Family Planning in the World of Fiction (A Helpful Guide)

If you are a preteen or teen offspring of mine, you won’t want to read this blog post. You’re welcome.

Today I’m compiling research that I conducted while browsing a bookstore yesterday.

I’d like to discuss family planning as is appears in popular fiction. (Subtitle: Why my kids aren’t going to get their sex ed from the bookstore.)

To understand family planning in the world of fiction, it’s helpful to know the two different types of sex: cool sex and babymaking sex.

Cool sex is the breathless crashing together of bodies and souls in almost trancendant bliss. It requires nothing more than a slight acquaintance and functional private parts. Babymaking sex occurs occasionally offscreen and is understood to not be very physically interesting, although it’s emotionally satisfying.

Never — NEVER — does a baby result from cool sex. It can’t. You can’t spend a night throwing each other around, having your skin turn to fire, unable to breathe from the passion… and then end up with a baby. Erotic and maternal/paternal drives cannot possibly be in any way directly connected, eww.

With that established, here is a quick and handy guide to family planning, based on the wisdom of popular fiction:

You will not get pregnant if:

… you are good-looking and you’ve got an attitude, and you fling yourself into bed (or the couch, or the kitchen counter) with someone who is likewise good-looking with an attitude.

… you are a well-endowed female who wears a tank-top and has tattoos, and routinely engages in hand-to-hand combat with supernatural beings.

(Note: This option also means you won’t ever have to deal with time-of-the-month problems, which is good because do you know how hard it would be to fight a vampire when you already feel like somebody kicked you repeatedly in the abdomen, and all you want is ibuprofen and a bed?)

… you’ve got a hot guy protecting you from bad guys, and you succumb to the chemistry between you.

… you have met the love of your life, and spend a spontaneous romantic weekend with him.

 

But pregnancy does occur in fiction. It has to, because otherwise how would you have all these hot half-breed supernatural beings, or all these incredibly hunky, tough-yet-sensitive cops? So…

You will get pregnant if:

… you are already married.

(Note: This is really the key right here. Once you get married, your coolness factor drops to a dangerously low level. If you’re not having cool sex, it’s bound to turn into babymaking sex.)

… you have an ill-considered fling with somebody who turns out to be not-quite-human.

… you are not married, but you’re deeply in love with each other, but he has to go away for some reason.

… you are married, and he dies. You’ll have gotten pregnant about two weeks beforehand, and will find out two weeks after he’s buried.

 

But even happy married-like love doesn’t guarantee babies. You won’t get pregnant if:

… you and your husband desperately want a child, and not having a child will drive a wedge between you.

* Alternatively, you do get pregnant, and you and your husband are thrilled. You will miscarry.

* Alternatively, you do get pregnant, but it will nearly kill you.

But cheer up! Usually after you go through emotional and physical hell for a while, and you and your husband reconcile and have sweet babymaking sex:

* You will have twins.

 

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8 thoughts on “Family Planning in the World of Fiction (A Helpful Guide)

  1. [snicker]

    Fortunately, real life is more fun than fiction. All of my children were conceived in a night of reckless, completely irresponsible passion. 😉

    • Not possible. You play the violin an are happily married. Oh, wait. I bet your wife could kick vampire butt, so I guess her coolness pulls you through.

  2. I notice a few (particularly female) authors of fantasy will supply a magical means of birth control. Because otherwise, the plot lines make absolutely no sense in a low-technology setting. You will have three weeks of fun adventuring together, and then you will be pregnant and puking your guts out while he goes back out to battle. (Rosemary Sutcliff writes a book which is quite realistic on that score–I think it’s *Mark of the Horse Lord.* But it’s non-magical.)

    An interesting novel that pits the modern expectations in such settings against perhaps a more faithful understanding of fairy tales is *Ice,* by Sarah Beth Durst.

    Good point about the cycle. It’s true–not the best day for vampire slaying. You would think they would take advantage of it in some way.

    • That was an unfortunate pairing of cycle-and-bad-guy there. I almost changed it to werewolf… but that would’t be much of an improvement.

    • Leaking blood around vampires is NEVER a good idea. They never showed it in the TV show, but Buffy must have locked herself away for several days every few weeks. Otherwise every vampire in the county could have tracked her down in thirty seconds flat.

      • Exactly. So women in urban fantasies don’t HAVE that problem. They never get word of a rampaging bad guy and say, “Hang on, let me count up… Ooh, this weekend isn’t good for me AT ALL. Could you guys take it this time? And pick me up some supplies and ibuprofen on your way back.”

        A woman’s cycle a terrible inconvenience even in real life, much less in scifi/fantasy. So the entire fictional world deals with it by completely ignoring that it ever occurs.

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