Pamela’s Pregnancy

Comment:

Re-reading some of the later books, I realized a big problem I had with Pamela’s pregnancy plot. The fact that it could have been so easily avoided and in multiple ways. The first, of course, would be for her to tell Tim that she refuses to have sex without any form of protection or to simply tough it out, her being part of Guys and Dolls was not the end of the world and they could get together after, anyway.

The other ways she could have appeased him, and one that I’m surprised she never thought about, was to simply give him a hand- or blowjob. It’s not like Pamela had never done either of those, so she wasn’t inexperienced and she could have avoided the problem with a potential pregnancy. (And if her reason would be that she can’t touch her boyfriend’s penis, then I think she quite frankly shouldn’t be having sex to begin with)

Then again, I always did find it weird how the characters in the books acted like condoms were the only form of birth control there was around. Certainly, Alice eventually takes both the pill and uses condoms, but what about the other forms of contraceptives? Most might not have the same high success rate and addition of protecting from STDs like condoms, but it’s strange that they are basically ignored.

It could be that I’m simply confused, because I started taking the pill when I was 17. Not for the sake of protection during sex, but because my gynecologist said it would help regulate my periods, which were very sporadic and caused me to have heavy health issues when it did come around. Why didn’t Pamela start taking the pill when she became sexually active?

Phyllis replied:

Thank you for your email. You’re right, of course; there are multiple ways Pamela could have prevented that pregnancy, assuming she was carefully thinking ahead and controlling her emotions. But there are also multiple reasons that an impulsive girl like Pamela would not. Do you ever watch Teen Mom? Are you sometimes surprised, as I am, that when these young mothers are interviewed—even though they have had a baby and are involved in multiple problems with the boys who impregnated them—that they admit they still only use condoms “most of the time” with new boyfriends, but not always? You seem to imply that it’s only Pamela’s boyfriend who was sexually excited. Can’t you imagine that cuddling together, touching and stroking, would excite Pamela too—that she might want sex as much as Tim? These girls would need a doctor’s prescription for the pill, and they wouldn’t be able to see a doctor unless they had a way to pay for a visit. And that would mean getting a parent’s permission, etc. We don’t think of all these things in the heat of the moment, and not all girls plan ahead. But your email brings up a subject that girls should think about before they get involved with a guy, and with the pill, the patch, condoms, or no intercourse at all, each girl should be able to plan her personal life the way that suits her best.

Comment:

Of course I would think Pamela would want to get her rocks off, too. But masturbation is an option. Maybe even mutual masturbation. (Though that, too, has its risks) And, of course, there is the option of telling her to suck it up as well. Can’t say I watch Teen Mom – I tend to avoid watching shows that seem to almost glamorize idiotic behavior, like similar shows with 16 And Pregnant. No matter heat of the moment, I do not think one should allow their hormones to override one’s common sense. I went through my teen years keeping my head on my shoulders – though I have to say, I have huge issues with body contact between people and had no desire to get a boyfriend until I was almost 18, so perhaps I was just a really odd teenager. Maybe that’s why Alice being so amazed that Molly didn’t feel the need for a ‘boyfriend badge’ confused me so much in Alice On Her Way.

Phyllis replied:

We all mature at different rates and in different ways.  A person can show super grown-up traits in one area, and lag a bit behind in another.  So while we can tell someone what they ought to do, or how they ought to feel, we can’t know what it is like to be in their skin.  And being so individual and unique is what makes us so wonderfully human.

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