Monday, March 19, 2007

Yeah, yeah, I know

Alright, I know: perhaps I announced my return prematurely. I had every intention of writing more often, believe me. Let me see, there must be something I can blame. My job? Hmm, maybe - I sort-of decided a few months back that I wouldn't use valuable time at work to write on the old blog. For one, I was unsure about the job status, and I didn't want to give my employer any reason to believe I was goofing off at work. (For those keeping score, the news is decidedly good on the job front. Hell, the HR woman today was telling me about the pension plan I can opt into. I never thought I'd be in a job where a pension was offered. It seems so ... I don't know, 1950s.) I no longer feel comfortable posting while at work. And the new computer set-up at home - in my bedroom, largely because of a major apartment reorg that also revealed a faulty phone jack - is not working out. I just can't seem to summon the requisite energy to hang out in my bedroom to work away on the computer.

Still, here I am tonight. Feeling a mite emotional (for reasons I don't wish to divulge at this point), but prepared to post at least something. So what do I decide to write about in my return?

Condoms. Or, in my vernacular, safes.

I was throwing away a (thankfully empty) box of condoms today (part of a larger cleaning effort) when I noticed the "instructions." I know one is not supposed to use things without first checking out the instructions, but I figure safes are pretty self explanatory. Still, I love the double-sided "how to" sheet! After all, how often does one get to see a drawing of an erect penis? But there it is, in the first of five panels. (It's accompanying instruction is: "Put the condom on after the penis is erect, before there is any contact between the penis and your partner's body." Check.)

But what I found even more interesting was the section entitled Pregnancy Rates for Birth Control Methods. It comes with an accompanying table, sort-of like PowerPoint, which (I will again quote) "provides estimates of the percent of women likely to become pregnant while using a particular contraceptive method for one year." (It adds the estimates are "based on on a variety of studies." As someone that works in an academic environment, I'd like to see some footnotes.) I was actually rather surprised at the results. Statistically, there's not much difference between using a safe and ye ol' withdrawal method. For "typical use" (ie., was not used correctly or not used with every act), the rate with a safe is 14%, with withdrawal at 19%. In terms of "lowest expected" (method was always used correctly but failed anyway) it's even closer: 3% (safes) vs 4% (withdrawal). I don't know, this strikes me as odd. But a friend of mine tells me that he and his partner always use withdrawal, so maybe I shouldn't be that surprised (since she's never been pregnant).

So there you go, my first post of the month, and I'm writing about birth control.


Snooze said...

Ah yes, but withdrawal will not prevent STIs.

Congrats on the job!!!

j-love said...

The fact that my pal has a coupla kids could add insight to the effectiveness of ye olde withdrawl method... Happy and healthy babies but unplanned...