At the cellular level, sex = risk. You can change the course of somebody’s life, including your own, when you exchange vital fluids in this manner. In all our days, we have yet to really tame the Pregnancy Enigma. Why that baby then? Why not the other baby now? What comprises a baby: corporeal elements like blood and bone and brain or existential elements like who’s your daddy and what state is mommy in at this moment? We all know the science and culture of conception but meaningful birth control eludes us. Conception is a cardinal power, we really do not make it happen no matter how hard we try. It is bigger than us to spark life on mere command, our mechanical interventions are clumsy but work for some. Whether we try to tame it in the lab or just set it free in the corn fields, sex makes babies. Life is persistent!!
It’s hard to believe that basic fact at times, when you’re knocking along without a scare, your barriers are holding or your fingers are crossed just right. You may think intellectually about what you believe is your reproductive plan but there are choices to be made when you’ve caught a live one. This is where the power rests on humans, to continue or to end the gestation. Post-miracle-of-life stuff. Every egg ultimately tossed to chance, which genetic dibs and dabs might be swimming by… these actions are only partially conscious choices. Ovulation is a sequence which once completed leaves an egg in the tube. We might nudge and push that egg schedule around and try to hocus-pocus up some babies in an invasive manner. Every pregnancy is a roll of the dice, unique, discrete, and fragile.
That’s the problem I hear about the most, when people examine the risk of interactive sex and it is not just fearing “the herp” but of having a kid at the wrong time or with the wrong person or even with best intentions it all goes bad. I do not diminish the need for care and caution even as I advocate for more analysis. What do you want, what can you sustain, where are the anchors? Honest self-appraisal: are you ready, are you fit, are you committed? So hard to tell the truth about yourself at least twenty years into the future: you just want to love-fuck free and easy, not worry, be happy, share and party yet still at the root is the cosmic spark of risk for which we hunger at times or is thrust upon us.
No battle of the sexes after the point of conception, it is an ordained power that women can encapsulate another being in her body in a way that no man can or ever has (absent the anomalies proving the rule) and so we divide here: us women and them men. Women are the physical embodiment of what is a mind-blowing IDEA to men, pregnancy is a process men can only watch once they instigate it (or if they violently interfere). They may never even know (for sure) it is their biological child. Fatherhood is an act of faith with society via the mother, to sponsor a child. Matrilineage has usually been trackable by society embodied in caretaking and custody; patrilineage more about name and station, ego and fame. For centuries we could not even know paternity for sure… DNA was not a factor until this brief flip of time. We humans are rooted in the idea we cannot know paternity for sure, it is the majority of our racial memory to trust the parentage as reported in the records, or by tribal rule or whatever. Maury Povich isn’t the only challenger to that!
The more often more of us think carefully about pregnancy, the better chance our children have of being welcomed to a world made ready for them.
To a lesser degree, the disfiguring and fatal sexual diseases are rooted in science and numbers too, you do not have to sex with a lot of people to get an STD, you have to make yourself vulnerable to one person with that STD… there are symptoms and odds and all the rest but at a microbiobial level there’s a spark or there is not.
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