My Relationship with Birth Control is Boring
I see a lot of menstruating people writing about their experiences with birth control, their periods, and getting a lot off their chest. It’s been fascinating to read about, and I’m frustrated for them at the lack of options and understanding of more complex issues regarding menstruation and birth control.
I thought I would write a post just in case there are other people out there like me — who simply don’t use any form of birth control, and don’t want to.
Since my first period, my periods have been regular. I get cramps the first day, but usually one aspirin is more than enough to deal, and for the past few months, I’ve been taking nothing for them at all.
I am very lucky…I hear all these stories about irregular, painful periods. I’m very grateful for my body.
I’ve been on birth control once…when I was about 19 years old. I was only on it for six months, and I hated it. It made me angry and depressed. I didn’t want to do anything, much less have sex.
So I went off it and felt better. More like myself. My boyfriend at the time was angry and eventually broke up with me. But I didn’t really care, honestly. I didn’t want to take pills that were changing my body and hormones. I wasn’t even enjoying sex with him, so I didn’t understand why I was doing this. Period.
I don’t want to worry about kids. And I don’t like taking anything, and I don’t want anything implanted in me. I also travel a lot, so it’s not like I have any steady relationships, anyway, and I’ve never been comfortable hooking up.
So I refrain from the activity that could actually get me pregnant. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy myself and I don’t have orgasms, but I just avoid the literal one thing (that doesn’t get me off anyway) that would get me pregnant. When I do, I’ll use a condom…if he doesn’t like it, he can leave.
(They have never done that. They always agree to the condom in the end.)
If I decide to do it without one, it’ll be because I understand I might get pregnant, and if/when that time comes, I’ll be okay with getting pregnant.
I’m not on any birth control and have no desire to be. My periods are regular, my skin is fine, and I don’t want to mess with my body’s natural cycles.
I like my natural cycle. I like knowing that if I’m stressed, my period will “wait” until I’m a little more relaxed to start. I like knowing ah, my period is going to wait until after this event and then boom…the day after said event, it comes. I like knowing when it will happen based on how I feel. I don’t want to change that relationship I have with my period, that I have been building with it since I was 12.
I like using my cycle as a litmus test to how I’m doing physically (If I eat junk food or do not exercise, I have heavier cramps than when I’m exercising more), and so I do not see the need to mask, control, delay, or skip my period.
I don’t want to skip my period. I don’t want it to go away until it is time, naturally, for it to go away.
And I don’t see a whole lot of people talking about that — Maybe because it’s kind of boring, I suppose. More attention and research should be brought to people who have painful periods and who are struggling.
But what I don’t see people talking about is the positive relationship you can have with your menstrual cycle, with your hormones. I know there are certain times of the month I will have more endurance and energy. I know there are other times where I will be more tired and emotional. I plan what I do to optimize and capitalize on that…I get my reading done and enjoy shows during the times I’m more sensitive, because that’s when I’m more open to accessing those mushy feelings. I train and work out harder when I have the endurance to do so.
I like finding new ways to work with, instead of against, the hormonal cycle I have.
I feel like this is something that gets lost in the shuffle…in the options of all the implants and pills. The option to just skip your period altogether.
But also, for people like me with boring periods. . . getting to know your body’s rhythm can be to your advantage, and not always just something irritating or messy.
I have toys, and I have partners who either understand where I’m coming from and accommodate me, or they can leave.
That it’s my body, my decision.
I don’t feel like it has held me back…because anyone who wants me to take 100% responsibility for not getting pregnant and does not meet me halfway is not a person I want to even have sex with. Also, the rainbow of sexual activity is so varied…why just do it the one way? I don’t want to be with someone who thinks penis-into-vagina is the main event, the end all be all. How boring!
I also have no desire to take something or have something implanted just for the pleasure of someone else (because, as I mentioned before, I don’t get off that way). Especially when I’m so familiar with my body’s cycle…why take the risk of throwing something off, when I have a good relationship with my period? A relationship I value more than the relationship with a stranger in a bar?
I’m a sex-positive person, and I’m pro-choice. This just so happens to be the way I feel most empowered…not taking birth control, listening to my body, and not having sex in a way that could get me pregnant, until I’m ready to get pregnant.
Sometimes it’s hard to talk about this because people assume this is some kind of religious decision, or that my decisions regarding sex are rooted in some kind of shame, or that I just haven’t found “the right” birth control.
But I have.
I have found a way that works for me — Where I don’t get pregnant, and I have a ton of orgasms, and I have agency and control and clear rules, where I place consent over what goes into my body above all things.
This is the way that has been most freeing to me.
(Besides, when it comes to the condom, if a penis-holder ever says “It doesn’t feel the same” replying with “so does not having sex at all” seems to do the trick.)