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"The fact that I do hold back is somewhat of a surprise and I wonder if other women too feel the burden of fear of pregnancy. Being a woman is an amazing experience and f*ck I love being a woman! The sensuality and fluidity of this body provides an amazing vehicle to travel through life with."
I have carried around a fear in my sexual encounters my whole life and until yesterday, I didn’t even know it was there. I have recently started dating again and when the lovely man I’m currently seeing told me that he has had a vasectomy I nearly jumped on him in excitement. I didn’t realise that my whole adult life I have held a fear of becoming unexpectedly pregnant.
Now, I’m very lucky, I have three beautiful daughters and becoming pregnant was as easy as a sneeze for me, but like my friend said, “that news is not so exciting when you wanted babies.” And that makes me sad for my amazingly wonderful friends who haven't had the same opportunity to be a mother, but me, I’m done with pregnancy, babies and raising little people. There was a time when I would have had another baby, but since having two teenagers in the house, it effectively stopped any of that desire for more babies! Teenagers make the best birth control…ever!
This whole experience has provided me with one thing: relief. The weight of responsibility for contraception is no longer mine. There is no fear of a pregnancy that we didn’t consciously co-create and that provides a whole new space for freedom in sex for me. I no longer need to hold back (once we’ve been cleared for sexually transmitted infections of course).
The fact that I do hold back is somewhat of a surprise and I wonder if other women too feel the burden of fear of pregnancy. Being a woman is an amazing experience and fuck I love being a woman! The sensuality and fluidity of this body provides an amazing vehicle to travel through life with. I have met a number of women who, post-menopause, say they have the best sex of their life in their 50s and 60s and I once saw a study which reflected that. When there is no need to worry about pregnancy or STIs, both parties have a freedom of just being in the moment without that niggling fear in the back of the mind about an unexpected person arriving in nine months’ time.
But where does this fear originate? I imagine that learning as a young child about where babies come from was a bit of a shock, but in our cultural and social practices and even our language, it is the woman “getting pregnant”, questions such as “what are you going to do about the pregnancy” and ultimately it is the woman’s womb which houses the little being. It is the woman who usually takes responsibility for the contraceptive pill, IUD or implant in her body, messing up her hormones and natural cycles or in my case, tracking my cycle to monitor fertile window.
A few months ago I started a conversation on a social media page about what women do for contraception and they aren’t really great options if you want to stay, for want of a better word, “organic.” Their answers ranged from the withdrawal method, to the hormonal options above to condoms during the fertile period. That’s not to say that I’m unaware of the side effects for men of vasectomy, ultimately it is each man’s decision what he does with his body, but most of the choices are about protecting the woman from pregnancy through changing her body, not his. Ultimately, each person needs to make the best decision for themselves and their own circumstances, but for me in this connection, it feels like a huge weight has lifted off my shoulders.
Our sexuality is an amazing vessel for self-expression and when we have fears within our sexuality, it holds us back from going deeper within ourselves, with another and the moment. Every lover we have, we should treat like the God or Goddess that they are and we should expect nothing less than the same treatment from them.
With him and regardless of how long our connection goes for, I’m going to enjoy the new surrender and freedom that I feel about my sexuality. It has opened up a whole new world of exploration, a whole new world that reminds me how much fear that I’ve been holding onto in sex, no matter how subconscious and with him now that I don’t need to worry about babies arriving unexpectedly and frees me to simply be in the moment, without fear, expectation or worry and treat him like the God that he is.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2016
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