This week is Natural Family Planning Awareness Week. At least it is in the US. I’m not sure that here in Australia we’re aware enough of NFP to have a whole week dedicated to it. Maybe we need a NFP Awarness Awarness Week first…
Mums on Facebook
Anyway I thought it was an interesting coincidence that I happened to stumble upon a Facebook discussion by some local mothers about their sex lives. As a psychology graduate I’m fascinated by the information you can find about peoples private lives on Facebook. And thousands are spent on studies to find out the same stuff!
The conversation started with a mum who posted a link to a Huffington post article which talked about the sex lives of married couples. Apparently it was supposed to make married couples feel better about the frequency of intercourse.
It didn’t work.
The comments mostly went along the lines of “sex, what is sex?” “3 times a week? Try 3 times a month!” etc. Generally the comments were all about the lack of sex. And I’ve come across it a lot.
Couples on NFP
This contrasts sharply with conversations I’ve had with NFP couples. Rather than talking about a lack of sex, they’re more concerned with ensuring the number of days available for intercourse is as high as possible. (Couples not trying to get pregnant will abstain during fertile times). Quite a contrast to the women on Facebook who seem to have no problem abstaining for weeks at a time.
For a long time I’ve been hearing anecdotal evidence that couples who use NFP have more sex than couples who don’t. I’m not aware of any concrete study done in this area. But it did get me thinking about the reasons this might happen.
Why do couples who use NFP have more sex?
Here are 5 reasons I think make a big difference:
- You think about sex all the time.
The thing with NFP is, you need to chart everyday, therefore thinking about fertility daily, therefore thinking about sex daily.
- Your sex drive is unaffected by hormone tampering.
I am amazed at how few people realise that a very common side effect of hormonal contraception such as the pill is a reduced libido in women. Sometimes this effect can be permanent even when you stop using contraceptives. With no hormone interference many women experience and increase in desire.
- You want what you don’t have.
If you’re avoiding fertile times in order to postpone pregnancy the simple fact that some days are off limits increases your desire.
- You build a loving atmosphere.
The whole NFP thing requires communication, requires respect for how each other’s bodies naturally work, requires putting the needs of the family above the primal urge for ‘sex now’, requires holding nothing back.
- You realise the power, beauty and importance of sexual intercourse for marriage.
This is a big one, so I’ll expand…
So often I speak to women for whom sex is really at the bottom of the to do list. And fair enough if sex is just recreation or purely for pleasure.
But if you understand sexual intercourse as something that binds a married couple together, of course it’ll be a high priority. What’s more important? Getting the dishes done or building your marriage? (Of course sex isn’t the only way to work on your marriage but it sure is vital!)
Where do you stand on the Natural Family Planning thing? If you’re married and not using it, I’d encourage you to try it out. Go to the Resources Page for more info.
Or do you have a friend who’s looking to be convinced to give it a go? Go ahead and share this with them.