ECREATIONAL sex." That's what Radar O'Reilly called it in a "M*A*S*H" episode about R&R away from the daily routine of war.

Sex can be for procreation or recreation. Recreational sex is, well, fun. And I'm not against anyone having fun that doesn't harm someone else. Buttered popcorn at the movie is also enjoyable, but I think the person enjoying it should be the one who pays for it. To put it bluntly, I don't want to pay for someone else's popcorn and movie.

On Aug. 1, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new rule for health insurers mandating that contraceptives must be provided to insured women without any co-pay or other cost. In other words, free.

A contraceptive is designed to prevent conception. In other words, its purpose is to prevent sexual intercourse from producing a pregnancy. A contraceptive is, therefore, designed to make sex recreation. And this new rule mandates that health insurers provide the means (without cost) to engage in recreational sex.

Keep in mind that, just because the contraceptives will be free to the women who get them, they will not be without cost to the insurers. To cover that cost, the insurers will have to increase premiums to all insureds. You and I will be paying for someone else's recreation.

Let me be clear. I'm not talking about preventing disease. While a condom can prevent both conception and disease, the rule speaks only about contraceptives available to women. And pregnancy is not a disease.

A few years back I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I had eight weeks of radiation. For each of the 40 days of radiation, I had a co-pay. While the radiation wasn't painful, it sure wasn't as much fun as recreational sex. And I also had those co-pays.

Here's the kicker: Usually when an agency like HHS proposes a rule, the law requires a notice to the public and an opportunity to comment. Then it must be published, with a period before the rule goes into effect. These requirements can be avoided only under certain circumstances.

If these requirements had to be followed in this case, it would take a year before the rule could go into effect. But the secretary didn't want to delay the rule for another year. Her reason? Because she said (and I'm not making this up): "Many college student policy years begin in August and an estimated 1.5 million young adults are estimated to be covered by such policies. Providing an opportunity for public comment as described above would mean that the guidelines could not be issued until after August of 2011. This delay would mean that many students could not benefit from the new prevention coverage without cost-sharing following from the issuance of the guidelines until the 2013-14 school year, as opposed to the 2012-13 school year."

So this rule was rushed into effect so that Betty Coed could engage in recreational sex a year earlier without having to pay for her contraceptives. Don't get me wrong. I think free public education should extend beyond high school. So while I'm willing to bear part of the burden of aiding students getting a college education, I'm totally opposed to paying more so they can get a little nookie.