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I’ve been a Black man for quite a while now. It’s been a fun ride, with its ups and downs, but I have to say that in this journey, where half the world is working to secure your extinction, you realize that your ability to think and make critical decisions can become the key to your survival.  But beyond surviving, you also want to prosper.   Part of your path to prosperity should include good family planning.

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Kids are expensive, both financially and emotionally.  When they come to life, your life suddenly becomes secondary.  You might want the new Xbox360 game, but you won’t be playing jack if the baby needs a new set of diapers.  Even if you try to walk away from your responsibility, the courts won’t let you, and you’ll also be explaining to a 20-year-old boy why you hated him enough to leave him to the wolves.

Given that sex is one of the most natural forces in the universe, I thought I’d explain a few things to you. You don’t have to take my advice, and I don’t know everything, but when it’s all said and done and you are lying in the bed you’ve made for yourself, you’ll realize that the most significant events in your life come down to whether or not you made good choices or bad ones.

Here are five things to consider before having sex:

1) Why are you doing this anyway?

Sadly enough, commercialized hip-hop on the radio makes its billions by teaching Black men to have sex with any pretty thing with a working vagina.   The rule is that if she’s “fine” and she’s willing, then you’d be a fool not to take it.  The sad part of this story is that a lot of brothers soon find that a toxic woman — even one with a beautiful smile — can make you wish you were never born.  Evelyn Lozada, the violent Sasquatch on “Basketball Wives” might be a perfect case-in-point.

In addition to women who can be flat-out evil and devious, there are others who are walking public health alerts.  Everything that looks clean is not.  Speaking of which…..

2) Diseases are everywhere.

When’s the last time you went to the doctor to get tested for STDs?  Not just HIV, but Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis, Herpes, HPV, and all the other things that can kill you?  Are you really stupid enough to think that you can run through every woman you want and not catch at least two or three of these diseases (yes, even with a condom, since a lot of people don’t wear condoms when they have oral sex)?  Everyone wants to blame gay Black men for the fact that HIV rates among Black women are through the roof, but an irresponsible heterosexual is far more devastating than a responsible gay man any day of the week.

3) Are you ready for kids?

Newsflash:  There tends to be a correlation between sexual activity and children.  Babies are not delivered by Storks, they are delivered by baby mamas.  Some people talk about “hitting that” and “getting it in” as if there is no chance that this woman might eventually be running around with the your child in her womb. When you choose to sleep with a woman, you may be putting your life and your child’s life in that woman’s hands.  This leads to my next question….

4) Would you want this woman to be the Mother of your child?

Sooo, you’re about to plant your seed of life in to the woman that you don’t know, don’t like and don’t want to hang around more than 10 minutes after the sex is over?  Good choice.  How about spending the next 30 years with this woman as she conspires to keep you out of the life of your child, sucks up a massive chunk of your paycheck, and teaches your kids all the wrong values, with you being able to do nothing about it.   Your seed is valuable, and you shouldn’t share it with just any woman who opens herself up to you.  You have to think about your future.

Speaking of child support…..

5) Do you want to pay child support for the rest of your life?  Let me answer – no, you don’t.

Terrell Owens once thought it was a GOOD thing that he had as many women as he wanted.  Now he’s slowly realizing that his blessing has turned into a curse.  The man who once had money to the ceiling is now taking a bath in his own pity party.  Terrell didn’t plan, and all the other dudes out there making babies like there’s no tomorrow will also expect someone to feel sorry for them years later when they are broke, busted, and disgusted.  The truth is that I don’t feel sorry for them, and if you make the same choices, the world won’t feel sorry for you either.

Sex is thrilling, amazing, and incredibly powerful.  In fact, the drive for sex can make a man insane.  But as Spiderman’s uncle once said (I really love this quote and I use it all the time), “With great power comes great responsibility,” and with manhood comes accountability.  Little boys have no business having sex with anyone, so when you share yourself with a woman in the future, make sure you’re thinking like a man.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 

Five Questions Men Should Ask Themselves Before Having Sex  was originally published on