The Roses Of Fertility Awareness: One Woman’s Experience With Natural Birth Control

Hey there! I’m Rose.

I’m in my mid-20’s, and I’m a southern woman here in the good ole US of A. I’m new to SuzyKnew.

I’m going to take you through my adventures of using fertility awareness as a contraceptive method on my page The Roses Of Fertility Awareness. I just started this year.

So, what’s this all about? Becoming aware of your fertility or times during your cycle when you’re most likely to become pregnant, so you can avoid vaginal sex or use a condom or diaphragm (barrier methods) to avoid getting pregnant.  Some people call this “natural birth control” or “natural family planning.”

When I started learning online about the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM), one thing became very clear: I had to learn to be okay with being intimate with my body.

Here in the States – as in many places – the human body has long been held up as both sacred and dirty, dating all the way back to the days of dear old Victorian morality and sexuality, and confusing and disempowering women (and men) for hundreds of years. This mindset has deeply pervaded our mind, affecting individuals of all races, ethnic groups, and socioeconomic statuses, teaching us to both hate and be estranged with our own bodies – an internalized phobia, if you will.

And of course, this phobia and hate has been un-proportionally put on us lady folk. Little boys masturbate? Oh, it’s just a part of growing up. Little girls masturbate? Call in the abstinence-only educators! Women are often blamed in sexual assault. Well, what was she wearing?  She was asking for it. The Pill was (and is in some parts of the world) denied to women because of the fear that she would have sex with whomever she wanted whenever she wanted (Oh God, no!). In the States, breastfeeding in public is seen as inappropriate. But, media is constantly bombarding us with boobs as sexual playthings for men, right? African American women’s bodies, in particular, have historically been over-sexualized and -publicized and owned collectively by both black and white men.

And, so our bodies are seen as sexual and sensual, while at the same time dirty and somebody else’s. We don’t know or love our own bodies.

One reason I decided to try FAM was that I wanted to buck this misogyny and know and be empowered by my body. Oh, and not get pregnant…by the way!  For me, hormonal birth control, while it had offered me immense freedom and protection in the past (and clearly for many women it continues to do so, hooray for contraception!), was controlling my body. It was another external source dictating what my body could and could not do.  I wanted to cut out this external substance and see what my body would be like when left to its own volition.