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Shy men to get help with sex talk
The new booklet will help men to talk about contraception
Men may like to talk about sex with their friends, but when it comes down to it they are shy about discussing the practicalities.

However, they need squirm no more. A new booklet has been published to help men overcome their shyness about contraception.

The booklet is available from chemists in England, the one place men are still prepared to go for contraceptive advice.

It is published by the Contraceptive Education Service, which is run by the Family Planning Association and the Health Education Authority.


Surveys show men are still likely to leave the subject of contraception to women because they find it difficult to bring up the subject with their partners.

Lorraine Hoare, HEA project manager, said: "Men tell us they want information about contraception, but don't like to break the ice when talking about it."

She said an added incentive to being more open about contraception was that research showed "women like men who show an interest in contraception".

The research divides men into three types: opportunist man, passive man and clued up man. The booklet is targeted at the first two.

According to the HEA, opportunist men tended to make up their minds on contraception on a case by case basis, according to whether they thought they risked infection from a partner or whether they thought using condoms would impress a woman.

Passive men just lacked confidence.

'Hard to reach'

"Men are hard to reach because they don't read magazines like women do," said a spokesman.

The booklet gives examples of how to start the ball rolling on the subject of contraception and includes information about sexual health services, plus a helpline number.

A major advantage for shy men is that it is pocket-sized and "discreet". However, the name "Men - this is for you", may draw a few interested glances.


A recent survey by 'Men's Health' magazine showed that more than a third of men said they took responsibility for contraception. More than half said they would be prepared to take a male form of the pill.

male pill
Many men say they would take the male pill
In recent years, family planning organisations have been trying to target men, realising that they have ignored them in the past.

They believe this has created a vicious circle, with many men not considering contraception their responsibility.

The organisations have tried to correct impressions that contraception is not manly. For example, in Kenya, adverts about vasectomies are accompanied by men talking about their virility.

See also:

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