A Bitter Pill?

Double dutch? It’s up to you! Georgia Clark explores splitting the cost of birth control.

Here’s a wine time conversation starter. In a recent CLEO survey, 91% of guys said both men and women should be responsible for providing contraception, as opposed to just the guy or just the girl. But in another survey, we found only 18% are splitting the cost of condoms while a tiny 6% are splitting the cost of the pill. Huh? Wha? Guh?

“I think it’s completely fair to split the cost of birth control [STCOBC] in a monogamous relationship,” says Jessica, 25. “You both have a vested interest in not falling pregnant, so you should both contribute an equal amount to prevent it from happening.” Relationship counsellor Chris Dawson agrees. “I would consider splitting the cost of birth control a continuation of equality that the male should be accepting,” he says. “I’d assume all other costs are shared in a committed relationship – such as the cost of living – so why not this one? It’s a shared activity that only the couple participates in.” If you’re not already doing it, we look at why you might not have made the switch.

Stinge Factor

No one wants to seem like Uncle Scrooge. But we’re not talking about loose change here – the pill can cost up to $40 a month. Beyond the fact that the saved dosh could score a new pair of Jimmy Choos, it’s important to think of STCOBC as fair, not greedy. Birth control isn’t a luxury, like perfume, or an individual health choice, like sunscreen. It has a shared benefit for the relationship. If the idea of you popping out a munchkin isn’t a champagne popping moment for your guy, then you can reasonably expect to split the cost.

He Buys Dinner

He’s paid for dinner and movie, like, a gazillion times. Letting go the cost of your beauty routine (ten times the cost of his), Mr Wonderful’s decision to treat is not the same as your decision to buy birth control. It’s not a treat and it’s not part of courtship. It’s a sexual health cost. Besides, by the time a couple can expect this conversation, we’re in committed couple land, when most costs are starting to be naturally split anyway.

It’s A Skin Thing

Many women take the pill for aspects other than birth control, like their skin or regulating their period. It might not seem fair to get a guy to split this cost, right? Sure, but if the pill didn’t offer birth control, would you have to take another form of contraception to stay safe? If so, then this is birth control, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

He Hasn’t Offered

If your guy hasn’t bought up going halvies with you, it’s not because he doesn’t care about you or thinks the idea is wack. It just hasn’t crossed his mind. “STCOBC is something that’s only ever been raised by women with women,” agrees Chris. “It’s not been the subject of men’s conversations.” Most dudes want to be great boyfriends. It’s up to you to help him along that path by introducing the idea.

Not Interested

“Splitting the cost isn’t for me,” says Ally, 28. “It’s my body and I’d prefer to be responsible for what happens to it.” You’re not letting the sisterhood down if STCOBC isn’t for you. Chris agrees – there’s no right or wrong here. “What does matter is the subjective experience and expectations of the woman.”

So go forth and double dutch it ladies: you deserve it.


About Georgia

I'm a young adult novelist with a weakness for hot nerds and cheese platters, not necessarily in that order. I am currently working on my third novel. I'm pretty excited about having just turned 30 because it means I can justify spending a lot of time thinking about homewares.
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