Men At Work: Men Try Simulated Labor Pains

I’ve never been pregnant, and I never plan to be pregnant, though I do get a small sense of what labor pains feel like when Mr. Tophat comes to town. (Mr. Tophat is what I call my period. I don’t know why. Feel free to use it, it’s too stupid NOT to share!) Men, however, do not get to feel this experience.  Enter Dennis Storm and Valerio Zeno of the Dutch television show Guinea Pigs, who thought, “Hey, let’s take one for the team and see what it feels like to have a small human tear through our insides, like a badger in a tent.” They didn’t actually say this. I’m hoping they did. It’s very unlikely however that they did.


They did, however, make the decision to cook and eat each others’ flesh for their TV show, so who knows. I’m not kidding.

For two hours, crazy ole Dennis ‘n’ Valerio had electrodes strapped to their body in an experiment to see what labor really feels like. They started out strong.

It hurt.

So I’m guessing that means it hurts.

And then not so strong.

Some salty language was exchanged.

Some salty language was exchanged.

And then one of them gave up.

And I don't blame him.

And I don’t blame him.

Those who have given birth, tell us, what did it feel like? Can you compare it to anything else?

Images via Plotek.lp. Screencaps taken via YouTube.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maud.kraaijevanger Maud Kraaijevanger

    Aaaaah i saw this on television. They are dutch like me. They actually said that it felt something like somebody was trying to rip al there intestines out with their nails…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=833885 Zaianne Sparrow

    I don’t know what I can compare it to. All I know is that I have never felt as much pain as I did while giving birth. I also ended up having a retained placenta…so that was even worse!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=676330152 Noelle Gunn Elliott

    I have given birth to 4 boys. Contrary to what I thought would be the most painful part, ( the actual birth) the contractions were the worst. Do you remember in grade school someone would give your arm an “Indian burn”? It felt like someone was doing that to my ovaries, again and again. I actually told my husband that I was at peace with dying, but sad he would have to raise a baby alone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=726266495 Joelle Poitra

      This gave me a fit of the giggles. Thanks! =)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=514333260 Micha Z Medenciy

    Wow, they survived two hours, that’s an amazing feat given the fact that men are not biologically designed to withstand as much pain as females. I am a mother of two, and the way I describe labor to my girlfriends is as follows “Imagine the worst cramps you ever had, the ones that were so bad that you wanted to throw up. Now multiply that by nine thousand, five hundred and thirty-seven, and a good thirteen+ hours” (I like odd numbers ^_^). Granted the length of labor varies from women to women, and thirteen hours maybe high, or ridiculously low, but it gets the point across.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=564585014 Andrea Valenzuela

    This is awesome! All men should have to try this.

    I’ve had two kids. I don’t compare it to anything else I’ve ever experienced. here’s my best attempt to describe it accurately:

    Your pelvic muscles flex and contract repeatedly in order to move bones and ligament apart to create enough space for a small human being to slide through. Bones that have been in place for decades and sit quite comfortably where they are. Constant flexing, pulsing, pushing. For hours on end.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=286604022 Felicity Kerstin Richards

    My labour was actually ok, I think relaxing into it helped and I did hypnobirthing, but it was only painful right at the end of the dilation stage, for about half an hour. I think if you expect it to nearly kill you with pain then it will because you’re tensed up, but if you know that it’s not the same for everyone then it might not hurt so bad!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000386694464 Patrícia Godinho

    Oh I saw this last week. I’ve never had children but I was there when my mom gave birth to my brother and it painful to watch, I can only imagine what it would be like to go through it… Since I do want to be a mom myself one day, I guess I’ll find out soon enough :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1306684832 Katie O’Bryan

    I have never been pregnant, but am actively trying. So, I’ve asked all my friends the same question. The best answer I received was “it feels like you’re turning into a werewolf.” Rawrrr!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6607720 Micci Siddall

      A werewolf… the rearranging of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, flesh, etc… Well, I’ll have a good laugh with my next labor, “LOOK! It’s like I’m a werewolf!” You’re friends must be great

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509607773 Lauren McVicar

      LMAO! I haven’t had kids yet, but I’m planning on experiencing at least one natural birth in my lifetime. I can just see myself, curled up in pain, but also repeatedly giggling, as I remember that someone once described the experience of this to me as “feeling like you’re turning into a werewolf.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509607773 Lauren McVicar

      Future Lauren thanks you for the joke I’ll use to keep my spirits up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6607720 Micci Siddall

    I don’t like to share how it felt.. it wasn’t bad. I had a quick, easy birth and I didn’t have the urge-to-bear-down feeling that I understand is almost unbearable to ignore when you aren’t fully dilated.
    The hardest parts? Not being able to focus on anything except contractions during the contractions so walking into the hospital and the bed were a chore and a little time consuming, breathing between pushing (I am pregnant now and THIS time I’m going to put more effort towards practicing that focus to avoid the oxygen mask again) and trying to figure out what the doctor means by ‘push up’. Push up? Like get down on the ground and work my pecs? Push Sherbet ice cream through a cardboard tube and enjoy? I could hardly breathe enough to ask what he meant (my thoughts were, “oh please, do explain to me which muscle you would like me to use that you don’t have so I can better understand”), but I eventually pushed different, finally understanding what ‘push up’ meant, and was done.
    Why was my labor so easy? Three things: genetics (THANK YOU MOM AND GRANDMA!), I expected the pain so I was prepared for it and it was not nearly as painful as I had “practiced feeling”, and I went into it with a relaxed attitude and Mozart (really, that music was so nice! I slept to it while pregnant and it carried over to help relax my mind in delivery).

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6607720 Micci Siddall

      Ha, I said that I had a quick easy birth… well now, I believe I meant labor there. I don’t remember my own birth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6607720 Micci Siddall

    Oh geez! NUMBER one thing to remember that my great-grandmother told my mother with her first, and my mother told me…
    “It’s a pain you’ll forget”
    BEST labor mantra ever, from a generation that went into these things completely blind, and it boils down to WHATEVER happens, you did it for the baby, and that’s all that matters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1406042003 Melissa Groshong

    It’s feels like you are trying to pass a piece of firewood through your vajayjay..

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=34600179 Almie Rose

      Oh oh oh oh God.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=18291 Carla Santiago

    I gave birth without drugs in 1 hour 20 minutes, first labor. Second labor under 1 hour. IT IS THE WORST FEELING EVER. Because my labor was quick my contractions were super strong….I didn’t want anyone touching me, looking at me and I kept screaming for drugs but because my labor was fast they couldn’t give me anything.
    I still can’t put into words what it felt like but I can say this, I have had severe migraines, I’ve popped my knee on several occasions and I fell off a moving truck once (yes that happend)…labor felt like all those things crammed together plus the morning after pains of a doing zumba/cycling/weights for the first time.
    It was GOD AWFUL.
    Yes I read all the books and bullcrap about how birthing can be orgasmic and beautiful. F’ that -it wasn’t. It was awful.
    HOWEVER…I will say that once that little one is out and in your arms all you can think is “OMG it’s my baby”
    but to be honest that only last a few minutes, because then you have to get up to pee and your vagina is burning angry at you. Oh and then you breastfeed and your nipples hate you…and if you have a second baby, when your uterus contracts its worst than the labor pains.
    WOMEN are amazing creatures. Definitely the superior sex…and when I think of my mother-in-law who was working 3 days after giving birth in communist Romania…or all the women 100+ years ago who did this in their homes and went back to cooking, cleaning, weening kids…without toilets, sanitary napkins, Netflix, warm showers, snickers bars… I can’t I can’t fathom a world like that

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002495113234 Natalie Montoya Reed

    It hurts like a [expletive] [expletive]. It is definitely the worst pain I have ever felt in my life and I can’t compare it to anything else. I had an emergency c-section but even before that I gave in to pain meds because I couldn’t take it. The c-section is basically live, in your face gore. The pain med was not effective so I literally felt doctors jamming their hands in my belly and removing my organs and they could still see my legs squirm that I had to be put down to sleep. It was the most awful experience but with a beautiful outcome; my son changed my life and everything I went through was worth it!

  • http://www.alicegrist.co.uk Alice Grist

    I was induced, though I had wanted a natural birth and had studied Hypnobirthing. Induction forces body into labour and when they turn up the juice to a higher notch and labour just suddenly kicks in, yeah, it hurts. My Hypnobirthing techniques couldn’t withstand the pain of induction and I had an epidural. That said… If I have another child I’ll still hope to go down the natural / drug free / Hypnobirthing route. The pain really is irrelevant though once baby pops out and says hi!

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