My Boyfriend Boils His Balls for Me

After birth control did scary things to my body, 
my boyfriend and I got desperate. Why aren’t there more birth-control options for men?


This is astonishingly stupid.
Wouldn't it just be simpler to find some way to perfect a 100% guaranteed reversible vasectomy? Is that possible?
There are these things called condoms
That Indian birth control method, RISUG, is being developed in the US as well. They're hoping to start clinical trials this year…
I too love doing without condoms in an LTR but gee whiz, just let the dude wrap up already. The boiling sounds like torture and I don't even have that kind of genitalia.
My wife and I used Weschler's method, using condoms during her high fertility time. Around a year ago, she switched to the "lady comp" which is a device that works on a sumilar principle to the Weschler method, but automated it. It has an attached temp probe. She takes her temp (orally) every morning. If the device displays a green light, we can have sex without a condom. If the light is red, she may be fertile and we need a condom. It keeps track of her cycle so we don't have to. It works great, though it is pretty expensive for such a simple little device.

Small price to pay for avoiding ball boiling. Which I find hard to believe someone who has put as much effort into researching options as the author would use if there wasn't some sexual fetish angle being satisfied too. I suspect she, BF, or both get off on the boiling method. Which is cool. But better options exist, even with her difficulty with hormonal and IUD forms of birth control.
I think RISUG is in trial with hundreds (perhaps more than 1000) men in India right now, and it seems to be going well. At least for the pregnancy-prevention part; I don't know how advanced the reversal research is. My money is on this technology. I think it'll work, be safe, have no side effects, and women will be more likely to trust it (I don't trust my husband to remember to do anything daily without fail except urinate).
I like the ball boiling piece, sounds like fun!

Otherwise my wife and I use the old rhythm method where the little dudes end up on her or my belly. Been working for years after we went through the very natural and safe pregnancies of our two daughters at home. Please enough with the FEAR, female bodies are naturally resilient to carry to term and deliver babies.
This is the stupidest thing I've read in the Stranger in a long time. I am a woman, and I seriously doubt the writer has tried every feasible type of birth control pill, spermicide, progesterone implant, diaphragm or cervical cap, and temperature/mucus monitoring, and none of them can possibly work for her unique little body and mind. Her boyfriend is either a boiled-ball fetishist or a busted-ball martyr to a very entitled person. Either way, YUCK!!!
This article has lots of good info and is well-written. That said, the amount of time and energy they're putting into temperature-induced infertility and fertility charting seems excessive compared to the minor* inconvenience of condom use. There are also plenty of ways to have children without a sperm-ejaculating husband, making vasectomy a possibility - he can store sperm if having a child that shares his genes is really that important, she could use donor sperm if it's not but her being pregnant or the child sharing her genes is really that important, or the could adopt. She could also use (reusable!) barriers other than condoms, like a diaphragm or cervical cap. Given the vast array of ways to avoid pregnancy that are available, this seems like much ado about - if not nothing - something fairly minor.

That said, I personally am very excited to see the increasing possibility of long-term, reversible, and especially (relatively) non-invasive methods of male birth control.

*Minor in my experience, though decades of Savage Love have shown me that people have all kinds of issues with condoms that I do not experience nor understand.
I'm unclear what's stupid about this article. It's thoughtful, well written, and points out a lot of reproductive issues that no one wants to talk about.
Ignoring the topic seems like the stupid option.
Hahahahaha. No.
You had one copper IUD sit wrong so you wrote off the method forever after? That seems awfully hasty. I've had ups and downs with IUDs myself - had one fall halfway out after a period, and the next one was at one point pressing sitting on some kind of amazing nerve cluster such that I could feel it exerting pressure in the mound of my thumb. Still the best kind of contraception, especially if you can't do hormones, and it seems odd that you've never given it another shot.
God, sex is so boring.
i really enjoyed this article, but am also wondering why her partner would rather boil his balls for 7 days than wear a condom on her 2-3 fertile days per month. with that said, it's great that they found something that works for them!
I'm not sure why Melody has to try (or retry) every birth control option out there before her and her partner are allowed to choose the one they feel works best for them. And if it turns out her partner does enjoy the method (the fetish claims), I'm not seeing how that's necessarily a bad thing. They've found a method that works for them and that they're willing to put the time and effort required into to do it correctly. Who cares if he (maybe) gets off on it as well.

Nice article, Melody.
Seattle Weekly had a much better story about male birth control like a year ago.
Dear god I hope no one else is inspired to try this crazy shit. Maybe you can also recommend having sex while standing up, smoking weed or drinking Mountain Dew (popular urban legend contraceptives).
my wife and i use condoms. because the hormone thing is real and because the minute drop in sensation and 30 seconds of time it takes to find a rubber are really not that big a deal when the alternative is either not having sex or boiling my balls.

good lord, stop making him do that.
This is the dumbest thing I've read all week. And I read a lot. Boiling his balls is the best option they could come up with for birth control? Better than wearing a condom for a week a month? Better than a vasectomy (they ARE reversible, and just in case, he can bank some sperm for the future)?

Oh well. If this renders him permanently infertile, then perhaps Darwinism does work!
How do we know this guy doesn't just have a ball-boiling fetish?

And what position does the Catholic Church take on stewing one's scrote? I can see them using this method to get heretics to recant during the Inquisition, but lowering the birth rate probably wasn't the main item on Torquemada's agenda.
Related question...does this guy re-use his ball-boiling water for soup stock?
Vasectomies aren't permanent. I know several men who have used them for birth control than reversed them. A small percentage of men have problems reversing them but they can still procreate through artificial insemination. Vasectomy is not castration. The man still has testes pumping out sperm. Those sperm can, in a worst case scenario, be extracted directly and the woman impregnated as if she had used a sperm donor.

What they are is really excellent birth control until then.
oh never mind. I tried but this is stupid.
If you are trying to save time by microwaving your balls, remember to puncture them first with a fork.
Oh my god, just have him get a vasectomy. If you want kids in the future, adopt -- Lord knows there are enough kids out there who already need homes.
One of the many reasons that this method is completely stupid is because the 'pull out' method is effective. Research has proven that sperm does not exist in pre-ejaculate prior to ejaculation unless it is already present in the male urethra from a prior ejaculation. Prior ejaculations are easily cleared via urination.

…well it happened to her and she writes for The Strangler… so sure it's a general interest piece. A lot of readers will even take it seriously…
I cannot think of a more pussy-whipped situation than being made to sit in near-scalding water for almost an hour for an entire week every month.
Just have her get the hormone shot... Or any other IUD that isn't the copper ring. Jesus. This is mindblowingly moronic.
"human-shaped parasite in my abdomen for nine months"

What a really unpleasant turn of a phrase. There are actually people WHO want children and that you don't, fine.

If you two don't want kids, there is a permanent way to do something about it. (Or is that someday you will reverse your thinking about "parasites" in your belly?)
The amount of energy and water wasted for this method of contraception has to be the least environmentally sustainable way possible. Like, it'd be better if you just clubbed baby seals to death instead.

But this is dumb, the commenters above have outlined all the easier, safer and more efficacious methods available to you and your partner. I don't even.
Huh. I've passed the half-century mark, and I had never heard of this ball-boiling method of birth control before. It is true: you do learn something new every day... even when you're old.

That said, this is one reason to be glad I'm gay. I never have to worry about pregnancy, or boiling my balls to prevent it.
Personally, I don't think condoms are so bad, and they wouldn't need to use them until menopause, since they claim to want children. Just use them until you start trying to get pregnant. Stop after you have a child. Use them again until you want another. Once you have all the kids you want, then he can get a vasectomy, and you're set. But if this is the choice they want to make, it's their right.

What I don't understand are all the commenters who blame her for her boyfriend's decision to boil his balls. Who says she isn't letting him use a condom? Or that she is making him do this? It sounds like this is the path he chose and the trade-off he wants to make. Maybe he dislikes condoms enough to prefer this. Maybe he gets off on it. We don't know. All we do know is that there is no evidence that she pushed this on him. The article states he researched options and he discovered ball boiling. Everything points to this being his decision for his body that he suggested they try. So, why are people insulting her for it?
They should boil their heads.
Yeah. They shouldn't breed.
@31 I'll presume from your male username that you're a man. One who is ignorant about birth control, unfortunately. Just get a hormone shot? The one that causes bone thinning if you use it for two long? Significant weight gain and depression are other side effects. Depo Provera works well for some women and makes other women completely miserable.

Also -- "any other IUD other than the copper ring". WTF are you talking about? First, there is no IUD design anywhere, globally, that is a ring shape. There are T's, U's, and little chains, but no rings. That aside, in the US there are only two IUDs -- the T shaped copper Paraguard and the T shaped hormonal Mirena. Hormones, as I noted above, can make some women miserable (not just emotionally, but physically). So your one non-hormonal IUD option in the USA is the Paraguard. Measuring 1.23 by 1.46 inches with 380 mm squared of copper, it is on the large and coppery side; as a result, many nulliparous women, like the author, find it gives them very long, heavy, painful periods. The GyneFix mini is designed to avoid these side-effects, but is only available in a single clinic in North America. The author could try one of these if she was interested in some medical tourism, but her past experience understandably makes her wary.

When you say, "This is mindblowingly moronic", you're clearly referring to your own post. Please consider yourself educated.
Diaphrams are non-hormonal, and worked really well for me. And they only need to be used before and during fertile times. So even being very safe, half the month. No ball boiling necessary. But to each their own.
So, let me get this straight: this guy would rather boil his balls for 45 minutes a quarter of the days of the year, than wear a condom? That's fucking lunacy.
@38 "When you say, "This is mindblowingly moronic", you're clearly referring to your own post. Please consider yourself educated."

Nobody is going to listen to you when you frame your "information" like you're a high school atheist trying to win online theology debates.
In my experience (and I know, I know -- every person is different) it's not that difficult to tell when I'm ovulating. There are physical indications (and I always dream that I'm pregnant) and I just mark them on my Period Tracker app. It's definitely not time consuming.
Why the fuck would you go to an acupuncturist for an ectopic pregnancy? Go to a real doctor for fuck sake!
@8 - I'm going to skip over how you ignored that some women fear pregnancy for reasons other than death and point out that pregnancy in humans is pretty dangerous, especially so in the US compared to other developed nations.
Despite all the evolutionary pressure to make pregnancy and childbirth survivable, it's not without its risks. Speaking anecdotally, I have about a dozen friends with kids(all of whom had their kids in their 20's and early 30's), and only one of them had a totally uncomplicated pregnancy for mother and child. Everybody else had something along the line go wrong, including one case that was fatal to the infant and another that was almost fatal to the mom.
And, yes, anecdotes aren't data. But I'm also a scientist who studies one very small aspect of pregnancy-related changes in the body and can confidently say that it kind of fucks your shit up. Pregnancy shouldn't be taken lightly.

@16 - 2-3 fertile days? Typically women are impregnable for about a week a month (a few days before ovulation until a few days after). And some of us laydeez fucking hate condoms, too.

@32 - Most of the women I know have called their growing fetuses "parasites" or similar. You don't have to lack a sense of humor to be a parent (at least, I didn't think so). I mean, maybe you did. But it's not like it's required.
Why does he need an entire tub of searing hot water? Why not a coffee mug or mason jar?? Seems like that would be a bit easier to manage and a hell of a lot less water would be wasted. Just how big are his balls?
@46 - He's not soaking his junk in the tub, he's running the hot tap over his balls, and he's too big to sit in the kitchen or bathroom sinks.
Holy fuck! Just use a goddamned, dag-blasted condom for chrissakes. It ain't that bad, it is still fucking fuck fucking if you use a rubber. Please tell me you and your boyfriend aren't this stupid. On second thought boil his balls until they fall off so you can't reproduce.
Vasectomies are reversable; thought you should know.
@32, did you not see the part where she says they would like to spawn someday? It's in the second paragraph (the third if you count the one-sentence "He does this so that I don't get pregnant.")
hi! your boyfriend is fucking idiot! what, you're too good to take a load in the face?
Wait, so he soaks his testicles for 7 days to make him infertile for the next several weeks? Do you have actual data on this?

First, though new sperm are constantly being created but take about 72 days to reach maturity. So if the boiling works, it should work for 2 months from his last boiling because anything created would be dead and anything that starts maturation the day after boiling needs 72 days. Is this heat treating theoretically only effective at killing sperm in their last couple weeks of maturation?

Second, why do you need him to be infertile for the "next several weeks?" You're only fertile yourself when you his fertility the other 21 days or so out of the month is pretty irrelevant.

You mention that you use coitus interuptus plus temperature I assume that means you're not having him ejaculate inside you when you have tracked yourself to be fertile. So...if that's the case, you do realize there's no risk to him having functional sperm the rest of the month right? You only ovulate once per cycle and those sperm don't hide out waiting for the next egg.
He has a ball-boiling fetish. The sheer amount of effort that takes compared to purchasing condoms lets me know everything I need to know about the payoff he gets from this, both in terms of not having kids and the masochistic personal gratification he is getting from having his balls boiled.

I'm sorry, I simply have to make the assumption that if he is boiling his balls, it is because he wants to do it rather than have condoms. I know that the idea of boiling my own nutsack sounds extremely painful and even more extremely not worth it. I'm not judging your boyfriend, to each his own, I'm just saying that he's probably doing this for more than just you.
I've been with my partner for nearly ten years now. I didn't have issues with my IUD like you did, but I was relieved to see it go and am happy to no longer have a constant stream of hormones in my body.

The SO and avoid the boiled genital part by using condoms.
Half the posts here can be summed up as:

Pretty sad state of affairs for sloggers. I mean, who hasn't read Savage Love here? The title screams 'Fetish'.

And even if the situation isn't explicitly kinky, anyone with a decent understanding of kink would know that pple go to great lengths for sexual pleasure. Sometimes those lengths are half the fun (even if they're not).
I was under the impression that vasectomies are reversible, was I misinformed?
Saw "acupuncture". Dropped!
@56 - it's still surgery, and not guaranteed reversible.
Jeez, just use a condom or a female condom.
It's kind of overkill to use withdrawal, ball boiling, AND fertility awareness. FAM alone is 99.6% effective.

I'm not sure how you are combining them, but if you are using w/d all the time, not having intercourse during your fertile phase, AND the ball boiling. That's a freaking lot!

I teach the fertility awareness method, and even for those who NEVER want to get pregnant, I would just recommend using w/d or a condom until their fertile window, either double up, abstain or outer-course during the fertile window, and then unprotected -completely- after. With that you will have probably 99.99% effectiveness. No need to endure awful baths.
For all those asking, a vasectomy is a fairly simple outpatient operation that any man who is not interested in fathering any (or any more) children should happily undergo. But it ain't "reversible".

Yes, there is a surgical procedure to reverse a vasectomy. And in many cases it works. But a reversal is a much more serious operation (general anesthesia, cut open your scrotum, microsuture the vas, sew it all back up) and much more expensive procedure, and it is not always successful.

If it isn't successful, then you are looking at an expensive IVF, minimum, if you want to have kids. Trust me. I have the kids, the debt, and the scars to prove it.

Vasectomy and subsequent reversal should not be considered a form of birth control. In some cases (e.g. have kids with first wife, snip, first wife dies, marry again, decide to have kids with second wife) reversal becomes necessary. But I wouldn't recommend to anyone that they get a vasectomy while planning to have it reversed down the road.
did anyone say spermacide? Is there some reason not to use this stuff. I did for 2 years with a girl, %100 success. And did the article say nuva ring? still hormones, I know but I know girls who swear by it cuz it's localized, and doen't have harsh side effects
Wow. This is the most bizarre and unwieldy approach to birth control I've ever heard.

Just douche with Mt. Dew afterward. It's as scientifically proven as acupuncture.
@8 Female body naturally resilient my ass. Have you seen the pelvis of a woman who has born children? It's incredibly horrifying how much damage pushing a baby out does to your pelvis. We're not monkeys,we walk upright, human beings have one of the most difficult childbirth processes because that opening is barely wide enough.
Yikes!! Just enjoy anal sex instead!!
This is what happens when people live from a place of irrationality and fear instead of being calm, logical and taking life as it comes.

A friend of mine never wanted kids, then one day she and her husband found themselves pregnant. Her kid is four and she loves being a mom. I find people try to control the path of their lives too much. It's better to just take reasonable precautions (like FAM, done diligently) and accept that life will bring what it does. That's more pleasant than living in a ball boiling state of crazy.

Besides, FAM works. Relax.
There are more than 2 dozen different birth control methods/devices available for women, and you couldn't use a single one of them?
Thank you both for trying your hardest not to breed.
Is taking a hot bath an effective contraceptive?

The Straight Dope Says Nope.…
44~ I agree. An ectopic pregnancy almost killed my sister.

They should use condoms during the danger zone.

Melody, you and BF need to grow up and deal for the sake of the oops you'll eventually keep.
@62 re: nuvaring
That is absolutely not true. Nuvaring flatlined my libido, gave me horrendous migraines, and made me suicidal. That never happened to me with the bc pill I was on before that. Doesn't mean nuvaring's not a good option for a lot of people but it has side effects people need to be aware of, just like every other birth control option.
Woman up and get the BF to use condoms. Seriously. This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
@64: THANK YOU!!! I KNEW I made the right decision (for myself, anyway) to remain childless!!
@8: Seriously. Your comments on female body resilience--especially if you're male---are woefully ignorant.

Melody, your boyfriend must love you an awful lot to go through boiling his testicles each month. That sounds pretty agonizing, and I'm a heterosexual female! Why not use condoms? Even if you're sensitive to laytex, there are non-laytex brands out there that are available....?
Oh for fuck's sake - just let him fuck her in the ass and then he eats her out. They both get off without boiling his nuts or worrying about getting her pregnant.

I swear, both their parents must have refused to sign the parental slip allowing them to participate in sex-ed class.
Dude, if you are boiling your balls for the sake of the relationship, this marriage (if it gets that far) will NOT last. Man up and insist on another way already. Further, this would be all the incentive in the world to have an oral and anal sex only relationship in the mean time. How much fun would that be??? And the forthcoming football season affords PLENTY of halftime latitude.
This is such a cool article. Thanks for sharing!

He could also smoke a TON of weed which would make his sperm highly sluggish (true story) but it's not 90 - 95% effective.

There are vasectomy clips you guys may want to look into.

VCF - vanishing contraceptive film - acts as a spermicide, is non-hormonal. Combined w/ a fem cap, it's in the 80% effective range, so still not as good as boiling balls.

Good luck!
I have the same problems with female birth controls, but spermicide works perfect for me and husband. Boiling your balls sounds like the worst option you could possibly come up with. Go to freakin walgreens, they have four different kinds of nonoxynil-9.

What a mongloided slope headed moron, damn, I hope to Christ you two retards don't create a living abortion. Fucks sake, hang yourself.

Its gotten really really bad in the Seattle dating scene when men are now resorting to self mutilation to make life easier on their girlfriends.

It sucks birth control isnt an option, but maybe the two of you should have an uncomfortable conversation. Maybe you need to find someone who is sterile or has a vascectomy and he needs to find someone who can handle birth control.

Medical incompatibility sucks as a reason to call things off, but you arent married, and you can always remain friends. Maybe someday children will be something you both want. For now, dont let your bf mutilate himself for you.
Barrier methods, people.

I found a diaphragm unwieldy, but loved my cervical cap, pre menopause.…
Tubal ligations can be reversed too. This boiling method sounds way too old wives' tale and inexact to be trusted.
118 F is not really boiling temperature yo! it's way cooler than classic finnish sauna... it's actually the temp of really hot tub! not bad at all!
118 F is not really a boiling temperature yo!
it's waaaaay cooler than classic scandinavian sauna... ( 194F)
118 F it's actually only few degrees more than the average temp of a spa hot tub! NOT BAD AT ALL!!! YOU could stand that if you like the warmth, just don't dip too deep, only butt part.
positive thing: it's good for kidneys!

Guys, go hot-tubbing with your girls and kill the little f*rs!
THE ARTICLE is great, the idea is great and there is tons of proof online that it actually works: here:…
After abouta billion years of reading this crap I gave up....halfway thru and now infertile thanks to the 40 years that passed while reading it.....its like if Hemmingway wrote junk nobody cared about...
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really really dum why would any one do it
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Why is it such a bad idea?
Condoms suck, especially if her vagina doesn't like latex or spermacide.
And what woman wants to put "things" inside her vagina other than a penis? Sponges, diaphragms, etc are weird.
Pull-out and still feel like I have to bust-a-nut? no way; nothing relieves the urge like filling her up with cum.
Oral sex? what if she wants to eat something soon or doesn't want to yack what she's already eaten? And if she won't let you cum in her mouth, what's the use?
Anal? It smells shitty. Literally. She will feel the pain from my pounding for a few days and that's not such a happy thought to her.
Best thing is to get a vasectomy early( 16 yrs). Don't ever have kids. The only reason we need kids is to produce a workforce. You never get to spend time with them any way. Oh and heaven forbid the mom leaves you and the family courts give her your kids and you the bill. Then you'll wish you had boiled them balls.
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Pull out or get a vasectomy and adopt later. Geezus.
I like your writing. And your lack of sexism among millions of pointless, stupid sexist anti-male articles all over the internet today. You lay out all the pro's and con's for both you and your boyfriend and bring everything about this whole situation to light in a very nice way. I read the whole thing and I liked it a lot! And I also learned a lot. Good luck with the ball-boiling (until better methods come out... the RISUG method sounds promising!!)! Thanks for writing!