A balloon trip for coitus

When a man's multipurpose tool has nothing special to do, the duct outlet at its tip resembles a flat, small buttonhole. But if something needs to be transported (urine, sperm, or, now and then, a tiny kidney stone), this 'buttonhole' and duct can expand to five to six millimetres. We are talking about the male ureter.


'Cork' to occlude the urethra

A diameter of five to six millimetres in which one could insert something. A small cork, for example – so small, in fact, that one would do better to call it a 'mini cork' – which seals off the duct and collects the ejaculate in a small balloon. If coitus interruptus was attempted but not achieved, then it may be preferable to have closed off the ureter beforehand. Otherwise, the lover can quickly become a daddy.


This 'Male Internal Contraceptive Appliance' was not a resounding success. The British pioneer of family planning, Marie Stopes, passed scathing judgement in 1923 in her book 'Contraception': "It seemed to me dangerous and completely absurd, but it may well be that ignoramuses have used it anyway. I would not know what to say about it that was positive."


The search for methods of contraception for men is not new. Today, we know of only the condom and sterilisation. All other attempts, up until now, have been ineffective, and often even dangerous. Marie Stopes describes in her book an invention for injecting destructive substances into the male urethra. "It goes without saying that I did everything I could to dissuade him [the inventor] from his plan [of having it patented]."


No real success looms for the 'pill for the man' research project. For one thing, no substances yet exist that are guaranteed to block all of the umpteen million sperm in every man – without at the same time stripping him of his desire. Secondly, only a few women are willing to take risks that would allow their future lives to be dependent on the man's reliability, that is to say taking the pills daily.


Museum for Contraception and Abortion, 1150 Vienna, Mariahilfer Gürtel 37.

Open Wednesday to Sunday 2 pm – 6 pm. www.muvs.org