A German carpenter just invented the Bimek SLV, an implantable contraceptive that controls the flow of semen with a flick of switch. Our boyfriends reacted to the idea of literally turning themselves off when they're turned on.
Screenshot of Bimek SLV video
An implantable form of contraception for men could robotize your boyfriend's cock. German carpenter Clemens Bimek spent 20 years developing the Bimek SLV, which includes an on/off switch that controls sperm flow; conveniently, you can press it through the skin behind the testicles. According to their website, the device is surgically inserted into the spermatic ducts, which are transected using an electric scalpel while your boyfriend is locally anesthetized, so you two can still make out while he gets his cum button installed. Watch the video here:
Data from the Center for Disease Control shows that only 6.2 percent of women report using male sterilization as a form of birth control. Even though vasectomies are simple procedures that can be performed in your doctor's office, they still remain somewhat obscure. While male sexuality is medically insured with Viagra prescriptions and penis pumps, women are still fighting for reproductive and sexual health care. Though women are typically held responsible for contraception, there's no reason for that other than sexism.
But how do straight men—the device's target market—feel about the Bimek SLV? Will guys be willing to lead the way for the cyborg male revolution and get the implant? We wanted to interview straight guys to find out, but the only ones who will put up with us are our boyfriends, so we just asked them.
"I first learned about contraception when I was a kid," Kyle* said. He's in his late twenties, and remembers seeing condoms for the first time in a drawer in his parents' home. "I don't know when I found out about birth control, but when I was 17 I went to Planned Parenthood with my then-girlfriend to get her the pill." Like most guys, Kyle's used condoms before, but that's the only kind of contraceptive he's used himself. "I don't want to get anyone pregnant," he said, "and I don't want STIs, although I'm way more afraid of kids than disease."
Russell* is also unfortunate enough to be dating a Broadly staff member. He's in his early thirties and, like Kyle, discovered his first contraceptive device in a drawer when he was a kid. "I remember finding some in a friend's dad's nightstand," he said. The only kind of contraception he's ever used is condoms.
I would bear many, many burdens in exchange for sex, I think.
Though these boys haven't ever undergone a vasectomy, it isn't because they're opposed to the idea of men sharing the burden of birth control. "Ideally contraception wouldn't be a burden at all!" Kyle exclaimed. First of all, he said, it is in society's best interest for birth control to be free. "And hopefully science can make it less invasive," he added.
Though, in an ideal world, contraception ought not be a burden, Kyle said that it definitely is one in today's society. "I think [the burden] should be shared but unfortunately that's not really possible now." Everyone he's spoken with, whether male or female, agrees that "condoms make sex worse," he noted. Because of this, he explained, birth control pills or IUDS are the preferable form of birth control for sexually active couples. "That said, if there was a male birth control pill or IUD equivalent I'd happily bear the burden! I would bear many, many burdens in exchange for sex, I think."
Brandon* is one of the only other straight men we're aware of. He's also in his early thirties and dating a Broadly employee. "The stakes feel higher for women," Brandon said, because they're the ones who have to carry and birth the child. "But in a relationship, it's definitely a burden both people need to share and be aware of."
Russell agrees with Brandon and Kyle. "Ought to be shared, I suppose." He doesn't see any good reason that it wouldn't be. "The woman has more riding on it," he said, adding that it shouldn't be that way. When asked if he feels sterilization would be emasculating, Russell assured me that it wouldn't be for him, though he can understand why someone else might feel that way.
Other fears besides emasculation keep guys from exploring male birth control. "I don't view it as compromising my masculinity in any way," Brandon says. "I just feel an aversion to any kind of knife coming near me. Not even to my genitals, but any kind of surgery-like operation."
"If it's permanent, I'm guessing [some men are] scared they won't be able to change their minds," Russell said. "If it's temporary, I have no idea why anyone would be scared of that. That makes no sense to me."
"I'm sure one could do some analysis of like, men thinking less of themselves if they're infertile, but I don't think I'd feel that way," Kyle told us. "It's more like, sex is cool, and I wouldn't want to not be able to have it." The potential for a complication leaving him permanently infertile is somewhat frightening, Kyle said, adding that he's also worried that something could go wrong that could leave his dick permanently limp. But ultimately, the fear of the consequences from not using contraception are a more frightening motivator for him. "I used to be a bit more cavalier about it, but then I got a woman pregnant—she was as pro-abortion as I am, thank God—so now I try to be careful."
I used to be a bit more cavalier about it but then I got a woman pregnant—she was as pro-abortion as I am, thank God—so now I try to be careful.
The Bimek SLV's on/off switch is conveniently located right behind the testicles. Is the location easy to access, or could a man's body get in the way? Brandon says thinks he's got fairly large balls, "but it wouldn't be hard to switch it on/off."
Kyle was vague. "I have no idea what my balls are like because, like, I've really only examined mine and don't know how to compare them besides saying I think they're normal?"
Like Kyle, Russell declined to describe his balls to us, though when asked if he thinks there'd be any difficulty accessing the device he said, "It doesn't sound like it." Both he and Kyle are willing to consider having the Bimek SLV implanted, though the potential for pain is worrisome. Both Russell and Brandon raised the concern that the switch might get turned on or off accidentally. "I hope there would be a loud alarm if you turn it on at the wrong time," Brandon said, adding that overall, he thinks it sounds like a great invention. "Does it glow in the dark?"
Brandon, on the other hand, wouldn't opt-in for his own robotic cock. "I don't want any kind of surgical operation that I don't need to have." He feels like the whole concept is "absurd" and "insane."
Though they cited reasonable fears, and they wouldn't all go for this new form of birth control, the guys seem to think their significant others would be into it. Russell says his girlfriend would be thrilled, and Brandon just laughed out loud when we asked him, while Kyle said, "I think my girlfriend would be cool with me getting this implant; she hates children."
*Names have been changed