Unlike women’s birth control, this can be purchased over the counter, and at lower prices.
Photo by Sharon Roth
In an effort to make hormonal birth control options more appealing to young men, researchers at the National Institute of Health have decided to add multiple flavor options. These include, but are not limited to: Wolfhorn, Volcano, and BMX Battle Bot.
The decision comes after clinical trials for an oral birth control option for men were found to have functional success. Yet, as the pill begins its move to the open market, pharmaceutical companies have raised concerns regarding the product’s marketability. George McSmith, head of marketing for Pfizer, said that “People don’t just want to not have children, they want to buy a product that says ‘hey, I’m a functioning young man with taste, class, and a love for the outdoors,’ like every real man does. The best way to communicate that? A bright red bottle of birth control pills covered with pictures of jaguars, old sail boats, and mountain landscapes.”
These marketing concerns have led the National Institute of Health to continue the study with these newly flavored pills. However, some researchers have expressed discontent regarding the decision. “The desire to have control over one’s sex life has been more than enough to encourage the participants to take the drug,” remarked Julia Charles, a biologist helping to oversee the clinical trials. “The people in our trial don’t need these flashy flavors.” When approached with this information, McSmith said, “What’s that? Sorry I was zoning out thinking about which absolutely jacked athlete to hire for the ad campaign.”
The choice to add flavor to these pills is not the first case in which a pharmaceutical company has tried to add panache to the marketing of male hormonal birth control. In 2016, following the clinical success of a topical gel that blocks sperm production, pharmaceutical company Allergen recommended that the researchers make the gel not only a form of birth control, but a three-in-one birth control, body wash, and shampoo product. The idea was scrapped after participants in a subsequent trial reported “a rash so intense it makes shingles feel like Aveeno aftershave.”
Despite the failures of previous attempts at male contraceptives, this round may find success as participants in the latest study have responded positively. “At first I didn’t get it. I mean, what does a Bear Glove pill taste like?” asked Jim Klein, a participant in the most recent trial. “Turns out it tastes like if mayonnaise and Orange Fanta were served in a rusted canteen. Not bad.” Others remain happy to be a part of this emerging means of family planning. “The new flavors are nice, I suppose, but I’m just thankful that I have a reliable method of birth control,” remarked Ronald Brown, “I’m also glad I’m not one of the poor suckers in the placebo group. Right?”
Whether this new contraceptive finds its way to the market remains to be seen, though it will likely be years before this comes to fruition. “I can’t wait!” said McSmith, while writing a letter on behalf of the National Institute of Health sending regards to Mr. Brown and his partner wishing them a healthy pregnancy.
Flattened in a distro cart accident, the MQ replaced his bones with leftover printer ink. With his increased lank, Matt has become a pivotal writer for the MQ through his fluidity. Whether demonstrated through his mastery of satire or being used as a keycard when we lock ourselves out of the office, Matt is a key asset to the writing team.