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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Monday, March 19, 2007

OK, whose idea was this?

So, a friend of mine who works at my old newspaper wrote this article about a newly proposed man pill.

What sort of pill, you ask? That sort of pill. The kind that can prevent little versions of yourself from popping up nine months after a hook-up.

They haven't tested it on humans yet. So somewhere out there is a bunch of inexplicably moody, lab rats.

Scientists in the UK came up with this as-needed pill. And no, they were not rocket scientists. They couldn't have been. Otherwise they would have known that no man is gonna take that sort of pill.

There are exceptions to every rule. The same guy who walked around the mall in the 1980s wearing a sweatshirt with his girlfriend's name airbrushed across the front, while she walked next to him in matching skin-tight jeans and a matching sweatshirt with his name on it, will take this pill. The guy who does not object when his wife gives him a Scotty dog sweater to wear during the family Christmas gathering will take this pill. The who takes his wife's last name and tells their 4-year-old son to call him Bob instead of dad will take this pill.

But generally speaking, even the most sensitive guy is not going to take this pill.

It's not malicious. But guys don't remember to take pills. And you can't even get guys to take pills that are known to be good for them - unless the guy is over 50 and the pill has something to do with keeping his heart beating or his prostate from swelling to grapefruit size.

Why do you think health food/supplement stores like GNC started marketing liquid multi-vitamins? Because guys will drink anything, but they won't take a pill.

Plus the man pill will be easy to lie about. If you think a guy will take it 'cause it will be quick and easy think again. Ladies, that guy who used to always tell you he couldn't find a condom? Now, all he has to say is "No worries! I took the pill....What? You don't believe me - go check my medicine cabinet. There's a whole bottle of 'em in there." You'll have to take his word for it.

Everyone doesn't need to be on a pill. The female pill has been tested and proven to work. If both men and women start popping pills to prevent pregnancy something bad is gonna happen.

How does Newton's Third Law go? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Two pills? I hope they work, or else we're gonna have a bunch of babies born like X-Men, already wearing full body armor when they leave the womb.

UPDATE: I've been told the side effects of the female pill are many more than moodiness. That sort of kills the humor in this, but it is even more of a reason for guys not to volunteer themselves to be tortured the same way. A better solution? Be careful about the extent of your hanky panky before you and yours are ready to have kids.

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  • woah

    By Blogger cucuclaire, at 3:35 PM  

  • I think women are going to want to be sure for themselves--you hit the nail on the head.

    Besides, it's one thing for one woman to decide she doesn't want me to inseminate her but that shouldn't mess with my options elsewhere at any one time.

    You're right, though, James. There is that small market niche out there, perhaps a bit smaller than that of a drug for an obscure "orphan" disease afflicting only a few thousand.

    The guy who sits down to urinate.

    By Blogger Matt, at 4:25 PM  

  • There be the wife and live in girlfriend who will give one to their man each morning with their coffee just to keep themselves off the pill.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 4:34 PM  

  • I can't imagine too many women would trust a guy who said "I took the pill, I swear!" A girl wants a little more control than that.

    But on the flip side, the pill may be "proven to work" for women, but it's also proven to have serious side effects. Not the least of which is weight gain, blood clotting, and stroke. Plus, a woman who continues to take the pill though she is unwittingly pregnant can cause SERIOUS damage to the fetus.

    Does this new pill have serious side effects for men?

    Also on the "flip" side... wouldn't guys like to know they don't have a cause for concern, too? I mean, how many guys have argued that they were "trapped" with a pregnancy when the woman "swore" she took the pill but actually didn't?

    I'm not saying I don't agree that most guys will laugh at the "man pill." But I don't think it's an entirely bad idea, either.

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 5:00 PM  

  • Everyone doesn't need to be on a pill. The female pill has been tested and proven to work.

    You may have just opened a can of worms, more difficult to swallow than the pill you wrote about.

    Bleeding or spotting between menstrual cycles.Nausea.Tender breasts.Gaining weight or retaining water.Darkened spots on the skin.Moodiness blood clots. cancer. high blood pressure...... need I say more.

    By Blogger Pamela, at 5:06 PM  

  • I am probably in the minority here, but I would take it. Simply to avoid being one of the millions(?) of men out there with kids they don't get to see(many of which are losers that CHOOSE not to but not all).Then again, my boys will quit swimming LONG before the FDA approves this thing I am guessing.

    By Blogger briliantdonkey, at 6:10 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Celia, at 8:08 PM  

  • I have to take heart pills to keep me out of the hospital twice daily and about 6 times a week I have to ask my wife if I remembered to take them that day. I'm thinking I'm not the best candidate for this pill.

    By Blogger Michael C, at 9:41 PM  

  • I find it interesting that a man is somehow considered less of a man if he takes this pill, but it's okay for a woman to take a bc pill? Why is it so horrible to think that a man would like to be sure he's not going to impregnate someone? Why does this make him whipped?

    Why not be more creative about masculinity than this?!?

    By Blogger bc, at 10:01 PM  

  • I vaguely recalled hearing this story in the news a few months ago, and after reading your update I had to look it up... primarily because my recollection was that the male "pill" didn't contain hormones (so there are no major side effects, unlike conventional birth control pills) AND could be taken on an "as needed" basis (unlike the female pill, which must be taken daily).

    Here's what I found:

    However you look at it, either pill is really a matter of "trust." And if you're not in a monogamous relationship with someone you can trust, the pill probably isn't the "best" form of birth control, anyway... regardless of who's taking it. I mean, in that scenario, unintended conception is just one of many concerns.

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 10:31 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 10:33 PM  

  • Claire, I hear ya.

    Matt, I forgot about the guy who sits down to urinate. And we agree: women want proof. A guy's word that he popped a pill ain't gonna cut it.

    Hammer, I'm forwarding this to all my male friends - at least the smart ones - so they stop drinking coffee in the mornings. My knuckle-dragging male friends need sterility pills in their coffee.

    ThirdWorst, I'm not sure it's a bad idea in an of itself. I'm just saying it's a bad idea 'cause I know guys. We wouldn't take it...even on an as-needed basis.

    Briliant, you are a responsible man. Kudos that you would take the pill.

    Pamela, see my update. You are right. There's definitely more to this than moodiness.

    Celia, I'm gonna delete your comment. But first, shame on you for pushing your bongwater pipes under the guise of leaving a message on my blog. Be gone!

    Michael C., take care of that heart, and I rest my case!

    BC, I'm sorry I offended you. But I'm not sorry I found humor in this. Besides, beneath my attempt at laughs my point doesn't waiver. The man pill isn't a bad idea because it might not work or might have side effects, etc. Lab tests suggest it will work. The man pill is a bad idea, 'cause like I told ThirdWorst too many guys just wouldn't take it - whether out of scorn or forgetfulness I'm not 100% sure. But don't be mad at me. I'm just the messenger. I said nothing about being whipped and not wanting to know. A lot of guys who want to know that they're helping prevent an unplanned pregnancy wear condoms.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 10:57 PM  

  • BTW, BC I can't access your blog anymore. Everytime I go to the address it redirects me to a search engine. Help?

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:02 PM  

  • That's interesting. To be honest with you I think I would take the pill. Especially since it's an "as-needed" pill.

    I understand that women want "proof" that the guy has taken the pill. But, and I'm not trying to stir anything up, most men want "proof" that the woman really is taking the pill too.

    Anyway, if she's on the pill, and I'm on the pill AND I use a condom we really should have the baby thing taken care of!

    By Blogger Jay, at 11:12 PM  

  • I want the man pill to get approved because it will finally force insurance companies to COVER MY PILLS. My insurance company covers Viagra, but doesn't cover my pill brand. I'm sorry, WTF??? If there was a male pill available insurance companies will cover it, they will - and then perhaps they'll cover mine.

    And for the record - my insurance company also covers infertility treatments, but not much in the way of contraception. I'm thinking of a word... oh yeah, that word is bullsh!t.

    By Blogger Melissa, at 11:38 PM  

  • Wow! That is pretty messed up, Melissa. They cover viagra but won't cover the pill? How is that possible? OK, maybe that's a stupid question. But seriously, I never would have imagined they would cover a pill to help guys get it on, but won't cover a pill to help prevent conception. Wow!

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:41 PM  

  • "Ooooops, I forgot to take my pill. Guess I must deal with the consequences."

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 7:36 AM  

  • Doesn't matter if he says he's taking the pill or not, as far as condom use goes.

    No wrappin', no tappin'.

    And whining about having to wear a condom will not get you laid a subsequent time.

    By Blogger SWF41, at 8:55 AM  

  • Oh, I wasn't offended - I'm just surprised about the attitude about men/masculinity. Men have so many things going for them, and yet, the idea of what makes a man a man seems very narrow and antiquated. Be creative! Have some real cajones, y'all!

    I took my blog down a while back, I decided to spend more time away from the computer!

    By Blogger bc, at 1:35 PM  

  • I took the pill faithfully everyday at the same time without missing a single one. I have a handsome 11 year-old son to show for it.

    Just sayin'... If it ain't foolproof for us, it may not be foolproof for the guys.

    By Blogger katrice, at 3:56 PM  

  • Dear James,

    Manola has some very strong feelings on the subject.


    Respectfully yours,

    Dr. Annie Steelclit

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 6:03 PM  

  • I don't understand how men and women are so fundamentally different that women manage to take their pills every single day at the same exact time, but my guy couldn't remember to take it if he planned on getting lucky that night. I think that throwing up one's hands and saying that a man can't handle that kind of responsibility seems like a cop-out. I'm not trying to offend any men here who feel that way, but it's just that I can't understand why your penis entitles you to a get-out-of-jail-free card for all things where responsibility is concerned. All guys. Everywhere. I take 15 pills a day at regular intervals. If I can remember to do that all day long, surely a man can remember to take a pill when he wants to get it on.

    Plus, I agree: female pill + male pill + condom = safety. I'm on the pill but I still won't have sex without a condom and it took me a long time to feel comfortable not using spermicide, too (needless to say, I do not want a baby right now!). If I could make my BF take something to sterilize him, I sure would.

    My insurance doesn't cover birth control pills, either. I'm sure they cover viagra. I'm still covered under my parents' health insurance for about two more months, and they get it from the hospital where my mom works, which is a Catholic hospital. So they don't pay for birth control. We finally got them to agree to do it for me, since I was prescribed them for a medical condition, not for preventing pregnancy (although I have to admit that I like that perk!). I had to get my doctor to send a few pleading letters and my insurance company had to hold a hearing to decide if they would cover it for me or not.

    So, that's not unheard of.

    By Blogger hyacinths and biscuits, at 9:17 PM  

  • Amen, hyacinths!!

    By Blogger bc, at 9:39 PM  

  • One more Public Service Announcement, everyone:

    Just as the female birth control pill, the male birth control pill will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis, and the like. Practice safe sex or no sex at all!

    By Blogger katrice, at 2:24 PM  

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