I recently read an article in Cosmopolitan, which took a survey of men, about whether they would ever use male contraceptives. The answers were so funny, it got me wondering about how our own Naija men would react to this question. So, I decided to take my own poll, by asking the same question to the men around me…and, as expected, their answers were…interesting, to say the least
Starting with my own husband, I said to him, “Babes, would you ever consider male birth control?”
With a raised eyebrow, he asked “You mean a condom?”
“Noooo now! Pills…or even injections!”
My DH laughed and shook his head. “You’ve come again!”
“Just answer the question.”
“These male birth control pills…how effective are they supposed to be? The same 90-ish percent?” he asked, and I immediately knew where he was going.
“Sooooo, for a man with, say, thirty million sperm, there might still be about 3 million or so sperm swimming around? Won’t that defeat the whole purpose?”
I hissed in defeat at my know-it-all husband, and proceeded to ask my other male associates what their own opinion was.
“Hell No!” was my longtime friend, Bobby’s* response “There are other ways that don’t require me taking pills or being snipped! Whatever happened to condoms?!!”
After laughing hysterically, my colleague, Alex*, managed to exclaim, “Na mehn! Before something goes drastically wrong! Count me out! That’s her job!”
My other colleague, Ubong*, echoed my husband’s sentiments. “I don’t think it’s wise to equate the two things. Women release only one egg a month, while men make thousands of sperm every minute. That contraceptive is going to have to be extra strong to be any effective!”
Insert eye roll here!
“So, you want me to start gaining weight or getting pimples abi?!” exclaimed my friend’s husband, Charles*.
“Oh really?! So, it’s okay for me to be the one to gain weight!” was the response of his angry wife.
I gently carried myself and my questions away from that situation.
But I did get a few surprising responses.
“In fact, where do I sign up?” my former colleague-turned-tight-buddy, Femi*, said “I would do it without even thinking twice! If I could get it now, I would jump on it. The only condition would be for it to be a one-time thing, or once a month at the very most. I can’t deal with any daily crap!”
Real ‘daily crap’!
“Why not?!” was my young colleague, Ayo’s*, response. “As a single guy, it would be great to have another option I can completely control. You can’t really trust what women say these days!” when I asked if he would consider a daily pill, he answered, “Absolutely!”
My good friend, Ikenna*, exclaimed, “Only with the permission of my partner oh!”
To which I asked, “So, you don’t mind the pill? Shots?”
“Sure. But you do know they will open up yet another can of worms?” he answered.
I raised a brow. “How so?”
“Male birth control will automatically bestow upon men the ‘license to roam’.”
“I disagree. I would have thought it would be an indication of commitment!” I countered.
“If the man believes he has finished sowing, he will agree to it, and continue his dalliances for purely recreational purposes. The pendulum swings both ways. Pun intended!”
So, from my deduction, our Nigerian men as wary, as they are averse, and as they are open about male birth control. Interesting!
According to the article in Cosmopolitan, researchers are pursuing both hormonal and non-hormonal pills, topical testosterone gels that suppress sperm production, and injections of polymer gel near the testicles that block the tubes that transport sperm. A German inventor even announced plans for a so-called ‘dick switch’, an implant in the scrotum that would allow a guy literally turn his sperm ducts on and off.
Dick switch sha! Odiegwu!
Forunately, or unfortunately, none of these options will be available anytime soon, as none of the major pharmaceutical companies has shown any interest to fund them. A spokesperson for one of them attributed their reluctance to the fact that it is “unlikely that these products would be acceptable for widespread use”. Another cited the dearth of information about the possible hormonal side effects on men, in contrast to women, whose side effects could easily be deduced by correlating them with pregnancy symptoms.
My own personal theory is this; no thank you! I’m too much of a control freak to allow my partner dictate something this important. With the possibility of millions of sperm till swimming around, one might as well be having unprotected sex! And even if the thing is 100% accurate, can we really trust our men to be dedicated to their meds…taking them at the appointed time?! I know how hard it is for me to get my husband to take his meds…even when he is ill! Of course, there are a lot of men who will be serious about it, but I’m not sure I want to take that chance! And not knowing what the side effects will be? That’s how my hubby will now start losing the remaining hair he has, or now have a high-pitched voice! Abeg oh!
What do you guys think?