Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Real Women Don't Like Lust" (Part 1)

"Real Women Don't Like Lust" (Part 1)
by KC Schnitker

I am compelled to write this series, "Real Women Don't Like Lust", in response to various media (movies, magazines, television and print) continually characterizing women as sex objects and as insatiable wild lusty types while in reality all the emphasis on 'sex' and 'sexy' and 'sex lives' separated from real meaning and purpose is having the exact opposite effect- driving couples further apart and in the long run making women feel kind of pukey about it all. 

I am an instructor of The Ovulation Method of natural family planning (NFP) and I've become so frustrated by these dishonest, inaccurate and harmful portrayals of truly beautiful and life-bearing woman and the obnoxious emphasis on the errant notion of a 'sex life' that I came up with the following to express my thoughts and frustration:

There should be no such thing as a "sex life". 
There is "married life" and within it, the many expressions of love 
which includes the renewal of the wedding vows.

I received the testimony below from a woman I instructed who has experienced that very aversion that happens to women over time in this culture.  She enthusiastically relates what a difference natural family planning- NFP (a.k.a.- the practice of chastity in marriage) has made in the intimate area of their marriage and in her attitude toward the renewal of their wedding vows:  

"NFP.  We were huge advocates of it during the first 17 years of our marriage, when we were happy to welcome more children, and we had no real reason to avoid another pregnancy.  However, in my 40’s, with children aging from teens to toddler, I felt unable to handle another baby.  It was time to practice what we preached.

My husband was NOT happy!  He came into the faith late, and therefore had never had to exercise any sort of discipline in that area; not as a teen, not in single life, and not in married life.  In our culture, from the time boys begin to feel any urges at all, they are encouraged to release them; they are certainly not told they need to conquer them.  We were both born and raised in that culture.

When we first looked at actually practicing NFP, we had mistakenly assumed there would be two week stretches without intimacy and he staunchly refused to consider such a sacrifice.  This led to months of upheaval, as I was panicked every month, and he was sick of my emotional swings.  I was angry with him that he couldn’t contain himself for my sake.  He was mad because I was not…enthusiastically participating in our intimate life.

Finally he said he was going to get a vasectomy.  I was devastated!  Not only for the fact that he would be committing a grave moral evil, but, admittedly, because there would be no reason for me to say ‘no’ to sex, at any time.  I’d done enough reflecting on sexuality that I knew the effects of objectification, and I knew that I would end up feeling used for gratification if there was no reason to abstain. It was during this reflection that I recognized that, in spite of contraception, this divide still exists between men and women in our culture.  It is considered comical, and quite normal, for a woman to feign a headache in order to avoid making love to her husband, as evidenced in TV, movies and magazines.

I put my foot down.  We had to go get some NFP training and, at the very least, give it a good try for a few months.  He avoided the instruction for weeks, but finally agreed to yield an hour.  It had a huge impact on me.  Not so much the science part as the relationship part of it.  I remember the instructor saying that lust can never be satisfied, and that pretty much summed up what I felt was happening, and would continue to happen in our marriage, if we didn’t use NFP.

Reluctantly, my husband agreed to give it a shot.  I won’t bore you with all of the details, but this experience has proven to my husband, more categorically than anything else, that God knows what He’s talking about!  We have had more intimacy, and more enthusiastic intimacy that we had in the first 17 years of our marriage.  He is stunned to see me invite him to union, which was a constant source of strain in our marriage before.  He didn’t feel loved, and neither did I.  The best way I can define it is this: during the stretches of abstinence I see him giving; giving me peace of mind, giving me love in the countless other kindnesses that I know are not just a prelude to sex.  During the safe times, I am so in love with him for his generosity that I desperately want to be near him.  I am thrilled to have that closeness with him, and I want to give him all that I can.  NFP has been a tremendous blessing, in ways that I never imagined, and on a level of depth of heart and soul that I didn’t even know existed between two people. “

It's important to point out that this couple is not being presented here as a model for the perfect attitudes regarding married intimate life or towards children.  The focus is not on the before, which obviously needs some adjustment, but it is on the end result and how their attitudes, feelings and behaviors changed as a result of practicing natural family planning.

Living in this culture I don’t think people think there is another way and it is difficult to admit, “I’m sick of it all!!”  But, there really is another way as evidenced by the above testimony- a way that is much more fulfilling, satisfying and loving.

For a time a woman may participate and engage in the marriage act where lust is predominant, but after a time, especially after infatuation has faded… well… everyone knows what “I have a headache” is referring to AND everyone knows that the one saying it is… THE WOMAN.
Why is it that the woman is the one getting the headaches??
I have some suggestions in to offer in Part 2, “Why Women Get…Headaches”.

Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / 4774344sean

Also published in LifeSiteNews: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/real-women-dont-like-lust
And Defend Life: http://www.defendlife.org/newsletters/2013/September-October-2013-Newsletter.pdf

Monday, August 13, 2012

We Don't Need The Pill!!

It is really frustrating when I think of the millions of women who put their health at risk by using contraceptives like the pill, patch, shots, and IUD.  
Here they are taking these things that are carcinogenic, have a whole host of physical and emotional side effects and they are really only fertile about 100 hours a month and it is extremely easy for women to know when they are in that 100 hour time frame- just like it is easy for women to tell when they are menstruating.  Does anyone need to inform women, ‘Hey ladies, you are having your period?’  Of course not!  We know.  How do we know?  We know it by what we see and feel.  It’s totally obvious.  Well, we also have another period- the period during which we are fertile.   We’ll call it the ‘white period’.  We can know that we are having this period as easily as we can the ‘red period’, we just need to be taught how to recognize it and how to act around it -either to achieve or postpone pregnancy.  It is that simple.

I once talked to a woman who was literally floored to find out she was only fertile about 100 hours a month.  She was outright angry when I explained to her the 'white period'.  She had asked her doctor about a secretion she noticed each month (the ‘white period’) and he asked her, 'Does it look like this..., this... or that...?'  She said, 'No,...No,…and No.'  He replied, 'Well, that's just… normal'.  NORMAL??  He told her nothing about the significance.  He probably didn't even know!  She had been taking oral contraceptives for years and her health was suffering along with her libido.  She was excited to learn about a natural, effective alternative.

OB/GYN's do not know or tell women about this method or the other methods of NFP either because they are ignorant of them, don't get any financial compensation or because they don't really know about how they work or believe they are effective.  There are no high-salaried NFP reps going around to their offices to make presentations over a drug company catered lunch.  Nor are the doctors receiving kick-backs, bonuses or profits from prescribing NFP the way they could when they prescribe a drug1 like the birth control pill.  

A Catholic friend of mine who uses NFP recently went to her OB/GYN post- baby.  They asked her what kind of contraception she planned on using and she informed him that she was Catholic and so did not use contraception and that it was against the teachings of her Church.  She also told him that she planned to use NFP.  He spent the next 30 minutes pressuring her to take the pill even after what she had said.  
I am curious about why he would care if she decided not to take the pill and to use NFP?  What could his motivation possibly be??  Profit?  Perhaps.

When she brought up that the pill and shots are carcinogens (rated class one by the WHO) AND that they are abortifacients- he flat out denied it.

In regards to the abortifacient properties of the pill- here is an excerpt from www.drugs.com about Ortho-Tri-Cyclen (one kind of pill):

“Ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate is a combination drug that contains female hormones that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medication also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.”

The abortifacient action of the pill is not hidden and can be easily found by looking up whatever pill brand online.  Some sites like contraceptivereviwer.com actually make a joke out of it (reviewing Desogen brand):

“Taking the contraceptive pill, Desogen, will also thin the lining of the uterus and alter the mucous at the neck of the cervix. If, by chance ovulation does happen then a little sperm inside a woman who is on a course of Desogen is going find it extremely difficult to make contact with her uterus. In the unlikely event of a tough little swimmer (sperm) managing to fertilize an egg, he’s going to have a big shock when that little fertilized egg tries to bed down into the wall of a ‘not so comfortable’ uterus (due to the thinning of the lining that Desogen causes).
This is why Desogen is one of the most effective birth control pills.”

When the pill first came out, it was strong enough to prevent ovulation most of the time, however, women died.  So they had to lower the dose.  When they lowered the dose, break-through ovulation occurred so then conception could occur.  That’s why the pill works now in three ways: tries to inhibit ovulation, thickens cervical mucus and thins the lining of the uterus.  The pill’s action, now, is not only to attempt to prevent ovulation, it also prevents the life of a baby from continued development by making it difficult to implant or to survive long if the baby does implant, thus it’s abortifacient action:

“The FDA’s detailed patient labeling for oral contraceptives (sic) says,
"progestin-only contraceptives (sic) are known to alter the cervical mucus, exert a progestinal (sic) effect on the endometrium, interfering with implantation, and, in some patients, suppress ovulation."2
Very conservative estimates state that the Pill kills pre-born children between 2 and 10% of the time.3 However, many medications and other external factors increase the abortion-causing nature of the Pill.4 Also, since 1988, the amount of the contraceptive component of the Pill was lowered, which allows the abortion-causing component to come into play more often. It is estimated that some forms of the Pill of today cause abortions up to 50% of the time.5 Emory University’s Contraceptive Technology published that the "mini-pills" allow ovulation to take place 40 to 60% of the time.

It is estimated that there are far more chemical abortions than surgical abortions.  It’s awful that women are not being informed about these things or if they are told that these effects are marginalized!!! 
It is also disturbing because there are natural methods like The Ovulation Method which is 99% effective, simple and easy to learn and very inexpensive.  The pill costs $30-$50 a month while NFP is a one time investment of about $100- that’s it and the woman has it for life.

It is REALLY easy to know when you are fertile.  The Ovulation Method is the most simple and effective method of natural family planning there is.  It is used in over 100 countries in the world and it can be learned by anyone. The Missionaries of Charity teach it to the poorest of the poor.  Those who are illiterate have the same success rate as those who are literate.  You can even be blind and do this method.  

There are no complicated charts or calculations to make- just a daily awareness of what you feel and see and if you want to postpone or achieve pregnancy, at the end of day popping a sticker on a chart. 
Some might ask, can it really be that simple?  The answer is- Yes.

2.     Federal Register, loc. cit.
3.     Infant Homicides Through Contraceptives, 2nd ed., Eternal Life, (1994), p 1.
4.     Ibid., p 2. Ehmann pp 16-17.
5.     The Birth Control Game: Gambling With Life, American Life League / Pharmacists for Life, (866)538-5483, (1990), p 2.