Venus: Male birth control? Econ bros?


Illustration by Meher Yeda

The Daily’s opinion desk is introducing Sock on the Door, a weekly sex and love column.

Venus, Columnist

Hey Venus,

The guy I’m seeing told me he didn’t wear condoms, but he said it was okay because he takes male birth control pills. Only thing is… I don’t think male birth control pills exist? I feel like I should confront him.

— Stephanie 


Dear Stephanie,

There’s so much to unpack here, but let’s start with the facts. Although male birth control does exist (and should be more common) it’s still in clinical testing — there’s no way he’s actually on it. So, he’s a straight up liar. 

Now that we have that established, let’s get into a mini sex-ed lesson. Protection is mainly used for two things. Between a person with a penis and a person with a vagina, protection is to prevent the spread of STIs and to prevent pregnancy. 

Even if birth control is in the mix (the pill, an IUD or ‘male birth control’ — once it is available to the public, that is), condoms are still necessary to prevent the spread of STIs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 sexually active people have an STI, so in other words: don’t be silly, wrap your willie. 

Until you are in a stable relationship, and both have been tested, condoms are the best idea. 

Now for the emotional side of this situation: it may feel difficult and scary to confront someone about this, but I think it’s really important to try. For your safety, talk to him over the phone or in a public place! Tell him that you would prefer to use condoms if you decide to have sex.

If he agrees, time to get down and dirty! If he doesn’t agree or tries to argue, this could be considered coercion, which is abusive behavior. Arguing about someone’s sexual boundaries is never okay. If it gets to this point, I would let him know that you no longer want to go out with him and leave the situation. 

Again for your safety, let a friend know what’s going on and where you are. It’s tricky to set boundaries but your health and safety are most important.




Dear Venus,

I can’t stop hooking up with econ bros. They’re all so bad at sex. Like, I expect them not to be able to find the clit, but I shouldn’t be struggling to find their dick. 

— Gold Digger


Dear Gold Digger,

I am so sorry to hear that. Everything about this submission is so sad. A hookup should not end with you dreaming about your vibrator!

I appreciate the exaggeration and humor in your submission but there’s still some good stuff to discuss. Why do you keep hooking up with them? There are plenty of other, potentially more decent, guys on campus! Literally try a different major.

Also look for green flags and avoid red ones. Green flags can include respecting your boundaries and showing interest in what you enjoy. These things will probably translate to the bedroom. Avoid people who aren’t kind and respectful; this probably means they also won’t be attentive to what you want out of the relationship. 

Please know that you’re not doing anything wrong. Honestly, you’re not the one who needs advice! This column goes out to those econ bros and anyone struggling with pleasuring their partner.

It’s important to note that pleasure, not orgasm, is the purpose of sex. How you receive pleasure and what your boundaries are should be defined by you and your partner(s) before you begin to have sex. Check-ins about what feels good and what should happen throughout the experience! 

Don’t be afraid to ask “How does this feel?” and don’t be afraid to say “I prefer it this way.” Communication is key. I hope these econ boys shape up so you can feel good and maybe get your O. 




That’s all for this week, folks. If you have any questions, comments or need advice please fill out this Google form and check The Daily’s opinion section each Friday to read my response. 

Venus can be contacted at [email protected]. If you would like to respond publicly to this op-ed, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected]. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members of The Daily Northwestern.