Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This Entry Rated P for Personal

One of the wonderful things about meeting someone and building a relationship is in learning about them. When you add the sexually active caveat to this it means exploration and discovery. But with getting to know someone this means that adjustments must be made. No one's body is the same. No one's desires are the same. No one's body rhythms and cycles are exactly similar. A certain amount of on-the-job training should be expected and when minor oversights happen, they should be taken stock of and not repeated, whenever possible.

When I embraced activism, with that also came a tremendous embrace of contraception. I was schooled about multiple forms and methods by people who believed that education alone could solve the world's overpopulation problem and sexually transmitted disease crisis. My Father had been on the board of Planned Parenthood for a while when I was in my childhood and although he was good about explaining and educating me on the particulars of the act itself (and early enough that I wasn't confused by playground misinformation), he was not nearly as didactic as some I would come across later in my teens and early twenties. His advice took a kind of folk wisdom format, while others I encountered acted like birth control education was their own private college class.

I think we've all had some minor pregnancy scares from time to time, except, of course for those of you who are not heterosexual. Feel fortunate, because as non-breeders, you have one less major headache with which to contend. Had the worst case scenario transpired, I know enough to have told my girlfriend immediately and gone directly to the drug store to buy Plan B. As it was, simply forgetting I wasn't wearing a condom for all of fifteen seconds counts as one of the more mild indiscretions. Yes, I probably should have told her, but I had no intention of worrying her silly for no good reason after what had been an already stressful day, since the poor girl is now the target of constant snippy verbal attacks by a prudish roommate whose conservative Catholicism likely coupled with sour grapes makes her inclined to engage in hit-and-run skirmishes of cattiness and passive-aggression. Thankfully for the both of us, recent events have told me that I have nothing to worry about regarding pregnancy this time. All I can do now is vow to be much more mindful in the future.

Still, I've gotten some criticism for this. While in conversation, a female friend of mine felt it necessary to rip me apart for my perfidy, tacitly accusing me of being the typical irresponsible male. I took offense to this characterization because I can't stress enough how I never wanted to be the typical boorish male cultural stereotype. While I make great pains to keep this my blog my public face, I post this rather personal anecdote for two purposes: one, to keep myself honest for making a mistake and vowing to not repeating it again. two, to point out that while we are often quick to condemn those who contribute to unwanted pregnancies through their own carelessness, sometimes even being 95% cautious isn't sufficient in and of itself. There is always a risk of pregnancy each and every time we engage in intercourse (unless, of course, surgery or menopause has rendered this next-to impossible) and even an obsessive preoccupation with contraception can't remove all the risk. Intercourse is designed to create babies. That was how God designed it.

I criticized Bristol Palin on this blog a week ago, but mostly to point out the folly of believing that not having sex is any sensible solution and also to criticize the belief that abortion ought not to be an available option. Lest I get too high and mighty, I know that biology has a way of making hypocrites of each of us, and I keep that in mind, too.


Liberality said...

being honest and mindful are the best antidotes and you have both.

Gail said...

Hi Kevin-

You are SO aware of yourself - your intent always speak to a purity even if you have, like all of us, made a mistake.

I, in my younger days have had a pregnancy scare or two...... and you are right, it is always a risk despite the best precautions.

Enjoy your body and hers.....

Love Gail

Utah Savage said...

I can only echo what these other women have said to you. Protect and enjoy.

PENolan said...

I am one of those females that does well on The Pill so that I stay on it whether I'm active or not. No zits. Periods last 20 minutes. No PMS. Consequently, I've only been pregnant once in my life and the result was Velvet. Also consequently, I'm not always as conscientious as I should be about Safe Sex and STD's. Irresponsibility abounds - not only among typical males but also among typical bimbos. You are neither.

And any time you think you might want to procreate - come spend a few days with Velvet. That'll make you wait until you're as ready as you'll ever be.

You're starting to get pretty old, though, Comrade ;)

Hypnagogia said...

Sigh. It seems as though you're still not quite getting my point. I was not accusing you of being a "typically irresponsible male." I'm perfectly aware that things happen and that even when using contraception, we are not entirely safe.

I'll say it again: I take issue with the fact that you did not tell her until well, well after the fact. Not wanting to upset someone is not an acceptable reason for keeping that to yourself, especially when you have no problem saying to the whole world that the risk was so small. You should have been able to say that to your partner first. I'm not bothered by your moment of "irresponsibility," but by your lack of consideration for your partner's right to know about it.