Ask Gigi: My Boyfriend Wants to Use 4 Types of Birth Control to Have Sex
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I’ve recently started having intercourse with my boyfriend of over a year and it’s been fun, but there’s one thing that’s not settling with me. He won’t have sex with me unless we’re using at least three methods of birth control.
I’m currently on two forms of birth control (the arm implant and an oral form for feminine issues) and he uses a condom and the withdrawal method. I would be more than okay with condoms and my implant, but he insists he wouldn’t use any less unless he were married- which he’s made clear wouldn’t be for another 5-10 years. I want to have fun and relax but it’s almost impossible when things are halted so he won’t risk ejaculation.
Please help. I don’t want to pressure him into something he’s uncomfortable with, but it’s difficult feeling like I have to be barricaded and prepped completely every time we want to have sex.
Thank you for your help,
Well, first of all - let me just start by saying that it's better he's obsessed with multiple forms of birth control than no birth control! With "stealthing" on the rise (when a guy removes a condom secretly before sex), it's kind of nice to see a guy who takes birth control seriously. I'm not saying he's being particularly reasonable here, but at least he is serious about it.
That being said, three-four birth control methods is overkill AF. There is no chance in hell you're getting pregnant with an arm implant and the hormonal birth control pill. He may think it stems from the "rational" thinking of, "The more, the better!" But, I suspect it has more to do with control. With the pill and the implant, it's under your control. While you are a rational human who takes their birth control seriously, and while he likely trusts you, he still has to hand over all of the power to you.
This happens more often than you'd expect. When we have to give up control to our partner and trust them to legit make sure our lives stay on track, that can be scary. Imagine if the roles were reversed, not just with him, but with any guy you were dating. Would you want to trust him to take care of your body and prevent pregnancy with birth control? Personally, I wouldn't. I know I'm responsible, but the idea of letting someone else be responsible entirely for what happens to me is nerve-wracking.
I also suspect that he may have some trauma in the past around this. Maybe he had a sister/friend/relative who got pregnant at a young age and he saw how it changed their life. Perhaps he had parents who scared him senseless or a religious background that shamed sex so intensely that he is petrified to the point of immobilization. He definitely has some issues that are very much on him to work on. For this, I'd suggest he seek therapy. I don't think you should walk up to him and be like, "Babe, you have trauma. You are being crazy. Go get therapy."
You have to be gentle. This is a grasp for control over something that makes him feel helpless. It sounds like this is likely not the only place where he feels helpless. Sometimes when we have little control at work, with our families, or over what the future holds, we try to control every single little thing we can. Does that make sense?
You need to have an open and honest conversation with him about it. And don't let him gaslight you. He may be like, "But babe. What harm does it do if we're extra careful?" And, honestly, it's hard to see around a sentence like that. But, he isn't doing this to be "extra careful" because that isn't a thing. Using the pill and condoms would be "extra careful," using the pull out method and the implant would be "extra careful," but he's going over the limit to hold onto some of the power he thinks he's losing.
Come armed with information. See below for some reading materials and information on birth control so he can take a look and see the data for himself. I'm also giving you some info on talking to your partner about sex and how to broach those topics.
It's important to talk about your feelings. Discuss how this makes you feel and how it's harming you emotionally. He's using barriers in a literal sense and also in an emotional sense. He's emotionally barricading you as well. Perhaps you can compromise. Maybe he can use the condoms, but not the pull out method or visa versa? Maybe you don't use the implant, take BC pills and he can use the pullout method and condoms? Sex is emotionally overwhelming sometimes. We have so little accurate information and so little sex positivity in this world that we sort of end up figuring shit out on our own and hoping for the best.
I'm hear for you, girl. I hope this helps!