Intrepid artist Erika Moen explores a different aspect of sex each week in her comic Oh Joy Sex Toy. This week, Moen illustrates her experiences with her favorite form of birth control: the copper IUD.
Read more Oh Joy Sex Toy comics about the secret brain science of desire, a super cute vibrator, and the best dildo ever.
Want more from Erika Moen? Oh Joy, Sex Toy: Volume One is 268 pages of sex tips, interviews, sex toy reviews, and more! Get your autographed copy at BitchMart.
Here is a text transcription of the comic to make it more accessible for people using screen readers. Transcription by Morgan Kelly.
Erika begins this comic by saying, “For many years, I only dated folks with vaginas, which meant the only things I had to worry about were STIs and squeezing boobs too hard. Until I fell in love with THIS British hottie… and now I have to worry about NOT GETTING PREGNANT.” Matthew jumps into the frame smiling as he adds, “You’re welcome.”
Erika explains, “After relying on condoms for the first year, we decided we wanted to have barrier-free sex, (we had both gotten clean bills of health from our clinics and were monogamous) so I tried out The Pill. But turns out… I do not do very well on hormonal birth control.” The illustration depicts Erika weeping, Matthew looks concerned as he asks, “Sweetie, why are you sobbing?” Erika responds in hysteria, “I DON’T KNOW.”
Erika continues her story, “So in 2006 I decided to try out the… Paragard intrauterine copper contraceptive. It’s an IUD (Intrauterine Device).” Erika provides a diagram of the IUD, indicating the size, material, effectiveness, and noting that it “can be used as Emergency Contraception, too!” She then includes a diagram noting the placement of the IUD with comments, “Copper makes womb inhospitable. Kills sperm and prevents egg implantation. 1-2” long retrieval strings hang out of cervix. Thickens cervical mucus.”
Erika says, “Finding the right birth control is a very, very personal matter. What works for one person is HORRIBLE for another. Personally I LOVE my IUD. Planned Parenthood charged me a greatly reduced rate that I could actually afford when I was unemployed and had no insurance as a recent college grad who’d just moved to a new city.”
“You’re impregnable, literally, the moment it goes in. Bam, just like that!” A little illustration of a sperm is crossed out as it frowns and says, “Aw, dang.”
Erika puts her hand on her hip as she continues, “Honestly, having the IUD inserted was the second most painful experience of my life. (For most people, it’s just uncomfortable). BUT, it only lasted a minute, which is still easier than getting an abortion or giving birth. After the insertion, I experienced a few weeks of uncomfortable adjustment with some spotting and cramping.” Erika puts her hands on her abdomen, a speech bubble coming from her uterus says, “Grrrr, let me get pregnant!”
A nude person asks Erika, “But after the recovery period, what’s it like?” Erika replies, “Well you’re going to experience heavier periods and stronger menstrual cramps, while it’s in.” The nude person interrupts, “Noooo, I’m talking about seeeeeeeeex! Gimmie the Dirty Deets!” Erika raises her eyebrows and says, “Ah! Well, it’s great. If you have a partner with a penis, they’ll notice it during penetration when you guys first start doin’ it. And, well, that sucks.” The nude person is now having sex with another person they shout out, “It’s poking my wiener!”
Erika continues, “But over time the IUD becomes more pliable, the cervix a little thicker, and eventually neither of you will even notice it. During this adjustment period we found using many different positions helped. So if you’re getting ‘poked’ just switch the position up!” The nude people ask Erika, “Is there a faster way to speed up softening it that won’t poke my penis?” Erika replies cheerfully with an arm full of sex toys, “Time to BREAK OUT THE DILDOS, my friend!” The nude people sigh, “That’s your solution to everything, Erika.”
The nude person then asks Erika, “How do I know if a copper IUD is right for me?” Erika says, “Well, let’s look at the pros and cons.”
• ULTA effective at preventing pregnancy (99.4% with perfect and typical use).
• One insertion lasts 10-12 years, don’t have to worry about administrating daily/weekly/monthly dosages.
• SUPER cost-effective: long-term it’s the cheapest contraceptive option.
• Hormone free, good for the biologically sensitive.
• No maintenance. It’s in, forget about it.
• Totally reversible, you’re fertile as soon as it’s out.
• Up-front cost is expensive (But it’s the only payment you’ll make on it).
• Doctor needed to insert and remove it. Uncomfortable/painful insertion.
• More difficult periods. IUD strings might poke partner’s penis during intercourse at first (they soften up over time).
• Higher chance of rejection if you’ve never been pregnant before.
• If the IUD breaks or fails, it’s a horror show (ectopic pregnancy, torn womb).
Erika smiles and holds an oversized IUD, “Is it the right birth control for me? Yes! My Paragard IUD has made my life so easy and stress-free. Will it be right for you? Maybe! Talk with your doc and do what feels right for you.”
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