Thursday, July 23, 2015

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby....



.... let's talk about you and me
let's talk about all the good things 
and the bad things that may be....
(Salt n' Pepa)

Guess what folks?  We need to talk.  We need to talk about something serious, something that's not going away.  We need to talk about fertility and sex and natural family planning and periods and cycles and gestation and everything.  We need to talk about it because we're really, really good about ignoring the whole subject.

Oh, we're plenty good at talking about some parts of it.  We're good at talking about what's "sexy" and we're good at casting judgement on clothing and behavior.  We're good planning parties and offering way too much advice, but we're not very good at talking about the important sides of things.

We're not very good about talking about fertility in a big picture - the good and the bad.  We're not very good about sharing the fact that some times your body or your planning method works too well and sometimes it doesn't work at all.  We're kind of good at sharing the joys, but we haven't learned how to talk about the ups and downs of fertility and family planning without it being a taboo or insulting subject.

I know some people aren't comfortable hearing about sex and fertility and family planning.  I know not everyone is comfortable talking about sex and fertility and family planning, but somewhere out there there are people who want to listen and have no one to talk to and people who have stories to tell and no audience.

We have women who think that maybe having a few more kids won't be awful who need women with more than two children to share their journey.

We have women who feel that there must be a better way to take control of their bodies than with pills, injections and implants who need women to who are comfortable talking about temperatures, charts and mucus.

We have women who are overwhelmed who need mothers of many to speak up.

We have women who scared and disappointed with their bodies who want people to know their stories and their struggles.

I know there are some people who think that our fertility and our bodies should be private, that it shouldn't be small talk and that we should be able to keep ourselves safe from whatever the opposite side of the scale we're at, but I don't think that's going to get us anywhere if we all adopt that mentality.  Sure, we all have different comfort levels and testimony, and we should always be ready to change a subject when notice someone is uncomfortable, but there is so much to be shared and you never quite know how you can change or challenge someones life by sharing your story.

So it's NFP awareness week and I want you raise awareness where you're at:  

If it's easy for you I want you to share - it might convince someone to try.

If it's not easy for you I want you to share - someone out there thinks they're the only one.

If you have prudent reasons for postponing I want you to share - someone else might be waiting for a sign.

If you're in a period of openness I want you to share - show us that it's not the end of the world.

If you struggle with infertility or loss or hyper-fertility I want you to share - we need you to be visible.

Now let me break it down for a minute.....

If someone's story is not what you need - if you can't stand large family talk or NFP success or failure stories or miscarriage - I want you to pick and choose what you read and what you share.  Find what you need and leave the rest for it's intended audience.

There's no need to guilt a writer for sharing a story just because it's not what YOU need right now.

We're all grown ups and, as my Transformer obsessed child can tell you, "you've got the power" to pick and choose what you're reading.  You don't need to click that birth story when you've just had a loss - even when it's the biggest blogger in Christendom.  You don't need to click on that loss story when you just discovered another surprise pregnancy.  You don't need to follow that blogger whose life is entirely different from you if it's not making you a better person.




The point of NFP Awareness Week shouldn't be to make someone feel bad for their success or failure with the method or their success or failure in family size.  We should have NFP Awareness Week because we need to hear the stories, we need to hear the sides and there are so many people out there who can benefit by getting a little more relaxed, a little more understanding and a little bit more confident when we talk about sex.... baby.

7 comments:

  1. This is excellent, Molly, as always.

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  2. I agree completely with your post other than the fact that I don't think that fertility should be small talk. Should we talk about it? Absolutely! But a stranger bringing these things up and asking questions about fertility is way different than doing it in the context of talking with friends or writing about it in blogs or in a women's group or presentations in marriage groups or whatever. Nosy neighbor Susie asking me about my family planning feels just icky.

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    Replies
    1. I think intent goes a long way in the small talk world. Nosy neighbor or gossipy coworker? None of your business. Mom's group acquaintance who's not quiet a friend yet who's genuinely concerned or curious? I think there's room to have small talk about these things.

      I guess, maybe it's semantics for me, but for me small talk isn't just something I have with complete strangers. I small talk with neighbors and friends too. I'm not going to talk cervical mucus with the cashier at the store it'd be inappropriate just like it would be inappropriate for her to nag me about child spacing. Perhaps, I'd prefer it if the idea was not "No small talk about it" and more "Don't lead off with fertility talk - let's get to know each other first"?

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    2. Yep, I do think it's a semantics thing! If we get to know each other, than I don't consider it small talk anymore. And in general, I think with "small talk" people don't really care so much what you say, it's just to fill the silence. So if it's someone you have gotten to know a little and you are discussing fertility stuff in a more serious tone, then it's not "small talk" to me. Our definitions of small talk are just different!

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  3. YES. (And, seriously, if everyone on the Internet could just agree to not read things they know they don't want to read, comboxes would be much happier places...).

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  4. It seems like this would be a good post to share again this year! A message we need to keep hearing...

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