AN APPRECIATION OF NATURAL/CO-OPERATIVE BIRTH CONTROL

5 05 2019

opening music: The Clash Lovers’ Rock

May Day, Beltane, is almost here. It’s the height of the mating season, so it seems like a good time to talk about green sex–and when I say “green sex,” I’m not talking about inexperienced people getting it on. I’m talking about the ecology, and psychology, of our reproductive urge.

A few months back, one of my favorite news reporters/commentators, Eleanor Goldfield, did a story  attacking the Trump administration’s decision to only give women advice on natural birth control, rather than providing condoms, birth control pills, or IUDs. In the process, she also attacked natural birth control itself.  (I prefer to call it “co-operative birth control” for reasons I’ll go into later.)

First of all, I don’t think it’s appropriate to impose natural birth control on women/couples, any more than it’s appropriate for somebody else to interfere in a woman’s decision about whether to carry a pregnancy to term. Not only is it wrong for the state/church to do that, but hey—people who are forced into a behavior they don’t freely adopt, whether it’s birth control or an exercise program, are not going to practice it as carefully as those who embark on such a course of action voluntarily.s However, as a man who was voluntarily involved in the practice of natural birth control for fifteen years in my first marriage and the ten “fertile years” of my second marriage, I had to speak up on behalf of the natural method. What follows is a revised and expanded version of the comment I made on her video.

Although it has been criticized as ineffective, natural birth control can be quite precise. Vaginal mucous changes around ovulation, morphing from a consistency that tends to keep sperm out to a consistency that tends to pull it in, and this is easy to check. Between that and three minutes with a thermometer first thing in the morning, which allows a woman to know when her fertile time of the month is about to start, it’s not difficult for a woman to know if she’s fertile. The thermometer is the only purchase necessary to practice natural birth control. As someone who does his best not to be a “consumer,” having a birth control method that does not involve the frequent purchase of industrially created products is a big plus. My first wife and I practiced this as our sole form of birth control for thirteen years with only one unintended pregnancy, two years in, due to cyclical disruption while travelling. One unintended pregnancy in over twenty years is, I think, a pretty good ‘batting average.”

An IUD, you might remind me,  involves the purchase of only one manufactured item, and one that is even lower tech than a thermometer. As I said, I’m not proposing that everybody should use natural birth control, just saying why I appreciate it. Far be it from me to tell other people how to behave sexually.

an excellent book

As I said, I prefer calling natural birth control “co-operative birth control,” for the simple reason that, in order for it to work, partners need to communicate and co-operate, and not just around the mechanics, if you’ll pardon the expression, of getting it on. I, and both of the women who have been my partners, appreciate about natural birth control is that It helped make us aware of their hormonal cycles and the emotional changes that tend to accompany them. Since we are/were all involved in a practice of being mindful of our emotional states, the information helped us  gain perspective on our moods and emotions, and make our subconscious conscious. .

What do I mean, “we”? I wasn’t the one going through a monthly cycle! Well, I don’t have ovaries of my own, but, despite all the “deodorants” we can lay on, we exist in a cloud of our own body odor, and pick up behavioral cues from the body odor of the people around us, even though we’re not aware that we’re smelling anything–well over 90% of what we small is subliminal to us, but affects us, and the way we treat the people we are inhaling, just the same. This is especially true of sexual signalling.

After she croned, the wife of my later years found her sexuality changed quite radically. She said “All those years I thought it was ‘me’, and now it turns out it was my hormones.”

Another thing I appreciate about natural birth control involves a different kind of “making the subconscious conscious.” A core practice in both my marriages has been to become aware of not just our moods, but our subconscious conditioning, and to work to free ourselves from whatever about our conditioning is not helpful. (You don’t want to mess with conditioning like, “Don’t pee while you’re lying down,” although I hear astronauts have to come to grips with that one.) It has long seemed to me that we humans suffer from a compulsion to go through the motions of mating while hoping that conception does not result from our actions. Mechanical/pharmaceutical birth control methods cater to that compulsion. “Date rape” and unwanted pregnancy from consensual sex often occur because one or both partners are under the its sway. Guys, especially,  feel unsatisfied if their girlfriends won’t “go al the way” with them. DNA wants to replicate itself!

Since there are plenty of sexually satisfied gay people, it is apparently possible to get over the reproductive compulsion. Natural birth control, in which partners engage in “heavy petting” when the woman’s body most wants to be inseminated, forces us to confront that compulsion, and, through repeated practice, overcome it.

Because almost all humans have been under the sway of this subconscious compulsion to reproduce, there are now far more humans on the planet than it can sustain, and we are heading for catastrophic collapse, in spite of the best efforts of those of us who have some understanding of the gravity of our situation. One of the side effects of collapse will be that the birth control methods we are accustomed to will be widely unavailable, while the humans who survive will most likely still appreciate physical intimacy at the same time as they find themselves in circumstances in which pregnancy and its results would constitute a severe handicap. As with so many other “lost” low-tech skills, such as working with horses, blacksmithing,, and farming and carpentry with hand tools, it is imperative that we learn these practices now, when they seem quaint and unnecessary. Those who get hurt will be those who have stalled, for the times, they are a-changing.

Lia Rose The Times They Are A-changing

 


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2 responses

8 05 2019
Caz R Loth

It seems that millennial’s are not that interested in having children and even though the population is increasing, there are less children being born(???) Add in all the gay people and it looks like we’re beginning to turn this thing around.

3 06 2019
brothermartin

I think the paradoxical observation that “even though the population is increasing, there are (fewer–my edit :-) ) children being born(???)” is resolved through two things. The first is that children already born are coming of age and becoming independent from their parents, leading to the need for more room, or, rather rooms. The other is that many people are fleeing chaotic climate/economic/social conditions in the third world, increasing the population in places that are not, yet, so chaotic.

I think that the increase in gay people, or at least out gay people, is, in part at least, a kind of evolutionary response to overpopulation, a way for people to fill their instinctive need to be deeply involved with another human being that is much less likely than heterosexual behavior to result in making babies. (Lesbians do enjoy bearing children, they just have to be very intentional about becoming pregnant.)

I think another factor in the increasing presence of gay/trans people in our culture is that we are all being exposed to increasing levels of estrogen and estrogen mimics. One reason for this is that much of the estrogen in birth control pills passes through womens’ bodies and ends up in the environment, where it is noticeably feminizing fish. Estrogen, like other chemical pollutants, gets concentrated as it goes up the food chain, which we are kind at the top of.

The other feminizing factor is the estrogen mimics in plastic, with which we are beginning to realize we have already poisoned ourselves.

“In the communities of Greenland and eastern Russia monitored so far, the ratio was found to be two girls to one boy. In one village in Greenland only girls have been born.

“The scientists measured the man-made chemicals in women’s blood that mimic human hormones and concluded that they were capable of triggering changes in the sex of unborn children in the first three weeks of gestation. The chemicals are carried in the mother’s bloodstream through the placenta to the foetus, switching hormones to create girl children.”

  • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/sep/12/gender.sciencenews
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