“What kind of birth control do you use?” my friend’s new boyfriend asked her as they laid in the darkness of her bedroom.
“I pay attention to my signs and take my temperature,” my friend stated, as she explained her all natural fertility awareness method.
“Sounds risky,” her boyfriend said rather uncomfortably as they continued to cuddle in the dark.
“It’s not,” my friend replied, “it’s just as effective as birth control when used properly,” she continued.
The conversation ended there and they both fell asleep. But as my friend told me the story, she admitted that it was uncomfortable laying there having this conversation with a guy she had only known about a month. It made her wonder, did he intend that question to be a prelude to sex? And if so, when is sex without lasting commitment ever without risk?
I couldn’t help but point out—while we were on the topic of risk—that it probably wasn’t a good idea to share a bed with him so soon. After all, it sets the mood for sex, and I knew she wasn’t intending to have sex so soon with him.
“Regardless, we’ll have to revisit the conversation during the daytime,” my friend said, “when we can actually look at each other and explain our individual expectations and preferences.”
My friend is a health nut—she avoids aspirin, uses all natural everything, including toothpaste, and she is almost always up on the latest study that corresponds to healthier living. The way she sees it, birth control has way too many chemicals to be worth the risk. In addition to the health benefits, my friend also has found her chosen method of birth control—monitoring her fertility—does keep her more aware of what could potentially happen when she goes to bed with a man.
You see, my friend isn’t planning on sleeping with this guy for a long time, at least not until a certain level of trust is established. “Certainly not for at least six months,” she said, noting studies that attest to the better sex quality and communication and relationship when the couple holds off on sexual activity for at least six months.
But beyond that, my friend has another reason she’ll likely wait even longer to have sex with her new boyfriend.
“Sex has the potential to create a child,” she explained. Birth control can fail, condoms can break, and yes, a woman can read her body signs wrong. To her boyfriend’s point “sounds risky,” indeed, sex is always “risky” in this regard. So, if a child is created, my friend has decided she wants to be absolutely sure she is with someone who will raise this child with her.
“Ideally,” she said, “I’d need to know I want to marry him and he wants to marry me.”
My friend and her boyfriend are still getting to know each other. They’re nowhere near the point of promising “all the days of my life” to each other. But until then, she is willing to have conversation with her new boyfriend about sex and how she feels it requires trust and lasting commitment—and I’m proud of her for that.