Boy Math: When your love life feels like a group project your partner “forgot” to help with

Girl math 4EVA

Pop quiz! What’s the sum of “not wanting kids” plus “forgetting protection”? If your calculator’s showing an error, you might be familiar with a little something called “boy math.” This term has been doing the rounds and is all about the…creative arithmetic some cis men come up with to justify doing whatever they want to do.

While the original “girl math,” which this trending hashtag is based on, was mostly silly and fun (think “Girl math is packing a minimum of 14 pairs of underwear for a 7 day trip”), boy math tends to focus more on the ways that men, frankly, treat women badly. And here at Bedsider, we’re especially interested in the ways “boy math” affects sex, contraception, and what happens when the end result of the equation is an unwanted pregnancy.

Equipping oneself with contraceptive knowledge might seem daunting, but it’s a little like choosing the right way to go about tackling a math problem; there may actually be multiple ways, but some might work better for you better than others. For example, some people find that the birth control pill takes them to a personal place of pain, while others love the pill because it helps them enjoy stress-free sex with added benefits like clearer skin, lighter periods, and fewer cramps. Some prefer barrier methods like the diaphragm or condoms, while still others rely on the greater than 99% effectiveness of the IUD. Every body is different, so if one solution isn’t working great for you, it’s worth giving a couple more a shot.

And speaking of solutions, remember that a lot of people choose to combine the birth control pill with condoms, especially if they’re having sex with more than one partner. (Remember: condoms and internal condoms are the only BC methods that also offer protection against STIs.) Think of combining a hormonal method with the condom or internal condom like wearing a belt and suspenders with super baggy pants: if the suspenders break, the belt is still there to make sure you don’t moon everybody. (Or, if we’re talking about birth control instead of baggy pants, having both means of protection will increase the likelihood that you won’t get pregnant.)

We might enjoy poking fun at “boy math,” but the trend also reminds us of the importance of shared responsibility. Relationships (even very short-term ones, like one-night stands), much like math, require effort, understanding, and the occasional bit of work. After all, when it comes to the bedroom, the only surprise we really want is breakfast in bed the next morning.

But now that we’ve gotten the more serious part out of the way, here are seven boy math “equations” that made us LOL.

“Boy math is not wanting kids but not having a vasectomy and not wearing a condom and also being adamantly against abortions.”

“Boy math is having a body count of 30 and not making any of them climax.”

“Boy math is using saline solution to test the absorbency of period products until 2023.”

“Boy math is sending one more ‘hey’ after the first 15 don’t work”

“Boy math is how three minutes become ten”

“Boy math is having hoes but not wanting your hoes to have hoes”

“Boy math is thinking Plan B is free.”

*Note: We’ve used the terms “boy,” “men,” “girl,” and “women,” throughout this piece because the phenomena of “boy math” and “girl math” are very gendered and exist firmly within the binary. However, it’s important to note that not all women have vaginas, not all men have penises, not everyone is a man or a woman, and gender is a social construct.

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