The Left Case for Fertility Awareness
No pill, intrauterine device, or ultra-ribbed piece of rubber could provide the sexual liberation I experience practicing a method associated with anti-choice religious zealots.
By Megan Magray
December 26, 2019
The first time I had sex without a condom, I cried. It wasn’t that I regretted having condomless sex; I regretted not realizing I could have been doing it all along.
I’d opted myself out of hormonal birth control long before: I hated the hollowed-out, fatalistic feeling that enveloped me on the pill, and was perpetually skittish about both the pain that comes with IUD insertion and potential side effects. As a result, I never imagined myself having unprotected sex that I could deem safe. Conventional knowledge holds that medical birth control options—most notably, IUDs, and oral contraceptives—are the best pregnancy prevention tools for responsible women. Outside of condoms, effective alternatives to these medical interventions are generally considered to be nonexistent and are rarely made accessible. A desolate birth control landscape—coupled with the faulty premise that women are constantly at risk of pregnancy—meant that I spent years afflicted with a perpetual low-level anxiety around sex, deprived of the bodily autonomy that I subconsciously craved.