A Prick to the Prick

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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56 Responses

  1. I fear that the second sentence in the second paragraph isn’t going to earn you rapturous applause.

    And as for preferring an optional and impermanent sterilization – you kept saying male pill, but presumably you’re referencing RISUG or Vasagel? – I want to believe you, but I know (and you probably do to) plenty of men who wouldn’t go that route for precisely the same reason that so many men chicken out of/refuse to get vasectomies.

    Which isn’t to say I’m against their availability, but rather, I’m dubious at the idea that the response would be widespread enough make the market respond accordingly. Women wanted birth control when it became available. There was demand. That will almost certainly be lacking in this case.Report

    • Re: 2/2… Possibly poor wording on my part. The “malfunction” was a reference to the later mentioned condom malfunction (almost certainly an error on my end).

      I agree that the market for male contraception is not as large as it is for female contraception. But it’s there, even and especially among men who are condom-averse.Report

      • Sam in reply to Will Truman says:

        I think you might get burned by the use of “we” and “her” but not “I” or “me” there.

        As for the market, I want very much for this to be true. I just have my doubts.Report

      • Well, if somebody’s takeaway from this is that the problem here is that Will Truman thinks that contraception is a woman’s responsibility rather than a man’s based on a poorly worded paragraph, that would be interesting.

        I agree that my wording is bad, though, and will revise it.Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

      There’s apparently a waiting list as long as your arm for the clinical trials for Vasalgel, and we don’t even really know if it works yet (that being the point of clinical trials). Clearly someone wants it.

      RISUG clinical trials in India on the other hand are faced with a shortage of eligible volunteers.Report

  2. Chris says:

    I was convinced this was going to be a post about poking Dan Snyder with a stick.Report

  3. Tod Kelly says:

    This is really two separate issues, of course. The first — the male pill — is one I actually know something about from fact-checking my MRM article.

    The hunt for the male pill isn’t fruitless (ha!) for lack of trying. The male body has just thus far proven too resistant to finding ways to get around chemical changes when it comes to producing swimmers. It’s not like the pill, where you judge nudge the female body into a natural thing it was going to do anyway with an artificial trigger. Using similar “tricking” hormones with men can lead to decreased sperm, but they also lead to highly diminished sex drives — which is kind of effective as a birth control method, but not a particularly marketable one.

    The other options for men thus far have proven to either be ineffective or dangerously toxic in trials.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I talk about the pill because that’s mostly the context in which it has been discussed. But a jab instead of a pill would be perfectly okay with young-and-single me.

      (Heck, I might even do that in lieu of a vasectomy, when we’re done having kids. If it pans out, of course.)Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Will Truman says:

        Vasagel might work out.

        On the other hand, the big male contraception break though has been just two or three years away since I was in high school. And every year, that excitement about the breakthrough d’jour always ends up having been ginned up by a pharmaceutical company that wasn’t being entirely forthcoming about the issues they were facing behind the scenes. And while I get that Valenti has indeed read that RISUG will be available, effective, and awesome by 2017, my guess is that whoever she is getting that from is relying heavily on the marketing gurus of Vasagel whose primary job is to make sure that capital investments keep coming in the door.

        So yeah, after 30 years of hearing this story over and over Vasagel might end up being the first one that’s been really honest about their chances of success. But I’ll need to see it to believe it.Report

      • Hey, nothing worked until Viagra worked!Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Will Truman says:

        Raquel Welch worked quite well way back, as I recall.

        But I get your point.Report

      • When I was young, I actually watched a fair number of news TV shows. I remember one about ED before Viagra came out. The various things that were out there. How far away it seemed that anything like Viagra was going to come around.

        Which is not to say that you’re wrong. I think I wrote a version of this post a long time ago based on some previous new innovation that (apparently) didn’t pan out.

        Anyway, how did male birth control figure in to the MRM background? Is there a conspiracy theory that its absence is part of the War Against Men?Report

      • Road Scholar in reply to Will Truman says:

        Viagra was a total accident. They were looking for a blood pressure medicine.Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Oh, I forgot to mention that I totally agree with you about the other issues in your post. The dismissiveness is frustrating.Report

    • Kim in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Market it to the celibate?Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    We’re working on making virtual be somewhere around as good as actual. Give us time and you won’t have to worry about any of the above.

    Keep upgrading your computer! We’ll all get there together!Report

  5. Road Scholar says:

    The truth for me is, I hate condoms. Not out of some abstract opposition to the manliness of passing off my sperm. I hate them because they diminish my enjoyment to almost null, I don’t feel protected with them (the two earliest “scares” involved condom malfunction), and – at the risk of TMI – they can negate my ability to perform at all no matter where I am when it goes on.

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for saying this. I think a lot of women have the woefully mistaken notion that men’s experience of sex with a condom mirrors women’s. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hell, a lot of condoms even have ridges and spirals and little “pleasure dots” to enhance her enjoyment while for the guy using a condom is the next best thing to not having sex at all.

    For a few years we relied on rubbers for family planning. And during that time there were occasions when it would fail. It would either break or, just as likely, fall off for lack of… turgidity… on my part. And in every such instance my lovely wife had not a single clue that anything was amiss. That’s because, for the woman there is no appreciable difference in sensation with or without. Of course, I knew instantly because, all of a sudden, I could actually feel something. Which meant, that I had to stop. Right now.

    I tried various fixes. The basic issue being that a latex condom deprives the guy of the sensation of skin sliding on skin. So using a larger size and using extra lube inside it helps but then it’s seriously prone to sliding right off. The best fix, if you can find them, are non-latex condoms made of polypropylene, like the sandwich baggies. They fit looser and had an elastic ring at the opening to keep it on,but I had a hell of a time finding them and it’s still only somewhat better.

    Anyway, the point of this thoroughly TMI and borderline NSFW rant is to dispel the notion that men dislike condoms because we don’t want to be “inconvenienced.” The real reason is because it’s sorta nice to actually experience some sensation while screwing. Crazy idea, I know, but there it is.Report

  6. zic says:

    A couple of things.

    First, despite the problems of condoms, they’re still extremely important, particularly in preventing the spread of STDs. Improving condoms seems like an important goal.

    Second, I doubt that most women in not-necessarily-permanent relationships would turn over birth control to their partners; there’s too much social conditioning that 1) it’s her responsibility, 2) she suffers the consequences of unwanted pregnancy, and 3) the myths of boys get lucky, girls get shamed effuses all such negotiations at some weird level.

    Those nay-sayer points made, I’m all for a male contraceptive. But even were such a beast available, it would take some years of availability before it was easily understood to be both partner’s responsibility.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to zic says:

      I plan to tell Lain that she should not rely on men for birth control, unless she has reason to trust him implicitly (and even then…). Men are unreliable, often have their own agendas, etc.

      The thing is, though, my advice to young men is the same. The consequences may not be as desire, but it’s also further out of his hands if a pregnancy occurs. The great thing about this, to me, is that if it pans out (a) fewer men will need to rely on their partners, and (b) condom-averse men have better means not to.

      The STD issue remains live, of course, but there are different calculations involved with that. Condoms remain advisable for non-exclusive relationships. I’m thinking more about early-stage exclusive ones (and later-stage).Report

      • Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        This brings up something I’ve been wondering about with my daughters.

        On the one hand, I fervently hope that they will be sensible enough to voluntarily and enthusiastically follow the advice of their parents, and choose their own preferred methods of birth control, and use them.

        On the other hand, I am wondering if simply very, VERY strongly encouraging* them to get an IUD (or other more or less semi-permanent idiot-proof method, as available at that time), and telling them they are free to have it removed when they turn 18 (assuming no medical or discomfort reasons to do so earlier), is really all that different from making sure they get their vaccinations (which I don’t ask for their input on).

        It sure feels different though.

        *Honestly, I don’t know what form this encouragement would take. I’m thinking financial inducements. You want help buying a car? Well, this is the price.

        But it feels icky to push that hard.

        But on the fourth hand, I feel pretty strongly that preventing pregnancy until later is, statistically speaking, almost as important to her future as her not getting polio or whatever.

        I dunno. If anyone has thoughts I’d love to hear them. I have many years yet until it’s an issue.Report

      • Kim in reply to Will Truman says:

        um, yes, financial incentives are WAY icky.
        I find it … less icky, actually, to give the kid more “freedom” if they’ve agreed to be more responsible, though. (You can stay out later with boyfriend if you’ve taken XYZ precautions).Report

      • Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        @kim – that’s not a bad idea at all, actually. Later curfews and such does seem less icky.

        I’d still prefer if possible to nudge her in the direction of the more reliable solutions (IUD, then Norplant or something like it, then The Pill; and condoms always, for STDs).

        My wife was on The Pill when we got pregnant; whether that was a body chemistry thing or a ‘skipped a day’ thing or whatever, we don’t know. In my understanding, as long as a woman’s body tolerates an IUD (and most do) it has a very low failure rate, and can be viable for years at a time.Report

      • @glyph I your interested in an intermediate solution to propose, NuvaRing kept my wife pregancy-scare-free during residency and after.

        More reliable than the pill, less invasive than an implant.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        @will-truman – thanks, I will look into that. Who knows, maybe by the time they need it there will be something better (and hopefully something better for The Boy too).Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

        hopefully something better for The Boy too


    • Road Scholar in reply to zic says:

      @zic, I know you’re really attached to your socio-cultural narrative here, but I would ask you to consider the following:

      Women have at their disposal the following methods of birth control: hormonal methods including a dozen or so varieties of the Pill, Nuvaring, Norplant, and Depro-Provera; the Diaphragm; a couple dozen varieties of IUD including at least one with a suffused hormonal component; spermicidal foams, jellies, and sponges (is he sponge-worthy, Elaine asks herself); a cervical cap; and tubal ligation for the permanent solution. And lest I forget, a female condom exists though I can’t speak to availability.

      Unless you want to count “pull out and pray,” men have exactly two: Condoms and vasectomy. That’s it… that’s all… nothing else. I guess a guy could carry around a box of sponges (“Before we get going I need to stick this up your hoo-haw.” “EXCUSE ME!!??”), but really our options are limited to a permanent* surgical method that’s fine for older married types that are really, really sure they never want to father a child again or a condom, that at least for (some value of) many men diminishes sensation and pleasure down to “next best thing to not fucking at all.”

      If women’s options were similarly limited to tubal ligation and a barrier method that reduced your enjoyment to next to nil, then you would have a legitimate gripe wrt to men’s relative willingness to take responsibility. Likewise if men also had dozens of safe, convenient, and effective options available as women do, again, you’d have a good argument. And finally, if the roles were reversed so men had the dozens of options and women had only two (that weren’t so great) I’m pretty sure you would (rightly!) view any male complaints about women not “taking responsibility” as a huge and pathetic whine festival.

      I’m sorry if this is coming off as an attack but I’d really appreciate you stepping out of your own skin for a minute to consider another perspective beyond your standard, go-to, men-are-sorta-shitty narrative. Thank you.

      * Reversal is sorta kinda possible, but it’s expensive as hell and doesn’t always work. You really want to consider it permanent going in.Report

      • zic in reply to Road Scholar says:

        Did you read the last paragraph of my comment, @road-scholar ?

        Because I wasn’t saying better male contraceptive is a male thing; I pointed out the barriers to acceptance. And my attachment to the socio-cultural narrative is not an attachment, it’s a recognition of the very real and baked-in cultural norms that both men and women have shaping their actions, thoughts, values, and judgments every day. I’d willingly let go and presume we’re all equal, we don’t have different forces acting on us. But that’s not the way things are, and working toward that means deconstructing some of the socio-cultural habits built into our very thought process.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Road Scholar says:

        I don’t really see where @zic ‘s narrative there includes “men are kinda shitty.” The prongs of the claim were that the prevailing social conventions hold that

        1) BC is the woman’s responsibility. [I’d say that’s less true than it used to be but still more true than not. More than anything I think there actually isn;t some ongoing “Is it your responsibility, or is it mine, or is it ours?” conversation going on whereby the burden gets placed on women and taken off of men. Women simply face a lot of risk relating to unintended pregnancy, so they rationally take steps to manage that risk.]

        2) (Uniquely) women bear the costs of unwanted pregnancy. [I’d say that’s not true at all and never has been. They do bear more of the costs of unwanted pregnancy, and in any case regardless of proportionality they bear simply a lot of costs, and hence their greater concern with managing their own reproduction. But that’s in part an immutable reality of the dangerous imposition that pregnancy represents to their health. There are other socially imposed ways that they bear more costs as well, but we’ve done quite a lot to move toward both a sociall and a legal understanding that men share the burden as near equally as we can practically make them share. Not all the way there, but there’s nothing like a prevailing view that it is the woman’s responsibility and not the man’s. @zic shouldn’t deny that and shouldn’t claim that it’s uniquely women who bear the costs of unwanted pregnancy, or that the social conventions holds that to be true. It’s not true.]

        3) “the myths of boys get lucky, girls get shamed effuses all such negotiations at some weird level.” [Certainly true, though hardly the only myth that effuses negotiations around human sexuality and reproduction.]

        Zic says these factors will lead to women not “turning over” BC to the men in their lives, but is anyone suggesting this treatment will do that, or that it would even be good if it did? What would be good is is men had an option that made them more inclined to take closer to as much responsibility for their role in reproduction as women do now. A treatment like this should aid that, though there’s some disagreement about how much. But who’s expecting women to relinquish the responsibility they are currently choosing to take for themselves?

        I don’t really see a “men are shitty” narrative there, beyond certain implied ones, eg. that some men do flee their responsibility as surprise fathers-to-be, and (maybe!) men play an outsized role in perpetuating the stud/slut dochotomy in views of sex (though she doesn’t actually claim that!).

        I understand your frustration at complaints lke Valenti’s about men not using the one form of contraception available to them, all the while they have so many demands vis-a-vis their myriad options. But I don’t really see that @zic is even taking up that complaint. It looks to me like she’s addressing a hope or expectation about this product that she deems unrealistic. But it’s one that I’m not aware of anyone actually harboring.Report

    • James Hanley in reply to zic says:

      Second, I doubt that most women in not-necessarily-permanent relationships would turn over birth control to their partners; there’s too much social conditioning that 1) it’s her responsibility, 2) she suffers the consequences of unwanted pregnancy, and 3) the myths of boys get lucky, girls get shamed effuses all such negotiations at some weird level.

      I’d say especially #2. #s 1 & 3 are at least theoretically changeable, as social norms change. Nothing can really change #2 except the development of an easy way to pop out the zygote and stick it in a vat to grow. Even if the father pays all the monetary costs and shares at least equally in all the labor, only the mother has to carry the critter around inside her for ~9 months, with all the attendant complications that creates.

      I agree completely with the substance of @road-scholar’s comment (except that I don’t see that zic employed that narrative in this particular case). But it also seems to me that regardless of what options for birth control men have, women might be hesitant to rely on them unless there was a trustworthy signal that the man was actually using them. “Hey, baby, I’ve had the shot, wanna get it on?” might not be a reliable enough signal for women to actually trust. With condoms–although they can be sabotaged–the woman can at least be sure the guy is actually using one.

      Of course the same is true in reverse. Many are the legends, and at least a few presumably true, of a woman misleading a guy about being on the pill. Were I the father of boys, I’d tell them to get the shot so they didn’t have to rely on the unreliable signal of, “yes, I’m on the pill.”Report

      • Regarding the last paragraph, this is something that we need to drill into men. If he’s not taking care of his own protection, he’s putting his life in her hands. She doesn’t have to be trying to “trap him” into pregnancy for that to not end up well. She just has to be less than entirely reliable, which most people are.

        This is one of the reasons I consider this sort of thing so important. A lot of men can free-ride on women taking precautions, and a lot of men will, but the more tools we have at our disposal for male contraception, the easier it is to impress on men that, ultimately, you’re on your own here. And you have no way to “take care of the situation” if things go wrong (nor any way to keep your offspring alive, depending on your views).Report

      • Kazzy in reply to James Hanley says:

        Just yesterday I was talking with a friend about my “first”. She was on birth control (or, at least, she said she was on birth control and I had no reason not to believe her). Still, I insisted on using a condom. She was a bit put off by this, insisting it was unnecessary. “Better safe than sorry,” I figured. And not just because of issues related to STI/Ds, but because I didn’t know enough about oral contraceptives to put absolute faith in them (and even having learned more about oral contraception, I would still not put absolute faith in them). It seemed like a no-brainer to me to don a rubber. I was 21… I didn’t need a kid and didn’t need to take on unnecessary risks of having one. So I assumed as much control over the situation as I reasonably could short of avoiding sex altogether.Report

  7. Kim says:


    HOW long have we had this male contraception again???
    Yup, no market for it. This is “no shot” and (as I recall) provides about 3 months of freedom for the guy.Report

  8. j r says:

    Good post, @will-truman.

    The only thing that I will comment on is in regards to this:

    Valenti herself does express at least some excitement, but the attitudes she contributes to counterproductively sends a message that we shouldn’t bother because men will be men.

    Don’t let Valenti’s dismissiveness bother you. This is her shtick. This is what she gets paid to do. Just look at how the piece opens:

    Do you know how hard it is to get a man to wear a condom?

    I thought feminists were against this sort of broad stereotyping and gender essentialism. Not really. Valenti is against it when stereotypes run contrary to her preferred narrative and for it when they support that narrative. The important thing to remember here is that Valenti is primarily in the business of supporting a particular narrative.Report

  9. Michael Drew says:

    I think Valenti might be wrong to doubt whether men in committed relationships would “spread their legs for the urologist” or whatever (provided the cost is kept very reasonable). I doubt she’s wrong to doubt whether very many young single guys will do it just to deal with the future eventuality of meeting someone and having sparks fly and… so on. Especially guys in college or just getting going in careers or who are struggling financially. Who are the people you really most want to be careful with family planning. Especially if it costs much money at all.

    Which ought to make us feel the imperative behind the “contraceptive mandate” (which should, and does(?) cover men’s options? Do we know whether Vasalgel would be 100% ACA covered like other contraception options?) all the stronger. And not to write Valenti’s columns for her, but frankly I’d think that’d be the point she’d want to make about this product. A “Get it now?” kind of thing.Report

    • I agree with cost mattering a good deal. If it’s really expensive, and not covered, that would indeed cut significantly into how many men use it.

      But given the nature of it, and that it’s not an ongoing expense, I think you’re underestimating the appeal for a lot of the men you describe. Even if you’re waiting for a monogamous relationship where sex will be a regular occurrence, that itself would be a huge benefit. More reliable than the condom! Without need for planning!

      It is possible that I am overestimating how many guys are condom-averse, or underestimating the number of guys who want to free-ride on her contraception. But guys who don’t have a problem with condoms and who have faith in her taking the contraception, are not particularly the target audience.

      We don’t know how long it lasts, and that factors in pretty heavily along with price. But when I look at my own history, I’m not going to say that there wouldn’t have been gaps, but it would have reduced the number and longevity of gaps – even if we assume it doesn’t actually last more than a year – over the status quo.

      I mean, I am somebody who did take some reproductive risks along the way. But going over my own history, I see a 2 year span in which I might have let the contraception lapse (maybe), but otherwise, this would have removed the significant barriers that I had and eliminated a lot of the risk.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Will Truman says:

        I think my doubt is more just about people’s lives being (or feeling) very busy at that time, and it just not being a top priority. And the free riding. And so on.

        To some extent I think it is about what @zic says: girls are taught that this is something you take time to figure out aheade of time – largely because of the consequences specifically for them. guys get told it;s important, but it;’s not really drummed into them, which you can see from their condom usage rates.

        So perhaps a public-information campaign, or attempts to change those cultural facts could make this a big trend among bros. I didn’t set out to agree with Valenti on this at all, but I guess I too just kind of… doubt it. I guess I don’t really think it’s lack of availability that has kept this kind of treatment from becoming all the rage with the frat row set. If I’m wrong, great, I’d love to see that, but I just kind of doubt it – I at least think it would take a lot of prodding to get it going.

        That said, like Valenti, I think it’s fantastic and I hope it catches fire. I have no doubt it will be a hit with the married-Gold-Plan-don’t-want-more-kids set, and I’d love if it became a thing on campuses or with yuppies. But a lot of those guys don’t even go to the doctor when they’re really sick. It’s a lot easier to listen to the people telling you that you have to take as much responsibility as the ladies, go buy a box of Trojans, put one in your wallet, out the box on the shelf, and then maybe use them and maybe not. Bottom line, I think the issue is just scatterheadedness, cheapness, and irresponsibility. i think you were probably atypically low on at least two of those measures (one of them I think you’ve copped to, but given the other two, given the option I think this is the kind of expense you’d have been happy to take on as a struggling young @will-truman ) and thus might be underestimating how much those factors determine young men’s actions. Or I might be the one projecting *my* attributes on a whole age cohort… 😉Report

      • I don’t go to the doctor when I’m sick (or didn’t until Clancy) , but I’d go to the doctor for this!Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Will Truman says:

        …It is interesting, just as an observational matter, the way a responsible person looks at a step like this, as opposed to how irresponsible people (like me) would. You say that this approach works “without the need for planning!” Except that, taking this approach, to someone like me, *is* planning! It’s an extraordinary degree of planning… compared in any case to harboring generally good intentions about practising safe sex, and then making whatever feeble efforts to make good on those intentions I might actually make in the event. (Not that that’s actually my approach or anything ahem.)

        But the point wasn’t really the contraception question. I just find that a very revealing statement about an approach to making decisions and plans. “Make this plan so you don’t have to make plans.” It’s completely the right way to go about things, but it doesn’t involve… not planning. It’s just planning at a different time, or possibly planning your plans ahead of time (which probably tends to lead to better plans actually being enacted.)Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Will Truman says:

        Indeed. That might not be the best evidence as to what the younguns’d do one way or the other. 😉

        I do think if it was free, they’d start to do it some, if the word got out. Some, not a ton. Not, like, most. If it wasn’t free, good luck.Report

      • I guess what I mostly meant is that after the prick to the prick, there’s not much need to really think about it. Which actually reminds me of the important thing, which is knowing how long this lasts. There is a danger here of people overestimating how long it does, and pregnancies resulting because of it. On the other hand, they tend to dramatically undershoot the efficacy of medications.

        We may not actually be all that far apart in our estimations. I doubt it will be most men or anywhere close to that. There are still unfortunate realities on the ground in terms of who is expected to do what. On that I am inclined to agree with Valenti*. But there are gaps to be filled, and this has the potentially to really help with that**. I think the blithe dismissal I read actually feed into the problem.

        This touched on a relatively sensitive nerve of mine, which is that “men” don’t care about these things. I do, obviously, and while I may not be in the majority (or may not have been, back in the day), I really don’t think I am that unusual.

        * – If I may toot the OT horn, it’s actually quite awesome the number of men who contribute who have had vasectomies after they’re done having children. The national numbers are pretty depressing as far as that goes, compared to tubal ligations.**

        ** – (To both) I agree that we need some serious public service campaigns on this. What I’d really like to see is Vaselgel buses on college campuses.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Will Truman says:

        We are talking about the effects of the injection lasting three months, right? Then there’s remembering when to get a new injection to think about. Women report that it’s easy to forget to take the pill every morning, a claim which I find very credible. how much easier would it be to forget to go back to the doctor and get a renewal prick to the prick? Or to procrastinate because you know, you get busy, it’s hard to schedule an appointment with the doctor, haven’t exactly been having a lot of luck with the ladies recently, and it isn’t very pleasant taking a needle to the nads in the first place. And then, having deferred going back for an injection for a couple of weeks, opportunity occurs, she says yeah let’s go for it, and…Report

      • Burt, on the monkeys we’re talking about more than three months. We don’t know how long, but the assumption is we’re talking “long”.

        If we’re only talking about a few months, that would negate a lot of the potential I see.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Will Truman says:

        that cuts both ways. An injection with effects of longer durability is obviously more desirable. But on the other hand, that would make it even easier to forget to renew it when its efficacy does cease.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Will Truman says:

        But it only cuts the other way so much. If it were very long-lasting, that would be… a lot of efficacy in the first pass, we have to remember.

        Again, I don’t think the issue with the young invincibles will be renewing once the procedure has been done. It’s getting them to voluntarily take on that initial inconvenience, discomfort, expense, and slight embarrassment. I think a lot of guys regard making such overt plans about sexuality outside the context of an an actual sexual encounter to be kind of… I don’t know, self-regarding. Whereas women (well, some) are taught it’s irresponsible not to.

        But really I think the main front-end deterrent will be cost, again, for the young set. It can probably be kept reasonable, but I just doubt whether it’s really going to be cheap. And guys just aren’t going lay out for it unless it’s cheap, or they’re in a committed relationship and somewhat older and more established, I don’t think.Report

  10. KatherineMW says:

    It seems like a woman explaining why men won’t use condoms is something that rightfully merits the term “womansplaining” – this is pretty clearly an issue that men are better qualified to comment on.

    Your explanation of why men might prefer an injection to condoms (something I was skeptical about before) gives me a better understanding of the issue.Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to KatherineMW says:

      You were skeptical that condoms suck but now that Will told you they do, you’re not?

      Willsplaining FTW!Report

      • Glyph in reply to Michael Drew says:

        She didn’t say she was skeptical that condoms suck, she said she was skeptical that men might prefer a needle in their junk to rubbers.

        That said, and conceding readily that condoms are a very small physical imposition when compared to, say, IUDs or, you know, childbirth:

        Some people often DO seem skeptical, in my experience, that physical sensation is greatly reduced with condoms (so reduced, in fact, that performance can potentially become an issue).

        I’ve heard, more than once, things like “oh, don’t be such a baby about it.”

        Like I said above , I do somewhat get that, but…

        My ideal response to that sort of skepticism would be to draw the skeptic a nice candlelit warm bubble bath, then require them to don a wetsuit and goggles before they can get in.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

        You’re right. Sorry, @katherinemw .Report