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mel's rant

Where have all the sponges gone?

Back when I first began having sex, AIDS was not really an issue in my sexual circle. None of our boyfriends were bisexual, and the IV drug users we knew were smart enough to use fresh needles each time. So it was normal for us not to use condoms. As a teenager, I opted for the pill, knowing that I was not going to be wanting to go running off to squirt some foam up me that would soon come dripping out. When I finally went off the pill, I moved over to the Today Sponge, a marvelous invention that I guess eventually got ditched as the AIDS crisis presented itself in more fearful ways to mainstream America. Then, I wasnÕt having sex for a while, so contraception was a non-issue.

Once I got back into a monogamous relationship I decided to go back on the pill. Unfortunately, about two months in it became quite clear that the pill was no longer an option for me as I became exceedingly suicidal. Off the pill I went.

I discovered that the contraception choices for couples who chose not to use condoms became extremely limited in the late 20th century. It was a struggle to find my preferred brand each time, and the expense seemed to increase with each purchase. The Today Sponge was gone, and nothing like it had really taken itÕs place. The closest available contraception was Advantage 24, a Ōbio-adhesiveĶ gel that remained active for up to 24 hours. ItÕs put out by WomenÕs health Formula/ Lake Consumer products, and basically, this product pretty much kicks ass. Easy to use, and not too harsh. Uses nonoxynyl-9 like every other contraceptive on the market, but not in such extreme quantities that it burns your little pusser to pieces or gives you a nasty yeast infection. But now Duane Reade (my usual drug store) isnÕt carrying this product, replacing instead with some pussy-eating corrosive called conceptrol produced by Ortho. I purchased this product, and not only did I get a nastier than ever infection, I had actual throbbing pain in my ovaries, and my partner almost had to go to the hospital. The company made good on itÕs money-back guarantee and into the garbage that went.

So, the only choices I can actually find readily in a drug store are spermacid, encare oval (both of which are very harsh and cause infections, and donÕt believe what they tell you when they say these products cannot cause a yeast infection, because a yeast infection is primarily caused by some agent killing off the good bacteria and leaving only the bad, which is exactly what these spermacides do), the evil conceptrol and VCF.

Now, VCF is interesting. The initials stand for vaginal contraceptive film, and what this product is is a little piece of plastic with spermacide infused, the same amount as the other contraceptives. ItÕs not harsh, but, like the other ones, it does only last for one hour and one sex act, and itÕs a pain in the ass to use. Your fingers have got to be bone dry when you insert it (after folding it twice or three times), you gotta shove and hope you get it in place, and if it sticks to your finger you gotta get another one! What a racket! So, thereÕs 12 to a box, but youÕll probably use three each romp in the proverbial hay. Yeesch! Still and all, at least I wasnÕt a general in the yeast-gard army for the next week. However, I think next time I see Advantage 24 IÕll buy up the lot, because even at 8+bux for a three pack itÕs still the most convenient pre-baby killer out there. Geez, no wonder abortions are up! ItÕs cheaper to get a little d+c than to actually prevent a pregnancy. Why isnÕt anyone looking into that?

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