Is sex the only reason you’re still watching True Blood?
An insightful quote from the former host of “Erotica Night” at a Baltimore bookstore, and the woman who will be the first-ever female number two official at the CIA. (Yup, Avril Haines is an Anne Rice fan.)
Yes, that’s right, Lizzie Crocker writes on Women in the World. “Your low-hormone pill could leave you screaming during sex for all the wrong reasons.”
The study, gleaned from an online survey involving 1,000 women between the ages of 19-39, found that women on lower-dose oral contraceptives (less than 20 micrograms of synthetic estrogen) were twice as likely to report pelvic pain during or after orgasm than those on contraceptives with higher estrogen levels, or those who weren’t on the pill at all.
These symptoms can be quite burdensome and painful depending on their severity and the way they affect quality of life,” lead researcher Dr. Nirit Rosenblum told The Daily Beast. “Young women in particular need to be aware of these adverse side effects because they are generally being prescribed the low-dose pills.
Rosenblum, who specializes in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said she and her partners first noticed the link between low-dose pills and pain amongst their patients.
I’ve been taking this type of pill without any such issues since I was a teenager, before I even knew what pre-ejaculate was, let alone exactly how the pill prevented baby-making. All I knew was that the low-dose option was believed to be a better bet for women like me who have a history of breast cancer in their family.
But the latest study has me weighing whether to toss my trusty plastic pack of oral contraceptives altogether and use a diaphragm like they did in the old days. Sure, inserting a silicone cup into one’s vagina every time there’s a window of opportunity for sex is a bit of a hassle and, well, not exactly sexy. But when the other option might be never enjoying sex again, reaching for the dome-shaped device seems like a no-brainer. Or, if I don’t want revert back to the birth control of choice for my mother’s generation, I might sign up for IUD implantation, the Ortho Evra patch, or the progestogen-only Depo-Provera shot.
A helpful Venn diagram of politicians who have run for office and people whose “junk” we have seen.
"Treating same-sex partnerships differently from husband-wife marriages only serves to divide and antagonize those who ought to be working together." - David Frum, explaining why he signed the Republican brief supporting gay marriage.
[Photo: Ben Margot/AP]
From this week’s issue, an essay on going “childless by choice,” and how too much of that may spell disaster for the country as a whole.
Sitting around a table at a hookah bar in New York’s East Village with three women and a gay man, all of them in their 20s and 30s and all resolved to remain childless, a few things quickly became clear: First, for many younger Americans and especially those in cities, having children is no longer an obvious or inevitable choice. Second, many of those opting for childlessness have legitimate, if perhaps selfish, reasons for their decision.
“I like seeing people with their children, because they have their special bond, and that’s really sweet, but it’s not something I look at for myself,” says Tiffany Jordan, a lively 30-year-old freelance wardrobe stylist who lives in Queens in a rent-stabilized apartment and dates a man who “practically lives there.”
Jordan and her friends are part of a rising tide. Postfamilial America is in ascendancy as the fertility rate among women has plummeted, since the 2008 economic crisis and the Great Recession that followed, to its lowest level since reliable numbers were first kept in 1920. That downturn has put the U.S. fertility rate increasingly in line with those in other developed economies—suggesting that even if the economy rebounds, the birthrate may not. For many individual women considering their own lives and careers, children have become a choice, rather than an inevitable milestone—and one that comes with more costs than benefits.
“I don’t know if that’s selfish,” says Jordan, the daughter of an Ecuadoran and an Ohioan who grew up in the South Bronx, explaining her reasons for a decision increasingly common among women across the developed world, where more than half of the world’s population is now reproducing at below the replacement rate. “I feel like my life is not stable enough, and I don’t think I necessarily want it to be … Kids, they change your entire life. That’s the name of the game. And that’s not something I’m interested in doing.”
The global causes of postfamilialism are diverse, and many, on their own, are socially favorable or at least benign. The rush of people worldwide into cities, for example, has ushered in prosperity for hundreds of millions, allowing families to be both smaller and more prosperous. Improvements in contraception and increased access to it have given women far greater control of their reproductive options, which has coincided with a decline in religion in most advanced countries. With women’s rights largely secured in the First World and their seats in the classroom, the statehouse, and the boardroom no longer tokens or novelties, children have ceased being an economic or cultural necessity for many or an eventual outcome of sex.
But those changes happened quickly enough—within a lifetime—that they’ve created rapidly graying national populations in developed, and even some developing, countries worldwide, as boomers hold on to life and on to the pension and health benefits promised by the state while relatively few new children arrive to balance their numbers and to pay for those promises.
Until recently that decrepitude has seemed oceans away, as America’s open spaces, sprawling suburbs, openness to immigrants, and relatively religious culture helped keep our population young and growing. But attitudes are changing here as well. A plurality of Americans—46 percent—told Pew in 2009 that the rising number of women without children “makes no difference one way or the other” for our society.
These changes are not theoretical or inconsequential. Europe and East Asia, trailblazers in population decline, have spent decades trying to push up their birthrates and revitalize aging populations while confronting the political, economic, and social consequences of them. It’s time for us to consider what an aging, increasingly child-free population, growing more slowly, would mean here. As younger Americans individually eschew families of their own, they are contributing to the ever-growing imbalance between older retirees—basically their parents—and working-age Americans, potentially propelling both into a spiral of soaring entitlement costs and diminished economic vigor and creating a culture marked by hyperindividualism and dependence on the state as the family unit erodes.
Crudely put, the lack of productive screwing could further be screwing the screwed generation.
That’s just the start. Keep reading “Where Have All the Babies Gone?" in Newsweek, and let’s hear it in the reblogs.
[Illustration by Shout]
A breakdown of sexual partners per Friend, in Friends.