MANILA, Sept. 27, 2011—Contraceptive sex tends to lead to the woman’s being treated by the man as a mere source of selfish pleasure, with little or no regard for her feelings, according to a natural family planning (NFP) teacher.[But] “Those practising NFP are more sensitive to each other’s equilibrium, because there is constant communication and understanding on fertility. Those who use contraceptives tend to treat the marriage act as a simple sex thing that they have to get over with (on the part of the woman) and as an urge that needs to be satisfied on demand (on the part of the man),” explained NFP trainor Willy Jose, who also serves as Family and Life Ministry Vicariate Coordinator for the St. Joseph Vicariate under the Cubao Diocese.
And this is precisely the ordeal that Janice, a 39-year-old mother of 3, experienced till she decided to do away with contraceptives.
“There’s nothing nice about taking pills. Dry periods, dry skin despite moisturizers, headaches that occurred every time I took the pills, frizzy hair…you name it. [It made me] look older than my actual age. Perhaps, the new types of pills today are altered because of those side effects and to make them more ‘marketable,’ given the increasing demand for superficial beauty,” said Janice, who was on oral contraceptives during her 20s.
“Also, having sex while I was on the Pill hurt so much because of the lack of [natural] lubrication,” she added.
The mother said she started taking oral contraceptives after her second child came along and was fully aware of their components and side effects owing to research she had done on her own. Yet she stayed on the Pill “because my husband didn’t see the reason why I shouldn’t. He wanted to have sex anytime he felt like it.”
“That is the problem — the husband is not respecting the wife’s equilibrium. The use of contraceptives tends to objectify the woman, making her a source of one-way selfish satisfaction,” said Jose.
“In many cases this leads to abuse, and many liberals think they ‘liberate’ the woman by giving her contraceptives, not realizing that women on contraceptives get abused more,” he explained
After being on contraceptive pills for five months, Janice switched to another birth control method.
“To satisfy my husband’s ‘need’ we turned to condoms. Lovemaking became so mechanical. I call it simply sex — no love, therefore making me a ‘sex machine’ and not someone that is loved and cared for. I started hating the night and going to bed,” she recalled.
The marriage went on for years, with contraceptive use being a regular part of the spouses’ relationship and — expectedly — with the same unwelcoming attitude on the part of the husband toward the possibility of a child being conceived. He visibly grew more self-focused as long as prophylactics remained a part of their sexual relations.
“That is the natural tendency of couples who treat sex purely on a physiological level, rather than a gift in the marital union,” said Jose.
Usually it’s men who start out nonchalant about learning of fertility awareness, Jose observed, passing on the responsibility to their wives. But since marriage and all that it involves — decision-making, parenthood, day-to-day duties — is a partnership, “it is very important that both of them attend NFP seminars,” he urged.
Janice eventually decided to free herself from the burden of contraceptive use after giving birth to her third child.
“I got off the contraceptives because of all the side effects, physical, emotional… I also believe that what birth control pills can do, we can do ourselves — self-control,” she said. (CBCP for Life)