I'd really like it if we could have a sustained dialogue in this forum about birth control. I've created a post on the topic including partner-based birth control and nonhormonal male birth control methods, both of which you can view here: http://www.reuniting.info/node/691.
I have confidence in the partner-based birth control method outlined there, but do realize its one major limitation: if the partner does not believe it will be effective, chances are, it won't be. Since I am unwilling to use hormonal methods of birth control and find that condoms decrease my enjoyment of sex because of the increased, faster pace of sex that is required for the man to keep sensation, I don't see them as an option either.
I bring this up because I just received this letter from my lover (I hope he doesn't mind me posting it here):
"I find you more attractive, dynamic, lovely, creative, articulate, fun, spontaneous with every spending of time together and find our lovemaking to be exquisite, delicious...
but without a condom is where our lovemaking is heading and you said that a man would have integrity to control where his semen is deposited, when I find that I surely would deposit semen in our lovemaking, which then means that a man with integrity would be willing to deal with the consequences of pregnancy, and I cannot do that...
i cannot operate on the presumption of success of the suggested birth-control method, given that I am fully unable to meet the requirements inherent in the potential failure of that method... and thus the only way to provide and show you real integrity on my part is to not allow us to be in that potential position....
It is still for me only a few short steps to return to the debilitated state [fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder] that risks loss of job, home, life, love and this is not what you should base your potential parental partnership upon, at least not in the next few years, and not what I should be risking either...
Thus, I am coldly, sadly sobered to realize that to risk my future by accepting what could be a child that you would choose to keep,
this is not something that I am prepared to undertake with you or anyone else at this time...."
First of all I am amazed to have met a man who takes his own sperm so seriously. I wish all men did, eventhough it is now leaving me without a lover. The situation is compounded by his fibromyalgia, which ironically enough is what has made him such a sensitive and caring human being.
My reply to him: "The basic incompatibility that I see is that you do not actually believe that what I am proposing is a birth control method at all, only an invitation to unwanted fatherhood. You fear the method as faulty, which I guess is good, since you do release more preejaculate than other men I have been with. I respect you for owning up to your fear and admitting it rather than going along with a method you think is shoddy at best. Thats the whole point of partner-based birth control - both people have to be on the same page about it, or it doesn't work. So I appreciate that you are saying you cannot practice this form of birth control with me, and that you know you do not want to be a father. Bravo for your bravery in such honesty. I very much respect you for it.
You say you just left a relationship that asked less of you than ours would in potential parental responsibility because your former partner was not interested in kids and was on the pill. While the pill is a generally safe method, I do have friends who have gotten pregnant on it, so you are not really ever safe form that danger. And if you are more safe, it is because you are relying on the woman to provide the safety for you, and making her pay for the safety in ways that to me are really questionable. I guess I could say I wish you luck in finding another woman who's willing to do that with you, but I wish you this luck with sadness. Integrity is often easier to keep when the other is doing all the work."
I am fine with the fact that this relationship is not moving forward. At least we have separated in a loving, mutually respectful way. BUT, this issue of birth control will not go away when he does.
I'd like to call on men to have a deep dialogue with women about how we can share a tender intimacy and sexuality without suffocating forms of birth control and without constant fear of pregnancy. Anyone have a sucessful partnership that includes these elements? I know it is possible, because I have experienced it. But the method I have used is not available to someone who basically mistrusts it. Which is why him and I are unable to move forward, despite lots of affectionate oxytocin-building exchanges and the beginnings of sucess in norgasmic lovemaking.