I'm copyediting a new book for teenage girls about teen pregnancy. It's full of all the same alarmist warnings that I heard throughout high school: You can get pregnant the very first time! You can get pregnant even when you're on your period! You can get pregnant in a swimming pool! And my favorite--You can get pregnant even if the penis never even enters the vagina! The demon-seed can just jump up on you and swim up to your hapless little egg, and then where will you be?
Now, I realize that it's very bad when teenage girls get pregnant and makes their lives and the lives of their children very difficult. Also, teenagers are in their peak fertile period and tend to have irregular ovulations, so just avoiding the middle of the month doesn't work so well for them. But it still chaps my ass to be reading this, knowing that not only can't I get pregnant by having sex at the optimal time, I DON'T EVEN HAVE AN OPTIMAL TIME! All those years I panicked every month--what if the condom leaked? What if I took a pill twenty minutes earlier one day than the day before? Oh God!--were so pointless. I was fanatical about never, ever missing a pill, for more than ten years. The King was equally religious about asking me regularly if I'd taken it, just to make sure I hadn't forgotten. Let me tell you, we're kicking our stupid selves now. I've been off the Pill for, Jesus Christ, almost 500 days, and I've had ONE period. One. Damnit.