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You would think that the conversation about birth control would have became easy by 2010. You would think. And yet courts,  talk shows, neighborhoods (from ‘the trap’ to your nearest buppie enclave) and maternity wards are lined with people coping with the inability to effectively do so prior to conception.  Le sigh. Do better, people.

If you are willing to lay down with someone, you ought to be comfortable enough to discuss with them the possible outcome of a surprise pregnancy/risked pregnancy (a broken rubber, unprotected sex, etc). If you can’t, put your clothes back on and go back to 6th grade.

Condoms are a non-negotiable in my sex life. I haven’t had to debate much about that, but if you find yourself embroiled in the midst of “But baby, we can get tested together” talk…hold your ground. If you aren’t interested in having unprotected sex, don’t let anyone even attempt to convince you of otherwise. Say “This isn’t something I’m willing to bend on. I hope you understand. We can have a great time nonetheless, trust me!”

Your partner should know if you are using birth control or not, especially if you are choosing to have unprotected sex. Even if you are using condoms, you should both be prepared for the possibility of having to purchase emergency contraception (which can run from $30-60 dollars per dose).

Sometimes, barriers fail us. Your partner should be aware of where you stand on what would happen if that is the case. Personally, I keep it real funky with my partners: “Under no circumstance am I willing to have a child at this point in my life and I’m prepared to take whatever steps necessary to prevent that in the first place.” While I have two barriers up at all times (condoms and oral contraceptives) and access to Plan B, if somehow all three failed, I’d be willing to terminate pregnancy. It’s a choice I hope that I never have to make. If a gentleman is so morally opposed to abortion that he couldn’t cope with me having one, then we shouldn’t be sleeping together.

You can’t take for granted that a man will be interested in raising a child if you accidentally conceive, nor can you assume he’s totally comfortable with abortion. And while the choice is ultimately going to be that of the  woman, both partners do themselves a disservice when they fail to have these conversations prior to conception.

Keep your sex as safe and fun and healthy as possible, dears…communicate! Ask questions and be totally transparent about what your thought are as it relates to birth and birth control.

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