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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Using math, magic and science fiction to ease sex anxiety

Dear Distress Signal,
My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year. I know it’s dumb, but we still haven’t had sex. I’m just really scared of getting pregnant. How can I be as safe as possible? And how can I ease my anxiety of getting pregnant? I want our first time to be special. He’s been so patient with me and I really want this to be a good experience for both of us.
-Not Ready For Parenthood

Dear Not Ready For Parenthood,
A year? Yeah, that’s a fair amount of anxiety.
Don’t worry though, there are preventative measures that can be taken.
Birth control is an obvious first step, but birth control isn’t always 100 percent effective.
Don’t freak out. Debauchery can always be aided and abetted by science and math, even if they do seem like unlikely bedfellows at first. Birth control works best when using a layered approach.
If the Depo shot is 99.7 percent effective (when given on-schedule and all instructions are followed) and condoms are 82 percent effective, then using both methods will reduce your chance of pregnancy to .054 percent (that’s one pregnancy per 1852 encounters). In other words: If you had sex every day while using both methods, there would be one pregnancy per five-year period.
If you had sex once a week, that number jumps to a pregnancy every 35 years. Add in some knowledge of your ovulation cycle, and that number can be reduced even further.
One hormonal method and one barrier method should shut down the baby-box for as long as you deem necessary.
Health counselors often recommend bringing a loved one with you when a doctor’s visit will be a high-anxiety encounter.
This type of situation is no different. Bring the boy. Birth control is more effective when used exactly as directed. A second set of ears to listen to said directions are infinitely useful.
Go to the Health Center on campus or Planned Parenthood in Modesto for a more detailed conversation about which birth control methods are going to work best for you as a couple.
That’s the math-y part. Settle in for my two cents, otherwise known as completely-non-scientifically-provable-yet-alarmingly-accurate-anecdotal evidence.
I always make the gravy from scratch on Thanksgiving. That being said, I also always buy a few cans of gravy the day before. Just in case. To this day, I’ve never used the canned gravy.
I attribute this to the idea that having an emergency plan somehow magically reduces the odds of ever having to use it.
If you do get pregnant, what’s the plan?
Discuss your personal views on emergency contraception with the boyfriend. Decide how you feel about abortion. Have a tentative plan at the ready, just in case.
But remember, more often than not, the gravy ends up getting thrown out.
Once you’ve readied your body and established some guidelines for how to handle an emergency, the only thing left to pamper is the minds of the two people involved.
I don’t advocate getting drunk and deciding to have sex. Too often that leads to mixed feelings and confusion, not to mention the sticky area of consent.
I do, however, strongly recommend deciding to have sex and then having a few drinks, especially in this case.
Provided you are both of age, a few drinks (not too many, but that’s a problem for another article) should help to ease some tension.
Light some candles, sprinkle rose petals or eat a dozen cupcakes in the bathtub. Whatever it takes to get you relaxed is a good idea.
Take time to explore each other’s bodies.
Ask questions, giggle, have fun and take with you this quote from one of my favorite Science fiction authors, Kurt Vonnegut: “Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it; it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.”
Best wishes and enjoy!
The Distress Signal
Got a burning question? Submit your relationship issues anonymously at: http://goo.gl/HGAKSL or email the Distress Signal directly at: [email protected]

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Using math, magic and science fiction to ease sex anxiety