Kristen West McGuire, the founder of a newsletter called Secretum Meum Mihi , sends an interesting note. It’s too short for one of our daily articles , so I thought we might post it here for our readers:

Pregnancy is caused by sexual intercourse.

I thought most people knew that. But apparently in Holly wood, sex has nothing to do with pregnancy.

The season finale of Grey’s Anatomy last week included a tryst between two supposedly terminal brain cancer patients in their late teens, with their brain surgeons guarding the door. It’s okay if she gets pregnant, right? She’s going to die anyway.

The sexual exploits of the staff are right out of some adolescent male fantasy. Every single resident, and some of their patients, are having sex in the broom closet and the on-call bunk room. Even the nice Midwestern boy ends up screwing half the female residents, usually in an alcoholic haze. Yeah, just the kind of person you hope will be there for you when you collapse in the ER.

Sex in the City: The Movie premieres this weekend and probably will be a big hit at the box office. Of the four women protagonists putting it out there week after week for years on end, we have only one mother. I hear there’s a wedding scene, but no baby booties. Frankly, the promo shots from their European premieres made all four look old and tired.

I’m tired of the whole story line, too. These women bear no resemblance to any women I know. They have the anatomy, as their skimpy attire reveals. Yet there is no evidence of a monthly period. Their feet do not ache in their Manolo Blahnick’s. Juggling their complicated sex lives looks exhausting to me, and that’s before the 9-to-5 grind that fuels the party lifestyle. (Just how much do you think a newspaper columnist makes?)

The statistics are pretty stark for women who sleep around as much as Carrie and friends. The writers forgot to mention at least one or two cases of genital warts, several pregnancy scares , and at least a brush with HIV infection. Yeah, they’re practicing “protected” sex, but even smart women get “caught.”

Forty-eight million abortions after Roe v. Wade , it’s hard to argue that we are any better at controlling our fertility today than we were thirty five years ago. Artificial birth control measures treat the fertility of the female as a problem, a biological hazard, rather than a gift and a mystery woven into the fabric of being a woman. “Protected” sex implies that there is something wrong when a woman’s body does what it was created to do in the aftermath of a steamy session with McDreamy.

Heck, let’s go out on a limb here and point out that none of these women seems to have a stable relationship with a man that has stood the test of time. So, “protected” sex doesn’t seem to do much for women in terms of encouraging long term commitments from men, and it certainly has adverse effects on career prospects. Last time I checked, the office slut was still the office slut, and promotions went to the stable women executives who honed their business acumen and accomplished strategic goals.

Fertility and sexuality are united, but often clumsily shared. Protection means providing a context for that shared gift that can handle any and all of the consequences. Contraception fails. Impotence happens. Pregnancy is not a surprise. It happens after people have sex! Or it doesn’t. In real life, the desperate housewives are usually more worried about paying the bills.

Then again, I’m old and tired, too. When people tell me I look great, I am really grateful for the compliment, because I have eight children. People joke that my husband and I don’t know how this happens, but we have one up on Hollywood. We understand how real sex gets protected.

We’ve never been truly surprised to find I am pregnant. So, we do have protected sex. We’re ready for the fruit of the conjugal bed. And our conjugal sharing goes way beyond the bed. When menses and ovulation cause physical symptoms that ruin my mood, exhaust my energy and stain my clothing, my husband is right there to commiserate with me and make sure I rest. He shows his love by tackling Mt. Laundry and baking bread every day. (Yeah, our version of protected sex gets expensive, too.)

I’m not saying it has been easy. The years when I had multiple small children in diapers were pretty tough. But they taught my husband and I some valuable lessons about teamwork and self-control. And body image. And real love.

It’s easy enough to point to “extremists” like us and say, well, they are religious conservatives! No one wants to be like them! But there’s a palpable sense among the younger generation that the sexual revolution is so over. “Unprotected sex” has caused a tidal wave of STDs, abortions, and divorces. Our grandparents called fornication a sin because it had bad consequences. Do we really think we are so different?

Let’s hope this will be the last time those poor women have to stuff their feet into their Jimmy Choos and pose for the camera. I’m rooting for Carrie and Big to get married and stay married. There’s a lot to be learned when you have protected sex. In fact, I really like the pushy broad I’ve become, thanks to the fruit of my womb.

Articles by Joseph Bottum

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