I’ve gone to a doctor for emergency contraception three times. Every experience has been different. The first two instances occurred years apart; the second and third happened within months of each other. I’ve gone whilst in monogamous relationships, and after casual sex. I’ve gone to a doctor’s office, an emergency room, and Planned Parenthood. Only one thing remained the same: I was never ready to get pregnant.
EC, for those not in the know, is a blanket term for a variety of medications that change your body’s chemistry to reduce your chances of getting pregnant. Plan B is the most popular, and it’s wonderful for many reasons. Yet, with the exception of the occasions on which various looney-pantsed individuals have pitched a fit about its legality (because we all know that unwed mothers are sacred to the right wing), very few people talk about it.
Because I think this is lame, and because I enjoy sharing a bit too much about my body, I’ve decided to give a run-down of my EC experiences. I’ve split it into two parts: The Problem, in which I almost get pregnant, and The Cure, in which I don’t.
EC, TAKE I:
It’s Halloween. I’m a freshman. My very first boyfriend ever (score!) escorts me to various parties, at which he drinks a variety of beverages from plastic garbage cans, dances with alarming enthusiasm, and repeats, frequently, that he is “wasted.”
I spend the night feeling guilty about the fact that I don’t find VFBE attractive. I alleviate this guilt by engaging him in highly inept post-party sexing. He’s in and finished before I have time to point out that he’s not wearing a condom.
In the morning, I tell him about this new “morning after” pill I’ve been hearing about. I ask him if he knows how to find a clinic, and whether he could give me a ride.
“Yeah. I guess so. I mean, if you have to make a big deal out of it,” says the VFBE.
Ladies, gentlemen: meet my Very First Ex-Boyfriend Ever.
It’s December, several years later. I’ve met a boy through a new-fangled contraption called “Facebook.” This has evolved, somewhat awkwardly, into a date. I find myself at a bar, listening to this boy tell me about his kitchen equipment. He makes his own sausage! I find this charming.
I spend the night feeling guilty about the fact that I want to sleep with Facebook Dude right away. When he goes to the bathroom, I send my friends texts like this: “UNGODLY HANDSOME. IS NINE FEET TALL. HELP MEEEEEEEE.” I alleviate this guilt by sleeping with him immediately. (Score!) The condom breaks.
We have an immediate conversation about EC. Facebook Dude brings up the subject before I do, thus earning my lasting respect. He also asks me if I’m okay, listens to my answer, and treats me like a person rather than a problem, thereby breaking every single rule in the patented Maxim Guide to One-Night Stands. In the morning, he buys me breakfast.
As I walk to the train, I realize that (a) Facebook Dude is a gentleman, and (b) I fully expect him to avoid me for the rest of his life.
It’s April. Same year – and, despite all reason, the same boy. Once again, he’s flouted the Maxim Guide to Fearing Women by remaining interested in a girl after having sex with her on the first date. I even know his name! Also, we have lots of lovely, mutually respectful, filthy sex. It’s aces.
During one instance of this sex (it’s filthy!), the condom breaks. Again.
Facebook Dude is, of course, kind and helpful. Seriously, I’m starting to think that he hasn’t even read the Maxim Guide to Being So Confined by Gender Roles that You Never Grow Up or Become Capable of Relating to Another Human Being. How will he ever fit in at sports bars?
I, on the other hand, am considering a lawsuit against the Trojan corporation. After a brief spate of swearing at the walls and doing every unhealthy thing that I can think of (smoking a cigarette while drinking coffee and eating fast food, then chasing it with whiskey), I realize that it’s time to suck it up and go, once more, to the doctor.
It takes two to tango. It also, coincidentally, takes two to fertilize your eggs. Your dude is just as responsible as you are for ensuring that you stay un-pregnant, which means that, unlike my sorry-ass freshman self, you should insist on protection at all times.
That said: protection can fail. If you two find yourselves up a creek, it behooves the gentleman to start paddling. If your partner, at any point, gives you the impression that this situation is not his problem, get away from him. Fast. Warn your friends. He’s not remotely mature enough to be having sex, let alone to be dealing with its consequences. These are the dudes whose dicks get all mysteriously bumpy by senior year. Trust me.
In conclusion: sex is great. Careless, stupid sex – not so much. So be prepared. You never know when things are going to go south.
Next Up: The Cure, in which I take some pills, yell at some mean ladies, and throw up a little. Good times.