Feeling a Little Alone
Dear Patrick: Do you think it’s okay for a couple to use masturbation for birth control? The pill is really difficult for me to tolerate, and I don’t like the idea of an IUD. My husband is satisfied with massage, oral sex, and a hand job. He likes to make himself come while he watches me masturbate, and I love having orgasms while being close to him this way. I know this is not what most couples do. How long can we enjoy this kind of sex before we miss out on something?
Dear Feeling a Little Alone: Isn’t it weird that there is so little discussion of how couples are dealing with the issue of birth control? The media are full of straight couples, and yet virtually none of the fake lovers or spouses on sitcoms talk about how they are preventing pregnancy. I guess the topic is so controversial that it’s been successfully banned from the airwaves. What a shame, because there are many choices, and not all of them have to do with a trip to the doctor’s office for a pill or a device. As you point out, many couples choose to simply use forms of lovemaking that won’t put the female partner at risk of conception.
You are not the only person who enjoys lovemaking without vaginal intercourse. There are millions of gay men and lesbians who certainly don’t miss it, for one thing. But I’ve heard similar sentiments from many straight couples as well. The idea that sexual intercourse is the only “real” form of sex or is more pleasurable than any other kind of lovemaking is a myth. Directly touching the clitoris, either with the hand or tongue, usually gives women a lot of pleasure. Caressing the penis with hand or mouth also feels fantastic, and many men (if they were honest) would admit they prefer a blowjob to fucking. I think the only difference between your husband and many other men is that he actually cares about the fact that your body reacts poorly to “the pill.” He sounds like an intelligent and creative lover whose pleasure depends upon your enjoyment.
Are you only worried about being different? Or are you also worried about potentially missing out on certain physical sensations? If you, like many women, enjoy vaginal as well as clitoral stimulation, there’s no reason why you can’t add a dildo to the mix. Your husband can manipulate it while your hands are busy elsewhere, or you can show him where you like to feel it moving inside of your body.
I have only one concern about this method of birth control, which is that the two of you might get carried away some night and decide, in a fit of giggles, to try something really wild—i.e., intercourse. And then you might also find that you have nothing to keep yourselves safe while you do the traditional deed. It’s a good idea to keep condoms and spermicidal foam or jelly around (and within its expiry date) just in case.