Birth Control For Men – not a chance

Did I take my pill? Doh!Raise your hand if you have been on and off birth control most of your adult life, whether it be pills, patches, implants, or IUD’s. OK, now raise your hand if you have been the sole responsible party for said contraception within all of your sexual relationships (don’t worry, I’m not judging how many “relationships” you have had). Now, how many of you are women?

That’s what I thought.

It’s a harsh reality that women have been saddled with bearing the burden of birth control since it became available back in the 60’s. Let’s face it, once you reached a point of monogamy with your partner that made condoms a less economical choice (and often so inconvenient for the MAN), it became time for YOU to get to the gyno and get a more consistent form of contraception (which also happened to let your dude off the hook completely when it came to worrying about getting knocked up). Fair? No, not really. But what else were you going to do?

It isn’t bad enough that we have to carry the children, push them painfully out of our vaginas, then feed them from our own bodies while the men just get to sit back, drink beer and watch sports, then yell “PUSH!” when the time comes for the baby to come into the world. We also happen to be the only ones that can safely and (somewhat) conveniently prevent these pregnancies when it isn’t the right time to conceive. Men get to enjoy the sex, without worrying about the consequences, while we not only have to worry about them, but also are reminded of our immense responsibility of populating the planet by monthly menstruation, complete with crippling cramps, severe bloating and a perpetual feeling of being pissed off. And they wonder why we aren’t always Suzy Sunshine 100% of the time. If anyone has the right to feel a little jilted, I’d say it’s the female persuasion.

But for the past 50 years or so, we had no choice. As women, we had to step up to the plate and take one for the team, pumping our bodies with hormones or having foreign objects placed in our uterus’ or implanted in our arms. That was the price we were willing to pay to avoid unplanned pregnancy (and let’s face it, to get our men to stop complaining about the mood-ruining, sensation killing albatross of condom usage). But now, in 2009, according to news sources, a safe and effective MALE hormonal contraceptive is under development—and it might just be available before we hit menopause.

Apparently, scientists are about this close to giving men the option of a daily pill, a patch or topical gel for the skin, an injection given every three months, or an implant placed under the skin every 12 months. Hmmm. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know ONE man that would want to do any of that. Have we been taking care of business for too long for guys to even consider taking on the role of baby prevention? And, most importantly, do we even want to pass over the reins to the men for this momentous responsibility? As unfair as it is that we are encumbered by all things baby related, should men be given the chance to take over?

There may be a reason why us females have been the ones to take the pills, put on the patches and shove in the diaphragms. Let’s put it this way: when your husband or partner watches the kids, does he ever forget to give them breakfast? Does the little one sit in a poopy diaper for a little too long sometimes? And is it common for him to forget to remind the 10-year-old to change his stanky underwear? Sure, it’s not the end of the world for the kids to eat brunch instead of breakfast, and Junior isn’t going to die from wearing dirty undies, but if Dad forgot to take his little blue pill in the morning, it could result in a “mistake” of catastrophic proportions—namely another little ankle biter to remember to feed.

Not cool.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing men here. I love men. And I know there are probably plenty of uber-responsible males out there who would be perfect candidates for taking on the contraception duties (although I really don’t know any of them). In general, I think men were made with a lot of wonderful, endearing qualities, such as the ability to fix things with limited resources and a genetic predisposition to protect and provide for their families at all costs–but remembering mundane everyday things, especially things that they probably feel are a “woman thing”–is not one of them. I am pretty sure that the human population might just increase exponentially if the birth control was handed over to the testosterone fueled members of society.

So let’s say that by 2010, the male contraceptive is available to the public. I want to know what man is going to read about it in the paper and say to his wife “Honey, good news! You don’t have to take birth control pills anymore. Now I can take the birth control pills and you don’t have to worry about it!”
And more importantly, what woman is going to say “Great, thanks honey” and actually not worry about it ever again? I can see it now. Post-its on the refrigerator, notes in his lunchbox and lipstick on the mirror in the bathroom:

“Don’t forget to take your pill!”

Just one more thing for men to say we are “nagging” them about. It might be better for society if we just suck it up. We’ve been bearing the burden of all things baby for years and years; I think we should be used to it by now. We’ll leave the TV watching and ball scratching to them, it’s what their good at—and they almost never forget when the baseball game is on.

Toy With Me About Toy With Me

Comments

  1. jeez. not here. lol not that I'm the most experienced one, but all my men have done all the tking care of said control. I'd never want those hormones in my body, so I never did.

  2. lulz. @Champagne: Calm down chief. I think you’re so fired up cuz she’s right and you know it. I’m certain my girlfriend wouldn’t trust me with this, and she’d be right not to.

  3. i know im late on this one but just wanted to say GREAT POST…..asked the boy if he would start taking the pill but seeing as it would involve going to the doctors. i got a big fat no on that one! another ‘true’ stereotype men don’t like doctors!
    But all said and done i wouldn’t trust him.

  4. The reason that women bear the burden for contraception is because men don’t get pregnant.

    Now before everyone goes nuts here… think about it: You are with a man (married to him or not), and you leave the contraception to him. You get pregnant, and he does a runner, because he isn’t interested in kids… or maybe even in you (it happens on both ends, right?), and there YOU are… pregnant. At that point, if you weren’t looking to get pregnant at the time, you would probably be saying “What an asshole! I just KNEW I should have done this myself!”

    Yes, both partners should be responsible beings… but we know that doesn’t always happen, right?

    I’m all for male contraceptives, but we should be adults and see things as they are, not as we’d like them to be.

    I had a vasectomy when we decided that we were done. Why should my wife have to have invasive surgery.

    I left the hospital 90 minutes after arrival, and then went to Target.

  5. Apparently I can’t be trusted to proof read what I type either! Keep up the good work ladies

  6. My girlfriend turned me on to this website through Twitter. I love it! I love humor and getting a woman;s point of view. After all, I am just a guy and can use all the help I can get :)

    As for the article, it’s hard to not bristle a little while reading it, but in gereal it IS true. Most men couldn’t be trusted with it. Most of them don’t even want to use a glove no matter how many women they are with.

    I can say I would probably would have agreed to do it. After our 3rd son I was “neutered” as you say, so its not an issue for my girlfriend and I (yes, I am divorced not a dog). That said, I can’t say I would always trustworthy on taking it, but I would try.

    It was a good article and I’ll be back to read more and get educated ;)

  7. Thank you for recognizing the distinction C&B. And I do agree that there is interest from that group as well. I should have made it more clear in the article that I was not talking about single or dating men. But, I will say it again, I also recognize that there are married men or men in serious, monogamous relationships that would take it as well. That being said, I stand by my humorous look at the stereotypical male/female dynamic, which nobody can possibly deny exists, nor is it destroying our society by joking about it.

  8. Wow, Fantasia Lillith kudos to you on the survey – interesting results.

    Once reading all the comments I have “personally” decided that the researchers and pharmacy companies would not use valuable time and money without knowing first hand if there is a market for the product they are developing.

    Having said that, “I believe” the market is based on a new trend
    where men are no longer willing to let a women make the ultimate decision on having a child. Therefore they are seeking ways to have personal control over this decision. To me, this group of men does fall more into the category of single and dating men, not men who “are married or seriously attached in monogamous relationships in which the woman has been taking care of the birth control successfully for years.” (quote from Petra)

  9. Okay here’s how I feel about this. I would never trust my husband to take a pill everyday when it is for something like birth control but I think it is great that men who want to take this into their own hands now have the option to do so. But let’s face it it’s probably not likely because the consequences just aren’t real enough for them.
    For me and my husband our form of male contraception is a vasectomy and so far it has worked great!!!

  10. Oh and by the way, Douglas, a bigot is someone who is “utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion” which really does not apply to what I wrote. I even specifically stated that there probably were plenty of men out there that WOULD take it, but that in my opinion, they were in the minority. Just because I have an opinion does not make me a bigot. You should probably try to stay away from throwing around strong insults like that if you aren’t completely sure that they are appropriate. Someone could call YOU ignorant (which I would never do because I have more class than that, but I’m just sayin’)

  11. Wow, that’s excellent Fantasia! I am impressed that you took the time to do this experiment.

    I guess I stand corrected to have made the generalization, although I stand by the fact that I don’t think I personally know too many men who would be interested…single men yes, but this post was about married or seriously attached men in monogamous relationships in which the woman has been taking care of the birth control successfully for years. I have to wonder if it is the part of the country I am from? (Puritanical Massachusetts) where men tend to be more traditional…

    At the end of the day, this post was not meant to raise anyone’s hackles or stimulate a sociological experiment, it was a satire poking fun at our culture’s stereotypes about men and women, mixed in with a bit of my opinion. But I do think what came out of it was very interesting indeed.

    I do hope that all these men that say they would happily take birth control are not blowing smoke so that some women out there can pass the reins along and have one less thing to worry about every day!

  12. well … this was a great post … why? because it’s controversial. So what did I do in true Fantasia style? I tested it out. I called every single hot, sexy oozing with sex man I know … married or not … monogamous or not and asked the question. Would you take it? would you take it seriously as a responsibility that is yours. Guess what everyone … all 45 of them said yes!

    Most have one or two kids and really really don’t want another even if the wife does …

    the ones that are single think it’s only fair that they have a chance to double up – why count on her?? THEY don’t trust US to take it either!! Many pointing to friends that got saddled with a kid they didn’t want.

    So …

    I say hooray!! let’s share the burden. And this can be one more thing a couple negotiates.

    Personally – I trust the snip snip he had done way more … but only because I myself am too forgetful to take the pill!

  13. Douglas – Just a reminder. This article is a HUMOROUS, tongue-in-cheek look at sex from a woman’s point of view. (as stated by Petra earlier). It is not bigotry nor ignorance.

    A little pointer – perhaps you should take a stand on your own behalf and prevent the women in your life from having the upper hand regarding birth control. Wear a glove!

    Aysia I totally agree with your idea of responsibility.

  14. Love it!

    I’ll be asking my man to get on his choice of hormonal contraception shortly after it’s released. Long enough after for some bugs to be worked out, though. I will always take my Pill because -I- don’t want a baby, and that’s MY responsibility to keep my baby hatch empty; however, I feel that if -HE- does not want a baby, it’s in his best interest to keep my baby hatch empty, or assist in that endeavor. I sincerely doubt I would pursue a relationship with a man who would not take an anti-baby pill. Same as I doubt I would have sex with a man who was against abortion.

    Yes, the post is sexist, but the way I see it, it’s reality. Sexism, racism, ageism, etc are all realities of the world we live in.

  15. Pleased to see it wasn’t just me who thought this post was sexist!

  16. I am a man. A former girlfriend, who used to live with me, adamantly refused to use any birth control, because she wanted to have a child. She also told me that if she got pregnant, I should “not even think about abortion”, because abortion was against her religion. So I used condoms some times, the rhythm method other times (she accepted testing her urine, to confirm ovulation), and abstained from vaginal intercourse at the most fertile times. It all worked. (We are not together anymore, but we have remained good friends.)

    Another girl whom I used to date was on the pill. She too wanted to have a child. She stopped taking the pill: without telling me. I left the minute she told me she was pregnant. (We are not friends anymore, but I voluntarily provide some financial support, and visit our child.)

    The bigotry and ignorance displayed in the original post is ______________.

  17. @Mr _toywithme was snipped (er, um …. neutered) and I never felt better! To me that was the best plan ever ;)

  18. Neutered-HA! I love you Crissy…

  19. My husband can’t even remember to brush his damn teeth, never mind taking a pill.

    *eye roll*

    That’s why I’m having him neutered.

  20. Well said Meg!

    And I must say I am impressed with all the moms who say their husbands would love to take on the birth control duties. That’s awesome!

    Honestly, and all joking aside, I am really glad that it is going to be an option for those who want it. It IS about time that there is an equal option for men, so us women don’t have to bear the burden anymore.

    That said, my husband won’t be taking it, but that’s OK because after we have one more, he is going straight to the urologist! LOL.

  21. Honestly everyone needs to take a breathe and realise that no matter what it comes down to the individual situations. Wether you have the caring husband that you “know” would take it “no matter what” or would forget it even if it were stapleled to his forehead each couple has the choice to decide what to use or who should take what and how etc.

    Seeing as how Canada is behind in the medical race by about 3 years…I’m not really worried about us having to make the decision of my hubby taking them, he’ll be under a knife before he can say boo.

    If you can go back and read all the comments and look at them logically everyone has taken the peice a little overboard and blown it out a bit. It’s an opinion piece, humour, if you don’t have a sense of humor maybe you shouldn’t subscribe to this coloum anymore.

    But hey, I’m only the mother of 3 kids and a woman to boot!!

  22. I must be blessed with my partner. If I was taking oral contraceptive strictly for pregnancy prevention (I take them for other reasons as well), I know he’d start taking them in a heartbeat and make me stop if it were an option. He has expressed concerned about the warnings he reads on the backs of my labels and looks at me- “You’ve been taking these 6 years already?!” He’s sweet like that.

    Quite honestly, he’s the one grabbing my pill every night at 5:30pm and has gone as far as to set alarms on my electronic devices to remind me when he’s not around.

    This was a great read, I’m forwarding it to him right now! Thanks!

  23. @ Zannie. “Maybe your husband’s an uncaring twit–you’ve certainly presented him as such”
    First off I resemble that remark; I mean I resent that remark. I don’t believe in any way that Petra portrayed me as such. If needed I could certainly handle the responsibility of such a task. However I have to agree with Petra, it would not be something that I would want to do. Controversy and disagreeing are one thing, however being rude is quite another. I believe that the haters who have posted comments have some how lost their sense of humor or have been educated beyond their intelligence.
    oh yeah, have a great weekend! :)

  24. Good point WriteEditRepeat!

    Thanks guys, for taking this for what its worth–as entertainment. And I like your perspectives on it as well!

  25. Why is it that most men would happily take a pill to promote “male enhancement” but are reluctant to take one to prevent a partner’s pregnancy? (Also: Why is “male enhancement” covered by my health insurance, but birth control pills aren’t?)

    Maybe it’ll depend on the alternatives. Take a pill or get a vasectomy? Men would probably be lining up at the drug store…

  26. My FH would be psyched about a male Pill, and we’d both take it because we do NOT want to be parents (not 100% sure about the future yet, or else we’d be getting surgery for it). I think it would be great if it was shared responsibility and we both took a pill. Much lower chance of accidents! =)

    Sorry, people need to chill. That’s my two cents on some of the above comments. This is entertainment, not a psychological journal.

  27. After reading all the comments I do have to add…
    That even if my husband were to find out about the male pill, I’m still not sure that I’d trust him to remember. I mean, the man forgets to take his cholesterol pills, and those are life saving.

    Yes, it’s a stereotype, yes it’s blatant, but I’m sorry, many men have trouble remembering to do even the most basic things.

  28. Thanks Jessica!

    Zannie – this is a humor/satire piece. I am not trying to project anger on anyone, I am trying to make people laugh. I obviously failed with you, and for that, I am sorry you wasted so much time reading it and bashing me in my comments, and didn’t even get a laugh out of it.

  29. My husband is a lovely man. He works hard to support us, treats me well and puts his kids first. BUT he sucked at birth control responsibility, which is in part why we have 7 kids.
    I had to threaten him with his life to get a vasectomy after the 7th pregnancy almost killed the baby and me. Men as a whole are lazy or uncaring when it comes to birth control. Yes, I’m generalizing. No, I don’t care if that pisses you off. I’m entitled to my opinion just as much as anyone else here. So there.

    Rock on, Petra!

  30. Oh god. Please don’t let my husband hear about this… He’d be the poster-man for the Male Pill.
    I, ah, turn into a raving lunatic on the Pill and he’s terrified because he knows that for me an “oops” baby wouldn’t be so bad. So he’s the king of contraceptives in our house!

    That said, awesome post! My husband aside I don’t know a single man who would take the pill consistently.

  31. I bet you do, even if they haven’t discussed it with you. The article you site above states, “But at least all doctors can agree that one thing male contraception research isn’t missing is interest by the public.”

    Perhaps you wouldn’t be able to surrender control over birth control to your husband, but that has no bearing on what responsibilities men in general are willing and able to undertake. Maybe your husband’s an uncaring twit–you’ve certainly presented him as such–but please keep your anger with him where it belongs, and don’t project his behaviors onto my partner and other lovely men in the world.

  32. I agree that there are men who are “great fucking parents” as well. My husband is one of them.

    But I PERSONALLY do not know any men who would be willing to take over the birth control, other than having a vasectomy. But I do mention in the article that I am sure there are plenty of men out there that would, it just hasn’t been my experience.

  33. Wow, bitter much?

    I know lots of men who would gladly sign up for a birth control pill. And if you think men “don’t worry” about birth control, then you are sorely mistaken. You acknowledge the stress of trusting your partner to take care of birth control, but seem to think it only goes one way. But the thing is, if a woman gets pregnant, she has a choice about whether to have the baby. Her partner does not have that choice. The condom breaks, and bam, 18 years of child support. What sane man WOULDN’T worry about that??

    My partner has had a vasectomy, but many men want to have children someday, just not now. Vasectomies are not a good choice for them. Condoms, in addition to interfering with enjoyment of sex, are not as reliable as hormonal contraception. I know a lot of men who really wish they had more options than just those two.

    And for the record, it’s not always men who refuse to use condoms. I personally find it rather “inconvenient” that my vagina gets puffy, red and incredibly tender after using them, no matter how much or how often we lube. (And no, I’m not allergic to latex.)

    And I know men who are fucking great parents, too. Some are the stay at home parents while their wives work, even.

    “Joking” or not, this post is a bunch of bitter, sexist tripe. Go read what you wrote and swap it around for equivalent stereotypes about women, and see how funny it seems then.

  34. Well Petra, all I can say is that I am extremely glad my tubes are tied!!! If i gave my husband one more thing to be responsible for I think I would end up with a swift kick in the ass!!! Let them scratch their balls and belch, we have more important things to worry about!

  35. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA touche ;)

  36. And funnily enough, I did just write a comment on AAG’s blog about exactly what you just said – that cliches and stereotypes become so for a reason. Like, being British, I’m offended by the stereotype that all Brits have bad teeth – but it is a stereotype entirely because it’s true! Many, many Brits DO have bad teeth.

    Socialized dentistry, for the win.

    So in my defense, I did mention that you weren’t necessarily WRONG in your appraisal in my initial comment!

    And not to totally undermine my hissy fit (although it kind of does) I certainly couldn’t be trusted to be in charge of the birth control, so the point of your post isn’t off base either.

    But just ‘cos it’s right doesn’t mean I HAVE TO LIKE IT!

  37. Admittedly, I had my knickers in a twist about this post more than I should have done – but the angry response hardlyhelps!

    Come on. It’s a double standard. If I wrote a ‘tongue in cheek’ post about, I don’t know, how women were all raging monsters three days a month and obsessed with shoes and were all gossiping backstabbers and other routine, offensive (yet in some examples possibly accurate) cliches about women then we’d all be up in arms. I would certainly find such a post sexist and believe me, I wouldn’t be the only one (or the most verbal about it.)

    It’s just my opinion that this post is a little sexist and stereotypical – and I’m entitled to that opinion!

    I know it’s meant to be tongue in cheek, but I’m just being honest about how I felt about it. Maybe I got up on the wrong side of bed this morning! Maybe I’m just sick of running into friends and colleagues who wonder why their wives act as if they’re not qualified to put their socks on in the morning.

    And just as you can write whatever you want on this wonderful site – if you offer it up for public consumption, be prepared to receive criticism! That’s how the system works!

    I have a bee in my bonnet, a bug up my ass (whatever cliche you want to describe it as) about this topic and I’m probably being far more outspoken about it than it deserves – but when somebody’s offended by something it’s not necessarily all that constructive to call them spineless or accuse them of not being able to take a joke!

  38. Getting back on the topic at hand…I DO agree that there are men out there who would be willing and able to take on the birth control responsibility, but realistically, they are in the minority IN MY OPINION. Which I stated in the article.

    There is a reason why cliches and stereotypes become cliches and stereotypes…because they are prevalent in society. Nuff said.

    But I would love to hear from a man who is ready to start taking hormones in place of his wife. Any volunteers?

  39. Saying something ‘tongue in cheek’ doesn’t automatically assuage it from being offensive. I know this from personal experience – whenever I say something my wife gets upset about, getting out of the doghouse isn’t as easy as saying ‘It was only a joke.’

    • A blog such as this is always going to offend somebody. I am not offended by this post of yours, however I think that there are probably many that might think you posting pictures of your wife tied up and describing how you dominate her is offensive.

      The site is about sexuality from a woman’s point of view mixed in with tongue and cheek humor. If you are easily offended it might not be for you.

      Lets keep the discussion focused on the topic from here on in, ok? :)

  40. As is his wife, who is portrayed as an airheaded Stepford wife married to a man beneath her whom she treats like another one of her children–it’s funny because it’s TRUE. And unless you are a completely spineless person without a mind of your own, you take it for what it’s worth and don’t turn it into your own personal view of “real life.”

  41. Ah, Petra – but there is much truth spoken in jest! Homer Simpson himself is a perfect example of a hilarious and easily-relatable humorous figure perpetuating a negative stereotype.

  42. Champagne and Benzedrine:

    I appreciate your opinion, but if you have read any of the other articles on this site you would know that it is a HUMOROUS, tongue-in-cheek look at sex from a woman’s point of view, NOT to be taken literally and used as a sociological tool.

    But thanks for your comment :)

  43. Yay! Let’s perpetuate the stereotype that men are irresponsible jocks who can’t be trusted with anything more valuable than the remote.

    In all honesty, that’s not necessarily untrue – but as accurate as it is (I certainly wouldn’t trust myself with the birth control) it’s still WILDLY sexist, plays to a tired stereotype and perpetuates a growing negative stereotype that all men resemble Homer Simpson, sitting on the couch and being generally incompetent.

    When will people ever ‘get’ the concept that raising one demographic to equal status with another (as in, making men and women equal) doesn’t need to be accomplished by demeaning and belittling the other.

    I find this post simply too blithe, cliche and offensive.