'Hey Bro, Think You're Man Enough To Be On The Pill?'

"Aren't you on the pill?" may as well be tattooed down the treasure trail of every backward-capped bro in the world. We get it: condoms suck but, unless you're one of those teen dads who was taught to pull out for Jesus, it's one of the best ways to avoid getting someone pregnant save for some rather invasive taint surgery. 

Don't worry, son. We'll have you raw-dogging it in no time. 
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But what if there was a third way? Something that not only could save men quite a few awkward moments at the self-checkout trying to find the barcode on a box of Trojans, but also teach them two valuable insights into female sexuality? Namely, the daily responsibility of birth control and what a goddamn hormonal kick in the balls it is to be on the pill.

This could become a reality in the next few years, as successful trials of a male birth control pill are finally netting positive results. In tests overseen by Dr. Christina Wang, a male birth control pill has finally passed safety trials in 2019 and has now entered the Russian roulette phase of having actual couples try it out to see if the male partner is indeed shooting blanks. There are also other applicators with the same hormonal cocktails being tested. For example, Dr. Wang has a gel that, when rubbed in vigorously, she promises will make men forget all about using a condom and -- Look, I swear I didn't accidentally read a porn synopsis instead of a medical article, okay?

Though I did type "wang rub ejaculation" into Google for that one. 
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So why has it taken a full 60 years longer for a male pill to enter the scene than the female pill, which has been around since the Swinging '60s? The only extra hurdle male hormonal birth control faces is that men are, well, total babies (the thing they're trying to avoid) about it. When polled, most dudes will claim they'd gladly take a pill that reduces their sperm count from rampaging fascists hordes storming the capitol to a bunch of confused tourists that can't find the Oval Office. But whenever these pills hit the clinical trial phase in the past, that eagerness is revealed to be based on complete ignorance of what a birth control pill does to the human hormonal system. 

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For those who fell asleep while the gym teacher read aloud from his dated Sex-Ed book: birth control pills release a progestogen that diminishes the primary sex hormone (estrogen for biological females, testosterone for biological males), thereby powering down the babymaking facilities. It then adds synthetic estrogen or testosterone to keep hormone levels normal and your body from freaking out. To put it in more male terms: your testosterone is like the golden fertility idol at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the pill is the bag of sand Dr. Jones tries a switcheroo it with, tricking the temple (your body) into thinking everything is where it should be.

Does that make Belloq premature ejaculation? This metaphor isn't necessarily waterproof.
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But that switch isn't seamless and often releases the crushing boulder of hormonal side-effects. Previous male pill trials have always been shut down because their male participants were unwilling to continue taking the drug due to side-effects such as acne, lowered libido, and mood swings -- particularly slight depression. And while their intensity and frequency were actually nowhere near as bad as what women can experience taking the pill, this was simply unacceptable for the frail male body. However, the current pill pioneer, 11-beta-MNTDC, has found a much better balance between natural testosterone and its synthetic, causing very few of its participants to suffer from lowered libido or mild erectile dysfunction.

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Of course, there is still no other effective method to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases than putting on a tiny latex hazmat suit, so just popping a pill and freebirding it will never become the standard sexual interaction. Not that anyone is expecting the male pill to become popular anyway. Since "not all men want to take a pill every day," and polled women don't really trust them to do it reliably anyway (I wonder where that distrust comes from), Dr. Wang believes that the future of male birth control will be injections. That's right, if a tiny pill is too much hassle, your best alternative will be a monthly needle to the taint injecting a biodegradable polymer to fuse shut your sperm ducts. A bit of bacne doesn't suddenly doesn't sound so bad anymore, does it?

For more weird tangents, do follow Cedric on Twitter.

Top Image: Stas F/Pixabay, Sarah C., Flickr

 

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