Male contraception may not exist yet — doesn't it seem like it's always just on the horizon? — but eager dudes are already lining up in the thousands to try out alternative forms of birth control geared towards their semen. It's not that we want to make fun of guys like Lenny Smalls, who recently took it upon himself to test out an Indonesian herbal product called gandarusa and live-blog the results on his Facebook page —"I plan to become the guinea pig and test this products effect on myself and my sperm," he wrote. "I will take 1 pill daily and record how I feel everyday. After 30 days, I will see my doctor and have my sperm tested to see if it was effected by the supplement." — but why does his obsession feel a little bit creepy?
Salon's Irin Carmon makes some great points about why male internet commenters are fixated on getting their own birth control:
All of the necessary elements are there to capture digital fascination: body parts, sex, gadgets and weird science; the sometimes barely concealed sense that men are being victimized or deceived by women, and the patronage of a heretofore lost cause. In any case, the ideal of reproductive autonomy remains incomplete as long as men's options are polarized between one-time-use condoms and permanent sterilization.
But unless politicians and pharmaceutical corporations become equally fixated on male contraception, it's unlikely that Lenny's dreams will come true anytime soon. The best bet is Vasalgel, "a polymer gel that goes in the vas deferens and kills sperm for more than 10 years," which just began rabbit trials this week and hopes to move onto humans by next year. There's also something called a "clean sheets pill" which would cause a semen-free orgasm; kind of awesome (and clean) sounding, right? Not for some guys who suddenly aren't as taken with male contraception. "The ability to provide a money shot is the only advantage to being a man," wrote one internet commenter. "It's the reason we put up with war, brother. This will never, ever work." Hey Lenny: any thoughts?
Stop our sperm, please [Salon]
Image via CLIPAREA l Custom media/Shutterstock.