You’re all set to do the nasty with that hot new guy, but hold up—do you know what his protection philosophy is? More importantly, does it match yours?
We grilled five men into revealing common contraceptive methods among males, and got five women to react to their picks:
Sorry, ladies: this method continues to be a favorite among males because, in the words of Pudge, 32, “Bareback sex is more fun.”
“It's irresponsible and risky but you feel more pleasure as opposed to using rubber,” continues Pudge. “It's like the pleasure derived from eating deliciously unhealthy food.”
Jol, 23, a medical professional, admits how widespread withdrawal is—and how likely it can fail. “I see pregnant thirteen- to fifteen-year-old girls in the OB ward all the time,” he says. “Plus, factors like pre-ejaculation can also result in pregnancy.”
Kristine, 26, protests the selfishness of this method. “It’s unsafe, there's a bigger chance that you knock someone up because the guy pulled out too late, and it leaves the girl hanging. What if the girl was just hitting her stride?”
To drive home the point, Patty, 27, reveals, “I got pregnant early because my ex-boyfriend believed so fully in this damn method.”
Thankfully, men also have lots of love for the glove. “Condoms are easy to buy, easy to use, safe, and effective,” declares Niko.
Single guys in particular factor in the protection prophylactics offer against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). “If you're not in a relationship and are in a mingling mood, condoms are a must,” says Stephen, 24.
But the guys are also quick to point out condoms’ major drawback: reduced sensation. Pudge, a married man, confesses, “Even my wife doesn't like condoms because she can feel the rubber.”
Condoms earn the ladies’ thumbs up, too.
Karla, 24, says, “I think it's good that men take responsibility for contraception as well. Some think it should be the girl's responsibility, but really, [both parties should be proactive about it].”
Plus, the girls we talked to don’t seem to be all that bothered by the rubber barrier. “Sure, the sensation is reduced with condoms, but not by a lot,” says Kristine. “And there are so many different types of condoms in the market now. You just have to make sure you get a good quality condom and that the girl isn't allergic to latex.”
BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
As expected, the pill is a hit among the males. “Pills allow you to enjoy the full sensation of a sexual experience with a lowered risk of pregnancy,” explains Timothy, 26.
Pills are also favored by men in monogamous relationships who don’t have to fret about contracting STIs from multiple partners, and who are also more likely to welcome the possibility of a bun in the oven.
There are downsides to the pill though, which the guys have learned to be aware of. “Some women claim that the pills make them gain weight,” offers Jol. “I’ve also heard that taking them increases the likelihood of cervical cancer.”
The ladies are divided on the question of pills. While Karla shares that pills have regulated her period and improved her skin, Jessica, 25, admits that she stopped taking them because of the “scary side effects.”
Another pill-popper, Ria, says: “With pills, you can have as much sex as you want and enjoy it without having to worry about getting pregnant or dealing with the disruptive sensation that happens when the guy pulls out.” She admits, however, that not all pills work for all girls. “The best thing to do would be to consult your OB-GYN first since a lot of these pills have different side effects.”
While the men agree that natural methods such as calendar and symptothermal (the use of more than one fertility awareness method at once, such as the cervical mucus and temperature methods) have their proponents, most of them view these as risky.
“I’ve never risked using the calendar method,” says Timothy. “Say a girl has an irregular cycle—how would you use calendar then?”
Plus, practicing these techniques requires a guy to actually learn them. Correctly. The only advocate in the group, Jol, shares: “I’ve talked to people who have different versions of the calendar method from what I know. If you’re going to use this method, I think it’s better to do so along with another contraceptive method to be safe.”
Even women express mistrust over these methods. Says Patty, “I’m sure natural family planning methods work for some couples, but I personally don’t know anyone who swears by them. Most people I know would rather go for artificial means that offer them more safety than to take their chances with a method with questionable effectivity.”
Ria finds these natural methods “impractical and restrictive." “Adults are entitled to fun and safe sex and to have as much of it as they want,” she says. “With all the various modes of contraception at our disposal, why shouldn't we take advantage of them?”
Meanwhile, Kristine puts it bluntly: “There's nothing fun about a schedule.”
ABSTINENCE (Okay, Blowjobs and Handjobs)
As Stephen states, “abstinence is torturous,” so men have learned to resort to plan B. “Usually when there’s no condom on hand, or para walang sabit, we settle for a blowjob or handjob,” reveals Niko.
An indignant Patty says, “That’s easy for them to say—they’re on the receiving end of the pleasure! I’m only okay with stimulation as a temporary substitute to sex if I get some, too.”
And while oral stimulation surely scratches off the risk of pregnancy, on the STI front, it still fails. Kristine points out: “You know you can still get STIs through oral sex, right? I am against any form of contraceptive that leaves the girls and guys unprotected.”