Savage Love

It Got Better


as always Dan, very decent column. can't wait to see you on MTV!
Something's telling me this week's column won't get 400+ comments.
but what does HE think? does he want to marry you? did he make a fuss when you broke up with him? he may be still available when you get back in 3 years, but he might want to stay unmarried and on the playful, irresponsible side of relationship-hood.
@2, is that a challenge?


Given his age, he isn't going to wait around hoping you will realize you've made a mistake. Someone closer to your age might be willing to take a chance on you, but look at it from his perspective. Granted there are no guaranties in life, but you've bailed on him once. I don't think that there is anything that you can say or do to convince him that you won't do it again.
Does being gay mean you're obligated to contribute to the cause of gay rights or to be interested in LGBT politics? I mean, I can see why that battle needs to be fought primarily by LGBT people, but isn't it kind of everyone's battle? And what about people like MG who just aren't into it? I know gay people who feel ill-at-ease with the gay community because it's just a group of people with whom they share nothing in common other than sexual orientation. I'm guessing MG is like this, and I don't totally blame him.
Interestingly, MG also could do with being reminded that It Gets Better. I remember coming out in graduate school in 198[CENSORED], and meeting one dyke in particular, a couple years younger than I, who voiced it pretty well: she was tired of the other dykes because they were going on and on 24 hours a day about oppression. She just wanted to hang out and have a good time once in a while. She wasn't alone. Turns out even the activists got tired of struggling and needed to just hang out and experience life.

Once you're out of college, MG, it will get better. You'll live a life that is too full of work, hobbies, worship, pets, friends, family, and hopefully a wonderful relationship for you to remember to whine 24 hours a day about oppression.
LMABC, as someone who volunteered for PP, you should know that spermicide is terrible for women. I'm really shocked you would recommend it. And Dan, I thought you would know better too!
I was recently told the same thing about condoms at the sexual and reproductive health clinic - that they just aren't reliable enough. That is why, here in Calgary, they are putting IUDs in the teenagers assembly line style in mass clinics. I got one too now and it is fantastic. So far, I feel that it is healthier than the pill, spermicides, condoms as far as birth control goes...I would still use a condom with a casual partner. I wish I had got it at 16 instead of 40.
"Not all LGBT activists are humorless scolds. Some are, for sure (and they tend to be overrepresented on college campuses)"

Ooooh is that not true! Dan speaks the truth. Sure not all activists are humorless but most of them sure are. Whether it is the oppressed gays, the blacks, the hispanics, the women, or the environmentalist activists it seems the order of the day is bitch, bitch, bitch. They look under every rock for something that gets them offended and then spend their entire lives flailing and railing about every real or imagined slight.

These over privileged fucks live in the richest country in the world and spend their time whining constantly about how bad they have it. I think if we took the time we all collectively spend whining and moaning about how this group gets this and this group doesn't get that and spent it on science(and I am talking about REAL science NOT Women's or African American studies) we would have transporters and warp drive by now. Beam me up Scotty- there's no intelligent life down here.

It does not JUST GET better, it IS better. Sure there is the bullying thing and the anti-gay violence which Dan has taken firmly by the balls but the fact is gays, on average, have a higher education level and a higher income than straights. I think this is because they do not usually get married. Marriage is definitely a one way street. If the man makes money, he is going to pay when they get divorced. If the woman makes money, SHE will pay almost nothing in the divorce. You know I am right! So if you are going to base your whole idea of oppression on the fact this society is slow about changing the definition of marriage that has been around for, oh about 10,000 years or so then you are being ridiculous. I wanted to marry our 14 year old babysitter and I feel I am oppressed because our awful society won't let me. Dammit. She was really cute.

As for Drowning My Sorrows: He has never been with a man at age 46 but you just KNOW he is Bi? This makes absolutely no sense to me at all. Dan's answer was perfect for her though. Oh to be 26 again...
@ 10 - Maybe I'm mistaken, but didn't you previously say you were a sociology teacher? How close has sociology brought us to warp drive?
A horrific (and ignored-for-two-months-because-I-didn't have-health-insurance) reaction to spermicide gave me PID. Whoops. I guess my two methods now are condoms and possible infertility.
This is not meant as an attack at anyone here. I'm just trying for understanding and closure.

I realize this off topic, but for personal reasons can anybody tell me whether its all cheaters are habitual liars or all habitual liars cheat? I realize its probably just semantics, but I could use some clarity in a very confusing situation.

Sorry for the distraction.
Ricardo, you're so obviously a bitter old lonely dried up "gay" who has nothing to offer this conversation other than tired elderly tropes and ill thought "arguments" any other that you participate. Go away, old-- you humorless dust ruffle.

I see that EricaP's here giving her enlightened opinions free of charge and quite unsolicited...over and over again. I like the fact that she posts first and reflects later. It's spontaneous, like a belch.
A lot of women are actually allergic to spermicide and it can increase the risk of STI as it irritates the vaginal tissue. As someone who worked at PP for years, I can tell you that we did teach condoms as a BC method and never recommended spermicide unless the woman was there for a diaphragm or cervical cap. We almost always recommended two methods if possible, but would never tell a woman not to use only a condom if that was all she could do.
Ricardo, you're so obviously a bitter old lonely dried up "gay" who has nothing to offer this conversation other than tired elderly tropes and ill thought "arguments" any other that you participate. Go away, old-- you humorless dust ruffle.

I see that EricaP's here giving her enlightened opinions free of charge and quite unsolicited...over and over again. I like the fact that she posts first and reflects later. It's spontaneous, like a belch.
oh...Professor is retarded, too. Lotta loud old fucks in the gay community with nothing to say at length (david mixner and many other professional homosexual oppresionalists comes to mind). Thing is they once were young fucks with nothing to say at length...I guess they had their youthful vigor and looks to distract from their relentless stupidity. That's long gone for you, ricardo and professor. Now it's just gumming your words and resenting the shade.
@15 my thoughts exactly, being a woman who's unwittingly used condoms with spermicide and wondered why they were so uncomfortable. Then I read about nonoxynol-9 and it all made sense. Spermicide is wretched--might as well not have sex at all it makes it so uncomfortable. There's your birth control method.
Dan, regarding your response to drowning my sorrows in glee you said "I think that a guy who's single, bi, and amazing in bed at 46 is likely to be single, bi, and amazing in bed at 48". Well, I am 42 and it has taken me this long to go from denial, to bi, to finally considering gay. I want what most people wnat - love, freindship, intimacy with a partner. Your comment was hurtful and for the first time ever reading your column I have felt that my journey was not up to your standards somehow. This was the last place I would have thought I would be excluded, but now it;s clear where you draw the line.
How do you say STFU without sounding insensitive? The answer has nothing to do with being white, upper class, privileged, or even gay. The answer is found in the annals of etiquette. It's called changing the subject.

When someone starts to bitch, listen sympathetically, but don't add your own whine. When they've gone on too long, ask about something in their complaint that doesn't directly impact the complaint.

For example, when a classmate is complaining about the unfair and boring biology prof, ask how she got interested in biology or what professors at the school she recommends as good. When someone is complaining about an unfair policy having to do with gay rights on the political scene, ask about whom he'd vote for or wish was running. Ask about how he envisions the future or even about what it was like for him coming out in comparison to what it was like for the previous generation. When he answers, listen with sympathy again. Then give your own answers.

See how clever this is? You've stayed on topic, just let it veer in another direction-- a direction that's not all oppression and activism.

I have nothing to back this up with (except my memories of being a female, straight, college student who was sure she was oppressed one way or another), but I'd guess that most of your buddies are going on and on about oppression because they think that's what you have in common. They're seeking to make friends by sticking to things they think you're interested in. Let's guess that some number of them will be only too glad to discuss a hundred other topics of interest. Pursue friendships (and sexual relationships) with them. When you find someone who keeps getting back to oppression in a one-track way, become too busy to get together the way you would with any other bore.
@20 can you explain more how Dan's column felt like it negated your existence?
@ Matt E, you took that way too personally, Dan was just saying that at that age the guy is likely to be single in a couple years. Dan's comments almost certainly nothing to do with his orientation. As most of us get older it's easier to spend more time alone, after all, 2 years single when we're 20 is 20% of our life up to that point, 2 years single when we're 46 is less than 5%. I think you taking offense to his totally reasonable advice is a bit weak frankly. (Not intending to hurt your feelings, quite the opposite, I'm trying to tell you to not have hurt feelings!)If you can't see that now that I've pointed it out, or decide to take my post as an attack when it clearly is not, then oh well I suppose.
I think you're taking that far too personally Matt E. At 46 someone is a lot more likely to remain single for 2 years (less than 5% of their life) than someone who is, say, 20 (10% of their life up till then). I don't think Dan was trying to say anything more than that, you may have read too deep into his statement.
Sorry everyone for that weird double post, I'm new, had to sign up and I didn't think my original version had been posted, very embarrassed!

I see someone else got the same thing I got out of post 20 though...

I don't understand how you got so quickly from "is likely to be" to "ought to be."
Spermicide raises the risk for STI transmission. What if you want one thing to work as birth control AND STI prevention?

Condoms have worked fine for me, for birth control, for almost 20 years. They've also prevented me from getting STIs... and they have done the same for many other people. I would never recommend that a woman use a spermicide unless she is in a completely monogamous relationship (and how many women think their relationships are monogamous and find out otherwise via STI?) Don't risk it.
@20 is trolling... see, for a long time Dan made statements that could be read as saying most bi guys were actually gay, and that bi was just a point on the way. A bunch of bi people got offended, and so now Dan is careful to say things like "a guy who's bi now is likely to be bi two years later."

So 20 is pretending to be a gay gay who went through bi as a point on the way, and pretending to be offended that Dan is now saying that NOT all bi guys are actually gay.
To #2...
I have nothing to add to the column and the first 27 comments that preceded me. But despite having such wonderful life thought I should still make an effort and post my meaningless comment, if only to make it slightly closer towards 400 mark.
Off topic to today's column, but of interest to Savage Love readers in general-- Did anyone catch Keira Knightly on The Daily Show the other night? Jon Stewart had her google on santorum.
Spermicide is nasty and, unless you're at home and stocked up, you're not likely to have it with you when you need it. The best option is condoms AND withdrawal. Few things prevent pregnancy better than fucking with a rubber and finishing on her tits.
Condoms alone are 97-98% effective when used perfectly. Instead of teaching women that condoms alone are an ineffective method of birth control, which is a lie, you should teach them how to improve the 86% "typical" failure rate, by inspecting each condom for tears before use and how to unroll it properly with the reservoir in the right place.
correction: 86% "failure" rate should have been 86% effectiveness/14% failure. Switched my terminology a bit without intending to.
Haha, OK here's my good faith effort to help with the comment count.

Just a few issues to consider: women are taught not to even use soap to wash the outside of their genitals, but they're supposed to squirt heavy duty chemical irritants inside their vaginae? Really? I don't think so. It perplexes me that anyone recommends spermicide nowadays.

IUD would be a good option IF women using it were 100% certain they would not get an STI. (The little string that hangs from it is a brilliant way to transmit pathogens from the vagina to the uterus and further, thus making a case of STI several times worse, in terms of symptoms and long term consequences.) I don't think your average teenage girl who's has had a nearly foolproof birth control device fitted in her uterus belongs to that group. Actually I shudder to think what happens when she goes to college.

How about condoms + BC pill? Throw in withdrawal too if you're able to pull it off (or rather, out) in a timely manner. But I suppose it won't happen every time so stick with the big two.
Best method of birth control: use the other holes.
@ 14&16 - I would ask, PP, that you refrain from using quotation marks when saying that I'm "gay". It's grammatically incorrect. Ones uses quotation marks either to quote, or to imply that the word is used slightly differently from the accepted meaning. That's not the case. I'm definitely gay in the two most commonly accepted senses of the word.

As for the rest of your comments, I may ber "humorless" according to you, but you certainly got me laughing!
Regarding MG, I think one of the problems with the obsessed oppressed is simply that it turns off people who would otherwise support the issue. In other words, it's not helping the "cause", it's harming it. The previous 400+ post discussion last week was likely one of those.

I've had the absolute privilege of living in some poor countries, and the entitled certainty of some highly educated people in western countries nauseates me in. Well-fed and SUVed complaining about some injustice or other. Some humility and compassion for each other is certainly in order, and I guess no-one wants to listen to the shrill.
@37 dameedna

Yeah, but half of those comments were just JA5 repeating himself.
@36 Couldn't PugilistPuck, who totally isn't Professor, be quoting somebody else when he calls you "gay"?

Maybe PugilistPuck was quoting Professor who is totally not the same person.
@39 - But what would be the point of that? Of course, that question could apply to anything PP says.
@12 - Keep your head up. Try not to lose hope and remember that just because you had PID does not necessarily mean that you CAN'T have kids, it may just be a lil tougher. I got PID at 15 and spent 4 days in the hospital because of it. I had a few miscarriages, but eventually I had a healthy baby girl. I didn't even have to go to a fertility doc. Not promising it will be as easy/hard for you, or that dealing with miscarriages, etc. wasn't hard, but remember, it's not impossible. Best of luck to you!
@13 - I think all cheaters are habitual liars, but not all habitual liars are cheaters..... Generally, you probably have to do a lot of lying to get away with cheating. But, just cause some does a lot of lying, doesn't necessarily mean that they are doing a lot of cheating, too.
Throw me into the camp of sensitive to spermicide. I am sure that the stuff was about 50% responsible for a string of UTIs I had while in college!

For most of the time I have been sexually active, it has been condoms and HBC - no pregnancy scares.
Dan makes his living as an activist columnist so he has an interest beyond altruism in stirring the pot! But aside from that he IS more fortunate than many (perhaps more accurately, most) gay people, because, through no skill of his own except picking his parents carefully, he's better looking than average and has parlayed that into a stable relationship with another hottie.

That said though, there's nothing gained by anyone saying STFU, regardless of circumstances. Whatever a person's situation they'd do well to either make the best of what's available, or (in the worst case scenario) run like hell away!
Where does one get condoms without spermicidal lube? Do such things even exist anymore?

Also, I think you missed the point on the first letter (MG) - he's implying that "middle class" suburban white kids who's parents pay for them to attend a university don't have real problems, for the most part. Being gay is just something to work with in college - maybe you'll have less friends, you won't go to as many parties, etc - but you're better off than being the child of immigrants living with 6 cousins and 5 aunts/uncles in a 2-room apartment on a combined $25,000 a year in a shitty, shitty neighborhood. Hearing members of the privledged class complain about the rights they don't have always rings as hollow. If you want to talk about teen/gay runaways and drug abuse, about REAL gay-bashing (gay people can in fact be assaulted for reasons other than their being gay), about the types of issues you wouldn't wish on anyone that particularly affect the gay community, fine. But a 20-year old complaining about not being allowed to adopt a child strikes me a spoiled. MG is right.
Yes, 45, they do. Have you been to a drugstore recently? Any size, any color, any flavor, any brand -- all available without. It's all I use, since I can't use hormonal BC while nursing my child (some can, but I cannot), and spermicide always ALWAYS gives me a UTI. Many women, like me, are allergic to it.

And for years, until I found a HBC method that I was also not allergic to, I solely used condoms without spermicide, and I am STI and unwanted baby-free.

Learn how to use condoms correctly and they work just fine.
@13/42 - If given convenient circumstances, someone can cheat without telling overt lies. I had thought my husband was a bad liar, but it turned out that he was pretty good at keeping a secret from me.

confused fool@13 - we can give you more advice on your liar/cheater (and extend this thread) if you give us more information to work with...
MG - educate your friends about the kyriarchy.
@45, fetish-- If you're looking for non-lubricated condoms without spermicide, you can buy them at any ordinary drug store that sells condoms. I just checked my bedside drawer and see that Trojan and Durex both make the non-lubricated sort. If you're looking for condoms that are lubricated but not with a spermicide, I haven't checked, but I believe they exist. Or just get a tube of lubricant separate.

I'm grateful for those writing to say that they find the spermicides irritating. I was young when I learned that the spermicide on condoms and designed to be used with diaphragms was a severe allergen for me. It was embarrassing at the time and an annoyance. Now I just read labels carefully. All the same, there's comfort in knowing that it's a widespread problem, not just me.
#20 sounds like he IS 20 and in college. To get butt- hurt at Dan's reply was absurd.
CONDOMS PLUS SPERMICIDE?!?!?! I call bullshit! I highly doubt that responsible sex educators are recommending condoms and spermicide. Spermicide is irritating to the vagina and can increase the STI risk of those who use it.

I just checked the Planned Parenthood Canada website. They most certainly DO recommend condoms alone as an effective method of birth control. I don't know where the hell LMABC is from.

LMABC actually uses scare quotes, calling condoms a "method" of birth control. Dan, did you check this letter with Planned Parenthood itself before throwing their name around?
I was just at Planned Parenthood, and they *do* recommend condoms alone, especially since spermicide has been shown to irritate vaginal tissue, thereby creating susceptibility to STIs.

I don't know who this person is, but their information is not correct.
@9 "That is why, here in Calgary, they are putting IUDs in the teenagers assembly line style in mass clinics."

I'm surprised that they are putting IUDs in teenagers. In the U.S., you'd have trouble finding a doctor that would fix you up with an IUD unless you have already had a kid. They say the risk of uterine perforation is higher, but I don't know what they base that risk factor on.

I had trouble with the pill, so had an IUD for years. It worked great the first time I used one. But after my second kid, I had one inserted and two months later I was pregnant with my third kid. They have a 2% failure rate, and I guess I was one of them.

If you don't want to have kids, or have enough, sterilization is a good method of birth control.
@47 - yes, one can definitely cheat without telling overt lies, but I myself consider lying by ommission still to be a lie.

@13 - yes, please more info

I'm sure we can get to those 400 comments........
And to chime in with the anti-spermicide crowd.....It didn't take long for me to figure out (at 16) that I could not use condoms with nonoxynol-9 either...ouch!
You are extremely common, ricardo. It's not grammatically incorrect, stupid. QM's can be used to draw attention to a word by the writer. That is all, gayfag.

Also, the gay activist community is rife with unfortunate looking activists. Fugly sads, or sad fuglies. They aren't getting a lot of sex for obvious reasons (pork chops couldn't induce the dog to play with 'em in their formative years). The lack of sex and isolation from being different causes them to exaggerate the oppression that they experience as a distraction from the resentment that will eventually consume their every sentient moment in choking bitterness that prevents normal functioning. This also explains their curious habit of involving themselves in, say, Palestinian enfranchisement...or other causes that have nothing to do with gay rights, or are in fact opposed to them. Instead of channeling the constant rejection of their sexual advances to, say, cryptography, understanding Ovid, learning mandarin, or linear algebra, they are constantly looking to triangulate any oppression (however slight or even nonexistent) back to them, and use that to get attention. But thank goodness for ugly homosexuals...without them, there'd be no gay rights the others were far too busy with debauched profligacy to focus on improving their lot in life. Yes, the u.s. is still a homophobic apartheid nation, but not as bad...haz a milkshake, buys a truck.
I've been all over the PP website and I can't find anything that says that condoms shouldn't be used alone. I did, however, find plenty of info that said that spermicide should never be used alone.
I think Dan means most guys who get to their late 40s and are single, as in not in FOREVER AND EVER monogamous relationships are enjoying it just fine and have no manic need to pair off. From my anecdotal experience, I'd tend to agree. By that point, most guys (and girls) tend to be pretty comfortable in who they are and where they are and a permanent full time mate isn't necessarily a requirement.
There's a big chunk of missing information in the letter from Drowning My Sorrows. I'm surprised Dan didn't pick up on it and ask. How did Mr. Playful Sex take the break-up? Was he ready to marry when she pulled the rug out from under him? Is he devastated? Is he bitter?

True, he's likely still to be single in 2-3 years, but is he going to want to take her back? Does he feel like she's running roughshod over his heart? For that matter, was he even consulted about the move and the time apart?

For all we know, at 46, he could be ready to settle down. He might be looking for The One. He might feel betrayed by the break-up and be quick to move on. We don't know, but if any part of my (admittedly fictional but not altogether far fetched) scenario is true, Drowning may have made a real mistake.
As MG is discovering, zealots of all stripes -- from put upon minorities to privileged teabaggers -- are tedious, regardless of how much their audience might sympathise with their cause or concerns. What whiners in all socioeconomic groups often fail to realize, however, is how easy it is for people to simply ignore them and leave them marginalized and preaching to the choir.
Girls should not be pumping their bodies full of hormones when IUDs have been used in Europe for decades as the preferred form of birth control. IUDs plus condoms are great. Unless you're anemic. :-( I'm really looking forward to husband getting the big snip when we're done having kids.

Pulling out fucking sucks. There's something vaguely icky about it, like the guy can't dare to come in you because he doesn't trust you or something I can't quite put my finger on. Besides nothing is hotter than a man shoving good and hard and deep and exploding as he holds you so tight you can barely breathe. It's very much a feeling of "I did a good job! :-D"
My advice to MG is the next time someone brings up how they are being oppressed, turn to them and say, "How can we stop that?"
Most people who harp on how mean the world is to them shut up when you challenge them to take action to fix the problem.
@ 13:

Technically cheating is a form of lying, if you have both explicitly agreed that you are in an exclusive relationship (a big if). However, in my experience villains very seldom see themselves as villains so don't be surprised if the cheater has rationalize the situation to the point where he or she comes out in their mind smelling better than their own farts.

As for whether all liars cheat; maybe not. However, always watch out in any relationship with anyone you cannot implicitly trust. That is not to say that you cannot have rock'n GGG sex with a mendacious hottie, but do not leave anything that you might value, like your heart or your wallet, lying around to be mistreated.
As a resident of Bellingham, I can say with full confidence that a large part of the issue is where he's living. I love it there, but the outrageous number of old-enough-to-know-better professional activists (of all types), combined with the typical obnoxious self-centeredness of college students, are a perfect storm for exactly the kind of incessant overpriveleged whining he describes. You learn quickly to avoid anyone with gray hair in a scraggly ponytail carrying a clipboard.
@61: There are two types of IUD - the ParaGard (copper) and the Mirena (plastic with hormones). Your anemia should only be an issue if you use the copper IUD, because it can increase bleeding during your period. The Mirena actually stops periods after a few months. I have one and LOVE it. I don't know why more women don't have it. The only real downside I can think of is the increased risk if an STI is contracted, but I insist on condom use and don't really sleep around anyway, so I'm not overly worried. If you're in a monogamous relationship and neither you nor your partner have an STI, you're almost certainly fine.
Maybe I'm a wimp, but I know the idea of going to the doctor and getting my cervix opened up to have an IUD inserted would turn me off from ever getting one. No thanks! I love my Nuvaring.
@ 56 - That's what underlining is for, PP.
There's a lot of pro-IUD comments here, so I just have to chime in with my bad experience. I'm in my 20s, no children, and I had Mirena for 4 months. About a month in, my sex drive pretty much went away. When I did have sex, my boyfriend could feel the strings and it creeped him out, so I only ended up having sex a few times while on it. Good for birth control... bad for the sex life. Good to know it's working for a lot of people, but #9's "assembly line" quote had me a bit nervous.
RE mg,
I attended WWU between '94 and '98. The picture he paints is precisely the environment I experienced, though being straight I'm sure I had a different point of view. When Ellen Degeneres came out of the closet it was celebrated like the second coming of Christ. Though at heart I knew I was supportive of the LGBT cause, I was actually leery of stating what was on my mind at the time, which was "Okay, you're gay. Big fucking deal".

Reading this letter brought back some fond memories. Yes the weed was good. It's good down hear in Longview too. I was also a bit turned off by all the wannabe NORML idiots dancing around chalk drawings of bongs in Red Square. Guess that makes me a right wing asshole.
But not italics or QMs? So according to you, scare quotes are grammatically incorrect. And they can be overused, but grammatically incorrect? Shaddup, stupid old gayfag.
@51, Please email Mr. Savage directly and get him introduced to someone at PP. The last letter is way off base.

Both my husband and I are allergic to nonoxynol-9. I can't take hormones, don't clot well, so no pill's or IUD's. We've been using lubricated condoms for 23+ years & never a pregnancy. The failure rate that is associated with condoms is really a disservice to the public.
I get that pregnancy prevention counselors have to say: "Use a condom AND spermicide." They have to give the ironclad advice, but it's not practical. I'm living proof you can use condoms alone for decades and not get anyone pregnant. I can attest that withdrawal works well, too, although I wouldn't recommend using it on anyone you wouldn't mind getting pregnant, because there's a lot more finesse to getting it right. It's a lot hotter than condoms, though.
@53 I had no problem getting fitted with an IUD without having had children (I'm 28 though not a teen). When I talked to the NP who fitted mine I brought up the fact it's recommended for those with kids and she told me she fits them in teens all the time. IUDs got a bad rap because the original ones in the 70s were pretty bad but they've been drastically improved.

BTW my rule has always been condoms to prevent STIs and other birth control to prevent pregnancy. For a while me and my BF were actually using 3 methods, condoms, IUD, and he's had a vasectomy. Now we're fluid bonded so we've stopped using condoms but I'm keeping my IUD because I like not having periods.
@71 After 23 years why doesn't your husband just get a vasectomy? If you aren't planning on kids at all I don't see why a quick outpatient procedure isn't on the table.
@61 wendykh

Amen to getting "the big snip." It's the best thing I ever did to improve my sex life. Staying in to the end au natural is mind blowing. Get it done the minute you can.
I hope I don't scare anyone with this fun fact but there is some pain post-op. Even if you aren't into pain normally, the orgasms you have while your sack is healing are once in a lifetime powerful. I'd almost have the procedure again.
@70 Ricardo is right about the quotation marks:

Be careful not to use quotation marks in an attempt to emphasize a word (the kind of thing you see in grocery store windows—Big "Sale" Today!). Underline or italicize that word instead. (The quotation marks will suggest to some people that you are using that word in a special or peculiar way and that you really mean something else—or that your sale is entirely bogus.)

That's from…. Other references include…,…, Wikipedia-- basically any place that discusses punctuation. Quotation marks are not used for emphasis; underlining, italicizing and bolding are.
So scare quotes are grammatically incorrect? You, too, are a fool. And no, retardo is not right. Facts as they be.
LMABC Isn't entirely correct. While using a condom and an independent spermicide (like a contraceptive film) MAY decrease the risk of pregnancy, spermicidal condoms (such as those often sold by trojan) are inherently problematic and increase the risk of contracting an STI.

Spermicidal condoms use the chemical nonoxynol-9 which causes micro abrasions in the vaginal canal or anus. This is problematic not only because it can be very irritating for sensitive tissue, but also because if the condom were to break it would give STIs a direct pathway into the bloodstream.

Additionally, the amount of spermicide on condoms is not actually sufficient to kill an appreciable amount of semen.

I would highly urge Dan to clarify this as spermicidal condoms are often marketed as being as effective as using a back up method, when all they due is increase irritation and risk of STI transmission.

@34 and 65
“IUD would be a good option IF women using it were 100% certain they would not get an STI. (The little string that hangs from it is a brilliant way to transmit pathogens from the vagina to the uterus and further, thus making a case of STI several times worse, in terms of symptoms and long term consequences.)”

“The only real downside I can think of is the increased risk if an STI is contracted...”

This is 100% false and extremely outdated. In the 1970s the Dalkon Shield was the first IUD introduced and it featured a braided, porous string that could wick bacteria into the uterus. This led to a disproportionate rate of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which can lead to infertility and other complications.

This is NOT true of the modern IUDs on the market (Mirena and Paraguard). The only way that one could contract PID because of one of these IUDs is if they were to already be infected when the IUD is inserted. Because of this, doctors are scrupulous about testing patients for STIs and fully treating them prior to inserting IUDs.

Trojan is the only brand of condoms I know of that still routinely uses spermicide. Brands like lifestyles, durex, and Sir Richards are just as widely available and do not use it.

Many US ob/gyns do not go to their continuing education. IUDs are perfectly saf for women who haven’t given birth, although the risk of the IUD slipping out is increased by about 10%. This is more of an annoyance than anything else as the IUD would cease to be effective. Slipping is easily checked for via the string that hangs out of the cervix. The failure rate for IUDs is actually less than 1% so it’s very odd that you got pregnant while on it.

@10 - Hey TROLL, get a clue! You've been told repeatedly that everyone knows you're a troll and your comments are always full of shit.
Go and make yourself useful instead of whining about how "hard you have it."
Boo hoo, I'm a man and I have to treat others who aren't like me with dignity and respect.
Tsk, tsk, poor baby!
Yep, we can all tell by your posts that you have low self esteem and little self respect but do try to pretend that you can imagine how others may wish to be treated.
You are a TROLL and in real life you're bitter and hate filled. Go and work on your inner landscape.
Seriously, there guy, the only person in your head is YOU. YOU are the ONLY thing in life that you can change and when you learn that, your whole perspective will change and you will stop being so hateful.
It is astonishing that I've given this one minute and 27 seconds to you but I type fast.
Go and sort your head out, mate.
Nonoxynol-9 is hell. Sex is no fun when you can't even have it.
My spouse and I have been using condoms alone for birth control for almost 30 years now. We are both allergic to spermicides. Nonetheless, we only have one child, and it was while we were trying to conceive. Condoms alone has worked pretty awesomely for us.

As for Noadi's question of why not get snipped if we've had all the kids we want, I can attest that in our case our insurance won't cover the entire cost, and what they don't cover is a large chunk of change indeed.
@ 78 - Thanks, Chicago Girl, but by now we should all know that PP is not bothered with facts, relevance, objectivity or anything else that might make his comments interesting or valuable.

Any criticism he has of anyone else would actually be better applied to himself, IMNSHO. For instance, he says I'm "common", but ends his remarks to me with "gayfag"... Funny, don't you think?

And the less we pay attention to him (does anyone actually read his rants?), the more aggressive he gets. The most pathetic part is that he probably thinks I'm actually angered by what he said... when all I did was set the matter straight on punctuation, coz I hate leaving any doubt about my gayness (and coz after 25 years of correcting faulty punctuation, I'm pretty good at it).
Count me in the anti-spermicide camp, though I'm pretty sure I've actually never used it; increased STI risk and irritation are not worth it. But neither is pregnancy, which is why I got my tubes tied* at 24**. I still love condoms, for the easy clean-up.

*Technically, blocked not tied, yay Essure.
**Thank you, fuss-free Seattle docs.
How are facts, relevance, and objectivity a part of the misapplication of a misunderstood rule of grammar on both of your parts? Let's go back to what I wrote to clear this up for you complete fucking morons. See, you give a moron access to the internet, and they get to misuse all sorts of rules by misidentifying all sorts of patterns.

"QMs can be used to draw attention to a word by the writer."

That's true on whatever rules for question marks you're proposing. If you're suggesting an obscure meaning for a word, then it's used to draw attention to it. Let's not even go into its uses for irony and sarcasm, turnips (which would correspond to my use of it). And in this, I used a question mark to draw attention to the word "gay," and it was legitimate--a reference to a previous exchange with retardo. The end, stupids.
@78 (and Ricardo) Amen! That's always been one of my English major pet peeves. You have the "best" fried chicken in the city?? Are you secretly acknowledging the fact that in all probability you don't? Quotes imply skepticism or, you know, a quote. Try all caps, underline, or even italics for emphasis.

(BTW PP if you missed the implication: you are an idiot.)
quotation marks even.
The point is that I'm correct, and you're a gayfag. There is no legitimate dispute here about my use of quotation marks.
@35, your information on the IUD string wicking bacteria into the uterus is several decades out of date. Modern IUDs have a monofilament that is not susceptible to wicking, and thus the only time PID is really an increased risk is during or within a month of insertion. (So get STI tested before insertion, and be wise all the time, but especially right after!)

Also--and this is really cool--the Mirena creates a mucus plug in the cervix that actually reduces the PID risk below Paragard and non-IUD levels.……
@ 87 - From what we can see @ 88 and 89, he missed it. And he's too much of an idiot to ever get it.

He thinks that the mere act of saying "I'm right" actually makes him right, in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

And really, what can we expect from someone who thinks telling a gay man that he's a "gayfag" will get that gay man all worked up? It's just laughable.
Laughable. Indeed. LOL!
I could never do an IUD.
The thought of an foreign plastic of metal object in that part of my body is deeply disturbing to me. I'm suprised other women don't feel the same. The diagrams of them disgust me - and this is coming from someone who looks at medical pictures a lot.
@83: I got snipped at Planned Parenthood for free... have you checked them out?
@87 "try caps" (rather than QM) for emphasis.

Please, oh please refrain. The density of caps in last weeks discussion was close on unbearable. Thoughtful reasonable prose works for me IN LOWER CASE PLEASE!!!! (and without exclamation marks)
The thought of an foreign plastic of metal object in that part of my body is deeply disturbing to me. I'm suprised other women don't feel the same.

[Raises hand and waves it wildly] ME! ME! The thought of someone shoving a spring into my fucking cervix makes me wanna faint while barfing.

Although I've never tried hormonal birth control, I'm sure it would fuck me up (because everything fucks me up - I am The Girl Who is Allergic to Everything). And I don't want to use anything that I have to rummage around in my vag to remove (diaphragms, sponges).

So basically for me it's all condoms, all the time. And I'm 38 and have never gotten pregnant.
@91: As the graffiti on the wall outside my local gay bar used to say, "Fags Are Gay."

Where do people get the idea that it's ok to use quotation marks for emphasis? God, it's like everyone failed grade 5.

On that note, how do you make text bold or italic on here?
I had the greatest revelation and answer to all queries... but I got on late and had to read all before, then puffed and sipped... I just remember 10's idea to 'get over it and quit bitchin,,,Well, open up then the gas chambers, closets, jails, wider... because that is just what keeping quiet does. So keep it down !!!
@ 80, I'm always looking forward to learning new things but I am not sure I can trust what you're saying about the safety of IUDs until I've seen some research that confirms it. So where do you get your information from? Right now, the official Mirena website states things like:

"Use of Mirena and other IUDs has been associated with an increased risk of PID"


"Mirena is not appropriate for women who can get infections easily. For example, if you have more than one sexual partner or your partner has more than one partner, problems with your immune system, leukemia, AIDS, intravenous drug abuse"

Why are these limiting factors if the infection won't spread to the uterus and beyond? You can be on the pill if you get infections easily, why can't you get an IUD?

@ 93, I feel the same way about it, and I could never get breast implants either, sadly :P
@99 tiare

"I could never get breast implants either, sadly"

I don't know you or what your body issues might be, but I think small breasts are exquisite!
@96 "makes me want to faint while barfing" is possibly the best description I've ever heard.

I've been using hormonal birth control for what feels like ages now and I like it but I'm too flaky to be a good pill-taker so I use condoms too for the bulk of the time.

I was shocked to read up there that condoms alone should never be used? What? Isn't that what the majority of young people use? I know that's what I used when I was young and my mom wouldn't let me go on the pill.

I'm with you - and I agree about the breast implants but I wouldn't want them anyway. I'm one of those reeeally rare girls that is happy with her breast size. And you should be too. I mean really, when was the last time you looked at a woman and thought "she'd look better with bigger cans". This is all assuming that Mr. J read you right and you weren't just being self-deprecating for humour.