Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Flipping the Image: Try New Semen-Off!

June 11th, 2012 by Chris Bobel

Cartoon created by Lisa Leger, with photo by Λ |_ ν- Γ Ø // CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

At the 2007 conference of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, a presenter cited the famous satirical essay by Gloria Steinem, If Men Could Menstruate, as inspiration for “flipping the image”  to raise awareness about an issue.


Remembering this and frustrated by the marketing of cycle-stopping contraception, Lisa Leger created this spoof ad for a drug that suppresses an integral part of the male reproductive cycle.

She says,

I work in a pharmacy setting and monitor the medical journals to observe how the pharmaceutical industry markets drugs to both doctors and patients. An ad framing male ejaculation as a bothersome and icky inconvenience mirrors the way cycle-stopping contraceptives are marketed to women as a modern way to escape the hassles and mess of menstruation. By flipping the image and taking the same marketing tactics that are used toward women and using them toward men, the absurdity of suppressing a vital body function for the sake of convenience is revealed.


Lisa Leger is an SMCR member and fertility awareness educator who works in a community pharmacy setting on Vancouver Island. Her cartoons featuring the adventures of Wanda the Wandering Uterus have appeared in Femme Fertile, the newsletter of Justisse Healthworks for Women.


3 responses to “Flipping the Image: Try New Semen-Off!”

  1. Laura Wershler says:

    Lisa, Check this out. An article on long-acting reversible birth control for men. Maybe your semen-off is not just a far-fetched, if appealing, idea!

    ‘So far, there’s been less visible enthusiasm for the so-called clean sheets pill, which would be taken before sex for a semen-free orgasm. Lissner is enthusiastic that this could double as an HIV prevention pill for men (including men who have sex with men and aren’t worried about pregnancy). But for whatever reason, putting out initial feelers on funding and public interest didn’t yield much. The relative indifference may be due to sentiments expressed by the following Internet comment: “The ability to provide a money shot is the only advantage to being a man. It’s the reason we put up with war, brother. This will never, ever work.”’

  2. Semen-off will be a hot ticket item on many Christmas lists this year. Nate Silver said so.

  3. Lisa Leger says:

    The money shot comment proves my point. Its absurd to expect The bros to put up with suppressing a cherished body function, while women are told that menstrual blood is icky and ovultation serves no purpose.

    PS – I have a joke related to the clean sheets pill.
    Its the scene from “Its Complicated” when the doctor visits their hotel room (in German).

Readers should note that statements published in Menstruation Matters are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Society as a whole.