Design Mom: Men Are Wholly Responsible for Unplanned Pregnancy


I came across this wonderful blog post by DesignMom, a Mormon mother of six who first wrote this Twitter thread. In today's discussions about abortion and birth control, all of the burden is on women, and all of the debate is about whether or not women should have access to these life changing resources. Blair points out, though, that men are entirely to blame for unwanted pregnancy. If men made a couple of new decisions - to use a condom, to get a vasectomy, or even to pull out -- we would have far less unwanted pregnancy and far less abortion.

Honestly, I hardly ever think about this myself - how to get men to do the right thing during sex. Exactly how to get men to do these things I don't know, and neither does Blair claim to, but her point that men should not be making policy over unwanted pregnancy while they remain unwilling to do anything that might mess with their sense of virility is just wrong.

I love the tone of this piece, and how unrelenting she is about why men won't make these choices - to preserve a small degree of their own pleasure. Here she is on condoms:

> ​Oh. I remember. Men _don’t_ love condoms. In fact, men frequently pressure women to have sex without a condom. And it’s not unheard of for men to remove the condom during sex, without the women’s permission or knowledge. (Pro-tip: That’s assault.)

> Why would men want to have sex without a condom? Good question. Apparently it’s because for the minutes they are penetrating their partner, having no condom on gives the experience more pleasure.

> So… there are men willing to risk getting a woman pregnant — which means literally risking her life, her health, her social status, her relationships, and her career, so that they can experience a few minutes of _slightly_ more pleasure? Is that for real? Yes. Yes it is.

> What are we talking about here pleasure-wise? If there’s a pleasure scale, with pain beginning at zero and going down into the negatives, a back-scratch falling at 5, and an orgasm without a condom being a 10, where would sex _with_ a condom fall? Like a 7 or 8?

> So it’s not like sex with a condom is _not_ pleasurable, it’s just not _as_ pleasurable. An 8 instead of a 10. Let me emphasize that again: Men regularly choose to put women at massive risk by having non-condom sex, in order to experience a few minutes of slightly more pleasure.

> Now keep in mind, for the truly condom-averse, men also have a non-condom, always-ready birth control built right in, called the pull out. It’s not perfect, and it’s a favorite joke, but it is also 96% effective.

> So surely, we can expect men who aren’t wearing a condom to at least pull out every time they have sex, right?

> Nope.

Read the entire piece here.