WHILE I would never doubt the necessity of having reliable contraception, nor the right of women and men to engage enthusiastically in consensual sex whenever they feel like it, it appears the side effects the pill carries may not be limited solely to weight gain, sickness and lethargy.No, for those of you simply using the pill as a stop-gap method until you're ready to get in the family way, it's likely your contraceptive miracle worker is messing with your biological radar.
The idea of pheremones will be nothing new to most of you, but basically heterosexuals are attracted to each other on a primal level that goes light years beyond whether or not they're sporting the latest bubble skirt/footless tights combo (side note: when will this tragic fashion abomination end?) or Ed Harry Party Shirt.
Pheremonally speaking, scientific research shows men are more attracted to women when they're ovulating. This goes a long way to explaining why women living together will often find their periods fall in sync . . . it's basically to avoid grisly homicide should one girl be monopolising the tribesmen's attention while the others are laid up in the summer house with hot water bottles and a Naprogesic IV unit.
Meanwhile, women are more attracted to men who seem physically fit to protect their cubs from marauding bandits; tall, broad shouldered with intoxicatingly deep voices and raffish rock-star beards. Basically, all the men that have ditched Adelaide for brighter lights and apparently more fecund women.
Biologically, pheremonal mating calls get a bit cleverer. According to a recent article in Time magazine: "Among the constellation of genes that control the immune system are those known as the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), which influence tissue rejection".
MHC is transmitted to potential mates via subconsciously-detected scent (and, they theorise, even saliva – a kiss is still a kiss, it's in his kiss, you have to kiss a lot of frogs, etc.)
Women biologically choose partners with MHC sufficiently different from their own to ensure the strength of the fetus in the womb.
In addition, the more opposite a woman's immune system to her mate, the more chance they have of conceiving some kind of disease-resistant superbaby with insane powers of strength and vitality, and maybe even X-ray vision and . . . well, you get the picture.
Here's where damn rotten luck comes in.
Scientific tests documented in Time's "The Science of Romance" show the pill interferes with this advanced system of biological screening. While our natural inclination is to choose partners with opposite MHC to our own, mischievous Mrs Pill may scramble the system so women become most attracted to men with MHC more closely resembling our own.
So what are they saying? Instead of the much anticipated superbaby we believe we're getting, we'll instead be greeted by striplings with weak immune systems and dribbling noses and a penchant for mixing stripes and plaid?
ADD to this the propensity of many mothers today to create a sterile forcefield around their child to prevent them from ingesting anything other than antibacterial air and Dettol fumes, and we're looking at a future of anti-heroes with less-than-perfect biological blueprints and more allergies than you can poke a stick at.
We may as well be breeding with our cousins.Jokes aside, I do find this science quite fascinating and not least because it points to something I (and about 99.99 per cent of other sexually active worldly women) have passionately wondered for some time now: when will both women AND men have access to a non prophylactic contraceptive device that a) won't interfere with our hormonal wiring; b) works; and c) still allows us to have that aforementioned mutually enjoyable and consensual any-time-of-the-day-or-night sex (just to nip those joyless abstinence-only crones in the bud)?
Until then, I suppose the only solution we have is to continue popping our Dianes and Yasmins and choosing incorrectly to the detriment of humankind.
Either that or, as my friend Mikey likes to say, turn gay. It still doesn't change the fact that all the rock stars have left town.
Meanwhile, Patrick Swayze, dying? I am being genuinely truthful when I say this devastates me.
Peace out (I saw an amateurish production of Macbeth tonight. Lady Macbeth actor girl was sooooooo teenage drama diva.)