This handcrafted, family adventure rests on love and a sense of sharing, which are the bedrock of our family.
Highlighting, building awareness, increasing access.
What drives me most in this project
I am profoundly convinced that this method is a reliable alternative that responds to a current need in our various journeys toward birth control. Seeing the lack of awareness surrounding it and its limited reach, I went on to design the 'Andro-switch' ring and to make it available to any person wishing to start using this method. My body is mine. And this method being made invisible is a real threat to my freedom of mindful choice. Working in the paramedical field myself, I highly value ethics and respect for everybody’s freedom of decision. This, however, cannot happen if part of the information is silenced.
History of the project
Four years of intense research work, development, partnership building, engagement and reassessment have led us to where we are today, offering you a simple, sustainable and reliable tool. It is rapidly available and very affordable.
December 2016 - April 2017: 6 months
End of 2016: I realize how little I actually know about so-called male contraception. Pierre Colin, Ardecom and others reach out to me and guide me in my desire to use a male contraception method. I was initially going for the hormonal one, as the thermal method seemed too restrictive to me. But after I had informed myself about the hormonal option and had collected testimonies, I ended up choosing the thermal one. Right. But I wasn't in Toulouse where I could have met with Dr R. Mieusset, the andrologist who had initiated the concept, and couldn’t find a place to sew such underwear in Marseilles. I was really willing to do the right thing... But how could I start acting on this will?
February 2017: Have you ever experienced an epiphany merged with a sort of intrinsic tension from feeling you are just plain stuck? Yeah, that “Eureka, that’s it” kind of moment! Well, Andro-switch is exactly that. I was stuck both in terms of knowledge and on the material side. So I decided to answer my own need, this urge to become contracepted by lifting my balls up.
Some of the coincident thoughts were:
I never wear briefs, why should I start wearing some?
Sewing, why not, but only if it’s sails for a ship: my heart always leans toward oceans rather than continents.
A protocol, some tools... But at the same time, a method that is rendered invisible, a cleavage, a taboo: was it all for medical reasons? Apparently not, when you read the conclusions of the 15 clinical trials.
So what? Sociocultural reasons, that’s what it was. Birth control is a juicy market and a problem deemed solved: “women are in charge.” So why bother offering so-called male methods with low economic output such as testicle-lifting tools? What was I to do, keep people mired in ignorance and rooted in hard-to-break habits? What else, if not relying on feminist struggles and on cleavages to remind everyone that the girl is the one carrying the child, while the boy, well, apart from planting a fertilizing seed, protecting from STDs and being there for support – what does he actually do about it?
May 2017 - December 2019: 2 and a half years
We created prototypes, studied medical and sociocultural data, estimated the potential need for the product, set up a strategy to make Andro-switch readily available, started raising awareness amongst the general public, built tools to help users practice this new method and follow them up.
- Environmentally responsible production
January - April 2019: 4 months
We created the production supply chain and distribution tools we would need, devised a viable and competitive economical and ecological model, developed partnerships, set up our e-commerce model and our handcrafted production.
- Making Andro-switch and the associated method visible and available
February 2019 - today
Defining the structure of the website, writing it, testing the production in terms of quality and quantity, testing our supply chain, building partnerships with artists, organizations, and paramedical corporations internationally, paving the way for a better follow-up, a wider outreach and an improved image of the method and of Andro-switch itself, tightening our relationships with our partners and developing new ones, creating the draft for a Natural Contraception Methods Observatory thanks to which data will be collected to finally prove once and for all the effectiveness of methods such as the diaphragm (or cap), the symptothermal (or fertility awareness) method, or the testicular thermal method while ensuring a health monitoring system that will help improve the various practices and protocols.
The research phase is still ongoing. I am testing the multiple modalities of the protocol on myself to make it all smoother and to tailor a large-scale clinical study that we plan on carrying out in the near future.
Our ambition is that within two generations, this method is as ordinary as the condom.
This whole process took three years up to now and was funded by the sale of my sailboat to settle down close to my daughter.
No traditional funder has dared hopping on board with me to launch my business despite my relentless pleas over the past 3 years. What were the reasons, you might ask? The idea was too innovative, the steps too costly to reach an unknown market, boys would never agree to this, the problem is solved, girls are in charge, and so on.
The money from my sailboat, Latitudes, a Trismus 37, has allowed me to carry out all the necessary research, to develop the ring and first launch it, making it available to everybody. This knowledge belongs to us all. It is our duty, as a civil society, to fund it. I control the distribution of the ring for now, because as the creator and promoter of the project I believe I am its best advocate. I am trying out a new approach to highlight this knowledge, this tool and this method, to provide them with solid back–up and to make them readily available.
The protocol that underlies this contraception method with testicle lifting is designed to be safe. Let’s develop this method so that institutions don’t have any other choice than to make it official, to fine–tune it and to structure its cost and reimbursement. Contraception and unintended pregnancies can cause deaths. These issues are public health matters and need to be addressed. It is the country’s stately duty to protect the health of its citizens.
Why is this topic shrouded in a such an unremitting silence on the state’s part?
Do you have any idea what girls endured in order for hormonal contraception to be developed? Of all the risks that were taken to control so–called female fertility? The risks boys have taken with the thermal method are only drops on the window overlooking the cemetery where we bury those that aren’t even named. I strongly urge you to read "j'arrête la pilule" (Quitting the pill) by Sabrina Debusquat (only available in French for the time being).
Now it's your turn to try your hand at it, your turn to do and to practice. Change lies within evolution!