..Setting The Stage
You're a reasonably
cool, caring, responsible guy, but don't quite see yourself as
Father of the Year material -- at least, not for a while yet,
anyway. And probably not nine months from now, either. No problem
-- just don't have sex.
Impractical? No fun?
better be using a reliable method of birth control.
(gasp!) that birth control is something you need to think about.
Not only that, it's something you need to think about before
you really need to think about it.
thinking too late is as bad (or as useless) as not thinking at
all. And remembering after the fact that women get pregnant when
birth control gets forgotten is a perfect example of useless
So read on.
In this pamphlet, we'll talk about some of the main methods you
might want to try if you want to be responsible about your love-making.
That way, you
can make sure that sex begins and ends a pleasure for exactly
as long as you want it to.
..'Voodoo' Birth Control
Men have been
trying to prevent conception almost as long as women have been
trying to prevent conception.
we thought fertility had to do with the mood swings of the local
gods, and did almost everything we could think of to appease
the Big Guys up there who supposedly made pregnancies come and
things are a lot more -- well, scientific, today.
Still, a lot
of guys continue to approach sex as a sort of voodoo -- where
you get lucky by using a little charm and repeating a few magic
Then (if you
do get lucky) you get to keep your fingers crossed until the
end of the month when you find out just how fortunate you really
way of doing it.
or not, that method leaves an awful lot to chance -- much more
than most guys (and almost all girls) would like.
If you're thinking
there has to be a better way, you're right. There is -- there
are several, in fact.
..'Safe Sex' & Withdrawal
So what alternatives
are there? Well, there's always the "safe sex" option,
where all you have to say "no" to is the actual act
Safe sex can
include everything from massage to mutual masturbation, and has
gotten a lot of publicity lately as an effective way to protect
yourself against HIV infection.
We're not going
to knock safe sex, because it is a foolproof approach to pregnancy
prevention -- and it helps control AIDS in the bargain.
But since new-fangled
non-intercourse intercourse can easily lead to old-fashioned
intercourse intercourse, it's probably wise to be knowledgeable
about other forms of birth control.
Well, let's begin with the oldest form of male birth control:
means just what it says -- withdrawing the penis from the vagina
just before the moment of truth and the instant of ejaculation.
it sounds good (since it's impossible to fertilize an egg without
sperm), but in practice it's another story.
For one thing,
withdrawal is hard to do. For another, it's easy to forget to
pull out at the last moment.
It's also practically
impossible to be sure that no sperm are released inside your
lady's vagina if your penis is in there. Sperm cells are awfully
tiny -- and awfully tricky -- and some may be able to find their
way to the Promised Land even before you feel yourself ejaculate.
For this reason,
withdrawal should only be considered a feeble, last-ditch, probably-doomed
attempt at contraception. And then it should be employed only
if nothing else is available -- and only if you're willing to
risk a lifetime tour of duty as an unprepared dad as a trade-off
for a couple of minutes of sexual gratification.
are more reliable methods that require only a little more premeditation.
for example. They're one of the oldest and simplest measures
When used correctly,
condoms are more than 95 percent effective, without the side
effects often associated with other forms of birth control, like
the pill or IUD.
also provide protection against AIDS and other sexually-transmitted
diseases, which is reason enough for most people today.
on a condom may seem pretty obvious, you should put it on only
after the penis is hard, and before it gets near the female genital
There are a
couple of other things you ought to keep in mind when it comes
to the gentlemanly art of dressing in a condom:
- As you roll the condom on, leave
a little extra space at the tip. This helps prevent a too-tight
fit and leakage when you come.
- Never use Vaseline or an oil-based
lubricant with a latex condom. Oils can make the rubber stretch
- After ejaculation, grasp the
condom at the base of your penis and pull out from the female.
- For more protection, use a contraceptive
foam along with a condom for nearly 100-percent effectiveness.
that a new condom must be used with each act of intercourse.
and effectiveness make condoms an attractive birth control option
-- and anything that stops AIDS and other sexually-transmitted
diseases is looking better all the time.
guys resist, thinking that wearing a condom isn't "macho,"
or that it interferes with spontaneity.
people who don't use them-or who don't use them right) say that
condoms decrease sensitivity.
can overcome the interruption by making the use of a condom part
of the sex act itself, and guys can overcome most of the desensitizing
effects by using pre-lubricated condoms and by carefully squeezing
out any air when putting on the condom.
condoms (skins) can also be used for greater sensitivity, although
they don't offer the same degree of protection as latex or polyurethane
condoms against HIV.
If a vasectomy
isn't for you, and you won't use a condom, there's still a way
to be responsible in the area of birth control -- and, in the
eyes of your chosen, an all-around Swell Guy to boot.
that your partner is using a reliable method of birth control.
If you're not
sure, ask her. And if neither of you is sure which method is
best for both of you, educate yourselves now.
local Planned Parenthood center or health clinic to find out
what you need to know about other contraceptive options.
you choose a method that's right for you, use it every time.
Because the one time you forget to think about contraception
can be the one time that's necessary to create a pregnancy you
don't want or need.
..The 'Voodoo' That You Do
If you choose
a method that's "her responsibility," and if you don't
want your girlfriend or lover to quickly become your wife and
the mother of your child (or at least become your ex-girlfriend
or ex-lover), remember to remind her to put in her diaphragm
or take her birth control pills.
If you don't
have a full-time girlfriend or lover and you're sexually active,
keep a supply of condoms around, just in case.
fact of the matter is that making babies is the easy part of
The tough part
is making life worthwhile -- for yourself and the people you're
committed to, including the children you father if you're not
responsible about your sexuality.
life harder for the people you love. Be responsible about sex.
Because making babies doesn't make you a man.
makes you a man.
..Sidebar | Vasectomy:
Cutting The Odds (Permanently)
In a stable
relationship and don't like the idea of condoms? There are always
is a minor 20- to 30-minute surgical operation which can be performed
in a doctor's office or clinic under local anesthetic.
a vasectomy, a physician makes two small incisions in the scrotum
and cuts the vas deferens (the tiny tubes which carries sperm
from the testicles to the prostate gland).
prevents sperm from mixing with a) seminal fluid and b) egg cells
manufactured inside your wife, lover, or girlfriend.
effective and legal" by the American Medical Association,
vasectomies are a reliable method of contraception which don't
affect spontaneity or sensitivity. Still, there are drawbacks.
have been exceptions, the operation is still considered irreversible.
That means that a decision to have a vasectomy should be preceded
by a lot of soul-searching and plenty of careful thought.
If you haven't
yet fathered children or if you're otherwise unsure about the
permanency of a vasectomy, you probably shouldn't have one.
And if you're
sexually active, you should keep in mind that a vasectomy doesn't
offer a bit of protection against HIV and other sexually-transmitted