’t right. A great deal of you take the societal role of provider very seriously, and when you’re challenged in that area, you don’t want to do anything besides figure out how to get a job, attain more security in your career, and/or

brainstorm ways to build wealth, so you are never in such a financially vulnerable situation again.”

Repeatedly throughout the book, Matthews urges readers to “Rule your own ship” and, in the process, take control of our individual relational destinies. “Refuse to succumb

to peer pressure. Have sex on your own terms, in your own way, when it’s not just an activity others expect you to perform on cue.”

While far from being a religious treatise, Matthews illustrates examples from each of the world’s major religions – Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism – that tout the benefits and blessings believers may receive when they refrain from having sex outside a covenant or committed relationship.

A quick, easy and enjoyable read, Sex Free: A (not so) Modern Approach to Dating and Relationships offers an honest and unpretentious discussion of an increasingly popular relationship topic.  While it is blunt, it won’t make you blush.  And while the author’s ideas on the notion of abstinence are evident, overall, the book’s clear and sincere mission is for readers to look introspectively in hopes of promoting emotional health and loving, satisfying interpersonal relationships.

To purchase a copy of Sex Free: A (not so) Modern Approach to Dating and Relationships, please visit:


About the Author: Monique N. Matthews is a Los Angeles-based writer and director.  She has written for multiple film studios and production companies as well as received numerous accolades including Daily Variety’s “10 Writers to Watch” and Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 Filmmakers to Watch.”  She has directed several shorts and a nationally syndicated breast cancer awareness commercial.  Monique enjoys life and believes that one should always work as hard as she plays.


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