As I head to England in three days (squeeeeee!), it's only right that my first guest blogger of this new adventure is my English friend, the fabulous Rebecca Clemenz. Enjoy!
Imagine the scene. A young woman in her twenties walks into a doctor’s office and says: “I want to be able to eat as much chocolate as I choose without gaining any weight. Please do the operation that makes that possible.” What do you think the doctor would say? What would you say? Maybe, “Yes! Great idea!” or perhaps “No way! You are too young to make that decision!” Actually, I would hope for a third answer along the lines of “I think you need to reexamine your relationship with food.”
Let’s look into that one.
Why do we eat? The primary reason if of course to provide our bodies with nutrition so they can grow and remain healthy. Eating is also of course pleasurable, an activity we can do with friends, a social event and can even be associated with religious or other ceremonies or festivals. All these things are secondary though. And indeed if we ONLY ate for pleasure, with no regard to the nutritional value of what we were eating we would have a problem. Likewise when we do not eat with the primary goal of good nutrition in mind, in the case of say anorexia, we have a problem. It is therefore safe to say that there are good habits associated with eating, and bad ones that we seek to correct.
What does this have to do with anything?
Recently the BBC ran a series of articles under the general heading 100 Women. One of the articles carried the title “Desperate not to have children”. The main focus of the article was a young lady called Holly who never wants to have children and expresses her frustration at not being able to have a sterilisation procedure performed by the NHS, the article also states that she is unhappy with other methods of contraception because of their negative side effects.
Imagine the scene. A young woman in her twenties walks into a doctor’s office and says: “I want to be able to have as much sex as I choose without getting pregnant. Please do the operation that makes that possible.” What do you think the doctor would say? What would you say?
I am sure that many of us out there have made “I will never/always…” statements in our twenties that have become “Well, actually…” maxims in our mid-thirties. But even if that were not the case, and a person was absolutely certain, is not the third answer still the most applicable, “I think you need to reexamine the way you see sex”
Why do we have sex? The secondary reasons roll off the tongue with ease, it is nice, it is fun, it is pleasurable, it’s what Friday nights at the pub are for! Yet at the same time we know deep down, that those are not the real reasons we have sex. So what are the primary reasons? They are procreation and unification. That is to make babies, and to bond with the person you are having sex with. There are troves of studies that you can find everywhere from the BMJ to Marie Claire highlighting that oxytocin released during sexual intercourse creates a deep bond with your sexual partner. For women especially, this bond is very strong and can make the break-up of a relationship with a sexual partner very painful indeed. But what about the babies?! How many times have we heard that “in this day and age there is no reason to get pregnant if you don’t want to!” And yet we all know, and even Holly acknowledges, that no method of birth control is 100% and there is even a pregnancy rate associated with surgical sterilisation. So where do we go from here? I would suggest that somewhat like with eating, if we are ONLY having sex for the secondary reasons, for pleasure and fun, then our relationship with sex has a problem. If you are quite certain that you NEVER want to have sex for it’s primary purposes then maybe, just maybe, you should take a break from having sex while you reexamine your reasons for this.
And for anyone interested in a method of family planning that is effective and has no side effects, check out modern scientific method of Natural Family Planning such as the Creighton Model.
Rebecca Clemenz, lives in Switzerland with her husband and four children.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!