Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

For International Women's Day, I'm testing the male pill

By imperium in Technology
Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 11:03:42 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)

It's International Women's Day, and (actually by coincidence) I took the first steps today towards joining a year-long pharmaceutical trial of the male oral contraceptive.

I personally rate widely available contraception as the crucial development of the twentieth century, allowing sex for love and pleasure without reproduction, so volunteering for this project seems pretty momentous.

So what do you think? Men: would you try it? Women: would you trust us to take it?

My girlfriend and I have found the side-effects of the female pill unsatisfactory, and the failure rate of barrier methods (4-8% per year) seem pretty high to me. With this in mind, I'd suggested, not too seriously, that I'd go on a male pill if only there was one available, so when we saw the advert for the trial in the family planning clinic it seemed too good to be true. With the exception of pulling on a condom, all other methods of contraception make women responsible, and I'm keen to do my bit.

Although I don't wish to discuss this too widely amongst my offline friends and family, I thought I'd share my experiences with this with the semi-anonymous masses of K5, knowing you all to be a discreet and scientifically curious group of people.

The pill itself contains a dose of an artificial version of progesterone, the same hormone used in the female pill, and which occurs naturally in small doses in the male body. The doctors assure me that previous trials have shown the pill to be largely without side effects, although some participants have experienced changes similar to those experienced on the female pill (some weight gain, mood swings, acne, tiredness, loss of libido). To counteract some of these, especially the change in libido, I will also be injected with slow-release testosterone every month or so. After all, it'd be a shame to be safe for a year but just not to be in the mood!

The practicalities of the trial are none-too-pleasant, although a doctor-fetishist might disagree. The screening was, shall we say, somewhat invasive (any women reading: do you remember your last smear test?), and the blood tests are a bit much for a needle-phobe, but I've only got to do it all three more times over the year. No problem. And abstaining from sex for two days a month before providing a "sample"? A minor inconvenience!

So, what do you all think? I'm so excited about it I can scarcely think. If it wasn't for having a relationship I'm totally committed to, I'd be looking forward to chatting up women and being able to say "don't worry, I'm on the pill"! Will this be the beginning of a second sexual revolution? Or will men continue to expect women to take the responsibility for contraception?

Anyway, in the name of science, I hereby commit myself to keeping K5 up to date with my progress at least once a month for the course of the trial (assuming I pass the screening process), so if you're interested, keep your eyes open for my diary.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


the male pill:
o the final phase of the feminist revolution 16%
o trust a man to take the pill? do I look mad? 20%
o you're on the pill? me too! 30%
o a diversion of funds from space research 27%
o what's wrong with women dealing with it? 5%

Votes: 85
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Internatio nal Women's Day
o my bit
o Also by imperium

Display: Sort:
For International Women's Day, I'm testing the male pill | 84 comments (84 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Comments on popular media... (3.52 / 21) (#1)
by Signal 11 on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 06:46:03 PM EST

The popular media has often raised the question whenever this is mentioned of "can men be trusted?" Well, any particular reason we should trust you women? It's sexist statements like this that make me wonder. Your gender has no bearing on your trustworthiness, yet the implicit statement the media often makes is that it does.

The pill in and of itself is a great invention - be it for men or women, and I look forward to when a male contraceptive pill is widely available with similar or less severe side-effects than for the female version (and I will bet money on there being side effects!). But I'm more concerned about the current sexist climate in this country. Feminism as portrayed by popular media has perverted itself into "all men are evil". If you're not a member of some minority group, you're evil. Well, when you boil it down, you find that this means that white men are evil. I have to shake my head and wonder what these people, who clammor for equality, really want... I'm certain it isn't equal opportunities and protections for both sexes.

The introduction of the male contraceptive pill will only further highlight the deep rifts already being formed in the name of "political correctness" in this country. I rather suspect that if things continue the way they are, this country will experience a cultural revolution as men tire of being called trash repeatedly by popular media. This is not in anyone's best interests... best we work for equality for all than equality for some. :\ While they call my gender "insensitive", they cannot see for themselves the damage they are doing to the delicate and complex social fabric in this country.

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

we'll see (4.33 / 3) (#3)
by Seumas on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:11:10 PM EST

We'll see if men start behaving as badly as women.

Yeah, I stopped taking the pill so she'd get pregnant. I figured she'd love me more and I could keep her around if I tricked her into getting knocked-up.

Still, I won't consider it completely even until men can put women in the position of known knowing if they're the mother or not and having to take our word for it and help pay for and raise our children and then, even once they've proven they aren't the mother, legally binding them to future responsibility because they've already taken responsibility for raising the child up to that point, even though it was under the guise of our deceptions.

So, while we may have oral contraceptives soon to be available for the male side of things, we're far from being even.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

WHAT? (4.50 / 2) (#8)
by Wicket on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:27:58 PM EST

What in the HELL are you talking about? Ever heard of DNA testing? I'm sorry if you've gotten burned, but as you so misogynisticly pointed out in your post below-

If you're sleeping around with people you can't even trust to take a simple pill so you don't get knocked up, you have bigger problems than whether men in general can be trusted.

Could it go both ways then with this-

Still, I won't consider it completely even until men can put women in the position of known knowing if they're the mother or not and having to take our word for it and help pay for and raise our children and then, even once they've proven they aren't the mother, legally binding them to future responsibility because they've already taken responsibility for raising the child up to that point, even though it was under the guise of our deceptions.

Could it go both ways in that you said that if a women is sleeping around and doesn't trust the person to take a pill so she won't "get knocked up", she has bigger problems, would the male who doesn't trust his is partner enough that she lying about paternity, would he too, have bigger problems?

intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
uh... (3.00 / 2) (#15)
by Seumas on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:51:02 PM EST

Yes. You're beginning to understand my point.

Saying you can't trust someone, so you'll just take a pill so you can fuck without impunity is . . . Well, I'm not sure of a kind way to say it -- but that is an example of a lack of control on their part. Your partner becomes nothing more than a dildo with legs.

The question here is regarding male oral contraception and whether men can be trusted to take it. I'm sure you can understand how the general gist of my comments are focused in such a vein. Were the situation and discussion reversed, I would just as surely harpoon the judgement of any male who questions the honesty and accountability of the woman he's sleeping with. This, however, is only presentable as a counter-balance for perspective in the arguements this article revolves around.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

DNA testing (4.00 / 2) (#23)
by Seumas on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 08:27:54 PM EST

I failed to comment on something you said.

DNA testing has nothing to do with it.

If you have sex with someone and later find that the person has had sex with other people and you are then unsure of the relation of the child to yourself, you can prove whether you are the biological parent or not with a DNA test. However, if you have been accepting the responsibility of this child (even if your acceptance of this responsibility was only accomplished by the mother of the child through deception), a court may (and very often does) judge that you are to continue the role of parent. Even if you then seperate from the mother, you can be held legally liable for taking care of the child and forced to financially support a child that has been legally proven not to be of relation to you.

For example, a woman sleeps around on her man. She gets pregnant. The man has no reason not to think the child is hers (he doesn't know she was cheating on him). They have the child, he takes care of it, a few months or a couple years later, he finds out she was cheating on him for eleven months. He decides to take a DNA test and finds that the child is not his.

He can STILL be held liable for the child, despite the way he was lied to and tricked and manipulated.

And justice for all!
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

I can't speak for the guy, but... (none / 0) (#49)
by trhurler on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 01:57:44 PM EST

it looked to me like he was trying to make a point that really isn't about men vs women, but rather people vs people. Today, women who take the pill often DO "forget" so they can get pregnant as a hook to try to get married or whatever. Not all, but many. Men can't do this to women, regardless of whether they WOULD, because they aren't taking the pills. Now there's the chance they could do so, with this new thing. I can't imagine that many will, because it generally seems that it is not the guy who's dying to settle down and have kids, but let's just say they might.

The thing is, the rest of his post is an obvious semi-serious semi-joking rantish thing that obviously you took way too seriously. He cannot seriously think a woman could be unaware of being a mother, for instance.

Personally, I think this is a good thing, if they can get it to where you don't need the shots(otherwise, most men won't do it,) simply because this way, both people are accountable in a relationship. I take mine, she takes hers, and that's that. Some might say this isn't very trusting, and I understand why they think that. However, when dealing with something that can fuck up your life this seriously and permanently, trust is a good thing, but so is taking personal responsibility for ensuring your future in any way you can.

Anyway, maybe the guy IS a sexist ass, but that wasn't the impression I got. I'm pretty sure he made a somewhat tactless joke/half serious point that perhaps wasn't as transparent as one might hope.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Not your best (3.71 / 7) (#6)
by leviathan on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:14:47 PM EST

Siggy man, far too obvious.

I wish everyone was peaceful. Then I could take over the planet with a butter knife.
- Dogbert
[ Parent ]
hell yeah id take it (2.33 / 6) (#2)
by rebelcool on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:04:30 PM EST

for those nights when that one remaining condom in the wallet just doesnt cut it, or running out at home.. as long as i could stop it anytime and no side effects such as my balls falling off, id do it.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Trust (3.57 / 7) (#4)
by Wicket on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:12:37 PM EST

As much as I love and trust my boyfriend, I would be the one, after all, that would have to carry the child to term, so I would not rely soley on the male birth control pill.

I am on the pill now and have not experienced side effects, in fact, I'm on orth-trycycline which is clinically proven to help clear up acne, and I have experienced this benefit.

I know that many women do experience side effects so I count myself lucky, but I'm still one of the very rare women to suffer from Vulvodynia which can greatly affect the sex life, so I guess it's a toss up.

All in all, women are more directly affected by having the child. I'm not trying to say that men aren't up to accepting responsibility, but they don't have to carry the child for 9 months, etc., so I'd feel more comfortable in knowing that I am directly affecting preventing pregnancy (until I do chose to have children), I don't want to rely on someone else to take a pill that will affect me and my life so greatly if he were to forget...

intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
Re: Trust (2.88 / 9) (#25)
by Signal 11 on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 09:19:34 PM EST

but they don't have to carry the child for 9 months, etc.,

No, they just foot the bill for the 18 years after that.

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Well.... (3.00 / 1) (#29)
by Wicket on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 11:17:58 PM EST

They shoulda worn a condom....

intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
Hmmm... (1.00 / 1) (#38)
by Signal 11 on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 10:07:59 AM EST

Yes, and the woman shouldn't have lied about being on the pill. Not that the courts care about such little details as being untruthful.

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]
Who's talking about lying? (none / 0) (#39)
by Wicket on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 10:21:15 AM EST

I never said anything about lying about being on the pill, I personally will not rely on a sole form of birth control (the male pill) to prevent pregnancy.

intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
You shouldn't rely on ANYTHING sinularly! (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by tzanger on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 01:49:04 PM EST

I never said anything about lying about being on the pill, I personally will not rely on a sole form of birth control (the male pill) to prevent pregnancy.

The subject says it all. My stepson was a condom baby. My daughter was a pill baby. My son was just incredibly bad timing (15mos between him and my daughter, wife was still breastfeeding so don't let them tell you that that prevents ovulation!). After that my wife and I both said "Fuck this!" and she's cut, tied and burned. It would have been me but she was already open from the caesarian. If we get pregnant again it will be Divine Will and we will call him Jesus. :-)

Now don't get me wrong: I love all my children equally and without any hesitation. I get a kick out of saying "Come to me my little spermies!" (much to the chagrin of my wife.) I always said I wanted to be a dad before 25.... I just never knew I'd be a dad of three before 25!

If you want 100% effective contraception, use celibacy. That's the only sure way.

[ Parent ]
Whoa! (none / 0) (#50)
by Wicket on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 01:58:18 PM EST

My father was also a father of 3 before he was 25! :)

I agree with you about not relying solely on one form of cpntraceptive, that was my point in the first place, somehow Siggy read into that as the women lying about being on the pill, which is a disgusting assumption at the least.

What I meant was I would not totally rely on someone else in the prevention of me getting pregnant. Each partner should share some of the responsibility of pregnancy prevention and be prepared to handle the consequences if the female does in fact get pregnant. He then said the male was stuck footing the bill for the next 18 years, another gross assumption.

But you are right, the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy is celibacy, since the 2 partners did not choose this form, and if their method of prevention failed, they both need to own up to their responsibilities.
intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
Ahem. (none / 0) (#55)
by Signal 11 on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 03:00:15 PM EST

somehow Siggy read into that as the women lying about being on the pill, which is a disgusting assumption at the least.

But the reverse is not? That's my whole point. Reverse the genders and see how applicable some statements are. I was mentioning that somewhat tangential to your story was a recent article by MSNBC which brought up this very issue, and implicitly arrived at the conclusion that men could not be trusted. My position is that gender is irrelevant in such things, but many people disagree. The "disgusting assumption" is there to provoke thought, something you seem determined to avoid.

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

I'm not avoiding anything. (none / 0) (#59)
by Wicket on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 03:26:51 PM EST

I'm simply saying that I never said men shouldn't be trusted. What was the story on msnbc, do you have a link? I was talking about my personal experience, that I have a very trusting relationship with my boyfriend and we are very open about anything, but I wouldn't put the sole responsibility on his shoulders on preventing pregnancy. It is both of our responsibility. Just because a woman gets pregnant, doesn't automatically mean she lied about being on the pill. The pill is only 95% to 99.9% effective. Those are pretty good odds, but not one hundred percent effective, so women CAN and DO get pregnant while being on the pill, it doesn't automatically mean they lied about it.

intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
On top of that... (3.00 / 1) (#31)
by Wicket on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 12:34:35 AM EST

I know plenty of independent single parent women that support/raise the children, or stay at home dads with no income, while the women have the careers. To suggest that only men take on the financial burden is disgusting.

intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
True enough... (none / 0) (#48)
by tzanger on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 01:51:56 PM EST

know plenty of independent single parent women that support/raise the children, or stay at home dads with no income, while the women have the careers. To suggest that only men take on the financial burden is disgusting.

True enough... My parents were like that (and after they got divorced my mom remained a single mom until my brother and I were almost finished high school)...


How is that any different from saying "Could you trust men to take the pill"? Honestly now... There's sexual stereotypes and then there's sexual stereotypes.

[ Parent ]
What I was responding to... (none / 0) (#52)
by Wicket on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 02:03:38 PM EST

....was Signal 11's statement-

No, they just foot the bill for the 18 years after that.

That is a stereotype that men are the only breadwinners and have to "foot the bill" for a child that was result of a mutual act. I never said I don't trust men enough to take a pill. I just said I wouldn't rely on that as the only method, as you said yourself, no one should rely on a sole method for pregnancy prevention.
intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
um.. i hate to be the conservative asshole, but... (3.42 / 19) (#5)
by Seumas on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:13:10 PM EST

"Can we trust men"...? What the fuck?

If you're sleeping around with people you can't even trust to take a simple pill so you don't get knocked up, you have bigger problems than whether men in general can be trusted.
I just read K5 for the articles.

Excuse me? (4.00 / 6) (#7)
by Wicket on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:20:10 PM EST

"Can we trust men"...? What the fuck?

If you're sleeping around with people you can't even trust to take a simple pill so you don't get knocked up, you have bigger problems than whether men in general can be trusted.

I'm female, I don't sleep around, I'm in a committed relationship that is very trusting and loving, but I would never solely rely on my partner taking a pill to prevent pregnancy and I find it disgusting that you would make such assumptions about women in general.

YOU aren't the one who would have to carry the child to term. Being independent is a wonderful thing and I highly doubt many women would solely rely on her partner to take a pill. It's not about trust, it's about common sense.

intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
Oh please! (4.00 / 5) (#9)
by jabber on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:37:46 PM EST

I really don't think that Seumas intended that women 'sleep around with every irresponsible penis that comes along'. Rather, what I read said that, it is foolish to sleep with someone whom you find irresponsible enough to consistantly take a pill. I didn't see anything in there about it being the sole means of contraception or any implication of promiscuity. What he said was "if the guy is too dense to take a pill, why sleep with him?"

In a comitted relationship, mutual respect is key. If a singular means of contraception is decided upon, then the partner responsible should be consistently responsible. Period.

If you would never rely on your partner to take a pill then, I assume, you mean that you would prefer redundancy and the elimination of the 'single point of failure' instead of meaning that your partner is not trustworthy and responsible enough to take the pill. If you can not trust partner to do what is safe and good for both of you, then you ought not sleep with him. It's a hypothetical and generic 'you'. It's a matter of trustworthiness of your partner (male or female). No condescending assumption about women at all. Why so defensive?

As for carrying a child to term, there's no arguing the fact. Until science finds a way to do otherwise, natural gestation is the only way of bringing a child into the world. As for child support payments for the subsequent 18 years, that's another matter entirely. Women may have the 'burden' of pregnancy, men have the resulting legal obligation to support the upbringing of that child. Yes, too many men find a way to weasel out of that responsibility. Too many women Lord parenthood over men, and too many have abortions without consideration of the Father's point of view.

It's a difficult issue. Kiss and make up.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

yes (4.00 / 4) (#17)
by Seumas on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 08:00:52 PM EST

[. . .]What he said was "if the guy is too dense to take a pill, why sleep with him?"

Yes, this was largely my point. I'm not impressed by anyone who has the obvious intellectual capacity to see a problem before them, but the compelte lack of control to avoid that problem. Granted, my explanation of this distaste is often poorly offered, but it is not something that is easy to clearly present.

If a woman sees that a man cannot be trusted -- or she is not together enough to be able to trust a man (regardless of his actual accountability), then the logical thing to do would be to wait until you are assured of his reliability or step completely away from him. The last thing you do is pop a pill and mount him. This is why we have greater sympathy for someone who is driving down the road and is side-swiped by a drunk driver and put in a wheel chair than we do for a guy who drives 180mph for a living and plows into a wall, causing his own death.

Men certainly provide plenty of examples of similar behavior and neither sex has the monopoly on poor judgement. And further, sex is a very compelling act. We've all been attracted to that guy or girl that was just bad news and that we knew would ruin us, but the prospect of being with them often far outweighs rational and responsible thought. I understand this, too. I can possibly understand such a situation with greater sympathy than I can one in which the person has clearly understood and mulled-over the fact that the other person is a complete boob but goes for it anyway, making excuses as they go.

I'm not sure that this has made sense. As I prefaced, the angles of responsibility, trust and control vary as do many of the other factors in such situations.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

so... (4.00 / 6) (#11)
by Seumas on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:42:33 PM EST

So while you might not trust someone with the simplest thing (such as taking a pill), you'd trust them enough to have sex with them? Did I just fall off the wagon into Temptation Island? I guess if everyone wants to just stick it into whoever is willing to spread, that's fine and they can take whatever risks they want, including the contraceptive thing.

I'd hope that anyone with the reason and forethought to use protection would also have the same wisdom to sleep with someone of character that they can trust. I certainly have never said "well, I can't trust her and have to watch over everything she does, but she's hot so I'm going to just pop the pill myself and screw her" and I doubt most people do.

I'm simply saying that it is a rediculous thing to ask "can we trust men to take a pill?" and say "well, no, so we'll just pop a pill and get back to humping like rabbits". Taking responsibility for yourself is always a commendable thing regardless of the situation and level of trust and I believe it should be the responsibility of anyone having sex -- this means both partners -- to prevent pregnancy and disease in a relationship. Judgement of our reliability is unfounded and beside the entire point of discussion, which is why I take exception to the question when it is phrased with the suggestion that men can't be trusted, so before you spread your legs for some jerk, you should take your own pill.

The more pertinent question that both men and women should be asking is not "can I trust my partner" -- if you're to the point in a relationship (even a casual one) where you're having sex with them, you should already have established a level of trust and reliability. The more pertinent question for both sexes should be whether or not they'll take responsibility for themselves, their own actions and their respect for those people in life they're most intimate with -- even if the other person already is.

The general opinion seems to be that there will eventually come to be enough rubber and chemicals between lovers to kill anything seeping from one body to another and that this arsenal will bring us the greatest level of "free love" and "sex without consequences". I'd argue very strongly that even with said arsenal, this level of physical pleasure and intimacy will not be acheived by the limitation of real-world consequences, but by one understanding themselves, what they want, what they can give and how to take and give responsibly and respectfully. The discoveries and technologies in the meantime are superfluous.

In short, if people (women, in the situation presented with this attack on male credibility) accepted and excersized better judgement in the people they fucked, they wouldn't be asking the insulting question of whether men can be trusted. Maybe men will grow some testicles and start with-holding sex until women get the clue and quit speaking of us with lesser regard than they do a bad puppy in need of constant attention and discipline.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Agreed (2.50 / 4) (#20)
by maketo on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 08:15:21 PM EST

I think you are forgetting one thing - many people nowadays see sex as sheer pleasure and many a time it is not important who it is with. This includes both sexes. You are also forgetting that morals today are translated into "naive" or "dumb".
agents, bugs, nanites....see the connection?
[ Parent ]
right (3.40 / 5) (#22)
by Seumas on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 08:20:24 PM EST

Right. That was part of my point, though. If you're tramping around (this goes for dudes, too), then your problem isn't whether or not men can be trusted to take the pill. Your problem is that you're tramping around with people that you are unfamiliar with and can not trust.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
Good point (none / 0) (#65)
by Wicket on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 05:25:21 PM EST

Also, if the person is sleeping around, relying just on a pill is a BAD idea since it's not only not 100% effective, but it doesn't guard against STDs.

intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
It's not about trust (3.25 / 4) (#24)
by Wicket on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 08:34:13 PM EST

For me, it would be more about relying on a single birth control method. Since the birthing burden lies on me, I take any precaution that I can. I'm sorry if I misread your original post, but I get very offended at the term "knocked up", perhaps it's just my conservative side showing :)

intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
Is the answer still the same... (3.50 / 6) (#16)
by ramses0 on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:52:11 PM EST

...when the question is reversed? Assuming you've got a decent guy, if the girl is pregnant, he'll stand by her, etc... Should the guy trust the girl to take the pill?

It's the same question as before, with the genders reversed. This is not trying to be an inciteful comment. Never having had the pleasure of dating a girl on the pill and taking advantage of it, it had never occurred to me to not trust the girl to take her pills.

Perhaps if I had been in the situation it might have crossed my mind, but it's something that I'll think about for a few days.

[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]

the double-standard (3.80 / 5) (#18)
by Seumas on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 08:05:57 PM EST

The thing is, when the situation is reversed, everyone would skin the man alive and say that he has no right to question whether the girl he's sleeping with could be trusted to take the pill (even if she really did lie about it). They would reduce it to the rhetorical line about not taking the risk if you're not willing to pay for the consequences. Even if the man is right that she was lying about being on the pill.

However, if the situation is reversed as it appears to be here, it is perfectly acceptable and logical for the woman to want her cake and eat it too, without her judgement and actions being questioned.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

The responsibility... (none / 0) (#64)
by Wicket on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 05:20:55 PM EST

The responsibility of preventing pregnancy should not rely solely on one person. If you honestly think that the woman you are sleeping with would "forget" to take her pill, then do your part and wear a condom so you aren't left with an unintended pregnancy. If that fails, well, life sucks sometimes, it's your responsibility to own up to the child.

intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
You are excused (3.25 / 4) (#21)
by maketo on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 08:19:12 PM EST

Read his posting carefully - he did not intend to hurt your sex as a whole nor you as an individual..The way I understood it - he was talking about something a little bit more fundamental than your "I am in your face everytime a female is mentioned" attitude.
agents, bugs, nanites....see the connection?
[ Parent ]
either way (2.00 / 2) (#28)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 09:58:34 PM EST

It can go both ways - if you are a man you might not want to trust your girlfriends to take a pill, since if she forgets you're going to be the one having to support the child for eighteen years after that (and especially since usually when there's a disagreement over whether ot have children, the woman is the one who wants children and the man is the one who does not; this isn't 100% of course, but things work out this way more often than not).

[ Parent ]
*ahem* (2.37 / 8) (#10)
by regeya on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:41:02 PM EST

/me hands Seumas a free tuition waiver for the critical-thinking-skills class of his choice

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

sorry (1.50 / 10) (#14)
by Seumas on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:46:41 PM EST

Sorry, but it would conflict with my Mensa meetings.

You go ahead and keep it, though. Perhaps you can redeem it for a rectal cranium extraction from the student hospital?
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

I beg your pardon... (2.00 / 5) (#32)
by regeya on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 02:15:25 AM EST

*zero* rating? I challenge you to make yourself known. C'mon, it was a response to a trollish comment. I suppose I was supposed to get fired up and say "What are you talking about? The article didn't say that; what the author was saying..." No, I'm not going to waste my time. Sheesh, sometimes it's hard to differentiate between the trolls and the people who really don't think before they post. If I'm not allowed to post a "smart" comment to a trollish comment (and I haven't checked the parent, but I doubt that you rated that a 0) then tell me this: why shouldn't I just rate the comments I think are trolls as 0? I honestly see no reason not to. Guess that's what I'll do. I've resisted the temptation until now, but I guess I'll just do what the other hotheads do and make a new account and start rating my comments at 5 just for giggles. Erm, no. That wouldn't be right. I won't sink that low. :-)

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Wait a minute. . . (1.50 / 4) (#13)
by slick willie on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:44:38 PM EST

I'm the self-proclaimed conservative "asshole" around here.

"...there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address

[ Parent ]
Feeding the trolls (3.25 / 8) (#33)
by regeya on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 02:32:41 AM EST

Okay, here's what I meant by my "/me hands Seumas for a tuition waiver blah blah blah" comment that someone so kindly rated at 0.

A search of the page for the phrase "Can we trust men" yields...Seumas's comment. There it is, set in quotation marks, as if it's a direct quote. It's not, folks. It's Seumas's own words. Read

"Can we trust men"...? What the fuck?
and tell me that doesn't look like a kneejerk reaction to a non-existent quote. Yeah, there's a similar sentence, but Seumas has conveniently rephrased it for maximum shock/annoyance value. Which rule of trolling is that?

And for a big finish, Seumas takes a fairly generic reference in an article about contraceptives and turns it into:

If you're sleeping around with people you can't even trust to take a simple pill so you don't get knocked up, you have bigger problems than whether men in general can be trusted.
Nice. My wife takes birth control pills. Maybe I should hide the car keys, perhaps chain her to the bed? No, she takes birth control to lessen the chance of having children at this time. It's fun to take issues and make them overly simple, but the harsh reality is that life isn't that simple. I guess I just fell for it, didn't I? Oh well. That's more for the benefit of those of you angered by Seumas's words, tempted to fire off a volley of hateful posts the direction of Seumas. Again, phrased for maximum shock/annoyance value, don't cross this bridge, move along, nothing to see but a troll here. Valid points, but methinks this one is just designed to make the sparks fly. Not buying today, sorry.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

try READING the article (none / 0) (#66)
by Seumas on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 06:17:12 PM EST

It's right up there at the top of the article. In fact, it's in the introduction itself.

So what do you think? Men: would you try it? Women: would you trust us to take it?

"Women: Would you trust us [men] to take it?"

Further, consider any discussion in the media about this and they inevitably bring up the point that a man probably cannot be trusted to "stay on the pill", which is probably along the line of why the submitter of this article thought to mention it -- not because it holds any truth, but because it is a question that people do bring up. And since the submitter of this article very directly proposed that question in the first couple of paragraphs, it is most definitely appropriate for discussion here.

Before you start poking at things, give them a good look or two.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

To explain (none / 0) (#67)
by imperium on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 06:22:12 PM EST

It's just something that always comes up in discussions of the male pill. I don't believe it. Hell, it's looking like the basis for me not becoming a father for a year, and as far as I know, my girlfriend trusts me to take it.

I wasn't trolling, merely referring to a widespread idea- and I too think it's basically bullshit, although if I were a woman it would depend a lot on the man, exactly the same as it does the other way round.

[ Parent ]

pathetic (none / 0) (#69)
by Seumas on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 06:32:56 PM EST

It's pathetic that because you have little to say other than "boo hoo, life isn't easy and we screw up", you resort to unfounded accusations of trolling against someone you know damned well as anything but a troll. Your tendancy to overreact to things you don't agree with is an awful example of an inability to control your trigger finger and argue any valid points to your viewpoint. You probably see yourself as open-minded, but your tantrum-like behavior strikes me as quite close-minded. After all, your greatest contribution at the point had been insulting someone's (my) education when you yourself had clearly not read the article thoroughly or you would have seen how my comments were relavent to the presentation of the original poster of this submission.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
actually (none / 0) (#74)
by Seumas on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 07:42:42 PM EST

Actually, you know -- I think I was a bit harsh, because I know you're not any more close-minded than I am a troll. We just recently rubbed each other the wrong way and neither of us (okay, me especially) are willing to cut a break for the other. Although you've had a spurt or two of postings that haven't served any purpose other than to attack someone, the enormous majority of your postings are either spot-on or thoughtful and I regret that I haven't cut you some slack -- specifically in this thread.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure what to say. (none / 0) (#76)
by regeya on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 08:57:52 PM EST

It's pathetic that because you have little to say other than "boo hoo, life isn't easy and we screw up", you resort to unfounded accusations of trolling against someone you know damned well as anything but a troll.
I suppose I should say something more polite than "Ah, bullshit." :-)

Thing is, I don't know it's not a troll. It just looks like, to paraphrase you, that you're thinking "boo hoo, life isn't easy and I'm not getting enough attention" and you posted that wonderful, thoughtful, insightful bit that you did. It certainly looks like a troll. Sorry if it wasn't (but do trolls ever really admit that they are? ;-)

So, I suppose we're even. :-)

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Absolutely! (4.16 / 6) (#12)
by jabber on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:42:58 PM EST

The Pill is not 100% effective. My GF very much dislikes condoms. For these reasons, I think that a two-sided pill regiment would be a great thing.

In a non-committed relationship, I would still not want a child. But, in a non-committed, non-monogamous relationship, you would be a fool to swap fluids in the first place. If I were inclined to slut around, I'd take the pill as a backup, but I'd double-bag it to stay alive. The only thing worse than supporting an unplanned, or worse, an undesired child, is a shortenned life of disease and suffering.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

wha?!?! (3.50 / 2) (#19)
by Seumas on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 08:09:26 PM EST

One of my ex's said that all men are prone to slut around. When we aren't slutting around, it's only because we haven't the oppertunities presented to us. This is why it's far easier for women to slut around. Men, jealous that they are not presented with as many chances, result to labeling the women as sluts.

I tend to think that's fairly accurate, too.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Intentionally phrased (5.00 / 2) (#26)
by jabber on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 09:44:38 PM EST

I meant what I said. Whether men label sexually assertive or promiscuous women as sluts out of resentment and hidden jealousy, or it is a term appropriate for anyone who treats sex casually, is a separate issue.

I'm male, and I am monogamous. Not for lack of animalistic desire, but rather out of respect for my partner, and quite possibly out of good old fear of punishment.

I intentionally applied the term 'slut' in a male context to avoid any knee-jerk backlash over a double standard or anything equally antiquated.

{tangent warning *** AAAOOOGAAAH!! AAAOOGAHH!!}

The only difference between 'stud' and 'slut' is the emotional payload associated with a casual partaking of the sexual act. A 'stud' pursues sex as an end, a 'slut' uses sex as a means. Therefore, anyone who is paid for sex is a 'slut' while anyone who pays for sex is a 'stud'.

Let there be flames!

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

sluts either way (5.00 / 1) (#27)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 09:54:44 PM EST

I think that's kind of missing the point, that slutting around is not a good idea, regardless of gender.

[ Parent ]
Technical point re "double bagging" (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by Hizonner on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 09:59:36 AM EST

According to most of the safer-sex material I've read (and there's been a lot of it), doubled condoms tend to fail more than single condoms. Not sure of the reason; I think it has to do with the minimally lubricated latex-on-latex friction. Don't "double bag"; just get a decent quality condom in the first place.

Even if you're using condoms, it is of course a good idea to have backup contraception. All these methods do fail. I always use condoms when I "slut around", but I've also had a vasectomy just in case. A male pill would be a good alternative.

BTW, from what I've seen of K5, most of the people here don't really have a clue about the physical or emotional issues of casual sex or multiple serious relationships (yes, the latter is possible for many people, and can be wonderful... and yes, the same person can have both casual sex and one or more serious relationships). Consult a knowledgeable slut, or better yet a good book for more information.

Yours in fluid isolation pedantry...

[ Parent ]

Double bagging (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by jabber on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 12:20:31 PM EST

Thanks for making that point. I know about it, but others may not have. I just used the term 'double bag' because it seemed funny.

Anyone with even a basic grasp of statistics will recognize the sanity of using multiple forms of protection.

Emotional issues are very well addressed in The Ethical Slut - a book that should be handed to all College freshmen upon admisson to University, and air dropped over all inner-cities (no I'm not really an elitist racist, I just play on during lunch hour).

I've not read the book myself, so I avoid multiple, overlapping and casual relationships. Once I do my homework though... Lock up your daughters!

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Polyamory and safer sex resources (none / 0) (#54)
by Hizonner on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 02:44:55 PM EST

The Ethical Slut (by Dossie Easton) is indeed well thought of. There are also lots of online resources...

On polyamory (the practice of having multiple sexual and/or romantic relationships, with a strong connotation that this is done openly), a good resource, with many links, is at http://www.polyamory.org. Also follow the link to Howard Landman's list at the bottom of that page.

On safer sex, there are about a billion pages available. The CDC is always interesting for statistics, but short on practical advice. The safer sex links and the general health links at the Queer Resources Directory are a good start.

[ Parent ]

polyamoury (none / 0) (#62)
by Michael Leuchtenburg on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 04:05:53 PM EST

I don't think you really need to read that book. I have heard it's a good read, and would perhaps help structure your thoughts a bit, but the essence of polyamoury is simple: trust and openness.

The people in the relationship need to understand what the terms of that relationship are. These can range widely, from "don't ask, don't tell" to "tell as soon as possible" to "ask me first". They can vary widely within a given relationship, too, as the terms change over time.

Also, they don't have to be symmetrical. It may seem odd, but it may be the case that A must ask B for permission, but B does not need to ask A; in fact, B doesn't even need to tell A, though it's likely B would, given that they're in a close emotional relationship and all. This seemed odd to me at first, but I'm starting to get it a lot better now, having been in an open relationship (a term for a relationship having non-monogamous rules) for about a year now.

There are, of course, many possibilities within this simple framework.

Another interesting concept is that of fluid monogamy, or fluid fidelity. That is that partners agree not to share fluids with anyone outside the agreed upon group, which may often be two people, but can be any number. Bringing anyone into that group often has some sort of "waiting period", during which the entrant must have no unsafe sex, and at the end of which the entrant would be tested for STDs.

I've ended up going a bit further than I meant to with this. Really, what you should do is take a look at the newsgroup alt.polyamory, which is also accessible at <a href=http://www.polyamory.org/">www.polyamory.org, the webhome for the newsgroup. From there you can find many guides and information on other people's experiences, and on the newsgroup you can ask any questions you have to a wide audience.

I am also willing to answer any questions as best I can, so don't fear to ask! I urge you to consider polyamory sooner, rather than later; we have limited time in our lives (thus far), why waste some which you could be spending loving instead?

[ #k5: dyfrgi ]
[ TINK5C ]
[ Parent ]

Tell me about the vasectomy (none / 0) (#45)
by imperium on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 01:18:12 PM EST

I have considered it too, although my girlfriend is really anti it, just in case she wants kids later, and can change my mind on the subject ;)

Have you had any side effects? Would you rate it highly?

[ Parent ]

Vasectomy experience (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by Hizonner on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 03:00:19 PM EST

You can actually find a lot of people's vasectomy experiences with a Web search.

In my case, the actual procedure was no big deal, although I suppose it would be if you had any issues needles or surgery in general, or with people coming at your genitalia with sharp objects. It was like going to the dentist.

My balls ached fairly badly for about a week, and ached occasionally for a few more weeks. The only lasting effect I've had has been sperm granulomas (little hard lumps at the cut ends of the vasa deferentia; I have to search around to find them). No visible scars. No effect on sexual anything, except for improved peace of mind.

I think this is fairly typical, maybe with a little more pain than usual. Apparently it all varies quite a bit from person to person, though.

Some people do get long-term pain, and that's played down a bit in some of the information you'll get on line. Obviously, it's a surgical procedure, and complications are possible.

I am pushing 40 (which refuses to move, by the way), and my wife has health problems which would make it a Really Bad Idea for her to have children. Doctors used to routinely refuse to sterilize anybody under 30, especially without the consent of their partners, because of the number of people who'd come in, get it done, and then regret it later.

They've mostly eased up on that now, at least where I live, but they did have a point. Reversal is a realistic option nowadays, but it only works sometimes, and it's really expensive and a general pain in the ass.

I'd suggest being really sure, and making sure you understand the emotional effect it may have on your girlfriend (and on you).

[ Parent ]

Still thinking (none / 0) (#57)
by imperium on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 03:12:06 PM EST

However, I'm only pushing 30 myself. It had never occurred to me to look for other experiences on the internet (although it seems obvious now), so thanks a lot.

Sometime, perhaps...

[ Parent ]

refusal factors (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by yankeehack on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 03:55:16 PM EST

Doctors used to routinely refuse to sterilize anybody under 30, especially without the consent of their partners, because of the number of people who'd come in, get it done, and then regret it later.

In the States, I've also heard of doctors refusing to do the procedure if the candidate had less than 3 kids (no kidding) because of the regret factor. However, there are more urologists out there who will do it for men with just 2 kids.

No one who was bad in bed has ever been good in life (i.e. liberals, I've never had sex with a liberal woman who knew how to use her body.) Keeteel :-P I'm *right*!
[ Parent ]

and some who let you stay child-free (none / 0) (#73)
by coffee17 on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 07:36:48 PM EST

there's also some, if not plenty, who will let you remain child-free. I was 22 when I got my vasectomy and had no children.

I imagine because of gender stereo types that it's harder for a childless female to get a tubal than for me to get snipped.


[ Parent ]

definately more pain (none / 0) (#72)
by coffee17 on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 07:33:17 PM EST

I think this is fairly typical, maybe with a little more pain than usual.

You definately had more pain than usual. I only ached for the first day and after that I was fine. But then, I did have a girlfriend at the time who was enjoying "torturing" me over the "try not to come for a week after the procedure" issue... ah, I need some more torture like that.

Well, I could have had less pain, but I think one is only supposed to hurt for a day or two.


[ Parent ]

Side effects (3.00 / 1) (#30)
by mami on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 12:17:44 AM EST

It would be interesting to set up is a double-blind test. Let's say your partner would be willing for a year to take the pill. Then your doctor would put you on your pill, without telling you in which three month period you are on a placebo in which three month you arte actually on the pill. And you would have to report on a monthly basis on a battery of questions concering any physical and psychological changes you encounter. The doctor also should not know in which time period you were given the placebo and in which the actual pill, this being decided by a third party. Then go through all your reports after a one year period and get an objective evaluation of the real side effects and not the ones imagined or expected upfront.

As for a woman to trust her partner... I don't know, I guess I am too old fashioned, but in general for women of a certain age (after 38 for sure) the "wanting to have a child" inner nagging voice is getting harder and harder for a woman to ignore. Time clock and biology takes over strong.

Thus the longer the relationship and the older the woman gets the more likely it is that a man can NOT trust that a woman that much anymore.

Men in general don't want children unless they very explicitly voice that wish to their partner _on their own_. So, I would say, (though I wouldn't never rely on the man completely), that the man might be more reliable to take the pill, if it really has no side effect on him, than a woman might be. Just a guess. Strange question one has ask themselves these days.

On Men not wanting children (none / 0) (#40)
by Karmakaze on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 11:21:24 AM EST

Men in general don't want children unless they very explicitly voice that wish to their partner _on their own_.
Well, yes and no.

At the risk of being labeled an irrational man-hating feminist (I'm actually only one of the three), I'm going to have to disagree.

There are a lot of men who don't want the responsibility of a child, who nonetheless want the affirmation of their masculinity (or fertility) they get from fathering a child.

[ Parent ]

yes and no (none / 0) (#46)
by imperium on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 01:22:45 PM EST

There are men like that. I agree.

However, many feel differently, either because of a sense of responsibility or because they don't want to be chased by lawyers or the government for money.

Some of us are also partly motivated by non-personal reasons, like the much discussed population crisis.

[ Parent ]

I hate to kiboze, but... (none / 0) (#81)
by DoomHaven on Sun Mar 11, 2001 at 09:59:54 PM EST

First off, I have to say: I really hope that this works out, not only specifically just for you, but in general as viable oral contraceptive for men. The options (vascetomy, condoms, "pulling out", and relying on *her*) have too many problems that are invariably unsolvable. Thank you for taking this courageous step; I, for one, will be most eager to read more about the progress of your bleeding-edge self-experiment.

Now then, about the reference...

Offhand, perhaps your comment would look better researched if you provided a link to the actual document than a link to my article. You have a great idea, and one I will follow avidly; I would hate for your work to seem tainted by reference to something that, while I still stand behind, is as publicly offending as mine

But, I blushingly thank you for the nod. Keep us posted!

My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
[ Parent ]
well... (none / 0) (#83)
by imperium on Mon Mar 12, 2001 at 03:09:07 PM EST

I wanted to reference your article, and the whole discussion. The link is useful, but I wasn't aware of it.

And fear not, I will keep the diary up and running. Next entry scheduled for Friday 23rd March, when I find out if my second "sample" is as fertile as the first.

Thanks for your interest, though, even if the phrase "bleeding edge" gives me a squeamish feeling.

[ Parent ]

A bad choice of words... (none / 0) (#84)
by DoomHaven on Tue Mar 13, 2001 at 08:53:01 PM EST

Now that you mention it, I would have to say that "bleeding" "edge" are probably not the words you would like to here during a discussion about your "delicates".

But, yes, one of the points of my article was to generate alterative solutions. This does fall under that category. And thank you for your support during the (in retrospect, inevitable) hazing I received for that last article. I can't wait to see what the reaction on my next little piece: Morality - That Moving Target. Better make sure the asbestos underwear fit this time...

Good luck, and I will be reading with interest on the 23rd.

My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
[ Parent ]
On Men not wanting children (none / 0) (#53)
by mami on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 02:16:54 PM EST

There are a lot of men who don't want the responsibility of a child, who nonetheless want the affirmation of their masculinity (or fertility) they get from fathering a child.

Of course. But that's a feature, not a bug :-)

The geeks have too many "rational" reasons not to want children, so God had to trick out their mind sets to ensure that mankind's geeks will NOT be successful in endanger their own species to extinction. He (God ot the powers you consider relevant for our existence) invented that masculinity thingy to make them feel whole. Lemme tell you, it seems to be a quite genial feature, IMHO.

[ Parent ]

men are idiots (3.00 / 1) (#68)
by Seumas on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 06:26:28 PM EST

I mean this sincerely. I thought about this today when I happened past a television that was turned to the Montel Williams show (I was at the mall hunting for some furniture).

Montel Williams was pimping a book he wrote about parenting. In the same moment, he mentioned how he has four different children currently residing with three different mothers in three different states.

Again -- I have to repeat that -- a man who has four children with three mothers in three states writing a book on how to be an effective parent.

It's this sort of thing that makes me a little sick at times to realize that I'm part of the male species. Thankfully, the greater a persons intelligence, the less they are likely to have children in such a scenerio. In fact, as pointed out, people with a greater intelligence tend to be more focused on being successful than humping anything with a pulse and spreading their seed all over the landscape. There are a bunch of exceptions, but this is a documented fact (yes, there have been university studies -- you can probably find them easily with an online search or looking through references on 20/20 or 60 Minutes).

Of course, people still fuck up. I've fucked up. We like to say we'd do the right thing and we always act responsibly, but few people can resist every temptation through their entire life and sometimes we take a stupid risk, even if we're one of the brighter ones cited in those statistical reports. However, I don't believe that being stupid one day means that it's natures way of ensuring the proliferation of the high-intellect seeds in the gene pool.

Suggesting that we (men) are intelligent enough to avoid parenthood but too egotistical and stupid to avoid wanting to spill our seed like the Exxon Valdez is extremely shallow.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

men are idiots - sometimes (none / 0) (#77)
by mami on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 10:09:08 PM EST

I think I could eventually follow your argument and agree that the more intelligent men are the most reluctant to"spread their seeds" around and that this might be a blessing. I even believe that to a certain degree it is supported by some data.

But one could see that differently, if one wanted to be willing to do so (which I am). To me it seems that all the scientific and technological blessings the most intelligent male minds have poured over mankind during the past few decades, is also the reason for allmost all social chaos. Creating technologies which we can't command and handle, are not necessarily what he hoped science and technology would bring us. In this sense I might say, may be it IS a blessing intelligentia doesn't desire reproduction that much.

On the other hand, one might wonder why that would be considered intelligent in the first place, acknowledging that the intelligent mind creates causes chaos by default ? Wouldn't it be the intelligent way to spread the seeds around in a way which makes most of mankind most happy most of the time ? That would speak for spreading the genes of not so intelligent people around, quite an intelligent way of handling life.

I think, to say it with your words, it's quite alright to have "fucked up". Basically you can't fuck up something in allowing off-spring to occur. If you think so, I hope your off-spring will tell you one day, that you are fucked up thinking his existence is worth fuck to you.

Sorry for so many four letter words, I tried to adapt with some smile and tongue in cheek to your phrasing of matters.

Just to make sure you understand that I do admire intelligent men, I add some of my favorite quotes.
The major producer of social chaos, the indeterminacy of thought and values that rational knowledge is supposed to eliminate, is none other than science itself. -- Robert M. Pirsig 1974 (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
I am compelled to fear that science will be used to promote the power of dominant groups rather than to make men happy. --
Bertrand Russell, Icarus, or the Future of Science 1925
Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavours...in order that the creations of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations. --
Albert Einstein, 1931, California Institute of Technolgy
Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. --
Francis Bacon, 1620

[ Parent ]
Trustworthiness is independent of sex. (4.50 / 2) (#34)
by your_desired_username on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 04:56:57 AM EST

... and expecting one's partner to trust one with his or her future is pure selfishness.

re: trustworthiness (4.00 / 4) (#35)
by codemonkey_uk on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 08:09:36 AM EST

In my admittedly unscientific experience women are more likely to *deliberately* forget contraception.

It is not unknown for a woman to deliberately get pregnant (without informing their partner) to either "keep him" (force him into marriage) or get housing benefit / a council flat.

I don't know of any case where a man *deliberately* gets his girlfriend pregnant without her consent.
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

re: trustworthiness (5.00 / 5) (#51)
by mami on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 02:01:56 PM EST

You are on the right track, almost. But I think you misread the motiviations and underestimate women's strength.

Women will get the children they want to have, independent of getting "him to marry her" or getting "him to foot the bills". Gosh, more often than not we aren't very successful in getting that achieved anyway and believe it or not, it is quite obvious to us and very well known amongst us. So the real motivation must be a little more subtle than that, don't you think ?

How do you explain that the poorest of the poor women accept to get pregnant and carry their babies to term, knowing exactly what is expecting them ? You really think a lousy social security check is THE motivator for them to have children ? How do you explain that women in Africa, confronted with loosing babies en mass to malaria, AIDS, malnutrition, having no men whatsoever to provide the minimum support, nevertheless get pregnant over and over, even if anti-contraceptiva are available to them at no cost ?

I guess that's female logic or God's revenge. It basically says, you can do whatever you want, in the end, we are designed to ensure the continuation of the human race, independent of the fact that some lousy men are too lazy to take their part of the responsibility in raising their off-spring.

If a woman has nothing left anymore in her life, she at least has the gratification of being able to raise a child on her own. Not that I support raising children alone at all, but if the choice is, raising them alone or not having them at all, then I vote for raising them alone. And, basically, if men can't respect that, they should drop dead, IMHO.

An elderly women in Central Africa once said to me when I asked her, if she wouldn't rather stop giving birth to children considering that she had so little chance to provide for her children's survival: "For each baby which she doesn't get through, she makes a new one." Then send the same woman's sister with a stipend to the U.S. and give her the chance to integrate in the society here and earn a living, she will immediately stop giving birth the way she would have done in Africa. She knows the babies will survive here, so less are needed to be made. Simple. Decisions are made subconsciously.

BTW, that for example explains, why African women having the opportunity to make a decent living when immigrating to Europe or the U.S. produce on the average as few babies as their white sisters, whereas Afro-American poor women produce them in large numbers in the U.S. May be that would be a hint to some political leaders how to go about "birth control", may be some measures to enforce "poverty control" would actually do the trick.

[ Parent ]
This is exactly why I love K5 (none / 0) (#60)
by imperium on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 03:53:41 PM EST

Thank you for broadening the discussion out so elegantly. I only wish it was a top-level comment, as I've never seen a better summary of the link between poverty and reproduction.

BTW, what do you estimate the overall gender ration on K5 is? I'd assumed 5:2, like most internet ventures, but I'm beginning to think I'm wrong. Any ideas?

[ Parent ]

Not completely (4.50 / 2) (#36)
by leviathan on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 09:56:25 AM EST

In this case at least, the penalties for having a baby differ between the sexes and hence whether you can trust someone to do something which is in their own interest differs. But I take your point that it's your own responsibility to protect yourself. Some people around here should realise that legislation that is there is intended to redress that balance. Whether it goes too far, or not far enough in your specific country is veering rapidly off topic for this discussion IMO.

So I do favour the male pill, despite not personally being able to tell (for *certain*) whether it has been taken or not. It seems a little wasteful for both partners to be taking hormones, which is why physical barriers should still be the preferred method for casual relationships. This new pill has nothing to do with 'slutting around' which has been raised elsewhere.

I wish everyone was peaceful. Then I could take over the planet with a butter knife.
- Dogbert
[ Parent ]

Some details please (4.00 / 2) (#41)
by kraft on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 11:25:28 AM EST

I'm with a girl now, who is on the pill, but just like all my other x's, she has forgotten to take it more than once, and then takes it too late - lotta mess and stress, but (thank God!) still no pregnancies.

This is pissing me off, that she is in control of something this important, and I would looove to be able to take the pill instead of her. I hate condoms (and the Taliban militia), so they are not an option.

Anyways, I would like to know:
- must you take a pill every day?
- ... at a certain time of day?
- are there days when you should not take it?
- you still 'cum', right? I mean, that fantastic gooey stuff is still ejaculated.... right?

I think what you are doing is great. Eventually it will most likely prevent unwanted pregnancies, maybe even for me, so thank you.


a signature has the format "dash-dash-newline-text". dammit.
One Word (1.62 / 8) (#42)
by Bob Abooey on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 11:39:59 AM EST


Comments on politics from a man whose life seems to revolve around his lunch menu just do not hold weight. - Casioitan
[ Parent ]
Glad to be of assistance ;) (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by imperium on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 01:14:19 PM EST

And although I'm not taking the tablets yet (another two weeks) I am assured I'll still get as good and as messy an orgasm!

I will have to take the pill every day, at roughly the same time. If I miss three days, then I'm off the trial. I can't imagine forgetting that badly, though!

I too hate condoms (why someone thought a one-word "condom" reply to you was a good idea, I do not know), although they're necessary for new relationships and non-relationship shagging. For me, the only downer I can see so far is that if it works for a year and we get used to it, it then won't be available for (?) another couple of years, and it'll be back to one of the alternatives.

Anyway, thanks for your support, man. Much appreciated.

[ Parent ]

Personally? (3.50 / 2) (#58)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 03:19:24 PM EST

If I was in a postition where I seriously did not want children, I'd never depend on a method of preventing children that depends on me remembering to take a pill every day at more or less a specified time.

Good grief. I'd accidently leave my head behind if it wasn't somewhat permanently attached to my shoulders.

Hmm. I approached this from the other direction... (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by greyrat on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 04:31:04 PM EST

I had my quota of kids and then got fixed.

Guaranteed security! No fuss, no muss, nothing to forget!

~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

i liked the idea of... (none / 0) (#70)
by Seumas on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 06:35:54 PM EST

I personally liked the idea of the moths which were biologically altered to be sterile and released into the world so that they would mate with other moths, creating an entire generation of offspring that are incapable of reproduction.

Sure, such a thing would not work with humans in our society if it were done by a government (no government could justify such draconian measures to control its people), but a good-meaning scientific community could certainly devise a way to implement such a plan on their own.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Quota?!? (5.00 / 2) (#78)
by jonnyq on Sat Mar 10, 2001 at 11:40:54 AM EST

I completely understand how you had the first two, but how did you manage the last 0.4 :)

[ Parent ]
Get a vasectomy. (4.50 / 2) (#71)
by coffee17 on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 07:24:06 PM EST

From the link to vehement I think that a vasectomy might be what you want. I was a bit sore for the first day after getting mine, but since there's been no problem.

However, in the current day/age condoms are still a good idea for disease prevention. Besides, as one who doesn't want to breed I wouldn't trust a girl who says she's on the pill. Now why should a girl, who has to deal with either the kid, or the abortion if you lie, trust you when you say that you are on the pill, or that you have a vesectomy?

For semi-casual sex, I think both members (poor choice of words?) should have birth control (be it pills or vasecotomy/tubal ligation), and use condoms. When the level of trust has risen such that you think they are likely disease free and willing to do without the condom, then you should be able to trust whether they are lying or not about taking the pill or having had a more permanent solution done. After that level of trust has been built, if one person has significant symptoms from their BC method, it would be good to go to just one, but unless there are undesirable symptoms both people really should keep up the BC, as while there might be a small percentage chance of failure with one person taking a pill, it's smaller with both.


Pheromonal effects (4.00 / 2) (#75)
by bjrubble on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 07:53:38 PM EST

One of the things that disturbs me about female birth control is its effects on pheromone response. Basically, women on birth control have in some ways the opposite of their normal response to male pheromones. So she may really dig you when she's on the pill, then mysteriously lose interest when she goes off, or vice versa. I suppose it's not so bad if a woman has no plans to ever quit the pill except to have kids, since the natural response would then be the temporary one, and the same chemical effects appear during pregnancy anyway. But the evolutionary theory of this involves things like the robustness of the child's immune system, implying that the reaction indicates something potentially important.

Trust my memory? (2.00 / 1) (#79)
by scruffyMark on Sat Mar 10, 2001 at 03:58:57 PM EST

What do you mean by trust? Because there's trusting someone's intentions, and then there's trusting their memory, and scatterbrains deserve love just as much as anyone (sez me...)

I for one am glad that it's my girlfriend taking the pill, not me. If contraception relied on my memory, I'd be a family man for sure. (well, OK, I'd just use condoms)

The only case where I can be trusted to medicate myself regularly is my morning coffee, and that is more addiction maintenance than medication. I suppose I might grind up the pills and put them in coffee grounds. On the other hand, that leads to some nightmare scenarios due to the same forgetfulness...

Will you have some coffee?

Sure, thanks.

Oh shoot! Say, you didn't have your heart set on getting pregnant in the next couple of weeks, did you?

pill scare (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by cezarg on Sun Mar 11, 2001 at 01:52:22 AM EST

It's more or less proven that the pill could have very nasty negative side effects. Besides the well known problems stemming from the fact that the pill contains hormones there is a small risk of getting a brain hemorrage. I used to toss this idea as uninformed gossip until it happened to a woman I know. I then went to the GP with my (then) girlfriend and he did confirm that there indeed was a risk. For that reason alone we don't use the pill.

The second reason I'm not excited by the pill is the hormonal stuff they put in it. I'm no authority to speak on this but there's a saying amongst girls that 'the pill will make your bum look big" and sadly it's true. You can point out which female uses a pill very easily by looking at those girls with skinny bodies and small breasts and ridiculously large hips. While it's probably not too big a deal for a woman (some might say it's even sexy) I as a male would find any body shape changes just plain too hard to deal with. I'm not an Arnie lookalike anyways. Any extra pounds around the waist area would be less than welcome.

Will men take a birth-control pill? (none / 0) (#82)
by Ixohoxi on Mon Mar 12, 2001 at 01:31:50 PM EST

Based on the responses I have seen, there are a couple BIG issues being overlooked. The overall issue is as much a personal as it is a societal.

First and foremost is the need for most men to be "manly". Yes, there are many men who are NOT concerned with their "image". But there are plenty who would NEVER take a birth-control pill for that very reason. Men can be just as "vain" as women. Men experience just as much gender pressure as women. In nature, males are driven mostly by instinct to compete for mates. To do something that alters this will be viewed by many men as "weakness".

Secondly, what about the perception of those men who *do* take a BC pill? What's to stop people from thinking that such a man is only concerned with having as much sex as possible without fear of getting someone pregnant? In our society, men are already viewed much differently than women when it comes to sex. We've all heard the saying, "If a man has sex alot, he's a stud. If a woman has sex alot, she's a slut."

Today, however, men aren't always viewed in such a "positive" light. Sometimes, a man that has sex frequently is viewed as a "dog". People in our society are more judgemental than ever before. Imagine how various people would react when they hear that so-and-so is on the male pill. Whatever his own personal reasons, many will think he just wants to have alot more sex without worrying about pregnancy. Of course, that is part of the truth - but we all know how people will believe whatever they want to *in spite of* the truth. That's part of being judgemental.

There are some other side issues, like responsibility and thoughfulness, that will have some effect on the effectiveness of a male BC pill. There are many men who have a hard enough time keeping up on personal hygiene, keeping their kitchens/homes clean, doing laundry, etc. These "types" of males know that an additional "responsibility" is the last thing they want. The fear of having an unplanned child is often times the last thing on their mind. Many men think about the present much more than the future.

The success of a male BC pill is dependent upon sales. Obviously, if it doesn't work well, it won't succeed either. But drug companies want to make money, plain and simple. If men are as concerned with their image as I think they are, the drug companies aren't going to be happy.

For International Women's Day, I'm testing the male pill | 84 comments (84 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!