Columns Feb 27, 2013 at 4:00 am

Queer Goggles


I was a 17 year old college freshman virgin who didn't need birth control for 6 years. (I use condoms only.) Not every college student has sex... I like my high sex drive, and condoms are inexpensive and effective when used correctly.
For those that say one should wait until one is sexually active/nearly so before getting an IUD or pill, I would disagree, only because it takes a while for your body to get used to BC and to the routine, if you are taking the Pill. I have been taking BCP for years, and I have loved mine. Lighter cycles, no pregnancies (yay) and my acne cleared right up as a bonus.
I also say kudos to TIMELY for taking control of her sex life. Condoms are great for STD prevention, but ultimately you should also be on another method so that you have complete control of what goes in and what comes out.
LW1 - all that really needed to said was:

My advice: Stop cock-in-frock-blocking your friend and let him know you accept him for who he is, and you may help him find the courage to accept himself before his liver gives out.
To sum up, some people love and some people hate every form of birth control out there. Which reinforces Dan's point about the importance of taking time to try out different methods before the pressure is on.

As for me, I'm a Mirena girl. No problems with side effects, hasn't affected my ability to enjoy occasional rough sex. I adore not having a period.
@70 jeffy: Could you please remind the lame-brained idiots running the Catholic Church and all other right-wing extremists that contraceptives actually PREVENT any need for abortions?
Every girl's pre-university sexual shopping list:
1. IUD. Do it! getting one inserted feels a bit like going to the dentist (open wide and a bit of soreness) but the confidence of almost-zero risk of pregancy is worth it
2. Birthcontrol pills persciption, filled. IUDs often cause heavy/longer periods for the first few months. get some birthcontrol pills and practice using them to shorten/lighten or change the date of your period (ie not during that long weekend road trip)
3. Condoms. Every decent univeristy should be giving away LOTS and LOTS of condoms on welcome week. grab a handful, and put them in every bag you own (purse, laptop bag, gym bag, etc...) as well as besides the bed. Encourgae your school to prepare those little travel packs of 2 condoms and a ketchup-packet worth of lube, like my school did.
4. Vibrator/dildo or other sex toy. all you need is a pre-paid credit card for $20 and a mailing address. all stores ship in plain packaging. consider this a gift to yourself.
Every girl's pre-university sexual shopping list:
1. IUD. Do it! getting one inserted feels a bit like going to the dentist (open wide and a bit of soreness) but the confidence of almost-zero risk of pregancy is worth it
2. Birthcontrol pills persciption, filled. IUDs often cause heavy/longer periods for the first few months. get some birthcontrol pills and practice using them to shorten/lighten or change the date of your period (ie not during that long weekend road trip)
3. Condoms. Every decent univeristy should be giving away LOTS and LOTS of condoms on welcome week. grab a handful, and put them in every bag you own (purse, laptop bag, gym bag, etc...) as well as besides the bed. Encourgae your school to prepare those little travel packs of 2 condoms and a ketchup-packet worth of lube, like my school did.
4. Vibrator/dildo or other sex toy. all you need is a pre-paid credit card for $20 and a mailing address. all stores ship in plain packaging. consider this a gift to yourself.
I've been with my boyfriend for 5 years and we still use condoms. He's not happy about it, but the reality is that ALL BC methods for women involve some measure of risk to our health. Can't say that about condoms. He complains about loss of sensitivity but comes every time. Am I supposed to risk strokes, uterine damage, and other horrors just so he can get more sensation? I'm not buying it. Condoms are the healthiest option available at this time.
On reflection, CLOD's friend is odd in that he keeps getting drunk with wingmen along to stop him from following through. This seems to have more to do with some sort of exhibitionist thing, where what matters is that he have friends along who see him about to transgress some boundary and talk about it in shocked tones. I wonder how he'd react if his friends were like "Dude, we don't care. Everyone knows why you're here: just do it."

TIMELY, ignore 110. You definitely do not need to go on both the IUD and birth control pills at the same time without a medical professional telling you that it is advised in your case. Talk to your trusted family physician, and I think those suggesting that there are enough side effects of all the non-condom methods to be cautious about using them unnecessarily for years are onto something, if you don't have a medical condition (acne, bad periods) that might be helped with bcp.
Love my Mirena. Everywhere else in the world, it's certified for seven years. The manufacturer hasn't applied to the FDA for certification for seven years *here* because, well, they make more money if they tell women that it only works for five and needs to be changed after.

The first year or so on Mirena's rough. I'm at year five and basically forget that it's there. Cervical stimulation is no issue. Hubby is quite well-endowed, which is also no issue. Mirena + condoms = win
Right on! My now-husband and I used condoms for seven years and they are awesome.

LW1 is a terrible friend on a group of terrible friends. Why would you follow your friend around, chasing away people he's picked up? Who does that?!?
Helvetica Bold is very cute. Some of the funniest drag names I've heard have had me in stitches.

I was very proud of a drag name in thought up for a Puerto Rican friend of mine -- "Bessie Mae Koolo".
What about the Nuva ring? Leave em in a month at a time, so you can test it out to see how it affects you without too much bother. Also, you get a few at a time, so you can leave em in your drawer until you think you will need one. You seems reasonably level-headed, so the week you'd need to have it in place before actually having sex seems workable. I commend you for planning ahead! Not many like you out there...
@81 That is bullshit. Find another GYN.

@15. Oh you poor thing. I wish you luck, so much luck, and a skilled GYN. My first insertion the strings were cut too short (Kaiser, obvs) and it took my new doc 15 minutes to dig that fucking thing out of me. It hurt so bad I nearly passed out and it took me a month to recover from constant cramping afterward. It fucking sucked. Take anything legal or non legal you can before going in there, and explain your situation first so they know what to expect. And DON'T LET THEM CUT THE STRINGS.
@36 - Vag checks are a rookie move.

Much less intrusive to feel for an Adam's apple. Can also check for against-the-grain stubble on the cheeks.

@84 Yes, I've seen it. I'm well aware that social scientists like to use words like "assign" and "cultural construct" with respect to gender. However, those words imply that gender is chosen by humans or a product of human society, and neither of those things are true. Yes, many people use the word in this way. They are wrong to do so.
@81 They debunked that a while ago.
Interestingly, most of the women here re-enforce the notion that birth control is a decision made solely by the female.

I know there is more at stake for the woman but I agree with seandr @86:
"Also, relationships generally work better when both parties treat birth control and other mutual issues as shared problems rather than decisions to be made unilaterally."

and with Hunter @103:
"Don't go for chemicals or IUDs at this time. Just carry a couple rubbers around. Reasonable protection against pregnancy and STIs. Plus they're a good character check on a new guy."

It's sensible to get information now, and to know what kind of birth control you could imagine for yourself.

Once you are in a relationship, or if you realise you like to have ONS and random hook-ups, it is time to re-evaluate with your partner or alone in the latter case to see which BC is the best for your.
What you descibe is not BC as such.
It is a hormonal treatment of serious health issues with the (welcome) side-effect of reduced fertility.
Condoms have a failure rate of 15% in the US ? So once every seven PIVs I should have gotten a kid out of it ? How can that be ?!

In Europe condoms have a failure rate of 2% tops - same as the pill.
@111. I'm in a long-term relationship as well and we alternate now among the Today Sponge (so he can go condomless sometimes) and regular condoms or female condoms.

I hated the pill so much, damn. It was like having a low-grade clinical depression where you also had no sex drive. But that's just me.
I feel strangely old-fashioned for recommending The Sponge. It's not difficult to get online, and not terribly expensive. When I first discovered the sponge I was pretty much delighted; it worked well and wasn't that intrusive. Female condoms are pretty good too. These are all non-hormonal BC alternatives in addition to conventional condoms. Try a lot of things; it can be very fun to experiment, really.
I got my (copper) IUD when I was 21 before I ever had (but was already planning to have) PIV sex (I don't like or use the word "virgin"), and it was barely painful at all. I can't remember if I had followed the doctor's advice of taking ibuprofin beforehand. The insertion went very smoothly, probably because the gyn who did it was very experienced in inserting IUDs. So no, it's not necessarily painful, not even if you've never had PIV sex before.

Also, @52, I'm not sure why you were told you could not get one due to a retroverted uterus, since I also have a retroverted uterus and it was not an issue at all.

And for anyone wondering, I do still use condoms every single time (no exceptions), even though my only 2 partners have both been monogamous relationships.

Also, despite always using condoms and getting Gardasil before ever having sex, I did still wind up with HPV and precancerous cells on my cervix, so no matter what you should still always go in for a yearly gynecological exam.
I got my (copper) IUD when I was 21 before I ever had (but was already planning to have) PIV sex (I don't like or use the word "virgin"), and it was barely painful at all. I can't remember if I had followed the doctor's advice of taking ibuprofin beforehand. The insertion went very smoothly, probably because the gyn who did it was very experienced in inserting IUDs. So no, it's not necessarily painful, not even if you've never had PIV sex before.

Also, @52, I'm not sure why you were told you could not get one due to a retroverted uterus, since I also have a retroverted uterus and it was not an issue at all.

And for anyone wondering, I do still use condoms every single time (no exceptions), even though my only 2 partners have both been monogamous relationships.

Also, despite always using condoms and getting Gardasil before ever having sex, I did still wind up with HPV and precancerous cells on my cervix, so no matter what you should still always go in for a yearly gynecological exam.
@123, those numbers are based on improper use as well as proper use. Guess which measurement contributes the most to the error rate.
In other words, if you use a condom correctly the error rate is statistically insignificant.

PS, I hate that the religious right has manipulated those statistics to carelessly assert that condoms are scarily ineffective.
@Sandiai : oh, OK.

The statistics that are taught to European junior highschoolers are : condoms are "98% effective when used properly", just like the pill.

We are not told statistics on how effective they are when used on the ear.

I'm not trying to mock you, but to mock the US "religious right", which would be called the "fascist right", if they were Europeans.

Mussolini was very big on religiosity too : not on really practicing himself, but on telling others what was religiously and patriotically moral to do. Having citizens make tons of kids, and putting women back in the home, in order to be available to make more kids, were one of his pet projects. He would have fought condoms like a Catholic Pope, if he had not been killed and hanged like a pig by Italians.
@128, Word.
The combination of viewing condoms as for "short term hookups" and wanting partners to "share the decision" is exactly the attitude that results in this scenario:

The split second a couple is "official" the man starts whining about condoms and insisting that they don't "need" them anymore since they're monogamous. I mean sure they've only been together for two weeks, and sure he has chlamydia which he never got tested for, but condoms are for hookups! Not for real relationships.

Not only do I see this personally all the time, but it's also a well-studied phenomenon. Short-term, serial monogamy combined with those attitudes is a documented risk-factor for STIs. And before you say "oh well I was talking about long term relationships", well sure, but you weren't talking about the middle ground, and most people in short term relationships don't know their relationship will be short-term and they identify more with LTRs than with single people, obviously. The LW is approaching college-age so I think it's important to address the extremely likely outcomes, one of which is short term relationships.

Ladies. It's your right to protect your sexual health for as long as you have to. Don't let anyone guilt you for doing so. One doctor I work with recommends at least a year or two into a relationship before taking condoms out of the equation. (I think he says it knowing that people are going to divide whatever number he gives). In other words, he advises female patients to "unilaterally demand" condoms.

That is some rough luck - do you know if it was a different strain from the ones you were vaccinated? I'm assuming they'd never test for that but on the off chance.
@123/128: The failure rate means how many women/couples, out of 100, will wind up with a pregnancy after one year. An effectiveness rate of 85% (true for a whole lot of methods in practice, if you look at PP's website) means that of 100 women (easy to imagine a school with 100 women using birth control form X) 15 of them will get pregnant after one year. It is not a measure of the likelihood of one specific sex act causing pregnancy: that is well under 50%.

(As I recall for the 20ish a year of unprotected sex has about a 66% failure rate in terms of there being a pregnancy. If you want a kid, that can be rather daunting: What do you mean I won't get pregnant the instant the condom comes off? If you don't want a kid, it's way too high. But the "fifteen of you will get pregnant" (85% effective) and "two of you will get pregnant" (98% effective) can also sound way too high if you're in a group of 100 women who DON'T want to get pregnant. It's one reason a lot of girls decide to wait until after high school: they don't have faith that of course they would be in the 98 and not 2, and they aren't ready to handle even a small risk of pregnancy when only 15 or 16.)

As a science person, the rate in practice is very important to me. Muttering "well this would be a GREAT medical treatment if people used it correctly, it's just that most people aren't able to follow the regimen" is kind of a big problem with a regimen. It's a good idea to talk to your health professional about what contributes to the difference between the theoretical and actual rates of a method and how likely you are to be in the Perfect User category.

For example, I suspect drunken teenagers are iffy at using condoms correctly. If you are going to be having sex sober, with someone you knew you were having sex with (no swept away fantasy), it's a lot more likely you will correctly get the condom on and not too late. (Withdrawal is actually a moderately reliable method with perfect use, the problem is achieving that perfect use. Teenage boys are bad candidates.)
Also, completely agree with mydriasis @130 Re these "You'll be in a relationship, so you guys won't need condoms!" suggestions. Use condoms. Statistically speaking, it's likely your first relationship won't be your only one: you might as well both apply good practices, including being practiced with sex with condoms on. It will be expected in your second relationship.

(You should also not be one of those annoying people who declare that only truckstop hookers have STIs, and that because their sex acts all took place in relationships--they even talked about a fond childhood memory first!!!--there's no way they could have an STI.)
I'll jump on the bandwagon with other posters about getting a prescription for HBC pills but not taking them until you are actually active unless there are other reasons (PMS, acne, etc). I'm 30 and have been on HBC mostly continuously since I was 16. It took a few tries but my doc and I found that I tolerate the triphasal kind fairly well, Depo not at all (I was a raving bitch the first week or two after each time and it depressed my drive), and my husband didn't care for the Nuvaring since he could feel it during sex and I could in some positions. I'm on the minipill right now since I'm still nursing, but it seems to be a LOT more sensitive to taking at the exact same time every day. We aren't ready for another kid yet, so even with the pill, we are using condoms to get that 99+% effectiveness!

I've got friends who have loved their IUDs, who have had no issues with Depo, or the implants have been fine.

Like many other people here, condoms no matter what, and I suggest starting with something you can easily switch if you react badly. Everybody and every body is different so be patient and enjoy!
I got my implant a year and a half ago and I love it. My doctor actually recomended it over an IUD because I haven't given birth and he would otherwise have to dilate my cervix overnight and do a bunch of other fun stuff. The implant, he said, was much less of a hassle. When they installed it they numbed me up with local and injected it. I had the good sense not to watch and instead had my boyfriend play the Safety Dance video to distract me. The .04% failure rate is pretty nice too, I have a higher chance of dying in a car crash than getting pregnant.
@132 - IPJ I was getting ready to point that out too. Its the 1 year cumulative risk of getting pregnant with poor condom use that winds up with a 15% pregnancy rate. Obviously things like breakage contribute to that, but so does 1) starting to put it on inside out, then flipping it, 2) doing a few insertive strokes, then putting it on 3) waiting too long to pull out post male orgasm and not holding the condom on at the base.

With the pill, there are fewer failure modes, but depending on the dosage and her body mass, they can be SUPER sensitive to being taken at the same time every day. Most pills are tested in clinical trials for women up to about 180lbs, so for women heavier than that, you may also not get the blood concentrations you need and not all doctors are very good at discussing this (2 friends had this issue: one had an abortion, one had a baby).
121- "Interesting most of the women here reinforce the notion that birth control is a decision made solely by the female."

Not really. Most of the women here (I haven't done a count in this thread) are insisting on condoms. We're also sharing our experiences, good and bad, with IUDs and hormonal birth control. There really isn't a method that involves both men and women equally, but condoms come closest. Other possibilities involve talking about birth control, going together to a clinic, talking about pros and cons of each method, talking about side effects, sharing the cost. All those take for granted an ongoing relationship with good communication.

I'm the consummate romantic. My initial impulse was to advise TIMELY to wait until she had a good deal of friendship, love and attraction with a guy before thinking about having sex with him. That's the way I did it, and my experience was good.

After a moment's reflection, however, I realized that I'd take a lot of flack for that. There are women who want hook-ups just as there are men who want hook-ups. Debating the pros and cons of that is a subject for another column. TIMELY didn't make it clear what she was after. It's likely that she doesn't know herself. (For that reason, the advice givers have to look for clues in the letter. I zeroed in on the "love yearning" in her sig.) Bottom line is that the advice had to encompass any number of possible scenarios, and condoms were the best fit.

In a perfect world, the man in question would be just as insistent on condoms. They'd both have them in their wallets just as a matter of course. His reasoning would be that he doesn't want to take the chance of getting her pregnant, and he doesn't want to take the chance of getting or giving a STD. Given that that perfect world isn't always the case, and given that he didn't write the letter, telling TIMELY to insist on condoms is the next best thing.
I don't have any experience with either IUD's or the implants, but from what I've heard I'd go with the implant. No risk of it getting lost or being noticed by a partner, and they seem to have the lowest "accident" risk.
@IPJ - Huh ? In France there is "sex ed", actually reproductive education, at age 12 in junior highschool, so that our young ones will predominantly NOT have sex before being of college age.

"easy to imagine a school with 100 women using birth control form X" : not for me. Unless by school you mean college.

Thanks for the info nonetheless.

Oh, and I use condoms, everytime. I've never had any break, but slip I've had 3 times. I took the morning after pill and no pregnancy happened (I was not mid-cycle, anyway), nor did STIs.

Do condoms really break, or is that a coded way to say they can slip ?
*Think* about birth control while you're a virgin, and bring condoms to college with you, but don't start birth control before you absolutely have to. There are so many possible long term effects and likely short term effects, I can't imagine subjecting yourself to them without the benefit of sex.

It only takes a couple of weeks between starting the pill and full protection -- use that time to get to know your potential partner and have lots of fun, non-pregnancy causing sex before the pill kicks in. Then you can experiment with IUDs/shots/etc. and see what works best for you.
@139: I mean both high school--in a school with 800 students I have no trouble believing 100 of them were having sex before graduation--and college. I am not going to defend American sex ed in toto, but many schools have comprehensive sex ed starting at age 10. Parents and some other institutions (liberal churches) also provide actual information. The presence of some stupid sex ed does not mean it's all bad. And the failure rate of condoms is not due to wearing them on the ear, but to the things Ariane listed.

And yes, they break. They are very thin pieces of silicone or lambskin or what not and occasionally they rip. It happens. I knew someone who had it happen on, literally, the night before her husband was going to have a vasectomy. (She got the morning after pill.) I know someone who had it happen the third time she had sex in a new relationship, so they got to go to the clinic together for morning after pill and deal with that worry when they were just starting out together. Condoms are not made of some incredible nano-armor.

Via a fast google:
Average age of first intercourse in the US is 18. In France 18.5. I am very, very doubtful that the French high school kids all wait until graduation, then hit the sheets like mad so they can squeeze everyone in over those summer months and hit the 18.5 average: kinda looks like many of them have sex in high school. (Sources vary: another I found put the US at about 17 and France at about 17.2.)
For God's Sake, save the livers Dan!!
Sissoucat: According to the French national demographic institute (assume this is like the Census Bureau in the US) age of sexual debut (typically defined as first PIV) in France is 17.6 for women and of 17.2 for men. This means that half of young people have started having sex before this age. I am not sure at what age students typically start university in France--in the US it is 18. If so then that means that a majority of French high school students are sexually active (or at least, have engaged in sex at some point). I don't doubt that sex education in France is superior to the average sex ed course in the US, but one should not assume that sex ed leads directly to an older age of sexual debut.
143- KN-- Statistics nerd here. What you described with half falling below and half above is the median, not the average. It doesn't follow that the majority of French high school students are sexually active-- though it's probably a close guess. The rest of your point about sex ed in the schools makes sense.
@130 and 137:
Those female friends of mine who were on other kinds of birth control (IUD, BC pills) were more likely NOT to use condoms for random hook-ups and in short- and long-term relationships than those who weren't on any kind of birth control.

Also, the male friends of mine who started their sex life with female partners who were on the pill from the get-go were more likely not to use condoms.

So, getting on long-lasting birth control before being sexually active is good against pregnancies but problematic in respect to STI prevention- at least in my non-randomised, small, not representative sample.
Hi Crinoline,
The only use of the word "average" in my post was to describe sex education, not age of sexual debut. If you reread my post you will note that I wrote "age of sexual debut" rather than "average age of sexual debut." In demography "age of sexual debut" almost always means the median age. In the future I will specify.

I am actually starting to wonder whether French sex ed is really superior to American sex ed given that Sissoucat was not aware of the difference betweeen typical use and perfect use failure rates for contraceptives, and was apparently not aware that condoms can break. Condoms are a great tool for preventing pregnancy and many (but not all) STIs, but we should not oversell their effectiveness. Typical use is just that....what happens typically. Perfect use is pretty rare.
@145: Given the prevalence of the attitude "only skanky hos have STIs, not me or the sort of classy person I sleep with" even in some SLOG threads, I suspect that dynamic is very widespread. There seems to be a sincere belief that no one with a funny and humanizing story about their childhood can carry HPV.

@144: It's really hard to come up with an age distribution in which the mean and median would be so far off for this, though. You could have a big chunk of 12 year olds and everyone else waited until college, so "most" waited til 18 or 19 but the average was 17, but that seems unlikely. Roughly half of people 17.2/17.6 and under is probably a good estimate of the distribution.
Migrationist @145....I don't have time to do a lit serach but my understanding is that the scientific literature is consistent with your anecdotal experience. In other words, women using highly effective contraception (IUD, pill, shot, implant) are less likely to use condoms consistently than women who are using condoms for contraception as well as STI prevention. There is also good evidence to show that the way people start off their sex life is an important predictor of future behavior (people who use condoms from the beginning are more likely to be consistent condom users than people whose first sexual experience was without condoms).

My take is that every woman is different and needs to decide for herself what her priority is. For women who would have no problem getting an abortion (or having a kid) STI prevention might be a higher priority than pregnancy prevention and they might be comfortable using condoms alone. For some women however abortion (or carrying to term) might seem completely out of the question--these women may feel more comfortable using a highly effective method of contraception as a backup to condoms.

Even though no method is perfect, and we still lack highly effective reversable male birth control, we are pretty lucky to have as many options to prevent pregnancy as we do.

Guess I'm gonna have to be the one to say it: Yeah CLOD, you're worried about "your friend." "Your friend" reached down into someone's pants. Another "friend" told you stories about "your friend." It's Savage Love - come out of the damn drag-queen-lovin closet already.
My take was that Dan tried to ease the homophobe into first accepting that his friend was into cross dressers. When that has settled the homophobe might be ready for accepting his friend being gay.
@146 I wouldn' know if French sex ed is superior to American sex ed - and I never claimed that.

What I've gathered from reading American sources though, is that American sex ed has recently been mainly "abstinence ed", which I wouldn't call proper sex ed, and that it failed to meet its goal of making the teenage pregnancy rate drop significally.

I'm not a statistics nerd, but my impression is that the teenage pregnancy rate in France is much lower than in the US (I'm a high school teacher and I've never seen a student get pregnant, ever, although I heard of some cases back in my youth, of overweight girls suddenly giving birth at school). From that, I just assumed that the age of first intercourse was much lower in the States - after all, you do need to have had sex in order to become pregnant. I stand corrected about that asumption.

As for highschool kids having sex - I maintain that the majority of them doesn't... but French highschool is not American highschool, only 1/3 of all kids go to highschool (= general highschool, the kind that leads to college). The other 2/3 of kids are in technical highschool and professional highschool. They must be more sexually precocious, if numbers are to be trusted... Only I don't have access to those kids, by my teaching in general highschool. My mistake, then.
@KN "Sissoucat was not aware of the difference betweeen typical use and perfect use failure rates for contraceptives, and was apparently not aware that condoms can break."

Come on, I am not that dumb.

Why did I mentioned that I heard of condom breaking (but never experienced it) then ? Don't be patronizing, it poorly reflects on you, not on me.

As for typical failure rate - when I was young I didn't bother much for typical stuff since I was not typical myself. So 2% is the number that got stucked in my little head in the 80s.

I've checked on an official French site for you - it's actually 5% for proper use and 21% for typical use. Actually French people have less mastery of condoms that American people.

Happy now ?
@152: The form of sex ed that is controversial and thus in the news is abstinence only sex ed. That does not mean it is the only kind, or predominant kind, just that it is the controversial and thus reported-on kind.

As for your version of "high school" only meaning 1/3 of the students... that's kind of a big difference when comparing groups. Kids in the US who see a solid future away from home if they don't screw up their life (i.e. college bound) are also more likely to delay sex until after high school. So group to group it's about the future you see and probably pretty comparable, since the age of losing virginity is comparable. Nothing about the sex ed.

But I strongly suspect that your observation that none of the high school students you know are having that sex stuff is both inaccurate and one that could be echoed by adults all across America. As for no one getting pregnant that you know of? That's very different than no one getting pregnant. There hasn't been a visible pregnancy at my daughter's high school that I know of, it's one that is very heavily college bound, my impression of her group of friends is that they all see the benefit of waiting until college... and yet I am quite confident that that does not mean that no one in the school is having sex.
Lots of good advice for TIMELY. Based on the broad variation in opinions presented here, this is obviously something that one should consider carefully, consult a trusted physician and accept that there may be some trial and error.

Personal rant: I don't know what it is about people (not just 18 year old virgins) who can't sit down and logically think through/discuss the consequences, ground rules and boundaries surrounding an upcoming hookup. Yeah, sure. Spontaneous is fun, but it can be traumatic if things go awry. Good for TIMELY for thinking ahead.

I've had my Paragard copper IUD for over 5 years, and I love it! After the time it took my body to adjust, I've had no problems whatsoever. My periods are shorter and less painful than they were before, and I love the peace of mind that comes with having a highly reliable birth control device already implanted. No hormones, shots, patches, pills to remember to take, diaphragms that are impossible to insert, etc.

I also use condoms to prevent against STDs. Having the IUD inside me gives me more confidence than using just condoms alone. I've had one break on me (well, not "on" me; heh). The IUD gives me more peace of mind than just using condoms alone.

As for the pill: I had heard that birth control hormones in the water were doing weird things to wildlife. (It's one reason I went with a copper Paragard, which is not enhanced with hormones.) But now I see that the issue of birth control hormones in the water has been vastly overstated. Good to know!…

I suggest TIMELY reconsider getting an IUD. Many doctors won't even consider putting one in a woman who hasn't already given birth. My girlfriend tried having an IUD, the insertion was excruciatingly painful, and she suffered through over half a year of bi-monthly periods and nearly constant cramping. (The bi-monthly PMS was no treat for me either.) My sister also had a bad experience attempting to have an IUD.

Also, for the first couple of months, having sex with a woman with an IUD means getting poked in the end of your cock by what feels like fishing line. Ouch. Even when the strings eventually softened up, I could still notice them. I imagine TIMELY going to a party, flirting with a guy, going back to her place, starting to have sex, and he freaks out because it feels like he's sticking his dick in a twiggy bird's nest. How's that for a first sexual encounter? Anyway, I hope TIMELY chooses another option. My girlfriend and I have been using good ol' condoms, and they've been working great.

BTW, the sex with an IUD-wearing woman was with my girlfriend, not my sister. I did grow up in Kentucky, but I do draw the line somewhere. ;-)

I don't think the strings ever soften up (they feel just the same to me as the day I got it), but my husband's never noticed them.
Gynocilogical advice and dude my bro might be like queeeeeeeer what uuuuuuuup ! letters.... Damn, MTV has really got the hooks into ol' Dan. Sad. Well, at least the target market is happy.
@154- not really... 2% is an entirely made up number that you invented (or otherwise got "stucked" in your head) so it's not really a reliable statistic that one could use for comparing. And misspelling when you are trying to get snarky with someone is like trying to tell someone off and puking.
Surprised there hasn't been much mention of the implant. I just had my Implanon replaced with a second one after a perfect three years. I love being able to locate it in my arm as a "double check" but not worry about it "getting lost" in my uterus.
I'm on my second mirena. I had a day or so of cramping after a painful but not horrible insertion on each. I'm also 5 years without a period, pms, or monthly cramps.

I've tried every method there is, and used condoms with each type until I was in a long term relationship. Everyone has to find what works for them, though.
i am amazed dan didn't rip LW a new asshole. I was reading the letter and thinking the whole time who the fuck cares? WHY are you stopping him from having sex with anyone? would you do that for a straight friend sleeping with a girl you found less than ideal? i bet not.
@116 No, no, no that is not how NuvaRing works. You have to use them consistently, just like birth control. You can't put it in whenever you feel like. That's a diaphragm. And you have to keep NuvaRings in the fridge or they will go bad. They are a good option, though. I switched to them from the pill because I was tired of the spotting I had on the pill even when I took them at exactly the same time every day. For whatever reason, the NuvaRings eliminated that problem. So, Yahtzee. I recommend them. However, they don't come cheap.
From personal experience, here are some recommendations I have in regards to the copper IUD:
1. Make sure you take something for the pain before insertion because it won't "just slide right in". It fucking hurt worse than any pain I've ever had down there, resulting in me passing out in the clinic.
2. Make sure you have a few days of rest after insertion. Doing anything that involves extended periods of movement will be uncomfortable.
3. Be prepared for heavier periods with lots of cramping. Increase intake of calcium to help uterine muscle contraction and drink raspberry leaf tea for the two weeks before your period.
4. Tell your partner before you have sex that you might experience soreness or sharp pains during intercourse. Open the channels of communication so they understand when it's time to ease off.

I'm not trying to knock IUDs. I think they are a great method of hormone free birth control, however, they aren't perfect and it's better to know what could happen before it happens.
The diaphragm has a bad rap, but it's actually worked pretty well for me and people who don't live in America. Negatives: you need to not be completely stupid to use it. Put it (a silicon cup) into your vagina and check that its secure, do the deed, and leave it in for 8 hours or so, til all the sperm dies. You don't even technically need to use spermicide, especially with a condom, although better safe than sorry. This only costs you $50 from PP and lasts for a few years. Which, is why it's not pushed. The pharmaceutical industry doesn't make money off of it.
Maybe late to the game, but chiming in here, in case TIMELY or another lady with the same question is still reading comments...

High-five to you for being proactive about your own health and sex life, seriously. That's awesome, responsible foresight. Encourage your friends to do the same!

All of my lady friends have had different experiences with different kinds of contraceptives, and it's sadly true that there's no way to know what will work for you until you've tried it. Personally, I did great on the Pill (tri-cyclin, and later, the seasonique brand that gives you 4 periods a year) ...I LOVED the Pill, but my doc said I couldn't take it anymore because my migraines put me at higher risk for stroke when taking oral contraceptives. I am now a few months into my first IUD, the Mirena, and I have to say... getting it inserted was pretty horrible. (I haven't ever had children, and I had to have a cervical polyp removed in order to do it, and it was the 2 most painful doctor's visits of my life.) I also had some cramping for the first month which was no joke. HOWEVER, after getting through that, things are actually pretty great - light/practically non-existent periods (looking forward to them getting more predictable as I adjust!), hardly any PMS at all, and no more stress about pregnancies. For at least 5 years. Without me having to do anything else. My doc even told me that for pregnancy prevention, the Mirena is statistically as effective (or more) than getting my tubes tied. And sex is still awesome. WIN. SO WORTH IT.

If you can get the pill, and you don't have any risk factors that make it a bad idea (classic migraines, smoking, etc, TALK HONESTLY TO A GOOD DOCTOR ABOUT THIS) it's really worth a try, and well worth trying out before you are sleeping with anyone. The basic low-dose stuff (like the Tri-Cyclen Lo) is pretty affordable and has the benefit of you being able to quit it at any time if it doesn't work for your body. Given that you've got the clarity and foresight to be thinking about this now, you're probably responsible enough to set a daily alert on your cell phone (or whatever) to remind you to take it on time every day. Try it out for a few months, see if you like it, switch your prescription if you want to, give it a shot. This also goes for the NuvaRing, which I've heard some people really like.

If the Pill doesn't work for you (and I have a few friends who it sucked for, it's not for everyone), an IUD is a totally legit option and is great for really long-term reliability. If you're going to get one and you haven't ever given birth, GET RECOMMENDATIONS/REFERRALS FOR A REALLY GOOD GYNO WHO HAS DONE A TON OF IUD INSERTIONS. Seriously. You want a seasoned pro for this. Take a max dose of ibuprofen ahead of time and plan to take that day and the next day off to chill on the couch with a heating pad and some bad tv. And give it a chance to get better. For most people it does get better, and winds up being worth it. :)

In any/all cases, USE CONDOMS if you and your partner haven't been tested!!! You can still use condoms with ANY of these other forms of birth control - pill, IUD, implant... Have them for a backup against pregnancy AND as much protection as you can reasonably get against STIs. It will give you confidence and peace of mind. Buy them for yourself and tell your partners to buy them too. Make condoms mandatory, because they shouldn't be a big deal - they should be the standard. Train those college boys well!
And have fun!
I'm wondering if I'm a female gynandromorphophile. I'm not attracted to drag queens, with the big exception of a local (to Boston) very hot drag queen called Frieda Fries. She doesn't even bother to shave her chest so in looks she fits someone who be a love object for a gynandromorphophile. But the thing that turns me on is she's all woman inside. Some drag queens, I'm assuming Dan was one of those, just do it for laughs. I'm not attracted to those; there has to be two spirits for me to be attracted. Likewise I'm not attracted to straight guys willing to put on stockings and garters just to humor me. I have to be with someone who NEEDS to dress.
Here she is:…

That saying my girlfriend/boyfriend is hotter (and even taller and more muscular), and thank goodness likes the ladies.
Back when I was heading for college 40 years ago, I had a friend who did what TIMELY is asking about. She was a virgin who started on birth control pills (no shots or patches available back then) when there was no boyfriend in sight. She had a fantasy in mind. She was going to meet the perfect guy and be swept off her feet and have sex with him without having to wait or have any encumbrances.

It didn't turn out as badly as I was predicting. She did go home with a man she barely knew after only a few weeks there, and it did turn into a relationship of sorts. When that man ditched her and she was heartbroken, she embarked on a string of relationships in which she expected each man to meet her, fall for her, sweep her off her feet, make mad passionate love to her, save her from the wrong guy she'd had sex with previously, and carry her off into the sunset on a big horse or whatever.

No communication about birth control required. To my surprise, none of that turned out as badly as I would have predicted either. She didn't get what she wanted, but she didn't die from the experiences. She kept running with the unrealistic expectations until she learned and got different expectations.

My idea was to make sure the guy was willing to talk to me about birth control first. I wanted him to be willing to help put my diaphragm in. I insisted on communication and friendship first. I never ran into a man who put up much resistance to my very reasonable demands. Here's the surprising life lesson. I thought then and still think now that my "method" was the superior one, but there are no guarantees. My early sexual experiences were no more perfect than hers were.

That's what I'm trying to keep in mind when advising TIMELY to have her own condoms and to wait with the long term birth control until she knows the man in question a little better. I'm trying to walk between the extremes.
My apologies if someone has already mentioned this, but most doctors don't recommend an IUD for a woman who hasn't already given birth.
@123,127,128: "correct" usage isn't as good a term as "ideal" usage.

Incorrect usage does not mean people putting condoms on their ears, it includes "in typical use". In the real world people are drunk / high, it's too dark, a condom might be old and someone forgot to check carefully. Oral contraceptives: lots of people are usually careful but life gets REALLY busy and they forget a day.

Nuva ring, diaphraghm, FC: same problem. Human error.

The reason IUDs and implants in actual usage are so close to their ideal rate (very low rates of pregnancy) is that they just work for 99.9% for an extended period of time. A professional sets it and forget it for years. They're not perfect but anything else is gonna have a much higher failure rate in practice no matter how careful a person is, people make errors. Of course, the failure rate of condoms is sufficiently low that, used carefully, they are quite good against the most serious STIs, so it's definitely worth using TWO methods for female bodied people of reproductive years.
I've had two Mirena IUDs over the last five years (had to get my first removed to donate eggs) and I love them. I've never been pregnant and I don't plan on having kids for the next decade or so. I haven't had a real period since 2008 and it's fucking awesome.

The first insertion was moderately painful (I'd say a 6 out of 10) and the second was way less, probably only about a 3 or a 4. No painkillers for either of these insertions and it was really no big deal. Yeah, it hurts a bit and things get a bit crampy. But you know what else hurts and feels crampy? Pushing a squalling infant out of your vagina. I visualized being a total badass for the next five years during each of the insertions and it was NBD.

I recommend the Mirena to everyone ever. Of course there's side effects and downsides-- everything in life has risks and benefits. For me the potential risks of the Mirena are FAR outweighed by the benefits and I couldn't be happier about it.

Thanks for talking up IUDs Dan!

False, women who haven't had kids can easily get IUDs (sometimes with a little perseverance).

There are two models of IUDs available in the US, the Paragard (nonhormonal) and the Mirena (hormonal). The Paragard is FDA approved for use in women who have never been pregnant while the Mirena is prescribed off-label for this purpose all the time. I should know, I've never been pregnant and I've had two Mirenas.

It's also a myth that male partners will always feel the strings on an IUD. None of my male partners have ever felt my strings, and we're talking about 5 years worth of sexual partners. The trick is to have the doctor keep the strings longer so that they can be tucked up and away. Sometimes women are misinformed and ask that the strings be cut very short, which means they're short and pokey and there's not a lot that can be done about that.

Not all women experience excruciating insertions or horrible side effects. In fact, 91% of women who get an IUD report being very satisfied with this chosen method of BC a year after starting to use it, which is a higher number than women who use oral BC, barrier methods, the ring, the patch, or the shot. I'm sorry your girlfriend had a bad experience but please don't turn other women away from one of the most effective and user-friendly forms of birth control available just because you didn't like it.

Ladies: Do some reading (check out the LiveJournal community "iud_divas" for great info), educate yourself, and find a knowledgeable practitioner to do your insertion. There's a 90% chance you'll love your IUD.
@mydriasis: Short-term, serial monogamy combined with those attitudes is a documented risk-factor for STIs.

Ok, we get it - your STD prevention strategy begins and ends with condoms. Good for you, and best luck with it! If you have a lot of different sexual partners, you'll certainly need luck, even if you use condoms.

Personally, I've used a more sophisticated strategy that has, statistically speaking, probably exposed me to less risk over the course of my life than you've exposed yourself to. Part of the strategy involves a strong preference for sex with women whom I know and like, as opposed to random hookups. The other part involves factoring in the specific sexual history of my partners, which is important information for determining the risk of any given encounter.

As an example, my risk of getting an STD from all the wonderful sex in my first two long term relationships was, statistically speaking, probably less than the risk you took with your last short term hookup. How so? Well, in the first relationship, we were both virgins. In the second, our prior sexual histories included one virgin each. In both cases, we agreed that condoms were an unnecessary nuisance, and we enjoyed hot, spontaneous, fully natural, condom-free sex, with the pill as our protection against pregnancy. If risk is foolishness (which I don't believe, btw), any one of your random hookups was far more foolish than these entire sex lives combined.

My 3rd long term relationship was with a woman with a longer sexual history and a standard (i.e., mild, rare outbreaks) case of herpes. After initially bumming out when she told me, I educated myself about the disease because I really liked her, we ended up getting together, we simply avoided sex during the outbreaks (exactly one during our time together), and I never caught it from her (confirmed with a test). There is plenty of research demonstrating the effectiveness of this strategy, BTW.

If/when I start a new relationship, and that relationship is working, there will come a point, likely within a month or two despite your doctor's recommendation, where we really open ourselves up to each other, emotionally and sexually. At that point, neither of us will be inclined to pretend that we might have diseases we don't in fact have.
"My drag name? Helvetica Bold."

Worth the price of admission right there! LMAO!
Dan - brilliant Princess Bride reference in your response to CLOD.
This may have already been asked but if gynandromorphophiles are "lovers of males in the shape of females", what is the $20 word for "lovers of females in the shape of males"? As a hetero male my earliest heart throbs were tomboys and in adulthood my favorite lovers have been lesbians who aren't hung up on keeping their gold star untarnished. I often find myself scoping people I find attractive and wondering if they are a girl I might want to hit on or a guy who I would either embarrass or disappoint.
I absolutely hated my copper IUD: it made my periods go from being 3 days long and mostly painless, to being 10 days long, very heavy, and extremely painful. I had it for 2 years, and the situation never got better, it actually got worse. I had stabbing cramps and spotting all month long, my abdomen was bloated, I had weird, yellowish, globby discharge, and my junk smelled and tasted kind of "off". And I could actually feel the IUD inside my body.

My doctor checked the placement of the IUD using ultrasound (it was fine), she also tested me for diseases and other problems (there was nothing). I am 32 years old, no kids, daily exercise, normal weight, healthy lifestyle. All of the above problems were a direct result of the IUD. Within a week of removal, all of these problems disappeared, and I was back to normal. I just wish I had had it removed sooner!

tl;dr - Age 32, no kids, healthy, my IUD made my periods 10 days long, very painful, caused many other problems. Waited two years and it never got better. After removal, all problems disappeared. IUD users, if you still have problems after 6 months, get it taken out!

Okay that is some willfull ignorance. None of what I said was specific to me, in fact what I said was based on observations of how other people work and operate. So how about you go ahead and retire from assuming about other people's sex lives. In the meantime I'll humour you:

1. The majority of all sex I've had in my life has been within the context of a small number of long term relationships.

2. My STD prevention does not "begin and end with condoms", it begins with condoms. I'm on Seasonale, actually, and love it quite a bit.

3. I've never had an STI of any kind, either, so guess what, I get to be 100% as smug as you!

I see people every day who decide after such a short period to "open up" to partners who assure them they don't have diseases. Heck, I've even seen patients who were virgins, and caught STIs from their first, long-term, monogamous partner (who then insist that they don't have the disease in question despite the obvious evidence). If you want to do that, fine.

But I would never advise that method to someone young and impressionable. It fails constantly.
Be very careful with progesterone-only contraceptives. Depo-Provera might be awesome at getting rid of your period altogether, but within a month it may throw your blood sugar out of whack if you're diabetic or pre-diabetic, you may be annoyingly hungry all the time and gain weight, lose your sex-drive, and you may turn into an anxious, angry bitch who has no patience for anything or anyone (all of that was precisely my experience while on the injection which lasts 3 months but then also takes a while after stopping to clear your system).

TIMELY: You're going to have to use condoms anyway, but it is nice to have a back-up contraceptive that you control. Birth control pills have their failings, but they can also lighten your periods and make them less painful, clear up your skin if you'd got mild to moderate acne, and give you a predictable cycle. And if you'd like to not menstruate but don't want the drawbacks of Depo, ask your doctor to give you a BC pill that you can take continuously (most women will experience breakthrough bleeding after three or four months at which time you can take your week break and have a period, then start right back up again).
175-seandr-- There are 2 major problems with the logic that one can reduce risk of STDs by preferring sex with long term relationships in which both parties started as virgins or near virgins.

The first is with definitions. My experience has been rather like yours. As I've mentioned upthread, my sexual relationships have (mostly) been with men I've known for a long time, men I've shared friendship and trust with, men I've carefully vetted.

Let me use the first for an example. We'd known each other since junior high, hung out with the same group of friends, shared innermost secrets, and done quite a bit of necking and petting before deciding, together, to go with PIV sex. We knew that pregnancy was a possibility so precautions would have to be taken. We didn't consider STDs given that it was a first time for both of us. Turns out my experience was a good one. I've said I'd recommend that to an 18 year old based on my own good outcome.

But let's say for the sake of argument that my experience wasn't good. Let's say that despite my vetting, the guy in question turned out to be a rat. Let's say I thought he was a virgin but he was really have sex with, and getting STDs from, a dozen skanky whores. That would mean that the vet-the-virgin system had a dismally low actual success rate compared to the theoretical success rate which is quite high. Detractors would point out that that example didn't count because I didn't do a good enough job at vetting. It becomes a self-fulfilling illogical mess. We know that he wasn't vetted well enough because the outcome was that I got an STD, but if I didn't get an STD, my vetting would have been sufficient.

The 2nd reason it doesn't work is that the heart wants what the heart wants. By analogy, let's say it's 1985, and a gay young man comes out to his parents. Shocked, but not totally evil, they blurt out that there's an AIDS epidemic and they're worried about him. They tell their son that he'd be a lot safer if he were attracted to women. That's actually true. His chances of getting AIDS would be lower if he weren't gay. But that's also beside the point.

Your strong preference for sex with women you know and like as opposed to random hook-ups is not a strategy; it's a preference. Preferences are not strategies (no matter how preferable onlookers might think the preference).

Great advice, as usual. You know, some people do still identify by the term "transvestite," even though we are in the minority and "crossdresser" has tended to become more and more ubiquitous. Even though "transvestite" sounds clinical, it is not perjorative and for some of us is still the preferred term for many different associations and reasons.
@mydriasis: My apologies for getting your sex life wrong. Not sure where I got the impression you led a wilder life - apparently just my imagination.
@154 You don't let go of a bone easily, do you.

"your observation that none of the high school students you know are having that sex stuff"

Now, where did I state that stupidity ? Oh, right, I didn't...
@182 Your boyfriend wouldn't even have to be a rat. Some STIs can infect an infant before, during, or after birth, if the mother is infected, and symptoms can take a very long time to show up. And, of course, kids can be molested by infected people, and not want to admit to the abuse--much less the possibility of disease--when they get into relationships later.

It might not be romantic, but a joint trip to the doctor for across-the-board testing is never a bad idea before getting rid of condoms in your relationship.

(As for the other letter-writer, the homophobic piece of shit cockblocking his friend...well, dude, knock it off.)
@184 mydriasis: I'm still wondering about how you and I ended up having two separate conversations in last week's Wedding Party column.
So---are we okay, then? You're not going to come after me with an AK-47
just because I like Brad Pitt at his current age?
I think he's got a nice smile, and seandr--you nailed it---ooooooohhhh, those baby blues!!

Okay. Late back in this week's game. Of the relationships I've had, a couple of things:
Unwanted side effects from birth control pills sucked!
I agree: condoms should be readily available in hospitals, in junior and senior high schools, everywhere---along with helpful information about their uses.
George Carlin is so right on when he stated that those arguing so violently against abortion aren't people we'd want to fuck anyway.
Which was one of many reasons why I got divorced.
@seandr - Like mydriasis and Crinoline, I'm a bit worried about your virgin/near virgin argument.

I have nothing against dropping the condom after a while in monogamous LTRs, if there's another contraceptive method in use - but a prerequisite would be to get both partners tested for all known STIs, regardless of claimed sexual histories, and to show each other the results.

I wouldn't give a pass out of testing to someone who'd say he's a virgin.

Would you agree on that ?
@179: OUCH! That doesn't sound like any fun! I'm sorry you experienced something like that. Your testimony is one more valid reason NOT to have
an IUD. I'm glad things are better for you now.

I can certainly empathize with having horribly excruciating, prolonged periods! My problems were strictly poor diet-related, however (way too much junk food and sugar!).
Now that my health has changed for the better, so far I thankfully don't have any more bad periods, either.
@auntie griz

I am honestly SO confused.

One second I was showing you a video of attractive men, you were making a joke about liking men your own age, commenting about Mrs. Robinson.

I made a joke that was intended to express solidarity while making a cheeky cultural reference like... "yeah, I also prefer to be with people my own age, we're alike in that way!"

And then suddenly I'm trolling you... or slapping you in the face... or shooting you?

For real, I have zero idea where you read hostility. Because I find current Brad Pitt 100% unappealing? I honestly can't figure it out.

Anyway, sorry for whatever I said that bothered you. :/
@ seandr.

I've done both.

It is possible, you know. After all, when your searching for a heart of gold, you should consider what kind of girl is most famed for having one. :p

By the way, even in a relationship that's been going on for years, where both partners have been tested and condoms aren't mandatory, they still have their place. Sometimes having semen coming out of you for the rest of the day isn't something you want to deal with. It can be distracting in the middle of a presentation on novel cancer treatments that capitalize on drug-induced mutations.... for example.
World record for longest hallucination?
Time dilation as per special relativity?
That thing where the guy wakes up at the end of the movie and finds out the whole plot was a dream?
Ooh, ooh, ummm, fanciful definitions of "long" or "term" or "relationship" on the part of dirty old men on the internet?

Tell us the secret, oh archaic one!

Just kidding, don't talk. Ever.
186-glass-- Would you name for me the STIs that infect an infant and take 18 years to become symptomatic? I want to do more research and don't know where to start.

"At the opposite end of the spectrum are well-documented cases of persons who have been HIV-infected for greater than 20 years without any clinical symptoms or evidence of clinical progression."…

The smart answer is to test which way it rolls before placing it on. I have seen a guy try to flip it around after putting it on the wrong way and I was mortified.

"Are you even serious?" Was my response.

As for the opening part, I don't use lube but I think a smart thing would be one of those pull tabs like that have on gum wrappers, you know? I don't know if that's possible while maintaining a seal but it'd be pretty rad.
@195 HPV would be the most common, but also syhpilis, and HIV as mydriasis said. On occasion, a case of herpes with mild and infrequent outbreaks can be missed, or at least mis-identified, especially by teenagers who may not be entirely knowledgable on STIs but at least know you have to have sex before having one.
@sissoucat: I wouldn't give a pass out of testing to someone who'd say he's a virgin.

Nothing unreasonable about that.

Personally, it's hard for me to imagine being one month into a serious relationship with a woman and not feeling like I could trust her, so I'd be inclined to give out free passes depending on circumstances. I'd probably feel differently if I was dating men, given that at least half of us are total shits.


I actually know a girl who got herpes through oral sex.
There's drug-resistant gonorrhea going around, too, and unfortunately some of it is showing up as pharyngeal gonorrhea.…
@190 mydriasis: And I'm sorry for whatever I said that might have rubbed the wrong way, too!
I may very likely have misinterpreted (I seem to be doing that a lot, lately)
one of your later posts from last week's Savage Love "Wedding Day" column.
No harm, no foul, no blood, and above all, no assault rifles, I swear.

I did enjoy Martina's song, and, however young for me, her guys were cute.
Thanks again for sharing, and god bless. -:)

Latest Griz Watch: My current weight of 165 lbs. is fluctuating, but more importantly, extra unsightly inches are staying off. I'm going tankini shopping for spring and summer!
I'm going to have one hell of a surprise for my gynecologist at the Seattle VA!! HA! I'm packing my own lunch and snacks for the trip down, though. The Canteen needs to be offering healthier food! VA officials can't keep calling us fat when there's a McDonald's on every U.S. Navy base and Exchange complex, and the VAMC cafeteria only offers deep fried junk or foods high in carbohydrates, gluten and sugar!
Bless you, Dan, everybody posting, and all fellow veterans!!
An experience shared by any woman who comes in contact with you, I'm sure.
When I was in high school, I concluded that sterilization was my choice of birth control. In my early twenties I had the surgery and have never regretted it. I mention this because I woman who anticipates spending six years pursuing a degree may be anticipating a serious career. Do you really want to be encumbered by offspring?
Dan, Dan. Helvetica? Really?? How embarassing for you.

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