Male Birth Control: Beyond the “Pull Out” Method

The day was Tuesday, the time was 2:00 pm — I was just exiting my microeconomic theory class, and contemplating whether or not to Insta now or wait ’til...

The day was Tuesday, the time was 2:00 pm — I was just exiting my microeconomic theory class, and contemplating whether or not to Insta now or wait ’til prime Insta-hour (a concept I’m sure you all pretend to know about when your girlfriend’s bring it up). All of the sudden, my phone buzzed with a bright red message: “PILL (two hours overdue)”. I sighed. Fuck. We’ve all been there.COPENHAGEN (2)Birth control still works, even if you’re off by a couple of hours each day. But, the percentage of success decreases from around 99% to about 96% every time you mess up your timing. Frustrated, forgetful women everywhere are turning to their male counterparts to practice more than just the 37% effective pull out and pray method.

Regardless of your own opinions about birth control, a lot of young women depend on it. And until recently, with the exception of condoms, there wasn’t really anything available for men to do in the realm of blocking the pitch before it hits the catchers mitt. But recently science has given us 3 up and coming options …

The contenders:

  • Vasalgel, RISUG, Contraline- a polymer that’s injected into the vas deferens to block sperm upon ejaculation
  • Bimek SLV- surgical procedure that inserts an “on/off” switch into the family jewels, for baby daddy control at your fingertips!
  • The Pill- a male version of the female pill taken once a day

So, like one of those fake Jimmy Kimmel polls I hit the streets to find out what guys thought and it went as poorly as you thought it might:

University Student 1: Now, I’m not sure if I influenced this particular interviewee in any way, but I have been told that I have a pretty ruthless glare and an eye roll that’s unmatched in its veracity. Intimidation aside, two gross IPA’s, a gin and tonic, and a jack and coke later, Gus* stated that he would be more than happy to try the male birth control pill. However, he had a few ground rules. He would only take the pill if it had undergone massive amounts of testing (equivalent to the testing that the female pill has gone through). Reasonable enough. He looked like he wanted to crawl under the bar stool when I mentioned vas deferens injection, and at risk of him legitimately throwing up on me out of fear, I pushed the subject aside. He almost laughed when I suggested the ‘on/off’ switch, and actually went so far as to say that it sounded like an SNL skit gone bad.

University Student 2: The second male I interviewed responded with the following:

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 3.15.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-05-05 at 3.30.08 PM.png

He began by basically saying he’d take anything that was marketed well to him, but ended up with a resounding NO to the male birth control pill, unless it was bulking season.

Weebay: Yup. Sounds terrifying.

TeeTime: Unless I’m getting a Prince Albert as a final contestant on Fear Factor with $1 million on the line you aren’t getting any where near the frank to my beans with a needle. And a polymer sounds like something that the anti-GMO crowd wouldn’t allow in their children’s cereal/lubricates a part of my car’s engine that I don’t understand. Hard pass on the vas injection …

An on and off switch seems reasonable enough until you think about a kinked water hose. Sorry to the feminist who invented Bimek, there will be no surgery to install a shutoff valve on this faucet.

Maybe it’s because I’m more open minded (I did watch I am Cait once), but taking a pill once a day seems like a small price to pay for not having to bring my kids to bring your children to work day next year at this time. Wait, what’s that Raekwon? This might make me fat? And hormonal? And generally act irrational (read: woman)? Sorry ladies, this body is a temple, albeit made up of 711 taquitos and well vodka. Hey don’t look at me, I didn’t start double standards. 

So, I’ve polled some of my male friends, and the general consensus is that invasive surgery is a hard pass. So that nixes the Bimek SLV right off the bat. On Vasalgel and RISUG, most guys were pretty squeamish when faced with the concept of someone sticking a sharp object into their BFF. When it came to The Pill, they were more open. Seemed “easy enough”. However, they weren’t all in agreement. One guy, John*, said he’d never even consider taking male birth control unless his girlfriend’s pill was, for some reason, “fucking her up hormonally.” I externally nodded and internally grimaced.

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Medically, the male version of the Pill has similar effects to its female counterpart. It is, literally, altering your internal chemistry by means of estrogen or testosterone. Side effects, such as weight gain or mood swings, are expected, and widely accepted from females worldwide. However, development for the male Pill has been slowed due to exactly these effects.

So… would you take it? Answer wisely… your girlfriend is probably reading over your shoulder. And she just listened to Lemonade three times through.

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Really like puppies and quesadillas. NJ-born and bred. Currently attending Queen's University in Canada. I self-identify with the awkwardness of 2005-era Michael Cera. I watch The Office finale once a week. Yeezy taught me, and I'm simply just sicker than your average (whatever that means).
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