A male Drosophila melanogaster deposits many more sperm in a female's bursa copulatrix than are stored in her ventral receptacle or paired spermathecae soon after copula has ended. The remaining sperm are expelled by the female. These observations suggest a sexual conflict over the processes involved in sperm storage. We used genetically manipulated flies to study the role of the central nervous system in sperm storage. Flies with female bodies but masculinized nervous systems, or isolated female abdomens, stored significantly fewer sperm than did control females. Furthermore, compared with control flies, there were relatively more sperm in the ventral receptacle and relatively fewer in the spermathecae. These results suggest that the female nervous input counteracts the male's attempts to force sperm into the ventral receptacle during copula and promotes active transport of sperm to the spermathecae during and after copula. The female is clearly a very active partner in influencing processes involved in sperm competition, especially as only stored sperm can be used later to fertilize eggs. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show directly the involvement of the female nervous system in sperm storage.