A new male contraceptive makes fertility as simple as flipping a switch.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that having sex and being a cyborg are both pretty awesome.
The only problem is that one of them involves the risk of creating, you know, a living human child that is dependent upon you for its continued existence.
And that's where the machines come in.
These two amazing things have been brought together in a way that prevents those ... unintended consequences of sex.
Well, that and a mildly invasive surgical procedure to implant said switch in your scrotum. But once that's done, you're good to go! (And go, and go, and...)
It's basically a built-in vasectomy that you can *ahem* turn on.
The Bimek SLV is about the size of a gummy bear, which is exactly what you want to think about when you're talking about an implant in your scrotum. The valve attaches to the spermatic cords, which carry sperm from the testes to the seminal vesicle, where your little microscopic tadpoles mix with seminal fluid and prep for delivery. Like this:
But when you flip the switch of the Bimek SLV, it stops the sperm from making it past the scrotum. This leaves you free to ejaculate to your heart's desire (or your partner's desire!), but without any sperm in your semen. Like this:
Just like a vasectomy, the Bimek SLV has a Pearl Index rating of 0.1, which means it's 99.9% effective. For added security, it also includes a safety button that you have to hold when turning it "off" — so you don't accidentally bump the button when you're bumpin' buttons. Once that's done, you should be firing a full load the next time you're ready to go. And then you can switch it back on whenever you want to go sterile again!
Technically, there is a brief waiting period after flipping the switch to allow the sperm to fully flush out of your system before you can be confidently sterile. Bimek recommends "up to three months or about 30 ejaculations." (And no, I don't understand that math either; if you ask me, it just sounds like a challenge.)
And all it takes is a half-hour outpatient surgery!
So the question remains: Why aren't there more male contraceptives?
The implied sub-question being: Why is the onus always on the owner of the ovaries, even though the penis party is still half-responsible?
Statistics have shown that educating people about their sexy-time options is a lot more effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies than trying to outright dissuade them from making sweet, sweet whoopie. As it stands, Planned Parenthood lists 20 different kinds of contraceptives for women.
For guys? There are five, including abstinence and the good ol' fashioned pull-out method (which is ... generally not recommended).
Over the years, women have tried everything from potatoes to crocodile dung and honey in hopes of having some modicum of control over if and when they get pregnant. Meanwhile, us dudes are all like "ughhhh I don't wanna roll the little rubber ring on my junk, it totally wrecks the mood!"
Sorry, fellas. It's the least we can do.
But if a cybernetic scrotal implant is not on your to-do list, there are other birth control advancements just over the horizon.
An Indonesian herb known as gandarusa produces an enzyme that bonds to the individual sperm and inhibits their ability to penetrate the egg. It was originally used to reduce stress with the side effect of temporary infertility ... until someone realized that might not be such a bad thing.
With a quick gel injection straight into the vas deferens, Vasalgel works similarly to the Bimek SLV by blocking the sperm from making its way into the semen. This is known as Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance, or RISUG, because all it takes is another injection to make it magically disappear (if you consider a needle to the groin "magical").
Then there's the "Clean Sheets Pill," so named because, well, it keeps the sheets clean by relaxing the ejaculatory muscles, thereby preventing the release of any semen. It's the same orgasmic pleasure but with none of the mess! And also diminished risk of STIs (which they should totally use as their catchphrase if they don't have one yet; if you're reading this, call me).
There's also one experimental method that involves injecting gold nanorods into your testicles to somethingsomethingscience and kill the sperm, if that's more your speed.
The fact is, we can't stop people from having sex — nor should we want to. But we can help them find safer ways to do it.
While most of these male birth control methods are still in the clinical trial stage, the future is still looking bright.
And it's about time. Imagine how much more progress we could have made by now if we men had spent less time trying to control women's access to birth control pills and focused our energies on our own parts instead.
After all, we've never had a problem paying attention to our needs during intercourse. So why don't we extend that to what happens after?