Hooray! Science Slows Down Swimmers

Everyone’s getting pretty excited about the fact that maybe, just maybe, the male pill is coming. Basically, The Lab People have been spending their short lives making mouse sperm stop swimming, and the upshot is that soon, we should be able to slice the tails off their human counterparts (that may have been a bit of poetic licence in place of scientific accuracy, but whatever. Their tails were involved.) With an efficiency of about 95% in preventing pregnancy, the male pill should be set to stop babies in their tracks at the same rate as most other contraceptives after refinement. Meanwhile, other scientists have been checking out whether dudes would actually bother making use of the invention - with the last study conducted finding that 55% of respondents would be willing to try the male pill. The rest of them are still feeling kind of sensitive about screwing with their swimmers.

To be perfectly honest, 55% is a very encouraging outlook before the pill is even in its absolutely final stages of development, never mind on the pharmacy shelves, looking for testicles to de-baby. Because almost every woman I know nowadays is totes on board with the whole female pill thing, even if she doesn’t choose to take it herself right now. Most have tried out at least one form of hormonal contraception. But it was normalised by the time we got here. If it had turned up last year, and been presented to us in all its womb-lining-altering, period-disrupting, egg-halting, possible-side-effect-causing, body-shape-and-hormonal-balance-changing glory with the added caveat that it was completely new, a lot of us might have bowed out. It’s pretty much only because my mum took it for ten years and definitely didn’t turn into an insane, hairy, overemotional, acne-ridden, barren harridan (she has her moments, but that ex-boyfriend’s description was really inaccurate) that I took it myself. That generation took the oestrogen bullet for us. And it looks like we can rely on more than half of men in this generation to take the testosterone bullet for their future sons.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a twentysomething penis is in want of an orifice. So, despite what Shit Romney and his motley crew of sanctimonious fun vacuums might have you believe, that penis will often find itself falling into a vagina - and let’s face it, when you’re in your teenage years or your early twenties, sex is fun and kids are crap. The more ways to prevent overpopulation, the better, and if it involves maiming something that belongs to men then I’m definitely on board. JK, I’m only that kind of feminist on Tuesdays.

Us women have been popping the progesterone and sticking weird crucifix-shaped metal implements up our vajayjays for quite a few years now, and I have great faith that the boys will step up. No one’s asking them to join ranks with the metal inserters in solidarity, after all. When we only need to convince 45% - 10% of whom are probably just being cunts anyway, if what I’ve learnt about the percentage of cunts in any general human population holds true - then we’re probably on the home stretch. Which is great news for women - who up their chances of certain cancers when they stay on hormonal contraception for a long time - and for men, who can enjoy the benefits of an ‘uninterrupted sex experience’ while still being totally in control of their own fertility. Whether that means switching up the periods of time that you each take hormonal contraception with your boyfriend, or allowing the menz to enjoy a one night stand just a little bit more, it’s win-win. Because it can really get in the way of a good shag if you’re paralysed by the fear of having to house a tantrum-throwing demon in your newly decorated all-white minimalist apartment for the next eighteen years.

So, hooray for sperm alteration! (It’s been so long since I said that loudly in a public domain.) We’re awaiting your arrival with chair-wetting excitement, Mr Male Pill. And incidentally, Mr Romney (surely arch-nemesis of Mr Male Pill), I’ll let you in on a big fat ‘pro-life’ secret: there’s a much better way to protect the unborn on its way. Because a rally of Republicans holding magnified pictures of foetuses doesn’t do much to prevent abortions from happening. Contraception does.