The New Year is off and running, and I bet even if you didn’t make an official list of New Year’s resolutions, you’re thinking of how to be your best empowered self this year. As the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is steeped in sexual and body empowerment, I’m sure it’s right at the top of your list as birth control methods to check out. By learning to not fear our bodies, we start to love them and know them and by that we begin to undermine patriarchy, or the male-power found almost everywhere in our culture. Go us!
There’s just one problem: remember that time over the holidays when you had too much spiked eggnog and ended up in the back room with your cousin’s friend? Do wonderful, hot rendezvous like that have to end when you use FAM? And, for that matter, isn’t true only monogamous women use FAM? You know: those women whose partners help them take their temperature? No! You can use FAM as a single, thriving, non-synthetic hormonal birth control-using woman!
Most FAM-ers (monogamous and not) use barrier methods (have a goalie, so to speak…) to prevent pregnancy, so that’s what we’re going to focus on. Remember, only male and female condoms prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Be your best self and see what method is right for you.
4 Ways to Use FAM and Have a One-Night Stand:
1) Use a Condom. Women, never leave the house unprepared! What I love about condoms is how easily they are carried, making sure you’re never left scrambling when things get hot and heavy. I’ve carried condoms in my purse, pockets, bras, and even my underwear. You never know what could happen! While some people scoff at condoms, social norms are changing, and condom use is becoming more and more accepted. If the guy protests, tell him to get with the times, or go find his hot friend. What else do I love about a condom? Clean up is all on him.
2) Think Outside the Male Condom. To be honest, I had not heard much about the female condom until the last year. But, the more I learned about them, the more interesting they are to me. There’s even female condom day, click here for the SuzyKnew article. Basically, they are like a larger condom that covers the inside of your vagina, from your cervix to your outer vagina lips. Like the traditional condom, they prevent STIs, pregnancy, and are disposable. What do I like about them? Women are in charge of using them (read: they will be used well), and can be an essential part of foreplay (according to Planned Parenthood, I’ll let y’all know when I’ve checked it out). Enhancing the foreplay? Yes, please. Additionally, because they are shaped differently from male condoms, more sex positions can cause the female condom to stimulate your clitoris (clitoris = pleasure center). And what woman doesn’t need more of that during sex? They are more expensive than male condoms, and there’s definitely a learn curve involved.
3) Think Outside all the Condoms. Two other prominent non-hormonal forms of contraception are the diaphragm and the cervical cap. These girls are inserted and cover your cervix to keep those little swimmers from reaching one of your eggs. They don’t protect you from STIs, but they are effective at preventing pregnancy when used well. My favorite thing about them is that they are reusable, and so are very cost-effective. Additionally, they can be inserted hours in advance, which is awesome, especially if you don’t know what the night holds.
4) Chart Accordingly. Thanks to Toni Weschler, the bad-ass woman who is in many ways responsible for popularizing FAM, you can have a comprehensive chart to record ALL your exciting happenings, not just your temperature and cervical fluid. After a one-night stand, be sure to record it, along with the barrier method you used. This will help you understand any deviations in temperature (alcohol can cause a temporary higher temperature) or number of days in your cycle.