For all of recorded history, the contraceptive of choice for men—short of sterilization, withdrawal or abstinence—has been the condom. How ubiquitous are condoms? The federal government says 18 billion condoms will be used worldwide this year alone. They’re sold in latex, lambskin (good for pregnancy prevention, not good for prevention of STDs or HIV), and ribbed with something called “tattoo-inspired textures.”
The choices are dizzying, but only within an extremely small field that involves placing an expandable sheath over an erect penis. Not a single new form of male contraceptives has been introduced on the market in this century—or the last.