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From the Mouths of Men: Contraception, who is in charge?

This week’s From the Mouths of Men article is not in response to an article posted on WMW. When I asked the WMW writers what topic they would like to hear a male perspective on, the lovely Katherine Hiener Gemmell suggested contraception, which I agreed would make an excellent discussion!

With a lack of choices for male contraception, it is often presumed that birth control and in turn, sexual health, is the woman’s responsibility. Having spent years post contraceptive pill trying to get my body back to normal and fall pregnant and post birth tried the implant (only to have it removed as rumours of it moving and getting ‘lost’) these so called ‘options’ are no easy decision.

So this week I am asking the men their thoughts on this controversial issue. Let’s see if the men are happy to ‘man’ up and shoulder the burden of the contraceptive conundrum. Now having been with hubby for going on 15 years, I know he would be happier to place a bulk order at Anne Summers in order to receive free condoms, than physically go to a counter somewhere and purchase them. Somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind, is a bashful teenagers, stammering as he hands over a fiver whilst the checkout girl yells, “What you want these rubbers? Sure you don’t want the other ones luv, they glow in the dark.” Let’s start with his thoughts on the subject.

“I think it’s the woman that’s going to get pregnant, so it should be her… plus she’s got more contraceptive options available.”  I’m afraid he lives up to the very stereotypical expectations we were envisioning when this subject first arose. I’m sure lots of you are tutting at his lack of responsibility and naivety about the issues of sexual health.  I couldn’t be mad at him though as he followed it up with this statement about contraception prior to our relationship; “I’ve never had a problem with it though; my personality’s the best contraception.” Bless.

It seems there were a few in number that followed this line of thinking in fairness.

“If she don’t wanna get pregnant then she better make him wear a condom. She’ll end up preggars, he can do a runner.” You have to admire this chap’s honesty, if not his attitude. At the end of the day from that point of view, any lady willing to sleep with this guy would probably not be looking for a deep and meaningful relationship and is more than likely to be assertive enough to organise her own contraception; or more than capable enough to knee him in the gonads for being such a sexist.

Lots of our men were more fair-minded however and realised the need men to take some responsibility (although in all of the opinions shared, not one considered contraception from the perspective of sexual health and STDs, it was all centred on prenancyconcerns).

“I think it’s a joint decision between the two parties. Both eventually have a legal responsibility for the result so they should both equally responsible.”

“Clearly it’s a joint responsibility and decision, no matter who takes charge of the ‘act of contraception.”

Although these lovely men may all be just in their perceptions, they do appreciate that the less enlightened of the male species might not be best relied upon to live up to their end of the bargain.

“A joint responsibility. However if it’s a one night stand situation the man might not be bothered, so surely it’s best for  the woman to take control.”

In other words, once in a long-term relationship the man is all in when it comes to contraception but if it’s a quickie, they are ‘all in’ before they think about contra, wait, they’re all in before they think. Full stop.

Now this may not have been the response we wanted ladies but at least we know where we stand. Unless that is, you happen to be dating this lad, whose final thought I will leave you with.

“The best contraception – bum sex.”


  • Amy Tocknell says:

    I laughed at the last line, but was also shaking my head. Seriously chaps, if you don’t want babies and have even a small amount of consideration for us, get involved and take some responsibility too. I am very lucky, a health issue means that I am unable to have any hormonal contraception and having been told this in hospital, my chap walked off and returned, brandishing a bag of condoms and a big grin. He proudly told me that he had gotten some ‘flavoured’ ones because I like fruit. haha! xx

  • What a sweetheart! Tee hee. I know loads of blokes who wouldn’t have the nerve to buy condoms unless it was from a machine in the mens loos, so a chap that will buy speciality range is a keeper! 😉

  • I read somewhere that a male contraceptive pill was or may be available soon but then someone pointed out that men couldn’t be trusted to remember to take it! So because I don’t want kids, I would rather take the responsibility myself and even I have been prone to forgetting one or two pills. Men often put a condom on the wrong way at first too, which isn’t good!

  • Hayley, Hayley, Hayley, another job well done! (Well written, quite readable and informative.)
    Those MEN!! Honestly…
    Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter- when you’re famous and have t shirts, lunchboxes and a doll in your image, I expect 2.8375% of that profit, ahem. =^..^=

  • Naturally Kathleen! I’ll even round it up to 3% if I become so famous that like other celebrities I even get a lubractive…I mean lucrative condom endorsement deal! (Who didn’t want JLS condoms hey?)
    Alison, I agree with you in that I don’t think I would trust the responsibility to someone else!

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