A childless friend recently posed a philosophical question: Is a vasectomy a sign of love for your children? Or a sign that you hate them?
Stay with me here. Does getting a vasectomy show that you love your kids so much you want to be able to focus all of your time, love, and energy (and money) on them? Or does it show that they are so difficult that you couldn’t possibly bear to have any more of them in your life?
Before answering, I mentioned that during my own vasectomy the pinching and pulling was uncomfortable.
“WHAT?!” he said. “You weren’t put under?”
No. I was not.
Combine this misconception with tweets like this, implying that penises are the central focus of a vasectomy…
…and I think some basic vasectomy knowledge must be dropped before we get into philosophical musings.
Fair warning, I will be using some fairly technical medical terminology here.
I think the most common misconception is that jizz comes from the doodads. Not true. Sperm are sourced from the doodads, flow through the doodad cables in the doodad sack, and make their way to the seminal vesicles (no immaturely funny name for that, sadly), where they join the majority of the fluid, which doesn’t come from the doodads at all. There the jizz stays, until the moment of climax where the fluid makes its sweet escape.
So a vasectomy is simply cutting those doodad cables so that the sperm doesn’t get to flow and join the rest of the jizz in the seminal vesicles party. Men who have a vasectomy still ejaculate. And absolutely nothing about a vasectomy involves the penis. Got it? GOT IT?
So what is a vasectomy like?
Vasectomies are typically performed by a urologist, a doctor specializing in doodads and other equipment located in the pee-generating region. Urologists deal with all types of urinary issues. So in my case, my urologist’s office was filled with old men with prostate and kidney stones issues. The waiting room looked (and smelled) like bingo night at a local nursing home. Not exactly the level of cleanliness I would want for the place where my doodad sack was about to be sliced open.
On the day of the surgery, my wife drove me. However, my doctor told me it would be fine to drive myself. So not only do you not get put under, but you are easily able to walk out of the doctor’s office and drive home after the surgery. My wife was so grossed out by the waiting room that she wouldn’t sit down. (She’s also a bit of a hypochondriac. God bless her.)
The surgery chair/table/bed looked like this:
I laid on the specialty hospital bed with my pants and underwear down around my ankles. The doctor raised the bed upwards like a human standing desk with genitalia in the middle, he shown a bright white light on my junk, and got to work.
If you’ve never had someone tug on your doodad cables, it’s difficult to understand. It feels like you’re a puppet and the cables are strings to your soul. You feel it in your stomach and you feel it in all of the places where you hold your deepest insecurities. That’s probably the worst part.
Except for the Novocaine. For my vasectomy, the doctor used local anesthesia, shot directly into my doodad sack skin. It felt exactly like that: a needle injecting fluid into the delicate tissue paper skin that protects the family jewels.
While the doctor was juicing me up, he made jokes. I like jokes. I’m a joke guy. In this case, however, not really into jokes. He wasn’t making dick jokes, necessarily, but given his current work location, any joke was basically a dick joke.
“Perfect weekend for this,” he said. “You can watch the Masters.”
“I’ll probably make memes,” I replied awkwardly.
Once the Novocaine set in, I didn’t feel much. He made two small incisions, one for each doodad. Then he cut each cable in two spots, removing a tiny piece from each. Then, he soldered each cable shut. As he did this, I saw smoke rising. I smelled the searing of my own doodad cables. The jokes continued. I clenched my eyes tightly and to convince myself I was doing the right thing, I thought about the most difficult parts of parenting. I could almost hear my kids throwing a tantrum in the distance.
That’s it. He finished up. He told me to get dressed. He left the room. It was over in about 30 minutes.
There was discomfort during the surgery, but it’s not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. Everything still works. My penis is intact.
Love or Hate?
So why did I do it? What does getting a vasectomy say about my relationship with my children?
Getting a vasectomy is a personal decision, and for those in a relationship, it’s a collaborative decision between you and your partner. So for me and my wife, does my vasectomy show that we hate our kids, or love our kids? Like parenting, it’s complicated.
Our two kids are eccentric and dynamic. They are higher maintenance than most. Our days are filled with extreme highs and lows. And we wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s the best.
But three kids like this would surely stretch me too thin—mentally, emotionally, financially. I actually don’t hate my kids. Not exactly. Not at all really. They’re just… a lot. Look at it this way, if I eat two gigantic pieces of chocolate cake, I feel pretty good. I’m satisfied. I had a good experience. But if I eat a third, I’ll probably vomit.
So I think I had the vasectomy because I love my kids, but maybe more so because I love my sanity. If my kids want a sane father, and I’d like to think that they do most days, then a new brother or sister is not the ticket for them.
I love my two kids the perfect amount. It’s that hypothetical third kid I hate. That said, if the vasectomy failed for some reason, and a third child comes, I’ll choke down that third piece of chocolate cake and do my best not to vomit. And I’ll probably love it all the same.