Fun intricacy #4: Contraceptives
What it is: A method or device serving to prevent pregnancy. This includes but is not limited to: birth control pills, intrauterine devices (IUDS), condoms, diaphragms, abstinence, or the endlessly risky but widely practiced "pull-out method" which is just about as effective as crossing your fingers and hoping.
What it means for a girl: A lot. Making the decision to protect your body and use a contraceptive can sometimes be time-consuming, expensive, and uncomfortable.
A lot of commonly used methods include hormones, which means a woman may have mental and/or physical side effects that can last a few months or hang around for the duration of the contraceptive. Some women set alarms to remind themselves daily to take their birth control pill. And if a woman settles on the "convenience" of an IUD, just know that they made the choice to pay someone to place a piece of metal or plastic permanently inside their uterus so YOU don't have to deal with the willy-nilly of wearing a condom.
What it means for a guy: This is important, so pay close attention. IT TAKES TWO PEOPLE TO MAKE A BABY. That means you and your partner are responsible for ensuring you are covered if you want to have consensual sex and do not want to make another human being while doing so. If you do not know whether your partner is using a contraceptive, ask her. If her answer is NO and you do NOT want to have a child together, use a condom or DO NOT HAVE SEX. Don't forget, babies are made by having unprotected sex. We can't stress this part enough.
*Special fun sex tip: To protect yourself from STDs while still having intercourse, use a condom. All other contraceptives listed here do not prevent or cure STDS.
And that's it. The miracle of life, in one adorable listicle. The No. 1 thing to remember is that periods are unique and different for each female, and her reproductive system belongs to her and her alone. It is your job to respect the women in your life, respect their bodies, and never, ever, ever, ever blame their feelings on PMS.
Seriously. Stop doing that.