About 100 men have signed up to be tortured by simulating childbirth at the Aima maternity hospital. Most of the victims—ahem, participants—are expectant dads but there are thrill seekers too among the volunteers for “taster sessions.” For the simulations, pads attached to a device are placed above the abdomen, giving electric shocks that induce pain. The test subjects writhe in agony for up to five minutes as a nurse gradually raises the intensity on a scale of one to ten. Some men dropped out within minutes when they couldn’t take the pain.
It felt like my heart and lungs were being ripped apart.
Song Siling, who is trying for a baby with his girlfriend, describing the experience
There’s a cultural difference here: In China, men are often not in the room when their partners or wives give birth. Some state-run hospitals do not allow expectant dads to enter, even if they want to. In case you’re wondering, an on-duty nurse said the simulations could never match the torment of actual childbirth.
Because all women have children and it usually takes quite a long time, I had thought of it as being something really natural, something really normal that they can get through.
Wu Jianlong, who begged the nurse to stop when he reached the maximum level of discomfort