For seven nights out of every month, my boyfriend soaks his balls in a bathtub of 118-degree water for 45 minutes. He crams his six-foot-four frame into our claw-foot bathtub and sweats profusely as a constant stream of hot water slowly kills off enough sperm to render him infertile for the next few weeks.
He does this so that I don't get pregnant.
This approach may seem dramatic—it is—but there are very few options available to men who choose to take control over their fertility. Vasectomies and male-driven condom use account for about a third of current contraceptive action in the United States, but the permanent nature of a vasectomy isn't ideal for couples who, like us, would like to spawn at some point in the future. Condoms make the most sense, are super-important in the effort to stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections, and are highly useful as barricades against wily sperm on the hunt for an egg. But one of the many pleasures of being in a long-term, monogamous relationship is not having to worry about such diseases, and we really don't want to have to rely on condoms every time we have sex until I reach menopause.