Fertility awareness methods

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Fertility Awareness Methods are Hotter and Healthier than Hormonal BC | Holly Grigg-Spall

The birth control pill is a leading cause of lowered sexual desire and pelvic pain. It’s also known to cause loss of lubrication, vaginitis, and vulvodynia….[more on this on her full post; link below]

[Yet] a sex-positive attitude is becoming synonymous with “set it and forget it” long acting hormonal methods of contraception. But it struck me that sex-positive advocates should be the biggest fans of fertility awareness methods. Here’s why:

• The love of barrier methods. Never have I seen such all-out enthusiasm for condoms, nor such in-depth knowledge of brands, styles and types. Did you know that you can get them in black and that that’s sexy, not creepy? If you practice fertility awareness then barrier use only during your fertile phase has been shown to be 98.2% effective at preventing pregnancy. If you choose to use a condom every time you have sex then add spermicide and fertility awareness and you have a highly effective form of birth control. If you’re single or a swinger or just want to use condoms all the time then doubling-up with hormonal birth control is overkill that could be doing your health and well-being harm in the long term.

• Libido peaks at ovulation. If sex-positive becomes synonymous with long-acting hormonal methods like Mirena and Implanon then women will be forgoing the time of the month when they most want to have sex. Suggesting women avoid sex during their fertile time could be considered cruel and unrealistic – however having a good reason to skirt “penis in vagina” sex in favor of another kind might not be so bad. Being sex-positive is about exploring your sexuality and not adhering to mainstream models – fertility awareness demands you think outside of the box (pardon the pun) once a month. Knowing about your cycle’s peaks and troughs also allows you to understand you don’t have to be “on” all the time. If you don’t feel like having sex one week, there’s no need to dash to buy out the Pleasure Chest to rectify the situation.

• Looking for worry–free, no-strings, uninterrupted sex? Then what’s more confidence-boosting and anxiety-relieving than knowing for sure because your own body tells you so that you’re definitely not fertile and can not get pregnant? Sure, you can get this reassurance with Mirena or Implanon – but you might also get the side effects of depression, anxiety, and low libido so that would defeat the purpose. You can choose to have the sex with your date on the day you know you’ll only need to worry about whether to call him three days or five days later.

• Using hormonal contraceptives messes with our instincts when it comes to physical attraction. It makes sense if you think that all of our five senses are meddled with when we stop the body’s hormone cycle like sense of smell and acuity of touch. It’s not very sex-positive to disregard these biological signals that provoke our physical response to our partner. Attraction isn’t just about pheromones but they do play their part.

• Being sex-positive should be about more than knowing what gets you off. Body literacy through cycle awareness can help you keep healthy physically and emotionally. Good sex doesn’t occur in a vacuum. If you feel good (and you don’t have a deadline, the dishes are done, and your cell phone stops ringing…) then having good sex will come easier (again, pardon the pun). If being sex-positive is about respecting your body and feeling no shame, then why shut down your body’s integral hormone cycle?

• If your’re sex-positive why would you want to submit to the pharmaceutical and medical industry when it not only thinks that it’s okay to make contraceptives for women that kill libido (and won’t make contraceptives for men for the very same reason) but also can’t wait to diagnose women with “sexual dysfunctions” in order to create a market for a female Viagra – as illustrated in the great documentary ‘Orgasm Inc.’?

Read more from this *excellent post* from Holly Grigg-Spall, author of the upcoming book Sweetening the Pill: How We Got Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control

Art: “Blue Clitoris” by Lauren Cleaver

☾ Katharine Krueger ~ Occupy Menstruation
Consultant, trainer and guide,
Girls’ Empowerment and Coming of Age http://JoYW.org/

My new website is *so* close to completion, or at least the basic framework. I am sooo happy. It will still be at http://JoYW.org/. Eventually there will be tons of resources including links to articles, FB pages and groups offering menstrual-and-womb positive ideas and services, and all things Red Tent-y. Altho really I ought to coordinate with all the Red Tent Movement people including The Red Web Foundation on that. Plus I want to include info about all the Girl Empowerment and Coming of Age for Girls groups around the World. And I am very excited to be able to offer my own “Moms and Mentors Training for Circling with Girls” as well as “Intentional Parent Workshops” which hopefully will be live video conferences so we can really connect. And I hope to create plenty of space for people to express themselves, ask questions, share stories, etc. And for menstrual mavens and Red Tent activists and FAM educators to write articles and/or lead online workshops. You can visit the old page http://JoYW.org/ to request to be added to the e-list.

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