Let’s talk sex
For the past nine years I’ve been using the IUD (Intra Uterine Device) as contraceptive method. It hasn’t failed me once, but admittedly I get anxious about it every once in a while. So much so, that I use other contraceptives along with it. I have this a deep fear of falling pregnant. Three kids was more than I bargained for…
Lately though, I’ve been exceptionally broody. All I want, is to experience pregnancy. Swollen belly, bar morning sickness and hormones, birth and lack of sleep. Especially the latter. But I want to wear beautiful maternity clothes and sit uncomfortably. Well, maybe. I even don’t mind waddling too much. If possible, I’d like it to fast forward and give birth to a sixteen year old. I like being a mom of teens.
It is for this reason that I had my most embarrassing episode a few weeks ago. You know how parents only have sex when babies are conceived. Well sometimes they almost conceive too. But we all know that almost doesn’t count right… Right? Almost. Yes, let’s call it that. Not like I want you to know what I do for fun and stuff.
Okay, so that week we almost conceived I went into total panic mode. I say almost because there are times when almost does count. Like that one night in April ten years ago when it last did. My gut told me then. A woman knows these things. Even when it takes a urine sample at the doctors rooms when pregnancy is the last thing on your mind because you think it’s flu and there’s been no change in your menstrual cycle. And when you’ve religiously been taking your pill administered by said doctor. Now can you understand my anxiety?
I don’t know what afterglow pillow talk is like at your house but mine went along the lines of “You need to get me the Morning after pill tomorrow!” “I can’t fall pregnant again.” “We can’t have a baby… We’re too old for that now… The kids are all grown… What were you thinking? I have to go to Beijing in December… What the hell was I thinking? Babe, you have to get me that pill! It’s gonna make me sick but I need it.” All this and more… I might have threatened to never almost ever again! I like the idea of pregnancy but not the reality. When broody, get a puppy.
A sleepless night and horrible day at work later, we went to the pharmacy for the morning after pill. It felt like my most embarrassing moment to date. Totally trumping the day I crossed Heerengracht Street in Town and my skirt flew over my head exposing my undies. Or the day I spoke to everyone after Sunday service, which I never do, and realised afterward that my teeth were smeared with red lipstick. The horror!
With great difficulty I asked my pharmacist for the pill. Trying to disguise my girly giggles and feeling like a teenager who did wrong. Ok maybe not so much a teenager but more like “Now you know what I was up to last night”. Or within the last 72 hours. It just doesn’t sit well at all. I’m an adult woman and a mom of three so obviously sex happens. But it’s not like I want the world to know when it happens or how frequently. Answering a questionaire to obtain the pill was even more uncomfortable. Or maybe it was me calculating the amount of hours lapsed since intercourse on my fingers and checking my phone to corroborate it. All this with my pharmacist looking at me and assuring me that there is nothing to be shy about. Off course he would say this! And if it were me I’d be telling another woman the same thing. Did I ever tell you how irrational I can be at times?
Having sex is nothing to be ashamed of. Shared between two consenting adults it is awesome. Throw love in the mix and it is amazing.
But the thing is this… Anything sex related is often a taboo topic. Buying sex related products is frowned upon. To many people, that is. Ask the assistants at one of my favourite pharmacies. They will all jump to assist when I’m in any of the aisles except for when I’m buying condoms or looking at lubricants and feminine products. Ask the old man who looks at me with disapproval when I dare buy condoms. Is it a man’s job to buy it exclusively or are women not allowed to have sex? Don’t mention the young couple with their little ones who stand too close to me when I pay for said contraception. The poor mom wanting to shield her brood from it and possible questions that she’s nowhere close to answering. Or the little old lady who gets embarrassed for my sake. Nope, it’s definitely not a woman’s job to buy condoms. What happened to men being responsible for their women. I see the unspoken words in her eyes. Silently condemning me.
Talk about feminine products… Menstruation is a normal bodily function for women and girls. It happens to girls, women, wife and mothers alike. Nothing to be ashamed about. Everyone knows this, but I find it alarming when I get stared at when I walk with my daughter’s stash monthly. I suppose I could grab a basket and walk inconspiciously to the paypoint instead of grabbing a couple of packs off the shelf and keep it in my hands. But why? Then there are tampons. Super tampons are not for pleasure, it has to do with your flow. If it’s heavy or not. Can someone please just let the non tampon using humans in on this. We don’t use it for gratification. At least I don’t. So why do both men and women stare?
What I do find even more hypocritical is that every one of the above people will have no problem in giving me some parenting and or product advice for my baby. They would go as far as to smile with the same baby and talk to me, possibly tell me how cute the baby is. Let’s face it, I do bake some cute kids. Most people know how babies are made but somehow they don’t readily associate and accept that sex was had. I’m sure it’s in the back of their minds. Mostly boxed in the motherhood archives, because moms don’t have sex.
But why am I telling you about my sex life and that I use tampons? It’s simple really.
1) There are many women who feel uncomfortable about talking about menstruation and sex. Some may say it’s silly but I would have to strongly disagree on the silly factor because it is the reality of many women. Women are judged for just about anything. For bleeding too. My sincere apologies if I sound crass for saying it like that. But it basically comes down to that. A natural body function that all women experience is made to make some women feel vile and dirty.
Sex and menstruation are not taboo topics. Women experience both and we shouldn’t have to be ashamed of it. By shying away from it we make it seem like dirty words and deeds. We need to embrace our womanhood and sexuality in order to raise a healthy awareness to the women of tomorrow. The fact that it’s still a bit of a hush topic may be the reason why there are such a lot of teenage pregnancies occurring all the time. Just a thought…
2) Buying products to protect ourselves from unwanted pregnancies and STD’s is as much our own responsibility as our partner’s. Heck, buying lubricant doesn’t mean you’re going to get kinky. Some women need lubrication. It happens.
3) Most people who have an opinion, spoken or unspoken words, will not be around to care for you if and when an ‘accident’ occurs. Babies are no accident though. They bring you so much joy in life but an unwanted pregnancy is a bigger problem than being side-eyed by a stranger in a store. There are too many kids in the system instead of loving homes. Accidents can be in the form of a disease as well.
4) Buying feminine products as a whole shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. My husband often does store runs for my daughter and I and he doesn’t get looked at funny. In fact he gets thumbs up from men and high fives from women. Not to mention when he buys condoms. *eye roll*
After getting over my mental meltdown about falling pregnant again, I can happily say that there is no 4th K on the way. I feel rather silly about my embarrassment at the pharmacy but I got over that real soon. My pharmacist has not seen the back of me just yet. Hopefully never for the morning after pill again because it wreaks havoc on my hormones.
In conclusion ladies, if you’re of the percentage of women who are comfortable enough with being a woman and don’t bat an eyelid when making your intimate purchases, good for you. I urge you to encourage other women to let go of the old beliefs and ignore the Judgie McJudgeson’s of this world. Every woman needs someone to take her hand sometimes or push her in the right direction.
To the women who are shy and uncomfortable about “girls stuff”, I can’t tell you to just get over yourselves. I do want to tell you that it’s not that bad to not give a damn and get yourself sorted. Like everything in life, faking confidence is sometimes the best course of action. Whether you fake it when walking into a room full of strangers like you own the place or buying intimate products pretending it’s a loaf of bread, just fake it till you become so good that you start believing in yourself. Ultimately believing in yourself and what you stand for is what makes a woman unique. And that’s the most important thing in life.
PS: I’d like to thank all the ladies who assisted with their input during this post. Many times I feel like I’m about to ramble on about a topic or experience and I need sounding boards to know that I’m on the right track. This blog is all about educating and enlightening and not just another woman wanting to force feed experiences.
PPS: This post is not husband approved. #SuperM (my person) will probably have a mini stroke while reading this. 🙈