Birth control issue keeps coming up

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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.

Comments

norgasmic lovemaking

Hey I just saw that typo "norgasmic" lovemaking in my post. Maybe this is a good description for those of us who are trying to have nonorgasmic sex, but the orgasm slips in before the non-part can get a good hold (smile).

Hmmmm....

I understand your annoyance. It's easy to assume that if he were in complete integrity he could promise to ejaculate outside you should such an event become necessary, and stick to it. However, I also understand his concern. It sounds like he is convinced he isn't fatherhood material for the time being, and is willing to back his views up with action. *sound of applause*

All things considered, my thought is that couples shouldn't let biology separate them...even if it's fear of biology.

A big tenet of a healing approach to lovemaking is to make each other feel safe. Clearly, fear of fatherhood is a big issue for him, which is very wise. Although you may be equally clear that you do not want a child at this time, your mind will likely change in a flash should sperm meet egg. This is not because you lack integrity, but because pregnancy hormones are real mind-benders, too. (For more on mind-benders: "Mind-benders: When 'Natural' Is Risky" http://www.reuniting.info/science/natural_reinforcers_sex_food_mind_bend...)

So, if he were my sweetheart, I would, temporarily, compromise my position, and resign myself to a diaphragm - or something similar, whether for male or female - so that erections coming and going, as they do with this approach to lovemaking, wouldn't be an issue.

I would tell him it's a temporary compromise made because your mutual connection is precious to you, and you want it to be as fear-free as possible so you can discover its full potential. And that you hope he will look at the issue with you again in the future. I would also make it clear to him that you assume his issue is possible sperm in his pre-ejaculate, and that birth control is not a license to ejaculate at will. Smile I'd tell him that his integrity in that department is as important to you as your willingness to compromise on the issue of birth control is to him.

Just for the record, although one sperm fertilizes an egg, it takes a team of sperm to create an opening in the ovum. This is why pre-ejaculate usually can't get the job done...especially if the man isn't ejaculating frequently. What is his position on ejaculation? Is he willing to try rechanneling his sexual energy, or is he going to continue to do-it-himself on the side?

I hope you haven't given up completely already. Smile

Anyone else?

Could you point me in the

Could you point me in the direction of the research that says it pre-ejaculate can't usually get the job done in terms of creating an opening in the ovum? How man sperm, exactly, constitutes a "team"? Oh, just a few hundred or so?

I guess I need to do more research. I did propose to him that rather than getting a vasectomy, he should buy me a microscope as part of his half of his birth control contribution. Maybe I'll start looking around in pawn shops. I'd like to see this for myself.

Here you go

Concise Human Physiology
By Mohamed Yousif Sukker, H. A. El-Munshid
http://books.google.com/books?id=wTGebhQ0H5gC&pg=PA297&lpg=PA297&dq=numb...

p. 297: "A large number or sperms attach themselves to the outer layer of the ovum. The acrosome enzymes from this large number are needed for breaking down the outer layers. The acrosome reaction results in the release of the enzyme acrosin, which is required for penetration of the zona pellucida [of the egg]."

In a normal ejaculation, out of 200 million sperm, only 200 make it to the egg.

Hope that helps. Of course, it doesn't say pre-ejaculate can't get the job done, just that it takes a lot of the little critters to blaze a trail. Again, if someone is not ejaculating frequently, the motility of his sperm is less. And since there are fewer sperm in pre-ejaculate than semen, the two factors combine to reduce the risk of pregnancy.

I'm not one for taking chances in this department, by the way. I'm just giving you the reasons why I was willing to skip contraceptives...and why I suspect I never became pregnant while making love this way.

I'm with him...

...listening to this conversation, I have to say I am with him on this one. I'm hearing all the non-orgasmic benefits with the chemistry of the brain, addictive need for dopamine, etc. That all makes sense. But somehow believing that by you both agreeing not to have children and trusting each other, you won't get pregnant. That's a pipe dream (sorry.)
I know you have had success with it Marnia and I hear what you are saying about needing a "team of sperm" to get the job done. I also agree there are less sperm in pre-ejac, especially if there is no ejaculation going on 'on the side.' A clean pipe is less likely to have sperm hiding in it I agree. But...
There is just no way I would trust that to work all the time. Most ejaculations in the vagina do not result in pregnancy even without contraception. However, it only takes one. My wife and I had our kids the only 2 times we ever had sex without contraception (I have gotten the snip so it is not an issue now.)
I think your man is right. He might still ejaculate - you are just to alluring to him to not have a slip up every now and again, especially as you are just starting out. He can not guarantee he will pull out in time, and even if he thinks he does, before the contractions of an orgasm, there can be sperm in the fluid so it may already be there if he is on the verge.
Anyway, I understand there is science to say it is less likely if there is no ejaculation going on "on or off the field" - but I would not risk it if I was not ready to accept being a father.
Maybe you should go with Marnia's suggestion. With this guy or another guy, it is going to be the same issue. Even if you believe there can be non-contraceptive device/hormone contraception, you can't believe that a new lover would be able to commit to the possibility of fatherhood (as slight as that possibility may be.) You really don't want to be with someone who says they would either this early in a relationship.
I'm rambling now, but I don't think you are being safe and I agree with your man.

Thanks for responding. I

Thanks for responding. I was wondering if any guys would pitch in on the discussion . . .

I am mistrustful of the diaphragm, having seen too many friends of mine get pregnant on it.

I am very grateful that my lover has been able to be this honest, and I think it is best if we don't continue seeing eachother. Underneath this conversation of birth control is a question of compatibility with what we see in our life, what we want for our life. I do see children as a part of my future and what I hope to share as an expression of love and partnership with the right person. He, because he is somewhat disabled, has less of a guarantee than other men that he would be able to fulfill that role, even if he wanted to. And since his father ditched his mother ten weeks after she had given birth to him, he may be particularly aware of his desire NOT to do that to someone.

The final point is, I think, that we would all like guarantees, but there actually are none. We would all like the perfectly controlled situation in which every ideal element is in place with our lover or with our financial situations or with our emotional compatibility, but there just rarely is a time when security is ever guaranteed. That's not to say people shouldn't be sensible, or that some situations aren't more compatible or secure than others.

Basically, him and I are at different stages in life with what we want. I certainly DON'T want children just for the sake of having them, I do NOT have any desire to be a single mother, and I do NOT want to lure anyone unwillingly into fatherhood. That said, what exactly are my options for enjoying a sex life? As a woman, I know that I am NEVER guaranteed that I will not get pregnant. I've seen every form of birth control fail. And the payment for a little more psychological security in exchange for homonal insanity and loss of interest in sex just is not worth it to me. So . . . this puts the question of responsibility on the shoulders of BOTH people. And so far, the birth control method I am proposing is the only one that acknowledges that fertiliziation is a mutual act with mutual responsibility.

I'm not sure if you read my post on nonhormonal birth control or not. It IS a risky method, because you are relying on how in tune you are with your body, how well you communicate as a couple, how diligent you are with changing ph balance. So it is as risky as you are in tune. Tune out, and the risk goes up. Tune in, and it goes down. Obviously this is not a method for everybody. BUT since I have experienced more freedom, joy, security, and relief from a sense of mutually shared responsibility, and because I have practiced this method for three years sucessfully and have other friends who have also done so, I am inclined to say I don't see any other better option. The key part of the effectiveness of the method is doing it with the right peson. The man I have been dating is so paralyzed with fear that he is not a good candidate for the method. And I don't say this nonchalantly, as though fear is only foolishness. I know personally that the potential for pregnancy is very real, and I have lived with that fear for much of my life. It is not in any way foreign to me. But I have also been relived of that fear through this method. And I can say that practicing partner-based birth control is the single most important factor that I can point to in terms of my sexual liberation and growth over the years.

So if women are not very orgasmic in this culture, and end up in relationships in which they are disinterested in sex, I would propose that this has very little to do with the "true nature" of women, and more to do with the grabbing and objectifying of women that has gone on to such an extreme degree, coupled with the very real fact that men have simply not shouldered much responsibility at all in regards to birth control. And in a way, they simply CAN't share all the burden, because psychologically, being the receptacle is . . . really pretty intense. Until men start taking more responsibility in this area, I don't see sexual relations improving much.

Where to begin?

Not really sure how to respond to that.
You are certainly entitled to your form of birth control and to a good sex life. I hope you find someone willing to do this with you. It sounds to me like a deep level of trust and understanding needs to be had before a couple can commit to this. I'm not sure how long you are willing to wait with a guy before becoming sexual with him.
I did read what you said about pH etc. I understand it. I get that it can work with two committed, trusting partners. I hope you find that person. I just wonder if you will "know" you have found him and he is on board, before you are ready to begin this birth control. It would be horrible to think you have and then find out he was not on board.

As for who is responsible for birth control etc. I sense a lot of frustration and even anger at men for not bearing equal responsibility. You are right, as the "receptacle (horrible way to word that by the way), you ultimately have to be in control. If you are not, and he is not, you can not get any satisfaction through blame - you are ultimately going to have the child or not. So the responsibility, right or wrong, is with you. You can work to share that with a man and a committed trusting partner will do that. But until you are at that level, you have to take that control/responsibility.

So as I see it, you can either abstain, or use condoms, diaphrams, hormones, etc to lessen the risk (you can still do pH etc along with these I might add) The "drug cabinet" of birth control does not have to be forever, but personally, I would not skip that step. Men are not to be trusted! Just kidding. But in a forming relationship, unless you have a lifelong, long term commitment that would be responsible for child rearing, then I don't see how you can skip that step.

As a man I might add, I am responsible for birth control too. Just as your lover was expressing his responsibility. He was being responsible for birth control, it was just different than yours so your anger/frustration in having to do it all is misplaced (unless I am reading it wrong.) He was saying, I don't know enough about or don't trust this partner-based birth control (maybe he would get there eventually) and since I don't trust it, I have a choice - I can abstain or we can use something I trust/understand (hormones, condoms etc.) You are not willing to do either of his choices (abstain or the condoms, hormones etc) so there it ends. Don't miss the fact that he as a man was being as responsible for birth control as you were.

OK. I'm going to stop. I don't want to get you upset, just want to honestly reflect a response from a male perspective.

Men often get shut out of birth/sex related decisions and don't like their lack of control. When they do try to control/suggest/input, they are often pushed away so that is another layer of sex stress in our society or maybe in nature. Men can create babies through sex, however, women get to choose to keep the child or abort the child - so if you want to talk about responsibility, lack of, control, birth control input etc - this is a source of stress/frustration for both men and women.

No really. I'm stopping now!

Damn. one more thought. [quote] So if women are not very orgasmic in this culture, and end up in relationships in which they are disinterested in sex, I would propose that this has very little to do with the "true nature" of women, and more to do with the grabbing and objectifying of women that has gone on to such an extreme degree, coupled with the very real fact that men have simply not shouldered much responsibility at all in regards to birth control. [/quote]
How do you propose men "shoulder" more responsibility in all regards of birth control? I'd love to know how men can do that more. Maybe an answer would help lower that stress for both men and women.

For real. I'm stopping now.

One of the gifts of experimenting

with controlled intercourse is that men begin to shoulder more responsibility - because they feel less depleted and anxious. They do it naturally, without any discussions. What's more, they like being responsible and dependable and adored for those qualities.

What I'm talking about has to be seen to be believed. As recounted in my book, the first time a lover and I consciously made love without orgasm, he awakened the next morning and, for the first time, said, "I think I'd like to mow your yard today." My eyes bugged out! I had a small yard and an easy-to-use mower, but he had never volunteered his services for anything like that before. At all. He had always just scuttled off as quickly as possible. *chuckle*

I honestly think that men really are/have glorious yang energy and yang manifestation skills, that are extremely comforting to have in our lives. Furthermore, I think they're much, much happier when they're expressing those qualities. I believe this because they have told me so as they gain control over their sexual energy and begin channeling it upward. Unfortunately, most men just haven't understood that between the porn industry/mainstream sex hype and our "femme fatale" draining lovemaking 'skills,' they are truly not feeling like themselves...despite their many orgasms. And the older they get, the more this hidden problem kicks their butts.

My point, of course, is that if we want to see their princely selves, we have to become part of the solution. It may prove even more important to everyone's happiness than trying to reach a meeting of the minds on seemingly impossible deadlocks like birth control. In my view, two partners brimming with energy often find inspired solutions where none previously existed. There's more trust, more creativity, and more willingness present...and that means more solutions to life's challenges.

That's why men and women

That's why men and women need to have dialogue about these issues and really face them head-on, despite, in-spite of, and amidst the stress the issue raises.

I can't agree with you more that the man I've been dating has been a real "man" through his acts of responsibility. I don't think that I ever said I was angry with him for it. I think I've expressed my respect for him being able to have that level of responsibility and taking his sperm so seriously. As I said before, and Marnia pointed out, bravo for him actually acting on his beliefs! I wish more men were like him.

Actually, I have been doing what you reccomend - using codoms. Condoms and/or diaphragm use during fertile times are an inherent part of the birth control method I propose. However, I've rarely found a man who would not gladly be risky and have a little penetration and skin-to-skin contact before putting a condom on, if he suggests it at all. One way that men could shoulder more responsibility is to not leave it up to the woman as to whether a condom will be used or not. I've never once found a man who "insisted" on a condom. Realistically and honestly now, how man people do you really think slap on a condom from the get go without a little fooling around? And in the end how is that any more risky than having nonorgasmic sex during a non-fertile time and then changing ph afterwards just to be sure? Doesn't seem much different to me, actually it seems less safe to me.

Yes, a deep level of trust and understanding is best with this method, not only between partners, but in the method itself. As I see it, the pill is static - you don't have to check in at all, just go on default mode. So, since this method requires that you know where you are in your cycle, and since it must be adapted to that, it is seen as somehow more dangerous. Why? As you pointed out, there is really only a very small window of opportunity for pregnancy, ejaculation or no.

Like nonorgasmic sex, I feel that this method is threatening to people because it is new, unknown, and therefore scary. We are much more confident, for some strange reason, depending on a company that is trying to make a profit off of our dilemma than we are actually tuning in to the signals that our bodies are already giving us. Why should I wait for a perfect partnership before I trust that I know my own cycle? Why should I wait years before I begin to trust someone? I trust that I have discriminating awareness in the lovers I choose. The ones I don't trust I don't take risks with, and as soon as I realize I don't trust them, I leave.

In any case, I hope I haven't caused you any more stress or resentment towards women and the ultimate responsibility they have. And I acknowledge the stress you may feel as a man.

My ultimate point is quite simple. Men and women must come together on this, men and women must work to trust eachother and support eachother. An awareness of our power through fertility is an excellent place to do this - to exhibit our trust and support, and our mutual care for one another.

I am saying I think birth control is a hassle when this is not happening. When people are working as partners on all levels, fertility awareness can become an opportunity for a deepening in the relationship, rather than a battleground.

Another thing a man can do

Another thing a man can do in the partnership-based birth control that I have described, is try to keep track of generally where the woman is in her cycle. He can do this by noting on a calendar when she had her period and keep a general awareness in mind when he's getting intimate. That way, if his woman is having a biological over-drive at a fertile time and not taking full responsibility, he can check in and say he thinks she's around a fertile time, and is this the case? The partner that I practiced this method with for two years was tuned in to my cycle off and on during that time and it made a big difference.

I think it adds a lot to a relationship for the man to be aware of this not only in terms of birth control, but general relating. Even if the guy can't know exactly if the woman has ovulated or not as the woman can based off of other symptoms (cervical texture and hardness, position of cervix in the canal, breast tenderness, etc), simply being generally aware or even interested really can feel very supportive. Little things like awareness and communication and the willingness to check in and show responsibility through being on the same page about fertile times can go a really long way.

Good Conversation

It is nice to have a good conversation on birth control and male/female partnerships. There are so many layers to a good partnership. This sounds like one that is really important to you. I am sure you will find someone who holds it as important as you do.

As far as how long to wait, I can't tell you that. You'll know when you know.

Another thing you said in earlier blogs comes to mind and it might be worth checking in with yourself on. You said that you have high standards and usually find a way to push a partner away. You find a fault and don't get past it and then the relationship ends (forgive me, I am paraphrasing so I am sure I don't have it all right.)

You know what is really important to you and what is not a deal breaker. This (partner-based birth control) is very important to you, but it might be worthy of your time to think about this relationship that is ending and really get straight on what was good and what ended it. You were really into this guy and excited and "tingly" in your blog. You are never going to find a guy that immediately, or ever lives up to all your expectations, desires, or passions. I never will find a woman who does. It is a good reminder to me to get clear on what are deal breakers and what I can live with our grow into. I also need to remember to be flexible and allow the spirit in to do some discerning for/with me. Ms right might be hiding behind something I don't like (a high voice maybe? A callousness about litter? A gap in her teeth? An incompatibility in politics?) Of course if she had all of those negatives, it would be too much to get past maybe, but if there were a few of them and there was either an understanding or an openness to change, then maybe all would be well in Mudville.

I am not saying that being open to partner-based birth control is not a legitimate deal breaker for you. That is for you to decide. I am just reminded of what you had said earlier. It is often helpful for me to be reminded by an outside party when I might be going against something I believe because it is the heat of the moment.

Another thought occurs to me. Your man was not initially open to non-orgasmic sex but showed a willingness and started to work it with you. He also showed an unwillingness to try partner-based birth control. Maybe he would become willing to try that as well. Maybe you are parting ways less because of the birth control incompatibility and more because you don't want to be with someone who always comes along to prodding but not spontaneously.
I'm analyzing here which is not what you asked. I just could not help but be inquisitive in light of your past blogs.

I am really enjoying this exchange HS.
-TLR

Hey, I'm enjoying this too!

Hey, I'm enjoying this too! Thanks for engaging such a challenging topic!

I think that all of what you say has a lot of truth to it. As far as my standards go, I don't think that my standards are any different now than they ever have been. It's just that I'm tired enough of relationships not working to stop ignoring what I really deeply desire. Before I had the same standards, but stifled or ignored them and so they surfaced in a distorted fashion.

Of course no-one will come to us in a perfectly manageable and ideal package as we foresee them to come to us - and thank god, wouldn't that be boring! I am always astonished at the many qualities of beauty and strength and goodness I bump into in people I date. I love them all in some way, in each of their ways.

One thing that I don't like about this guy (I'll give him an online identity - how about Tenderheart). ONe thing I don't like about Tenderheart is that he has these huge realizations and expresses them to me very directly through email, then when we see eachother he goes in the exact opposite direction. He can't stand the thought of my not wanting to see him anymore, when I am under the impression that I am just cooperating with his clear statements.

This man is a real sweetheart, a truly good human, affectionate, kind, nurturing, smart, and funny. And there are many, many men who are. They are not hard to find.

This is not an issue about standards in personality only. There are many men that I like as people and that I like to have sex with who might even objectively meet most standards, but I do no feel I would be compatible with them as a partner. In this sense, it's not about standards, its about being honest with seeing what the patterns are, and not beating yourself up about it when you see that it just doesn't work. This is not just about him meeting some ideal. This is about how WE work or don't. Of course how we work or dont is largely made up of our individual personalities, but more so, its how they intermesh. I've been with a number of men who met my "standards" in an objective sense - well-educated men, handsome men with lovely eyes and hands, men who danced, men who read great books and loved to share their thoughts, fabulous lovers, men with ideals, integrity, men who were close to their families, men who loved their grandmothers, men who cooked me great food and rubbed my feet and were brutally honest with me and challenged me and made me come and come and men who gave me massages and taught me things like how to chop wood and build a computer from scratch and bike 50miles a day straight up into the mountain hills, who taught me how to breath and to scream in ecstacy and speak the language beyond words. Men who showed me how to give and how to receive.

Thank you men!

I guess I'm saying I'm looking for a quality of dynamic - and this is not specific, except that it needs to comfort and surprise me at once. Dynamics are made up of intangibles - expectations, timing, potential, fears, hopes,history, etc etc and so are much more unruly than standards. Standards are made up of specific traits. I've encountered a huge number of the traits I am looking for in a huge number of men I have been with - check, check, check. But in the end it was the everyday dynamic that was the deciding factor. And every standard can be in place, logically its a match made in heaven, but there's something off about it all.

The dynamic between Tenderheart and myself is that we talk an immense amount about relating, and that is our primary form of relating. Obviously relating is interesting and important to me (as you can probably tell by how much I am on this forum). But let's RELATE first, then talk about it (or not!).

Tenderheart is willing to experiment with nonorgasmic sex. He is unwilling to be a father in an email, but also willing as a puppy dog to have unprotected sex when we're actually in bed. He does not want to be a father for sound reasons: he does not have any optimism for where this society is heading (who wants a partner who thinks the world is going to shit - even if it is?); he is on the verge of being handicapped by his condition at any moment. These are realities. Could I transform him? Endeavoring to transform someone is tricky business indeed.

well

I finally get it hotspring. I had read your previous post
and I was somewhat confused about what the issues were you were trying to bring up but now I get it very
well and I hear you. I am very much a proponent of
"listening to our bodies" and being in tune with its
cycles over substituting man-made things that not only
offer a quick-fix but with every different thing that we
use that takes us away from our natural awareness of
ourselves the risks to our health increase exponentially.
However, this is all beside the point which you have made
hotspring and that is a fundamental and deep awareness, tuning-in,
respect and yes trust in your awareness of your body. You have
opened my eyes to a whole new dimension of intimacy, that is
trusting in a partner's awareness of their body just as you are.
I almost don't want to get lost in the detail of the application
to sex and contraception because to come to such a place where
you would use partner based birth control over commercial alternatives
you are willing to assert your righteous, self-awareness of your body
and talk about putting your money where your mouth is! It's the
place that you are coming from to do this that holds much power and
application beyond this and it is seeing you at that place that
I can clearly see your beauty and strength. :)

Thanks, Bamazi, for your

Thanks, Bamazi, for your support of me following this method!

I have told Tenderheart: "The past few days with you have made clear to me that I am even more interested than before in exploring nonorgasmic sex, and that I have great confidence in the birth control method I proposed, and no interest in using other methods (although barrier methods are part of it during fertile times). I know I seem extreme and these desires of mine are frightening and unfamiliar, but they are part of a long trajectory of personal discovery and growth that are a basic part of how I hope to live with integrity to myself, my body, my neurochemistry, and my partner."

Now that I am moving away from the relationship Tenderheart is claiming he has no issues with the birth control method at all, or with nonorgasmic sex!

Last time we were together we had some very hot nonorgasmic sex. I kept wanting to slow down and tune in. While I was in an extremely high orgasmic state, I was feeling serviced, like he was really getting a lot of gratification from being such a stud. But I didn't really feel close to him at all. And i realize that even with all the neurons firing away, there can be passion completely devoid of intimacy.

I am reading Marnia's book again more thoroughly and have also been going over some of my previous posts, and can clearly see the pattern of alienation and separation after orgasm that she describes. I don't feel skeptical of this method at all anymore, and in addition to feeling very clear about wanting to avoid orgasm through sex and masturbation, I also would like to reorient any future lovemaking towards slower, more nurturing and less passion-oriented sex. I want to be able to relax into the full ecstatic self that I am, and that part of myself that flows openly and generously in sublime, loving presence is not the same thing that is evoked with hot sex. Although I will never claim that hot sex isn't great fun or that it is "bad," I think that it is generally very performance oriented and therefore more self-centered. The main issue that I see with "hot sex", even the kind I've recently experienced without orgasm, is that because it is so fun, it easily becomes what people strive for and see to be the pinnacle of what sex has to offer, when really, intense focus on it denies or ignores other, more yin and nurturing ways of being. So there's a whole spectrum here, and it is the more receptive and relaxed ways of interacting that I would like to experience again. I have experienced that tenderness before and it is what my soul yearns for - at the same time it does not in any way deny the pleasures that the body so much enjoys.

birth control & non-orgasmic sex

rboothe:

In my last long term relationship, we practiced a somewhat simplified version of the birth control method you described in your long post and elsewhere. We combined non-ejaculatory sex, on my part, with cervical-mucous testing prior to intercourse. Because there wasn't any old ejaculate to mask the mucous test, it was accurate enough to work perfectly.

I found that ejaculatory control was easy once I made up my mind not to cum. I didn't try not to, but simply took it slow, and focused entirely on what my mate was experiencing. We didn't know about the benefits of witholding orgasm on her part, so she proceeded to have as many orgasms as she wanted - which I enjoyed vicariously.

The only time I found it hard to control ejactulation, however, was when she was ovulating. At that time it seemed that her sexual power became more than I could handle, so after a few close calls we simply avoided intercourse during that phase.

It does not appear that the few sperm that may end up in pre-ejaculate fluid are enough to cause conception under these conditions. Even though both of us were quite fertile, we never experienced conception using that method.

I recall, from biology class, that it takes a huge number of sperm to result in fertilization, as they must first break down considerable resistance on the part of the egg to penetration. This dispells the notion that the egg is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first sperm, and that said sperm will be the one to impregnate it. Instead, the egg is literally covered with sperm trying to get in before one actually does... .

Thanks for your research

and insights. I know well that it's not easy to keep one's head above water with all the "comings and goings." (Sorry...couldn't resist. Smile ) I hope you two can find a middle ground. He sounds like a lovely man.

I've learned not to take any negotiations too seriously during the two weeks after orgasm. It, alone, could account for both the "Battle of the Birth Control" and the less than fully nurturing contact even without orgasm. The more consistent lovers get, the more they mysteriously come into harmony in quite unexpected ways...like scheduling, tolerance for each other's views, lovemaking styles, and...? And it all happens pretty much effortlessly.

Even where there are unmistakable blocks and fears, they get easier to shift. Speaking of that...I'm always encouraging everyone to listen to their inner wisdom. I've created an oracle to make that easier for anyone who wants to. All who wish to play with it may visit: http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/inner_wisdom_oracle (Also find it at the top right of every page.)