When you hear the tagline “You didn’t give up on sex, don’t give up on birth control,” what do you imagine?
I imagine a few things. Let’s talk about it.
I remember my first encounter with sexual education (aka “sex ed” for the hip). Actually, I barely remember the class I was forced to take, I just remember it was fifth grade, the girls were separated from the boys, and I wrote in my diary about it later that night. I barely even kept a diary when I was a kid, but for whatever reason–I’ll ask my therapist one day–I remember my diary entry that day. I very thoroughly discussed my intention to never have sex ever. I heard it was kind of pleasant because–of all the things sex ed class taught me–they only briefly touched on the pleasantries of sex, but I mostly heard a ton about how incredibly dangerous it was. You could, and probably would definitely get tons of diseases from sex, you guys. And the pleasure that sexual intercourse brought you could probably come from other places: like, as I expressed in my fifth grade diary: chocolate.
But okay, I did not never have sex. I didn’t give up on it.
For the record, I also didn’t give up on chocolate.
I also didn’t give up on birth control.
Bedsider thoroughly encourages the use of birth control. Sure, we all “know” about the various versions of birth control, but what does that even mean? I personally took those sex ed classes when I was ten years old, but lost my virginity fourteen years later, so like what do you even remember? And also, should our knowledge on birth control really come from something we learned before we even started menstruating? (In my case, at least.)
When I lost my virginity, we used a condom, but literally it was the cliched “80s Movie Moment” of like, “do you have protection?” and the comedienne in me wanted to be like, “why would I have protection? I’m a 24 year old virgin,” and then the REAL comedienne in me wanted to say out loud, “yeah, I have two condoms in a shoe box next to a picture of my little brother encased in a gold spray painted picture frame made of puzzle pieces” because I DID ACTUALLY and because the only reason I even had two condoms to my name was because two years prior, my coworker put them in my cubby when I had a crush on someone as IF I was going to give it up.
So anyway, it is clear to you all now that I need some birth control help, right? Because 1) condoms and 2) “the pill” were the only things I knew about and I wasn’t on the pill before I started having sex.
Bedsider also has a bunch of articles on sex: like how to stay on top of birth control even when you are on other medications, ones that touch on having better sex, and even articles that touch on “greener” sex.
Bedsider also has hilarious–and relatable–PSAs, produced in partnership with the Ad Council, which feature a montage of sex mishaps and reinforce that you didn’t give up on sex, and shouldn’t give up on birth control either. Fumbling isn’t uncommon, you guys. We aren’t all movie stars.
I never, ever in a million years (especially considering the fact that I lost my virginity much later in life) thought that I would have a mishap–you know, the kind where you have unprotected sex by accident? Well guys, I also never thought I would see a Black President. Expect the unexpected! Even super-in-tune-prudish-types can make mistakes.
The first (AND ONLY) time I had unprotected sex, I freaked out obviously. Let’s just say it was a night of pool, cheap well drinks, and an old friend. Even though I took Plan B (and felt incredibly judged and also put out financially), I still felt completely alone.
And what is most important, is that you–we–are not alone.
And what else?
Sex is supposed to be great. Sex is good for you, and natural, and normal, and did I say great?
There is nothing wrong with questions, there is nothing wrong with uncertainty. There is nothing wrong with anything.
Take care of yourself, enjoy yourself, and most of all, be informed. And safe!