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Let's Talk About "Sex" ...

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Let’s Talk About "Sex"  …

Given the recent change to the site that replaced the term “NI” with “Sex,” I thought it would be appropriate to drag out my soapbox to hop on and express my opinion and satisfaction with this change. And, while you may not agree with me, please respect that I am speaking from own perspective, and we can agree to disagree.

Upon joining this site, I did not understand what the term “NI” meant.  It was a curious concept to me because my first notion was to think I had missed something in my research with respect to artificial insemination techniques. However, when my cursor hovered over the term “NI” it said “sexual intercourse” and I was puzzled. Here all this time I thought “NI” was some new technology or technique I’d never heard of and in the end it’s just really – sexual intercourse.  Now, I’ve heard sex being referred to as “the dirty, dirty,” “making whoopie,” “bumping uglies,” “doing it,” and just plain ‘ol “*&^%*ing,” but never had I ever heard of it referred to as “natural insemination.”  

As I became more familiar with the phenomenon of “NI,” it became one of the most entertaining moments of my time spent on KDR.  The debating back and forth between members who represent “Team AI” and “Team NI” often made it seem like I was the buffer between the two – I represent both Team AI and Team NI. To receive private messages or chat messages by prospective donors offering “NI” sometimes had the effects of being solicited by a used car salesman, or worse the guys on the Las Vegas Strip handing out the escort service hand bills and trading cards. “Hey, there momma-to-be wanna make a baby with me?” (seriously, they sometimes rhymed)  “NI is better than AI” “Get you pregnant – guaranteed!” Seriously?  Apparently, in setting up my profile I failed to mention that I didn’t arrive to this point in my life via the stupid train.

However, what I laughed off as men being men and jerks being jerks, I came to realize some women do find this type of behavior to be offensive and downright disrespectful.  I’d read about donors “convincing” recipients to go the “NI” route, or that the discussion of “NI” often led to unwarranted lewd and salacious conversations. Of course, no recipient wants to be harassed by some jerk-off, but some donors who are respectful natural inseminators are catching hell for a few bad apples. And, the debate of whether AI is effective as “NI” leads to a constant debate based on inconclusive evidence, and is usually one filled with negativity about the individuals involved or the process itself. Not all donors who agree to sex are sex-crazed perverts and not all recipients who choose sex are careless whores.

Why do I have a problem with the term “NI”?

The reason I have a problem is that “NI” is sexual intercourse. Whether you are gay, straight or asexual you should have some understanding of the concept of sexual intercourse.  When someone tries to convince me otherwise, I break it down to its purest technical definition. Sexual intercourse is when a man’s penis penetrates a woman’s vagina. Those who believe that “NI” is not sex have convinced themselves of this fact based purely on an emotional level. This becomes evident when I try to ascertain how a donor will be able to perform “NI” if his penis does not penetrate my vagina.  Quickly the response to that question is an emotional response.  “It’s not the same as when I have sex with my wife or girlfriend” Or, “I'm not here to please you, romance you, or give you passion.” My question is simply to explain to me how it is different – physically. The point of this exchange is never to question the motivations or intent of a donor, but to come to a mutual understanding that the act of sexual intercourse is involved.  I am human with feelings and emotions and I am protective of my body, I do not ever wanted to be equated to some farm animal that gets mounted, or some inhuman, inanimate object that is a vessel for sperm deposits. Some donors and recipients will go through great pains to convince themselves that “NI” does not involve sex. Nowhere has it ever been stated that sexual intercourse was dependent on whether a man ejaculated or not, or whether it was for conception purposes or not, whether it was good or bad, or whether it was meant to be passionate and romantic. To take it to an extreme, a victim of sexual assault would never parse the meaning of sexual intercourse or rephrase it to make it sound "nicer."  So why should I?

However, I do find that to conceive by sexual intercourse with a donor one of your greatest coping strategies must include the the ability to compartmentalize your feelings and emotions. These donors are not our boyfriends, lovers or friend with benefits. Their kindness, politeness and compassion are rarely from a place of romance or love. Their purpose in our life at this moment in time is to achieve conception. I would dissuade any person from conceiving by sexual intercourse who could not mentally and emotionally handle separating sex from love. Men do it better than women, hence “It's not the same as when I have sex with my wife or girlfriend.”

         What good can come from a name change?

I believe before we criticize the change, we seek to find some benefit from it.  I believe it is a woman’s innate response, sort of like a defense mechanism, to always be on guard when “sexual intercourse” is the subject of any discussion.  A woman subconsciously navigates her day with the hopes of not falling victim to a sexual assault.  It is the reason we don’t walk down dark streets, or go to unfamiliar places alone, and rethink our outfits in certain settings.  To camouflage an act we are familiar with and rename it for the sake of making it a “nicer” two-letter acronym does a disservice to the recipient, especially new recipients.  If a new recipient checks the box for “sex” she is better prepared to activate that 6th sense and be on guard for disingenuous donors.  She understands sex better, whereas “NI” may be a novel concept or one she may feel ignorant and insecure about because this whole donor process can be overwhelming.  The use of "NI" allows an ill-spirited donor to exploit that ignorance, harass, and disrespect recipients; or, worse convince a recipient to do something she would not ordinarily do as only a good snake charmer can.

Thus, I believe the use of the term “sex” or "sexual intercourse" puts the advantage back in the court of the recipients to practice caution and care in their conception choice and their donor choice. Afterall, babies have been conceived through sexual intercourse long before KDR came along, and there is nothing new or advanced in the technique of making babies the “good old fashioned way.” 

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  • As always, well written and covering all points of view. ;) THANK YOU, for contributing such heartfelt blogs and responses.

    Some benefits of AI vs NI/SEX, are reducing the risk factors listed below. Not ALL of these can be avoided by selecting AI over NI..

    Vaginitis is an inflammation of a woman’s vagina caused by tiny organisms that can be passed during sex. Not all cases of vaginitis are caused by sex, but three of the most common types of sexually transmitted vaginitis are:
    Trichomonal Vaginitis
    The symptoms include vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor, intense itching, burning and redness of the genitals, and pain during intercourse. This type of vaginitis usually responds to a drug available with a physician’s prescription. If untreated, trichomonal vaginitis can result in infections of the uterus and fallopian tubes (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) or, if pregnant, premature delivery. Men having sexual contact with infected women are usually asymptomatic. However, some men may develop a minor urinary tract infection and, less frequently, a more severe form of urethritis. All men who have sex with women who have trichomoniasis must be treated not only to treat infection, but also to prevent reinfection of the woman.
    Yeast Vaginitis
    This infection is also called candidiasis or monilia. It’s caused by an overgrowth in the vagina of a yeast-like fungus normally present in the body. A woman with yeast vaginitis may have a white, cottage cheese-like discharge and itching or burning that can be so intense that it interferes with sleep. It is usually treated with anti-fungal vaginal suppositories or creams.While yeast infections are more common in sexually active women, many women get these frequently and they are not related to sexual transmission.
    Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
    BV affects 1 out of every 5 women of reproductive age. The infection is associated with a loss of the normal pH and balance of bacterial growth in the vagina. As a result, an overgrowth occurs of some bacteria that are normally present in small quantities.While it is unclear if this infection is spread through sex, women who are sexually active are much more likely to have BV. Symptoms include an unpleasant, fishy or musty odor, a heavy vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, and irritation. BV has been associated with an increased risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and premature delivery in women who are pregnant. Treatment is with an antibiotic either taken orally or vaginally.

    Genital Warts
    Genital warts are caused by a virus, Human Papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 70 types of HPV that infect humans including 35 that infect the genitals. Most people (about 75%) with HPV have no obvious signs of infection.When present, visible warts usually develop on the genitals one to three months after exposure. Small warts are treated with medicine applied directly to the warts. Left untreated, the warts can spread, or in some people, such as pregnant women or HIV positive persons, they can become so large that surgery is necessary. They can also bleed and become very painful.
    The sexual partners of a person infected with genital warts have about a 60% chance of getting them too.Women with genital warts are urged to have a yearly Pap smear because the virus has been strongly linked with cervical cancer. Anal warts are also caused by the same virus and have been linked to anal cancer. Women and men with anal warts should be monitored by their health care provider.
    There is currently a vaccine (Gardasil®) that protects against genital warts. This vaccine protects against 2 types of HPV that causemost genital warts. It also protects against the 2 types of HPV that causemost cervical cancers in females. The vaccine is given in 3 doses. It is available for males and females age 9 through 26. Doctors recommend that the vaccine be given before someone becomes sexually active (before they can be exposed to HPV). The vaccine does not prevent or treat genital warts or cervical cancer if someone is already infected. Talk with your doctor for more information.
    Latex male condoms and female condoms (made of polyurethane), when
    used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing transmission of
    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis.
    Herpes, syphilis and genital warts or HPV are STDs that are passed mainly
    through skin-to-skin contact either with sores or with infected skin that may look
    normal. Correct and consistent use of latex male condoms and female condoms
    can reduce the risk of these STDs only when the infected area or site of potential
    exposure is protected.While the effectiveness of condoms in preventing
    transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is less than 100%,
    condom use has been associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer and HPV-
    associated disease.

    Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that is very similar to gonorrhea. Men may experience burning during urination and discharge from the penis. However, up to 50%of men may have no symptoms or the symptoms are so mild, they may be ignored. In women, chlamydia causes an inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis).
    Symptoms of this infection in women, when present, are mild and usually include a vaginal discharge or spotting (blood-tinged discharge), but the vast majority (approximately 75%) have no symptoms at all. Untreated chlamydia can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) with pain, fever, miscarriage and infertility in women.
    Infants born to women with chlamydia can develop eye infections and pneumonia.
    Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
    Untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause sterility in both women and men.
    In women, it can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID is an infection
    that causes severe lower abdominal pain and fever, and can result in infertility
    (inability to have children), ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb),
    miscarriage, or chronic pain.
    Nongonococcal Urethritis (NGU)
    NGU is an infection that may cause burning upon urination and discharge from the penis. It is not caused by gonorrhea, even though the symptoms are similar. In the past, chlamydia was the most common cause, but now with screening and treatment, this infection is becoming more commonly caused by other sexually transmitted bacteria (ureaplasma and mycoplasma) and viruses (herpes and HPV see genital warts). Symptoms of an NGU infection can sometimes be so slight that the infected person may not even suspect an illness.

    Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by a virus carried in the blood, saliva, semen and other body fluids of an infected person. Like HIV, it is spread by sexual contact or sharing works to shoot drugs. It can also be passed from mother to baby around the time of delivery. Symptoms may include tiredness, poor appetite, fever, vomiting, joint pain, hives, rash, or jaundice – a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. Doctors prescribe bed rest for those with hepatitis B. Most people recover, but some become long-term carriers of the virus, and can spread it to others through sex and needle sharing. Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for anyone at risk. Hepatitis B vaccine is required by New York State Public Health Law for all children entering kindergarten or the seventh grade. It is recommended that adults who are at “high risk” for hepatitis B (they have had unprotected sex or shared needles, syringes or other works to inject drugs) get the hepatitis B vaccine. Most doctors or clinics have this vaccine.
    Having oral sex after anal sexual contact can also spread Hepatitis A, another viral liver disease. Hepatitis A can be prevented by vaccination. A combined hepatitis A and B vaccine is also available for those at risk. However, sexual transmission of hepatitis C does occur in populations such as HIV infected men who have sex with men (MSM).

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  • LPG, your point about compartmentalization rings true for me, though admittedly this whole question is academic to me since I'm strictly AI/Ship. Maybe the term "NI" works for some people because of their situation or what they see as their viable options...

    Recipients or donors, especially partnered ones, might rationalize their decision to use NI by saying something like: "NI is a procedure, like going to the doctor. It's not the same as sex, or making love. Calling it something else makes it easier for me and my partner to accept it. Sex would be cheating, but NI isn't."

    Hiding behind a more clinical-sounding term might make the process easier for some, but I don't think that justifies using the term (NI). The risk of misunderstanding is too great, when new members sign up. As you and Gregory have both said, the risk of STD transmission (and to personal safety) just isn't worth providing this verbal "shield".


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