Sex is fun. Contraception… not so much. But it’s high time we start talking more about the latter because even today in our advanced, vajazzled, sexually explorative times there are literally women dying to have sex.
Choosing to use a contraceptive could well be the most important decision you make in your whole life. What other single decision can have an impact on your wallet, your freedom, your health, your identity, your smile or lack of in the morning, the sounds you make when… you get the picture.
And your weighty choice is big business. The global market value of contraception is billions of dollars and the pharmaceutical giants spend millions on advertising and millions on payouts; in or out of court. The advertising money is to make their pill-and-things sound fabulous, whilst the court money is to keep the thousands of women and their families quiet who have sued them for contraceptive related deaths or injuries.
Take the example of Bayer, the manufacturer of the best selling contraceptive pill in the US; Yaz. Bayer spent $270 million advertising Yaz as a contraceptive and lifestyle drug that was ‘Better than Birth Control’ for women who were suffering from all manner of PMS related symptoms.
The FDA decreed these adverts were misleading and ordered Bayer to run a corrective campaign that did not exaggerate the abilities of the drug.
Since then Bayer has settled more than 18,000 lawsuits that alleged its birth-control pills with drospirenone, Yaz and Yasmin, caused potentially life-threatening blood clots, gallbladder problems, heart attacks and strokes. By early 2016, Bayer signed off on $2 billion in settlements in the U.S., with more claims pending internationally. But Bayer’s net income is billions of dollars every year, so despite all this trouble the Big Bosses’ pockets will remain nicely stuffed.
Business is booming for the pharmaceutical giants whilst the General Public seems to be sorely missing out. Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise and in the US 1 in 4 women will have had an abortion by their 40’s. It’s time to talk about contraception.
we need to check our sources
It’s not surprising there is a lack of general knowledge; as most of our sources for information are one sided, ill equipped or misleading. Companies cannot be blamed for promoting their own products (such as pills, condoms or fertility apps) but of course the information we receive from them is biased, and doctors and nurses usually don’t have the time or resources to help you fully understand each option before asking you to pick one.
We should also remember that health professionals cannot remain totally free from personal and/or economic bias. Most of the information doctors receive about medications, including contraceptives, is from the companies themselves that manufacture them and they also receive payouts to prescribe certain products and reach particular prescribing targets. This is not to suggest that your friendly family Doc is a money grabbing snake with no concern for your wellbeing, but rather that they cannot be seen as the be-all and end-all for comprehensive contraceptive information. Of course we also get first hand accounts from our friends but as we all know this can have its pitfalls too.
Please note: That doesn’t normally happen
and consider our cultural hypocrisy
Everywhere you turn there is someone talking about the exciting act of rubbing their genitals against someone else’s… or at least posing in a way that suggests that’s what they want to be doing. Monogamy is going out of style and BDSM is in, social media demands we look sexy 24/7 and our pop culture is more intensely sexual than ever.
But where’s the contraception?
I don’t see The Weeknd pushing any prams after he got fucked up and made all those booty calls at half past five… Our culture seems to suggest that we can all be at it, all of the time, with who ever we want, whenever we want, without anyone making any sacrifices anywhere along the way.
Many women are in a situation where they are told to take drugs so that they can have loads of great sex… but warned that those same drugs might make them totally disinterested in the sex… Does that sound like plain lunacy to anyone else?
it’s time to get to know
It’s easy to point the finger at societal pressures, faceless corporations or failing institutions and blame them for our troubles, but at some point we need to take more individual responsibility for all the sexually aroused mayhem we are creating in our own lives.
Speaking of ball sacks… at the moment the contraceptive burdens are falling far too heavily on the shoulders of women. There are more male-only contraceptive options that may become available over the next few years, but in the meantime men still need to be involved.
Besides the fact that most men care immensely about the welfare of the women they are fucking, it’s in your best interest to stay informed regardless. Wouldn’t you be keen to know that if your partner starts taking the pill her sex drive could change? (and she might begin to edge away from your optimistic advances)… Or that if you helped keep your lady’s fertility app up to date you could care-freely cum inside her for most of the month?
Good contraceptive knowledge is good for Every Body.
I don’t see The Weeknd pushing any prams after he got fucked up and made all those booty calls at half past five. Image cc: GQ Magazine
what is the first step?
Acceptance. The first step to improving The Situation is to acknowledge that guarantee-babyfree p-in-v sex requires some form of sacrifice. Then you can contemplate which kind of sacrifice you or your partner would prefer. There are three different sacrificial categories to choose from:
THE DRUG DEN ie hormonal contraceptives:
The combined pill, POP pill, IUS coil, patch, implant, ring, injection, morning after pill, and copper coil (which contains no synthetic hormones but can have similar effects).
The sacrifice: the strain on your emotional and physical health, day in and day out.
TRICKY, STICKY AND DICKY ie barrier methods:
The condom, female condom, withdrawal, sponge, diaphragm, spermicide and cap.
The sacrifice: reduced elements of sensation and/or spontaneity each time you have sex.
THE MISUNDERSTOOD ONE ie fertility tracking.
There are different methods you can use to figure out which days you are infertile each month.
The sacrifice: the time spent every day on monitoring and recording the signs from your body.
so which would you prefer to compromise on: health, sensation or time?
Irrespective of how you intend to slaughter your goat (your sacrifice) you need to know you’re not going to get pregnant, and that your pleasure won’t be hampered.