by Lena K
After my recent move, I met with a new doctor. We went through the normal questions about my age (27), smoking habits (none), drinking habits (cheap drunk) and sexual habits.
He asked me if I had “protected sex.” When I asked him what this meant (did I not take sex ed in grade 4?), he clarified. “Safe sex.”
The answer is Well, yes, I do have “safe sex.”* I am a very conservative soul: I don’t speed; I look before I cross the street; I wear a bike helmet even though I hate it and it ruins my hair.
And when it comes to sex, I feel extremely safe. But do I use hormonal birth control? Do I like my prophylactics? Do I find intimacy in talking about my old sexual partners with my new partner?
My sex does not have so much to do with these institutions of safe sex (although we did discuss the third question but it was a short answer). In fact, although I was there by myself, I do have three children under four, which is a sure measure of how much protected sex I have been having.
I am having “safe sex.” What is “safe sex”?
1. Carefully remembering and disclosing all previous partners—in so far as the diseases they carried. What if you didn’t know/notice those “bumps” down there? There’s always step two and three.
2. Retroactively finding out that my old partner is HIV positive. That would really be a bummer.
3. Always having at least two methods of birth control and one method of disease prevention. After all, babies, sex and disease do not make good bedfellows.
4. Tell your partner/ex-partner that you are pregnant and discuss the choices. Or after he storms off on you, you can look at your “choices.” After all, you can easily erase your mistake with a little fetal extraction. I say blame #3. Isn’t #3 fail-safe?
Instead, to enumerate my situation:
4. He can’t break up with me. We’re married. Well, we could get divorced, but after two accidental and one planned pregnancy, I know that he always says the right thing.
Him: We could always squeeze another crib in over there. I’ll become an accountant now. We could talk about naming him Aeneas…
Him: Maybe not Aeneas…
So why am I deemed to be having “unsafe sex”?
*Although now I understand it is to be termed “safer sex.”